Tag Archives: aesthetician

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

Clarisonic;

6 Jan

I have heard many praises about the Clarisonic. In fact, I have NEVER heard anyone say anything but how much they love it. I was so excited when we did an in-service with the Clarisonic Rep. I am so impressed by this company! I copied the “Overall Rating” on this product from their website, which reflects everything I’ve heard on the streets.

Overall Rating


4.9 / 5

Works well with cleansers


4.9 / 5

Durability


4.8 / 5

Ease of Use


4.9 / 5

Effectiveness – Skin Appearance


4.8 / 5

Effectiveness – Skin Texture


4.8 / 5

961 out of 974(99%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.

**I will be recommending this product to every person I know!

What is Clarisonic?

The Clarisonic uses sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth skin. It should be used as part of a daily skin care regimen (which should also include retinol and sunblock!) to provide smoother feeling and looking skin.

It is ideal for all skin types, and used and recommended by leading dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. Most importantly, it is recommended by me!

Benefits of Clarisonic

  1. Cleanses Better

Sonic cleansing is the essential first step in a healthy skin care ritual (using proper skin care products is also very important. The Clarisonic comes with its own skin care cleanser, but I love my Image Cleansers, so I used Image Ormedic Cleanser instead).


  1. Healthier Skin

Using Clarisonic Sonic Skin Cleansing Systems helps to remove impurities and clear pores. Sonic Cleansing Systems are a gentle, natural way to cleanse your skin.  I suspect even the “natural” people in Brookline and Cambridge are loving this system. If I had to do the holidays over again, I would just purchase 20 Clarisonics. Perfect gift for ANYONE!

  1. Gentle

Sonic cleansing is a natural way, but effective, way to thoroughly cleanse all skin types — even skin affected by complicated conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and acne. It is so gentle it can be used twice a day.

  1. Enhances other Products

Without proper cleansing, pollutants, oil and bacteria accumulate on the skin, clogging pores and causing blackheads, blemishes and dullness. This prevents your pharmaceutical-grade skin care products from performing to their fullest potential. I am obsessed with using good skin care products, and getting “the most bang for your buck.” The Clarisonic absolutely helps accomplish this.

  1. Improves Skin Texture

I love studies and statistics. As part of a study to measure the effectiveness of the Clarisonic PLUS (the model I have) for Face and Body, dramatic changes in skin texture occurred.

Fifty-five women participated in a four-week home use test to evaluate the Clarisonic PLUS for Face and Body. The subjects used a body cleanser of their choice to cleanse areas of the body requiring extra care and attention.

After four weeks of use, 85% of participants noticed an improvement in the texture of their skin after using the Clarisonic PLUS for Face and Body. They also noted that this product was beneficial in cleansing areas of the body needing special attention and care.


Different Models

There are several different models of Clarisonic. I stepped right up to the Cadillac of Clarisonic, the Pro. This model cannot be sold in retail chain stores. It can only be purchased from a Doctor, Nurse, or Esthetician who is authorized to sell. For another $100 you get so many more options, including different brush heads and speed settings. And it’s going to last you years. So I really recommend investing in the higher end models. Plus, if you buy it from a professional, they will be able to train you in how to use it correctly, and all of the options for your personal beauty needs. Sorry, but the college kids working at Sephora do not have this level of expertise.



Clarisonic Systems Compared

Here are the basic stats on Clarisonic Models.

Mia
Compact, for at home or on the go
Mia 2
Functionally enhanced, travel-friendly model
Aria

Sleek design with drying stand and USB-enabled charger
Plus
For the face and body
Price $119 $149 $199 $225-$235
Speeds 1Speed 2Speeds 3Speeds 3Speeds
Kit Includes
  • 1 Sensitive or Normal Brush Head
  • 1Universal Voltage Charger
  • 1 Sensitive Brush Head
  • Universal Voltage Charger
  • Protective Travel Case
  • 1 Sensitive Brush Head
  • USB-enabled pLink Charger
  • Drying Stand
  • 1 Sensitive, Normal or Deep Pore Brush Head
  • 1 Body Brush Head
  • Universal Charging Cradle
Warranty 1 year  2 Years  2 years  2 years 

Pro


Exclusive model used and sold by skin care professionals

Price $195-$225
Speeds 4Speeds
Kit Includes
  • 1 Sensitive or Normal Brush Head
  • 1 Body Brush Head
  • Universal Charging Cradle
Rechargeable Battery Life 30 minutes with Facial Brush Head or 20 minutes with Body Brush Head 
Warranty 3 years

Different Brush Heads

Which brush head is right for your skin type?

