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From fire and water came the spark of life of which emerged a complex biological system of what we know now as the human body. The purpose, the biological purpose of how are body was designed in order to survive the challenges of our environment is not only rudimentary, but primordial in origin. Sun exposure, temperature changes, food intake, immune strength; these our all elements that effect and challenge our bodies future level of survival. A lack of sunlight, for example, can have an effect on lowering Vitamin D levels which could result in larger health issues later. A lack of Vitamin D can also increase the risk of many types of cancer and lung diseases. This is the top reason for our need to be exposed to sunlight in order that our body receives and produces enough Vitamin D. The fact that electrons from the sun must pass through the skin to be processed in cells is example which demonstrates that ‘skin’ is a natural receiver or conduit of sunlight, in the form of electrons. These electrons are then processed within our skin to produce active levels of Vitamin D which maintain healthy processes within our body. This is another reason why we should not overlook the importance of maintaining healthy skin in relation to sun exposure. Ten minutes daily is sufficient. Sunlight also prevents many bacterial and viral infections. More importantly, sunlight strengthens our immune system by providing the platform to build our white blood cell count, and having a normal healthy level of White Blood Cells by which our body maintains a healthy immune system. The importance of maintaining our skin should not stop at our appearance, it now becomes a health issue pertinent to the very nature of our survival.

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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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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.