Green Tea May Not Be So Healthy After All

green tea, healthy foods, La Bella Faccia, aromatherapy facials, Los Gatos, HydraFacial, Jan Marini, Yon-Ka, caffeine, antioxidants, sugar, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), Green tea has been touted for its fat-blocking abilities, its antioxidant properties, and its role in reducing the risk of stroke. But a new report published this week by shows that not all green tea is the same.

Researchers tested 26 types of green tea beverages and supplements and found that some ready-to-drink teas were mostly sugar water. Some of the supplements (which claimed to speed weight loss or help combat cancer) had high levels of caffeine which weren’t listed on the labels, and some bagged teas, especially those containing tea grown in China, were contaminated with lead.

“Lead can occur in many botanical products because it is taken up from the ground,” Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of, told the New York Times. “The green tea plant is known to absorb lead at a higher rate than other plants from the environment, and lead also can build up on the surface of the leaves.”

The researchers found 1.25 micrograms to 2.5 micrograms of lead in tea bags from Lipton and Bigelow, both of which contain tea grown in China. (Luckily for consumers, the lead did not leach into the water when the tea was brewed.) Loose tea leaves from Teavana, which uses tea grown in Japan for their Gyokuro tea, did not contain measurable amounts of lead.

“The majority of the lead is staying with the leaf,” Cooperman explained. “If you’re brewing it with a tea bag, the tea bag is very effectively filtering out most of the lead by keeping those tea leaves inside the bag. So it’s fine as long as you’re not eating the leaves.”

The secret ingredient that makes green tea so powerful is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant. Researchers measured the levels of EGCG in different types of green tea — leaf tea, ready-made bottled tea, and green tea supplements — and found that the amounts of the beneficial antioxidant varied wildly.

While supplements provided 22 milligrams to 300 milligrams of EGCG per serving (depending on the brand), bottled green-tea beverages contained as little as 4 milligrams of the compound per cup. Honest Tea’s Green Tea with Honey promised 190 milligrams of EGCG per serving but only delivered about 114 milligrams, the researchers found, and had as much sugar as half a can of soda. Diet Snapple Green Tea contained almost no EGCG at all.

Source: Yahoo! Shine

Mom Was Right!: Skin Care Woes to Avoid

La Bella Faccia, aromatherapy facials, Campbell CA, skin, complexion, pimples, tanning, face washing, diet, sugar, sleep, waterSkin is not only our largest organ — it’s the most visible part of our body. For that reason, a healthy complexion is key if you want to make a good first impression. While durable and undoubtedly impressive, skin doesn’t always cooperate with us. Take a surprise pimple on your wedding day, or perhaps scaly, dried-out skin that itches and peels. Genetics may be to blame for some skin issues, but you can also foster healthy skin by taking care of your body and following all that advice mom gave you years ago.

Popping Pimples: Anyone who’s advised you to leave that pimple alone was correct. Popping pimples inflames the skin, can leave permanent pock marks and, in the end, makes that unsightly zit last days longer. Instead of popping, apply a zit-zapping cream that contains benzoyl peroxide. If it’s an emergency (e.g. wedding day), visit a dermatologist. “We do a tiny cortisone injection into the offending spot and it usually quickly ‘deflates,'” notes Dr. Alicia Zalka, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale and Founder of Surface Deep. “Nothing works quicker.”

Tanning: “Tanning beds are the worst for your skin because they have artificial quantities of UVA and UVB, which increases the risk of skin cancers and skin aging,” says Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, who holds three Harvard degrees, including a Ph.D in genetics, and currently runs clinical/laboratory studies on anti-aging, acne and skin cancer. She says to skip tanning and use a faux tanner if you prefer a golden sheen.

Skipping Your Face Wash: No matter how long of a night you’ve had and despite how badly you want to crawl into bed, always wash your face first. “Just like the rest of your body, your skin needs its rest at night,” says Dr. Zalka. “If too much gunk is blocking pores and sweat ducts, your skin will be fighting an uphill battle.”