(In case you can’t see… the bristle thickness and length differs in all brush heads)

Normal:

Perfect for normal skin, shaving prep and for use on the décolleté and body.


Sensitive:

Comes standard with most of our cleansing brushes. An easy introduction for sensitive to normal skin types.


Delicate:

Ultra-gentle for those with delicate or extra-sensitive skin.


Deep Pore Cleansing:

Ideal for cleansing oily skin, large pores or hard to reach areas of the face, such as around the nose.  Gentile enough for daily use.


Acne Cleansing:

Extra-plush bristle gradation helps to provide ultra-gentle cleansing for sensitive and acne-prone skin.


Body:

For cleansing areas of the body needing extra care and attention, including the décolleté, hands, arms, elbows and feet. For Clarisonic Plus and PRO models.


My First Clarisonic Experience

My Clarisonic came in the mail on Friday.

The second I got home I tore open the package, like a kid on Christmas. I plugged in the charger immediately, hoping to use it right that second. I was pumped to see what all the girls were talking about. I decided to actually read all the papers in the box. Good thing I did, too, because the hand piece needed to charge for 24 hours before using it. Normally, I would totally ignore any sort of manual (unless it was from Ikea, those you actually need to follow). But I didn’t want anything to ruin my first Clarisonic experience. I was going skiing for two whole days, it would charge, and I wouldn’t be home to be tempted.

For two days, all I talked about was how excited I was about the Clarisonic.

I was not excited about a 3 hour drive home from New Hampshire, but I knew I had the Clarisonic at home all charged up to use the second I walked in the door. And literally, the second I walked in the door at 1 a.m. I went straight to the bathroom to wash my face.

I know I sound a little nuts, but I really WAS this excited and I must confess: The Rumors Are True! Clarisonic is everything I heard it was: AMAZING!!!

I text the office manager at 1 am on a Saturday to place an order for my mother, my cousin, AND my gay best friend. She may kill me Monday morning, but I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful beauty tool!


XOXO. LK.

Image Salicylic Flash Peel followed by Glycolic/Retinol Peel

2 Sep

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Yes! My skin was starting to break out from some life stress and my lackadaisical summer fun on the Cape was coming to a close (i.e. I will be out of prolonged sun exposure). My typical home-care regimen includes retinol and a skin lightener, which allows me to peel without prepping, so I was ready for my first peel of the season! I needed it too!

Pre-Peel Protocol

Prepping Your Skin for a Peel is very important.  At least 30 days prior to your peel you should not tan or burn your skin. And tanning or burning your skin should be a habit you avoid, in general. Also, it is advised that you discontinue use of any retinoids, retinols, glycolics, or AHA’s at least 48-72 hours before your chemical peel or any resurfacing treatment.

Customizing My Peel

The treatment I received was an Image Salicylic Peel followed by an Image Glycolic/Retinol Peel. The Salicylic Peel is designed for patients with acne, oily, or acne prone skin (me!). Salicylic Acid works to slow down the sebaceous gland, thus slowing oil production that clogs the pores. The Glycolic Acid gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, which in turn increases cellular turnover. In this case, we are also using the Salicylic Acid to dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of my skin to therefore also allow the Glycolic/Retinol peel to penetrate my epidermis more evenly and allow for deeper penetration of the preceding peel, and therefore softer, smoother skin.

Anyone who has mature, dry, sensitive skin can have a peel, but some modifications would need to be made.

Step 1: Cleanse

My skin was cleansed with 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.



