Archive | Back to Basics RSS feed for this section

Skin Care Classification Systems

3 Jan
Dry/Oily/Combination is not a skin type classification system!
Sorry Obaji and Proactive.  But you suck.

Skin Type classification is important to evaluate in order to form a cosmetic plan.  In order to identify optimal outcomes for any skin treatment the following are crucial to identify: 

  • Hyper/hypo-pigmentation risk
  • Scarring risk
  • Skin Phenotoype
  • Photo-age

Skin Typing is important for an aesthetician/doctor/nurse to perform before undergoing any medical aesthetic procedure including:

  • chemical peels
  • laser hair removal
  • laser skin resurfacing
  • IPL (intense pulse light)

Fitzpatrick Type Scale

The Fitzpatrick Type Scale is the gold standard of skin typing.  It is described below as it is a part of the Roberts Skin Type Classification System. Used by Aestheticians prior to chemical peels, laser treatments, and IPL.

1. Fitzpatrick skin type I –extremely fair skin (less melanin at basal layer under the epidermis), Skin always burns (note: melanin acts to block UV rays and its potential damage). Skin never tans with ease.
2. Fitzpatrick skin type II –Fair skin (a bit more melanin at basal layer compare to type I) Skin always burns, sometimes tans).
3. Fitzpatrick skin type III –medium skin color, sometimes burns, always tans.
4. Fitzpatrick skin type IV –Olive skin, rarely burns, always tans (since it rarely burns we could conclude that has lots more melanin at basal layer than types I, II, III and that during aggressive inflammation either by acne or a skin stimulating treatments the excess release of melanin pigments could cause skin discoloration, darkening or brown spots into the surrounding tissues.
5. Fitzpatrick skin type V – moderately pigmented skin, never burns, always tans.
6. Fitzpatrick skin type VI – markedly pigmented black skin, never burns, always tans.

Glogau Scale

The Glogau Scale is also described below as it is part of the Roberts Skin Type Classification System.  Used by Aestheticians to determine Skin Care Product need. If your a stage 4, you might want to consider  A Wrinkle In Time–My Botox Lines or  That’s NOT Botox..

You can be a pup and still be a Glogau 4. Stay away from Tanning! See link below.

Glogau 1– No Wrinkles, early photoaging
Glogau 2– Wrinkles in motion, early to moderate photoaging
Glogau 3– Wrinkles at rest, advanced photoaging
Glogau 4– Only wrinkles, severe photoaging

There’s a fine line between tan and looking like you rolled in a bag of doritos..

Acne Rating

1. Grade 1– has open comedones (black heads); mild red spots and is easiest to treat. May be labeled acne cosmetica if due from make-up use or poor home care of skin.
2. Grade II-has closed comedones with no inflammation.
3. Grade III-has papules, pustules, inflammation, open and closed comedones
4. Grade IV-Is the most severe with a combination of all of the above, however with lots more large closed comedones and bumps of many sizes. Grade IV will most often be referred to a dermatologist. These clients respond well to Jessner peel solutions since they have a soothing effect on the skin from the anti-inflammatory ingredients salicylic acid.

The Roberts Skin Type Classification System

This system predicts the skin response to injury and insult from cosmetic procedures and identify the propensity of sequelae from inflammatory skin disorders. It is used by more advanced medical personal and includes 4 elements:

1.  Fitzpatrick Scale: to measure skin phototyping

1. Fitzpatrick skin type I –extremely fair skin (less melanin at basal layer under the epidermis), Skin always burns (note: melanin acts to block UV rays and its potential damage). Skin never tans with ease.
2. Fitzpatrick skin type II –Fair skin (a bit more melanin at basal layer compare to type I) Skin always burns, sometimes tans).
3. Fitzpatrick skin type III –medium skin color, sometimes burns, always tans.
4. Fitzpatrick skin type IV –Olive skin, rarely burns, always tans (since it rarely burns we could conclude that has lots more melanin at basal layer than types I, II, III and that during aggressive inflammation either by acne or a skin stimulating treatments the excess release of melanin pigments could cause skin discoloration, darkening or brown spots into the surrounding tissues.
5. Fitzpatrick skin type V – moderately pigmented skin, never burns, always tans.
6. Fitzpatrick skin type VI – markedly pigmented black skin, never burns, always tans.

