Tag Archives: Dr. Russo
Video

Retinols. Because I love them.

4 Nov

Retinol products are the best topicals as long as you use them safely. This means under the guidance of a skin care professional.

I start with my secretary voice… I’m nervous. Video blogging is hard!

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Structural Changes in the Aging Face

3 Jan

Wrinkles and sun spots aren’t the only things we can expect to happen to our face as we age. There are many structural changes going on below the skins surface that contribute to an aging face that most people would never have noticed when they look in the mirror.

The young face on the left is round, contoured at the cheeks, and has a sharp jaw line (oh and hair and no wrinkles). The face on the right appears narrower, sunken, and droopy.

So besides the integrity of your skin, what else has changed?

Below the Skin

Bone Structure

Let’s start at the ground level. Your bones.

Your bones are always being built up and broken down. The rate at which the bone is broken down slowly starts to exceed the rate at which the bone is being built up as you age.

Bone changes cause:

  • a reduction in facial height
  • Increase in facial width and depth
  • The fat pad under the eye to bulge
  • A change in the shape and projection of the chin

Teeth

Injury and periodontal diseases result in loss of teeth, and it’s not like when you were young and the tooth fairy came and left you a dollar and a new tooth grew in (I hear with inflation it’s like $5 now!).

Loosing teeth affects the jaw bone and the muscles which attach to the jaw bone, which can result in make the face look narrower, hollow, and concave on profile.

Taking care of your teeth is super important, and not just for that pretty smile!

Fat Compartments

Collapsing fat compartments in the cheeks and temples reduce support to the overlying skin (side note: don’t worry! These fat cells go to other places… like your hips! j/k).

Splitting the face into thirds


Upper Third

Most people miss this when they look into the mirror at their aging face, but loss of fat in the temples results in the phenomenon I like to call “peanut head, ” which is also noticeable on super athletic people.

The presence of peanut head reflects a lack of support of the outer brow, which, along with loss of subcutaneous fat in the upper lid, causes the appearance of a droopy upper brow.

Blephroplasty anyone?  (Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty.)

Middle Third

Eye sockets become wider and longer, resulting in a bulge of the cushiony fat pad that lies underneath the eye.

The cheeks start to flatten out, and the fat from the cheek descends to create a deep nasolabial fold.

The tear trough (area where eye skin and cheek skin meet) becomes noticeable. The middle third no longer has that fluid contour. This loss of fullness and form change causes shadowing in the trough, making a person appear to have dark circles, resulting in a tired appearance (just one of the things that causes dark circles).

Angles of the nose change, giving the appearance of increased length and the tip of the nose begins to droop.

Decrease of collagen and increase in tooth display at rest cause the upper lip to lengthen. Fun Fact: the upper lip can stretch by almost 4mm as you age.

(Stolen from another site…shhhh…) Image A shows a youthful face. Look at the contouring from the eye to the cheek. As you age, it can be convex like image B, which shows the fat pad bulging, or it can be concave like image C, making the eyes look hollow. Both B and C show a flat cheek when compared to Image A.

Lower Third

With all this stuff happening in the upper portions of the face, skin sags and starts to hang in the lower third. Adding insult to injury, the angle of the jaw changes, the jaw line, becomes less defined, and the chin shortens. Excess skin droops from the jaw line from gravity and loss of elasticity. Loss of ligament support in the jaw leads to the formation of jowls.

Even with droopy skin, the lower portion of the face starts to look smaller than the upper and middle third.

advancedskinwisdom.com a

(This image was also stolen).

What are your options?

Don’t worry. There are things you can do for volume loss! They do NOT include Oil of Olay, although the new commercial on tv claims it can (they lie).

Injections

For advanced volume loss, Sculptra is really the best injectable product. This product is a biostimulator; it works by stimulating your body’s own natural collagen. Results are the most natural of all the fillers, and the product lasts 2 years. I plan on writing a lot more about Sculptra, so stay tuned!

If you aren’t mentally or financially ready to jump into Sculptra, Radiesse is a wonderful thick, volumizing filler. It is usually my product of choice for cheek augmentation, naso-labial folds, and marionette lines.

For tear troughs, I LOVE Belotero (which is made by the same company as Radiesse). Filling this area literally takes ten years off your face, but remember, it is a very advanced procedure. Stick to a friend’s referral as to who to go to; I have seen a lot of over treated troughs!

For more help with fillers, check out What Goes Where?.

