Archive | April, 2013

Sun Block and Photoprotection

29 Apr

Everyone should be wearing sun block. But is that enough?

Prolonged unprotected sun exposure damages cell DNA. Not only does this result in premature aging, but can also cause melanoma and other skin cancers. I am a HUGE believer in wearing sun block (and not just in your make-up… that really doesn’t count).

When Buying Sun Block

If you’re not wearing it year round (which you should be), you should replace your sun block every year. Products can break down from heat exposure and from not being stored properly. It’s worth doing. You want to make sure you’re getting the best protection you can. Check your bottle for the following:

  • “Broad Spectrum” (protects from UVA and UVB light)
  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (physical blocks)

For more on sun block read It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).

Avoiding White Residue

I know people hate the white residue you get from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, but these ingredients really are the best for sun protection. If you don’t like the white residue on your face, consider either buying a tinted SPF or buying a product that has a micro-ionized formula (smaller particles). I’ve found people really love SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. It’s really light weight, doesn’t smell, and doesn’t leave a residue. The product retails for about $34, so it isn’t super expensive either.

C E FERULIC

While on the subject of SkinCeuticals products, and sun block, I have just started using their C E Ferulic serum. C E Ferulic contains ferulic acid, an antioxidant that doubles the synergistic benefits of C E – neutralizing free radicals, building collagen, and providing improved antioxidant protection. No other antioxidant technology has been shown to deliver comparable levels of photoprotection. This product has won multiple awards including:

  • Allure Best of Beauty Three-Time Award Winner Category: Best of Skin Care – Serum
  • InStyle Editor’s Pick – 2011 Best Beauty Buy Best Antioxidant Serum
  • NewBeauty – Beauty Choice Award The Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant Product

Although retinol (Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.) and sun block are the only topical products proven to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, I think a good anti-oxidant is almost equally important. For those of you who prefer not to use a retinoid in the summer months, C E Ferulic is definitely a good product to add to your beauty routing; it is outstanding in conjunction with sunscreen!

**Products can break down if not stored correctly (like I said before) and pharmaceutical grade products like C E Ferulic should never be bought online. Just like it’s worth it to buy new sun block, it’s also worth the few extra dollars to know your product wasn’t exposed to extreme temperatures, tampered with, or expired. Talk to a medical aesthetician if you’re interested in learning more about C E Ferulic!

Why Is Photoprotection Important?

Photoprotection is a measure of a product’s ability to neutralize free radicals and protect against oxidative stress (which can be caused by UV rays). Oxidative stress leads to premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity… my three biggest fears!


Recent Studies Reveal We May Not Be As Protected As We Think:

  • People don’t apply enough sunscreen to achieve full SPF. Real-life application of an SPF 20 sunscreen yields an SPF of only 3 to 4.
  • Even when applied properly, sunscreens only block 55% of free radicals.
  • Considering what we now know about sunscreens, photoprotection is more important than ever.

The sun is stronger than it used to be, and protecting your skin is not an option. It’s time to add an anti-oxidant to your daily skin care regiment!


XOXO, LK

Cellulite. Ew.

20 Apr

“That’s some good fat.” My least favorite plastic surgery quote.

I took some time off from working out and eating healthy (called being in a relationship and my busy season with work). I’m back to the gym and avoiding carbs (aka I’m single). If only there was a laser that could help… oh wait… we just got one called Velashape. Not only is it a great way to tone an area you just can seem to get, but it also works great for cellulite!!!!! Ew. Cellulite. Although I have never had the wonderful experience of being pregnant, this machine is supposed to be great for that post-pregnancy weight/skin you just can’t loose/tighten. (Just FYI, I’m having a celebrity birth, no husband present, just me, my plastic surgeon and a few staff, and a nice big liposuction canister. And some Botox. And that epidural pumpin’! Then I’ll tell everyone that I lost the weight naturally like Mariah Carey did- liaaaaaar- just saying.)

What is Cellulite?

Fat deposits that push and distort the connective tissues beneath skin, creating a lumpy appearance of the tissue of the thighs, hips, and buttocks.

The extent to which it is visible is influenced by:

  • Genetics
  • Skin thickness (darker skin is thicker than lighter skin)
  • Gender (affects women more than men—like EVERY sign of aging!)
  • Amount and distribution of body fat
  • Age


Treatments

Most people dislike the appearance of cellulite and prefer to have skin as smooth as they possibly can (and by most I mean all).

