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Hydra-facials are awesome.

19 May

(after picture)

Because I’m pretty and I say so. And in case that’s not enough of a reason… read on. J

A Little Latin Lesson in Linguistics (alliteration is as awesome as hydrafacials)

In case you’re a little rusty on your Latin, “hydra” means water and facial means … well facial isn’t Latin for anything. That I know of… but I’m not a linguist. Anyways. Hydrafacials are amazing! They work by infusing serums into your pores. Hydrafacial, or hydradermabrasion, is a noninvasive, non-laser skin resurfacing treatment that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, more beautiful skin. There is no discomfort or down-time (although you might have a little redness for about an hour). The treatment is soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and non-irritating. It also has attachments that can be used on the back, neck, and décolleté (that’s actually a French word… not Latin).

The HydraFacial treatment improves the appearance of:

  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • congested and enlarged pores
  • oily or acne-prone skin
  • hyper-pigmentation and brown spots

Before starting, I washed all of my make up off (which I don’t wear much of because my skin is usually so nice!). This is my before picture. I was in DESPERATE need of a facial.

Pass 1: Activ-4™ Skin Solution

Designed for most skin types. It helps to promote the overall health of skin; improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, brown spots, fine lines and uneven skin tone. The tip attachment used on the hand-piece during this step has a fine sandpaper-like part works like microdermabrasion. It mechanically exfoliates the top layer of skin.

My face is RED.

The black part is the microdermabrasion tip.

Step 2: Beta-HD™ Skin Solution

This Salicylic Acid based skin solution is specifically designed for acne-prone and oily skin (like mine). It softens sebum, dislodges skin debris and aids in painless extractions of whiteheads and blackheads.

Step 3
Antiox-6™ Skin Solution:

Containing Vitamin A, Vitamin E, White Tea Extract and Hyaluronic Acid, the Antiox-6™ is designed for overall antioxdiant protection and deep hydration on most skin types.

Other Steps

  • DermaBuilder™ Peptide Complex (
    DermaBuilder™): THE new, hot age-refining solution right now! The DermaBuilder™ helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin firmness, skin tone and skin texture.
  • GlySal™ Acid Peels ( GlySal): This special Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid blend combines physical & chemical peeling to achieve optimal results. Unlike traditional acid peels, there is little to no downtime involved. Skin is well hydrated, smooth and radiant after the procedure.

1 hour later …

In the CAAAAAH Leaving JAHHHHR. Boston. Haaaaaa.

Representing my team. I love Rondo! #9 : My man.

Very happy my skin looks so good. Now if we could just fix my skunk hair. Just kidding. I love my Ombre (hombre? I think that’s Latin?). As you can see I’m still a little pink, but my skin looks and feels so fresh and so clean.

Recommendations

Visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone may be seen after just one treatment. The smooth results and hydration may last 5 to 7 days or even longer.  A series of 6 treatments is recommended for improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, acne and oily skin. Remember, using good skin care products at home will help these results last longest and help give you the most bang for your buck (did I just say that?) for any in office procedure. (Step 2: Spend wisely.)

I even got Alexis to love them (the Image Rep slash Skin Guru). And she is so picky about her skin. See. She’s smiling.

Under Eye Circles and Bags

16 May

Physiology: Broken blood vessels within the lower eyelid. A shadow forms underneath the bag causing the dark circles to appear. As you age, the “bags” (fat pads) can bulge due to gravity, creating an exaggerated space between the skin of the check, and the skin of the eye, over the orbital rim (bone of the eye socket). These dark circles can bring about a chronically fatigued look, or make you appear older than you actually are.

Cause: range from fatigue, vitamin deficiency, hyperpigmentation, allergies, age, and medical conditions. However, heredity is the most common cause for bags under the eye (also, from my patient’s personal experience… I hear children and husbands may also be contributors? It has not been clinically proven however.).

Treatment:

Getting the proper rest and eating the right foods can sometimes help treat and improve dark under eye circles, but if genetic, dark under eye circle will increase if untreated.

Fraxel®, Thermage®, Blue Light Therapy, IPL Photofacial, Dermal Fillers and Chemical Peels (like TCA). Patients with more severe cases of under eye circles, puffiness and loose upper or lower eyelids may want to seek out surgical alternatives including blepheroplasty.

