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There is no doubt that many of us love wine, of course, including myself.  Every year in our town of Riverside, California I would produce and submit a different facial cream that would be given to each individual  as a gift for our ‘Taste of the Town’ event.   As you probably may know, ‘Taste of the Town’ is an event  emphasizing great local food and of course great local wine.  One year I thought, my submission should be wine, red wine of course, because it had more anti-oxidant properties than white.  But on the drinkable level it didn’t matter to me.   This would be great I thought, people eating great food, drinking great wine and receiving a great facial cream made with real napa valley red wine, from “Trader Joes”.   Yes, ‘Trader Joes”.   That year it was such a great hit, but it just didn’t seem complete for me.  This was because,  ‘Taste of the Town’ was all about local food and wine, and the theme of my cream should correspond to just that…..that, my friends, was the beginning of the tradition of using local wines in my product to produce the yearly facial cream for this event. 

For the last twenty year I have been studying, testing and incorporating every type of ant-oxidant berry and related food into cream product. Of course, our friends were our guinea pigs, and they definitely told me if it was effective or not.  In researching about the benefits of Red Wine, I realized it wasn’t a new discovery.  I found out that Hippocrates, one of the founders of modern medicine, was the first to highlight the virtues of wine over 2500 years ago, claiming that wine is something beneficial to humans, as long as it is administered in reasonable quantities.  In the eighties, the scientific community tried to explain why the French suffer less from cardiovascular problems. Today, researchers explain that this “French Paradox”, is directly related to red wine consumption, thanks to the antioxidant and free radical scanvenging properties of the polyphenols and biphenols contained in red wine. These polyphenols have been shown in test performed on live cell cultures, to protect cells against the effects of oxidative damages. Therefore it helps skin tissues fight against the damaging effects of free radicals, therefore ensuring protection against extrinsic aging.  Extrinsic aging are those elements such as pollution, sun and weather etc. that just challenge our skin so much that it may not be able to respond and recover properly leading to aging skin by damaging our own skins elastin and collagen supply.

The search for a good wine to be in our product and to carry the BioKorium name came quite incidently, when our good friends Chris and Denyse Olsen,  from Cambria, California invited us to come to their harvest celebration.. Now, this was no ordinary winery, they built their winery from the ground up and planted each varietal syrah vine into the ground.   No easy feat, and you could tell from their final product.  That’s when I thought as a gift I would process their Syrah wine and incorporate into a handmade facial cream.  Well, when I was done I felt it was the best wine product that I ever incorporated into a facial cream, and so did they. I new it was exceptional because the end concentration of that wine did not smell “winy’, it had an overall clean smell for being highly concentrated.  So, from La Montañita Winery in Cambria, I distilled and condense there 2004 Syrah Wine to produce the wine extract used in this product. It is concentrated six times to increase the amounts of protective polyphenols, to be much more concentrated and effective that what is found in the market place. I then infuse the cream with vineyard field botanicals such as pomegranate extract, chamomile extract, sunflower extract, calendula extract, comfrey extract, sunflower and ivey extracts. It was now that I felt absolutely confident, of the true protective anti-oxidant properties of this concentrated product, now name BioKorium’s  La Montañita California Syrah Facial Cream.  So, I now tell tell our customers that if you like what it does for your skin, you may want to indulge in the real thing by visiting La Montañita Vineyard

In response to October Vineyard Harvest Month, BioKorium has substantially reduced our prices of our La Montañita Vineyard Line.

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 Lets look at the relationship between skin and the French connection.  What you need to know is that the French perception of beauty and skin care is much different from the American perspective.  Skin does not soley exist by itself, but by the personification of our actions.  Why is it that Americans have always looked toward the French with the anticipation that they hold the the secret to the fountain of youth of skin and its ageless existence.  Well for one thing that the French and Americans do not have in common is overbathing.  As I remembered in younger days are month trip to Europe, and our concerns with bathrooms and showers, which caught the attention of hotel attendees.  American’s so were preoccupied with cleanliness and showers, soaps, scrubs and why is it that the French don’t shower as much?  Maybe that it is naturally unconvenient or inaccessible or part of French culture and  or simply just not important.  But the contradiction of not bathing was that your skin would retain its natural oils and its visual heathiness.  I don’t condone not bathing, but simple smart bathing.  Smells are produced by bacteria.  Its not important to lather up or soap up your arms chest legs hands.  Simply because these areas just don’t get dirty. Showering or bathing daily, every other day etc. I only cleanse with mild soap as they would say my “private parts”.   Underarms, and you know the rest, if your male or female…  the other parts of your body do not need to be salt scrub, loofah’d, wash clothed to death or brushed to the perceived illusion of cleanliness.  Cleanliness is not about tearing and stripping your skin to oblivion.