2.  Glogau Scale: describes photo-aging

Glogau 1– No Wrinkles, early photoaging
Glogau 2– Wrinkles in motion, early to moderate photoaging
Glogau 3– Wrinkles at rest, advanced photoaging
Glogau 4– Only wrinkles, severe photoaging

3.  Roberts Scarring Scale: describes scar morphology.  Helps to determine short and long term affects of treatments and procedures.

None

Atrophy 

Nodule

I couldn’t find any pics of Roberts 3 and 4. So here’s some more cute puppies. They’re kissing. Awwwww

Macule
Plaque within scar boundaries
Keloid
Keloidal nodule

4.  Roberts Hyper-pigmentation Scale:  Propensity for hyper-pigmentation based on the natural history of post-inflammatory pigmentation in an individual.  This value is based on past medical history, clinical exam, and ancestral background.

– Hypo-pigmentation
– Minimal and Transient Hyper-pigmentation
– Minimal and permanent Hyper-pigmentation
– Moderate and transient Hyper-pigmentation
– Moderate and permanent  Hyper-pigmentation
– Severe and permanent Hyper-pigmentation

**My good friend John Fournier, MD, a prestigious Derm in Miami is going to help me out with this post, so it will be revised in time!  Sorry!  He’s just really busy being awesome.

Also, my next post will be a glossary.  I think it’s time for one of those!

Anatomy of a Facial

3 Dec

A facial is a procedure involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage.  Facials can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and range in price depending on the types of products used for the treatments.  They are professionally recommended every 4 weeks for maximum results. Step 1: See a Professional.

All facials follow the same basic structure and order. They will begin with makeup removal and cleansing.  Then comes some method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin. A massage is then performed that can include all or some of the scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back and even the hands or feet.

Facials are then classified in two ways:  hands on treatment or electrotherapy.

“Hands-on” Treatment

The aesthetician will use her hands to perform the facial treatment. Sometimes, a steam machine is incorporated in these facials during or after cleansing, to open up the pores and allow a deeper cleansing action.

A facial mask is a creamy paste (or gel) that often contains minerals, vitamins, essential oils, and fruit extracts is the main step in the hands on treatment.  There are different kinds of masks for different purposes: deep-cleansing, by penetrating the pores; healing acne scars or hyper-pigmentation; brightening, for a gradual illumination of the skin tone.

Gels are mostly used for oily and acne prone skins and oils or moisturizing creams are used for dry to normal and matured skin types.  A clay or mud based face pack is used after the cleansing process and steam process (optional) is over to close the open pores and to provide nutrition to the skin.

Masks are removed by either rinsing the face with water, wiping if off with a damp cloth, or peeling off of the face by hand.  Duration for wearing a mask varies.  The perceived effects of a facial mask treatment include revitalizing, healing, or refreshing; and, may yield temporary or long-term benefits.

Electorotherapy Facials

Use machines as part of the treatment; there are several different types, which are suited to different skin types. Some of the most popular variations of this type of facial are:

  • Galvanic treatments: metal rollers or applicators are used to either produce a deep cleansing effect.  Depending on the active product being used, this will help reduce spots and blemishes (making this a good facial for an oily skin type), or to help infuse active ingredients deeper in to the skin (for a variety of skin types).
  • High frequency treatments: uses a glass electrode passed over gauze placed on the skin. This helps dry out spots and has an antibacterial effect, so is good for oilier skins or those with a few specific blemishes.  An indirect high frequency facial uses a saturator held by the client to draw a moisturizing massage medium deeper in to the skin, and so is best suited for more mature or dry skin types.
  • Microcurrent treatments: also known as non-surgical face lift, this type of facial uses a current to lift and tone the facial muscles and also to improve the colour and texture of the skin and soften lines.

