Saturday, November 19, 2016

Self Care - Acupuncture

How well do you take care of your body and mind? I, for one, make my own well-being my #1 priority. I have an intense work schedule, and I take my personal health commitments as I take my work-seriously! This means 5 sessions a week with the best personal trainer in town, and 2 sessions a week with my amazing acupuncturist! On days like today, I get to work at 2pm, but it's a loss I'm prepared for. I'll be working from home later tonight. 

When my mom and I started our company, we were working all day, every day, 7 days a week. We didn't have money or time to get massages, acupuncture, go to the gym, have a trainer, or eat organic food. It was go, go, go, all the time, without stopping. In 2007, I was finishing college, working at a spa as a receptionist in the evenings and on weekends, going to beauty school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and dancing in a my mom's dance troupe on weekend nights for some cash. That's basically how we could afford groceries, because all the money was going into the business. 

I remember we used to sit and fill bottles with serums and cremes all evening, and stick labels on them, so that we could drive to San Diego at 5am, to teach a class at a beauty school at 8am, and hopefully sell something. Those were really good times, and, most importantly, I spent those crazy times with my mom... she never got the luxury to rest until she got cancer, and she wasn't used to lying down, that was new to her. She wanted to keep going. Now, I value every opportunity I get to spend time and money on ME. I know she looks down on me and oh happy to see me doing so well, and taking care of myself like I have been caring for her for the last 3 years we had together.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Supercharge Your Beauty Routine - Almonds 4 Ways for Your Skin Health!

Those who know me well, know I am absolutely obsessed with raw nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and berries! In fact, I always keep pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and a variety of nuts in the house, and pack them in my bag daily for easy work snacks. And don't get me started on airport food - it's just the worst! I'm on an airplane every weekend for work, so eating healthy can be challenging. This is why bringing my own snacks has become a habit, in my book. 

Almonds are one of the most easily accessible type of nuts - you can find raw almonds in any local grocery store, at gas stations, and convenience stores, but don't let that fool you - they are a super-food! Almonds contain Vitamins B2, E, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, and Copper. Most importantly, a ¼ cup serving contains 49% of your recommended daily allowance of biotin! What's Biotin? Biotin, is also known as B7, is vital for the proper functioning of the nervous system and musculature and in maintaining cellular processes like growth, metabolism and energy. It is frequently referred to as the "beauty vitamin" because of its restoring properties on the skin. When we lack Biotin, our skin is the first to show the signs of deficiency. According to the Dermal Institute, these are the symptoms of B7 deficiency:
  • Red, scaly rash around the nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Thinning hair, sometimes with shedding and loss of pigment (graying hair).
  • Possible depression, fatigue, hallucinations.
  • Tingling sensations in the arms and legs.
  • Muscle cramps after exercise.
  • Possible high cholesterol and heart problems.
  • Cradle cap, a type of seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, head and eyebrows. In babies, crusty yellowish-whitish patches appear in these areas and may or may not be itchy.
  • Increased risk for developing other health issues
Sounds like we want to keep healthy, and avoid any skin problems like this, right? I bet you didn't know this, but you can incorporate almonds into both your meals, and your skincare routine. I will show you 4 ways to do this, today! 

1. Incorporate Almonds Into Your Diet
Don't be confused by uneducated people telling you that consuming nuts will make you gain weight. Numerous studies have shown that incorporating unsaturated fats (such as nuts and avocado) actually helps stabilize weight. 

A 28-month study involving 8,865 adult men and women in Spain, found that participants who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than participants who never ate nuts. Among the participants who gained weight, those who never ate nuts gained an average of 424g more than those who ate nuts at least twice a week.

A serving of almonds has 162 calories, 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein. Remember, one serving of almonds is 23 almonds, which equals 1 ounce, ¼ cup or about 1 handful. Portion control is key. I also highly encourage you to stay away from processed nuts - I, personally, avoid any roasted, salted, flavored nuts at all costs. The best way to eat them is to sprout them. 

Sprouting or soaking nuts removes the outer shell, which contains phytic acid. Phytic acid is a naturally occurring botanical substance, it a strong chelator to the most essential minerals such as zinc, calcium, and iron. Whenever you consume nuts with phytic acid present (with the shell on, essentially), those nutrients will be removed, and not used by your body as they were intended to. When you soak and sprout the almonds, not only will you remove the outer shell, and the physic acid, but you will also increase the amount of active enzymes in the nuts - making it more easily digestible for those who experience stomach issues during digestion.

