Sunday, November 29, 2009

TheraVine Sculpt-O-Vine Contouring and Firming Body Cream Review

Here is the AGB Quick Product Review:

  • Sculpt-O-Vine Contouring and Firming Body Cream contains active ingredients specifically designed for the treatment of cellulite and remodelling the body. 
  • It is also firming and moisturising cream.
  • It will minimise stubborn cellulite , stimulate the removal of stored fat, reduce stubborn curves and refine the hips and moisturise the skin.
  • Apply in the morning and evening using upward, circular movement with intense pressure. Massage in well.
  • You will get better results if you use the Sculpt-O-Vine Contouring and Firming Body Cream with the Sculpt-O-Vine Cellulite Oil. If used with Sculpt-O-Vine Cellulite Oil apply in the evening after the oil.
  • In terms of value for money and quality of product I rate this product at “4”

TheraVine Sculpt-O-Vine Cellulite Oil

Here is the AGB Quick Product Review:

  • If you are struggling with cellulite and have tried everything else on the market, try Sculpt-O-Vine Cellulite Oil.
  • It is a light mixture of essential oils and botanicals that will refine the tissues, aid in the reduction of a spongy appearance, stimulate, tone and smooth the epidermis. It will improve circulation and detoxify the tissues.
  • Apply at night to a damp skin using upward movements.
  • You will get better results if you use the Sculpt-O-Vine Cellulite Oil with the Sculpt-O-Vine Contouring and Firming Body Cream.
  • In terms of value for money and quality of product I rate this product at “4”

Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy Skin Resurfacing Cream

Here is the AGB Quick Product Review:

Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy

  • Gamma Hydroxy works like a time-released chemical peel, constantly resurfacing the skin, day after day. If you want the resuts of a chemical peel, but cannot see yourself going through the flaking and peeling process, this is the answer!
  • Originally developed as a resurfacing cream for acne scarring and pitting, it became quickly evident that this product would provide a lot more. Gamma Hydroxy have a dramatic, visible effect of wrinkles, skin pigmentation, acne scarring, dull environmentally damaged skin, ingrown hair and enlarged pores. Gamma Hydroxy leaves the skin clearer, fresher and silky smooth.
  • It is suitable for all skin types. In extreme problematic skin, you can use it all year round. For other clients, we recommend that you use it twice a year during spring and autumn for a 12 week period to boost and renew your skin. Please remember that it contains AHA’s and BHA’s therefore you do need to wear at least a SPF 30 as well.
  • In terms of value for money and quality of product I rate this product at “5”

Understanding Chemical Peels

Understanding Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a body/face treatment used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin using a chemical solution that causes the skin to die and eventually peel off. Every day, our skin is undergoing the normal process of discarding older, dead skin cells and replacing them with new, healthy cells. As we grow older, the time this process takes increases, meaning that the older skin cells stay in place for longer, causing our skins to look grey, dull and aged. Chemical peels accelerate this process in three different ways:

1. Resurfacing the outer layers of our skin stimulates upper skin cell growth, which helps to thicken the skin.

2. Peels “kill” the damaged cells, which will be replaced with healthier, normal cells by way of the skin’s natural wound healing process. Results are regenerated skin that is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin

3. Deeper peels will stimulate the production of collagen within the skin layers.

Fiction and facts that you need to know about:

  • Peels never scar: Yes they can if you do not take proper care of your skin afterwards.
  • Peels are for every skin type: Some skins will not tolerate a chemical peel and other treatments need to be considered to resurface the skin
  • Peels always causes hyper-pigmentation: Only in cases where there is a lot of post-peel inflammation can this happen, or if you do not take proper care of your skin afterwards.
  • After a peel you can never go in the sun again: Not true, you only need to stay out of the sun for the recovery time. During this time you should use lots of at least a SPF 30.Of course, you should in any case always wear a SPF during day time.
  • Peels are better than a facelift:  No peel can take the place of a proper facelift. Please remember that a peel improves the quality of the skin whereas a facelift will get rid of the quantity of skin.
  • Peels take weeks to heal:  Recovery after very superficial peels should only take 2-3 days, but yes, some peels can take a lot longer to heal.

