Marketing: Content Marketing Ideas for Health Tech Startups

Dallas Strategic Marketing - Beauty, Spa, Healthcare, Wellness

If you are in charge of the content marketing efforts for a healthcare technology startup, you have lots of challenges and opportunities facing you. Before you start your content marketing efforts, check out these strategies.

Add a Human Touch

One issue that vexes businesses in the healthcare industry is the perception that dollars and data matter more than people. The perfect medium for challenging this perception is content marketing. Create content such as employee bios and your company story. Let people know about your and your staff’s passion for your product and commitment to wellbeing. As you create your overall strategy, be sure your focus remains on showing that you care and providing wellness information rather than pushing sales.

Provide Answers Your Audience Can Understand

Information is important to your audience. Your ability to provide that information in a way that a lay person can understand it, is extremely important. Avoid medical jargon in your content marketing. You may think that using complex terms will increase the perception that you are an expert in your field, but the reality is you will just confuse people and drive them away.

Give a Gift

This strategy is not unique to healthtech. However, the gifts you choose to give should be. For example, if a consumer provides you with their email information to subscribe to your monthly newsletter, you could include access to a free trial of your product. If another customer submits information to receive a free quote, you could provide them access to a free eBook with wellness tips and healthy recipes. Giveaways are a great way to thank your customers when they complete micro conversions. Keeping the giveaways focused on healthcare related products helps to cement your branding.

Lebron Meng, founder at Check Pregnancy says this about using gifts in healthcare, content marketing:  

“People associate so many negative things with the healthcare industry. In fact, if you bring up words such as doctor’s appointments or medical treatment, and people associate that with bills and financial hardship. Even a lot of wellness outreach efforts are seen as guilt inducing. In the midst of all of this, a simple gift is really meaningful.”

Share Customer Stories Not Testimonial

For some industries, testimonials are a great thing. The basic formula of a testimonial is this. Description of problem + description of negative impact of problem + description of how product X solved problem + description of positive results due to solving problem = testimonial. That’s not enough for the healthtech industry. Instead, encourage customers to share their stories, just like you encourage your staff to share theirs. For example, a testimonial might look like this:

I’ve been struggling to make it to doctor’s appointments due to my work schedule. I’ve even had to skip over important well visits with my doctor. Thankfully, the 24-hour clinic that is now available at my local pharmacist can see me at any time. I can even download their app to access my health records 24/7. My health needs will never get put on the backburner again.

In contrast, here’s how a story will look:

Two months ago, I had an important appointment with my doctor. Then, my boss told me I had to work mandatory overtime. I couldn’t say no. So, I called to reschedule my appointment, and I was told it would be six months before I could be seen again. I was devastated. I’d been dealing with painful symptoms for months and had no answers. Now, I was put off for another six months. Why wasn’t there a healthcare option available for people like me, where access was a priority? Thankfully, a friend told me about a new health center that was open 24 hours per day. I can even use their app to access my records and submit questions to the nursing staff.

Put Your Spin on Healthcare News

Think of all of the healthcare stories that have hit the news over the past year. The Zika virus, Martin Shkreli, The Affordable Care Act, and the recent Aetna crisis are just three examples of major news breaking stories. When these stories break, people often don’t know what to think. This is why your input is so important. Keep track of trending healthcare news. Then, take the role of a thought leader and give your expert opinion and perspective.

Wellness: Nip Tuck Tourism

Dallas Beauty Spa and Wellness Marketing

The Dos and Don’ts of Nip Tuck Tourism

Tips from board certified plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis:

Thinking of going off the grid to get a little work done? You’re tapping into a growing trend. These days more and more people are seeking great doctors in locations beyond New York and Beverly Hills. While jetting off to South America for some plastic surgery may be too distant, there are plenty of calmer more serene cities for those who don’t want the crowds and fast pace of a big city. Board certified plastic surgeon and best selling author Dr. John Zannis, based in coastal North Carolina caters to patients from all over the world. Here are his dos and don’ts when it comes to Nip Tuck Tourism to ensure you get the best doctors, support staff, post-op recovery and overall experience.

Do: Consider a smaller city. When it comes time for recovery, resting and avoiding stress is key. Smaller cities have a cozy, home away from home feel. Imagine going outside for a walk or sitting peacefully outside with sounds of nature instead of traffic. Being in a serene environment helps you heal.

Don’t: Skimp on the pre-arrival consultation and follow up communication. Verifying that you are a candidate for the procedure you want is extremely important before flying anywhere. Be ready for a few Skype consults with your surgeon, sharing pictures and keeping in touch over phone and e-mail leading up to your scheduled procedure.

Do: Consider your physician’s lodging recommendations. Many doctors already have relationships with local hotels and bed and breakfasts and can make solid recommendations. Your doctor will also know the type of accommodations you’ll need: will a simple suite do or do you need a full home-style living space for longer recovery procedures?

Do: Fly in a couple of days before your surgery is scheduled. This allows you to meet with the doctor and staff before the big day and become comfortable with your surroundings.

Do: Take the appropriate amount of time off. Dr. Zannis explains, “depending on the procedure, you’ll be able to return home in just 24 hours, while others may require a follow up visit in 7 days.  You want to allow adequate healing time for any swelling and pain to subside before traveling back home.”

Don’t: Forget your insurance cards. Although most cosmetic procedures aren’t covered by insurance, you’ll still need your insurance information to get your prescriptions filled.

Do: Plan ahead and pack wisely. “It’s important to pack loose fitting zip front shirts and wide comfortable bottoms, a pillow to place between yourself and the car/plane seatbelt, a spill proof large water bottle, and throat relievers for post-op soreness,” suggests Dr. Zannis.

And finally Do: Plan some nice activities and meals! Remember this is your time to relax, recover and enjoy. Think low-key and relaxing. When you get your appetite back you’ll want a great meal. As days pass and more and more healing takes place you’ll want to go for nice walks, explore nature, or just read and unwind by a fireplace or lake. These little things contribute to making you feel better and heal after a procedure. You’ll return with a new look, while feeling completely refreshed.

For more about Dr. John Zannis, his New Bern, North Carolina practice and their Makeover Getaway Program, visit

Beauty: Garlic for Acne

Garlic for Beauty

Garlic is a common herb which is generally used to flavor food, however it can also be used as a medicine. You can use garlic to treat acne that is caused by bacteria or oily skin.

Does Garlic Help To Cure Acne?

  • Garlic has anti – bacterial, anti-fungal, anti – viral and anti – septic properties that help to prevent clogged pores and thus, reduces the acne. However make sure it is diluted.
  • It’s anti – oxidant property helps to fight against free radicals which can damage the body or skin cells.
  • Allicin is a compound in garlic which gives pungent taste and smell. It will decompose into the antioxidant called sulfenic acid, which will react very quickly with radicals, limited only by the time in which the two molecules will take to come into contact with each other.
  • Regular intake of garlic will help to strengthen the immune system.
  • It has anti – inflammatory properties which help to reduce the pain, irritation and the discomfort caused by acne.
  • It helps to improve the blood circulation that allows the skin tissues to properly receive all the vitamins and minerals which are essential for healthy skin.
  • It has sulfur compounds called thiacremonon, which acts as a drying agent and also removes acne scars on the skin.
  • Using garlic regularly also prevents the formation of pimples.
  • It has an excellent source of various acne combating nutrients like vitamins (C and B6), minerals, selenium, copper, allicin, zinc (used to control sebum) and other phyto-nutrients.
  • It fights the insulin resistance which is linked to acne. The use of garlic oil helps to improve the insulin sensitivity.