2. Use An Almond Scrub
Have you heard about microbeads? If not, I'd like to educate you on these little plastic culprits, and make sure you stay away from face and body scrubs which list them as an active ingredient. Microbeads are tiny round plastic beads that are found in some exfoliating products, and they are causing quite a stir in the environmental world. The plastic waste caused by these microbeads, which are not filtered out during sewage treatment, is damaging water ecosystems and killing marine life. 

A 2013 research at the University of Wisconsin-Superior showed that there were 1,500 to 1.7 million plastic particles per square mile in the Great Lakes! Not only are the beads damaging to fish, they are also bad for your face - microbeads can cause eye irritation, and promote rosacea and couperose. It’s no wonder that Illinois was the first state to ban the use of microbeads in June of 2014, and I sincerely hope all other states will quickly follow.
Instead of using these plastic beads, I suggest natural options like scrubs with ground up almonds, seeds and stone pits from apricots/peaches, crushed walnut husks, oats, coffee grinds, salt, and sugar. I especially recommend sugar for those dealing with eczema since it’s non irritating on broken skin, and sea salt for psoriasis sufferers, but not more than once a week. All other scrubs can be used 3 times a week, but not more - our skin needs adequate time to amass dry dead cells, and you definitely don’t want to over-exfoliate!

3. Use Almond Oil as A Body Moisturizer
Did you know that different vegetable oils rank differently against each other when it comes to how much they clog the pores? Oils rank from 0-5, a 0 being least comedogenic, and 5 as most comedogenic. ("Comedogenic" means tending to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin.) Almond oil is an amazing 2 (moderately low) while Coconut oil is a high 4, rendering it a bad choice for skincare. Almond oil can be used as a hair moisturizer, a body moisturizer, and a wonderful massage oil.

4. Use Almond Milk as An Activator For Powder Masks
Who says you can't play with your food? I love the idea of incorporating almonds in every step of the beauty routine. Almond milk is gentle and soothing on the skin, which makes it a perfect activator for  powder enzyme masks. Simply mix the powder with a bit of warm almond milk, and apply to the face for 7-10 minutes. The result is a bright, supple completion! Using this mask helps to pull out oils, exfoliate, and reduce the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, cellulite and even stretch marks. It's perfect for blemished skin, blackheads and even cystic acne, and excellent for soothing skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, rashes, psoriasis, and acne.
Did you like these cool suggestions? I had a blast putting these ideas on paper for you, and I hope I inspired you to start something healthy today!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Toxic Relationships

Sometimes we subject ourselves to toxic relationships, and carry on in pain despite all the signs. A toxic relationship creates sadness and unnecessary drama, interferes with our everyday enjoyment of life, and ruins our relationships with others. Having been in this kind of a situation numerous times, I can truly say that I was the instigator, and the magnet for this one-way love, and trust me, if this were not a one-way love, it wouldn't be so painful.

Some people want you to succeed only as long as you never surpass them. The first step on the path to greatness is identifying those toxic individuals, and cutting off all communication. Respect yourself to decide that you deserve BETTER! It's never too late to walk away from the person who dares to hurt you...

I love you.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Beauty isn't about fitting or standing out, being a certain size, or always having the perfect hair day. Beauty is defined by our kindness to others, by our ability to give a helping hand, to take a moment and listen to someone's story, to reach out and support other human beings in need. Beauty shines through our skin when we laugh, it radiates in our eyes when we look at our loved ones, and it is what makes us unforgettable. Take a moment to look into the mirror today, and tell yourself "I am beautiful and I love and respect myself!"

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

This year has been one of the most challenging, as well as the most physically and mentally exhausting years of my life. 3 months have passed since my beautiful mom died in my arms, and I still relive that moment DAILY. It's hard to fall asleep, sometimes, so I dance until absolute exhaustion, and sleeping becomes an unavoidable necessity.

This year, my aesthetic and health articles were published in 6 magazines, and my product has been featured and mentioned in more than 20 magazine editorials. I have managed to put out 4 new skincare items: http://saian.net/product/clinical-strength-eye-serum/ , http://saian.net/product/vital-k-creme/ , http://saian.net/product/pure-hyaluronic-acid-spray/ , http://saian.net/product/collagen-ampoules/ , and 2 supplements: http://saian.net/product/snc-labs-hyaluronic-acid-complex-ha/ , http://saian.net/product/snc-labs-hsn-hair-skin-nails-complex/ , as well as formulate a brand new cellulite gel ready to debut in 2016: http://saian.net/product/bio-contour-slimming-cellulite-gel/ all pretty much from the hard hospital reception room chairs and benches... 2015 was the year SAIAN Natural Clinical Skin Care expanded into the EU, and we now have an amazing Academy in Sweden, where skin care professionals get the highest quality training and certification with our natural products.