When I was young my Father would make lite regarding the event of bathing, “It wasn’t Saturday”, he would say.  In other words bathing was a once a week event.  My father would work the fields and handle cattle on a ranch, you could only imagine, but this was acceptable part of society for that time, late 1930’s. Of course, during the rest of the week people would use a wash cloth or rinse off, in order to quick cleanse. But there was that one day, Saturday, that would be bathing day.  When you take a look at the past and analyze the present there is a difference.  It’s just important to be aware that there is a different truth and reality than what is mainstream marketed.

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I often am posed questions with regards to our products use of mineral oil, and how destructive it is to the skin. Though I have never seen studies to show otherwise. I found that representatives of the cosmetic industry have been passing the information of bad news of mineral oil. The perception that mineral oil as an undesirable ingredient continues through word of mouth, without any real basis in fact. Actually, mineral oil is a safe, effective, time-proven ingredient, preferred by many formulators. Yes, its inexpensive, but by far has effective characteristics that cannot be beat, the bottom line is that they work. Mineral Oil unfortunately gets a bad rap because it sounds so unnatural, but is actually as natural as any plant.  It is actually one of the most exceptional, least irritating, least problematic-causing ingredients for the skin.  Mineral Oil is of course a “natural” product, derived from purifying crude oil, and it’s  origins are derived from the degradation of plant material.  Therefore mineral oil in not sythesized, it occurs naturally in the earth, and is simply purified to the final state.

When mineral oil is incorporated into a cosmetic product, it requires less preservatives than using natural products. There is no doubt that there are impeccable qualities in “naturally” derived plant oils, but of course, need more preservatives to counteract growth of molds and bacteria, due to many nutrients that it contains.  In addition, mineral oil has little or no allergic reactions when compared to natural oils, and is number one recommended as a moisturizer for acne-prone skin.  Orally, mineral oil can be ingested with no side effects.  It is also known that hydrocarbons of a parafinic structure, such as mineral oil, exist naturally in human skin.

Mineral oil remains a key moisturizing ingredient due to (1) its well-documented reduction of transdermal water loss, and (2) its greater barrier to water vapor transmission than that of many other commonly used emollients.  In animal studies, it has been shown that mineral oil has no comedogenic potential.  More astonishing, when mineral oil was tested on humans, it was found to be completely non-comedogenic, compared to many plant derived oils.  Topical use of mineral oil does not represent a local or systemic toxicity risk to humans.  The most common function that mineral oil plays in cosmetics is one of moisturizing. It has been known for decades that efforts to overcome dry skin usually involve applying a moisture barrier to the skin surface which will retard the loss of water from the stratum corneum through evaporation. The reduction of this transepidermal water loss is what is meant by the term “moisturization”, even though no water is actually lost.

Remember, Petrolatum and Mineral Oil are natural products derived from degraded plant material from prehistoric times.  Be aware of mainstream marketing.  For example, just because a cosmetic company claims “oil free”, doesn’t mean it is.  Synthetic oils must be called “oil free”, because it was not derived naturally.  Only a natural derived products can be identified as an “oil”.  It is alway imperative not to believe everything that is mainstream marketed, but question and seek answers.