Who can have a chemical peel?
The decision to do a peel depends on the type, condition, reaction to sun exposure and age analysis of each skin. The therapist should also consider the client’s life style and working conditions. Only after a thorough consultation can the therapist decide which peel and strength to use.

How long will the skin take to heal?
Depending on the strength and type of peel, it can take from 1 to 15 days to heal. In most cases there will be no “down time” where you need to stay in bed or indoors for lengthy periods of time. If the client follows the aftercare instructions for a peel the risk of complications are few and the clients should be able to follow their normal life style and skin care routine without too much interruption.

How will the skin look and feel after the peel?
If a very superficial or superficial peel was used, the skin will be red and irritated for a day or two. A little flaking can be expected but usually most of the dead skin cells will come off during the client’s normal cleansing routine. Very sensitive skins will take longer to heal and the client can also expect a lot more irritation and flaking. The skin should be back to normal within 3-4 days.

With medium peels the skin will be red, irritated, stiff and uncomfortable for 3 -4 days. The skin will discolour and lots of flaking or sheet peeling will occur. The flaking can take up to 5 days, and the skin should be back to normal with a week.

With deeper peels like Phenol peels, the client can expect a lot of redness, eyes and face will swell up, irritation, stiffness, cracking and /or blistering will also occur. After a couple of days the skin will start to sheet peel and this can last for up to 10 days. The client may have to arrange to have someone around during the first couple of days to assist them in their daily routine

Alpha hydroxy acid or fruit acid peels
AHA peels are used for reducing fine wrinkling, treating areas of dryness, reducing uneven pigmentation, aiding in the control of acne, smoothing rough dry skin and improving the texture of sun-damaged skin.
There are five main fruit acids: citric acids (citrus-derived), glycolic (derived from sugar cane), lactic acid (although derived from milk, this is still considered a "fruit acid"), malic (derived from apples) and tartaric (derived from grapes).

Citric Acid: Usually derived from lemons, oranges, limes and pineapples. These peels are simple and effective, although not incredibly invasive or capable of significant improvement with one treatment.

Glycolic Acid: Formulated from sugar cane, this acid creates a mild exfoliating action. Glycolic acid peels work by loosening up the horny layer and exfoliating the superficial top layer. This peel also stimulates collagen growth.

Lactic Acid: This acid is derived from either sour milk or bilberries. This peel will remove dead skin cells, and promote healthier, softer and more radiant skin.

Malic Acid: This peel is the same type of mildly invasive peel derived from the extracts of apples. It can open up the pores, allow the pores to expel their sebum and reduce acne.

Tartaric Acid: This is derived from grape extract and is capable of delivering the same benefits as the above peels.

Beta hydroxy or salicylic acid peels
Salicylic acid is extracted from willow bark and has been studied for its effect on skin that has aged prematurely due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. It penetrates oil-laden hair follicle openings and, as a result, helps with acne. Studies have shown that salicylic acid is less irritating than peels containing alpha-hydroxy acids, while providing similar improvement in skin texture and colour.

Jessner's peel
It is mainly used for oily and acne prone skins. Jessner's peel is a combination of 14% of each salicylic and lactic acids and resorcinol in a ethanol basis. It is a preferred peeling agent for some therapist due to is safe and superficial nature. It is difficult to “overpeel” with this treatment because of the mild percentages of the acid combinations.

Trichloroacetic acid peels
It smooths out fine surface wrinkles, removes superficial blemishes and corrects skin pigment problems. It is used as an intermediate to deep peeling agent in concentrations ranging from 10-30% used in salons and up to 50% in medical clinics. Depth of penetration is increased as concentration increases, with 50% penetrating into the reticular dermis. A TCA peel is the one of the best peels to offer, as all skin types can benefit from it.

Phenol peels
Phenol is the strongest of the chemical solutions and produces a deep skin peel. This peel is usually only administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. It is used for correcting blotches caused by sun exposure or aging, smoothing out coarse deep wrinkles and removing pre-cancerous growths. Effects are long lasting, and in some cases are still readily apparent up to 20 years following the procedure. Improvements in the patient’s skin can be quite dramatic. A single treatment usually achieves the desired result.