How To Use Garlic For Acne:

Garlic can be used in many different ways to treat acne effectively. However, garlic is a strong compound and can cause a burning sensation when applied on the skin.

1. Garlic

Be sure while following this process, you are applying this garlic directly on the skin. Only use if you do not have sensitive skin.

  • Finely crush garlic cloves.
  • Apply to the affected areas of the skin.
  • This will destroy the bacteria causing acne.
  • Leave for a few minutes and then remove the crushed garlic.
  • Remove if the garlic starts to sting.
  • Wash it off with cold water and pat dry.
  • Apply moisturizer and repeat regularly.
  • Or include garlic in diet but avoid eating too much raw garlic as it can overheat the body.

2. Garlic Cloves in Water

Process 1:

  • Crush 3 garlic cloves to extract its juice.
  • Add to 1 cup of water and stir well, leave for 10-12 minutes.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the water for a few minutes.
  • Apply on the acne affected areas of skin.
  • Leave on for few minutes until it dries completely.
  • Rinse it off with water.
  • Continue this process regularly.
  • Note: You can also use warm water.

Process 2:

  • Crush 3 raw garlic cloves which will trigger the allicin production.
  • Mix with 1 tablespoon of water (more water for those with sensitive skin).
  • Rub the mixture over the acne.
  • Allow it to sit for about 10 – 15 minutes (if using garlic for the first time) or leave overnight.
  • Wash off with water and pat the skin dry.
  • Repeat this process regularly.

3. Garlic Cloves in Aloe Vera

  • Mix equal quantities of garlic juice and add aloe vera gel.
  • Gently rub it for a minute or two.
  • Let it sit for few minutes.
  • Rinse it off with water and pat dry.
  • Repeat regularly.

4. Garlic with Yogurt

  • Wash the face and pat dry.
  • Blend 4 garlic cloves to make a fine paste and add 1 tablespoon of yogurt.
  • Stir well and apply all over the affected area.
  • Let it sit for few minutes to dry.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and pat dry.
  • Repeat this process regularly.

5. Garlic with Vinegar

  • Finely crush garlic cloves and squeeze to extract the juice.
  • Add an equal amount of vinegar and stir well.
  • Dip a cotton ball in the solution.
  • Apply on the acne affected areas of the skin.
  • Let it sit for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat daily.

6. Homemade Garlic Chemical Peel

Using this garlic mask as a chemical peel for the face is a good option to get rid of acne, as it helps to correct sun damage, removes pimples and blackheads, reduces excessive skin oils, aging, etc.

  • Peel the garlic cloves and then grate them.
  • Press the flat end of the spoon on the garlic pieces and smear it onto the bowl to form a fine garlic paste.
  • Apply a thin layer of garlic paste on all the acne affected areas.
  • Do not get into the eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Leave on for about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Put the lid on the bowl and place in the fridge.
  • After it dries completely, wash the face with warm water.
  • Dry your face with clean towel and moisturize.
  • Regularize this process to get relief from the acne within few days. But discontinue if there is any burning sensation

7. Garlic with Olive Oil

The mixture of garlic and olive oil helps to clear up the acne from inside out.

  • Peel and blend 4 garlic cloves and 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Transfer into an air tight container, you can store in the fridge for 48 hours.
  • Eat a tablespoon of this, with water, twice a day.
  • For more effective results, drink 8 oz glasses of water every day with this process.

8. Garlic Oil

  • Pour natural garlic oil into a bowl.
  • Use a cotton ball to apply to the acne affected areas of the skin.
  • Massage it gently for few minutes.
  • Leave on for few minutes to overnight.
  • Wash with warm water and a mild cleanser.
  • Continue doing this process regularly.

9. Garlic with Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar helps to regulate the pH levels of the skin.

  • Smash a few garlic pods with a mallet.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of raw and unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
  • Stir it well and apply this mixture on the acne affected skin areas.
  • Massage it for few minutes and then allow it to dry naturally.
  • Wash it off with water and pat the skin dry.
  • Follow this process once a day.

10. Garlic with any Carrier Oil

  • Peel a few garlic cloves and allow to air dry for a few minutes.
  • Pour carrier oil into a pan and heat for a few minute.
  • Add these garlic cloves in it.
  • Allow it to heat for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir until the cloves change to brown and then to blackish.
  • Strain the oil and discard the cloves.
  • Let the oil cool before applying to the affected areas of skin.
  • Leave it for few minutes to overnight.
  • Store the remaining oil in an airtight container for further usage.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water and mild cleanser.
  • Continue this same process daily.

11. Garlic with Honey and Fresh Comfrey Leaves

Honey moisturizes and soothes the skin and cures the irritation. Comfrey is good for treating acne.

  • Peel and mash 3 garlic cloves
  • Pound handful of fresh comfrey leaves and add sufficient amount of warm honey and mashed garlic.
  • Warm a cloth and dip it in the mixture.
  • Apply as a mask on the face and leave overnight.
  • Wash it off with cool to lukewarm water.
  • Or you can use this mixture particularly on the acne breakouts.
  • Do this process regularly.

12. Garlic with Honey and Yogurt

This process is especially useful for those people who are unable to bear the stinging sensation of garlic when applied on the skin.

  • Crush garlic pods.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and stir well.
  • Apply this as a mask all over the face.
  • Wait for about 20 – 30 minutes or till it dries completely.
  • Wash it off with water.
  • Or you can also use garlic oil (2 – 4 drops) or garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon).
  • Repeat regularly.

13. Garlic with Turmeric and Manuka Honey Face Mask

Turmeric has an anti – inflammatory which helps to soothe the inflammation and the discomfort caused by acne. Manuka honey helps to heal the blemished skin and thus prevents the acne breakouts.

  • Crush 6 garlic cloves.
  • Add 3 teaspoons of manuka honey and ¼ teasponn of turmeric powder and stir well.
  • Apply this paste on the acne prone areas of the skin.
  • Let it sit for few minutes to dry completely.
  • Wash it off with water and pat the skin dry.
  • Regularize this process.

14. Garlic Oil with Salicylic Acid

These ingredients are high in antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which help to get rid of the bacteria causing acne.

  • Mix 2 drops each of garlic oil and salicylic oil.
  • Pour on a cotton ball.
  • Apply on the acne affected area.
  • Leave it for few minutes and then rinse off completely.
  • Repeat the same process regularly.

Eating Garlic for Acne:

Eating or drinking garlic will work as an effective remedy for curing acne from the inside out. It fights internally the root cause of acne to prevent it completely. This will help to strengthen the immune system and thus improves the overall health and beauty. It is advisable to take three cloves of garlic once daily for a month to clear this problem.

Process 1:

  • Crush 2 garlic cloves to extract its juice.
  • Add this juice to either water or V8 juice etc.
  • Drink this slowly.
  • Brush your teeth to get rid of the smell.
  • Drink once before going to bed..

Process 2:

  • Cut garlic cloves into small pieces.
  • Eat these pieces throughout the day.
  • Or you can add these to soups, salads, curries, gravies, etc.

Process 3:

  • Mince garlic cloves and add sufficient amount of applesauce.
  • Stir it well to make a fine paste.
  • Consume this paste daily.
  • You can use cottage cheese or yogurt in the place of apple sauce.
  • Garlic can be in the form of minced, crushed or chopped.