During most of the electrotherapy treatments you may experience a slight tingling effect on the skin, but this is quite normal.

Facials are key to having nice skin!  They need to be maintained with a home care regiment that is not OTC!

Check out these posts as well:

Evaluating Your Skin.

 

Step 2: Spend wisely.

New Year, New You: Plan Accordingly!

1 Dec
Looking to enter the New Year looking younger and more refreshed?  It’s important to plan your beauty needs around a hectic holiday schedule, so if you’re thinking of amping up your look for the New Year (or any Holiday Parties) here’s some helpful hints/guidelines:

Non-Invasive

Spray Tan

Spray tans typically last 7-14 days.  If your thinking of spraying (which I highly recommend), do it as close to your event as possible!  You can’t shower for 6 hours after a spray, and you can smell a little bit sugary post-spray, so keep this in mind.  For the best results, spray the day before.  

Facial

A plain old facial can be done anywhere from a few days to a month before a special date.  But remember, book early, because this is a very popular treat during this time of year!  It’s also a great gift to give to someone who is impossible to shop for!  Everyone enjoys being pampered.  If you are planning on doing Botox or fillers, a facial should be done either immediately before or 5 days after any treatments! 

Chemical Peel

Degree of peeling can vary, and you don’t want to look like a snake shedding its hide for your holiday parties (it’s slightly unattractive, and not the attention you want!).  Talk to the aesthetician performing your peel and be CLEAR if you have any Holiday parties. ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.  For a real good, deep peel, expect about a week to two of down time.

Very Important:  moisturize often with a pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical grade product after a peel.  Many places have post-treatment kits.  Do NOT pick at your skin!  Stay out of the sun!

Waxing

Remember, waxing your brows or lip shouldn’t be done the day of an event.  The process can irritate your skin, leaving it a little red.  Icing the area helps.  Or an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.  Make sure to keep the area clean to keep bacteria out of your pores, and causing break outs.

Microdermabrasion.

Often done during the same time as a facial, and can cause some minor redness.  Protect your skin after this treatment. Stay out of the sun.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatments

Depending on the laser, and the treatment, there can be some downtime with this (discoloration and flaking), anywhere from a day to a week.  Ask your practitioner what to expect with the treatment you are receiving.  These treatments really make your skin look great!  Never heard of laser skin rejuvenation?  There will be blog posts to come!

Eyelash Extensions

Although a little expensive, they look great for the holiday season.  They should be done about a week before your big event.  They take some getting used to! Lovely Lashes!.

Minimally Invasive Procedures

These can be tricky to time.  If you are planning on doing any non-invasive procedures, they should be done either immediately before Botox and Fillers, or 5 days after.  This is because you don’t want Botox to travel into the wrong muscle group, or fillers to be moved into the wrong area.  Use good judgement with timing your treatments!
 
Also, I think this year is the time to abolish the false notion and rumors about these products.  With small doses and a trained injector, you will look amazing!  If you don’t believe me, just ask my mom! 

Botox

It takes a few days for this treatment to work (anywhere from 2-14), fortunately, there is no downtime with this procedure (no bruising, no swelling).  If you want the best results from your Botox, plan on having your treatment 2 weeks prior to the 1st!

Fillers (Radiesse, Juvéderm… Perlene, Restyline, ect. ect.)

Depending on the area of injection, there can be some minor bruising (or major depending on the injector).  Invest in some Arnica cream, and expect the worst (2 weeks).  Cheek augmentation bruises the least, while lip augmentation and nasal labial folds tend to bruise the most.  Gosh, I hate it when I have dental work 😉  — A great excuse one client came up with!