Designer Peels
Designer peels are the new kids on the block and more and more therapists choose to use these as they are pre-mixed and very safe to use. Most of the designer peels are time-regulated and take a lot of the risks out of the “observing” part of the other peels. It can treat all the indications of the other peels as described above. These peels usually have two or more peeling agents and/or other ingredients combined and lengthy, expensive pre-care treatments are seldom necessary. They deliver excellent results and depending on the peel used 2-3 treatments usually will give the desired results.

The end result
Done by well trained and experienced therapists, peels are very safe and quick treatments to resurface the skin and get rid of a large number of skin complaints. Follow the after-care instructions that you will receive from the therapist or doctor and you should have a clearer, brighter skin than before.

At Absolutely Gorgeous Beautique we offer different chemical peels for every skin type and problem. Please contact us at 082 398 9817 or have a look at the peels and products we offer at

Picture courtesy of Essel South Africa

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Loosing Weight- The Real Truth

Have you been trying to loose weight for ages and just do not have the self control and long term commitment to get rid of it and keep it off? Well, join millions of other people around the world that struggle with the same problem and who are looking for, often dangerous, short cuts and miracle cures.

I have heard of every excuse, reason and imaginary illness possible in my salon why people carry too much weight and everyone and everything were blamed from their parents to their hormones. No matter how we look at the issue, there is one reason and one reason only why people are overweight/obese. People are eating too much, too often and for far too long! The reason why they overeat can be very simple or very complex and are outside the scope of this article. However, it is very important to try and understand their problems and to support and motivate them throughout their weight loss journey.

Many of them loose hope and think that the answer lies by taking weight loss or diet pills. Diet pills can be anything that ranges from over the counter appetite suppressants containing so called “natural ingredients”, caffeine pills and ephedrine to prescription medication regulated and controlled by you GP. There is a huge variety the market and most of them contain some ingredient or two that either have addictive qualities or that can put you health at risk. A few pills, especially the newer prescription varieties have been shown in clinical studies to help dieters shed a few kilos. But the majority of the ads you see on the Internet ,TV and magazines that say their product will help you see miraculous weight loss -- like losing up to 30 kilos in 30 days without diet or exercise - are unregulated, untested and unproven. Yes, some of these pills will help you in the short term to loose a couple of kilos, but your body develops a tolerance to these drugs' effects, and weight loss will stop. If you then stop taking these pills, the weight will return, and sometimes even a bit more!

Most diet pills and supplements, both over the counter and prescriptive, can cause nervousness, fatigue, hyperactivity, dry mouth, restlessness, insomnia, high blood pressure, hair loss, heart arrhythmias and palpitations, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, intestinal disturbances, tightness in the chest, tingling in extremities, blurred vision, excessive perspiration, dizziness, disruption in menstrual cycle, change in sex drive, fever and urinary tract problems. There are numerous sites on the web that will educate you about the ingredients that are in these pills and their adverse side effects.

So what is the best solution for permanent weight loss? You need to eat less and exercise more. Change your eating habits and regulate your food quantity. Learn to listen to your body when you eat and stop eating long before you feel full. You also need to look at what you eat. Eat lots of fruits and veggies plus moderate amounts of good fats, healthy carbs, and lean proteins. Stay away from processed foods like cakes and pastries, white bread, pasta etc. Replace these with low G.I. foods and you will see results. Exercise, a little at first and then slowly increase it as you become stronger and fitter. Please do not join the expensive gym on the corner but rather opt for fun like jogging, skipping, playing with the kids or taking the dog on long walks. These are more sustainable for those who hate to exercise and it will have a positive, uplifting effect as well!

At Absolutely Gorgeous Beautique, we offer a weight loss programme that is safe and reliable. It was formulated by a medical doctor, a dietician and a pharmacist. It will teach you what and how much to eat. It will increase your body’s lipolitic levels and burn more fat. It will target your fat cells to reshape your body and improve cellulite and stretch marks. Your weight will be easily maintained once goal weight has been reached.