Process 4:

  • Peel a few garlic cloves and crush into small pieces.
  • Place in a pan and sauté to get a mild, roasted flavor.
  • Add olive oil, parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  • Stir it well and use as a dip regularly.

Is Garlic Good for Acne Scars?

Acne can sometimes cause permanent scarring. These scars will appear as pockmarks or sunken areas of the skin. Garlic cloves will gives long lasting results and minimal side effects.

  • It has anti-oxidants which help to prevent free radicals that leave scars on the skin.
  • It has sulphur, zinc, calcium, vitamin E which helps for proper skin tissue formation by clearing the old and dead skin cells.
  • It enhances for the proper circulation of blood throughout the body that also helps for the scars removal and regenerating new skin cells for proper pH balance of the skin.

Here are the processes that help you to remove the scars from the skin.

1. Garlic with Olive Oil and Honey

  • Wash the face with mild cleanser and warm water and pat dry.
  • Grate 2 garlic clove and mix with water.
  • Apply this on the acne affected areas of the skin.
  • Massage it gently for few minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  • The garlic exfoliates the dead skin cells and removes the top layer of the scarred tissues.
  • It also removes any bacteria or oil in the skin.
  • Do not to leave the garlic on the skin for longer than 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Wash with warm water.
  • Crush 2 more garlic cloves and add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey.
  • Mix well and apply on the acne affected skin areas.
  • Let it sit for about 20 – 25 minutes before washing off with warm water.
  • Be sure to wash it immediately if you get a stinging sensation.
  • Apply aloe vera to help not to aggravate the acne while moisturizing and to get some hydration back.
  • Regularize this process.

2. Boiled Garlic

This process helps you to get rid of all the acne scaring and blemishes. Here the boiled garlic is not as strong as raw to avoid any burning.

  • Hit 4 – 5 cloves of peeled raw garlic with a mallet.
  • Pour 250 ml of water into a pan and place on the heat.
  • Bring it to boil and add the garlic.
  • Boil for about 30 – 35 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  • Mash into a paste and apply on the entire face.
  • Let it sit for few minutes to dry.
  • Wash it off with water and pat dry.
  • Apply some moisturizer and repeat the process regularly.

Garlic Pills or Capsules for Acne:

Make sure to check the allicin level in the garlic capsules as the higher allicin in the capsule the more powerful the capsule will be.

One suppliment is called Allimax, one of the most powerful and safest garlic supplements for treating acne. It is rich in allicin in stabilized form which helps to get rid of the bacteria in the body. So take allimax pills everyday or use Allimax cream.

A second supplement is Garlicin, which is also a very effective garlic supplement but with a special property which leave your body smelling neutral. It is specially coated with organic film that helps to preserve the garlic powder.

You can get them from a herbalist or pharmacy for taking garlic tablets. You will still get the benefits from taking them, but they are not as effective as the fresh form.

Tips and Precautions:

Here are few simple tips and precautions to follow while using these remedies.

  • Make sure to dilute the garlic or its juice with other substance like rose water or water to prevent the burning or stinging sensation on the applied skin.
  • Never leave garlic on the skin for a long time as it can cause blisters.
  • Possible side effects are nausea, bad breath, skin irritation, vomiting, burning sensation in mouth, etc. so do a trial run first.
  • Pregnant women should not try these garlic remedies before consulting the dermatologist and gynecologist. Also do not use on children.
  • Add these garlic cloves in your favorite dinner recipes to get a delicious taste and to prevent these acne breakouts. Try garlic bread.
  • Its always better to use fresh garlic rather than stored garlic as it contains more anti – oxidants.
  • Those suffering from acne rosacea might experience some rosacea symptoms after eating this garlic as it is a trigger.
  • It has blood thinning properties which may cause bleeding problems. Pregnant women and people who have had surgery should avoid or limit this garlic usage. Also people who are on certain medications are strictly advised not to eat garlic in large amounts.
  • Avoid applying pure garlic to the skin or leaving it for long periods.
  • To clear the garlic smell, use with honey or lemon, or soak the cloves in milk for at least an hour before consumption.
  • Make sure to consult your doctor before using all these garlic remedies.
  • Remember to brush your teeth after the intake of garlic cloves to get rid of the bad breath.

All these garlic remedies for acne are natural and effective. It won’t give results overnight, you have to continue applying garlic on acne regularly.

Wellness: Citrus Fruits

Girl's Guide to Wellness: Citrus Fruits

When we talk about “superfoods“, we typically mention unusual-sounding items like chia seeds, matcha powder, and green algae. But some of the most beneficial foods you can eat–and use in your beauty routine—are not quite as glamorous: We’re talking about good old citrus fruits.

From grapefuit to lemons, clementines to oranges, citrus does your body and face good. Here are seven ways you can use these pulpy fruits to your benefit, according to the experts.

1. To fight infection.

Grapefruit seed extract can be used to fight infections and can rid the body of unhealthy bacteria, according to holistic nutritionist Sally Pansing Kravich (who’s worked with Kerry Washington).

Grapefruit—and citrus in general—can also promote kidney health, adds dermatologist Michael Lin, who’s based in California. “Citrus fruits are packed with folic acid, a type of vitamin B that can aid in preventing kidney disease and birth defects among pregnant women,” he explains. “Good kidney health helps the body filter blood, remove waste and regulate the balance of electrolytes. Maintaining balanced levels of electrolytes helps prevent dehydration and dry, dull skin.”

2. To get rid of cellulite.

Yep, that’s what the experts say! Certified aromatherapist Gina Kamburowski, founder of, says that grapefruit especially, which has a super high concentration of vitamin C, stimulates collagen production and helps skin retain elasticity.

Kravich and Kim Laudati, of Kim Laudati Skin Care & Laser in Manhattan, agree that grapefruit also helps smooth those annoying cellulite bumps as well. Laudati suggests cutting off the ends of a grapefruit (so a round “end” is exposed) and rubbing it in tight circular motions using pressure over your cellulite pre-shower—this will drive in natural vitamin C and help to improve the appearance of your skin. “If you sleep in pajamas, you can rub a grapefruit in tight circular motions across cellulite post-shower, too,” she says. “Wipe the area(s) with a damp cloth in the morning and apply a natural vitamin C body cream.” (ProDerma Light has a great skin brightening cream with 25% vitamin C.)

3. To improve your immune system and digestion.

Skincare expert Adrienne Shostak recommends starting your day with hot lemon water rather than coffee or tea. “Lemons are rich in vitamin C and potassium,” she says. “Vitamin C is an excellent fighter against colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve functions, while regulating the blood pressure. Lemons also aid in digestion and clean toxins from the blood, which keeps the skin clean.” She suggests drinking the juice of half a lemon with hot water, adding a bit of honey or turmeric (another potent antioxidant) first thing when you wake up. Then, wait 30 minutes before eating (if you can!) to maximize the benefits. (You’ll want to drink the concoction fairly quickly though, says wellness expert Cassie Sobelton, as lemon water can be harmful to your teeth’s enamel if it sits there for too long.)

Clementines are another great digestion aid, Kamburowski says. “Although they’re tart and acidic, they also contain essential alkaline minerals that are key to helping balance the body after digestion,” she explains. “Add them to your daily juice or smoothie, or simply eating them piece-by-piece as an energy-boosting afternoon snack.

4. To jumpstart your metabolism.

It might sound crazy but citrus fruits can actually raise your metabolic rate while resting, says Jolie Martin, Laser Medical Esthetician and skincare expert at NYC’s SKINNEY Medspa. “The phytonutrient load found in citrus fruits can burn additional calories making them an ideal addition to your fitness…or resting plan,” she explains.

