Sun Savvy Skin Care

sunscreenSPF50With summer just around the corner, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone about the importance of wearing sunscreen and incorporating it into your daily regime. A well formulated sunscreen, is by far the most important product in your skin-care arsenal because it prevents prematurely aged skin… you know, that leathery-looking pigmented skin!

When choosing a daytime moisturizer or lotion, always buy one with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, packed with skin repairing antioxidants, and one that you feel comfortable applying daily. Follow with a foundation/BB cream or powder mineral makeup , all containing SPF! This layering technique is what I do to ensure more complete sun protection. Daily application of sunscreen is the key, the sun’s damaging rays still penetrate, even on hazy cloudy days. Practice good sun sense everyday, rain or shine!
A good sun protection product should not only protect you from UVB (the sun’s BURNING rays), but also from UVA (the sun’s silent killer rays that cause AGING and wrinkles, as well as skin cancer). Here are the active ingredients to look for in a sun protection product that will give you that broad-spectrum UVA&UVB protection:
1) Zinc Oxide 10% or Titanium Dioxide in combination with zinc oxide….I prefer this natural mineral physical sunblock to the chemical ones because it is non-irritating for sensitive skin.
2) Avobenzone/Parsol
3) Mexoryl SX (ecamsule)
4) Tinosorb

The following are some good choices for daily use:
1) PAULA’S CHOICE MOISTURE BOOST DAILY RESTORING COMPLEX WITH SPF30
2)SKINCEUTICALS PHYSICAL FUSION UV DEFENSE SPF50
3)VANICREAM SUNSREEN SENSITIVE SKIN SPF30
4) COLORSCIENCE SUNFORGETTABLE POWER SPF50 (keep this in my purse for touchups)
5) OLAY REGENERIST DNA SUPERSTRUCTURE UV CREAM SPF30

Makeup choices:
1) PAULA’S CHOICE BARELY THERE SHEER MATTE TINT SPF30
2) LAURA MERCIER ILLUMINATING TINTED MOISTURIZER SPF20
3) JANE IREDALE MINERAL POWDER MAKEUP SPF20
4) TARTE AMAZONIAN CLAY 12 hour FOUNDATION SPF15

Up Close & Personal with Injectables

The following videos of me getting filler & botox are the real deal!  (Not for the squeamish.) Sue and I thought it is important for you to see this in order to get a realistic sense of what these procedures entail.

Injectables Part 1

Injectables Part 2

Injectables Part 3

Skincare 101

 

Part 1

I’d like to once again reiterate the fact that there are no miracle wrinkle cures out there, so don’t be duped by aggressive department store salespeople promising you youth in a jar…it simply doesn’t exist!

What I can promise you, is if you consistently follow a good daily skin care regime, using state-of-the-art, well formulated products, you can attain healthy glowing skin that actually repairs itself.

Here are a few tips I know to be true, followed by my day/evening daily skin care regime (see part 2):

Know your skin type! The key to seeing great results is to use products appropriate to your skin’s needs and concerns. Remember, skin type may change with weather, stress levels, hormones, medications and even diet. Therefore it is important to adjust your skin care routine to address these issues. For instance, I am combination/normal with anti-aging concerns. I tend to like serums and lighter hydrators rather than richer moisturizers, unless I am skiing in the Mountains of Aspen; when I change things up to adjust to the drier, high altitude climate. Other examples of skin types may be: dry/very dry, sensitive/rosacea, normal/oily, and sun-damaged/wrinkles.

Avoid jar packaging! Stable packaging is a must. With all the innovations in skin care formulations (Vit.C, retinols/retinoids, antioxidants, peptides, etc), it is important to preserve them in airless pumps and opaque tubes. Otherwise, these fragile ingredients will quickly break down when exposed to light and air, and lose their effectiveness. Also, dipping fingers into jars can create a bacteria/fungus problem…yuck!

Go fragrance free! Fragrance, whether synthetic or natural can cause chronic irritation. It may not be evident on the surface of your skin, but fragrance in skin care can actually damage collagen, create inflammation, and even hinder your skin’s ability to heal and regenerate. Don’t forget about your décolletage! Your neck and chest also need some TLC. What you put on your face, should also go on neck, chest, earlobes, and back of hands. They all show age before the face does!

Quality products do matter! Armed with all the above, you are off to a good start. Remember, price rarely dictates quality, choose wisely.

 

Paulas Choice samples

I mostly use products formulated by Paula Begoun, aka, “The Cosmetics Cop”. Her skin care lines, Paula’s Choice, are based on published medical and scientific research. They are no nonsense lines that really live up to their claims; and are priced very reasonably too! She has products for all skin types, and experts to help you choose what best suits your needs. www.PaulasChoice.com (800) 831-4088 (These products are not available in stores). I also like some products by SkinMedica (TNS Essential Serum), and Jan Marini’s (Regeneration Booster), both use new technology with (somewhat controversial) growth factors to regenerate skin. I will keep you posted. Not certain they are worth the money just yet.

