Tag Archives: peel

Will it hurt?

24 Nov

Pain is such an abstract and obscure concept. You can’t really define it. It has so many dimensions. In the hospital, we assess pain on a scale of either facial expression charts or numerically from 0-10. Zero being no pain, and 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life. It is an individual experience; the numerical response to a stimulus can differ drastically from person to person. So, whether or not something will hurt is relative.

    Source: http://www.pamz.com

On a Scale of 0-10…

What’s the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced? First, a broken heart. That took a really long time to recover from… and I definitely still have scars! The second most painful thing I’ve ever endured is being in a car accident, which I also still have issues from. I’ve never gone through childbirth, never been divorced, still have both my parents, and never had a kidney stone. So my list has room to change. I’d like to point out that my list does not include Botox, Fillers, or my recent surgery. But that’s what this post is about. Do aesthetic procedures hurt as much as people think they will?

Beauty is Pain

We’ve all endured painful treatments in the name of beauty. Ever tweezed your eyebrows? Waxed your lip? Burned yourself with a curling iron? Stuck an eyelash wand in your eye? Walked more than a street block in stilettos? All painful, but relatable, every day examples of things women do in the name of beauty.

If you asked 100 women the same question, you’d get a 100 different answers. This is because women never have a “yes” or “no” answer. It’s always a story. So here’s a comparison story.

Q: How painful are stilettos?

A: Well, that depends.

  • How big are the stilettos
  • How long are you wearing them for
  • How far will you need to walk in them
  • Who makes them
  • How often do you wear stilettos
  • How often do you wear those particular stilettos (i.e. are they broken in)
  • What condition are your feet in (i.e. do you have any blisters)
  • What size are the stilettos vs. what size are your feet (i.e. does the shoe fit)
  • What are the road conditions for which you will be walking in them (i.e. changes in elevation)
  • What are the weather conditions for which you will be wearing them (i.e. rain or snow, inside or out)
  • Etc, ect, ect.

So, when you ask how badly something will hurt, there are many conditions which will change the outcome. It’s hard to explain the pain factor of beauty. The “Universal Pain Assessment Scale” does not really work when it comes to women and what they’re willing to endure. So… I decided to paint my own comparative scale. Because I love “Paint” (the computer program) and I love making stuff relatable.

The “LK Aesthetic Comparative Assessment Scale”

I’m not going to lie. This took me a long time to create, and it’s pretty scientific (although has no reliability or validity, it is merely my projections). This is how it works. Each treatment is rated in 3 dimensions on a scale of 1-5. Then those 3 numbers are added.

Chemical Peels

Laser Hair Removal


Laser on the Face



Eyeliner Tattoo


Botox


Fillers


Some fillers hurt more than others. The worst is the lips. I used that for the pain scale, but other areas hurt much less.

Tear Troughs    2

Cheeks        2

Marionette Lines    3

Naso-Labial Folds    3

Plastic Surgery

In all fairness… I think surgeries could be subcategorized. I heard liposuction isn’t really that bad. I guess it depends how well you are medicated too. Pain is relative.

I Hope this gave some perspective! Remember, this scale holds no scientific basis.

XOXO. LK.

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.

A Bride’s Guide

17 Mar


Every bride wants to look perfect on her special day, and that takes a lot of hard work and preparation (or so I hear…)… I thought I’d be a big help for all those brides (and their bridal parties!) with a little bit of information you might find helpful!

Actually… I think any time anyone attends a wedding they want to look good. Weddings = Pictures. And now-a-days, pictures – the good, the bad, and the ugly – wind up on Facebook! So if you’re at the age where you will be attending lots of weddings in the near future (i.e. my age) you might want to take some notes…

Non-Invasive

Spray Tan

Spray tan’s typically last 7-14 days.  If your thinking of spraying (which I highly recommend), do it as close to your big day as possible!  You can’t shower for 6 hours after a spray, and you can smell a little bit sugary post-spray, so keep this in mind.  For the best results, spray the day before. As it wears off, it can sometimes look a little patchy. Make sure you exfoliate prior to your appointment (and shave).

Also, I hear there is a new spray out, that has glitter in it (OMG RIGHT!), but it’s only good for 24 hours I think? Maybe someone else knows more about this? I would also like to note here, that if you are not the bride, you should NOT be shining. That’s rude.


Facial

A plain old facial can be done anywhere from a few days to a month before a special date. Healthy skin is essential for a beautiful face. I recommend everyone see an aesthetician and purchasing some products that will keep your skin healthy.

Weddings are super stressful, and your skin responds to stress. Facials will keep break-outs at bay, not only by cleaning your skin, but by giving you some quality relaxation time. Spa days are great to do with your friends, mother, and future mother in law!