Surgical

Another option is fat transfer. I have assisted in several fat transfers; it is a very interesting procedure. If you are planning on liposuction, I highly suggest inquiring about fat transfer as well.

For sagging skin around the neck and jaw line, surgery is the only real option to date.

XOXO, old LK

(I found the ‘Age My Face’ Ap… yes… there’s an ap for that!)

Holiday Wish List

27 Nov

So I was asked to make a list of the things I want for the holidays. I was told to make sure it was not ridiculous. I considered it a challenge to be completely obscure. (Followed by things your girlfriend/wife/daughter/sister might actually want this holiday season.)

  1. My first answer to this was a football helmet full of cottage cheese. If you saw the popular 90’s movie Airheads, you would get this obscure reference. If you haven’t seen it… you should.
  2. A day off. Oh wait… You don’t get those when you have a business. Grrrrr…
  3. New boobs = Need new bras.
  4. Office Space. Actual office space. In the Quincy area. Not the movie Office Space. Although also a great movie with a TON of awesome obscure references. Have you seen my stapler? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pHHZBmF8mk4
  5. New Louboutins. Because I love obnoxious shoes.
  6. A new car. Preferably of the Mercedes variety.
  7. Gay Personal Assistant/Gay Best Friend (GPA/GBA) on payroll. Not only to help me with my business… but sometimes I don’t know which shoes to wear. Also, sometimes he should not wear pants. Because, lets face it, Gay men always have better underwear than straight men.
  8. A dog. Which my assistant will also be taking care of. He told me he will not take care of a pig named “Kosher” or a piranha named “Nemo.” Which I accept, because I’m not sure of the legal status of these animals in the State of Massachusetts.
  9. My significant other to finish law school. Because I have obscure legal questions like “what is the status of having a pig or a piranha for a pet?” and “is ‘I thought speed limits were suggestions’ a viable defense?”
  10. A $10,000 gift card to Starbucks. My CPA, Matt Traiger, told me I have a problem. And I’d like a gift card for gas. I’ll take that in the amount of $25,000. Or I’ll accept stock in Exxon/Mobile.
  11. The Helicopter button in my new Benz. You know, the one you press so your car can fly over 93 when it’s gridlocked. Oh right. That’s EVERYDAY.
  12. An alarm clock that is also capable of removing me from my bed. And putting me in the shower. And cooking. And cleaning. Oh wait… maybe my GPA can do that. Or at least hire people to do that stuff.

I don’t think this stuff is TOO much to ask for.

Ok, but for REAL:

Cool Gifts This Season

Having a hard time finding the perfect gift?  Here’s a few things every female fancies (you can’t go wrong)!

Cute Boutique-y Jewelry? I recommend:

Gift Certificates For:

  • a manicure/pedicure ($15-$50)
  • a facial ($45-$150)
  • her favorite hair salon (be sure not to get just ANY salon)
  • a massage ($60-$100)
  • a day at the spa
  • A nice robe/winter gloves/hat/scarf.  We all wear them… we can always use a new one.
  • This is cool from Target (it said over 3,000 participating spas, but I’m not sure which ones):

  • A Little More Thoughtful:
  • A New Flat Iron (some good names: GHD, CHI, and BaByliss) ($150-$350)
  • Good Shampoo (like my personal favorite, Melu by Davines ~$26.50/bottle http://www.davines.com/en/products/view/dehc-melu-shampoo )

  • a subscription to New Beauty Magazine (www.newbeauty.com) LOVE IT! $9.99/issue
  • NARS Turkish Delight Lip Gloss–looks good on literally everyone (Sephora $22) http://www.narscosmetics.com/color/lips/~/lip-gloss
  • Along the lines of Sephora (which is at every mall) there are some really cool, easy gifts in there.  I love their kits of things like “mascara’s” and “lip glosses.”
  • New Make-up Brushes (check out Sephora again) http://www.sephora.com/makeup-brushes-applicators-makeup
  • Jewelry- but beware– jewelry is a very personalized gift.  Diamonds and pearls are always classy… but is she a diamond girl?  bling bling? or more subtle? like classy pearls?  Does she usually wear gold? or silver?  I once broke up with a guy who bought me aquamarines for an anniversary gift (not because I’m shallow, but because after dating someone for a year, you should know what kind of jewelry that person wears.  I realized it was a dead end relationship.)
  • Lulu Lemon.  For your sporty chick.  (Has anyone seen the commercial where the chick is talking all about why she wears yoga clothes–she bikes, she does yoga, she hits the gym– and then she says “Who am I kidding, I wear Yoga pants because I’m lazy” ahahaha) http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp?locale=en_US&sl=US
  • The circle scarf. Very comfy. Very stylish. Check out these deals at Nordstom.com http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/lulu?cm_ven=google&cm_cat=juniors_brand&cm_pla=lulu&cm_ite=lulu%20scarf_b&ef_id=f85OuV1@Z0oAAEZF:20121127045318:s

