Category Archives: Uncategorized

Peptides: What are they really, and the top three ways to get the best results from them

What is a peptide?

A peptide is literally a chain of amino acids that are chemically linked together; a chain of 50 or more peptides would then be considered a protein, of which there are many types.


Chemical makeup of aTetrapeptide structural formulae

What does this mean for our skin?

Collagen is the protein that gives the skin its elasticity.  Collagen, like all forms of protein, is made of peptides, which are made of amino acids.  Once collagen breaks down into peptide links, the body is supposed to make more peptides to complete the link and form the collagen protein again.  As we encounter skin damage, whether it be from aging, ultra-violet sun damage, or even skin disorders;  the body may loose its ability to make the peptides needed quick enough in order to combat damage.

Topically applied peptides are small enough to break through the skin’s protective barrier.  In a sense, when you apply peptides directly to your skin, you “trick” the body into making additional peptides at a quicker rate in order to fill what is needed to make a complete protein chain.

How do you make peptides work for your skin in order to see the best results?

  1. The best way to do this is to make yourself healthy. A healthy body will always keep you looking and feeling younger, so make nutrition, and exercise apart of your daily beauty regiment.
  2. The earlier you start using peptides,  the better this practice will work for you. It’s important that you start healthy skin habits at a young age (around 30s-late 20s) in order to retain the beautiful skin you were born with.
  3. It’s important that the products you use not only include peptides, but also include ingredients that promote skin health.  Not all peptides are created equal, and it’s important that your skincare promote healthy skin cells in order to see maximum results. 

To learn about the peptides used in Skin PhD skincare, click here.

Seven reasons why watermelon is the eighth wonder of the world!


Like many Skin PhD ingredients, Watermelon was originally found in Africa, and then found its way to the Middle East around  900 A.D. This delicious fruit has made its way around the entire globe, and its sweet, delicious taste is enjoyed by many.  Here are seven reasons why watermelon is easily one of the most healthiest fruits in the world!

Watermelon is high in carotenoids

Carotenoids (7,481 mcg per cup) are actually what gives the watermelon its beautiful reddish color.  Your body uses carotenoids to make other useful antioxidants. Antioxidants dramatically reduce inflammation and skin cell damage by absorbing free radical oxygen atoms in your body and on your skin (when topically applied).

It is loaded with vitamin C!

To be precise, one cup of watermelon has about 15mg of Vitamin C in it.  Vitamin C will tone the appearance of your skin by its ability to fade aging spots.

High in vitamin  A

Vitamin A (865 IU per cup), another antioxidant, is also used for its skin tightening properties and is fat soluble. This means that it will be able to hydrate your skin  beyond its first layer, which means that over time the use of topical watermelon will visibly improve the appearance of your skin.

Beta carotene

Beta carotene (461 mcg per cup) is great for hydrating the skin.  This is especially important because as we age, dry skin can lead to peeling, discoloration, and even promote the formation of fine lines.

High in potassium

Potassium (170 mg per cup) helps rejuvenate skin cells, more specifically, the rejuvenation of collagen in the skin.  Collagen is what gives skin its elasticity and makes your skin tight and youthful.

Great  anti-inflammatory properties

Because of the flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids in watermelon, It has great anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it will help reduce any redness, puffiness, or irritation in the skin.

Rich in citrulline

Inside our bodies, citrulline assists the kidneys in amino acid composition.  this in turn, this leads to increased blood flow. Increased blood flow helps the skin make new skin cells by helping much needed vitamins and minerals reach the layers of the skin.  Essentially, this allows the skin to retain elasticity, to heal, and to retain its supple appearance.

Skin PhD utilizes watermelon and other nutrients to naturally make your skin more beautiful over time.  To learn more about Renaissance, click here.