Things Probably Best Left to do Until After the Holiday Season:

–  Bioenhancers like Sculptra Aesthetic (it can take up to 6 weeks to see a difference)

–  Plastic Surgery (unless you are planning on using your vacation time to get that breast aug you’ve been waiting for!)

–  Changing your hair color (stick to what you know looks good on you!)

–  Trying a new cream on your face.  (Although everyone should be using pharmaceutical grade products, sometimes they can irritate the skin at first.  Now is not the time to find out).  HINT HINT:  Especially Rentin-A!

Questions?  Feel Free To Email Me!  info@bostonbeautyblog.co

Skin Under Stress

29 Nov

“50% of my patients are presenting with stress-related skin problems”

– Leslie Baumann, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute.

I was given an interesting article from Allure magazine about skin issues and stress (which is a huge problem many of us have, including myself).  Eighty seven percent of respondents in the allure.com poll said they “notice a difference in their skin when they’re stressed out.”

When under stress, our bodies release adrenaline that elevates the level of a hormone called cortisol in the blood.  High cortisol levels also cause the skin to produce inflammatory agents, causing redness.  This hormone also tells fat cells to release sugar into the bloodstream for energy.  Stress cause our sebaceous glands to produce more oil that bacteria thrive on, leading to clogging and inflammation of a follicle.  If only we could stop stress!

Don’t Pick!

Finger nails are dirty, and long nails tear the skin, allowing more bacteria in.  Although it feels like such a stress relief to squeeze and pop pimples, it makes acne harder to treat, and increases the chances you will wind up with red or brown marks.

Stick a Post-it note on your mirror, keep your hands busy with a stress ball, and STAY OUT of the magnifying mirror (in fact, throw that thing out!).  Being around aesthetician’s all the time has helped me stop touching.  They are constantly asking me:  are you touching your face?  Have a friend ask you.

This time of year is exceptionally stressful.  So find something that relaxes you!  Yoga, tea, music, reading my blog 🙂 … anything.  Enjoy your busy December everyone!

Microdermabrasion

7 Nov
We all know I love chemical peels, (‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!) but my second must do treatment for every woman: Microdermabrasion!!!!
What does it do?
It mechanically exfoliates the top layer of skin, removing  dead skin and debris (that both greatly contribute to aging/skin cancer). Microderm also: Helps to soften fine lines and scarring, breakup acne and hyperpigmentation, it brightens the skin, and creates an epidermis (outer layer of skin) that allows for better penetration of products during a facial, and also at home.  You will leave with glowing skin!
How it works:  The abrasion tool uses aluminum oxide microcrystals in combination with a vacuum attachment.  This process removes the top layer of the epidermis, which is primarily dead skin cells. This layer is responsible for keeping the moisture barrier of the skin active,  and also keeping things like bacteria out of our body. It is also responsible for those fine lines and blemishes we love so much!
The vacuum manipulation, stimulates the fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen) and the skin becomes red (Erythema-produces collagen as a result).  This process also increases the presence of collagen and elastin in the dermis.  The idea is if you break up the top layer of dead cells, the body will respond by healing itself with new cells. This is the perfect time to start using good at home products! Step 2: Spend wisely.
 
Does it hurt: No, only the top layer of skin (which is dead) receives the treatment.  Treatments  (if done by the right professional) should be predictable and virtually painless.  
Who should be doing it? Your certified Aesthetician. You really don’t want to be using at home products to do this yourself. You can tear or irritate your skin, making it a prime target for infection.

Is there down time?  There is no downtime, progressive, gentle treatments will provide optimum results.  There may be a little or redness or irritation, which your Aesthetician will discuss with you.

How to Tip Your Beauty Provider

1 Nov

In their younger years, my mother was a waitress and my father was a bartender.  They taught me you always tip 20% unless the service is really bad.  People who work in the service industry depend on their tips as a large portion of their income.  Waitress’s make like $2 an hour.  You can’t live off that!