Feeling Stressed: You know stress is bad for your heart, but it also pays a toll on your skin. “Stress steroids are produced by the adrenal glands, causing acne and other skin problems,” explains Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. De-stressing is easier said than done, but you can begin by budgeting your time more effectively and allowing yourself daily “me time.”

Eating a Diet in High Processed Food: Processed foods contain ingredients that can lead to water retention, bloating and allergies, explains Dr. Zalka. They’re also difficult for your body to digest, resulting in inflammatory reactions that affect the skin and other organs. “If your diet is packed with these undesirable foods, you are probably not eating the right foods that would help to fortify your health,” notes Dr. Zalka. Stick to produce and lean meats, which provide the essential vitamins and nutrients your body — and skin — needs to thrive.

Consuming Too Much Sugar: “Great intake of sugars triggers insulin secretion in the body,” says Dr. Zalka, who explained that spikes of sugar and insulin in the blood stream are detrimental to your body and skin. When sugar spikes are chronic or extreme, it leads to hormonal responses that can cause acne or skin flare ups. She recommends reducing your sugar intake, especially if you battle acne.

Not Getting Enough Sleep: When your mother told you to get your beauty sleep, she wasn’t messing around. “Sleep allows skin to have time off from environmental insults such as pollution, ultraviolet, infectious agents and allergens,” explains Dr. Zalka. “Without the proper time for refreshing and renewing of the skin’s cells, they will not perform optimally.” Adequate sleep also helps reduce stress, a trigger for myriad skin ailments.

Showering in Scalding Water: “Hot showers cause the skin to flush as it tries to cool itself, resulting in broken capillaries,” explains Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. “I always tell my patients to wash with lukewarm water — never hot.” In addition to reducing the temperature of your shower, keep your showering time to under 6 minutes. Too much time spent in the shower can result in temporary depletion of your skin’s natural oils, leading to dryness and rashes. Also use gentle soap and moisturize within 15 minutes of bathing.

Not Drinking Enough Water: If healthy skin is your aim, drink up. Dr. Zalka says that dehydrated skin presents itself in the form of sunken eyes, lax/loose skin and wrinkles. In addition to getting your daily eight glasses of water, apply a moisturizer at least once daily and always after bathing. “Hydration inside and out is the best approach,” she noted.


April Promotion: Purchase a Jan Marini Skin Management System and receive FREE Enzymatic Cleanser & Mask

Jan Marini Skin Management System, Facials, ZymesWith the purchase of a Skin Management System at $295, you will receive a FREE Clean Zyme and a FREE Skin Zyme Mask, a $72 value. (While supplies last!) 

These supplemental home care exfoliation products that have the ability to digest dead skin cells without harming sensitive or irritated tissues. Call Patti for details at 408.802.4271.

Experience dramatic transformation in your skin with The Jan Marini Skin Care Management System and see first hand why it has been voted “The Best Skin Care System” for three years in a row in NewBeauty Magazine’s Annual Beauty Choice Awards. This revolutionary system comprehensively address all the skin’s needs for measurable improvement in the appearance of  common skin conditions such as: Acne, Fine Lines & Wrinkles, Hyperpigmentation, and Rosacea.

facials, skin treatments, Jan Marini, La Bella Faccia, Patti AllenThe Skin Care Management System was designed for prolonged use with little to no irritation or acclimation. The System is easy and intuitive to use with immediate improvement observable from the first application. Over time skin will appear noticeably smoother and healthier. By following the easy daily regimen, results will be sustained and improved over time.

1 | Cleanse 2 | Rejuvenate 3 | Resurface 4 | Hydrate 5 | Protect
Our cleansers encourage a soft, smooth and more refined skin texture. Vitamin C & DMAE Complex improve the appearance of wrinkles, skin firmness and create a lifted, radiant look. Dynamic ingredients target textural concerns and provide multifaceted resurfacing benefits. Versatile solution regulates moisture content, guards against inflammation and greatly enhances skin rejuvenation. Broad spectrum UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Microscopic sponge encapsulation system provides a silky matte surface that does not feel heavy or oily.