My Best Advice

It is always a good idea to start with the least invasive methods and move on to the most invasive methods. That being said, genetics does play a HUGE role in this, and if your mom or dad has extremely sagging lids, or bulging fat pads, the earlier you do surgery the best result you will have.

Least Invasive to Most Invasive

  1. Hydration: The area of skin under the eye is the thinnest in the body. In a hospital setting, we monitor this area as a sign that a patient could be dehydrated. I can always tell when someone needs fluids just by looking at this clinical sign. Start with drinking water… water is good for your body all around. And… it’s FREE!
  2. Eye Cream: Supply your skin with the nutrients it needs. By depositing certain vitamins and peptides, you can decrease the appearance of dark circles. Before you tell me you’ve tried every cream under the sun… have you read my post on pharmaceutical products? Step 2: Spend wisely.
  3. Noninvasive treatments: Laser stuff. Not my area of expertise, however, I have had IPL on melasma, and it worked great. Laser treatments will help with the discoloration, and may subtly tighten the skin, but they will not fill volume loss. If you have volume loss, see step 5.
  4. Chemical Peels:  Best done in the winter time when you’re not in the sun.  And actually… this is more for fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes than bags and dark circles.  Although it will help the appearance.
  5. Dermal Fillers : (That’s NOT Botox..) A hyaluronic acid of low molecular cross linking like Juvéderm Ultra is most recommended for this area. Thicker fillers, like Radiesse, and biostimulators, like Sculptra, are not recommended for this area. Remember this skin is the thinnest in your body, and thicker products can leave bumps here. Be VERY careful about who you see for this treatment. It is a very advanced procedure that your Dentist or Primary Care probably shouldn’t be performing on you.
  6. Blepheroplasty: Check out my post on Blephs. Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal Fillers are my area of expertise (Remember photography is also not my thing!!!)

Here’s my Before and After Tear Troughs:


Before: I look tired. And old. Ew. Taken November 2011.


After: As you can see I look more awake and refreshed. Taken February 2011 after I had my tear troughs filled.

I am very happy I did this. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt at all. The product used was Juvéderm Ultra. It will last about a year. Cost is about $600.

Creams

(The two I like best)

Image Max Eye Cream: This next-generation revolutionary day and night eye crème contains high concentrations of growth-factors derived from plant stem cells to protect skin cells and prevent aging effects caused by free radical damage. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; reduces puffiness and inflammation. Prevents cell aging. Contains grape, alpine edelweiss and apple stem cells for maximum age prevention. Corrective peptide blend for rejuvenation. Retails for about $45

Image Vital C: A scientifically- advanced hydrating, anti-aging eye gel. Contains a blend of nourishing anti-oxidants that reduce the appearance of fine lines and prevent the breakdown of collagen. Vitamin K  (Phytonadion) diminishes dark circles. Restores youthful looking eyes. Retails $31


Body Acne

30 Apr

Summer time! Ya!  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been hitting the gym.  Trying to get my 22 year old body back (you know, to match my 22 year old face).  A lot of my friends are doing the same, and it’s come up as a common question to me:

“How can I prevent Body Acne?”

Cuz there’s nothing worse than looking hot in your bathing suit but being all broken out.

 

Body acne can be difficult to treat due to the thickness of the skin and the number of sweat glands in this location.  Pores on the back are typically larger and produce more oil than on the face.  A mixture of sweat and physical irritation (like from clothing) can aggravate break outs.

 

Recommendations:

  • DO NOT GO TANNING.  That’s actually going to make your acne worse.  Being in the sun or even worse, indoor tanning only makes your skin darker to cover the redness of the acne lesion and sun exposure to a lesion could lead to a permanent dark spot on your skin (ie hyperpigmentation…yuck)!.  Excessive tanning also dries out your skin and causes your skin to produce more oil…ever notice how much more you break out once you have stopped tanning or being in the sun?  Another great reason to wear a broad spectrum SPF…prevent acne from worsening!  Oh yeah, and another thing about indoor tanning, think about how much bacteria is in a tanning bed.  Yea, they clean them… but…
  • SHOWER AFTER WORKING OUT.  The most important thing you can do is take a shower immediately after a workout.  Do not sit with sweat and dirt on your body.  Add a salicylic cleanser into your body wash.  I use Image Clear Cell.  I add about a dime size amount to my body wash.  It definitely helps.  Make sure the active ingredient is “Salicylic Acid.”  Also make sure the label says “Paraben Free,” Paraben’s are preservative chemicals that make the product last longer on the shelf.  If you have acne prone skin, this can cause a flare up.  A lot of people unknowingly are allergic to parabens, and the reaction can appear anywhere from little bumps or large cysts that can be mistaken for acne.
  • KEEP SPORTING EQUIPMENT CLEAN.  This seems like a no-brainer, but I have parents come to me and say “my 15 year old who plays lacrosse and wears the same pads every day has horrible acne on his body.”  Same pads every day… same sweaty pads.  Do you wash them?  No?  The same dirty sweaty pads irritating your child’s skin is most definitely going to cause them to break out.  Wash your sporting equipment.  And if your child is 15ish… you should probably bleach them every once in a while.