Hairdresser’s and aesthetician’s have a similar sentiment.  How should they be tipped?  Here’s a guide!

Hair Stylist  15%-20% of your service.  If you have a hard time figuring this out, and for some reason you left your cell at home, think of it like this.  20% is $2 on every $10.  So if it’s $100 you should tip about $20. 

Aesthetician 15%-20% of your service.

Shampoo Girl  $2

Manicurist $2-$5

Massage 15-20%

Valet $2

Waxing $2-$10 Eyebrows think $2, Back… think $10 (…and then think about laser or electrology!)

Electrologist:  Tipping this person is a toss up, because you do see them very often. 

Laser Person:  Does not require to be tipped.  This is a more medical service and is usually treated as a Medical Personnel.  If you buy a package and you do feel you need to tip, divide the price you paid by the number of treatment sessions you are receiving and tip 15-20% off of that (usually about $20). 

Business Owner (who provides your service): It is a long standing idea that you don’t need to tip the owner of a place if they provide you your beauty service.  It is in my opinion that we need to abolish this rule.  As a small business owner, I can tell you, cash flow is difficult.  Banks aren’t lending money to anyone, making it harder on small business.  Tip them.  They work harder than you know!

Medical Personnel  You do not need to tip the person who does your Botox!  As a nurse injector, I never accept tips.  You wouldn’t tip the doctor!

A Free Service 20% of what the service would have cost.  If you by some chance won a free service, say in a raffle, you should still tip the person!

 

Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products

30 Oct

It’s getting cold out and like I said ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Both of these things necessitate hydrating products for your skin.  Here’s a list of ingredients your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical skin care products should have in them!

Alpha Lipoic Acid – a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of Vitamin C and E.  It occurs naturally in green, leafy vegetables.

Lactic Acid – A multi-purpose ingredient used as a preservative, exfoliant, and moisturizer, and to provide acidity to a formulation.  In the body, lactic acid is found in the blood and muscle tissue as a product of the metabolism of glucose and glycogen.  It is also a component of the skin’s natural moisturizing factor.  Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid occurring in sour milk and other lesser known sources such as beer, pickles , and other foods made through a process of bacterial fermentation.  Lactic acid has better water intake than glycerin.  Studies indicate an ability to increase the water-holding capacity of the corneum layer is closely related to the absorption of lactic acid; that is, the greater the amount of absorbed lactic acid the more pliable the corneum layer.  However, other research has shown that lactic acid can indeed inhibit melanin production separate from its action as an exfoliant on skin.

Superoxide Dismutase – Used in cosmetic preparations to prevent drying and aging of the skin without causing irritation.

Ubiquinone (Idebenone) – Potent antioxidant with effective anti-aging & anti-wrinkle properties, reinforces collagen & elastin production of connective tissue, potent moisturizer (liposomes penetrate into skin preventing water-loss).

Vitamin C – A well-known anti-oxidant.  Synthetic analogues such as magnesium ascorbic phosphate are among those considered more effective as they tend to be more stable.  When evaluating its ability to fight free-radical damage in light of its synergistic effect with vitamin E, vitamin C shines.  As vitamin E reacts with a free radical, it, in turn, is damaged by the free radical it is fighting.  Vitamin C comes in to repair the free radical damage to vitamin E, allowing E to continue with its free radical scavenging duties.  Past research has indicated that high concentrations of topically applied vitamin C are photo protective, and apparently the vitamin preparation used in these studies resisted soap and water, washing, or rubbing for three days.  More current research has indicated that vitamin C does add protection against UVB damage when combined with UVB sunscreens.  This would lead one to conclude that in combinations with conventional sunscreen chemicals, vitamin C may allow for longer-lasting, broader sun protection.  Again, the synergism between vitamins C and E can yield even better results, as apparently a combination of both provided very good protection from UVB damage.  However, vitamin C appears to be significantly better than E at protecting against UVA damage.  A further conclusion to draw is that the combination of vitamins C, E, and sunscreen offers greater protection than the sum of the protection offered by any of the three ingredients acting alone.  Vitamin C also acts as a collagen biosynthesis regulator.  It is known to control intercellular colloidal substances such as collagen, and when formulated into the proper vehicles, can have a skin-lightening effect.  It is said to be able to help the body to fortify against infectious conditions by strengthening the immune system.