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

The degreasing solution is applied with gauze 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 the epidermis (that’s a fancy word for skin)!

Step 3: Salicylic Peel is Quickly Applied and Then Removed

(this technique is referred to as a “flash” peel)

It is important for a peel to penetrate the epidermis to have visible improvement in the condition of your skin.

The white spots on my face is called frosting. Achieving frosting is the goal with chemical peels. This is a reaction of the skin’s proteins with an acid in a low pH resulting in coagulation. The lower the pH, the more coagulation will result. The peel destroys the existing tissues in order for the body to heal and make new tissue.

Image Skincare’s chemical peels have a low pH (which means they are strong acids) and are therefore able to penetrate more deeply into the epidermis, and thus make more new tissues.


Step 4: Image Skincare Glycolic/Retinol I-Peel Applied and left on up to 5 minutes.

This peel from Image is in an Aloe Vera base, so this allows the peel to be massaged into the skin. The Image peels also contain other healing properties, besides aloe vera, like Vitamin C, skin lighteners, brighteners, antioxidants and peptides. So, the peels are actually healing your skin, as they peel it, giving you a healthier result, faster, because your skin is less traumatized by the peel!


Step 5: Peel is quickly removed with cool water.


This is what my skin looked like just after the peel was removed. You will notice my skin is a bit flushed or a little red, this is called erythema and is a normal, expected side effect from a peel. One of the amazing things that chemical peels do is stimulate blood flow and increase the rate of skin turnover, bringing newer cells to the surface more rapidly. This allows skin to begin to appear smoother, more hydrated, and more plump. Also, the increased blood flow brings more nutrients to the skin, therefore creating healthier skin!



Step 6: Ormedic Balancing Gel Masque


An ultra-gentle, organic cooling gel masque developed for compromised, inflamed or irritated skin. Organic Aloe Vera, Arnica Montana and licorice quickly help reduce redness and other signs of irritation while bringing sensitive skin into healthy balance. Also may used for highly reactive, rosacea or acneic skin types

Step 7: Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque


Gently exfoliates dead skin with enzymes and adds essential anti-oxidants and minerals to improve skin health.

After

This is what I looked like immediately after removing the masques, my skin is already less red and inflamed, and the healing and rejuvenating process has begun!

24 Hours Later
(no make-up)

The first 24 hours after having this peel your skin will feel tight and shedding may occur. The skin may appear darker, due to the exfoliation of dead skin cells that has melanin present. This will gently shed off.

Post-Peel Protocol

After this peel I used an Image Post Peel Kit, which contains the Ormedic Cleanser, Max Cream, Skin Balancing Serum, Ormedic Balancing Masque, and SPF. These products are used post peel because they are gentle, contain peptides needed to heal, melanocyte suppressants, and aloe for redness/irritation. It is especially important to use SPF and stay out of the sun post peel. Products containing retinol (only time I recommend NOT using retinol), glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxyl acid’s for about 5 days.

Xoxo, LK

***Guess what!!! I’m finally going under the knife and getting breast implants! You might think I don’t need it from my picture above, but I assure you… it’s all Victoria’s Secret! Of course, I’ll be blogging about my experience!


What Goes Where?

4 Aug

Prior to 2002, there was one type of facial filler: collagen. Many products have been developed over the past ten years which have caused collagen to become obsolete. There are now multiple categories of fillers, all made of different materials. The products in these subcategories have properties which make them better in treating some signs of aging than other areas or other products. Remember, fillers are different than Botox (it’s not all just Botox!). So what goes where?

Hyaluronic Acid (HA’s)

Synthetic forms of hyaluronic acid (a sugar that your body naturally produces) include products like Juvéderm, Perlene and Restylane. HA’s increase fullness and enhance the viscosity of the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in your body. Although it may cost a little more, Juvéderm is currently the longest lasting product (in some cases lasts twice as long, and therefore is worth the extra $100 or so per syringe). I have performed over 200 Juvéderm procedures, and have personally been injected with this product many times!

*note: My face is just a model, I haven’ had all this work done I swear! I just love “Paint.”