 

If these steps don’t help, talk to a dermatologist.  You may need to go on oral antibiotics or use prescription strength topical.

Fake It Until You Make It

25 Apr

“Time goes by so slowly for those who wait
No time to hesitate
Those who run seem to have all the fun
I’m caught up
I don’t know what to do”

  1. Who doesn’t love Madonna?
  2. I found a font called “crazy girl blonde.” I didn’t know I had my own font!
  3. Tangent. Anyways. I realized I’m at 6 months of blogging. Longer than any relationships I’ve been in for the past 5 years. Eh. I love myself and that’s what matters right? Well, whether you think I’m a narcissist or not is up to you (did I mention I’m a Leo?); but I think it’s important to take a second to appreciate reaching milestones.

So here goes. In the last six months of blogging I have:

  • Written almost 70 posts about skin care, beauty, and health.
  • Reached 10,000 people with what I have to say (or at the very least looking at my pictures).
    • Which on a sub-bullet leads me to the fact that I’ve learned how to make my pictures pretty fancy and interesting looking. Case in point. Above I put my picture into “perspective.” It makes me look so thin. And black and white – always classy. J
  • Connected with readers in 95 different countries. (I am SO impressed by this! Wow!).
  • Sparked several Facebook controversies over things I’ve done in order to have something interesting to write about. Mainly… things I’ve done to my face.
  • Basically saved the world. Oh wait… that’s my one year goal of the blog. Ha.

It really is a lot of work to write a post. Some take me over four hours (between researching what I’m writing and taking pictures—always trying to be interesting and original—and most important—trying to convey my voice and personality through written text). So I’d like to take the time here to thank all my readers and everyone who has given suggestions (positive and negative!). So thanks everyone! I think if this was an award show I’d be cut off now.

I guess when you stop to actually think about the things you’ve achieved be they work goals, life goals, or even aesthetic goals, you can actually be surprised by how much you’ve accomplished. I know personally I spend so much time trying to complete the next step that I get frustrated with things not moving as fast as I want them to, and it can be really discouraging. My lawyer, Richard, reminded me how far I’ve come in business over the past two years, and I hadn’t really taken the time to think about it. So I’m taking the time to remind you. The longest journey beings with a single step. Keep moving forward in the direction of your dreams. (Insert other cliché phrase here). You can get pretty far in six months! Does my Madonna quote kindda go?




LK Signature Facelift: Giving Myself a Facelift

8 Apr

You have NO idea how hard it was for me to give myself the LK Signature Facelift and take pictures of myself at 9am. Ok, I admit, it’s not that hard. But still, I look pretty silly in some of these photos! … so I hope you appreciate them! Below are pictures and the steps in my LK Signature Facelift, including what each layer is and what it does for your skin. And also… in case you didn’t know… LK is my initials. 😉

So who is the LK Signature Facelift good for and what kind of result should you expect to see? The LKSF (my new nickname for it) is recommended for anyone and everyone! It is an especially excellent resurfacing treatment for those who suffer Rosacea. The LKSF can even be performed in conjunction with Botox and dermal fillers! After the LKSF, your skin will be tighter, lighter and brighter….who doesn’t love that?!?

ß (I need to touch up my Botox and that’s my “I need Botox” face)


Step 1: Cleanse

When I do this treatment on my clients, I use the Image
Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, which contains 12% Glycolic Acid. Glycolic Acid is excellent for exfoliating the skin, leaving it fresher and brighter looking! The Ageless Total Facial Cleanser has a great tingly feeling, so you KNOW it’s working! It is excellent for keeping pores clear and occasional breakouts to a minimum

I cleansed my skin with the Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser, it’s a gentle cleanser (Organic Aloe Vera is the first ingredient in this cleanser!). I didn’t feel like leaving my bathroom to retrieve my Ageless Total Facial Cleanser which is literally an arm’s reach outside the bathroom door. It was 9 a.m., people!