Just So You Know…

Bags–A crash course

  • Dooney and Bourke (otherwise known as D&B) $$
  • Coach $$$
  • Chanel/Gucci/Burberry/Louis Vuitton $$$$$$$$$

Don’t even think about buying her shoes. — however the book “100 Shoes: the Costume Institute/the Metropolitan Museum of Art” with intro by Sarah Jessica Parker… that’s a great gift!

100 Shoes: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ask a Chick!

My friend Megan swears by “asking Steph at Nordstrom’s in Natick;” all you need is a size and she can style you up (remember to check the tag of your girls clothes… and also keep in mind every brand is different, confusing and annoying–yea we know!).  If you can’t make it to Natick, that’s ok.  A lot of the high end stores have staff that are MORE than helpful.

Wrap It Up. 

Gifts should come in an exciting box.  So, wrap it up!


Happy Holidays! ~ LK

My Breast Augmentation: Day Before and Day of Surgery

24 Oct

**Disclaimer: I wrote this 2 days post-op and still medicated with narcotics. If anything I say makes no sense… there will be a retraction printed in the future. I just am so excited to write this!!!!

Getting Implants– Entry 1.

October 17: The Day Before

What does one do the day before surgery? I realized I would be out of commission for a good week. In a normal week, there is work and cleaning, and grocery shopping. Preparing for being out for a week, I needed to do extra cleaning, work, and grocery shopping. I had to make sure all my laundry was cleaned and put away. There was food in the refrigerator. My boyfriend tried to convince me I had to make up for a week’s worth of sex (oh boys!). All my meds had to be picked up. I had to pack for my friend’s house… the normal stuff. I also had to get my gel nail polish taken off, my hair extensions fixed, and my eyelash extensions filled (normal? I’m not sure…?).

I got home from work at 11:30, just as Aaron was getting home. I got in the shower, washed my hair, and had my last drink of water (no food or water after midnight). I hadn’t been scared or nervous all day. But I usually do have difficulty sleeping when I’m nervous. Aaron gave me a night-night cocktail (aka Nyquil and ibuprofen) and slept like a baby (not medically prescribed mind you—do not try this at home).

October 18: 5am

Ungodly hour. Normally the only time I make the exception to be awake this early is if:

  1. I’m still up partying from the night before (which hasn’t happened since my UMass Amherst days—I SWEAR……….)
  2. I’m leaving on a plane for Mexico with the Donohue’s (from Donohue’s Bar and Grill in Watertown which is the most fun bar EVER).
  3. I’M GOING TO GET MY BOOBS DONE!!!!

I threw up a zip up sweatshirt (I didn’t want to put on anything that would have to go over the head) and some sweat pants. Don’t forget, it’s difficult to put your arms up over your head post op. Then that age old question hit me. Do I wear underwear? I decided there was probably super special sexy hospital underwear to put on. So I skipped. (They did give me some super sexy briefs at the hospital as I expected.)

Don’t I look hot at 5am?

5:15 AM

I of course forgot to pick up my post op meds (which you should ALWAYS do before surgery). My awesome boyfriend took me to the 24 hour CVS to pick up my vicodin, oxycodone, and antibiotics.

6:00 AM

Caitlyn McGrath arrives in a Ford 950 (whichever the really, really big one is). Cait normally drives a Volkswagen. I’m all like, Cait, why do you have this ginormous vehicle? And she’s all like… Well I didn’t have gas in my car, so I took my boyfriends. So I’d like to give a shout out to Pat from the Sitchiute Fire Department for lending the getaway car. We did have to make a 3 point turn at one point. It was not pretty. (Female Quincy drivers = THE worst).

Are you PSYCHED?!?!” she asked me. I was like, Cait, it’s 5 o’clock in the morning. Please. Stop yelling. (I don’t even think she really was yelling).

Cait is one of the lead medical aestheticians at the office and is in Nursing School, so she got super top secret clearance to be in on my case. Like FBI style. I’m so glad she was there. She knew every doctor/nurse/surgical assistant that walked into my room. And confirmed with me that they were all THE best.