  • Best for superficial lines (not very deep, not folds).
  • They are used in areas where “plumpness” is desired (like your lips!)
  • They can be used in cheek augmentation, vertical lip lines, and nasolabial folds, but might not be the best product. Cheeks and Nasolabial folds typically require a lot of filler, and cost-effectiveness wise, this isn’t the product. But if you just need to fix a little sagging, it can be used in the cheeks. If you want to overpay for deep nasolabial folds, then this product also can be placed in this area.
  • Vertical Lip Lines are usually superficial, which would make Juvéderm a good product, HOWEVER, if it is not placed right, the result is a monkey face.

Tips on Hyaluronic Acid

  • When I’m filling lines in the glabella, I always administer a dose of Botox to the area 2 weeks before injecting Juvéderm. This allows me to inject directly into the line; it is easier to aim at a stationary target! How do you know if you will need Botox and Fillers? If you have a line in between your brows at rest (a “1”, “11”, or “111”) and you pull that line apart with your fingers, do you still see a crease in the skin? If yes, you need both, if no, Botox is enough.
  • I always apply numbing cream 20 minutes before injections.
  • I never inject too close to the outer rim of the eye (distal orbital rim), it usually irregularities in the contour of the face.
  • Injecting into the tear trough is a very advanced procedure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this area over filled (which looks TERRIBLE). My recommendation: it is better to under-fill and book a follow-up. This area requires a minimal amount of product, and my personal policy is to allow a client to come back at no charge if they require a small amount more (within reason).

Particulated Fillers

These products, like Radiesse and ArteFill, contain synthetic beads or particles in different liquid carriers. They last longer than HA’s, because the body doesn’t break them down as fast. They are also thicker than HA’s, which means they satisfy a larger area of volume loss. These products are injected deeper in the layers of skin (never superficially like HA’s are). Why? Because they’re made out of beads in liquid… and in superficial skin that would make bumps! This means they NEVER get injected into the tear troughs or into the lips. EVER. For very, very deep glabellar crease, Radiesse can be used (but usually an HA is a better choice).

  • These products are for moderate to severe volume loss. As you age, facial skeletal changes, general tissue volume loss, and the effects of gravity flatten out your cheeks. If you look at the contour of my face on right side of my face (your left), you will see how round my cheek is. I think you can see in this picture that the apples of my cheeks are round as well. A lot of women will look in the mirror at their nasolabial folds and want to go straight for filling only those, but that doesn’t give the youthful round shape back to the face. On some people I like to do cheek augmentation with Radiesse as well as nasolabial folds. I always do cheeks before folds, because the cheek bone is the scaffolding for the lower face skin. When you change that, the depth of the NL fold will also change. Always top to bottom, never bottom to top, when it comes to your face fillers! **When you have extra weight on your face, you keep the roundness. Skinny people have really flat cheeks when they age. HA. Take that skinny people.
  • The marionette lines, prejowel, and oral commissure are usually treated as one area that needs to be fixed. They’re kind of like vector components of each other (for all you Geometry dorks out there, *brushes shoulder off*).
  • Again, skeletal changes that occur as you age cause your chin to recess and along with volume loss, change the angles of your jaw and chin. This is another area a lot of people overlook when spending that quality time in the mirror pulling at their face in the “this is what I would look like if I had a face-lift” pose. Even if you do have a traditional facelift, you aren’t doing anything about the volume loss. This contributes to the unnatural look of a face-lift.
  • Radiesse and Juvéderm can be used in conjunction to fix contour irregularities in the nose.

I hope that cleared up the two main classes of fillers. It’s a lot of information!!! The next post will be about Sculptra, which gets grouped in with fillers… but this is already too long! Lol.

xoxo SPRAY TAN – O – REXIC LK

Things You Never Would Think To Find In A Girl’s Bathroom

6 Jul

How I’ve gone from your typical teenage girl to … an aesthetic specialist (for lack of a better term).