Step 2: I-PREP Degreasing Solution (Professional Only Product…btw)

The degreasing solution is applied with gauze. The reason degreasing solutions are used in professional treatments, is because we want to remove as much of the surface oils on the skin, as possible. This will allow for the product to evenly and more effectively penetrate the different layers of skin.

Step 3: Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution (Professional Only Product)

This first layer I apply is the Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution and it’s used to keep the pH of your skin high. The higher the pH of a product, the less irritating it is. Vitamin C is actually an excellent resurfacing agent and will help brighten your skin. Not to mention, your skin needs Vitamin C in order to form healthy new collagen! Collagen is what gives skin its healthy, bouncy structure.


Step 4: Resurface/Exfoliate



The Ageless Total Resurfacing Mask has smooth, little micro-exfoliating beads in it that gently exfoliate the dead skin from the top layer of skin (the epidermis). By exfoliating dead skin, your body is stimulated to increase it’s cellular turnover rate (In more simple terms, it makes new healthy baby skin cells, and the still healthy young skin cells are pushed up through the layers.) Can you see how the micro-exfoliating beads in this formulation are perfectly round? They don’t tear your skin (like certain over the counter “exfoliators” will, inviting infection into your skin… and also making your body work to repair micro-tares). The Image Total Resurfacing Masque is high in glycolic acid as well. It is one of my favorite products because you can use it as a masque or a scrub! Sometimes I even like to mix a little into my Ormedic Balancing Facial Cleanser for some added exfoliation.

I’m such a ham! A Kosher one…

Step 5: Blast of Nutrition


The Vitamin C Enzyme Resurfacing Solution is applied a second time…the point here, to add even more Vitamin C to the skin! Remember, tighter, lighter and brighter!

Step 6: Hydrating Enzyme Mask


This final layer is an active masque that eats up the dead skin cells that have been removed from your face with the other layers. The Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque is also one of my favorites because it injects the skin with hydration and antioxidants! My skin is always left looking brighter and more supple after using this masque…sometimes I even sleep with it on so I wake up looking super-hydrated and vibrant.

Step 7: Remove Layers

Using sponges and warm water all four layers are removed, leaving me with fresh, bright skin!

At home tip: You can do your own at home mini-LKSF. Start by cleansing your face with your favorite Image Skincare Cleanser. Then mix equal parts Ageless Total Resurfacing Masque and Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque. You can leave this combo on for up to 30 minutes. Then remove with a clean washcloth and tepid water. Next, apply your favorite hydrating Image Skincare serum, Image’s most popular serum is the Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum. Then apply an eye crème, like The MAX Eye Crème, uses the latest in cosmeceutical technology and breaks up blood pigment (dark circles) by up to 20%! Next you would apply either your favorite Daily Defense Moisturizer or Image Repair Crème. Finish with the Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex, for the ultimate juicy, plump lip without that irritating bee-sting effect.

Image Skincare is only sold to licensed Skin Care Professionals, like me! So, if you are interested in purchasing some of these products for your own at-home use, contact me. I also offer free shipping!

Step 8: SMILE…

…because nice skin makes you happy! I have this facial done every other week in the summer… when I shouldn’t be doing as many chemical peels. It’s a nice gentle exfoliation. And off to work I go with no make-up on (I don’t know why I still look half asleep… oh maybe I do need some make-up…Flawless Foundation from Image Skincare is my fav!!!). Can you tell I love this line? Lol, I’m not the only one though. I think at some point I’ll do a testimonial’s post!

It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block)

20 Mar

90% of Aging is due to the sun.  NINETY.

If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have ONE beauty product, it would be sunscreen (tinted of course!).  I bet you would neverrrrr think of your sunscreen as a beauty product, but it is ESSENTIAL to anti-aging.  Only sunscreen and retinol are proven to topically prevent fine lines and wrinkles and are therefore the two most ESSENTIAL products I recommend to people.

During the summer months, I decrease my use of Retin-A, because you can’t go in the sun when you are using this product.  This is also why I would choose sunscreen over Retin-A if I was ever to be stranded in a warm place.  😉

What is SPF?