The importance of serums and the top vitamins you need to keep skin flawless

Essential VitaminsSerums have not always been a part of the skin care circuit, but they are becoming increasingly popular because of the tremendous effects they have on skin health.  Think of it like this, if your cleanser was food, and your moisturizer was water, then your serum would be  the vitamins and minerals.

Serums are a vehicle in which your skin can absorb the most potent form of topical nourishment.  In many cases, you’ll find that serums are never general, but are always specific and contains certain vitamins and minerals in order to target the skin’s needs.  Here’s a break down of the type of serum you should consider based on age range.


At this age, skin care is  most important.  Most people invest in skin care when they see a sun spot or a wrinkle starting to form, but it’s best to invest in skin care before skin issues arise, that way you are just working to preserve what is already flawless!  At this age range, a vitamin C serum works wonders.  Vitamin C helps prevent sunspots and wrinkles, and also helps absorb free radicals that can cause collagen degeneration.


By this time, subtle signs of skin’s aging are much more visible.  A serum that includes vitamin A for cellular regeneration and vitamin E to help moisturize the skin is important.  Combined with the vitamin C you were taking in your 20′s, this skin care boost will help the skin cells regenerate, and protect the skin from having a dry, scaly appearance.

40′s -50′s

At this time, you’ve been working miracles on your skin by taking the vitamin C in your 20′s, and the A and E vitamins in your 30′s.  Now it’s time to add a protein serum to the mix.  The loss of collagen becomes much more apparent in the 40′s than in any other age range, so naturally, a serum that can assist in collagen production will help the skin remain firm.

To learn more about serums with Vitamin A, C and E, click here.

To learn more about serums with collagen production, click here.


The top three ways to keep your skin looking radiant all year-round

Your skin needs different things in different seasons.  Some people dread the cool weather because the low temperatures can make the skin appear dull and dry; but I think the fall and winter seasons give us chance to really give our skin a rest, and give it the  nutrients it needs before the spring and summer arrive.  Here are three nutrients that will definitely help nurture your skin, and keep you looking flawless no matter what season it is.


Ginkgo Biloba

Everyone knows this ancient herb has been used since the beginning of time to improve memory, but it also works wonders for skin. Ginkgo Biloba will help improve blood flow in your skin.  This will help increase collagen production.  Everyone’s always raving about collagen, in case you want to know what it is in a nutshell, it’s the protein that gives your skin elasticity and helps skin keep it’s tight feel and appearance.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a great moisturizer for our skin.  It’s especially good for people with psoriasis and other types of chronic dry skin.  The best thing about vitamin E is that it’s a great moisturizer that doesn’t clog your pores.


Linoleic Acid

Linoleic Acid is an Omega-6 fatty acid, and is a great skin protectant. It works great with Vitamin E.  This will help your skin stay retain nutrients so that you don’t start to look dry, or peel in the cool seasons. This trio will help your skin retain and build the nutrients it needs in order to stay radiant in the fall and winter; what’s even more exciting is that you will be able  to take that beautiful radiant skin, right into the warmer season.

Review – Spa Travel Gal: Another Reason to Love South Africa

The following article originally appeared on the SpatravelGal site here.

spatravelgal1Just this week I was having coffee with a new pal and we were discussing our travels. One place that we both thought sounded like a remarkable experience was a journey to South Africa. Yes they have amazing safaris there, but did you think that would be the only reason for Spa Travel Gal to have South Africa on her mind?

Well actually there are two reasons this week. The 1st is a new Goblet List (aka Bucket List) for me. Not only do I love spa treatments, but unique ones are the bomb for me these days! How does a massage sound by the Zambezi River with Victoria Falls and Hippos as the backdrop. Pretty jaw-dropping – YES?!?! So lately I am daydreaming about spa travel to Sun International’s Royal Livingstone Hotel in South Africa.