Key Benefits of Skin Care Management System

  • Improves overall skin health
  • Addresses multiple skin care concerns
  • Non-irritating
  • Easy to use
  • Long-term, non-hydroquinone solution

What is Microdermabrasion?

facials, La Bella Faccia, Los Gatos, microdermabrasion treatments, fine lines, wrinklesMicrodermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure (usually done in medspas, dermatologist’s offices or with your aesthetician) that improves skin’s appearance by buffing away the dead outermost layer. It’s an effective way to combat sun damage, light acne scars, fine lines and generally dull skin. Painless, quick, easy and cost-effective – microdermabrasion is consistently in the top five most popular nonsurgical procedures throughout the world.

Microdermabrasion is a wonderful way to remove dead surface cells from the skin in order to encourage cellular turnover and regrowth, as well as to allow for deeper penetration of skin serums and chemical peeling agents. The procedure is usually performed using a microdermabrasion wand that shoots tiny crystal particles (usually aluminum oxide, sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate) onto skin while simultaneously vacuuming up the dead skin that’s uncovered. Microdermabrasion is painless, though it may feel “prickly” in more intense treatments. No downtime is required.

La Bella Faccia offers the following Microdermabasion services:
~Basic Microdermabrasion with Oxygen Infusion-40 mins $75.00
~Microdermabrasion added into any Phyto-Aromatic Treatment- $135.00
~Series of 6 Treatments $450.00 comes with a Complimentary Hydra- Essence Facial at the end of series valued at $95.00

Click here for our complete Service Menu

Spa Glossary: A-Z

facials, skin treatments, spa, skin procedures, La Bella FacciaDo you know the difference between acupuncture and acupressure? How about Shiatsu and Watsu? The spa world is filled with a dizzying collection of terms and procedures. Following is a sample glossary, thanks to Spa Finder, to help spa-goers speak and understand the lingo with ease.

Used to stimulate the flow of energy in the body, acupressure is a traditional Chinese pressure-point massage.

Administered using needles, a low-voltage electric current, or acupressure, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing technique based on Taoist philosophy.

Body Wrap
Herbal body wraps cover the client in a cocoon-like form with strips of cloth soaked in herbal teas. Sea mud body wraps use mineral essential-rich mud to cleanse and hydrate the body.

Complementary Medicine
Unlike alternative medicine which replaces traditional therapies, complementary medicine uses treatments and therapies in conjunction with traditional medicine.

Destination Spa
Property that focuses on improving one’s lifestyle, enhancing health, and creating self-renewal in the company of other like-minded people.

European Facial
A treatment that includes deep cleansing, steam, exfoliation, and a professional face massage, followed by a mask that hydrates the skin.

The buzzword that describes a concern with, or promotion of, environmentalism through recycling, creation of biogradable products, or reducing pollution.

Hot Stone Therapy
A treatment in which dark, smooth stones are heated in hot water and then placed or stroked lightly on key areas of the body.

The International Spa Association, which represents all aspects of the spa industry.

Lymph Drainage
A type of massage meant to stimulate circulation in the lymph system to drain away excess fluids and trapped toxins.

Medical Spa
These are destination or day spas that offer traditional and complementary medical services including cosmetic procedures, diagnostic testing, and preventative care.

Food grown without the use of chemicals of any kind, including growth hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers.

Developed by Joseph Pilates, this is a body conditioning program that develops flexibility and strength through controlled movements and specially-designed exercise equipment.

Qi Gong (or Chi Gung or Chi Kung)
A group of Chinese self-healing exercises, the term Qi Gong comes from qi (energy) and gong (achievement that comes from practice). The exercises include simple movements, breathing, and mental imagery to relax and strengthen the body and mind.

Salt Glow
Used to exfoliate and stimulate circulation, skin is rubbed with coarse salt combined with fragrant oils.

This massage technique developed in Japan uses applied pressure to specific body points to stimulate and unblock meridians, or pathways through which energy is said to flow.