A sunscreen with an SPF of X allows you to stay out in the sun X times longer without burning then you would with no sunscreen on.  THEREFORE the difference between the protection of SPF 15 and SPF 30 isn’t really as significant as you think.

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays

As you can see… a 4% increase.



SPF – Doesn’t Measure Everything!

The SPF of a sunscreen only measures the UVB rays but there are UVA rays that are emitted from the sun which are just as dangerous.  The FDA is currently working on a star rating system that will help the consumer better choose a sunscreen.  Until that happens (we all know how quick the FDA is…) look for a sun block that is a physical barrier or a chemical barrier that says: broad spectrum coverage.

Physical vs. Chemical Barriers

Physical (Sun BLOCK):

Create a reflective surface on the skin that reflects UV light or scatters it off of the skin’s surface. The active ingredients in these sunscreens are zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide. These types of sunscreens are very effective in blocking both UVB and UVA sun rays and are considered to be the safest sunscreens to use.  The best products of this type will contain all-natural ingredients.

These are the sunscreens I use. I couldn’t get a picture that was clear… so I copied the exact text (with possible spelling errors. Sorry.)




Chemical (Sun SCREEN):

Contain ingredients that absorb UV light before it can cause any skin damage. These sun screens (which include most commercial brands) have been proven to be effective in preventing sunburns, but the chemicals in them have never been tested and approved for safety.

To get “broad spectrum” protection with chemical barrier sunscreens, you need to purchase a product with more than one active chemical ingredient, which increases the likelihood of the product being potentially hazardous.

I happened to have this bottle of Sea & Ski in my bathroom, but I have never used it. It was $1.99 at Christmas Tree Shop. As you can see, UVA and UVB coverage does not make the product more expensive.



Best advice:  Use a physical barrier sun block.  Wear a hat.  And don’t use your Retin-A (for now).  Enjoy the warm weather Boston!

Botanical Ingredients in Skin Care Products

13 Feb
Ingredient Known Benefit    
Aloe vera Soothing, regenerative, moisturizing
Arnica (Arnica montana) Regenerative, soothing, antiseptic, stimulating
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Regenerative, soothing, antiseptic
Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, cooling, sedative
Carrot (Daucus carota) Purifying, regenerative
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Moisture-binding, soothing, softening, tightening, anti-inflammatory
Geranium (Pelargonium sp.) Strengthening (capillaries), smoothes, decongests
Hops (Humulus lupulus) Calming, restorative, estrogenic, antiseptic, emollient, astringent
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Anti-inflammatory, regenerative, strengthening, softening
Lemon (Citrus limonum) Antiseptic, purifying, lymphatic stimulant
Menthol (Mentha piperita) Antiseptic, analgesic, calming, cooling, circulation stimulant
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Antiseptic, cooling, analgesic, calming
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Regenerative, astringent, calming
Sage (Salvia officinalis) Antispasmodic, astringent, antiseptic, cooling
Spearmint (Mentha viridis) Anti-septic, cooling, analgesic
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Antiseptic, germicidal, wound-healing, anti-inflammatory
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Stimulating, regenerative, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Anti-inflammatory, wound-healing
Yucca (Yucca schidigera) Anti-inflammatory, soothing

I know there are some people out there who love anything that is “natural” (and they live in Cambridge) and love things such as “botanicals” (I don’t know why I put that in quotes… but it seems grammatically correct?).

Botanicals in Skin Care

Botanical extracts support the health, texture, and integrity of the skin, hair, and nails and are the largest category of pharmaceutical/cosmeceutical additives. (I guess people in Cambridge aren’t the only one’s who love natural products!)

All medicine (including the creams for your skin) come from either nature or are manmade in a lab (in Cambridge?). Penicillin comes from a mold derivative; Botox comes from a bacteria derivative, ect. Ect.

Nature provides us with plants that have very important functions in healthcare. Here’s a chart with some of those plants. (In other news… I found out I can type something in Microsoft and upload it directly to my blog! I’m so excited! My posts are about to be more visually pleasing!!! Charts and graphs and clip art and stuff!)

Be Memorable. Brand Yourself. A Post on Individuality.

4 Feb

 Beauty Defined is physical attributes in conjunction with psychological traits.

