The “Three Wow” policy is what sets the Red Door Spas apart from the competition, according to Cornelia Zicu, Global Chief Creative Officer of the venerable spa and and hair care authority. This philosophy maintains that every guest should say at least three “Wows” during their spa treatment. If it doesn’t happen, then a Red Door Spas professional will go the extra mile to further enhance the guest’s experience. Nurturing and maintaining beauty—both physical and within—is very important to the Spas’ aesthetic and also to Ms. Zicu. We chat with the CCO about her beauty regimen, her Romanian roots, skincare in the 30s and beyond, and how to maintain a youthful appearance—with or without a doctor’s help.
What is your beauty philosophy?
For me, beauty is a state of mind; a reflection of health and happiness. Beauty is not just about having good skin and wearing nice makeup–it’s also about having a combination of well-being and glamour. You have to be nice and beautiful inside and outside to attract the admiration from others.
Can proper facial treatments and skincare prevent the need for Botox, fillers, and facelifts?
It depends on what makes you happy. For my beauty standard, having a healthy and glowing complexion that can be achieved by doing facials, using good products, and having a consistent home skincare routine is enough. People who start using Botox at the right age and who stick to a consistent monthly facial, use sun protection, and constantly remove the dead skin layers (microdermabrasion, acid peels, scrubs, etc.) can look much younger than their peers. At any age, a few expression lines should be accepted as a sign of wisdom.
Your Romanian roots and international travels have given you a wealth of knowledge about indigenous skincare remedies and secret family beauty recipes. How does the Romanian skincare philosophy differ from that of the US?
In Eastern Europe, we start at an early age to understand the synergy between the human body and nature. We also learn from our families that a good diet and skin that is in a healthy condition can keep you away from doctors. In our culture, beauty is part of the everyday lifestyle, like the way skiing is part of the Austrians’ lifestyle. Another special thing about us is that we are not afraid to show our love to others and we believe our touch is healing. We also like to make others feel beautiful and happy. We like to take care of others.
What one thing can women do to improve their complexions?
First, we have to permanently protect our skin from the sun. Second we have to religiously clean our skin and never go to sleep before removing makeup. To have a great complexion, we should prevent large pores, pigmentation, and dehydration. To achieve these we should use a cleanser with AHA twice a week (evening is better), exfoliate a minimum of once a week, use a good hydration mask at least once a week or everyday for 15 minutes if we have time, and use products with strong antioxidants, peptides, minerals, fatty acids, and vitamins. A good diet is crucial to assuring a balanced metabolism.
What should women in their 30s look for in skincare? What should they look for when they are 40?
At 30, we should avoid facial expressions because the collagen level is lower now and this will easily produce expression lines. I recommend you test pH levels once a week and try to keep this at a healthy balance because a pH level high in acid will speed up the aging process and can affect your health. A pinch of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water will turn our pH to alkaline when we need it. Drinking water first thing in the morning to replace the water lost during sleep is necessary for good body hydration. Replacing hot water with warm water during a shower is another mandatory step to prevent skin dehydration. Your daily skin routine should now include products with retinoid, ceramides, AHA, and other strong ingredients that will prevent age signs. Cleaning your teeth with baking soda once a week for whitening is a good for the mouth-pH balance. Staying active and happy is important for attitude, too.
At 40 years old, we go through big hormonal changes and we have to start carefully taking care of our hair, bone density, body shape, skin elasticity, swollen feet, body energy, and sleep quality. Our diet should be rich in calcium and vitamin D, folic acid, and some vitamins and berries are vital for overall good health. We should watch our daily caloric intake and stay very active. Drinking enough water for ligaments, muscle structure, and skin elasticity is a must at this age. Apply a good body lotion after showering, take a weekly bath with marine salt to de-stress and help with swollen feet.
Twice a year, I recommend a detoxification program. Fruits with enzymes are great and should be part of your breakfast at least 2-3 times a week. Probiotic food and probiotic products are essential for a healthy digestive system to function correctly. At this age, our beauty is more affected by our health and lifestyle and we have to be more alert. Everyday at night and morning, use a rich and hydrating cream on the neck and décolleté. A specialized eye cream (not just a generic brand) for morning and another one for evening will work wonders. Specialized serums before using a moisturizer (such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, peptide, collagen, etc.) will help to prevent signs of aging.
Tell us about the new Red Door skincare line. Is there a hero product?
The Red Door Spa Professional collection is 100 years of experience and knowledge in a jar. We created each product around a strong ingredient that we know is vital for a glowing and healthy complexion. The Red Door Spa Professional collection is a perfect combination of nature and science and provides our therapists with the tools needed to deliver value in each customized treatment for our guests. Our expert aestheticians were involved in perfecting the texture and consistency for each product.
