Five minutes with: Jeff Losito

Tell me about the Bioelements’ new Luteine Indoor Protective Crème?

It’s a protective day cream, but what’s really unique about it is that it’s made with marigold extract that protects your skin. It’s kind of like a sunscreen for indoors as it filters out the blue rays from fluorescent lighting and computer screens. It also protects you from artificial heating or air conditioning. There are actually just as many indoor assaults than there are outside.

Another new product from Bioelements is the V-Neck Smoothing Crème. Is this similar to anything else on the market?

The Bioelements V-Neck Smoothing Crème is very new and unique. It fights what happens to our chest and our neck as we age and is preventative against ageing also. It has algae in it, which stimulates the skin cells and the pièce de résistance ingredient in this product is hyaluronic acid, which plumps the lines up. In spas, we have incorporated a v-neck firming mask into our treatments that is applied during the mask phase of the facial. It has a clay in it that stimulates collagen production, firms and lifts and moisturises all one shot.

Is the skin on your neck different to that on your face?

The v-area of the neck is so different from the skin on your face. Think of your face as being three sheets of paper and your neck and chest area as one piece of paper. You also have fewer oil glands in the neck and chest area so it’s going to show your age much quicker than your face will. Someone can have nice, beautiful skin on his or her face but the skin on their hands and their chest will really show their true age.

Can you tell me about the new Biolements lactic peel spa treatment?

We have also recently come up with a 30 per cent organic lactic peel which gets great results. We can use it five different ways with different strengths; mixing other Bioelements oil products into it. There are a lot of people that have too sensitive skin for glycolic so this one is good for them.

What does the lactic peel do?

Well it’s applied in the exfoliation phase during a facial. After we have determined what the client’s main concerns are and what they want to achieve, we will determine what strength we want to use. Basically there are four layers of skin that the esthetician works on.

The top layer’s called the stratum-cornea and our job is to get as much of this off as possible, but evenly, so the skin looks brighter and cleaner and the lines look less noticeable, and the pores look smaller, too. And afterwards your products will work better as they are more easily absorbed into the skin. Your skin will glow after a peel.

Some people say you shouldn’t use peels. What’s your response to this?

It really depends on what type of peel you’re having. With the lactic peel, there are no concerns. There are specific questions that we ask, for example we make sure the client isn’t using retinol products and we also insist that they use a really good sunblock afterwards.

How did Bioelements begin?

Bioelements is a line that was developed by Barbara Solomon in 1990. She was one of the first licensed estheticians in the United States. People kept coming to her for formulas so she decided to create her own line. Bioelements is a natural line – there are no artificial fragrances or colours and we’re virtually paraben-free.

What is your best tip for keeping skin youthful?

I’d encourage parents to make sure their kids are wearing a good sunscreen because most sun damage is done before you’re 20 years old. And to also start applying products young. It’s not about a lot of products but about basic skincare – you should cleanse, tone, moisturise every day and you protect your skin from the sun.

Five minutes with: Anne Marie de Spa

What formal training did you receive in Belgium?

I obtained my diploma of d’estheicienne – technicienne de beaute at Lise Loriot school in Brussels, a two-year training course. It was renowned not only for its high standard for aesthetic training but also as a “finishing” school with subjects such as psychology, history of art, history of civilisation (a great help with character make ups) savoir/vivre and music.

In 1964 you opened the first beauty therapy salon in New Zealand. What inspired you to do this?

I decided before leaving Brussels to open my salon not thinking or realising that I was going to be one of the pioneers of this industry, so I arrived in New Zealand with all my equipment and products.

What services did you offer at the salon?

All aesthetic treatments face and body for both men and women, not too different from what you see today.

Was the salon well-received by the public?

With scepticism to start with because people were not of the mind set of spending money on themselves and it was something that was kept quiet, more behind closed doors. Moving to the airport two years after starting in New Zealand meant that I had a much more receptive cliental – the American deep freeze personnel wives.

What provided the need to import a professional range of skincare into New Zealand?

Because there was nothing available, expect for retail lines so one had to initiate your formulations to satisfy the different skin types. When the market opened I set out to find the product which I consider the best of the professional ranges – Sothys.

What was it about Sothys that appealed to you?

I was introduced to Sothys during my training in Brussels and always had it in the back of my mind as something to look out for. It’s a family-run business with transparent and honest policies plus of course excellent products which kindly take care of the skin.

What are the most remarkable changes that you have seen in the beauty industry over the last forty odd years?

The advent of products integrating almost medical grade ingredients has changed the way people view skincare and of course the current trend of cosmetic surgery is most notably the biggest change, it is difficult to say if this trend will continue to grow, what can be said is that people are prepared to take far more drastic action to achieve perceived perfection, which is indicative of peoples desire to look young longer.

What excites you about the future of the beauty industry?

Probably that no matter what technology can deliver in the future, the inherent trait of the therapist’s hands can never be replicated, it is this if nothing else that sets beauty therapy apart as such a valuable and essential form of healing and wellbeing.

The other exciting thing about this industry is the shift in attitude. Forty years ago when I began, my profession was viewed as something of a luxury, today it is far more routine for clients, they don’t perceive the treatments they are receiving as “fluffy treats” but as routine essentials to maintaining great skin health.

Like getting a great cut and colour at the hair salon, a monthly facial has exponential long-term benefits for the quality, health and appearance of your skin.

What is your daily beauty routine?

A light cleanse in the morning followed by my Sothys Hydroptimale Serum and Clarte & Comfort Light Cream, my Sothys SPF20 sunscreen and Sothys Lift Defence Foundation and a touch of Sothys Hydra Glide lipstick.

In the evening I cleanse, tone and finish with my new Sothys Continuous Renewal Care – I just love it! It doesn’t take much time but makes such a big difference long term. A daily routine is a very good investment.

What are three skincare tips that you swear by?

1 Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. A good cleansing routine which includes a cleanser, lotion and a bi-weekly deep cleansing which includes a peel/exfoliate and deep cleanse. If the palette is not in perfect order it cannot receive the paint well.

2 Hydration. Using a good daily moisturiser appropriate to the skin type.

3 And most important in New Zealand would be sun care. It is imperative to wear a daily sunscreen if nothing else.

What is your favourite beauty product?

Sothys Hydroptimale Serum. And when I’m flying the Sothys Destressing Eye Mask and Hydroptimale Mask are musts. I also can’t do without my Sothys Total Cohesion Neck Care, Secrets Eye Contour Cream and Secrets Lip Cream.