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Monday, January 25, 2016

Are Essential Oils Just a Fad?

Here's an article by Living Whole, that really gets to the bottom of it...
Essential oils are not a trend. They’re not voodoo, woo woo, or foo foo. They’ve been around a long time, are mentioned over 188 times in the Bible, were referenced in Chinese manuscripts and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and were even used during the time of the ancient Egyptians as medicine. People survived the bubonic plague thanks to this stuff. No joke.
An essential oil is a volatile liquid carefully extracted from a plant that’s used medicinally for all sorts of health imbalances. Once carefully extracted these oils can be used for inhalation, ingestion, absorption, and are used for all sorts of household and personal products like laundry detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, and lotion. It’s the chemical properties in these oils that provide the benefit and once applied to the skin these benefits hit the blood stream within three seconds.
Essential oils are amazing. They’re powerful, and they’re safe when used appropriately. You shouldn’t take my word for it though. Let’s put on our “Google goggles” and take a stroll through the US National Library of Medicine where we will find a whole list of studies you probably never knew existed:
  • You’ll find over 163 studies on the anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative, anti-arthritic, and pain-relieving properties of boswellic acids contained in Frankincense oil (which is ironically used in both European and Middle Eastern hospitals).
  • Scientific studies show that Myrrh inhibits the growth and function of cancer cells, is anti-inflammatory, relieves pain, heals and prevents infections, and kills dangerous microbes.
  • In Berlin, Lavender oil pills are a clinically proven herbal alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressant medications, without the side effects. A case series conducted by the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité – University Medicine Berlin, showed that Lavender oil used in conjunction with antidepressant medication significantly reduced agitation, anxiety, and depression.

    Here’s a study from the
     International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacologyshowing the same and another from International Journal and Psychiatry in Clinical practice, and 38 other studies you can sift through if you get bored.  But let me save you some time…lavender is always superior to the placebo, always shows benefits, and doesn’t have adverse reactions. “Lasea” or “Silexan for anxiety, depression, or restlessness anyone.
  • Forget the flu vaccine. Studies on Melaleuca (Tea tree) oil show that it inhibits theinfluenza virus effectively and without increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s. It also inhibits fungal growth and can knock out candida like your kid can knock back a bag of skittles. Seriously. That good. This should come as no surprise to anyone considering the aborigines have been using tea tree for centuries to heal cuts, wounds, and skin infections. (The rest of us have secretly been using it too).

    Did I mention that Melaleuca is one of those remedies that shows promising effects against
     antibiotic resistant bacteria, is anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-everything else?
  • IBS or gastrointestinal disease? How about some Peppermint oil? A few years ago I read an article from the peer-reviewed American Academy of Family Physicians Journal that was pretty impressive. A systematic review of five clinical trials showed that peppermint oil significantly relieved IBS symptoms like pain, stool frequency, and gas.
  • Aflatoxins are among the most carcinogenic substances known to man. The USDAdescribes aflatoxin as a “cancer-causing poison produced by certain fungi in or on foods and feeds, especially in field corn and peanuts. “Be afraid. Be very afraid of aflatoxin. Unless you’ve got some OreganoAfter sifting through the studies on Oregano oil, you’ll want to bathe in it, wash your food in it, and add a little more to whatever it is you’re eating.
  • Studies show that Clove oil is effective at inhibiting the growth of Aspergillus, a mycotoxin that’s responsible for various diseases that kill about 600,000 people worldwide each year. Lemon oil can prevent carcinogenic oral strep. The Korean government-funded a study on Ylang Ylang that showed it could reduce high blood pressure and high cortisol levels. Neroli has been shown to relieve menopausal symptoms and increase sex drive.
  • Eucalyptus has been shown to be an effective natural antibiotic against several infectious diseases and is an effective preventative tool used against the diseases we vaccinate for. Tumeric oil prevents cancer. Research on Melissa essential oil suggests it would be a great alternative treatment for diseases associated with inflammation and pain.
I could go on. There are hundreds of oils and even more studies, but you get the picture. Do you know what you won’t find in these studies? Adverse reactions like death, brain damage, SIDS, meningitis, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, bronichitis, or fevers. You won’t find a package insert that’s 8 pages long because you’d have to make up 8 pages of adverse reactions that don’t exist. 
I know…you feel a little misled that you were told pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, and anything else that contains a carcinogen, neurotoxin, or hazardous waste were your only options for whatever it is that ails you. I did too. Then I realized that essential oils had been used since the beginning of time, are without the long list of negative side effects that accompany every single medication, and are corroborated by clinical trials and studies from all over the world…except for here really.
This shouldn’t surprise you. We are behind the times and refuse to acknowledge a potential treatment or cure that could come from something other than a pharmaceutical and we prohibit any company from claiming that something natural, like an oil (or even a carrot), could have some protective health benefit.
But, for the sake of full disclosure, here’s what an essential oil isn’t:
It’s not a magic “pill” or a quick-fix. It’s not a substitute for living a healthy lifestyle and for making smart decisions. If you think you can use an essential oil for acne but you continue to eat foods high in dairy, sugar, and bad fats, your acne probably isn’t going to go away. If you think you can down a box of donuts and take an essential oil to melt inches, you’ll be disappointed when your pants don’t fit. If you think you can take an oil for your crohn’s disease but you continue to eat foods that contribute to gut disorders, your crohn’s probably isn’t going to go away.
Essential oils are just one of the many things we should have in our bag of tricks for prevention and for those sticky situations we will inevitably find ourselves in. So while everyone else is waiting for the one-pill-cures-all that will never exist and is looking to “prevent” disease with hazardous wastes, or wipe out their immune system with antibiotics…you and I can just take a walk on the side of woo and pick up an oil.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stem Factor, A product that could really change your skin.

