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 ConsumerLab.com 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 ConsumerLab.com, 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

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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.

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

Acupuncture
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.

Green
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.

ISPA
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.

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

Pilates
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.

Shiatsu
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.

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

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

Zen
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