The 2nd reason is my new skincare regime, SkinPhd. First, I want to thank SkinPhd for sending me some of their items. I had first discovered how great they were at the opening of Serenity Spa at the Omni Atlanta. See here where I reviewed the spa grand opening for the Omni Hotels website.

spatravelgal2Now let me tell you about SkinPhd. First, I want you to know that my skin does not react well to many skincare product lines. Well, that is not the case with SkinPHd! My skin has been doing so well with all the items that I dare not a miss day (morning or evening) using them for fear I will not have that SkinPhd glow when I awake in the AM.

More unbelievable is the fact that I was offered a free facial to review another new spa this week. I said no! Yes, no for fear that my skin would then not have that SkinPhD glow – in other worlds I did not want to lose the progress that I had made.

Ok, Ok you say what does this have to do with South Africa – well their secret ingredients are all natural items from South Africa. All products are manufactured and formulated in South Africa. Well I want to try them all, but so far my fav has been the breakout control gel. Do you get those horrid hormonal breakouts on your chin? Well I did – but they are now gone after using SkinPhd Breakout Control Gel. It is amazing and worked within 1 and 1/2 days! My chin was clear!

Magic? No! Their anti-aging line was even voted best anti-aging skincare on I have been using it and adore how it makes me feel like I am turning back the clock. -aging backwards! Well here is a biggie – you know I get lots of skincare items in the mail for reviews daily but I am here to say that SkinPhD and I are exclusive right now! I can’t wait to learn more about all of their products!

Nurturing Mind, Body, and Soul: Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge


by Casey Durrett, LEI – Social Media Director and National Educator, SkinPhD



I recently had the opportunity to speak with Rhonda Mordecai owner of a lovely day spa in Gainesville, Texas. Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge  is Rhonda’s love child – a business born out of faith and vision. Sole’renity features SkinPhD cosmeceutical skin care products, and we here at SkinPhD enjoy coming to know more about our spa partners – who they are, how they got here, and why they choose to work with our products.

So how was it that this nail tech of 20 years and former owner of two high energy hair salons made a huge shift into a relaxing, tranquil day spa business? Why did she choose to feature SkinPhD in her spa? And what advice would Rhonda give to spa professionals if they want to set themselves apart in this industry?


Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge is tucked away in downtown Gainesville, Texas. The 100+ year old building has been turned into a tranquil destination for people in need of nourishment for the mind, body, and soul. Rhonda has worked to ensure that every aspect of Sole’renity caters to a peaceful spirit and a serene atmosphere. From the calming blue wall paint down to the look and feel of her gorgeous website, Rhonda has worked to create a continuous flow of calmness from start to finish.

After 20 years in the nail business, and having owned two high-energy hair salons, Rhonda says that she “began to see that the industry was changing” and shifting more towards a complete focus on the well-being of guests rather than loud music and the fast paced nature that may often feel as if people are just being pushed out of the door. Rhonda eventually began to fill in at a day spa located inside a Bed and Breakfast. It was during this time that she fell in love with the vastly different atmosphere and energy that comes from people being cared for and enriched – tranquility, peacefulness, quietness, and serenity. Rhonda loved the one-on-one nature of the business and didn’t miss the noise or excess energy that can sometimes be the mainstay of upbeat salons.

Rhonda Mordecai - Solerenity Owner of Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge – Rhonda Mordecai


Sometime later, Rhonda traveled to Florida for a spa convention. It was here that she “saw the vision”. “I could see that spa services were where it was moving…  Places where people can escape from everyday stress, forget about the outside world, and be pampered – mind, body, and soul.” It was during this time, she says, that she knew things had to change for her. Rhonda eventually left the nail business for a full two years, and during this time through much prayer and thought she developed the concept for a new business.

Solerenity Logo

Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge is Rhonda’s vision come to life. Spa-goers now receive skin, nail, and massage treatments in exactly the atmosphere she had envisioned – full of tranqulity and peacefulness. Sole’renity caters to women – loving them, pampering them, and making them feel good “from the soles up”.