Thai Massage
With a client dressed in full clothing, this treatment involves yoga-like stretching and pressure-point massage to release blocked energy, relieve tension, and increase awareness.

Vichy Shower
Meant to hydrate the body and improve circulation, the Vichy shower was inspired by treatments in the French thermal spa city. It involves a client lying beneath a spray of warm water created by a five- to seven-head shower system.

This treatment achieves deep relaxation in the client through rhythmic movements and a pressure-point massage administered by a therapist in a warm pool.

Aimed at self-development and self-realization, the physical practice of yoga uses positions, deep breathing, and meditation to stretch and tone the body.

A school of Mahayana Buddhism that asserts enlightenment can be achieved through meditation, self-contemplation, and intuition by focusing on one’s essential nature.

Source: Susan Gans

Determining Skin Type – How to Identify Your Skin Type Easily

facials, La Bella Faccia, Patti Allen, Los GatosThe type of skin that you have plays an important role in how acne will affect you and also in how you should treat it. Different skin types need different types of treatments in order to effectively handle acne. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to acne skin care.

There are four basic types of skin, oily, normal, dry, or combination skin, a combination of two of them. Combination skin may be normal-to-oily or normal-to-dry. For each type, a different skin care regimen is needed. Skin types also change over time, skin that may have been combination normal/oily may become more normal or dry as the skin ages. Changes in skin requires adjust of skin care routines to maintain a healthful appearance.

Five Questions To Ask Yourself.

First, start with some basic questions in order to determine your skin type. The answers to these questions will help you to decide what type of skin you have.

1. How frequent are your breakouts?
2. Do you have blackheads?
3. Do you have large pores?
4. How does the skin feel after it has been washed with soap and water?
5. Are there facial lines?
The answers to these questions help determine the type of care your skin will require to look its freshest.

Basic Descriptions of Skin Types

Each skin type is determined by several factors such as the amount of oil produced, texture, and the frequency of acne breakouts. Skin tones often seem to coincide with certain types of skin, but skin tone is not a determining factor in what type of skin you may have. Quite fair skin may also be oily, while dark tones may be dry. Therefore, skin color is not a good metric to use when determining what type of skin you may have.

People with dry skin usually have few breakouts and seldom experience blackheads. The reason for this is that excess oil blockages are what form blackheads, and dry skin is not prone to excess oil. This generally means that acne breakouts are rare for this skin type, although other problems may exist. Dry skin generally has few if any visible pores, and the skin will feel tight and/or dry after cleansing. Those with dry skin are usually fair-skinned and often develop facial lines early in life. This skin type may sunburn very quickly.

People with normal skin and with combination skin suffer occasional breakouts, with mild-to-moderate blackheads that occur for the most part in the “t-zone.” The t-zone is the area which runs across the forehead and down the nose and mouth area, it also includes the chin. Pores are often larger and more noticeable in the t-zone area but are usually not as large as those that appear in oily skin. The skin may feel dry and tight immediately after cleansing but will soon feel more lubricated. The skin tone for normal skin usually is fair to medium, and a few early lines may appear around the eyes. This skin type usually will sunburn when first exposed to the sun, but then will tan. Prolonged sun exposure can produce temporary dry skin conditions.

Oily skin is characterized by more frequent breakouts and the presence of comdones or blackheads. The pores are enlarged and visible. After washing the face quickly becomes oily, the nose and forehead quite rapidly growing shiny due to increased oil production. The skin tone is frequently olive or dark. Facial lines are not very prevalent with this type of skin; oily skin tends to be resist aging longer than the other skin types. Therefore, over the long term, oily skin stays youthful for a longer period of time than the drier types of skin. Oily skin rarely burns when exposed to the sun and usually tans easily.

A Final Word

Determining what type of skin you have should enable you to make better choices when it comes to skin care products. There are numerous products on the market that are designed to improve skin quality. For improving your acne, choose products that won’t cause further problems for you by basing your choices upon the type of skin that you have. Adjust your skin care regimen as your skin changes in order to be on top of your acne problem.

Source: Abhishek Agarwal