We will be there for you, every step of the way.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It takes a long time to become young - reverse the signs of ageing

“It takes a long time to become young”-Pablo Picasso

It is a sad but true fact that we reach our peak age at 25 and from then, all we can hope for is to slow down the aging process.

How you tackle this niggling problem will show not only on your facial skin but also in how your body reacts later on. In the Middle Ages the average life expectancy was 20 years. In 2020 it will be 90 years and predictions for 2050 indicates 120 years! Who would want to life that long unless you are also “young”?

The meaning of anti-aging has changed significantly over the last few years and now the focus is on raising our life expectancy and quality of life by caring not only for the outside, but the inside as well.

There is no more need for your skin and body to look haggard and run down. Everyone ages differently due to genetic factors, hormonal imbalances and lifestyles. Aged (mature) skin is determined by our age, but more importantly, by the declining processes of our body. It is now possible to ascertain one’s biological age, which is different from one’s chronological age, by using a battery of reliable, coded tests. A 30 year old woman can look 50 years old due to the effects of sun exposure, smoking, alcohol, pollution, stress, lack of sleep and an inadequate diet. However, the opposite can also be true by establishing a good beauty routine and looking after body, mind and inner harmony.

The normal changes associated with facial aging are the result of both intrinsic (age related fat and bone loss known as atrophy, hormonal imbalances, illnesses etc) and extrinsic factors (like sunlight, pollution, and smoking). As we age, the outer layers of the skin comes slightly thinner because of the reduced rate of regeneration in the lower levels of the skin.

Melanin production (the substance that our cells secrete to give us a “tan”) decreases, thus increasing the risk of sun damage and therefore, skin cancer. Collagen, (the softness factor of our skin) becomes “stable” and in general the skin is less pliable. Elastin fibers degenerate and the skin looses its elasticity and suppleness. The fatty deposits under the skin shrink causing the skin to bruise more easily since blood vessels are not as well protected as before. The skin also tends to retain less water, resulting in dry, flaky skin. These changes all add to the deep wrinkles around the mouth, sagging skin, softening of the oval of the face and a general tired look.

According to Dr Claude Dalle, in his article ANTI-AGEING: PREVENTION AND OPTIMISATION we need to consider the following to slow down Father Time:

We need to optimise our hormones as the levels drop over time and it can already start in our early 20’s. We all have catabolic hormones that degenerate our bodies. Anabolic hormones regenerate skin, muscles and bones. Between the ages of 25 and 70, the different rates at which our bodies produce catabolic hormones and anabolic hormones get more out of balance with the end result of growing old.

The more we stress, the more cortisone our bodies produce and the more negative the effect is on our bodies. In order for us to extend our life span, we have to reduce our stress levels.

We need to pay special attention to our diet. Be careful of steroids and other growth hormones that may be added to livestock feeds. The effects of these on our bodies are not yet fully known. Rather be safe than sorry! Use fresh produce where possible and do not destroy all the goodness by over cooking. Beware using too much seasoning.

Include essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants in your diet or as supplements as these compounds will enhance your anti aging regime. There are numerous food supplements on the market which can sort this for you by simply taking a couple of tables at breakfast time. Your salon can also assist you with specialist products according to your needs.

Dr Catherine de Goursac a physician specialising in aesthetic treatments gives excellent advice:

The rules pertaining to anti-ageing:

• You need to exercise 30 minutes per day or three hours per week because it increases longevity.
• Limit your intake of dairy products
• Limit your intake of fatty and sugary foods.
• Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
• Cut out smoking and alcohol.
• Maintain your goal weight, or stay within 5% of it.
• Visit your doctor regularly as it is important to pick up organ problems and cancers as early as possible.
• Optimise anti-oxidants.
• Keep hormones balanced.
• Drink a liter and a half of water per day.
• Keep a youthful outlook because if you think young, you stay young……?