I'm brave and fearless, but I have to admit it's hard for me to post all this. I usually don't like to share my business on Facebook - I only keep this page for my close friends, my salsa family and classmates. Growing up in Russia, we had been told by our mothers - don't gloat, because no one likes a show off - your friends will hate you for being successful, and resent you for your happiness. This is our collective Soviet philosophy... but it's not MY way of thinking or living. There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing my friends succeed, be healthy, get married, have children, travel, receive gifts and prosperity from the universe. This world is so infinitely abundant - we can ALL have what we desire, and all the good in the universe can be ours, and if we can somehow share it with each other, that is even better! Give love, give time, give touch, give care, give a shoulder to rest a friend's head on, and give 10 minutes to listen to someone's story.
As we go into 2016, I would like to remind you that the calendar is absolutely arbitrary, and tomorrow is just the same as yesterday. No one will hold you accountable for breaking resolutions or for flaking on promises, except your own conscience. No one is ever able to hold you accountable for anything you decide to do, because YOU are the only thinker in your mind, and you can change your thoughts to be POSITIVE. Be YOU, do your own thing, focus on your own health, and surround yourself with people who inspire you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Anti-Aging Treatments for the Neck and Decollete

The face, neck and décolleté are exposed to the sun, wind and cold weather, and must be all cared for in the same way as the face during the professional treatment and at home. The delicate neck and décolleté area is often ignored when it comes to application of moisturizers and sunscreen, and is easily susceptible to dehydration and sun damage. The signs of aging in the neck area are a result of our muscles losing elasticity, so along with a proper skincare regime, we have to learn to firm and tone the muscles to hold the skin tightly. As we age, the neck and jowls may start to show horizontal wrinkles and folds and begin to droop because of the daily gravitational pull, and slowing down of collagen production. This, of course causes the face to look much older than it may look otherwise. Also, genetics play a big role in the way our skin looks in that area. While many women take very good care of the skin on their face, the neck and chest often reveal their true age. 

Because the skin on the neck and décolleté is thinner and less elastic than skin in other areas, it’s more susceptible to environmental damage, which is compounded by the fact that this area is much more likely to be neglected and unprotected. The most common types of skin problems that are seen on the neck and chest are hyperpigmentation (brown spots), wrinkles, crinkliness, horizontal “necklace lines”, redness, blotchiness, elastosis, and skin tags. More complicated issues such as cutis rhomboidalis nuchae (leathery deep wrinkling on the back of the neck), and poikiloderma of Civatte (usually affects the front and sides of the neck in mostly fair-skinned clients) both result from long-term sun damage, are benign, and require gentle care. The skin on the neck is definitely different than that on the face, and if not well taken care of, will create unattractive disharmony that many women are self-conscious about. 

There is a variety of different anti-aging neck and décolleté treatments that can be done in the spa to address these issues above. Most clients will require a series of treatments to see results, so it is advised to suggest a package deal of 3 – 6 treatments. Treatments range from the most basic enzyme exfoliation, to laser rejuvenation, and prices can be set according to your area. 
To achieve a lifting effect, estheticians should start the cleansing and exfoliation routine upwards from the décolleté and continue to the face. Enzymes are a wonderful way to safely exfoliate the skin - this has been my favorite method for years! An enzymatic exfoliation is a good natural way to clean out the pores, get rid of excess oils, slough off the dry and dead skin for a healthy cell turnover. Fruit enzymes, such as Bromelain (from pineapple) and Papain (from papaya) eat away at the oils and dry skin, to expose a refreshed, clear complexion. Enzyme masks are generally more gentle and more safe than acids, and don’t thin the skin like Retin-A. A good natural enzyme mask brightens the skin, activates cellular function, increases circulation, fades discoloration and leaves the skin feeling and looking fresh, smooth and healthy. Dry enzyme masks that are activated moments before application are more potent, and have a longer shelf-life than pre-activated gel-like masks. This type of facial exfoliant usually comes in the form of a mask based on marine clay, bentonite, or oats. This is my favorite type of enzyme mask, because it’s more gentle than an enzyme peel, which generally contain 10% to 30% AHA, and is not suited for everyone. An example of such a product would be a pumpkin peel. It is quite strong, so it’s not always recommended for the thin skin on the chest. Just like a chemical peel, please administer an enzyme peel with caution, making sure your client is a good candidate for the product. Some menopausal clients may experience redness and sensitivity on the décolleté, so it's better to hold off on the deep exfoliation. The average time needed for enzymes to do their job is 7-10 minutes, this treatment can be repeated once in 3 weeks, and can be added to any basic facial for as little as $20. 