  1. Methylxanthines: Methylxanthines are a group of chemicals that include aminophylline, caffeine, and theophyilline. These chemicals are present in many cellulite creams and are promoted as treatments for cellulite because of their known ability to break down fat stores. However, skin creams cannot deliver the required concentration of these chemicals for the length of time required for significant fat breakdown. While studies have shown a small reduction in thigh measurements with some of these preparations, they do not promote significant loss of cellulite.
  2. Diet
    1. Dietary supplements: Dietary supplements are not monitored by the FDA and cannot be deemed safe or effective. There are no valid clinical studies to support the use of these dietary supplements for the treatment of cellulite. They can be unsafe for people with certain conditions (like thyroid problems), so please be careful. Actually, since they don’t work… just avoid them altogether.
    2. Cellulite diets: Special “cellulite diets” have been proposed that claim to be effective in treating cellulite. Arguments for these diets claim that the combination of foods in the diet can reduce inflammation and improve circulation in affected areas and diminish cellulite. However, no studies published in the medical literature have supported these claims. Experts note that eating a healthy diet can decrease fluid retention and improve the overall health and appearance of skin, but specific diets designed to target cellulite are unnecessary.
  3. Massage treatments: Machines that massage the tissue can temporary decrease the appearance of cellulite, but the technique appears to redistribute fat rather than permanently alter its configuration under the skin. Regular maintenance treatments are required after the initial effect has been achieved or the appearance of cellulite will return.
  4. Laser or light therapy: Devices that combine suction or massage with light therapy for the temporary reduction of the appearance of cellulite. Treatments require multiple treatment sessions and maintenance treatments to keep up the improved appearance.
  5. Mesotherapy: A controversial treatment for cellulite that involves injecting drugs or other substances directly into affected tissue.
  6. Wraps: Many salons offer herbal or other types of body wraps as treatments for cellulite. While wraps may decrease fluid retention and improve the overall appearance of skin, these effects are temporary. It is also not possible to “detoxify” the body by the use of herbal or other wraps.

Velashape

Velashape gradually smoothes the skin’s surface with a noticeable reduction in cellulite as well as a noticeable reduction in circumferential measurements of the treated area.


This machine combines Radiofrequency (RF) and Infrared Light Energy to heat the tissue to a precise temperature which results in the increased metabolism of stored energy, increases lymphatic drainage, and reduces or shrinks the size of the actual fat cells and fat chambers. Vacuum and specially designed rollers for the Mechanical Massage smooth out the skin to facilitate safe and efficient heat energy delivery. There is no downtime!

Is VelaShape right for you?

This system works best for patients who have a BMI of less than 30 and who fall in the Nurnberger-Muller Cellulite Classification of Stage 1 or Stage 2. Yes, there is actually a classification scale for cellulite.


My Experience with VelaShape

Like I said, I am getting back in shape. When I posted that I was starting the treatments, my friend D Facebook messaged me.

“I did 6 treatments of Velashape before going on the back of my legs and butt. It was amazing! U will love it.” (That was verbatim).

Although I vowed to follow the six treatments strictly, my schedule is way too busy right now with the new spa! I was able to get one treatment in with Larisa (she’s been doing a LOT of Vela treatments), and I liked how I looked after. Although, I don’t really have much cellulite to begin with (thanks to my good genes!)…

I feel like this would probably be the biggest issue to getting the best results… finding the time to go once a week for six weeks! Now is a good time to start with summer right around the corner!

Honestly, as I’m writing this blog and looking at patient’s before and after pictures… I’m inspired to find the time to do it over the next six weeks (along with diet and exercise!). It looks amazing on some people!

What to Expect:

During Treatment: It feels weird. The vacuum part sucks up your fat and it gets pretty hot.

Duration of Treatment: Expect about an hour depending how many areas you are treating.

After Treatment: Redness and swelling is normal and usually lasts less than 4 hours. Bruising is common.

Number of Treatments: expect 6-8 treatments at 1 week intervals. Monthly maintenance treatments are recommended for the first 3 months and then as needed.

Cost: about $250-$350 for the size of a sheet of paper

Is it Worth it?

Like with any of these non-invasive treatments, results can’t be guaranteed. “Nothing Replaces Traditional Liposuction”- another great plastic surgery quote. If you have a few extra pounds that you just can’t shed, like from post-pregnancy weight gain, then Velashape is a really good option.

Try it, what do you have to lose? (Get it! Lose weight! I’m funny!)

**VelaShape is not a permanent cure for cellulite or body reshaping. It is a temporary measure and all clients will require maintenance therapy to maintain the cosmetic benefit. Exercise and a balanced diet is important to maintain and augment the effects of VelaShape.




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