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Fraxel laser treatment, affects a fraction of skin tissue at a time with thousands of microscopic columns-each one-tenth the diameter of a hair follicle. These microscopic laser columns penetrate deep into the dermis to create tiny wounds, which inadvertanly triggers your body’s natural defense system to heal those tiny wounds. Inadvertanly, the process expedites your body’s remodeling of collagen and elastin, which results in tighter, fresher, more youthful looking skin. The question is does it work? Fraxel laser treatment is also known as fractional photothermolysis. The word photothermolysis comes from three Greek root words – “photo” meaning light, “thermo” meaning heat, and “lysis” meaning destruction. Pretty destructive terms wouldn’t you say, I call it microwaving your skin. By sending laser light below the skin levels, with heat enough to damage or wound living tissue, in the hopes that your skin will by the inflammation process, heal, and regenerate newer better looking skin. Does this sound like anyway to attain healthy skin? Skin is not a TV dinner that can continually sustain reheating in the hopes that younger skin will arrive. It is my opinion, that continued reheating treatments by laser can only have repercussions in eventually damaging skin and promoting the aging process.

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BioKorium has been experimenting and applying Glycolic Acid to their clients and family for 15 years. We are convinced it is the safest way to remove debris from the skin. At BioKorium no two facials are alike, every facial is determined on the client’s skin condition on arrival. All BioKorium’s Creams and Salves are handmade and compounded by co-founder Dr. Javier O. Moreno, Pharm.D., R.Ph. These products are designed to work.  Facials at BioKorium are treatment facials. Results from BioKorium facials using Glycolic Acids are noticed immediately. Every product that we utilize serves a purpose and works.  At BioKorium we believe every woman and man over 40 needs to be on treatment products that work. If we can teach them at 30 the importance of treatment early on, we are ahead of the game. BioKorium Skin Care is not a luxury it’s a necessity.

Glycolic Acid is one of a group of naturally occurring fruit acids also recognized as Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA’s. AHA’s are among the oldest of skin care products. Milk baths were included in Marie Antoinette’s beauty ritual, red wine was often the choice of English aristocracy, and raw sugar cane was used on the skin of Polynesian women; all which contain forms of AHA’s.  Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar cane and is non-toxic. It has the ability to dissolve the glue from the upper layer of skin cells allowing a more youthful, smoother looking appearance to be revealed. Unlike other AHA’s such as lactic acid from sour milk or citric acid from citrus fruits, to name a few, Glycolic Acid has the smallest molecular size, therefore it can penetrate the skin more efficiently. It also has the ability to absorb water upon exposure to air therefore functioning to add moisture back into the skin. 5% Glycolic Acid is what we consider “baby glycolic” almost any one can use.

The cells of the Stratum Corneum start life in the Stratum Basal as Basal Membrane Cells. The transformation of the Basal Membrane Cells into Stratum Corneum Cells is shown in the figure to the left. The average transit time of the basal layer to your skin’s natural exfoliation process is approximately 8 weeks. The upper most layer of your skin is composed of the Stratum Corneum, which is a stack of 15 to 20 layers of dead skin cells. Structurally, this layer contributes to the overall elasticity and smooth appearance of the skin.  As we age, the rate in which the Stratum Corneum naturally exfoliates,  decreases, therefore the layer of dead skin cells at the surface increases.  This build up of cells, in conjunction with the decrease ability to retain water, leads to a series of age related surface irregularities. These include the lack of luster and smoothness of the skin, as well as in ones appearance.  The skin at the surface becoming  rough and dry, ultimately leading to the most visible sign of age dependent change……wrinkling.   The first important thing to bring back  is the health of the skin, the side effect will be increased vitality and luster, contributing to ones overall appearance.  Without the health of the skin, you will have neither.

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What! Sunscreens cause skin cancer?  Why is it that the very entity you entrust to protect your skin, can turn on you and cause the detrimental skin cancer.  Though the common consensus among the medical establishment still strongly supports the use of sunscreens, there is a growing consensus among progressive researchers that the use of sunscreens does not prevent skin cancer.  Do you  remember, when we thought nothing of spraying our bodies with mosquito spray?  Did we really think that that this practice was safe?  Did we really know that we were spraying pesticide on our skin?  Does anybody get the picture? According to the old cliché, does anybody see what is wrong with this picture?  The picture is that we readily accept the “status quo” as being mainstream acceptable and right.  We are failing to think for ourselves (because we don’t know any better), and failing to interpret our own bodies communication directed toward us.  In doing so, we are failing ourselves and inadvertently leaving ourselves to the control of outside mainstream sources…