6:15 AM

My nurse Maureen comes in, does my vitals, asks all my medical history questions, and inserts my IV (perfectly on the first try might I add). I signed a bunch of papers and started to get a little nervous, but like that first day of school nervous. That excited, this is going to be awesome kind of nervous.

7:00 AM

The doctor arrived and marked my breasts for the incisions. Then the nice nurse anesthetist came in and gave me something to relax through my IV. I remember being wheeled into the OR room. 5. 4. 3. And see ya later. I was out for the next few hours.

Apparently I woke up at spoke to Caitlyn a little bit, but I definitely don’t remember that.


All bandaged up.


The bandages stay on for about 7 days. You can’t get them wet (i.e. no showering. Iiiiiiick).

2:30 PM

My friend Jen P. came and picked me up and drove me to my other friend Julie’s (when I say this surgery was a TEAM effort, I am not kidding!). Julie is an awesome recovery room nurse and she and I decided it would be best if I stayed with her for the first two days post op. I am SO glad I did.

Even with the meds I was on I was still in a good amount of pain. Julie had to bear hug assist me up off the couch (I couldn’t push up with my arms because it was too painful). She also helped me keep a medication schedule and made sure I got my meds every 3 hours. And last, and most embarrassingly, she helped me pull my pants up when I had to use the bathroom.

5:00 PM

My boyfriend came and brought me beautiful flowers and told me how much he loved me. Awwwwww. He also brought me his fleece because it smells like him and I’m a dork and it helped me sleep.


6:00 PM

The party reallllllyyyyy begins. Kathy Nash (owner of KN MedSpa in Natick) arrives. I am really lucky to have such great friends to take care of me, medicate me, dress me, and help me keep my mind off of the surgery. It is not uncommon to have feelings of being overwhelmed or depressed after surgery. My crew kept a close eye on me to make sure I was mentally and physically stable. Errrrr… baseline…. for me.

  • A Funny Nurse’s Note From the Girls –


Baci, D.O.G. wearing my A sized bra. Awwwww. He looks like such a tuff guy… in a bra.


What! We couldn’t let Baci D.O.G. have all the fun.

A little comparison was in order from old bras to new bras.

October 19

Feeling like a million bucks. Staid on my medication schedule. It’s important to do this for the first day or two post op because you don’t want to get behind with pain. It’s hard to catch up. But I was up walking around once an hour. Feeling pretty good. I know pain worries a lot of people, but at most I felt uncomfortable right before I needed my meds.

Julie took me to Corbu Salon in Cambridge so my friend Devon could wash my hair (felt soooo good!) while Julie got hers highlighted. Thank god for all my friends in the hair industry as well! I mean, I might not have been able to shower for a week, but at least my hair could look good!

My post-op follow up is 10/24. So expect another post about post-operative care shortly!

As of today, I am SO happy. I’ve waited years to do this, and it has been the ONLY thing that has ever bothered me about my body. It’s hard to feel comfortable in your own skin, but whatever helps you do it, then do it. Just don’t go overboard!

xoxo LK

Getting Implants– Entry 1

7 Sep

I’ve been working in Plastic Surgery for a few years, and I’ve never been under the knife. I finally made the decision to book a breast augmentation. This is my experience, from a patient point of view.

August 27, 2012

I guess I would consider this day an emotional roller coaster! I had just finished a brachioplasty with the plastic surgeon (as a surgical nurse) when I was called into his office. Long story short, surgery is booked for October 18.

My first reaction was obviously excitement. There may have been a point where I was jumping up and down… and clapping.

Of course, on this day, my mother was meeting my new boyfriend for the first time. Do I tell her? Do I tell my dad? Do I tell my boyfriend’s parents who have probably already read about it on facebook? Honestly, I’ve actually never questioned telling anybody anything I do (although, in hindsight I’ve questioned whether or not it was always appropriate); it was a really odd feeling! I figure, I’m a terrible liar, so I might as well just say it like it is:

“Mom, I’m getting a boob job.”

Things don’t really faze my mother at this point. There was a moment of déjà vu back to the night before my 18th birthday, when I told her I was getting a tattoo.

“How big?” she asked.

“Proportional” I answered. (I gave the wrong answer when I was 18, and I am fortunately not the owner of a GINORMOUS back tattoo, THANK GOD for my mother telling me to make it small!).

“It’s your body, whatever makes you happy.” Aw, mom!