According to Beth Shaw, author of YogaLean, grapefruit is especially great for metabolism boosting: it’s high in enzymes, which burn fat, and has a high water content as well, keeping you hydrated.

5. To brighten your skin.

“If you are looking to achieve clear, glowing and blemish-free skin, make sure citrus fruits such as lemons, limes or grapefruits are part of your daily diet and beauty routine,” says Dr. Roshini Raj, gastroenterologist and founder of TULA skincare. “Citrus fruits are a rich natural source of vitamin C, which helps destroy free radicals in your body while providing a radiant glow to your skin and rejuvenating skin from the inside.”

If you have sun spots or uneven skin tone, citrus can help with those, too. “The retinol antioxidant in grapefruit helps treat this condition, renewing damaged skin,” says Kamburowski. “The potassium in grapefruit helps to smooth wrinkles and age spots and provides a protective shield against UV rays, while amino acids makes the skin firm and soft.” (Check out Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant: Pink Grapefruit & Glucomannan Extract to reap the benefits of this superfood on your skin.)

6. To purify.

Citrus essential oils provide exceptional cleansing benefits to the skin as well as some anti-inflammatory ones, which make them extremely beneficial for healing blemishes or even razor cuts, says Julia Teren of Thesis Beauty.

These oils not only clean, though, they can also deodorize. “Oils like lime and lemon enjoy popularity in deodorants as they also help inhibit odor-producing bacteria,” she explains. “They do a great job deodorizing armpits, feet and hands and controlling sebum production on an over-reactive scalp.” (Kind of gross…but also pretty awesome.)

7. To lift your spirits.

Try citrus as mood-boosting aromatherapy, Teren suggests. “Citrus oils such as bergamot, petitgrain, mandarin and grapefruit are incredibly aromatic and uplifting when used in mists, diffusers, and natural candles,” she says. “They help relieve signs of stress and fatigue, promote relaxation and elevated mood.” For a spa-like unwinding experience, soak in your bathtub with Thesis Beauty’s Dead Sea Bath Salt Citrus Grove, which will benefit your senses and your skin.

Wellness: Affordable Spring-Break Retreats


Blue Lagoon — Grindavik, Iceland

Although Iceland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of spring break, the country's abundance of all natural geothermal spas does make it a top candidate for anyone in need of a little rest and relaxation. Lauded as one of National Geographic's "25 Wonders of the World," the Blue Lagoon's mineral-rich geothermal seawater has developed an international reputation for its healing effects on the skin, and for good reason — the combination of naturally occurring minerals, silica, and algae are known to stimulate collagen synthesis, the process that gives skin its smooth, youthful appearance. The standard rate of €40 ($44) is a rather small price to pay for four hours in a 100-degree, nine million-liter fountain of youth.

Pura Vida Retreat & Spa — Alajuela, Costa Rica

Spanning more than seven acres 4,900 feet above sea level, Pura Vida Retreat and Spa is where you go to find peace in the clouds. The resort's customized three, five, and seven-night mind-body-spirit packages include everything from room accommodations and meals to yoga sessions, massages, eco-adventures, and guided coffee plantation hikes. They even throw in round trip airport transfers to boot. Package rates start as low as $655 per person and nightly rates start at $115.

Tassajara — Carmel Valley, California

Situated in a mountain valley just inland from the iconic Big Sur coast, Tassajara is one of the three practice communities that comprise the San Francisco Zen Center. If you're looking for a later break, beginning in April, Tassajara offers Engaging Earth Retreats with a special focus on nature, wildflowers, and the culinary arts. Whether you sign up for "Cooking and Gardening in the Heart of Tassajara" or the "Zen of Baking," you will have the opportunity to practice bringing the art of Zen more fully into your daily life as you grow more intimate with Tassajara's gardens and kitchen. Retreat rates start at $225.

Wellness: 2016 Trends

Kelp is the new kale

Kelp, a tasty and nutritious variety of seaweed, is poised to become the new "it" green in your diet. "It's really high in protein. It has a lot of great B vitamins that are really hard to get," Brue said. Not convinced? She noted that it took a while for kale to catch on, too, but creative chefs helped make it hugely popular.

Matcha's moment

This Japanese green tea powder has been on trend-watchers' radar for several years, and is finally going mainstream. "A lot of coffee bars have it. A lot of baked goods have it, too," Gelula said. "Matcha is a green tea that comes in a powder form, you can really add it to a lot of things."

Sippable skincare

Dozens of companies are now making beverages loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients to help promote a healthy glow from within. "This is something you could have at your desk in powder form and just add to water. It's filled with lots of things you might have in your multivitamin, things like antioxidants," Gelula said. "This is a big thing we're going to see in 2016."

"These are also targeted for specific issues people might have, like anti-aging ... or anti-acne," Brue added.

Super herbs

Doctors call them "adaptogens," a category that includes herbs such as ginseng and the less-familiar moringa, maca and ashwaganda. "They're herbs that help the body adapt to stress," Gelula said. The therapeutic use of such plants dates back thousands of years.

Holistic health beats dieting

Rather than obsessing about calories or carbs, dieters are increasingly looking at the big picture of what it takes to live a healthy life. Brue noted that even Weight Watchers has a new program "focusing less on points and pounds and more on what it means to be healthy. That's more motivating for women."

Group meditation

No longer just a solo activity, meditation is becoming something to share. "A lot of millennials are getting together in groups to do this as part of their social life," Gelula said. "You might go to a large-scale event. In New York, we recently had one for more than 800 people in an auditorium. And it's young people, which is really heartening; they have stress-management tools early on. But they're also seeing it as a cool part of their lifestyle."

Wellness: Crystal Healing

Clockwise from top left: manganoan calcite; cubic pyrite; prehnite; fairy stone; hematite. CreditPlace 8 Healing

Clockwise from top left: manganoan calcite; cubic pyrite; prehnite; fairy stone; hematite. CreditPlace 8 Healing

“You are drawn to the one you need,” says the crystal healer Azalea Lee at the end of another summer in Los Angeles. Everything is in retrograde, and the variety of soothsayers is exceeded only by the number of patients coming to them, but Lee is reluctant to recommend a crystal to cure a malady — preferring to let her clients find their own. “We have spent our whole lives trusting other people’s authority,” explains Lee about using crystals for healing. “It’s the same with intuition: I want to help people see that they know more.”


Lee’s quiet, airy Place 8 Healing sits nine floors above downtown Los Angeles’s fashion district and reflects her spare, serene sensibility. On custom marble furniture and in glass vitrines are careful arrangements of mineral specimens — from the palest purple labradorites to torso-size clusters of clear spikes — that Lee, who has worked with Tilda Swinton and Roman Coppola, is “fostering” until the right person shows up. “Everything in this world is a vibration, including you,” says Lee, a former wardrobe stylist, who wears a small chip on her earlobe of benitoite, the state gem of California. (On a trip, Lee sifted the stone out of a pile of dirt and “figured out what I was supposed to be doing.”) What we consider the individual self is “one collective harmonic” with notes that can be “bumped out of groove,” she explains of crystal energy healing, adding that while none of this is scientifically validated, she thinks often about metrics in her chosen profession, and the challenge of measuring experiences we can barely describe, like love.