The idea of a Fountain of Youth that will keep us young forever is as old as history itself and unfortunately has not been discovered yet. The complete prevention or reversal of ageing will not happen in our lifetime but the desire to reverse the signs of ageing still make people use strange and wonderful remedies and potions.

Perhaps a better option would be to follow a good daily beauty routine, stress less, laugh more and enjoy the outdoors with a SPF 30!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What is in a Good Cleanser?

Choosing your cleanser with care is very important, as this will lay the foundation of how well your skin will respond to the rest of you beauty routine. A too oily/greasy cleanser can leave you skin with clogged pores and leave a film of product behind that will stay on the skin, which will then prevent the skin from absorbing the rest of the products. A cleanser that dries out the skin too much will result in the skin feeling dry, tight and uncomfortable. It may also cause flaking skin that may be difficult to correct without using a multitude of products.

If you do a little homework before you buy a cleanser, you may find it is actually very easy to get it right. First, establish what your skin type is. Please read our article “Facial Skin Types ” to help with this. Your current skin conditions will also play a role in which cleanser will work best for you. There are three types of cleansers available that will fit into one of these categories:

Water soluble cleansers described as Cleansing Milk, Creamy Milk, Mousse Cleanser, Lotion Cleanser or Liquid Cleanser. 
This is a cleanser that you can remove with a couple of splashes of water. It should wash you make-up off leaving the skin comfortable and fresh looking and should not contain any irritants, i.e. abrasives and harsh chemicals. These cleansers are the best option if you have a normal to combination skin and if you prefer water on your skin, but do not wish to use a soapy cleanser.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm :Mild Gel Cleanser
TheraVine: Gentle Cleansing Cream

Wipe- Off Cleansers described as Cold Cream, Cleansing Cream or Cleansing Milk.
These have a thicker consistency than the milk and can be removed by wiping it off. This is a very good choice for dry and dehydrated skins but be sure to use either damp cotton wool or a very soft washcloth to remove it.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Gentle Cream Cleanser, Nourishing Cream Cleanser
Anesi: Radiance Cleansing Milk Vitality or Makeup Remover Emulsion

This comes in a variety of forms and strengths. It can be a bar of soap, a mousse, a gel or a liquid soap that either foams or not. This can be very useful for acne and oily skins however, please be very careful when you use these types of cleansers as they often contain sodium lauryl sulphate which can be very harsh on your skin.

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Purifying Gel Cleanser
TheraVine: Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Make-up Remover: 
This is a product formulated specifically for the eye area and can either be a liquid or a thicker, milky lotion. If you use water proof mascara make sure that the one you choose can cope with this very difficult-to-remove make-up product. Be very, very gentle when cleansing the eye area as it is very easy to stretch the skin. If you cannot be gentle please rather use a water-soluble cleanser that can wash it away!

Salon products that I can recommend:
Vitaderm: Gentle Eye Make-up Remover

Please note that a cleanser should do exactly that and no more! Do not use a cleanser on a daily basis that contains grainy particles, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids or any anti-bacterial ingredients. There are absolutely nothing wrong with these ingredients and in the proper product they will do wonders for your skin. However, using it on a daily basis will be a waste of a good ingredient as you will just wash it off and they will not do your skin any good that way! Using a granular cleanser daily will strip away far too mush natural oils and will over-exfoliate your skin.

Please read our articles “The importance of cleansing your skin” and “Toners, etc.” to further help you to correctly cleanse your skin.

If you need any further information on how to choose your home care products, please contact us at 082 398 9817 for an appointment or if you want to know more about the products that we stock in the salon, please visit our website @

Toners, clarifiers, fresheners, refiners, tonics and astringents

Toners, clarifiers, fresheners, refiners, tonics and astringents. All the same thing? All these names refer to the product that you use after you have cleansed your skin. A good toner should help remove the last traces of make-up, in the case of inflamed skin should help reduce inflammation, soothe any irritations, increase the efficiency of the moisturisers, restore the pH balance of the skin and can also leave moisturising ingredients on the skin as this product is not washed off after application. It should not contain any irritants like SD Alcohols, acetone and volatile plant extracts, witch hazel, ammonia, camphor etc.