Vitamin E – Considered the most important oil-soluble antioxidant and free radical scavengers.  Studies indicate that vitamin E performs these functions when applied topically.  It is also a photo-protectant, and it helps to protect the cellular membrane from free radical damage.  In addition, vitamin E serves a preservative function due to its ability to protect against oxidation.  This benefits not only the skin, but also the product in terms of longevity.  As a moisturizer, vitamin E is well-absorbed through the skin, demonstrating a strong affinity with small blood vessels.  It is also considered to improve the skin’s water-binding ability.  In addition, vitamin E emulsions have been found to reduce trans-epidermal water loss, thereby improving the appearance of rough, dry, and damaged skin.  This vitamin is also believed to help maintain the connective tissue.  There is also evidence that vitamin E is effective in preventing irritation due to sun exposure.  Many studies show that vitamin E topically applied prior to UV irradiation is protective against epidermal cell damage caused by inflammation.  This indicates possible anti-inflammatory properties.  Lipid per oxidation in tissues may be on cause of skin aging.  Vitamin E, however, appears to counteract decreased functioning of the sebaceous glands and reduces excessive skin pigmentation with is found to increase linearly with age.

Vitis Vinifera – Grape Seed ExtractAnti-Oxidant – Moisturizing, nourishing properties due to high levels of linoleic acid.

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!

25 Oct

When the summer is over, and you will not be out in the sun anymore (which you shouldn’t be doing ANYWAYS) it’s time to have a good chemical peel with your aesthetician.  The reason you don’t want to do this in the summer is that depending on the strength of the peel, the top layer of skin will flake off and left your epidermis unprotected from the sun.

Chemical peels come in different strengths.  You might not necessarily peel, or you might peel–a lot.  Make sure you tell your aesthetician your desired level of peeling.  I wish I had pictures of the peels I’ve had.  I’ve had a few where I didn’t flake at all, and then I’ve had a few where the skin was like peeling dried glue off your fingers.  It only lasts a few days, and personally, I can deal with the look of a bad sunburn and flaking skin.  I get to tell people why I look like a shedding snake, and I LOVE the way my skin looks afterwards.  If you think you can deal with a little peeling, I suggest doing it on a Friday, and you’ll be good for Monday!

Alpha hydroxy acid peels

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are naturally occurring organic carboxylic acids such as glycolic acid, a natural constituent of sugar cane juice and lactic acid, found in sour milk and tomato juice. This is the mildest of the peel formulas and produces light peels for treatment of fine wrinkles, areas of dryness, uneven pigmentation and acne. Alpha hydroxy acids can also be mixed with a facial wash or cream in lesser concentrations as part of a daily skin-care regimen to improve the skin’s texture.

AHA peels are used to:

  • reduce fine wrinkling
  • treat areas of dryness
  • reduce uneven pigmentation
  • aid in the control of acne
  • smooth rough dry skin
  • improve the texture of sun-damaged skin

AHA peels may:

  • cause stinging
  • cause skin redness
  • cause mild skin irritation
  • cause dryness
  • take multiple treatments for desired results

Beta hydroxy acid peels

It is becoming common for the use of beta hydroxy acid (BHA)/salicylic acid peels to be used instead of the stronger Alpha Hyroxy (AHA) peels due to BHA’s ability to get deeper into the pore than AHA. Studies show that BHA peels control oil, acne as well as remove dead skin cells to a certain extent better than AHA’s due to AHA’s only working on the surface of the skin.