In this framework, crystals, with their “distinct and simplified vibration,” act as a “tuning fork,” and Lee says that the way certain rocks “glow a little bit more or dance a little bit more or radiate” around people can also help her “backwards figure out what a stone is about.” Each year, pockets of minerals surface and are never found again, she explains, their inconsistency making them difficult for larger companies to market. But “they are coming out at the precise moment that the world needs this thing,” Lee says, describing crystals that change color in response to where they are in the world. This month, Lee launched a modern take on metaphysical jewelry, As Above So Below, which includes one-of-a-kind pieces like a “piezoelectric” tourmaline that she says will keep you connected to the earth even when walking on “concrete streets or driving on endless freeways,” and a blue sapphire ring with the slightest ombré, coming to a clear point, for “taking the esotericism and organizing it into words and concepts that make sense.”


For a recent crystal healing session, Lee arranged dozens of rocks on my torso. I fidgeted; they fell off. “Go to a place where you feel safe,” Lee intoned, but I could not think of one. She raced around trying new stone combinations and eventually, with her prodding, I had a vision — and I said out loud, with embarrassing confidence, that I had found a lake of ideas, full and deep, that I’d forgotten was inside me. Afterward, Lee laid out the crystals that elicited the most “significant reactions”: some brilliantly colored, connected to self-esteem and letting go, and an unremarkable-looking brown-banded agate. I reached first for the agate and Lee, delighted, had me hold it up to the window. This rock, too, has a secret pocket of water — trapped inside when the stone hardened around it — a tiny wave visible only against a light. “Your fears are not my fears,” Lee says, of the “shamanic” process of choosing a crystal. “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have to deal with negative stuff, even if it’s just from themselves.” (She confides that energy healers are known to gain weight as they get deeper into their practice, the added “density” balancing their intense spiritual focus on others.)

For T, Lee offers five crystal types that she finds especially relevant to modern ailments, like jet lag and pending deadlines.


One of the stones Lee most often uses in private crystal healing sessions, this “triangularly stacked manganoan calcite from China helps people learn how to receive love.” Lee says. “From those who have difficulty accepting compliments to singles who feel romantically marginalized, manganoan calcite works to dispel the false belief that others are more important and deserve more love than oneself.” She adds that the stone is especially suited for mothers who give attention but who may feel guilty letting themselves be taken care of.


“A wonderful stone for those dealing with low self-esteem and self-worth,” prehinite “gently encourages self-confidence in one’s being,” says Lee, who applies it to work and relationships. “Prehinite works with understanding how these negative feelings are preventing one from creating what one wants most in their life. It also helps those who are in recovery from addictions gain encouragement in believing in themselves.”


“For helping manifest projects from conception into full physical reality,” Lee recommends trying pyrite, which comes in many different crystal forms including this natural cubic version only found in Spain. “As the cube is the most stable form in the physical universe, this form of pyrite is ideal for those who are working to manifest complete discrete projects with a definite beginning and end,” Lee says. “It is an ideal crystal to keep at the computer at your desk to help one follow through and complete those work projects on deadline.”


Composed of petrified mud, these stones from Quebec were used by the native Algonquin Indians as talismans of protection for their homes, Lee says. “The stones do exude a feeling of safety, relaxation and comfort, which is exactly what you want a home to feel like. Because these stones give such beautiful emanations of safety and coziness, they can also be specifically used as baby soul homing devices for those seeking to have a child.”


“If I could choose the number one stone everybody could use, this would be it,” Lee says, noting that city dwellers with “modern technological lives” can often use extra “grounding” energy from the iron-rich mineral. “If you think of your own blood, a major component is iron,” and it’s also the earth’s core, its “root chakra,” Lee says. Hematite can be used to reorient “sleep patterns that are disrupted by jet lag. It is also is amazing for helping maintain strong energetic boundaries from others’ thoughts and feelings,” and for “getting one’s head out of the clouds into the moment right now so that one may apply real, practical solutions to life.”

Travel: Privé Jets

Prive Jets - Amin & Co. - Luxury Brand Marketing

The holidays are a time for family to come together, but when a loved one falls ill air travel is a precarious decision to make. Commercial airlines do not have the facilities or personal to take care of a patient that needs special attention.

Privé Jets sets the standard for private jet service with their On-Demand Jet Charter services. Their dedicated team of highly trained, multilingual travel consultants and affiliates around the world are available 24/7 to ensure a personalized, enhanced experience for patients who have to travel. With access to over 6,000 private jets worldwide, Privé Jets are the leading provider of global private aviation and jet charter travel for leisure, medical and corporate itineraries.

If a flight requires special care, Privé Jets can arrange an air ambulance that will have the medical equipment necessary to ensure a safe flight. Over the years, Privé Jets has helped patients that have been unable to travel commercially due to an emergency or delicate health condition. Privé Jets air ambulance has transported Cancer patients, facilitated Hospital transfers and Repatriations. If a patient’s health condition is delicate, but does not require an air ambulance, Privé Jets can also arrange a private jet charter with a nurse or doctor on board.

As an award-winning private jet charter company, and proud INC 5000 company, Privé Jets strives to provide the highest level of personal service while offering meaningful experiences for all of their private jet charter customers worldwide. Don’t make the mistake of settling for sub-par service to book your next vacation. Fly superior with Privé Jets. Visit to learn more about the company.

Wellness: Optimize your Cleanse

Amin & Co. - Social Media, Marketing, Consulting Dallas - Travel, Beauty, Wellness

3 Ways to Optimize Your Cleanse

With a more softly-softly approach to detoxing, the new cleanses are more about flavor than fasting, designed to help us to meet our needs in real-time.

Below you'll find tips from three global specialists, on upgrading your cleanse.

Think of it as mind and body rehab.

Dr Lavinia Ionita: "To gently detoxify the body’s organs, I advise clients to do a three-day vegetable juice cleanse in the space of a week, alternating ‘green’ days (cabbage, kale, broccoli, spinach, apples and cucumber) with ‘red-orange’ days (beetroot, tomato, ginger and carrots). Use a slow juice extractor (90 t/min max), like the Jazz Max to make your juices (".

Delphine Farjat, naturopath: "To get the most out of a week-long detox, eat a light lunch and opt for a mono-food dinner – as much as you like of a single seasonal vegetable, or a vegetable soup. The less complex a meal, the easier to digest and the more your body is at rest. Add a little aloe vera juice into the mix to aid liver drainage and consider an clay cleanse, to re-mineralize and purify the body."

Louise de Sayve, naturopath: "Maximize the benefits of your cleanse by enriching mineral water with floral waters, wild carrot, juniper and rosemary (a tablespoon of each, per liter) all of which are packed with active molecules that will help drain your body of toxins. Wake up each morning to a glass of warm water and a spoonful of fresh pollen to cleanse the digestive system, along with a green juice, sprinkled with anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric. The kidneys work overtime during a detox, so stimulate them by rubbing vigorously every day with a drop of black spruce oil."



Beauty: Carrot Oil


Oils are saving our skin one drop at time. Coconut, avocado and rose hip oils have all had their time in the spotlight. But one that's flown under the radar for decades is carrot oil. In fact, you probably have on a skin-care product with carrot oil in it right now and you had no idea. So why is it worth using? 

Carrot oil, like whole raw carrots, is loaded with beta-carotene and, therefore, vitamin A. Amandine Isnard, head of product development for cult skin-care brand Eve Lom, explains: “Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A when applied topically, as the necessary enzymes and conditions for this process are also present in the skin."

Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant that helps slow the signs of aging through cell regeneration, and helps protect your skin from environmental damage like UV rays and pollution. On top of that, it is a powerful moisturizer and has high levels of lycopene, which have been proven to help balance oily skin.

Isnard uses the most concentrated and pure form of carrot oil in many of the Eve Lom products, like their best selling Radiance Lift cream, as one of their (not-so) secret skin-care weapons, because vitamin A "stimulates general metabolism of cells and their mitosis, increases skin elasticity and softness…contributes to proper skin metabolism, improves scars and dryness, and it also notably diminishes the effects that age cause on skin."

Interested? Try these carrot-loaded products: 

Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, $60

Famacy Hydrating Mask, $24

Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream, $235

bareMinerals Ready Bronzer, $24


Travel: Sub-Saharan Africa

Amin & Co. - Wellness Tourism Marketing

Economic growth has helped make Sub-Saharan Africa the world’s fastest-growing market for wellness tourism, and North Africa the second fastest, according to a Stanford Research Institute report for Miami-based Global Wellness Institute.

The Stanford study covered Mauritius, South Africa, Seychelles, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, among others.

Wellness travel is travel for the purpose of promoting well being through physical, psychological, or spiritual activities, according to

In 2013, sub-Sahara saw 4.2 million wellness trips with visitors spending $3.2 billion on wellness. This was a $575-million increase over 2012.

This increase is partly due to economic growth of countries such as South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, which all increased presence and demand of wellness players, TourismReview reports.

North Africa was the second fastest-growing area for wellness tourism, along with the Middle East. Though wealthier than sub-Saharan Africa, it had a slower rate of growth despite 7 million wellness trips and $7.3 billion in revenue in 2013.

A 2015 Trend Report by Spafinder identified some travel trends and made some predictions about how the market will evolve and what customers will want and expect for 2015 and coming years, TourismReview reports.

Here area few of the findings:

  • Spas are combining the concept of wellness with an old-but-new-again product: cannabis. After its liberalization in some North American states, high-end tours with luxury experiences are emerging.
  • In Africa and the Middle East, spas are increasingly enhancing wellness treatments with Islamic cures that go beyond hammams. They’re rediscovering the benefits of dust-baths, mud-baths,  and the factors, ingredients and experiences tied to local wellness culture, according to TourismReview.
  • Social fitness is becoming more about a sense of belonging to a community. Groups attend big fitness events but also visit venues such as traditional spas that offer special packages. This trend is seeing exponential growth by specialized tour operators, according to TourismReview.
  • The luxury trend in wellness at the most exclusive venues is not about celebrities but about experiences, TourismReview reports. New luxury means exotic and local — plenty of space and solitude. Less is more.
  • In 2015 expect a new ritual in travel: spas in airports. Air carriers offer arriving passengers wellness services in their lounges as a courtesy service for jet-lag recovery.

Europe and North America are leading the wellness tourism market, according to the Stanford Research Institute report. Asia ranks third, TourismReview reports.


Wellness: Flawless Skin with Tea

Amin & Co. - Wellness Marketing - Girl's Guide to Wellness

You probably already know that green tea can give you brighter, tighter skin (the natural antioxidants do wonders for your complexion), but did you know that most herbal teas have similar beauty advantages?

Black tea fights free radicals, rooibos clears up acne, and the caffeine in mate helps minimize puffiness. Plus, you don't even have to drink these tinctures to get all the good-skin effects. You can slather them all over your face or take a soak in the leaves instead. Keep reading to shop our favorite tea-infused beauty buys. 

For Dry Skin

You could DIY your own tea-infused face scrub, but Tea Face ($25) is the perfect solution without the mess in your bathroom sink. The tea leaves are soaked in coconut oil and ylang ylang to create an all-natural exfoliant.

For Dull Skin

Kusmi Tea BB Detox ($16) is your Monday morning must have after a weekend of partying and imbibing. The blend is a mix of mate and green tea with the flavor of grapefruit. This concoction is packed with antioxidants like vitamins A and C, making your Saturday night antics a distant memory. Here's a toast to brighter skin!

For Itchy Skin

Remember the oatmeal baths you had to take when you had chicken pox? Well, theOsmia Organics Tea Bath ($45) is the grown-up version of that. The mix contains epsom salt, chamomile, spearmint, and oats to soften rough patches. It's perfect for women suffering from eczema and psoriasis.


For Oily Skin

In addition to the antioxidant benefits, tea can also have astringent and antibacterial properties. The Maijan Clarify Healing Herbal Facial Steam ($13) has chamomile, rosemary, lemongrass, and eucalyptus to detox oily skin. Just pour the leaves in a bowl of hot water, and let the steam flow over your face under a towel.

For Puffy Eyes

Yes, the Yogi Skin Detox Tea ($5) is great to drink for the green tea's antioxidant benefits, but you can also use the tea bags to help with puffiness. The caffeine in this drink can be used to tighten up the blood vessels under the eyes. Just steep them in cool water and place over the area cucumber-style.


Beauty: The Workout Glow

Amin & Co. - beauty and wellness marketing

5 Ways Working Out Benefits Your Skin

Beyond heart health and bone building, exercise has a positive effect on your skin’s appearance, too. Here’s why:

  1. Exercise makes you sweat. Sweat purges your body of toxins that can clog pores and plague your skin with pimples and blemishes. "The body only has so many mechanisms to rid itself of toxins — the kidneys, the liver, and the skin," says Sandra M. Johnson, MD, a dermatologist with Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Ark. "Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, increases neuronal stimulation, and allows the sweat glands to increase their functions and rid the toxins." Once you sweat out those toxins, it's important to wash them off — you don't want to leave them sitting on your skin. Always shower after a workout to prevent bacterial or fungal infections that may occur from dirt clogging up your pores.
  2. Exercise tones your muscles. The more toned you are beneath your skin, the healthier your skin will look and feel. The stronger and firmer your muscles are, says Johnson, the more support your skin will have, and the more firm and elastic it will appear. Toning your muscles may also help to minimize the appearance of cellulite, the dimply fat that often strikes thighs and buttocks. You can't exercise cellulite away, but you can help it look better.
  3. Exercise boosts oxygen and blood flow to the skin. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts blood flow enough in type 2 diabetics to help reduce the risk of skin problems that lead to amputation. Exercise gets the blood flowing, and that increased blood flow carries more oxygen to the skin. The boost in blood flow and oxygen to the skin cells also carries nutrients that improve skin health, supporting all the effort you make with moisturizers and other skin care products on the skin surface.
  4. Exercise eases stress. Exercise has long been known as a great way to relieve stress. Those mind-body benefits may extend to your complexion. Though studies are small, some show that stress may worsen, if not actually trigger, acne. Stress may also trigger flare-ups of psoriasis. It’s known to boost hormone production and suppress the body's ability to heal, but regular workouts can keep stress — and possibly hard-to-manage skin conditions — under control. When you’re feeling tense, let exercise keep any frown lines at bay, too.
  5. Exercise gives your complexion a beautiful, natural glow. When you exercise, your skin begins to produce more of its natural oils that help skin look supple and healthy. While that can naturally moisturize skin, remember to cleanse your face gently as part of your skin care routine when you shower to prevent any breakouts.

Make exercise your secret skin care ingredient for a young, healthier, and smoother complexion.



Travel: Six Senses NEW Resort

Amin & Co. - Bespoke digital marketing and consulting for travel, beauty and wellness brands

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced that it will develop a resort in the southwest of Bali at Uluwatu, a 35-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport. The resort is set atop a rugged cliff, sharing the spectacular ocean views with the island’s famed Uluwatu Temple.