There are certain characteristics that are considered “universally beautiful,” that are timeless and cross-cultural; however, the concept of “beauty” is so much more complex.  Individual ideas also defines the term, and therefore, beauty is a word that is considerably subjective and that makes it so much harder to define.

Individual Ideals

Opposable thumbs and the ability to reason (ok… maybe our ability to be unreasonable?) is what sets our species apart from other animals.  But what sets us apart from each other is our personality.  As women, I think we place a lot of importance on being treated as individuals.

Take a minute.  Write down how you would describe your beautiful personality. 

Physical Qualities

Defining your personality is usually easy for most people, and for some reason, a lot of women have trouble seeing their own physical beauty.  We can all agree “beauty comes from within” and from this statement we can conclude that anyone can be beautiful.

Always Be Yourself.

I know this might be hard for some of you because of my theory on Self-Worth Dysmorphic Disorder but now I want you to write down your favorite physical attribute.  What is the most beautiful thing about your appearance?

Universal traits are not unattainable.  They’re the easy part!

It’s important to highlight your best attributes.  I like to call it branding yourself.  🙂 

One of the first things my mentor (and lawyer) told me is you need to be more conservative.  You represent your business.  Well… I’ve at least started to dress conservative.  But changing my fun, crazy personality… that might take a while.  🙂  I work in the spa industry, where the dress code is black…. black… and more black.  My new thing is pink lipstick, it brings out my best physical attribute without drowning it: my eyes!  And it drowns out the black and uniformity that is what I wear everyday.  Even in a sweatshirt, pink lipstick makes me feel hot!  And in the end, it’s all how you feel about yourself.   

Your clothes don’t make you who you are, your face does!  Ok, fine… and your personality. 

Yep, sometimes I could use a brush

 Remember… There Has Never Been A Smiling Face That Was Not Beautiful!

Evaluating Your Skin

23 Jan

Like your personality, everyone has different skin, and there are many extraneous factors that affect the physical condition of your skin.  Even though I know a lot about skin, I don’t pretend I know it all, and I often ask my aesthetician friends what they think about my skin’s appearance. Usually, when my skin deviates from the norm, it’s from something I did.  By looking at your skin, an aesthetician determines the classification (Skin Care Classification Systems.) but they should also ask you the following questions to evaluate the overall health of your skin. 

Skin Evaluation Questions 

(Marmur, Ellen, M.D., 2009, Simple Skin Beauty:
Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin, 20-21)

  • How does my skin usually behave?  Does it tend to be dry or oily?  Does it get irritated or red or hyperpigment easily (a sign of sensitivity).

My skin is normally a little oily, with rare break outs (because I regularly see an aesthetician and use products that are appropriate for me–but trust me–I’ve had my fair share of acne, hyperpigmentation, and dryness).  Because I take care of my skin, I no longer easily get irritated, red, pigmented, or break out.  But that’s MY skin). 

  • What is my lifestyle like?

I think there is not a woman alive that doesn’t have a high stress lifestyle.  But, when our stress levels get higher than normal, that’s when we can run into problems!  When I opened my first office, I’ve never had such HORRIBLE skin.  I was under so much stress!  I wasn’t eating, drinking, or sleeping (healthy right?).  I was broken out and my skin literally had a blue hue to it from not having enough oxygen and water.  It was NOT attractive.  Now I’m back to a regular level of high stress.

If you look at woman from other countries, you usually see they have nice skin.  Even though they smoke.  Well, the American life-style is high stress.  Women juggle families and careers and high levels of stress due to the pressure to achieve, and I think this is especially true of the Boston Woman.  Read more about  Skin Under Stress.

  •  Have I been doing anything differently in the last few weeks?

First Rule in Nursing:  have you done anything different?

Second Rule in Nursing:  stop whatever it is you did.

Did the symptoms stop too?  Cause and effect!  When it comes to skin reactions I like to ask if you have started using any different skin products, or have you changed your detergents?  (I personally am allergic to dryer sheets and I sleep with my face on a pillowcase… that would have touched a dryer sheet!)

  • What climate do I live in, or have I traveled somewhere recently?

Ugh, it is officially winter.  I know I have my heat on 80 right now and I am so thankful it is not forced hot air!  The type of heat you are using to heat your home will affect the air and your skin. (Check out Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products.)  When the temps start warming up, of course we have the humidity… “it’s not the heat it’s the humidity!”  which can cause our skin to feel more greasy.