Skin Care Product Ingredients for Hyper-Pigmentation

22 Oct

Arbutin – L-Arbutin is a naturally occurring form of hydroquinone that inhibits melanin synthesis by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.  Arbutin has also been clinically proven to lighten existing pigment.

Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate (Licorice)** – Natural plant lightening agent, tyrosinase inhibitor, more effective than kojic acid and 75 times more effective than ascorbic acid as a lightening agent.

Hydroquinone – A pigment-lightening agent used in bleaching creams.  The FDA allows a maximum of 2 percent concentration in a cosmetic formulation.  Although it occurs naturally, the synthetic version is the one most commonly used in cosmetics.

*Hydroquinone is a very controversial ingredient.  It may be taken off the market due to its “boomerang effect”- when you stop using it, your hyper-pigmentation comes back-with a vengeance*

Kojic Acid – A skin-lightening agent of widespread use in Japan.  Studies are finding it to be a tyrosinase inhibitor, though not as effective as licorice extract.  When combined with allantoin and other proper ingredients in sunscreen preparations, the mixture can inhibit UV-caused erythematic and accelerate wound healing.

Matsuke Singer Enzyme Mushroom Extract – Highly potent mushroom extract from Japan. Studies are showing to be the most potent skin whitening agent.

Rumex – Alpha Arbutin’s manufacturers proclaim that the active, pure substance works on removing “liver spots”, brightening skin color, and inhibiting tanning (even after UV sun exposure) and darkening of the skin BETTER than d-kojic acid and hydroquinone — the medicine dermatologists prescribe and the de facto OTC go-to for ridding of age spots.

Alpha Arbutin as the ALPHA (a-glucosidic ) inhibits the activity of tyrosinase MUCH more effectively than its beta version. The alpha form offers higher stability and efficacy, leading to a skin lightening active that acts faster and more efficiently leading to much more pronounced diminishing of liver spots (age spots), and an obvious reduction in the degree of skin tanning after UV exposure.

The most special version of Alpha Arbutin is perhaps that made by Tyrostat. Tyrostat claims its skin-lightening ingredients, in particular its version of Alpha Arbutin, is derived from plants that are native to the northern Canadian prairie region. The most significant “plant” out of these is the Rumex. Traditionally the plant is used more to stop the sting in nettles (it’s a proven folk remedy for nettle stings and rashes), or as an astringent. However, Tyrostat apparently found a new use, bringing Rumex extract’s high concentration of Alpha Arbutin to the table and promoting its capability in inhibiting the production of the enzyme tyrosinase, leading to clearer complexion and a reduction in skin pigmentation, by limiting both melanin production (tan) and skin reddening (erythema).

***This list was emailed to me from Alexis Robertson, L.M.E., of Image Skin Care, a cosmeceutical line that I use and love.  Check it out at ImageSkinCare.com

Key Ingredients in Your Anti-Aging Products

20 Oct

What should you be looking for in your cosmeceutical/pharmaceutical products for anti-aging?  Here’s a list.

*Remember over the counter products (anything you don’t need a professional license to buy) cannot penetrate into the dermal layer, so even if they have these ingredients, they aren’t strong enough to work–i.e. they are a WASTE of MONEY*

Step 2: Spend wisely.

*Your skin may not require all of these ingredients.  So please use the following as an aide! Ask your aesthetician what she/he recommends!*

Step 1: See a Professional.

Ingredients to Check For

Alpha Lipoic Acid – a powerful antioxidant that destroys free-radicals before they can destroy cells.  Alpha Lipoic Acid also enhances the potency of Vitamin C and E.  It occurs naturally in green, leafy vegetables.