It’s Your Body

Making the decision to undergo plastic surgery should never be anyone’s decision but your own. It should never be for a guy or under peer pressure of a friend. It is a major decision, and as with any surgery, it has risks. I’ve wanted to do this for years, but either I haven’t had the time or I haven’t had the money!

I want to be more proportional. I want my clothes to look good on (or off). And I don’t want to dread bathing suit season!

My reasons for doing this are healthy, and I am very happy with my decision.

August 9,2012 – My Consultation

Choosing size, shape, and style

There are a lot of options to consider when deciding on implants! The first question many ask is: “how big?” expecting an answer in cup size, I guess. But implants don’t come in cup size. They come in cc’s (cubic centimeters). In order to determine the size, shape, and style of implants that are best suitable, there are several things to consider:

  • Symmetry of your breasts
  • The width of your breasts in proportion to the chest wall
  • The characteristics of your breast tissue – how much tissue do you have? How much stretch do you have in your breast tissue?
  • Your goals and expectations for surgery
  • The location of the incision and the implant placement

The Age Old Question: Saline vs. Silicone

Saline

Silicone

Contents

Filled with sterile salt water.

Filled with soft, elastic gel.

May be pre-filled to a predetermined size, or filled at the time of surgery to allow for minor modifications in implant size (good for asymmetrical breasts).

Pre-filled and may require a longer incision for implant placement.

Consistency

Amount of fill affects the shape, firmness, and feel.

Feels and moves like natural tissue.

Risks

scar tissue, breast pain, infection, changes in nipple sensation, implant leakage or rupture.

same as saline.

Rippling

More likely

Less likely

Cost

Less expensive

More expensive

I chose silicone, because it is more natural looking and feeling.

Under the Muscle or Over?


The implant is placed in a pocket either directly behind the breast tissue (right) or underneath the pectoral muscle which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.

I chose under the muscle.

Incisions, Incisions, Incisions?


An incision can be made either underneath the breast, just above the crease, around the lower edge of the areola or within the armpit.

One of the advantages of a saline-filled implant is that, because it is filled with saltwater after being inserted, only a small incision is needed. Often, an incision of less than one inch is made underneath the breast, just above the crease, where it is usually quite inconspicuous.

Another possible location for the incision is around the lower edge of the areola. A third alternative is to make a small incision within the armpit.

Once the incision is made, the surgeon creates a pocket into which the implant will be inserted, either under or over the muscle as previously discussed.

Smooth or Textured

The surface of the implant can be smooth or contoured. The contoured implants have little bumps on them (like gripping). They are teeny tiny. It’s hard to describe and the pictured don’t really help. But anyways, this keeps the implant exactly where it is placed.


smooth, round

textured, round

I choose textured.

Round or Oval Base

The base of the implant (or the back I guess you would call it when it’s inserted) can come in round or oval.

round

oval base (see how it’s wider)

We are still deciding this one. Leaning towards oval base.

Projection

The amount the implant sticks can be determined by the base to width ratio of the implant.

High Profile Implants

Have more projection per measurement of base diameter than a moderate profile breast implant. An added benefit of the high profile breast augmentation is that in order to create the profile, the side wall of the implant has more height, which may reduce visible rippling. These high profile breast implants will provide more anterior projection (front projection).

Moderate Profile (regular / standard)

These are the standard, creating a ‘normal’ profile. With a full and rounded look, this moderate profile breast implant adds a significant amount of dimension and volume to a woman’s breast. This could create a wider chest appearance, which would benefit those with a narrow chest.

Low Profile Implants

These breast implants have less projection per measurement of base diameter than a moderate profile breast implant.


Example:

200cc High Profile Implant (top in picture) is 9.8cm wide and 9.8cm tall. The projection is 4.9cm

210cc Moderate Profile Implant (bottom in picture) is 10cm wide and 11cm tall. The projection is 3.8cm.

Drawing not to scale. Sorry!

I chose moderate profile, again, because I want the most natural look.

Round or Contoured Implant Projection

Prior to Sientra’s new implant (more on Sientra below) the contoured implant eventually became more round due to the body’s muscle pulling on the silicone gel. The new “gummy bear” implant will keep it’s shape.

round shape

contoured

We are still discussing this as well, but we are probably going with contoured.