Changing climates from the dirty city are to the clean country air can affect your skin.  My skin likes the city 😉

  • What foods have I been eating recently?

Your diet DOES effect the appearance of your skin.  I’m not saying chocolate causes acne (don’t worry, there is zero truth to this one), but certain vitamins and minerals feed the skin.  Certain foods are healthier for your skin, just like certain foods promote a healthy liver (off the top of my head I can think of one food that is bad for your liver- alcohol)!  Avoid things high in sugar, they promote bacterial growth.  Look for foods high in vitamin A, C, and E.

  • What kinds of products do I use on my skin and how often?

I really hope by now you’ve gotten my point about over the counter products, and how they don’t do much but put a hole in your wallet.  But, pharmaceutical products aren’t always good to use everyday.  Case in point – Retin-A.  LOVE IT.  I really think Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.  But I don’t  think it’s for everyone EVERYDAY.  I recently upped my topical Retin-A usage to every other day.  My skin looks AMAZING, but if I use it everyday it gets red, dry, and flakey.  Ew.

**I would like to add that I also just read in a medical book that Retin-A and sunblock are the only PREVENTATIVE topicals when it comes to fine lines.

  • What kind of makeup do I wear?

I ask my clients this all the time.  Usually I ask it like this:  “Do you wear MAC make-up”  and they say “yes.”  NOOOO.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love MAC’s eye-shadows.  I love their fake eyelashes.  But their face make-up is “stage make-up” which is NOT for everyday use!  It clogs your pores and can make acne much worse.  PLEASE stop using this product everyday!  Start using good skin products, and throw out your make-up!  Be natural!  (Yes, the Botox Queen supports natural!).  When I do feel the need to wear a face make-up, I stick to mineral make-up.

***Also, did you know that if your skin tends to be greasy you should use powder based foundation, and if it tends to be dry you should use liquid based foundations?

  • How many showers a day do I take?

I know we love long, hot showers in the winter, but try to keep it quick.  Not only does it make you “green,” but long, hot showers dry out your skin.  Moisturize!

  • Do I have a stressful job?

Obviously!  I’m not even going to start on this one!

  • Do I smoke?

I hope the answer to this is no.  It’s funny.  We know how bad smoking is for your health, but for some reason people still do it.  Well, if the threat of cancer hasn’t stopped you, and the insane cost hasn’t stopped you, perhaps this will:  smoking is bad for your skin.  It prematurely ages you.  It thins your dermal layer, destroys your cell’s DNA, and gives a yellow hue (from toxins).  I pray that if you have stopped by medical reasons, perhaps vanity can play some roll in ditching the cancer stick.  I know it’s hard, but it is really, really bad for your skin (and health and wallet).

  • Do I take any medications regularly?

There are TONS of medications which can interfere with the health of your skin.  Read your bottles.  Do any say stay out of the sun?  I promise you, the bottle is not lying to you.  Hypersensitivity to sunlight is a common side affect with many medications.  Be extra careful to wear sunblock, even in the winter.  Please and thank you.

  • Am I pregnant?  Have I recently had a baby?

I can safely say no to these questions, but, as I’m sure you all know, pregnancy comes with MANY hormonal changes.  And do not sound fun (I recently learned from patrons at a Botox Party the most important word to know during pregnancy- Epidural).

  • Have I had surgery or any health problems in the last year?

When your immune system is down, or your body is in a state of repair, the essential vitamins and nutrients your skin requires may be diverted to other organ systems that need them more.

  • Do I wear sunscreen?

EVERYDAY.  Even in the winter.  Like I said earlier, sun damage is the number one cause of fine lines.  Do you know how men can tell your age?  By looking at your hands, because they are always exposed to sunlight.  Ok, it’s winter, we go from home to car to job to home (at which point the sun is already probably gone).  So many of us think we don’t need sunblock.  WRONG.  You are exposed to UV rays in the car.  When looked at under a skin lamp, the drivers side of a face displays 90% more sun damage.

Check out There’s a fine line between tan and looking like you rolled in a bag of doritos.  (It is one of my most highly viewed posts!)

  • Do I pick at my face nervously?

I do.  It’s so bad.  I was actually put on Celexa at one point for this nervous habit.  I’m so glad I was too, because it worked!

  • How many products do I use on my skin and hair everyday?