Black Tea Kombuchka – Anti-oxidant, Kombuchka contains a fermented extract of a mushroom found in Eastern Europe and Russia.  Kombuchka’s effect on the skin has been scientifically studied. Studies are proving that it will become recognized as one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients.  Kombuchka, which decreases the greenish-gray tone that develops as the skin ages. Restores the skin’s healthy, rosy glow. It also smoothes and “plumps” the skin, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Crithmum Maritimum Extract – Coastal Marine FennelAnti-Oxidant Free Radical Scavenger Increases the production of ceramides barrier function and restoration, promotes cell respiration

Emblica – Provides natural antioxidant skin protection against free radicals and cell protection against harmful damage through UV-radiation.  Is also provides Ayurvedic natural care & protection.

Green Tea Extract – A powerful anti-oxidant due to its catechin content.  It is also know to be an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and a stimulant.  In clinical studies, green tea has demonstrated an ability to prevent or to at least postpone the onset of such illnesses as cancer and heart disease.  This is attributed to the catechin component’s ability to penetrate into a cell, thereby protecting the cell from free radicals and associated damage.  Because of its anti-oxidant properties, green tea is usually incorporated into anti-aging formulations.  When applied topically, it can also reduce skin swelling.  In addition, it can be found in sunscreens based on its ability to extend the products SPF.

Hyaluronic Acid – Holds 1000-times its weight in water, Hyaluronic Acid is a natural key component of the dermis. It effectively binds water to cells and is responsible for the elasticity and resiliency of the skin.  (It is also a dermal filler that I have in my lips!–learn this ingredient well– there will be more posts on it!)

Palmitoyl Olgopepide- MatrixylPalmitoyl Oligopeptides (also known as palmitoyl pentapeptide Matrixyl , amino-peptide (five amino acids linked together and attached to a fatty acid) Clinical research confirms that palmitolyl oligopeptides, when added to a culture of fibroblasts (key skin cells), stimulates collagen, elastin an glucosaminoglycans production.

Retinol – (SUPER IMPORTANT INGREDIENT!!!) A retinoid considered a skin revitalizer, retinol is reported to enhance skin radiance and treat conditions associated with chronological aging such as wrinkles and fine lines, as well as dermatological disorders including, acne, follicular and lesion papules, actinic keratosis, oily skin, and rosacea.  It is also considered necessary for normal epidermal cell growth and differentiation, for regulating collagen synthesis, and for maintaining a more youthful skin condition.  A weaker retinoid than retinoic acid, retinol converts into retinoic acid once in the skin.  When compared to retinoic acid, retinol has an increased penetration potential and is less irritating, making it an effective anti-aging ingredient.  The anti-aging benefits of topically treating skin with retinal are believed to be based on its penetration ability, which allows it to reach the sites in the skin requiring treatment.

**Personally, I use a Retinol product twice a week.  Retinol’s can be drying and cause redness, so go slow when adding this product to your skin regiment.  If you are over 30, and not on a retinol product, please see an aesthetician ASAP!

Ubiquinone (Idebenone) – Potent antioxidant with effective anti-aging & anti-wrinkle properties, reinforces collagen & elastin production of connective tissue, potent moisturizer (liposomes penetrate into skin preventing water-loss).

Vitamin A – Can act as a keratinization regulator, helping to improve the skin’s texture, firmness and smoothness.  Vitamin A esters, once in the skin, convert to retinoic acid and provide anti-aging benefits.  Vitamin A is believed to be essential for the generation and function of skin cells.  Continued vitamin A deficiency shows a degeneration of dermal tissue, and the skin becomes thick and dry.  Surface application of vitamin A helps prevent skin dryness and flakiness, keeping skin healthy, clear, and infection resistant.  Its skin regeneration properties appear to be enhanced when combined with vitamin E.  Vitamin A is a major constituent of such oils as cod liver, and shark, and many fish and vegetable oils.

These definitions were given to me by an amazing aesthetician, Alexis Robertson, LME, of Image SkinCare.  I’ve been using this product line for 2 years and I love it!

If anyone wants to add to this list of ingredients, please add comments!

I will be posting ingredient lists for acne, hydration, and skin discoloration in future blogs!

%d bloggers like this: