Tag Archives: skin care products
Video

Introduction to Good Skin Care Products

4 Nov

Just because something is expensive doesn’t make it work. Add a pharmaceutical skin care product into your home care regiment. You will see a huge difference in your skin!

I’m kind of ranting… and the lighting is bad. Sorry!

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Video Blogging… It Starts…

4 Nov

Here’s my first video blog!

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.

Safety during Pregnancy: What You Should and Shouldn’t Include In Your Beauty Regiment

6 Sep

It seems like it’s in the water with co-workers and friends (as evidenced by the three pregnant ladies to the left from Sylvestre Franc). I’ve had a lot of questions about what is and isn’t safe to do when you’re pregnant in regards to skin care products, laser, and injectables. It is understandable that women want to look their best during this time and hormonal changes during pregnancy can sometimes result in acne, unwanted hair growth, melasma and other skin problems. So what is safe to use and what isn’t?

Not surprisingly (to me anyways), there really is not a lot of information on product safety during pregnancy. The FDA rates products on their risks during pregnancy as follows:

Rating Definition

A

Controlled Studies Show No Risk.  Studies in pregnant women show the medication causes no increased risk to the fetus during pregnancy.

B

No Evidence of Risk In Humans.  Studies in pregnant women have not shown increased risk of fetal abnormalities despite adverse findings in animals or in the absence of adequate human studies, animal studies show no increased fetal risk.

C

Risk Cannot Be Ruled Out.  Studies are unavailable and animal studies have shown a risk to the fetus or are also lacking. There is a chance of fetal harm if taken during pregnancy but the potential benefits may outweigh the potential harm.

D

Positive Evidence Of Risk. Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy may outweigh the potential risk such as in life-threatening situations.

X

Contraindicated In Pregnancy. Studies in animals or pregnant women have demonstrated positive evidence of fetal abnormalities. The use of the product is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant.

Skin Care Products

Most skin care products fall into the Class C category; however, some products are recommended by doctors not to be used during pregnancy (although there is not enough evidence for or against them).


Not Recommended:

  • Retinoids
    • In A Practical Guide to Dermatological Drug Use in Pregnancy (Zip, MD, FRCPC) category B topical such as erythromycin, clindamycin, and benzoyl peroxide were recommended over topical tretinoin. This study states reports of congenital malformations in infants whose mothers used tretinoin during the first trimester.
    • This ingredient is found in anti-aging products such as moisturizers, and acne products.
    • Chemically a form of vitamin A, which in high doses can cause birth defects.
    • Oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin (Accutane, an acne treatment), are known to cause birth defects.


  • Beta Hydroxy acids (Salicylic Acid)
    • Ingredients used for their exfoliating and acne-treating properties. They penetrate deep inside the pores and clean out excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne, blackheads and dull-looking skin.
    • High doses of the acid in its oral form have been shown in studies to cause complications and birth defects.
    • Small amounts applied topically are considered safe (over the counter face wash for example), but peels containing Salicylic Acid are not considered safe when pregnant.

  • Hydroquinone
    • Clinically used for pigmentation for conditions such as melasma, and it is used cosmetically as a skin-whitening agent. Although a large percentage of this topical agent is systemically absorbed, the use during pregnancy does not appear to be associated with increased risk of congenital defects. This finding, however, is based off one study, with a small sample size (so it is recommended to avoid hydroquinone during pregnancy).


Safe

  • Vitamin C, Glycolic acid, and Lactic Acid: derived from fruit and milk sugars, considered nontoxic.

  • Hyaluronic Acid. This is a product your body naturally produces (which means its safe). Because of its molecular size, hyaluronic acid cannot penetrate the skin’s surface, and it is not systemically absorbed.


  • Benzoyl peroxide. Only 5% of topical benzoyl peroxide is absorbed through the skin. It is completely metabolized to benzoic acid within the skin and excreted.

Self-Tanners

Dihydroxyacetone is a color additive that is found in self-tanning products to produce an artificial tan. Color develops following topical application. These products contain dihydroxyacetone in concentrations ranging from 1% to 15%, and when applied topically, systemic levels are minimal (0.5%), and are considered safe to use.

Hair Removal and Bleaching Agents

  • Sodium, calcium, and potassium hydroxide, which are also found in depilatory creams, disassociate into sodium, calcium, potassium, and hydroxide ions, which are all present in the human body. Topical application of these products would not disrupt serum levels and would not be considered a problem for use during pregnancy.
  • Hydrogen peroxide. Hair-bleaching creams contain low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, making it unlikely to be systemically absorbed. In addition, should it be absorbed, hydrogen peroxide is rapidly metabolized. Therefore, use of these products during pregnancy is not expected to be a concern when done in moderation.
  • Laser has some controversy as to whether or not it’s safe; again, there isn’t a lot of information. Lasers do not penetrate very deep and there is not chemical exchange into the body. One interesting thought from me, (not speaking from personal experience) the body becomes more sensitive during pregnancy, and some laser treatments hurt to begin with. I’m not sure I’d want to get laser under those circumstances!