I remember when I moved into my first apartment in college, and I asked my mom for a make-up table, because there were 4 of us with one bathroom. I used to wear a lot of make-up. Case in point:

Summer of 2004. My candy raver phase? I guess. Over tweezed eyebrows. Check. Spots on my shoulder from too much tanning beds (which is actually caused from a fungus for all you spotted tanners out there… GROSS). Check. Face make-up too light. Check. Choice in jewelry… no comment. Oh. And I have roots. I think I might have been going to see Roger Waters with my college boyfriend. Man, college is a time for mistakes!

Hey, I also found my college bathroom circa 2004. (I am the original facebook generation… back when you needed a .edu to join).

UMASS. That should explain anything off you might see in this picture. But as you can see. Small space for four people. And a cat.

Anyways. Normal bathroom. Right? Also, I’d just like to point out that I used to eat nothing but candy. But I always brushed my teeth. As evidenced by me brushing my teeth

So I’ve gone from this:

To this:

Well… now fast forward 8 years. I wear very basic make-up that takes me literally five minutes to do, but in return I have the weirdest stuff in my bathroom repertoire! Used for purposes I’m sure very few could guess! So here’s an insiders sneak peak to my bathroom. I hope you find this as ridiculous (and funny) as I do. Welcome to the bathroom of a high maintenance princess.

Shot 1:

I took this pic a few months ago and sent this to one of my co-workers. I thought it was absolutely comical that I had this stuff on my bathroom sink counter.

I believe the tweezers were for applying fake eyelashes. I learned to stop tweezing my own eyebrows. Please refer back to the college years if you are curious as to why.

I suppose pliers wouldn’t be a strange thing to have in the bathroom. I’m not sure what you would actually use them for or how to actually spell that word… but I use them to take out my hair extensions if they’ve gotten a little loose. Not normal.

Revitalash I use to grow my eyelashes longer and stronger for lash extensions… and because sometimes I ruin my lashes with the strip adhesives. Gotta have lovely lashes.

Shot 2:

My make-up bag. Fake Eyelashes. Behind that… Fake hair aka Diva Weava.  I wouldn’t be a Barbie Doll if I didn’t have Fake hair.  And my fav hair tool: my pink GHD

That is a legitimate paintbrush in the middle there.

Shot 3.

Shot 4: Stuff that is Usually on My Bathroom Counter

  1. Baby Powder: for my roots because I only wash my hair twice a week.
  2. Dry Shampoo: because sometimes baby powder isn’t my scene.
  3. QuickTan: Because sometimes you have to go from white to orange in 20 minutes or less.

What I’ve Done.

And then I also did a quick draw a few months ago (back when I was blonde) on all the stuff on my face that was changed. It was kind of shocking to me. I wasn’t going to post it… because there are always people out there that like to tear you down. But I guess I’m somewhat amused by it. And comfortable enough to say, bring on the controversy.

            

  1. Botox in my Glabella and Forehead
  2. Lip Augmentation  Pucker-Up, Princess – Damn Sexy Lips.
  3. Sculptra to my temples
  4. Cheek Augmentation
  5. Eyeliner tattoo
  6. Eyelash extensions
    Lovely Lashes!.
  7. Hair extensions
  8. I have juvederm under my eyes as well.

No Surgery Needed!

“Plastic surgery and breast implants are fine for people who want that,

if it makes them feel better about who they are. But, it makes these people,

actors especially, fantasy figures for a fantasy world.

Acting is about being real being honest.”
Kate Winslet

Dear Kate Winslet,

I appreciate your support for people to make their own choices on

Plastic Surgery. I assure you, I feel great about myself.

More confident than Superman. Oh wait. Is he real?

Or is that part of my delusional fantasy world?

Is that sarcasm? Or real honesty?

XOXO

LK

Like my Patriotic Red Extensions from July 4th? Happy Birthday America!

Thank you for giving me the freedom to be delusional and honest.

Prepping Your Skin for a Peel

28 Jun

It’s not exactly the best time of year to be doing chemical peels (or laser treatments) because most people want to be outside enjoying the sun. But I’ve been doing a lot of training with Alexis Robertson, the Massachusetts rep for Image Skin Care, and I just finished reading a book she gave me on Chemical Peeling. So I had to post something before I gave her back her book! Stay tuned for more posts on different types of Peels or start researching with   ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.