Dr. Bryan Mendelson, a prominent plastic surgeon in Toorak, Australia, does not believe the modern-day adage “you can always tell if someone has had surgery.” In fact, good surgery, by definition, should be undetectable. For over twenty-five years, Dr. Mendelson has done research on facial anatomy and facial aging, and has further advanced the techniques of aesthetic surgery to provide natural and long-lasting rejuvenation for patients. Dr. Mendelson has recently written a book called In Your Face, where he discusses the real reasons why patients undergo aesthetic surgery. It is, he says, “About enhanced self esteem and self confidence, not about changing looks to impress people.” He currently maintains a private practice at The Centre for Facial Plastic Surgery in Victoria, Australia, and was past president of ISAPS.
As an aesthetic plastic surgeon, what inspirated you write In Your Face, a book about the physical and psychological importance of the face?
Writing In Your Face became almost an imperative for me because of the complete difference in what patients were telling me about the benefits of their surgery compared to what you read in the media. It is about enhanced self esteem and self confidence, not about changing looks to impress people. For this reason, in the book I included 12 stories, written by 12 patients, explaining why they decided to have surgery and how it impacted their lives.
When you think about it, this is the only real information available about why people undergo aesthetic surgery. While we can be critical of the media for the sensationalist perspective they give in what they publish about cosmetic surgery: the bizarre, the ridiculous and extreme—the reality is that normal people who undergo surgery are intensely private about it. They do not wish it to be known. Although this may be more so in some communities than others, it is certainly the attitude of plastic surgery patients in Australia, as it is in more traditional parts of the United States and elsewhere. The real market is not Los Angeles, Dallas, and Miami.
So what exactly drives us to go under the knife? Is it purely cosmetic or is it part of an inherent drive for survival?
The “need” that motivates patients to undergo surgery is inherent in the human makeup. People have a need to feel satisfied about their life and particularly their appearance. In fact, what is portrayed in the media tends to confuse people and discourages them from undergoing surgery. This is because of the media expectation that people who have surgery always look ridiculous. This has lead to a widespread misunderstanding about aesthetic facial surgery that “you can always tell if someone has had surgery.” Of course, this is simply not correct—as plastic surgeons know and people who have had good surgery know. Good surgery is, by definition, undetectable.
What do you think the future holds for the field of plastic surgery–in terms of patient expectations and medical/surgical advancements?
Aesthetic facial surgery faces many challenges, largely because of increasingly high and unrealistic patient expectations. Gen Yers have grown up with plastic surgery always being available, which was not the case for previous generations who are more appreciative of what can be done for them. The challenge for surgeons is to refine the surgery to be more predictable. But the desire for predictability often comes with compromise in obtaining the highest quality. I hope that through presenting this perspective in the book, patients will be better informed. Aesthetic facial surgery is, after all, surgery with inherent, although small, risks.
The development of an aesthetic sense in the surgeon is a real concern for the specialty. Most trainees go into surgery on account of their aptitude for the technical—not artistic aspects. But we all know that good surgery requires good aesthetic judgment as well as good surgical technique. Surgeons are taught various formulas that help explain good appearance. However, given the complexity and multidimensional nature of facial aesthetics, these are a rather simplistic starting point. Following these formulas alone does not take into account the minutiae of variations that exist in the face and is one of the major reasons for “obvious celebrity surgery.”
What is physiognomy and why is it important for successful surgical outcomes?
Physiognomy is basically “judging a book by its cover.” In other words, judging a persons’ character based on their appearance. This was taken seriously right from the time of the Ancient Greeks, who idealized beauty, and it reached its nadir with the work of Lavater who wrote at length on the subject in the late 1700s.
Lavater defined physiognomy as “a science or knowledge of the correspondence between the external and invisible man.” The difficulty with this is the relationship between looks and judging a person’s morality, as if the face truly reflected the person’s inner being.
In its simplest form, attractive people are automatically regarded as being good people, whereas unattractive people as bad. It is a form of discrimination based on the lottery of life. There is no doubt that many people are born with the “wrong face” or with aging, the wrong face develops, which does not reflect the person within. This is the main reason people undergo facial rejuvenation surgery. What they see in the mirror and the way they are treated because of their appearance is different to who they have always been and who they really are.
Does knowing the history of plastic surgery make you a better surgeon? Have technological advancements paralleled patients’ expectations of a more natural look?
The history of plastic surgery is a fascinating subject on two grounds. First is the extraordinary ability of ancient surgeons to repair defects on the face using tissue from nearby or from remote places such as the arm. This was being practiced in biblical times by a few practitioners, particularly in India, and then later in Italy and Sicily. The deformity that arose from, for example, the loss of the tip of a nose was so hideous that people would go to extraordinary lengths to try to regain a sense of normalcy.