Breast Implant Manufacturers

Currently there are 3 companies that manufacture breast implants in the U.S. As of recent, a cohesive silicone gel implant manufactured by Sientra was approved by the FDA (after 8 years of clinical trials). I had heard of this hot new option in New Beauty Magazine (best magazine ever) a year or so ago. They have been nicknamed “gummy bear implants” because, like the candy, the implant has a rubbery consistency that holds its form well over time. This product is the most natural-looking breast shape, and lasts for many years.

The Sientra Implant has the lowest leak rate of all the implants currently approved. Even if the outer shell is ruptured, the silicone gel in the implant remains cohesive and doesn’t migrate to other parts of the body. (I would have tested this theory, but I’m not allowed to cut the implants in half at the office…)

The implant is the most natural looking. Because silicone gel is more cohesive, the risk of shell collapse producing a rippling effect seems to be lower. The implant is also fit to the person’s size and body type.

Less scar tissue
forms with this implant type. Capsular contracture is the medical term for scar tissue buildup and hardening around the implants – a condition that can be painful, and in severe cases, require surgery. The rate of scar tissue buildup appears to be much less with gummy bear implants.

I’ve basically been looking at breasts and reading about breast implants since the middle of August. (Is this what it feels like to think like a man?) Here are some sites I found interesting about Sientra’s new silicone implant (the second two are video’s).

http://www.sientra.com/

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/gummy-bear-breast-implants-future-breast-augmentation-surgery/story?id=16370362#.UEiTF2Hh-pg

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/gummy-bear-breast-implants_n_1413122.html

My Consultation Sizing


Before

492cc Implant

Before

492cc Implant


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!


Why I Chose To Have an Eyelid Lift

28 Aug

A Note from Me:

The following is a note from a patient about their experience with blepharoplasty, or an eyelid lift. The patient has been a client and friend of mine for years, and had started doing Botox to lift her eyelids, although ultimately, she wanted surgery. I encouraged my client to talk to a plastic surgeon, just to get an idea of what the surgery was like, and when would be the best time for her to undergo this procedure. The patient decided to book surgery after her consultation.

I was able to assist in the procedure at the Newton Surgical Center location. Because the patient was also a friend of mine, we had previously arranged for me to take care of her post-op as well. The surgery itself was only about 2 hours start to finish. The patient stayed home for the next few days, but had very little pain or swelling. The best advice we can give: keep frozen peas in plastic baggies in the freezer and switch them out every 20-30 minutes. Ice decreases swelling, and the peas are light weight and mold to the shape of the eye. I knew there was some use for those things (I am not a fan of peas!).

I would like to thank this client for sharing her story!

(Do you like my shirt? I thought the eyes were appropriate for this post! Wow… I officially have started matching my outfits to my blog posts… maybe I’m becoming more like my mother (the kindergarten teacher) who has a festive turtleneck for every holiday of the year. I did match my diva weave to the Fourth of July this year…)

  • LK

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)


Blepharoplasty, or “Bleph,” is a surgical modification of the eyelid. Bleph’s are performed both for functional and cosmetic reasons. Cosmetically, the heavy, drooping eyelid gives the illusion of a tired appearance. The lower eyelid bleph is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve the appearance of “bags” and puffiness. (In my experience, eyes are the most concerning feature for women in regards to aging.)

In severe cases, where vision is compromised, everyday tasks (such as driving) can be hazardous. An eyelid lift gives the patient a more awake, alert and youthful appearance and increases the field of vision.

Source: Center for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery


Whether one is looking to treat their upper lid, lower lid, or both, this procedure is generally the same.  Blepharoplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia in an office or hospital setting.  I’ve assisted in many bleph’s (Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty).

A crescent shaped incision is made either in the upper eyelid fold or next to the lash line on the lower lid.  Excess skin and fat are removed and small, inconspicuous sutures are left behind.

    


After surgery is complete the eye area can bruise and swell.  Cold compresses (or peas!) can be applied gently to minimize these effects. Antibiotic ointment also needs to be applied for the first couple of days to prevent infection.  Patients will return to for a follow up a week after surgery monitor the healing progress and most return to work soon after that.  The incision lines will fade after approximately two months, but are barely visible.

A Note from a Patient:

I can remember as far back as 6th grade having heavy eyelids. I am almost – and I say almost – 60 years old. For the past 10 years or so, I found myself constantly raising

my eyebrows in hopes that it would raise my eyelids. It became just so natural for me to do that – hence – wrinkles. Can’t win!!

Then I met Laura. Here I am – Miss Deathly Scared of Needles – and I had no qualms about getting shot up with Botox. Instantly there was an amazing difference. She was able to raise my brows so that it took an edge off of my drooping.