Drawing upon the renowned Six Senses commitment of providing top-tier facilities wedded to environmental responsibility, the resort and spa has been brilliantly designed and when combined with the innovative spirit of the owners, PT Cahaya Warna Prima, it will result in a rare development.

True to Six Senses inimitable style, Six Senses Bali will include 28 sky villas, 62 one-­bedroom villas and seven two-bedroom villas that draw upon the local culture, embrace nature and offer every creature comfort.  The ultimate in Six Senses accommodations, the expansive and beautifully-appointed Retreat Villa, sits on a prominent knoll with sweeping views of the ocean and overall resort.  Two restaurants, a pool bar and a specialty restaurant with chef’s table, cooking school and extensive organic garden are planned.  

Situated on a 30-acre site, the project will be completed in two stages. The first phase includes the resort which rests on 16 acres, while phase two includes 60 residential villas available for purchase including luxurious three-bedroom family retreats.

“Six Senses is delighted to work with PT Cahaya Warna Prima on the Uluwatu development. The location is incredible and the design approach perfect for our brand. Innovative and fresh, this project will offer a new dimension in wellness for active and health-minded travelers,” said President Bernhard Bohnenberger of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

In a famed island environment so deeply rooted with wellness and personal care, Six Senses Spa will be right in its element. The spa will feature locally-inspired specialty treatments together with an extensive menu of signature therapies. There will be something for everyone, from multi-day wellness programs to rejuvenation therapies and detox, as well as a selection of activities and complimentary morning yoga.

In addition to the Six Senses Spa, on-site activities will include a vast central pool and a gym. An event lawn will enhance the facilities of a beautiful ballroom, two meeting rooms and a wedding pavilion. The resort’s own Balinese temple will create a tranquil setting and present the true essence of the island’s deep cultural beliefs.

Six Senses Bali will include an Experiences Center that can arrange visits to everything that this legendary island has to offer, from sightseeing excursions, to cultural events plus over and underwater activities. This coastline is also one of the top places on the island see spectacular sunsets with sweeping panoramas out to the Indian Ocean.

Uluwatu is perhaps best known for Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of the six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 250 feet (70 meters) above the sea. Ulu means top or tip and watu means stone or rock in Bahasa Indonesia. Several archaeological remains found here prove the temple to be of megalithic origin, dating back to around the 10th century.

Six Senses Bali is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017.


Spa: 5 MUST-Visit Global Spas

South Africa: Karkloof Safari Spa
Set within the heart of a scenic game reserve, Africa’s largest spa and 5 star resort is the ultimate upmarket retreat. Enhance your well-being with a choice of wellness programmes, from detox to weight management, whilst enjoying nutritious organic cuisine and exploring an exotic list of natural spa treatments, with up to eleven treatments each day. Experience an unforgettable adventure through the African wilderness with your own private guide and vehicle, or work up a sweat with guided hikes and mountain biking trips.

Thailand: Soneva Kiri 
Escape to the secluded Thai island of Koh Kood where luxury wellness retreat Soneva Kiri takes indulgence to a whole new level. Taking inspiration from local Asian practices, the Six Senses Spa offers a range of holistic treatments which complement a choice of tailor-made yoga, detox, de-stress and fitness programmes. Reach new heights with Treepod dining; a culinary experience of the utmost luxury. Suspended in the forest canopy, take in breath-taking coastline views, whilst your waiter delivers gourmet delights via zip line. 


Bali: Como Shambhala
Set in 9 acres of lush tropical surroundings, this multi-award winning retreat offers a holistic approach to luxury wellness. Choose from a number of tailor-made wellness programmes, from detox to fitness, whilst giving a boost to your well-being with healthy cuisine, a dedicated Ayurvedic doctor, yoga and daily morning walks. Pay a visit to healing spring waters of The Source or unwind by the infinity pool of your own private villa, whilst having your every need taken care of by your own personal assistant

Oman: Zighy Bay
Unwind in the lap of luxury at Zighy Bay in Oman, where ancient holistic treatments at the Six Senses Spa and expert wellness consultants will set you on the right path towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. From cleansing detox diets, to yogic practice, personal fitness and adrenaline fuelled adventure activities, this luxury wellness retreat caters to your every desire. Raise your heart rate with paragliding or scuba diving and make the most of Zighy Bay’s secluded private bay on a traditional dhow cruise at sunset.

Turks & Caicos: Parrot Cay
It doesn’t get more exclusive than a luxury wellness retreat situated on its own private island. Guests seeking the ultimate luxury escape can rent their own private ocean villa, complete with a dedicated butler to meet your every need. Heal with holistic therapies at the award-winning spa, explore the coastline with catamaran sailing and stand-up paddle boarding, and complete your well-being venture with daily beach yoga and Pilates classes. Dine in style with private beach picnics, tiki hut dinners or pool side meals at your private villa. 

Wellness: Massages (Infographic)

wellness marketing - amin & co.

Everyone loves the luxury of getting a massage. Whether it’s a special treat during that elusive tropical vacation, part of a medical rehabilitation program for an athletic injury, or to fight off pain, the reasons people seek out massage therapy vary greatly.

There are a number of common massage techniques employed by massage therapists. These techniques include shiatsu, deep tissue, Swedish, trigger point, hot stone, sports, aromatherapy, prenatal, lymphatic, and reflexology massages. Each technique focuses on different ways to target your body’s muscles, and the massage type you choose will depend on your reason for getting a massage in the first place. Trying to relax? Try a Swedish massage or a hot stone massage. Need help alleviating ongoing, persistent pain? Try trigger point massage, deep tissue massage, aromatherapy massage, or if the pain is brought on by labor, a prenatal massage. Some forms of massage are believed to be as effective for relieving pain as medication.

There are steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your massage, too. Don’t eat before going to your massage, alert your massage therapist to any allergies, and report any discomfort during the massage. Make sure you drink extra water after the massage is over, as well.’s guide to massage therapy will help you identify the most appropriate type of massage to improve your lifestyle and meet your needs, and we will provide more tips along the way to make sure you get the most from the experience. Read on to learn everything you need to know about booking your next massage.

Tech: Waking Up is Hard to Do


Hitting the snooze button is generally understood to be bad for you—the extra sleep you're getting isn't of a very good quality, and on top of that you have to choose between missing breakfast and missing your bus. If you really can't resist the temptation to take another twenty minutes under the covers on your own, here are some ideas and apps to help you break out of the habit.

1. Get moving

It's a lot more difficult to get back to sleep once you're up and about and talking to the cat about how much work to have to get done today. There are quite a few alarm clock apps out there that won't shut up until you've actually clambered out of bed and walked a few steps: SpinMe Alarm Clock ($1.99 on iOS, free on Android) is worth investigating if you need something like this and so is Step Out Of Bed! ($1.99 on iOS). By the time you've staggered all the way to the door you should be able to escape the clutches of sleep successfully.

2. Talk to a stranger

the luxe passport - wakie app

You have to hand it to Wakie for a novel idea—tapping into the app's community of users so you can have a stranger from somewhere else in the world wake you up at a specified time (and vice versa, if you so wish). It's anonymous and free (because everyone's volunteering), and the calls are automatically cut off after one minute, so the awkward small talk is kept to a minimum. Get up on time, and meet someone new as well, all before breakfast. The app is available for AndroidiOS and Windows Phone.