The other aspect is the fact that people from time immemorial would go to great lengths for their appearance. Not out of a 21st century fashion sense but because it is fundamental to who we are and the way we are treated.
It was only late in the twentieth century that the quality of surgery had advanced to the point that it became possible to rejuvenate a person’s appearance and let it be completely undetectable. This requires anatomical-based surgery to tighten laxity of the support layer beneath the skin, rather than the conventional simple skin pulling. This requires real training of the surgeon, which is beyond cosmetic practitioners.
Unfortunately, with the recent explosion of cosmetic procedures, particularly with camouflage fillers and neurotoxins, there are more and more practitioners coming into the field with less and less training. For the public, it is becoming a matter of being informed as to how to select a surgeon with an aesthetic eye, technical ability, and experience to deliver natural looking results. These surgeons are the quiet minority and are not found by reading advertisements in profile publications or in tourist destinations.
A certain elitist image comes to mind when you think of “Beverly Hills,” but cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Glosman wants to change that. A beautiful smile and healthy teeth should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds, he believes. Dr. Glosman stresses that healthy teeth and gums not only give you a gorgeous Hollywood smile, but also are beneficial to your health, including the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, oral cancer, and stroke. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s dentistry school, he narrowed his area of specialty to porcelain veneers, metal-free bridges and crowns, and “Smile Makeovers” through his studies at Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies.
What can our readers do at home to keep their teeth strong and white? Are there any special foods to eat?
Keeping teeth strong and pearly white is very easy if you eat right and have the right tools to brush, floss, and rinse at least two times a day. I always recommend a healthy diet and to eat carrots, cauliflower, apples, nuts, and cheese to keep teeth clean and strong. Crunchy foods like these help physically remove plaque but also have nutrients your teeth need to stay healthy.
For cleaning, I recommend electric sonic toothbrushes, but if that’s not in your budget, get a toothbrush with medium bristles unless you have extra sensitive gums. Be sure to brush all the way in the back and floss in the hard to reach places as best you can. Whitening toothpastes are great for daily maintenance, but for extra whitening, at-home whitening kits or pens sold at the grocery store are affordable and effective.
What is the difference between professional teeth bleaching at a dentist’s office and at-home bleaching strips, which seem to work quite well?
If a quicker or brighter white is desired, professional in-office teeth bleaching with higher concentrations of whitening active ingredients rather than at-home kits is the way to go. In-office treatments may or may not have a light source to accelerate the process. Either way, instead of a gradual process over 2 weeks, an in-office treatment can have your teeth pearly white in about an hour. Additionally, when done in-office, a fluoride solution can be applied to help reduce tooth sensitivity. Also, in-office treatments open the enamel pores on teeth, not only making the teeth potentially sensitive, but also easily stained. So only ingest clear liquids and foods for 24 hours after treatment and avoid acidic drinks and foods for a few days.
Is capping teeth still a popular solution to correcting a smile. Why or why not?
Capping teeth, or placing an all-ceramic crown restoration, is still a popular and necessary solution to correcting a smile in many cases. A crown can correct the position, shape, color, as well as the bite. It provides full coverage protection for the tooth and increases its longevity in the mouth. Veneers are the alternative and can be a better solution because they involve a more conservative restoration.
Can dental procedures improve one’s facial appearance? Tell us about the Glosman Dentalift™ and Liplift™.
Dental procedures such my Glosman DentaLift™ and LipLift™ can improve the facial appearance by enhancing and correcting certain features due to teeth being worn down over time. For example, the LipLift, is the use of veneers or crowns on a person’s upper teeth to help support the upper lip and give it the appearance of being fuller by angling the restorations forward toward the lips. It also can help make cheeks that have lost volume look fuller by angling the restorations more toward the cheek area.
The Glosman DentaLift helps restore a collapsed bite that has been worn down by grinding over time. When a bite is collapsed due to wearing down of the teeth, wrinkles, and fine lines develop at the corners of the mouth. By restoring the length of the teeth, we can help reduce the fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth as well as the eyes, the face is elongated and wrinkles are reduced for a more youthful and healthier appearance.
Is symmetry always a goal in correcting someone’s smile? Nothing is perfect in this world—does that go for smiles?
I strive for symmetry in my work, but I add natural characteristics to each tooth to give it natural beauty so as to avoid looking artificial. Listening to the wants and needs of the patient is instrumental so I can provide them with the end-result they want and at the same time making it look like it was the smile they were born with.
What three questions should a patient always ask his or her cosmetic dentist?
Three questions a patient should always ask are: 1) How long have you been practicing cosmetic dentistry? 2) May I see photo examples of your work? 3) Check online and read reviews by other patients. Research and due diligence will always get you the best result.