As a couple of years went by, I just got to the point where it just wasn’t enough for me. Hey, I am approaching 60, how long am I going to wait to become 40 again. Laura talked to me about seeing a doctor to get my eyes done. He was running a special time of the year sale and who doesn’t like a sale?? But seriously, I made the appointment and met the Dr. I felt so comfortable with his approach and what he had to say.

Originally, I had only wanted to get my top lids done. I had been so focused on them for so long that I didn’t even think about underneath the eyes. The doctor explained the full procedure to me (both top and bottom) and recommended I do both lids. He showed me the excess skin I had, and suggested once I did the tops, I would definitely want to do the bottoms (they were pretty saggy as well!). He said it didn’t make sense to do surgery twice. I was very happy with what he told me and made the appointment.

I was more excited than I was nervous on the day of my surgery AND lucky. I had my own private nurse. Laura picked me up and brought me in for the surgery. She actually stayed and watched the surgery for more of that unstoppable knowledge that she craves. I wasn’t totally knocked out, so I have very faint bits of hearing some things. Apparently, I wanted to get up and help. How thoughtful of me!! When I was done, Laura took me home and took care of me (as much as I can remember). Thank goodness for peas, the best home remedy in the world.

My recovery was so fast. I didn’t have any problems at all. It was amazing. I chose to stay in the house for almost a week just because I am so vain and it forced me to stay home and work. From being so healthy and constant peas on my eyes, my lids started healing over the stitches so they took them out early. Four of my friends came over to see me one day to bring lunch. I think I was in the very purple stage. No one wanted to say anything. My cousin told me later that she was scared to death looking at me. I knew how bad I looked. Now they all can’t believe how amazing my eyes look. I absolutely love them. AND the funny thing is that with all the focus on the lids, the best thing I did was underneath the eye. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Other patient experiences:

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck.

Why I Chose to Have a Tummy Tuck

10 Jun

The following was written by a patient who had undergone abdominoplasty. She is 40 years old, and had extreme weight loss resulting in extra skin. I think it’s also an important point to mention that she is recently divorced (which is stressful for anyone), and has been thinking about dating again (which is stressful for EVERYONE!). I am very thankful for her to share her story. There are tons of women who want to know more about this procedure.

Abdominoplasty

AKA “Tummy Tuck” is a surgical procedure used to make the abdomen more firm by removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall. The wall is then stitched together making the abdomen more “tight” in appearance. This procedure is great for women who have had kids (they say you never can get your body back after children—”they” clearly haven’t heard of a good surgeon!) and for individuals who have lots of sagging, excess skin after major weight loss.


This procedure is sometimes also done in conjunction with liposuction of the abdomen. But not always. J

Why I chose to have a tummy tuck

I first considered getting a tummy tuck 2 years ago when I was going through a tough time in my life, thinking it might boost my spirits.  My weight had gone up and down for about 20 years and I had maintained a pretty substantial amount of weight for the latter part of those years.  I had just started to lose some weight due to stress and had talked casually to a surgeon about having it done.  He recommended I have a consult and that was as far as I got with it at the time.   

I thought I had made up my mind when I overheard a friend tell another friend that I was planning surgery for all the wrong reasons.  Something in me snapped and I decided against surgery.  I contacted a personal trainer and started on a plan to lose weight and get in shape.  It was not easy.  I had never been one to exercise and it took me a long time to start choosing the right foods.  The same patterns continued where I would lose some weight, but then put it back on.  I was getting frustrated and knew I had no one to blame but myself.  I continued to work out and eat better but I just couldn’t seem to move forward.

A few months ago I saw the same surgeon who told me I should have the tummy tuck.  He knew I had been working out and eating better and I didn’t look much different.  I took his advice this time and had a consult.  What I learned was that I had loose skin that was never going to get smaller with diet and exercise.  On the contrary, the more weight I lost the more loose skin I had.  It got to the point where I felt like it was both mentally and physically holding me back.  I decided to do the surgery.  The hardest part of my decision was telling my personal trainer.  I was afraid he would think I was taking the easy way out and I respect his opinion.  He was great!  He didn’t realize I was dealing with excess skin and he was very supportive.  He asked me a lot of thought provoking questions to verify that I was doing it for the right reasons and he gave me his blessing.  I thanked him and told him I would see him 6 weeks after surgery.