ßAlexis is peeling Andrea Purcell, an excellent aesthetician in North Reading at Stephanie Cogliano on Main Street. Andrea is a candidate for a peel in the summer because she has prepped her skin, and she will not be in the sun. She is a trained professional.

Why Peel?

Chemical Peels are great ways to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, clear up acne, and fade hyperpigmentation. But before you have a peel there are a few things you should be using on your skin to prep it. This will ensure you get the best results from your peel. Ideally, these products should be started two to four weeks before a peel, depending on the state of your skin to start and the type of peel that you will be receiving.

Prepping is important for several reasons.

  • It will reduce wound healing time.
  • Allow for more uniform penetration of the peeling agent.
  • Decrease the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Enforce the concept of a maintenance regimen and determine which products your skin tolerates.
  • Establish compliance and eliminate inappropriate peel candidates.

So what products should you be using to prep your skin? Here’s a little guide.

Retinoic Acid

(ex. Retin A, Trenitoin) By now you should know how much I love retinol! The use of Retinoic Acid 2 weeks before a TCA peel will speed up re-epithelization of cells (which prevents infection). Since Retinoic Acid thins the top layer of dead skin cells (stratum corneum), it allows for better penetration of the peeling agent. Retinoic Acid has also been shown to have some skin lightening effects. It is also my FAVORITE skin care product.  More on Retinoic Acid (my fav!).

 

AHA’s

(ex. Glycolic acid) AHA products also thin the stratum corneum and allow better penetration of peeling agents. They also have been shown to have some skin lightening effects.

*My Favorite Product EVER is an AHA/RETINAL Blend:


MD Reconstructive Repair Crème. Hands down best product on the market.

Bleaching Agents

(ex. Hydroquinone, kojic acid) These products are not exactly bleaching your skin. They inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin, making hyperpigmentation reactions less likely. Personally, I love kojic acid, it smells like Mexico. No, not the dirty part… the part that smells like Piña Coladas. We will from now on refer to this product as the Cancun of skin care. Minus the hangover.

Currently, there is some controversy over the use of hydroquinone. It should not be used for long periods of time, or on pigmentation that is caused by hormones (also known as melasma). Be careful with this ingredient. It’s used in a lot of medical product lines (like Obagi… which I’m not a fan of).

Sunblock

Get used to it. SPF BABY! Remember stick to physical blocks with Zinc.  It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).

So why is it important to establish a baseline?

By starting on products prior to peeling, a baseline can be established as to what your skin normally tolerates when it’s not inflamed or irritated. Also it establishes some good habits, like the need to wear sunscreen. If you go in for a peel, and you don’t wear sunscreen, you are going to be in some serious trouble. The same goes with using Retinol products. But, it all honesty, we sometimes ignore home care instructions because we don’t understand why we are being told we need to do something. We need a consequence before we follow a rule. Well… I forgot sunscreen one time while using retinol. I won’t do that again. Caused my own little chemical peel. Not pretty.

Noncompliance is a HUGE problem in health care. And chemical peels can be dangerous if you’re not going to listen to post care instructions. If you can’t follow a few instructions before a peel, you certainly aren’t going to follow them after. This just proves to you and your skin person that you are not an eligible candidate for a peel. But if you CAN follow instructions, it gets you into a good regiment which you will need to continue post peel. Remember, your skin cells are constantly cycling, and therefore it is extremely important to ALWAYS be taking care of them.

This is not a one and done procedure (like liposuction is… lol.).

“Youth No Longer Wasted On the Young”


Love LK.

P.S. I am sticking to being brunette. But I’m keeping my twitter name as @Boston_Barbie. I will forever be a blonde (and a child) at heart. You can follow me and Alexis at @ImageSkinCareMA.

More on Retinoic Acid (my fav!)

22 May

I LOVE RETINOL.  Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.  (Although the strength shouldn’t be the same for every woman!)