There's a lot of products out there that promise amazing results, then there's the real thing and it's name is StemFactor by Osmosis. I feel so strongly about this product that I wanted to share some actual testimonies of people who have used this product.

"I started using Osmosis about two weeks ago and only off and on. I had several skin tags on my face, which a doctor want to charge 100 dollars per tag to remove. The StemFactor dried them up and I have been removing them when washing. Unbelievable. I thought I had to live with and the best part, no hyperpigmentation. Thanks!" ~ B Andrews 

Esthetician Marianne Kehoe, has worked with thousands of clients and numerous products for more than 20 years. "Between Catalyst and StemFactor, the results I’m seeing in my practice are phenomenal, repeatedly,” according to Kehoe, “including with post-operative scars and people who have been exposed to the California sun for years." 

"Over the past month I have noticed a significant improvement in my skin through using Osmosis skincare. I began with a starter pack then introduced StemFactor - this has resulted in a huge difference to both the acne prone areas as well as contributing to the overall glow of my skin. I have had problems with my skin for a number of years and in particular Osmosis Stem Factor is the only product I've found that continues to improve skin appearance." ~ Emma 

So, what is in StemFactor? 

The ingredients are simple: Aqua, Growth Factor Enriched Conditioned Media, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Phosphatidylcholine, Lactic Acid, Citrus Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil.

What are the benefits?

Advanced technology utilizing exosomes that encapsulate the growth factors and proteins increasing penetration, stability and activating more receptors to enhance results. Over 150 different skin growth factors derived from adult stem cells create this magical serum that improves all aspects of skin aging and skin damage. It gently restores the repair process and stimulates new cells to build collagen and elastin, heal hyperpigmentation and reverse aging.

The fact is that after age 30, the amount of growth factors in your skin progressively declines impacting your skin's ability to heal itself. Using advanced technologies and a balanced approach, Osmosis Skincare's StemFactor replenishes the growth factor activity in your skin in a safe and effective way.

Watch this video by Dr. Johnson and learn all about this incredible product!

Stay Smooth!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Few Things To Know Before Your First Brazilian or Bikini Wax

If you've never been waxed before the thought of it can be...well...terrifying. This is especially true if you've seen the 40-Year-Old Virgin.  The idea of hot wax being poured on your skin and then clumps of hair being ripped off does sound painful... The truth is it's not that bad!

I've put together seven things you should know to prepare yourself for a Brazilian or Bikini wax and help make the experience less frightful.

1. You'll be totally exposing yourself.

Yes, you are going to be just as naked as you think you will be. And, yes, your waxer is going to touch, stare at and be very close to your vagina and butt. When you get in the waxing room you'll be asked to take off your pants and underwear and relax. I'm a professional and I'll do everything I can to make you feel comfortable.... but remember when you think about it, it's sort of just like going to a gynecologist or other doctor. Depending on how comfortable you are, it might feel a little weird to expose yourself but don't worry, I'll help you through it. 

2. Brazilian or Bikini?

The difference between a Brazilian wax and a bikini wax is this: A bikini wax is your bikini line and  about a three finger area. A Brazilian wax is the whole area plus your butt. Don't let this stress you out.  Know that there aren't nerve endings near your butt, which is why it doesn't hurt.   Some girls think it tickles, again I will do everything I can to make you feel comfortable.

3.  Shave then book your appointment 2 weeks out.

One really important thing about waxing is that before you do it, you have to let the hair grow in. If you don't, the wax has nothing to grab onto and it's not going to work. You can't shave down there (or wherever you get waxed) for at least 2 weeks. I recommend your hair should be about a quarter inch long.

4.You Shouldn't Have Sex or Work Out For At Least 24 Hours After.

Hold out ladies! No sex and no working out or doing anything that could make you very sweaty down there for at least 24 hours. Doing so can cause friction, which can lead to irritation down there. So, plan accordingly. 

5. It can be a little awkward.

I'm not going to lie, it can be a little bit awkward to be laying on a chair with your legs spread and a someone (me) putting wax on your private parts while you struggle to make small talk... especially your first time, when you don't really know what to expect. I find that talking can make things feel a little more comfortable. Ask me questions and I'll keep you talking. It should only take about 15  to 20 minutes, so it's really not that long and eventually the awkwardness just goes away.

6. Wear sweats and be comfy.

I definitely suggest wearing cotton undies and loose sweats to your waxing appointment, especially your first one and especially if you're running errands afterwards. The area down there will be a little bit sore, swollen and red when everything is done and so pairing that with tight jeans and a lacy thong isn't exactly an amazing feeling. Trust me, you'll just want to be comfortable.

7. It Really Doesn't Hurt As Bad As You Think It Does!

I'm not just saying this: waxing down there really doesn't hurt as much as you think it will. The hot wax can be warm and soothing. When I pull it off, it does hurt a little, but that pain only lasts a few seconds. Taking a mild pain reliever like Tylenol or Ibuprofen before your appointment can help.  Just know that the more you go, the less it hurts.  As you go more often, the root stops growing in and there isn't as much hair to pull out. So don't stress!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Serum Levels - Where to start

Hey everyone, Here's the lowdown on serums straight from Osmosis. 

Serum Levels - Where to Start

You may have noticed with some of our Osmosis Serums that there is a new addition to the labels. Each Vitamin A and DNA Repair serum now reflects a level listed on the bottle. But what exactly do these levels mean? Have no fear, we are here to help you crack the code!
As always, this system was designed with the Osmosis customer in mind. Each level listed on the bottle serves as a starting place for the skin care professional recommending the product. The levels were designed by aligning the activity level of the formulation with skin tolerance (i.e. how sensitive your skin is to these ingredients). We felt that this was particularly important when recommending our Vitamin A and DNA Repair serum families.

Vitamin A Serums

Our Vitamin A serums all contain the active ingredient Retinaldehyde with our phosphatidylcholine delivery system. Retinaldehyde is the safest and least irritating form of Vitamin A on the market but has the same effectiveness as Retin A. Because of this strength, it is important that our customers (and their clients) remember to introduce these serums into their daily facial regime very slowly. We have broken these serums out into 4 different levels and a specific Blemish Vitamin A serum to make this introductory process more seamless. These levels can be broken down into the following:
Level 1 – Relieve (.025% Retinaldehyde):

Relieve is our level 1 vitamin A serum, designed for sensitive skin types who desire a dramatic restoration of the skin rejuvenation process. The most gentle of our vitamin A serums, this formula addresses skin immunity to allow for healing and repair.
Level 2 – Calm (.05% Retinaldehyde):

Calm is our level 2 vitamin A serum, designed for moderately-sensitive skin types who desire a dramatic restoration of the skin rejuvenation process. It encourages the skin to calm inflammation, restore the protective barrier, increase skin nutrients and immune repair, rebuild the thin dermis, normalize oil, hydrate and firm.
Level 3- Correct (.05% Retinaldehyde):

Correct is our level 3 vitamin A serum, designed for normal skin types who desire a dramatic restoration of the skin rejuvenation process. This formula sets up the ideal environment for aging skin to remodel itself through increased skin nutrients, collagen production and elasticity.
Level 4-Renew (.1% Retinaldehyde): 

Renew is our level 4 vitamin A serum, designed for resilient or conditioned skin types who desire a dramatic restoration of the skin rejuvenation process. The most potent combination of fibroblast stimulators encourages the reversal of skin aging. 
Blemish – Clarify (.05% Retinaldehyde):

Clarify is Osmosis blemish serum clears blemishes, normalizes oil production, shrinks pores, increases skin's immune support, hydrates, calms inflammation, protects skin from UV rays, restores the epidermal barrier, and restores dermal thickness. 
Please note that these levels do not necessarily indicate a progression and moving to a higher level of serum is not always necessary. However, if you do choose to increase to a higher level serum, make sure that your skin is comfortable with the serum you are using at 2 pumps a day before transitioning.

DNA Repair Serums

When it comes to our DNA Repair Serums the active ingredient used is Vitamin C, specifically L-Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbyl Glucoside. These forms of Vitamin C in these particular forms are supercharged antioxidants and are wonderful at helping to build proteins, decreasing hyperpigmentation and working synergistically with our products containing vitamin E. With that said, Vitamin C and particularly L-Ascorbic Acid can be somewhat stimulating to the skin. Ascorbyl Glucoside contains one molecule of Ascorbic Acid and one of Glucose so it tends to be more mild in activity. Because of these differences we have also applied our levels to this category, these levels can be broken down into the following:
Level 1- Catalyst Plus+: Catalyst Plus + is our level 1 serum that is more appropriate for very sensitive skin. It is in an Aloe base with the active ingredient Ascorbyl Glucoside. Catalyst Plus+ contains a patented formula that activates your natural zinc finger remodeling process, which is a critical part of DNA repair. The unique combination of vitamin C, amino acids and minerals also encourages the skin to increase collagen and elastin production, promotes wound healing and improves sun protection.
Level 2- Catalyst: Catalyst is our level 2 serum that is more appropriate for normal skin. It is L-Ascorbic Acid in a water base. Catalyst contains a patented formula that activates your natural zinc finger remodeling process, which is a critical part of DNA repair. The unique combination of vitamin C, amino acids and minerals also encourages the skin to increase collagen and elastin production, promotes wound healing and improves sun protection.
Level 3- Catalyst AC-11:  Catalyst AC-11 is our level 3 serum which has the highest level of repair activity, appropriate for all skin types, even some sensitive skins. It has L-Ascorbic acid in an aloe base. Catalyst AC-11 contains a patented formula that activates your natural zinc finger remodeling process, which is a critical part of DNA repair. In addition, this product contains the patented technology AC-11 that is proven to increase DNA repair by 33%. The unique combination of vitamin C, amino acids and minerals also encourages the skin to increase collagen and elastin production, promotes wound healing and improves sun protection.

See the Osmosis website for even more information on serums!

Stay Smooth!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Skin Tips

By Guest Blogger Ami Shvartman, Director of Education at Osmosis

As I sit staring at the snow-flocked trees and watching my breath as it fogs up the window, I’ve had a realization. Like it or not winter is here
! With colder temps and dryer days winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. Here are some tips to keep your skin winter ready:

Bump up the moisture to aid that barrier

Winter weather mixed with indoor heating solutions can cause dry and harsh conditions both in the air and on your skin. Our skin’s barrier is the first line of defense when it comes to bacteria, UV radiation, environmental toxins, dry climate, etc. It is important to support the outer layer of our skin by not stripping it with harsh cleansers and exfoliants. Osmosis’ cleansers use non-drying, gentle surfactants (from Kiwi- Kumquat and Coconut) to assist in keeping our skin’s barrier intact. Osmosis moisturizers utilize ingredients that mimic our skin’s natural moisture. you may also find, however, that this time of year it is often beneficial to “bump up your moisturizer” and use something slightly richer than you may be currently using. simple changes such as adding a drop of our emu oil based Immerse may be the key to a perfect winter complexion.