A week before surgery I had a pre-op where they took photos and went over my health history.  Other than the excess weight I was extremely healthy and a good candidate for surgery.  I was a little nervous, but mostly about the recovery.  I wasn’t nervous about the surgery, just about how I would feel afterward.

The morning of surgery I got up early and went to the hospital.  I was greeted by the wonderful nursing staff and then by my surgeon.  Lastly, I was introduced to my anesthesiologist, and that’s where it all becomes fuzzy.  The next thing I know I was waking up and the nurse said hello to me.  My response: Am I skinny now?  She laughed and told me I was.  I was in the recovery room for a short period of time and then two nurses wheeled me to my room.  My only discomfort at this point was bladder pressure (they adjusted my catheter and all was fine) and my back was sore.  Once I was able to adjust myself on the bed I had no discomfort. 

I opted to stay overnight in the hospital and I am glad that I did.  The nursing staff made sure I got meds on a regular schedule and I felt comfortable knowing I had round the clock care.  I had a few visitors who came and made sure I ate and that I was recovering well.  When the nurse came to give me pain meds I asked for Motrin instead.  I had zero pain, which was unexpected, so I didn’t feel the need to take narcotics.  I spent exactly 24 hours in my hospital bed and barely moved a muscle.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with movement so I decided to wait until the next day to move around.

The next morning the nursing staff asked me if I wanted to get out of bed and walk around.  I had them remove my catheter but told them I wanted to wait to get out of bed.  As soon as they left I got up on my own.  I don’t know why.  I think maybe I wanted to know I could do it on my own.  I walked to the bathroom and washed my face and brushed my teeth.  I walked back to the bed for a half hour and then got back up to get dressed in anticipation of going home.  Imagine the surprise the nurses experienced when thy came to check on me and I was dressed and ready to go!  No discomfort!  My only thought was to stay hunched so I wouldn’t compromise my stitches.

My friend, coincidentally a nurse, came to pick me up around noon.  They wheeled me in a wheelchair to the car and I very carefully climbed in.  I was tired but otherwise felt good.  The ride home was uneventful.  I got home and slowly walked upstairs to my bedroom, knowing I would be staying there for a few days while I recovered.  The doctor had told me to get up and walk around a little bit, but only as needed.  I had 2 drains that would let him know if I did too much activity.  I had another nurse friend stay with me the first night home but after that I felt like I could manage on my own.

I was a pretty good patient, or so I thought.  I felt great so I ended up walking around more than I was supposed to.  I washed my hair every day and fed my cats.  When I went for my post op appointment 6 days after surgery I got bad news.  My drains were pulling in too much fluid which meant I couldn’t have them removed.  I was put on bed rest and told to come back in 2 days.  Lesson learned.  I stayed in bed for the full 2 days, only getting up to go to the bathroom.  It worked.  I had my drains removed 2 days later and went back to work 3 days after that.  The removal of the drains was a source of anxiety for me but I barely felt them being removed. 

For 6 weeks I kept my activity to a minimum and followed all my surgeon’s instructions.  I asked the surgeon why I had such a great experience and he said it was probably because I was in shape from working out so much.  My recovery was not exactly typical.  I was a bit tired from the anesthesia but otherwise I felt pretty good.  Physically, I looked a bit out of proportion as I had a lot of swelling but over time everything evened out.  I am now 3 1/2 months post surgery and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  I am back to the gym and I am now focusing on other areas of my body that need attention.  It’s been a long road but a trip worth taking.


Before and After

Also, check out how hot those panties are!


Before


After

A Note from Me

Sometimes I wonder if people understand that not all plastic surgery is done by super vain and “plastic” looking people. There are many different types of people who undergo the knife each year for reconstructive purposes and to fix something that has affected their self image. Case studies are the best! You should always talk to people who have done the procedure before (unfortunately most people who are elated with results from plastic surgery aren’t usually telling the world their secrets) so here’s some advice from Joan Rivers, Do Whatever You Want, If It Makes You Happy. But First Take This Quiz..

On a serious note, surgery IS serious and if you’re  Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?. you should have the list of questions printed from the blog entry to ask your doctor.

I would also like to remind patients NOT to get out of bed without assistance post-procedures. If you are on narcotics (which you probably still have in your system post-op) you are more likely to fall. And then the nurses have to fill out paperwork and it’s REALLY time consuming. Also, if you ever stand up and you feel dizzy, do NOT look down. Those are my words of wisdom for today.

Thanks!

-LK


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.

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