During our chat, I wanted to learn more about why Rhonda chose SkinPhD products for use at Sole’renity. Rhonda noted that she was impressed by the fact that SkinPhD is a cosmeceutical grade line of products featuring natural ingredients and that she loved the “story” of SkinPhD and how it was developed. She also mentioned that SkinPhD has provided “great support, training, and education on ingredients.” The consumer response to the products has been positive, and a few of Rhonda’s favorite SkinPhD products are in our Platinum Anti-Aging range of products including the Platinum Soft Foam Cleanser and Platinum Active Defense Toner. On a personal note, I couldn’t agree more with her on those choices!

As we discussed SkinPhD’s role at Sole’renity and our conversation neared a close, I also wanted to gather insight from Rhonda as to what sort of advice, if any, she might have for budding skin therapists – or even established skin therapists – to bring them success in the spa industry. Her answer was simple, and considering the warmth and heart of this woman – it was not surprising.

“Care about the people, and care about the final result.”
–Rhonda Mordecai, Owner – Sole’renity Day Spa and Nail Lounge

Solerenity Day Spa

As simple as that tidbit of sage advice may be, I believe it is the spirit of any successful day spa professional. When our guests come first, when we care for them with sincerity, and when we care about the services we are providing them at every angle – success will naturally follow. People love to be loved, and Rhonda has woven a business that was founded on this understanding.

In speaking with Rhonda I could feel the authenticity of her mission. Sole’renity is more than a business to her and more than a day spa or nail lounge. It’s a love child. Her heart and soul have gone into bringing this concept into reality, and she has made a career out of serving others. At SkinPhD, we love to know our partners – their dreams, their vision, their mission, and we are so honored to have people like Rhonda Mordecai and her lovely spa – Sole’renity – working with our products to bring that positive “final result” to her guests each and every day.


For more information on SkinPhD products  and signature therapies, please visit


What’s in the Bottle?

Discovering the Ingredients that Make SkinPhD Unique
Niacinamide and Prickly Ash Bark




by Casey Durrett, LEI – Social Media Director and National Educator, SkinPhD

The SkinPhD commitment to quality skin care means we must choose ingredients of merit that result in positive changes in the skin’s appearance while remaining soothing, balancing, and healthy for the skin. Prickly Ash Bark and Niacinamide are two unique ingredients you will find in our formulations for just these reasons. Prickly Ash Bark is a component of many of our products, and Niacinamide is the key ingredient in our Pigmentation Control serum.


Niacinamide possesses skin hydrating, lightening, and anti-aging properties. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on breakout and acne prone skin. Niacinamide is one of two principle forms of Vitamin B3. It is better tolerated than its counterpart niacin and does not produce the well-known “niacin flush”. It is stable in heat and light and remains efficacious in formulated products. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the fantastic benefits of this skin improving agent!

Niacinamide as a Skin Lightener
As a skin lightening agent, niacinamide effectively reduces areas of uneven pigmentation and age spots. Niacinamide does not inhibit melanin production but instead inhibits the transfer of melansomes to the surrounding cells. Because of its strong lightening capabilities and its gentle, soothing nature on the skin, niacinamide is an excellent solution to pigmentation control without the negative side effects commonly associated with many other skin lightening agents. You can find niacinamide in our specialty treatment, Pigmentation Control.





Niacinamide and Skin Hydration
In order for the skin to be soft, supple, well-hydrated and radiant, the skin’s barrier must be in a healthy condition. Several classifications of lipids including ceramides and fatty acids are integral components of the skin barrier. These lipids work to maintain skin vitality by holding water in the tissue. When these important lipids are damaged or not present in sufficient volume, the result is skin that may rapidly dehydrate in a process called trans-epidermal water loss or “TEWL”. Dehydration results in poor skin texture and a lifeless complexion. Long-term dehydration of the skin may lead to damage in the deeper skin layers resulting in loss of skin firmness and the development of fine lines and wrinkles. Damaged or missing ceramides and fatty acids are also linked with increased sensitivity, irritation, and redness.  