Pure collagen masks are the perfect hydrating and anti-aging treatment for the neck and chest. Décolleté products should not be too harsh, since the skin is thin in that area. It's also preferable to have fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products, to avoid any reaction. For the best results, choose German masks which are made from the highest quality medical-grade freeze-dried insoluble collagen fibers. These masks come dry, are soaked with an activator solution, and then molded to the face for 20 minutes. This specialized facial not only provides a tightening of the skin, but moisturizes, plumps, and reduces wrinkles for up to 3 weeks. Ideally, clients are encouraged to return for a facial once every 3-4 weeks, and the average cost is $150-$180 for an hour – hour and a half facial. 

An IPL laser (Intense pulsed light) usually gives good results for diminishing redness, fresh hyperpigmentation, and stimulating mild collagen growth. A series of 6 is recommended, and the cost is usually around $500 per treatment.. Like all laser treatments, it’s best to do this in the winter time, and the client will need maintenance treatments when brown spots reappear, usually once or twice a year. 

Fractional lasers are newer and also treat wrinkles and post-acne scars. The non-ablative fractional lasers, like the Fraxel, may cost as much as $5000 for 6 treatments, and have a two day down-time. This laser will take two to six months to give the best results. Ablative fractional lasers, like the Active FX, have a four to eight day down-time day downtime and give a better result for the crinkly areas on the neck. The cost of this procedure is usually $1,000-$2,000 per treatment, and a series of 4 is recommended over a six month time span. I like to stay safe, and don’t work over the thyroid or the breasts with mechanical equipment to avoid stimulation of the lymphatic system. 

At home, one should cleanse that whole area with cleanser daily, and exfoliate with an enzyme mask once in three days. This is the only way to achieve an even transition in color and texture from the bust to the face. Moisturizer, as well as sunscreen should always be applied, to prevent sun damage and wrinkles. I am a true believer in peptides, and the best combination that I have found to work well against wrinkles on the face and neck has been Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline®) with Matrixyl ™3000. Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 (Argireline®) improves wrinkle depth, wrinkle volume and roughness. Matrixyl ™3000 minimizes crow’s feet and laugh lines, and prevents from further damage and wrinkle formation.Usually, peptides are best absorbable when used in a water-based serum, with the addition of low-molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid. 

This is the formulation behind SAIAN Active Renewal Serum. Ingredients are listed on the label starting with the most prevalent to the least prevalent. It is important to choose a product which is water-based, and has peptides in the beginning of the ingredient list – this way you can be assured of the amount of peptides in the formula. You may also consult the manufacturer, and ask what percentage of a given peptide is used. Usually, 10% of each peptide is sufficient to give great results, if there is a blend of 3 or 4 peptides in a formula. Avoid peptide combinations that are mixed with hydroquinone, parabens, and other toxins that can irritate the skin. 

One of the reasons for wrinkles on the neck and bust is gravitational pull, and often sleeping on high pillows and sleeping on the side can cause lines and wrinkles between the breasts and on the neck. Reversing the gravitational pull can be done by wearing a neck bandage or a compression garment for the face. This mechanical mode of lifting the neck, and resisting the gravitational pull works well when the client is doing housework or sleeping. The best way to prevent sagging, and to reduce preexisting damage is to do simple exercises that tone the muscles. Clients typically see results within the first month of consistent exercises. To target the “turkey neck”, the muscle which needs to be focused on is the platysma. The platysma muscle arises from the pectoral and deltoid muscles and rises over the clavicle, proceeding upward in a slanting manner along the sides of the neck. This group of muscles holds the neck and jaw line upward in youth but may separate during the normal aging process, leading to a drooping chin, sagging jawline and loose skin under the chin. 

