Luminere Featured on Best of Chicago

Airing in both August and October, Luminere will be featured on Ion network's Best of Chicago. The mini segment can also be viewed on the website homepage.

You know what's better though than being featured on Best of Chicago? Your referrals, which is the majority of Luminere's extensive clientele. Thank you for your continued support. You are more cherished than you know.

Common Ingredients in Skin Care to Steer Clear From

Starbuck's recent announcement that the red dye in their Strawberry Frappuccino is actually made out of crushed insects is enough to make one think about the various products consumed on a daily basis.  What exactly is in everything that I use?  Are these products good for me?  Just as what you eat is detrimental to your well-being, so are the beauty products that you put on your skin.  Considering that it takes any substance 26 seconds from the time it touches your skin until it can be traced throughout your bloodstream, here are some products that Luminere recommends you try to steer clear of.


A golden oldie in toxic beauty circles, these substances have a chemical structure surprisingly like estrogen’s. The EPA itself admits that all parabens have endocrine-disrupting effects. Meaning the body thinks you have extra estrogen – weight gain, depression, even cancer and birth abnormalities can result.

Propylene Glycol (and Other Glycols)

These cosmetic forms of mineral oil are found in many skin and hair products. As well as anti-freeze, fabric softener, wallpaper stripper, sealant and paint. Often warned as a skin irritant, this petrochemical is as unnecessary as it is ubiquitous.

Toxic Minerals

Minerals in skin care (and makeup) are just as unregulated as the rest of the industry. Before they go into products, they through major chemical processes that make “natural” claims dubious, and can include potentially irritating, toxic minerals such as talc and beyond.

In addition, nano-particles have created concerns about penetrating beyond the skin to issues, organs (brain included) and perhaps the cells.


The dirty secret of cleansers, this pesticide—yes, that’s right—is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. EPA. It bioaccumulates in fatty tissues and is often found in breast milk and blood. It’s also linked to hormone-disruption, developmental defects, and liver toxicity. Heavy use has resulted in drug-resistant rogue bacteria.


Frequently found in baby and children’s shampoo and bubble bath, this is used in embalming fluid, fumigants and auto coolants. Don’t check the label – it’s rarely listed.


Petrolatum, mineral oil, petroleum jelly – it goes by many names but these crude oil derivatives not only interrupt the skin’s own moisturizing powers, they can cause breakouts, cell sluggishness and great sun susceptibility. Petrochemicals are also a hotbed for contamination and are of course, extremely not sustainable. However, they are cheap.


Pesticides kill living things. It’s what they do. You’re a living thing.


In 2002, three-quarters of the 72 products tested by the Environmental Working Group contained phthalates, chemicals linked to birth defects, feminization of infant boys, liver and kidney damage, and infertility.

These chemicals are what make plastics soft and pliable, in everything from bottles to vinyl belts. And they are everywhere—including your hair products. They are what keeps perfumes from escaping and helps conventionally made products smooth, straighten or hold.

Likely the cause of the hermaphrodite fish, these endocrine disruptors have serious effects on kids and pregnant women. These chemicals have been definitively linked to effects from early puberty to feminizing boys. They also create dioxins that contaminate the air, soil and water.


These detergents make foam foamy, suds sudsy, and the rest of you a little too squeaky. Not only do these strip out your hair color, they disrupt natural oils and can create irritation.


Silicone is technically a “natural” product derived from sand, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Regular use can lead to allergic reactions, sensitivities and breakouts. It is non-digestible and non-recyclable, that doesn’t biodegrade.

No Artificial “Fragrance”

By law, “fragrance” is a trade secret that doesn’t need to be revealed, creating a loophole big enough to hide 200 mystery ingredients, usually synthetic or very occasionally animal. Headaches, dizziness, rash, irritation and other chemical sensitivities can sometimes result.

via by Horst Rechelbacher


NPR - Is That A Crushed Bug In Your Frothy Starbucks Drink?

Stress And Acne

Stress and Acne  

Ever wonder how stress actually can lead to a breakout?  Exactly what was the sequence of events from having something stressful happen to having that blemish on your face?

Stress causes worsening of acne in two ways. First, by stimulating adrenal glands to produce more hormones.

 In stressful situations the hypothalamus releases a chemical called corticotropin -releasing hormone (CRH). The oil glands of skin are known to produce both CRH and CRH receptors. So, when the CRH receptors come in contact with extra CRH, it induced sebum production by oil glands which ultimately resulted in the exacerbation of acne. In other words, stress causes your brain to release chemicals that increase the oil production which then in turn begin to clog the pore, allowing the natural P. acne bacteria in your skin to begin to overproduce.

Secondly, stress causes or worsens acne by slowing down the healing process.

It has also been established that psychological stress can decrease the wound healing capacity of immune systems by up to 40%. This factor doubles the impact of stress on acne.

Stress not only affects acne flare-up, in general it worsens the overall skin condition. It induces the adrenal glands into overproduction of cortisol, a steroid, which in turn makes sebaceous glands produce more oil and make skin extra oily. And, when stressed, who doesn't reach for the bag of chips rather than that apple. This isn't always the best for your skin either.
Endorphins produced while doing fitness activity, even something as simple as taking a walk, helps reduce stress. So let's put stress in its place by getting out of our hibernation and getting active.

Free Radicals and Antioxidants: An Inside Job

We all understand that the skin must age at some point but do you know how this process occurs and what simple steps you can take to diminish aging effects? Oxidation is the culprit and its henchmen are free radicals. When a cell begins to break down, the electron is lost. The cell then latches to another cell in attempts of gaining its electron. These cells lacking the electron are known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals, and are the main determinant in aging.

Certainly, like most things concerning skin, the susceptibility to free radicals are genetic. Other primary causes? You guessed it: over exposure to sun and dehydration.

Antioxidants are the best defense for the skin. Some work through different mechanisms of action, either preventing the formation of free radicals or binding existing free radicals so they think they've gained an electron and stop attacking other cells.

The antioxidants for the skin are Vitamins A, C, and E.

Vitamin A, retinoic acid, supports the overall health of the skin and aids in the functioning and repair of skin cells. It's also been shown to improve the skin's elasticity.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is needed for proper repair of the skin and tissues and promotes collagen production.

Vitamin E, tocopherol, helps to heal damage to tissues and, when, used with vitamin A, helps protect the skin from sun damage.

And don't forget the boosters, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid. It is one of the most powerful antioxidant supplements available, helping to combat the signs of aging by maintaining a cell's metabolic function so it can perform at optimal levels. It also increases the positive effects of other antioxidants present in the body such as Vitamin C and E by protecting them and supporting their function.

There is one more thing I have to say while on the topic of aging. I hear throughout the week concerns about looking older. It is my honest appraisal that until you recognize your own beauty, there isn't a cream, a treatment, a procedure, or a vitamin that is going to give this to you. Focus on health because health is beauty. I understand you can't go around all day saying "I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful" and be content about letting it rest at that.

But why not?