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 If you go out into the desert without water or go to the snow clad mountains without a jacket is that smart? Skin can’t react to environmental intrusions and insults because it doesn’t have the strength and ability to do so. When it doesn’t have the strength respond,  it doesn’t have the ability to recuperate properly from a environmental beating. For example, if you haven’t exercised for a long time, can you logically attempt to pick up a hundred pound weight? You could, but you may injure yourself.  Your muscles aren’t healthy enough to react to a hundred pound weight, just yet.  You have to work your way to it. This is the same as what I call, “re-building your skin”.  Again, when your skin is working, and is truly healthy, it can react, and respond to environmental challenges more efficiently than unhealthy skin.  It’s the same way if you excercised on a schedule basis, your muscles will recuperate and build tolerance on a more efficacious level.  The same can be applied to skin, and the best part is, when one attains the goal of healthy skin …the absolute side effect is anti-aging…

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The best way to attain good health at any age is good body fitness which includes nutrition and exercise. This same concept we have applied to our skin which is our way of expressing the need for good ‘skin nutrition and exercise’, which we call “Skin Fitness”.  In order to build new muscle, we need to exercise by warming up and to weight train. To be healthy, we need to drink plenty of water, have good body nutrition by eating right, taking the right anti-oxidants and oils.  And we all know that if we stop weight training and good nutrition,  muscle will begin to atrophy; the same with skin.   Remember you are the ‘Personal Trainer’ for your skin, with  the end result being ‘Skin Fitness”.

My focus in teaching new facial students is to instruct them to take the approach of being their clients  ‘Personal Trainer’ for their skin.  Just like you would have a personal trainer for the body, you would be a trainer for the skin.  Just like a trainer who knows how to work and move a muscle, as a facialist we know how to work and move skin.  If the goal is to attain ‘skin fitness’,  the facialist  would have to take the role to be their coach to guide them to reach their goal of attaining healthy skin.

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Cosmetic Companies want you to have bad skin, that way you are in desperation and always looking.  Looking, to find the answer to clearing your acne skin.  The connection between acne and mainstream acne products is “dehydration”.  What we don’t know about the care of acne is that over washing not only irritates existing acne skin, but can dry the skin by removing the skins protective layer of natural oils which actually prevents the spread of acne associated bacteria. These activities destroys the skins natural resilience and protective properties by destroying the skin natural pH.   Further use of scrubbing cleansers can makes things worse, by further stripping the skin and creating an environment where the skin will have difficulty recuperating to its natural healthy state.  The worst fallacy of acne is that it is directly due to what you eat, in turn, causing increase bacterial growth and oil build up.  Therefore you need to keep it clean, but no to the extent of your skin becoming dry.  People do not realize that the truth regarding acne, is that acne needs moisture, and we fail to moisturize acne skin.  We are taught that acne skin must be scrubbed and cleansed anywhere from twice to three times daily it order for it to go away. Not true! You not only will be destroying your skin but will only exacerbate your problem of acne. The answer is balance, use a low or non alkaline cleanser or facial wash, followed by a good hydration cream, or low percentage glycolic acid cream.

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Skin care in the summer is approached differently than skin care in the winter.  I don’t believe in sunscreens.  If your skin is healthy you don’t need sunscreens.  I was at Disneyland the other day and noticed Mom’s slathering their children with sunscreen.  It made me sick to see that the natural process of the skin was being blocked.  The question is, “What would we do if their was no sunscreen”?  What is interesting in the summer, is when we sweat, we feel it is gross and unclean, and we are quick to prevent it by washing it off.  When, in actuality, there is a benefit to the skin by the action of sweating.  Sweat is a protective factor that helps maintain pH and health.  In the summertime, if your skin is functioning properly, you should not have problem in the sun.  If you overbath, over use bar soap or body washes, loofas and wash clothes, salt scrubs or sugar scrubs, and don’t allow your skin to sweat.  You will therefore need more skin care products to repair and maintain your skin.