Niacinamide works to increase ceramide and fatty acid levels in the skin thereby increasing hydration levels. The end result is skin that is softer, smoother, and less prone to irritation, redness, and sensitivity.

Niacinamide and Aging Skin
As the skin ages, collagen and elastin become damaged and deteriorated. These losses lead to skin laxity, fine lines, and deep wrinkles. By increasing the activity of fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen and elastin fibers), niacinamide is an effective component in anti-aging regimens.


Prickly Ash Bark (Zanthoxylum Americanum)

The Prickly Ash tree was known to the Native Americans as the Toothache Tree because of its use in treating tooth aches. The bark of this tree contains potent wound-healing, stimulating, pain-relieving, and detoxifying properties. With a long history of use amongst Native American cultures, Prickly Ash also became a tool in the treatment of joint pain, arthritis, and poor circulation. Today, Prickly Ash bark is still used to improve these conditions and has been found to improve a number of skin conditions due to its excellent wound-healing properties.

Skin Protecting Properties of Prickly Ash Bark

  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Stimulates circulation and lymphatic flow
  • Wound healing

 You will find Prickly Ash bark in our Cleansing Lotion, Skin Tonic, Day Care Lotion, Night Care Cream, Breakout Control Gel, Lip Treatment Cream, and Moisture Maintenance.

Skin PhD Products

For more information on our clinically-endorsed range of products and our signature therapies, please visit

Founders of Placécol USA Launch New Cosmeceutical Skin Care Line – SkinPhD

by Casey Durrett, LEI – Social Media Director, Placécol USA & SkinPhD
Beyond Beauty & Skin – The founders of Placécol USA are launching a potent, clinically-endorsed range of cosmeceutical skin care products – SkinPhD. Our products are formulated and manufactured in South Africa where rich African extracts and the latest innovations in cosmetic technology are combined to create a product range that balances, nourishes, and renews the skin. 

Our philosophy in caring for and correcting skin results in a product portfolio that has undergone rigorous testing, is suitable for sensitive skin, and is endorsed by dermatologists. SkinPhD products are intended to correct and balance the skin without aggression. Our formulators ensure that the ingredients used in our products will create positive changes in the skin through the use of materials that improve the skin’s barrier function, maintain healthy skin pH, reduce inflammatory conditions, and bring balance to the oil and water content of the skin. All skin types experience positive results when these important areas of skin health are addressed.    

 As a cosmeceutical range, our products rely on bio-active ingredients to produce beneficial changes in the appearance of the skin. Bio-active ingredients work beyond the skin’s surface to create true change. Some benefits of bio-active ingredients include increased cellular renewal and regeneration, improved barrier function, and the stabilization of collagen and elastin. SkinPhD features a host of bio-actives including vitamins, polysaccharides, botanicals, proteins, peptides, and enzymes.    

The SkinPhD product portfolio includes:    

  • Core Range – These daily care products are formulated with beneficial ingredients such as Prickly Ash Bark which promotes wound healing and increases circulation, and Niacinamide which increases barrier function, improves collagen synthesis, and reduces hyperpigmentation concerns. In addition to fundamental products like cleansers and moisturizers, SkinPhD offers specialized products that target key areas of concern including eye and lip care, skin firming, and cellutlite.
  •  RenaissanceA complete range of products for skin of color – This range addresses the unique needs of skin of color and features indigenous African ingredients Marula extract and Kalahari Melon.
  • Platinum A complete range of optimal aging products – These powerful anti-aging formulations contain Phyto-Hormones, Collagen-Building Actives, high levels of Antioxidants, and Zincite. Zincite is a semi-precious stone that plays an important role in the metabolism of DNA maintaining their double-helix structure, aids in cellular proliferation and survival and brings long-term geno-protective benefits.