*Note: if you are planning on doing Botox or fillers, a facial should be done either immediately before or 5 days after any facial treatments.

Chemical Peel

Degree of peeling can vary, so talk to the aesthetician performing your peel and be CLEAR if you have any wedding events (or any events for that matter) that you don’t want to be shedding for. ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.  For a real good, deep peel, expect about a week to two of down time. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Very Important:  moisturize often with a pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical grade product after a peel.  Many places have post-treatment kits.  Do NOT pick at your skin!  Stay out of the sun! Do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for about 7 days.

Waxing

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

Microdermabrasion.

Often done during the same time as a facial, and can cause some minor redness.  Protect your skin after this treatment. Again, stay out of the sun, and do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for 7 days.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatments

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

Teeth Whitening

It depends on the number of treatments you will need to decide when you should start. Some treatments take a few sessions, some are one and done. Go for a consult. At the very least, do the Crest White Strips.

Long Lashes

A lot of brides ask me about eye-lash extensions. Although a little expensive, they look great for a wedding.  They should be done about a week before your big event.  They take some getting used to! Lovely Lashes!. They also don’t last very long… usually about a month, so don’t do them too soon unless you are going to keep up on them. If you are having your make-up professionally done, the make-up artist will probably offer you some sort of fake-eyelash. If you are doing your own make-up and you want that lashed out look, practice a few times before the big day. I am a master of the strip lash… but it took me about a year to perfect my technique!

Minimally Invasive Procedures

These can be tricky to time.  If you are planning on doing any non-invasive procedures, they should be done either immediately before Botox and Fillers, or 5 days after.  This is because you don’t want Botox to travel into the wrong muscle group, or fillers to be moved into the wrong area.  Use good judgment with timing your treatments!

A lot of women do Botox and fillers before a big wedding!

Check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/fashion/24skin.html?pagewanted=all


(I’m the bridesmaid all the way to the left. I would like to add a disclaimer: The bride here is naturally beautiful. And has not let me tempt her into Botox—yet).

Botox

If you are new to Botox, I suggest trying it out 4-6 months prior to the wedding date for a couple of reasons. First, this way you can decide if you like it (which you will, but I still recommend trying it). Second, Botox is a dose dependant medication (your results depend on how large or small a dose you receive). Six months gives you plenty of time to work out with your injector the perfect dose for you! Last, you will not be able to look angry for 3-6 months. This might be helpful to any Bridezilla’s out there. So, when you are in witch mode, at least you won’t look like it. J

If you don’t have six months to do a trial run, if you are a Botox Pro, or if you just want to go for it, you should have your treatment AT LEAST 1 month prior to the big day, and NO MORE than 2 months prior. Anything more than 2 months, it might start wearing off, anything less than a month you might not have the result you desire.

Another interesting use of Botox with Brides: It is becoming popular to be treated for hyperhydrosis (sweating) in the underarm. I recommend this to brides who will be getting married outside in 100 degree weather. Sweating profusely is pretty gross. You’re already going to be nervous, and when you add your layers of dress (which I’m sure is not air conditioned), and all the dancing you’re going to do… might be a good idea. Plus, you didn’t spend all that money on a dress to have pit-stains on it. This procedure requires a pretty big dose of Botox, and is therefore pretty expensive. It’s not for every bride.


(Remember don’t go overboard either!)

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

Depending on the area of injection, there can be some minor bruising (or major depending on the injector).  Invest in some Arnica cream, and expect the worst (2 weeks).  Cheek augmentation bruises the least, while lip augmentation and nasal labial folds tend to bruise the most.  Gosh, I hate it when I have dental work 😉 The average bruise lasts a few days.

Usually older brides are doing facial fillers, while younger brides might want to plump their lips.

As for the rest of the wedding participants, the mothers of the bride and groom are usually also very interested in fillers (and Botox). After all, they have been looking forward to this day since the days BEFORE their children gave them premature wrinkles. Whether she is interested in a facial or Botox treatment, moms deserve to be asked “is this your sister?”

Things to Do 6 Months or More before a Wedding (or wait until after):

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

–  Plastic Surgery. Remember that crazy reality show on TV that brides were competing with each other trying to win plastic surgery procedures so they could be perfect for their big day? Those women were … appalling. Plastic surgery should never be taken lightly. Or have a competitive reality show. Leave competitive reality to “Survivor!”

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

New Year, New You: Plan Accordingly!

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

Non-Invasive

Spray Tan

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

Facial

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

Chemical Peel

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

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

Waxing

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

Microdermabrasion.

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

Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatments

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

Eyelash Extensions

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

Minimally Invasive Procedures

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

Botox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!

25 Oct

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

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

Alpha hydroxy acid peels

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

AHA peels are used to:

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

AHA peels may:

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

Beta hydroxy acid peels

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

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