3. Wake up naturally

There are a ton of apps and gizmos to pick from if you want to be woken up with a slow increase in light or sound that's more soothing than a shrill, piercing, robotic ringtone. If you need help choosing, we'd suggest Sleep Cycle ($0.99 on Android and iOS) for giving you a nudge at the right point in your circadian rhythm, Rise ($1.99 on iOS) for waking up to a more relaxing set of sounds, and the Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light ($69.99) or something similar for slowly filling your room with light to ease you into the day.

4. Exercise your brain

Your brain might think it wants another ten minutes in bed, but it doesn't—not really. Make sure your pre-sleep common sense wins out by setting yourself a task to complete before your alarm will switch off: I Can't Wake Up! (free on Android, free with in-app purchases on iOS) lets you set one of eight tasks first thing in the morning, from matching pairs of words to doing maths equations. It may seem like the most annoying app in the world the first few times you use it, but you'll soon be grateful for its help in smoothing out your sleep cycle.

5. Use a wearable

Almost any fitness tracker or smartwatch worth its salt has a vibrate alarm feature, from the Jawbone UP24 ($129.99) to the Fitbit Charge (four cents cheaper at $129.95)—if you're in the market for a new wearable, make sure it has a smart or silent alarm feature if you're going to find it useful. There are new products coming out all the time, such as the Kickstarter-funded Sense (also, oddly, $129) — it monitors the atmosphere in your room as well as your sleep patterns to help you get up and moving at the right time.

Image by PrinceOfLove/Shutterstock


Interview: Q&A with Chase of KYPRIS

Chase Polan - Kypris Beauty - Amin & Co. - The LUXE Passport - Green Beauty Marketing

Name & Age:

Chase Polan, 33

Professional Title:

Founder & CEO of KYPRIS.

Describe your brand and/or product:

KYPRIS is a luxurious, natural cosmeceutical skin care line that weds the best of green science with organic, biodynamic, wild-crafted, and sustainably grown botanicals for an ecstatic experience of your beauty.

Where do you see your brand in the next 3 years?

More of what we're doing now i.e. serving the most luxurious spas, beautiful apothecary and specialty retailers, and choice wellness offices. I would also like to deliver stronger sustainability initiatives with clearer metrics of success and performance. 

In your opinion, what does it take to have to a powerful LUXE brand?

Superior quality product, excellent customer service, and a strong brand story that informs the experience.

Who has been your greatest mentor(s)?

There are many, but I would say the mentors I connect with most often are from my Green Spa Network family, which if you love spa and luxury, you must visit their website. 

Rona Berg, who is the editor in chief at Organic Spa Magazine, is one of the most informed, aware, well educated, well traveled person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing in our industry. I am appreciative of Rona because I learn from her every time I speak to her, and she has generously supported me and my brand.

Lisa Sykes who is the current head of sustainability for Universal Companies is someone who I can talk through challenging sustainability and sourcing issues. We are very like-minded when it comes to sustainability concerns and the future of the luxury beauty. I am grateful to her for her generous wisdom and support working through what can be difficult issues. 

And Leslie Johnson who developed many of the programs Miraval is famous for is now at the Arizona Biltmore. She has this golden touch when it comes to imbuing spirit in what we typically think of as mundane experiences. I am grateful to her for her immense wisdom creating beautiful experiences for people they don't even know they are craving. 

Without these three incredible women, KYPRIS would be a different brand.

kyris - luxury beauty - luxury beauty marketing

What are some 2015 brand goals?

Brand collaborations, team building, and expanding our offerings. 

I love the practice of co-branding with causes that align with KYPRIS values. We just launched in a philosophy of living by Donna Karan in Aspen, and we could not be more excited. The Urban Zen Foundation furthers integrative medicine educate which is vital to our collective well being as well as where KYPRIS has its roots.  I could not be more excited for KYPRIS to  supporting their cause. I hope we can do even more.

If you could invite ANY 3 individuals for an intimate dinner who would they be and what would you ask?

Diane Ackerman - I would love to learn about her research and creative processes.

Ruth Reichl - I would love to go to the farmer's market and cook with her all the while talking about her aversion to writing that magically churns out beautiful work.

Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank - I would love to learn more about the successes and evolution of organic growing practices being developed, used, and taught through out the world.

LUXE travel essentials?

Cashmere blanket, audible books on my iPhone, and a bottle of my Beauty Elixir II: Healing Bouquet for its moisture and calming essential oils.

Any business tips and/or favorite quotes of wisdom to share with our readers?

Time is currency. Be careful how you invest.

Wellness: Staying Fit on the Road


1. Use the Coffee Maker

The coffee maker is for more than just making coffee in the hotel room. Pack your own healthy, easy, non-perishable snacks, like instant oatmeal packages or trail mix. The hot water you can make with Mr. Coffee can be used to prep healthy breakfast foods like oatmeal. Avoid the continental breakfast with gooey pastries and cheese-filled belly busters, and see if you can snag some Greek yogurt or fresh fruit to add to your healthy meal.

2. Pack a Workout

A jump rope, a resistance band, and a Polar heart rate monitor. They take up less room than a hair dryer and are the most time efficient travel workout tools. Using the heart rate monitor to work in your maximum fat-burning zone saves you time – a 10 minute workout in your maximum zone can do as much good as an hour on the treadmill. I love Polar’s F7 because it also tracks calories burned and is simple to use.

3. Open the Mini-Bar

Hit the grocery store before the hotel, shove the tiny vodkas and $10 M&M’s to the side and stock your fridge with baby carrots, pre-cooked, yogurt and fresh fruit. Having your own food can cut down on those excess calories you don’t want or need. Prep yourself and have something healthy on hand to minimize the damage of vacation snacking. With a little planning, there are no food excuses!

4. Pack Sneakers

Are you going to work out in flip-flops? Not likely! If you can’t cram your regular workout shoes into your suitcase, invest in a pair of lightweight sneakers specifically for travel. They just need to be good enough for a walk, run or a tight cardio session, and they’ll be enough to keep you protected and ready to move.

5. Walk the Town

What better way to experience the city you’re in than on foot? Ask the hotel staff for some sights within walking distance – shops, parks or neat neighborhoods. See if you can walk instead of taking shuttle buses or driving. Make it a rule that if the route is under a mile, you have to walk!

6. Every Hotel has a Fitness Center – Use It

Plan ahead – pick a hotel that has a fitness center where you can actually workout. If you don’t, or don’t have time to use it, your room can be your fitness center. Fit in a quick 5 minute workout with your jump rope, resistant bands and heart rate monitor.

7. Wake Up Early

I can hear the groans already, but it’s true. Typically at the end of your day you’re not in the mood to exercise. Rise & shine 30 minutes before you normally would and get it over with. It may seem like a chore, but studies have proven that working out gives you more energy and makes you much more conscientious about your food choices throughout the day – why not start the day out right?

8. Drink the Water

Flying dehydrates you because of lack of humidity in the cabin air, so stay away from drinking anything caffeinated or alcoholic when you travel. It will dehydrate you and put you off your plan for the rest of your vacation. Try to drink a glass of water every hour on the plane. If you’re sick of water, try club soda with a twist of lemon. Your body will thank you for it.

9. Calm Down

Relax. No one expects you to stick to your normal fitness plan 100%. If you can get 10 minutes in every day and stick to normal foods for 2/3 of your meals, you should come out of your trip in the same condition you left. You can be good to your body and still enjoy yourself – it’s the summer!