In addition to our existing product ranges, SkinPhD will be launching an exciting new selection of products intended to clarify problem skin. This range will feature a powerful yet natural purifying ingredient – Honeybush. Honeybush is a sibling of Rooibos and is cultivated in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region. It is a natural anti-fungal agent and is rich in iron, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.    

Left: Zincite – A feature ingredient of SkinPhD’s Platinum range
Right: Honeybush – A potent ingredient in SkinPhD’s upcoming Clarify range  


 SkinPhD reaches beyond beauty and skin.
Value, excellence, and integrity are at the core of our vision.
Our products are a viable choice for skin of all types, conditions, and ethnicities. We welcome you to the SkinPhD brand and invite you to experience the wonderful changes our products have to offer.    

‘Tis the Season for Chocolate…on your Face!

by Holly Harmon, Executive Director of Aesthetics and Training Placecol USA and SkinPhD

Ummm, cholocate is the indulgence that so many of us crave.  Can it be true…that chocolate is actually good for us and our skin?  Yes!  Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables.  These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries).   Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.  Chocolate is good for you internally and as an application on the skin if pure dark chocolate courtesy of the cacao plant is used…as in our signature Revitalizing Facial.

At Placecol and Skin PhD, we have the most luxurious one hour facial therapy that incorporates our signature cold laser therapy and our decadent cocoa mask.


As with all of our facials, our steps are to cleanse the face, apply toner, exfoliate ot remove the dead skin cells on the epidermis and then we use cold laser on the face that stimulates a process called ATP in the mitochondria of the cell.  This brings the cells back to their original state of health thus repairing and healing the skin from the cellular level.  Next, we apply our exclusive Revitalizing Cocoa Mask.  This unique mask rejuvenates the skin by means of its active ingredients such as alginates extracted from kelp. The polyphenols and vitamin A are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and slow the effects of aging. The tannins, because of their astringent and tonic properties, bring back the firmness to the epidermis. In addition cocoa has moisturizing properties that are essential for preventing wrinkle formation. The skin’s protective film is reconstituted, and its glow is restored.  How divine!

For more details on our signature therapies or to contact spas/physicians that carry our products and therapies, please visit us at and on facebook

Kalahari Melon: the gift for your skin from the deserts of Africa

by Holly Harmon, Executive Director of Training and Aesthetics, Placecol USA

Oil from the seeds of the Kalahari melon is used to moisturize, regenerate and restructure the skin. Kalahari melon oil is rich in essential fatty acids, especially linoleic, oleic and palmitic fatty acids.  It has high antioxidant activity, which possibly helps the plant to survive in the harsh Kalahari desert environment.  

Our cosmetic scientists in South Africa have long known the restoring properties of Kalahari Melon extract along with the many other elements from nature on the Continent.  Of course, Africa is rich with many indigenous plants and fruits whose extracts are unparalleled for skin restoration and repair.  You will find these “gifts” from Africa used throughout our skin care collections.  Our Renaissance® Restoring Night Cream includes the healing antidote from nature for damaged and aging skin–Kalahari Melon–along with Mongongo Nut Oil and Rhodiola Extract.  

About the Kalahari Melon

The Kalahari melon (citrullus lanatus) is also known as the Tsamma melon or wild watermelon and is the biological ancestor of the common watermelon now found worldwide. It is a creeping annual herb with hairy stems and bright yellow flowers.  Unlike the common watermelon, whose flesh is sweet and red, the Kalahari melon’s juicy flesh is pale yellow or green, and tastes bitter. Kalahari melon fruits are small and round in the wild, but larger and oval when cultivated.  The Kalahari melon is highly adapted to surviving drought and the harsh light of the desert environment. Although found all over Southern Africa, it is most closely associated with the Kalahari sands of Namibia, Botswana, south-western Zambia and western Zimbabwe. 

For more information on our products and therapies:  www.facebook/placecolusa