Botox and Fillers

The safety of Botox injections during pregnancy is unknown (Class C), and while I wouldn’t recommend intentionally getting Botox injections during pregnancy, many women receive injections prior to being pregnant or when they do not know they are pregnant, and have not had any problems. Botox Cosmetic has never traveled systemically, and works only on the muscles into which it has been injected. Therefore, one could presume it is safe to undergo this procedure. But I still don’t recommend it.  Unless you’re planning on having a “Toddler and Tiara” baby.  Then it’s ok.

 

xoxo,

not pregnant 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!


Everybody’s Doing It!

29 Jul

“My wife’s into that Botox Stuff” – weird guy on the cape trying to give me vodka. ????

Anyways, it seems like everybody’s into “that Botox stuff.” But no one will admit to it!!! What’s the deal people? I mean… I fully admit to being an addict. I love my Botox! I guess I’m a little on the young side (although my birthday is coming up July 31!! Yeah!). So who exactly is doing this “Botox stuff”? Here’s some excerpts from my business plan on the “consumer profile” (I wrote this in 2009, so… there is updated information… but… I haven’t updated my stuff. I HATE making graphs on the computer… but if you gave me some colored pens and a whiteboard I would be ALL over it!).

Consumers

A survey by the Aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery Education & Research Foundation (ASERF), 2009, found the typical patient “married, working mother between 41-55 years of age with a household income of under $100,000.” These women were also found to be “health-conscious,” exercising, and eating right. Nearly 7/10 of the responders regard Botox and dermal fillers as an important part of their aesthetic routine.

Smart, health-conscious women ahhhhh? That makes me happy.

Age Distribution

Number of Procedures Performed in 2009, according to the ASAPS:

Injectables:

18 and under

19-34

35-50

51-64

65+

Botulinum Toxin Type A

12,000

371,501

1,256,608

734,751

182,098

Calcium hydroxylapatite

0

9,844

55,635

41,118

11,880

Hyaluronic Acid

3,919

168,629

604,262

420,069

116,159

I’m assuming any of these 18 and under year olds are using Botox for non-cosmetic use, or for correction of facial deformities. Or… they are on “Toddler’s and Tiara’s.”

Percentage totals of Number of Procedures Performed in 2009, according to the ASAPS:

Injectables:

18 and under

19-34

35-50

51-64

65+

Botulinum Toxin Type A

0.5%

14.5%

41.1%

36.2%

7.7%

Calcium hydroxylapatite

0%

8.3%

47.0%

34.7%

10.0%

Hyaluronic Acid

0.3%

12.8%

46.0%

32.0%

8.8%

Gender

In a recent survey by RealSelf.com, of the people who would get cosmetic work, the percentage of men is climbing. Ya, it’s true! Men are vain too! And not just gays! I was sitting in a bar eating by myself (yea… I was banished from my dinner party…) and I met a couple from New York. They were so much fun! The husband and the wife did botox… and they’ve been together for 12 years. And they still liked each other. And other people (like me) had a blast talking to them. …You know me and my tangents. Anyways. Good looking people are happy and stay married longer. I’m not sure if it’s true or not… I actually made that up. But men really are doing the “botox stuff”!

Would Get Cosmetic Work:

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Men

64%

67%

64%

47%

Women

82%

82%

80%

71%

From 2008-2009, minimally-invasive procedures increased 2% in the male market (ASPS, 5). And I assure you, it’s not just gay men doing this! I have a pretty large percentage (ok… I have a few) straight men doing this “Botox Stuff.”

                                Source ASPS, 2010 (8, 10)

Location:

The Northeast Region charges the highest amount in fees in the minimally invasive cosmetics procedures industries.

According to 2009 Regional Distribution Data by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, New England holds 20% of the Botox market and 31% (the largest) of the soft-tissue filler market.

Percent of Total Procedures Performed by Region

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5
Botulinum Toxin

20%

14% 23% 15% 28%
Calcium Hydroxylapatite 35% 16% 20% 15% 15%
Hyaluronic acid 31% 12% 18% 8% 31%

Source: ASPS 2010 (15)

The Northeast Region has the highest percentage of filler procedures performed (we are Region 1). Midwest is the yellow region 2. Region 3 is light blue. Region 4 is greenish. Five is purple. Interestingly, the Noretheast and West Coast are comparable in the procedures performed. I wonder how much L.A. and New York skew that though. And Miami probably skews region 3. Just saying. Statistics are only as good as their interpretation.

Income level

Data collected by the ASPS in “Demographic Changes among Plastic Surgery Patients” demonstrates that income no longer plays a significant role in elective procedures (1). With the adjunct on patient financing options, the numbers continue to increase.

According to an Allergan Representative, the average income level for a Botox Cosmetic patient is $50,000 nationally.

Social Class

Middle to Upper Class due to income level.

Education

Education level has not shown to be a significant factor in market; however the consumer of the Northeastern market wants to be educated on products/procedures before undergoing them.