Ultra gentle exfoliation

For skin that is dry, dull and dehydrated, using a mild enzyme exfoliant 2-3 times per week can help to smooth out the upper epidermal layers without causing inflammation. Try our Polish cranberry enzyme mask which gently lifts dead skin cells and superficial debris. This mask also contains a small amount of L-Lactic acid, a hydrating AHA and the powerhouse antioxidant Co-Q10 and leaves skin protected and radiant.

Indulge with a mask

Shorter days and longer nights call for more time at home, and more time for you to pamper yourself! Now is the time to introduce a mask into your regimen. A mask with moisturizing and hydrating properties can really benefit skin that has been affected by winter’s fury. Try our new Tropical Mango Barrier Repair Maskwhich is designed to restore, nourish and hydrate the skin. this delicious smelling mask uses various fruit and nut butters to soothe dehydrated and irritated skins.

Keep quick fix products on hand

Osmosis makes it easy for you to keep dry skin issues at bay! Just pop one of our Age Defying Treatment Concealers in your purse for easy access to argan oil, apricot kernel oil, coconut oil as well as vitamin e and shea butter located in our fantastic moisture stick. keeping Refresh PM on hand, an intensely moisturizing eye serum, makes for a great lip treatment as well! and don’t leave home without a bottle of our Mineral Hydration Mist, a great way to revive and rehydrate your skin throughout the day. this refreshing mist contains ingredients like hyaluronic acid, a water-binder which is hydrating without being heavy, and saccharide isomerate which is a powerful humectant making this product a winner for dry skin.
Stay warm and remember to take care of your skin this winter!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Understanding Your Skin

By guest blogger - Dr. Ben Johnson of Osmosis Skin Care

While the skin is very complicated, there are some simple but very important concepts that should be understood before buying skincare products. Remember that the skin is an advanced organ working 24 hours a day for your entire life to maintain itself in the best state possible. While it seems to work against your (cosmetic) desires when it creates rashes, acne, age spots, broken capillaries, redness or whatever, it is, in fact, doing its best to perform at optimal levels in the conditions that you created in your body.

What may seem baffling at times is that every mole, spot, bump, and/or scale is in a very specific spot on your body based on numerous conditions. These include your mental state (stress, anger, guilt, hatred all negatively impact your skin and body health), environmental influences (bad lighting, excessive sun exposure, pollution, poor water quality, damaging skin products), and diet which we believe to be the biggest contributor next to stress.

No one part of your body acts independently with another. That is why many systemic diseases have associated skin abnormalities. The reason this concept is so important is that it is not a generally accepted view from our medical community and therefore the approach to skin conditions is flawed. Rather than addressing the causes of these problems, we are usually addressing symptoms like redness, flaking or swelling. This philosophy has permeated our society; “acne...take antibiotics”, “redness...try a steroid...or maybe a laser treatment”. The assumption is that the skin is acting out of control, that it has disassociated itself from the rest of the body and only we know how to control it. WRONG! Most skin conditions are side effects of a bigger problem elsewhere in the body.

Why is this so important? If you knew that the skin was acting appropriately, would you try to damage it more to attain a SHORT TERM cosmetically (but not physiologically) improved appearance? Let us use a few examples to illustrate the madness; 1) Acne is usually related to candida or ovarian inflammation and yet a primary treatment for acne is antibiotics (one of the colon’s biggest toxins), 2) Rosacea’s red and inflamed skin also results in thinning of the dermis and yet one of the most popular treatments for it is laser collapse of the very capillaries that are trying to heal and repair that dermis. We even burn our skin with acids and lasers to try to make them better or inject toxins into it to paralyze the activity in that area. Is our society working with the skin? We think not. Skincare should be a partnership not a military offensive.