You don’t need to be using a crazy amount of products, and you don’t necessarily need to be using everything, everyday.  We have this notion that if a little is good, a lot is better.  Not true.  Follow the directions for usage from your aesthetician, or at least the instructions on the products you are using (that are pharmaceutical grade).  As you can see from the picture, I have a lot of products–but I don’t use every one everyday.

  • Do I touch my face a lot?

As a nurse, I can tell you, nails are DIRTY.  Hospitals have banned acrylic nails for nurses in hospitals because of the germs they carry.  By touching your face, you are introducing those germs and bacteria to your skin.  One of the biological roles of skin is to protect the internal organs from infection.  If you are picking at your skin you are essentially breaking the barrier, and allowing an area of access for bacteria.

The skin is a protective barrier against dirt and bacteria.

Bacteria is under your nails.

Picking at your skin with your nails tears the skin.

THEREFORE:

Picking breaks the protective barrier and at the same time introduces bacteria and dirt from your nails.  BAD.

  • Do I use hair gel or pomades?

I don’t know what a pomade is….. I guess that is for short hair! I do know this… I often break out on my hair line when I am on day 3 of not washing my hair (you shouldn’t wash your hair everyday).  Hair products can contains skin clogging ingredients, or might contain ingredients that your skin is sensitive to.

**I’m not sure if I took this picture crooked, or hung the shelf crooked?            ———————–>

  • Is there a specific area on my face that is constantly a problem?

Like perhaps you break out where your cell phone constantly touches?  Swab down your phone with an alcohol pad, daily!

Self-Worth Dysmorphic Disorder

19 Jan
**Disclaimer: not an actual diagnosable disease. 
Even though 9/10 women suffer from it.

It’s the New Year.  Time to purge some bad habits.

I’ve talked about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which is something I see in a very small percent of my clients (like <1%), interesting subject, no doubt.  Seeing something distorted in the mirror that isn’t what is actually there.  But what about NOT seeing something in the mirror that IS actually there?  Is there a term for that?  (delusional? blind? 99% of women?)

Patti is looking good!

I’m obsessed with reading and statistics, because I’m a dork and I don’t have cable.  ANYWAYS.  One of my clients brought me a book that I am already inspired by.  Become Your Own Matchmaker by none-other-than The Great Patti Stanger (of Millionaire Matchmaker.  Who doesn’t LOVE that show?).   I’m also in the process of reading “Know Your Worth.”  So I’d like to pass on some powerful tips.

It’s time to empower yourself to be the beautiful you you should see in the mirror.

Patti had me write a few lists.  Take her advice.  Write lists.

Patti encouraged me to make a list of their interesting qualities.  Let’s see the things I’ve liked about the last 5 guys I’ve seriously dated are:  they love animals (me too!), are tall, educated, driven, powerful, social, and treat me like the princess I am.  And I quote my college boyfriend:

“You are such a f*$#%ing Princess.” 

Yes, I can be a princess, no doubt.  I want what I want when I want it.  But I am willing to do what it takes to reach my goals.  I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t.  So set some goals people!  Successful people have written goals and written steps it will take to achieve them.

Patti had me write another list.  10 things that make me happy.  You know what the first thing on that list was?  Me.  I make me happy.  I’m an honest, hard-working, trustworthy, reliable, strong, independent, educated, and  a sassy young woman.  Who I am inside makes me happy.  And yes, I have a pretty face.  I say this because I am happy being me, and I truly believe how you look effects how you feel about yourself.  Confidence is the sexiest quality anyone can have.  Don’t focus on your flaws.  Fix them. 

Know Your Worth.

I’m worth 3 houses on the Cape, a new Mercedes, and some hot Louboutins.  But, unfortunately, I spent my dowry on my start-up.  That doesn’t make me think any less of myself though!  I know if someone doesn’t treat me with the respect and decency I deserve, it’s see ya lata.  You should feel the same way about yourself.   If you don’t, I suggest you befriend a gay man.  Because he will tell you how awesome you are everyday (and that’s what a man should do!).

...unfortunately not my boyfriend.

Beauty does start inside.

But don’t forget the The Halo Effect.

I’d also like to paraphrase Patti here.  “The women of the east coast are brilliant.  If only they can learn what Botox is.”  Take care of how you look, because in the end, you might loose your mind… but you’ll never loose your face!  (Is that funny?  I think so…)

Don’t worry Patti!  I’m here to help. 

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