Ethnicity:

                Source: ASPS 2009 Cosmetic and Reconstructive Demographics

Most Commonly Requested Minimally-Invasive Procedures for Ethnic Patients

African-American

Asian-American

Hispanic

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Injectable fillers

Injectable fillers

Injectable fillers

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Source: ASPS 2010 (17)

Boston Market

And I’m not talking about chicken. Finding this information was pretty difficult, but I think I know my market pretty well. If you are under 35, you are probably not thinking about Botox or fillers… but honestly you should be. Remember, volume loss starts at 25. Being preventative is super important, and will cost less and look the most natural in the long run. At the very least, please use medical grade skin care!

If you’re over 35, it’s a good idea to start with the area that bothers you most. Have a long consult with your injector. Work out a schedule/plan with your provider, and make sure you talk about prices! That plan should ALWAYS start with good skin care!!!

I know your mom might disagree… but…

If Everybody’s Doing It, Shouldn’t You Be Too?


xoxo,

LK

Ahhhh… Big Ange is getting the “Botox Stuff.” LOVE IT! (Ok… well maybe she’s not the best ambassador of the Botox Nation. When do I get a t.v. show?)

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.

Softening the Lines

10 Apr

P. is a 50 year old woman who has seen me twice over the past two years. To start, she had deep naso-labial folds that she hated. We first filled them with Juvéderm (which was my product of choice two years ago, but now I like Radiesse better for this area). We then did a little bit of cheek augmentation with a large syringe of Radiesse.

P.’s son is getting married and she wanted a little touch-up before the wedding. This is totally common with treatments (and weddings). Remember, any procedure should be done with plenty of time for healing to occur in regards to bruising or swelling.

Before


After


Again, remember, I’m not a photographer! The goal with P. was to soften the downturn on her mouth, the depth of her chin, and the depth of the NL fold.

Gravity…

As you age gravity causes several changes to occur in your face. The fat pads on which your eyes rest slides out from the socket and begins to bulge. At the same time, fat pockets in the cheeks break down in a known consequential manor. The combination of these two things and the pull of gravity on lax skin deepen the look of the nasolabial folds and add years to the face.

So What did I do?

As I said, P. and I have done a few treatments together before. We did the folds first, to fill the depth caused by lax skin and gravity, and then I did cheek augmentation. As I have become more advanced however, I have changed my practices to moving from the top of the face down (because of gravity) and from the most advanced sign of aging backward. I have found this to be the most effective way to treat aging. In retrospect I would have done the following:

  1. Cheek Augmentation

    By reconstructing the fat in the cheek area by filling it with product, this will decrease the laxity of the skin which forms the NL fold. I know women start pulling up the sides of their cheeks at around 30, wondering what a facelift would look like. Well this isn’t a facelift. It’s a laxity lift. (I made that up). It’s an improvement which will help me use less product in the laso-labial fold area. This means a better result AND less money. J


    **Do you do this in the mirror? As you can see, I don’t have much lax skin… from multiple procedures (cheek aug and ulthera mostly). But uh…. I do have roots. No one’s perfect! 😉

  2. Marionette Lines

    This is one of the most advanced signs of aging (because it’s the precursor to jowls). The marionette line starts from gravity pulling down the corners of your mouth and gravity pulling the fat down from the cheek. It’s just a big ol’ gravity mess! Pulling the needle around the corner of the mouth pulls up the downturn of the mouth.

  3. Naso-labial folds

    While this is the LEAST bad sign of aging, this is usually what women are drawn to fixing first. Depending on your age, and your current amount of fat in your face, and the money your willing to spend to have the best result, are all deciding factors on where to start first. Aging didn’t start overnight, and… to be realistic… one treatment isn’t going to restore the youthfulness to your face. Many women’s biggest fear is looking like a Desperate Housewife (fake and expressionless) but this is not the goal of aesthetic medicine. The goal is to restore and maintain your features.

“Softening P.”: A Maintenance Session

P. still had nice volume in her cheeks, and her N.L. folds still had some nice fill (1 year later). P. just needed a little softening to look her best.

X = needle insertion point

Line = needle direction of needle





  1. Mouth Corners
  2. Marionette Lines
  3. Lip line
  4. Chin Sharpening
  5. Jaw Softening
  6. Nasolabial fold softening

Again the Afters


This round of treatment was to soften and touch up. One large Radiesse syringe was used to treat 6 areas. The result is a softer looking face. There is not a HUGE difference in what P. looks like, but there shouldn’t be. Treating six areas with one syringe will not show a HUGE difference. Six syringes in 6 areas… now that’s a different story. Personally, I will only do ONE syringe at a time. Once you fill one area, you change the skin volume, and laxity changes. If someone tries to sell you six syringes at once, RUN. They are not looking out for your best interest, and you are going to leave the office looking like a different person (or something non-human!).

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

20 Mar

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

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

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

What is SPF?

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

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

As you can see… a 4% increase.



SPF – Doesn’t Measure Everything!

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

Physical vs. Chemical Barriers

Physical (Sun BLOCK):

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

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




Chemical (Sun SCREEN):

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

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

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



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

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