The easiest exercise to tone this muscle is “kissing the ceiling”. Tilting the head up, extending the lips, as if kissing the ceiling. It’s advised to do 3 rounds of 20 reps each day for a toned neck. I hope my advice was helpful to better understand the variety of treatments for the neck and décolleté. All systems work well for different people, so the key is finding a balance. There is no need to incorporate all the items I list in the article to achieve amazing results, but I am confident that trying some of these treatments, products, machines, and exercises will greatly benefit your clients!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Getting to Know Me

DERMASCOPE Magazine is trying something new with their Contributors department for 2016! In an effort to further educate their readers about the authors, they asked to include a ‘get-to-know-you’ section with some fun questions for their writers. I hope you enjoy reading my replies, and find out some cool things about me you never knew.
Dasha Saian 
L.E., CEO Saian Natural Clinical Skincare 
Twitter handle: @DashaSaian

• Go-to karaoke song?
Definitely has to be “At Last” by Etta James! I used to be a voice major in high school and college, so jazz is definitely the closest musical genre to my heart.

• Favorite exercise move?
Squats are what it’s all about, ladies. I like to work out with weights 5 days a week, and dance 4 days a week for 4 hours. It’s amazing how exercise picks you up, and revives you!

• Favorite restaurant?
It may sound corny, but my favorite place to eat is at home. There’s nothing like a good home-made meal - I’ll take my own cooking over any restaurant any day.

• Number one thing on your bucket list?
I have traveled the world, and done some crazy things, so can’t think of anything more exciting than having a child. That is the one goal to get done before kicking the ol’ bucket!

• Favorite drink?
Coffee, of course! I am in Europe often, and the variety of coffee there is mind-blowing! I always feel like a kid in the candy store at cafes.

• Favorite travel destination?
I love Hong Kong and China. Whenever I visit Asia, I get to practice speaking Mandarin, shop ‘till I drop, and visit beautiful ancient places. Europe is also wonderful - I can’t resist the charm of old cobble stone streets.

• Favorite book?
“You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay - this is one book I never get tired of re-reading. She is my mentor and inspiration.

• Favorite social media site?
I love Facebook, because it lets me connect with my friends from all around the world. I am always happy to see photos of children growing up, and catch up on the lives of my far-away connections.

• Makeup product you couldn’t live without? (For example, foundation, eyeliner, lipstick)
I can easily live without makeup, but toothpaste and moisturizer - that’s a different story!

• Favorite sport?
I’m not big on sports, but I sometimes watch basketball.

• Biggest phobia?
Shrimp! I’m allergic, so I frantically check ingredients before taking a bite of foreign foods.

• Perfect pizza?
Doesn’t really matter what’s on it, as long as it’s eaten with friends over some good laughs!

• Favorite genre of music?
Salsa music is my addiction - I have a vast collection of mambo I’m very proud of.

• Favorite thing to spend money on?
Absolutely, with no questions about it, undoubtedly - travel!

• Favorite television show?
Oh gosh, it may be strange to tell you this, but I don’t watch TV at all. No idea what is going on, or what shows are on. I have no time or interest in pop culture, celebrities or fashion. Just living my own life one day at a time.

• What do you do in your free time?
I spend a lot of time dancing and taking dance lessons, traveling, and spending time with my closest friends. I believe that time is the resource that you can never get back, so make the best of it every minute!

• What does your name mean?
When people ask me what the meaning of my last name is, and why they have never heard it before, I explain that it’s unique, and everyone with this last name is related. My last name (Saian) means Zion - a very spiritual word. My mother told me that she heard that our ancestors were the first to arrive on mountain Ararat out of Noah’s arc. Zion or Sai-on was later changed to Sai-an like all armenian last names. The meaning of the word is “kingdom of heaven” and “Jerusalem”.

• Favorite decade?
Every decade is amazing, but I remember the 1990s being super cool!

• Celebrity crush? 
Will Smith! Isn't he everyone's? Just perfect in every way.

• If you could choose any artist to see live, who would it be?
Maia Plesetskaya, the famous ballet dancer. Watching the videos of her performances is electrifying!

• Biggest guilty pleasure?
It’s silly to say, but nuts are my downfall! I can easily eat 2 lbs of walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds! I’m like a mad squirrel when it comes to nuts.

• Which “_______ for Dummies” book do you need to read?
Quickbooks for Dummies, please! I am sure the program is capable of a million functions, but in all the years that I have used it, I only know how to make receipts and enter customer data. Good thing my accountant is on top of things for me.

• Favorite childhood game?
Building tree houses was great - I was quite a tomboy in my days.

• Dogs or cats?
Both! I have a cat and a dog - they are both orange, fluffy, and loving.

• Cookies or cupcakes?
Fruit, please! I’ll take delicious natural goodness over baked goods any day.

• Would you rather explore the ocean or space?
The ocean is a bit scary for me, and so is space. I’d rather explore in books from the comfort of my own home.