As holistic health topics become more common in the aesthetic industry, oral supplements are fast growing in popularity. However, many available options actually provide little to no substance. As a botanical chemist, I’m aware that although something may work in a lab, it may not work as well for the general public.
The reason? Cutting corners, like using less expensive herbal powders instead of more effective extracts or herbs. Plus, binders and fillers are often added in amounts that can affect the way a product is dissolved and absorbed by the body.
There is good news, though. Many supplements on the market are highly effective for achieving better results from professional skin services. Additionally, testing labs are now available for skin therapists, in which they can self-run detailed panels from saliva and urine that will let them know what’s going on inside, so their client can get visible results on the outside. To complement these tests, guidelines are available to show spa professionals how to read results and provide basic recommendations on supplements and treatment protocols.
The brain ultimately controls everything, sending signals to the hypothalamus that relay messages of stress or energy, which can affect the body’s entire hormonal cascade and ultimately show up in the skin.
There are very few “brain food” products that rejuvenate brain cells and fire up the synapses. Taken properly, the ones that work well may even speed up memory and retention, reverse brain fog and limit cognitive decline—vital concerns for the aging spa-goer.
The following compounds have been subjected to numerous case studies and have few, if any, side effects if taken in the right dosages:
Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring fat found in young, healthy brains, and alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (ALPHA-GPC) is a special form of choline that functions as a building block in the brain, helping to produce neurotransmitters that encourage cognitive performance. Acetyl-l-carnitine acts like an alarm clock (i.e., it supports clearer thinking and a longer attention span), while vinpocetine is a vasodilator that relaxes the capillaries to enhance circulation. Both are fast-acting antioxidants that help repair free radical damage in the brain.
Other great brain foods include essential fatty acids—found in fish, evening primrose oil and sea buckthorn oil—and common blueberries, which have the highest levels of free radical fighters—20 times more than tomatoes and 10 times more than beta-carotene.
Among the many causes of hormonal flux that can contribute to acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis and premature skin aging are cortisol levels. Cortisol is a corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland; it’s often referred to as “the stress hormone.” For clients who are chronically inflamed, broken out or suffering from the above skin conditions, maintaining the right cortisol levels is critical for easing those symptoms during skin treatments. Out-of-balance cortisol levels can result in high blood pressure and a lower immune response, as well as inhibited collagen production in the skin. Balanced cortisol levels can reduce stress and boost superoxide dismutase—integral for defending the skin from bacterial infection.
The only surefire way I know to regulate cortisol during skincare treatments is by using pulsing electromagnetic wave machines. This type of device is precisely programmed to deliver the exact amount of pulses per minute at the right frequencies and intensities in order to quickly repolarize traumatized cells, reinstate natural electromagnetic fields and stimulate the hypothalamus into correcting out-of-whack cortisol levels.
Electromagnetic millimeter-wave therapy (EMW) does a great deal more than that, and I’ve seen incredible, quick results on inflamed skin when EMW is used in tandem with a potent topical treatment. I highly recommend the DERMAFIELD, used widely by plastic surgeons and dermatologists to promote rapid healing without scarring. It has recently become available for skin therapists who specialize in age management, acne and other problematic skin conditions.
Danné Montague-King is a botanical chemist, author and founder of DMK. For the past 50 years, DMK has used its unique DMK Skin Revision concept and tretments to provide skincare programs for all ages and ethnicities in more than 30 countries.