So what do you need to know about the skin to make intelligent choices? The most beneficial ingredients do one of three things; increase circulation (the skin’s only source of food/nutrients/immune cells/building block materials), stimulate fibroblast activity non-traumatically (the only way to make collagen, elastin, GAG’s needed to rebuild/repair the skin), and rebuild the immune repair functions of the skin with growth factors, immune boosters and anti-inflammatories. The focus needs to be on addressing the source of the skin condition which is often internal and then letting the skin fix itself. Yes, this really creating an environment in the skin that mimics more youthful days, the skin is capable of operating at its highest and best. We should be moving away from traumatizing the skin to get a response. Here are numerous treatments that work against your skin; lasers that collapse numerous vessels in your skin at one time, acids that damage/immunosuppress the skin and provide no longterm benefit but likely cause long term damage, free radical makers (they worsen the free radical load in your skin) like benzoyl peroxide, artificial sunscreens and hydroquinone. Immunosupressors are also very damaging, drugs like antibiotics and steroids may look like they have a benefit because redness declines temporarily, but ultimately they thin and damage the skin.

So celebrate your skin’s imperfections because you know that it is telling you to look deeper. Consider it a warning sign. Do not punish the messenger, support it. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Let’s break effective skincare into three areas: Circulation, Stimulation and Protection.
According to Dr. Ben Johnson circulation has everything to do with your skin's health and it is substantially overlooked by the skincare community. All the skin's food, immune support, antioxidant and remodeling efforts all come from the blood supply. Every time you are stressed, you drink coffee or go outside in cold weather, your skin suffers a little because all of these things restrict bloodflow to the dermis. Vitamin K, horse chestnut and caffeine in skincare products are all designed to reduce bloodflow. There is no skin condition (Rosacea, Dark Circles, etc) that is better off with less bloodflow. That is why the utilization of Retinaldehyde, Niacinamide, Camphor, and other circulation enhancing ingredients makes such a big difference in the quality and health of the skin. Bags under the eyes are the result of vasoconstriction (reduced bloodflow and the correlation between loss of blood supply and the thinning of the dermis with age are more than a coincidence. Remember, it is a thinning dermis that is the primary cause of visible capillaries. The reason capillaries return after treatment is because the skin wants adequate blood supply in the area. The best way to reduce this is to build back the collagen/elastin (in the dermis) that covers these vessels.

This is an important term because it needs to be differentiated from the typical remodeling strategies employed by most skincare companies. To highlight my point, we can discuss glycolic acid. This ingredient is in most products and is touted as a rejuvenating ingredient. The skin doesn't have glycolic acid receptors so its method of action is simply to destroy whatever it can. The reason there is any effect is only because the skin, in response to the devastation, replaces itself with new layers. The epidermis swells a little from the inflammation (temporarily reducing the appearance of lines), the new skin is less pigmented (helping hyperpigmentation superficially) but the net effect the skin's resources were used to repair the recent damage rather than repairing the substantial damage that was the initial treatment goal. So how do you stimulate the skin without damaging it? There a few ingredients for this task but one stands out as a clear leader, Retinaldehyde. The key remodeling components in the skin are the Fibroblasts. They make collagen, elastin and GAG's, all of which are critical to a youthful, wrinkle-free appearance. Trauma does activate them but for little net gain. Activating their receptors is the true target and Retinaldehyde does a wonderful job at stimulating Fibroblasts without trauma. Retinaldehyde is what the skin uses to make collagen by converting it to Retinoic Acid.


Most people think protection is a sunscreen, But a sunblock is better. Sunblocks like Titanium and Zinc, protect by reflecting UV rays before they penetrate. But the best method of protection actually comes at the cellular level. Antioxidants used in the skin include catalase, L-glutathione, L-superoxide dismutase, Vitamin C and E amongst other ones. We believe that the utilization of ingredients the skin recognizes vastly improves the protection ability. Antioxidants are constantly being used, restored and used again because we are literally in a constant state of inflammation. High dose antioxidants have proven to not only significantly reduce damage in the skin, they actually allow the skin to rebuild itself by shrinking the repair requirements, thus resulting in a thicker, healthier dermis. To make the process most effective, high percentages of these healing actives should be used and adjunctive ingredients like liposomal technology, ensures that they reach their target.