It is not just for acne; this cream has revolutionized nonsurgical treatments for sun-damaged skin (wrinkles!). Research shows it improves signs of both photoaging and photodamage.

Physical Change Results
Thins and compacts the top layer of the epidermis Smoother, softer skin texture
Thickens the lower layers of the epidermis Tightens the skin
Reverses keratinocyte atypia (some big acne word) Improves acne
Disperses melanin throughout epidermis (color of skin) Improves discoloration
Increases glycosaminoglycan deposition (sugars used for skin health) Increases dermal volume and tightens the skin
Increases neovasularization in dermis (blood flow) Gives a pinker, rosy hue to the skin

(Funny Story: My BFF Alexis recently read an article “Has facebook made you a narcissist?” … I told her “No, I’ve always been this way”… but really, your face is ALWAYS available to the public now.  Even if you’re not famous, you ARE!  Make sure you always looks picture perfect!  Nice skin makes life SO much easier AND more low maintenance.)

I’ve always recommended patients start on using a retinol product once a week and working their way up, but I’ve been reading that it should actually be done daily, starting at a low dose and working your way up. Retinol comes in several different formulations, the lowest being .01%. It can take two weeks for the skin to become acclimated to this product, and a little bit of redness or peeling can be expected.

If you are younger, and have less photodamage, or if you are older with sensitive skin a conservative approach to retinol therapy will give a good result (which will have little to no peeling or redness). Aggressive therapy is the only approach for thick, tough skin with severe sun damage. Peel baby peel (but don’t worry, the peeling will only be for two weeks or so, until your skin gets used to it… or physiologically… until your skin gets rid of all that dead stuff on top that’s making it look dull and yucky.)

If you are seeing an aesthetician and doing aggressive treatments like Microdermabrasion. or in-office chemical peels (‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels! –but the summer is NOT) you should not use retinols until you are done with your treatments. AND hopefully after your treatments are finished you can use a more conservative retinol product to keep your skin looking good after treatments.

Retinol comes in 3 forms:

  1. Cream (.025%, 0.05%, 0.1%)
  2. Gel (0.01%, 0.025%)
  3. Liquid (0.05%)

But guess what. The carrier of the product can intensify the results. Creams are more moisturizing. Gels contain alcohol, and this makes it penetrate deeper. Alcohol also has a drying affect, which can irritate the skin even further. The liquid also is drying due to the effects of alcohol content.

(Yes. I really own this much retinol)

How to Use:

More is not better! Start with a pea size amount for your entire face.

(Retinol products are always yellow-ish in color).

My Skin:

I personally use a night cream that has Retinol and Glycolic. Once a week or so I add a Retinol booster (liquid retinol) to my moisturizer which sometimes makes my skin peel a little because it boosts the effect of the retinol by allowing it to penetrate. I recommend retinal products for everyone. Remember, this product makes you photosensitive; i.e. you should not be in the sun when you use it! …But you shouldn’t be in the sun anyways. SUNBLOCK cough.  It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).  Also, because of this photosensitivity don’t put these products on during the day.

A Client of Mine…

Came in for Botox and I couldn’t get over her skin. I asked her what she was using. She said to me, I’ve been using that cream I got from you once in the morning and once and night. The cream she was talking about was the Reconstructive Repair Crème with the retinol in it. Well…. she looked amazing, and thank god it was during the winter time and she wasn’t out in the sun! She also told me she always used the sunblock/moisturizer on top of the crème. I’m not recommending anyone do this! I’m just saying, it made SUCH a difference in her skin! I could feel the difference when I injected her. Of course, I told her not to do this in summer time. J Mistakes are how we learn!

Product
Spotlight!

Image Reconstruct Repair Crème:

A highly concentrated blend of retinol, glycolic acid and oil soluble Vitamin C to resurface, rejuvenate and repair aging skin. Leaves skin youthful, firm and radiant after just a few applications.

Reconstructive Retinol Booster:

Mix two drops with the Vital C anti-aging serum or the MAX serum as directed. Must not be applied directly onto skin without prior mixing! Use only at night.

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


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!

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