Many clients are very sceptical about the use of toners, but I would rather skip the morning cleanser and only tone if I am in a hurry. I use bottles and bottles of the stuff in comparison to my cleanser usage and once you have found the correct one for your skin, you will probably never go without it again.

As with the cleansers you should use toners that are skin-type specific and preferable one that compliments your cleanser. In other words, if you use a cleanser from a range of products for dry skin types, the toner that is in this range will 9 out of 10 times be the one that is right for you. However, do not hesitate to use a sensitive range toner with a dry skin or a combination range toner with a normal skin. I found that if you use a cleanser for your skin type and a toner for your skin condition, you will be happy with the result.

Salon products that I can recommend:

Normal Skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner

TheraVine: Balancing Toner

Dry skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: HydraVine Toner

Oily /Acne Skin:
Vitaderm: Antiseptic Toner, Regulating Toner
Theravine: Balancing Toner

Combination skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Sensitive/ allergic skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner

TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Mature skin:
Vitaderm: Conditioning Toner
TheraVine: Balancing Toner or HydraVine Toner

Please read our articles “The importance of cleansing your skin” and “What is in a good cleanser?” to further help you to correctly cleanse your skin.

If you need any further information on how to choose your home care products, please contact us at 011 958 5152 for an appointment or if you want to know more about the products that we stock in the salon, please visit our website @

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beauty Rules: Does and Don'ts for Skin Care

THE TEN THOU SHALT/ SHALT NOTS OF BEAUTY-according to me, that is!

In no particular order of importance, except numbers 1 and 2

THOU SHALT NOT tan, EVER!!! The sun is your enemy, NOT your friend. 
There is no such thing as a safe tan, sun beds included. It has been proven over and over and over....that the sun and sun beds give cancer. Sun beds and similar equipment are nothing but cancer machines and should be avoided at all costs. The sun is the number ONE reason for premature ageing and pigmentation.

THOU SHALT use a sun block SPF15 every day of your life. 
Come summer, winter, rain or snow you must wear it 365 days a year. Surfaces like water, snow, sand, glass, cement, even grass and all shiny ones reflect the sun’s rays causing even more damage. Altitude enhance the sun rays so be very careful if you are outside in the mountains.

 THOU SHALT NOT covet your neighbour’s skin. 
Your genes play a major role in how your skin looks and feels. Proper skin routines and STAYING OUT OF THE SUN will make your skin look healthy and beautiful in its own way. 

 THOU SHALT NOT look at the pictures in the magazines of beautiful anorexic looking YOUNG models and believe that all women should look like that. 
The photos are taken in perfect lighting, they use perfect make-up application, spend three hours getting their hair done and their teeth bleached, then the picture goes through digital enhancement and air brushing until it creates the perfect image.

 THOU SHALT NOT buy products over the internet from unreliable sources, during your friend’s “beauty party” at home or through TV shopping channels. 
These people are not trained to give you the best advice. Most of the time they will sell you anything as long as you buy something because they get commission on each and every sale they do, irrespective if the product contains caviar or baking soda.

  THOU SHALT remove ALL make-up every night before going to sleep.
 The body heal and repair itself only during sleep and the skin will absorb and make the most use of any treatment creams applied at night.

  THOU SHALT not squeeze, pick and hassle your skin until it is red, swollen and has irritated spots all over. It creates scarring and pigmented areas that can take months to heal, if at all.

 THOU SHALT not slather your body in cream until you look like a marshmallow. 
More is Not better. Use the creams sparingly and apply a little more if the first application is not enough to feel comfortable. You will only waste a lot of money and products if you overdo the application.

 THOU SHALT NOT exfoliate more than once a week, no matter what the lady in the shop tells you. 
Our outer skin layers can take up to 45 days to replace itself and if you rub and scrub the poor things off every day, you WILL get red, irritated and sensitised skin. THOU SHALT love yourself, ever minute of every day. We are all special and we all have endearing qualities, so let no one tell you differently.
Please be gentle to body, mind and spirit-Namaste 

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