Part 2

Morning Regime (I follow Paula’s step-by-step guide)

1) Cleanse: Use gentle water based cleanser that doesn’t leave face tight and dry. Be extra careful to avoid bar-type soaps.

2) Tone: Good toners smooth and hydrate face, preparing skin for next step.

3) Exfoliate: No need for abrasive scrubs. Most women don’t know how important this step is to remove dead skin cells, generate new collagen, and reduce discolorations.  It can simply be done daily with an AHA (glycolic acid) no-rinse lotion for drier sun damaged skin, or a BHA (salicylic acid) liquid for blemish prone oilier skin. Over time you’ll notice more even skin tone and firmness.

4) Treatment: A few drops of an antioxidant rich plus serum with retinol to revitalize skin, paying special attention to the area around the eyes.

5) Moisturizer +Sunscreen: Rain or shine, daily sunscreen is vital to preserving skin. Sun is the #1 cause of freckles/age spots and wrinkles, so use a broad spectrum SPF moisturizer with lots of antioxidants to protect from sun damage.

 

Evening Regime

1) Cleanse: Use the same gentle cleanser to remove dirt and makeup. A soft washcloth is fine, but Sue and I like our Clarisonic Pro and Mia brushes.

2) Tone: This removes the last traces of makeup, use with cotton pad. Toning also smoothes and calms skin.

3) Exfoliate: Once again, AHA or BHA’s to give you renewed texture and tone. Helps your treatment (next step) products absorb with ease.

4) Treatment/Moisturizer: Smooth into face, it repairs and stimulates collagen, should contain lots of antioxidants and retinol or prescription retinoids. Moisturize as needed so skin is soft and hydrated with increased firmness.

 

And so, you have completed your first lesson in skincare. Enjoy.

 

Gigi

Bikini Ready

Just got back from a wonderful two weeks in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where I spent 90 % of my time frolicking around in bikinis; feeling confident and looking pretty damn good for 51, if I do say so myself.

Perhaps this was due to the Exilis treatments I have received over the past few months. I must tell you that I am down at least one size; my thighs are slimmer and tighter now, than they have been in years. I am mindful of diet and exercise too, but am truly impressed with this new machine, and I’ve tried many others! Exilis has made a difference for me; I’m thrilled with my results, and continue treatments on a quarterly basis for maintenance.

Exilis Therapy is a body shaping and tissue tightening, non surgical, no downtime series of treatments using a FDA approved device using RF or radio frequency energy for fat reduction and skin laxity anywhere on the body.

The downside is that it is very time consuming, if done correctly, can get a bit pricey, and isn’t widely available in the Bay Area. As always, good results rely on the skill level of the technician. I can only recommend Geraldine at Reviv Med Spa in Millbrae. She takes the time to do several passes per area, i.e. inner thighs, outer thighs or lower buttocks to ensure good result for her clients. Check out their website for more information and pricing: www.revivmedspa.com or call 650 697-3339.

Dermal Fillers + Botox = No Facelift.

So good to be back with you talking all things beauty.

Today, It’s all about how fillers can be used in your anti-aging regime in conjunction with the Botox/Dysport that I previously blogged about that is, in essence a liquid face lift. Our faces not only age vertically, we also lose contours and fat in our faces, thus aging us horizontally. To replace that lost volume, fillers such as Perlane, Sculptra, Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero and Prevelle Silk can be very effective in restoring the high, full cheeks, and filling in that hollow look under the eyes. In addition it can plump lips and address volume loss in the temples. Thus, avoiding that unnatural, stretched look of some facelifts, injectables (if done correctly) can give you a fresher and more balanced appearance.
We always recommend seeing Board Certified plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists; however, Sue and I have had much better results with aesthetic nurses who are expert injectors! They are not as heavy handed as male doctors who are rushed and tend to leave bruises and lumps; at least that has been my experience. Ladies, always consider the skill and experience of the physician or nurse prior to undergoing treatment. Good results come from good technique and an artistic eye! The following are three excellent specialists that I have personally used and recommend:
Peri Corsliglia, RN BSN www.mymedasthetics.com (707) 321-3071 (Napa and Novato offices)
Deborah Francesconi, RN www.rnbeautifulskin.com (925) 945-8656 (Walnut Creek)
Jennifer Fick, RN BSN med@epicentermedspa.com (415) 362-4754 (San Francisco)

Be aware that fillers are temporary!!! They will last anywhere from 3 months to over a year, depending on a multitude of factors. Bruising and swelling are common, give yourself at least 2 weeks to discover the true reveal.