Peels

chemicalpeel5By now I am sure most of you realize that Gigi and I are pretty much on top of everything “anti aging”.  From facials to fillers, technology to nutrition and fitness . . . we are fighting aging kicking and screaming!  😉

That being said, from my personal experience, the procedure with THE most visible signs of improvement of the skin OTHER THAN BOTOX (which is THE best!) is a good chemical peel.  My two “go to” procedures are peels to improve the overall appearance and texture to my skin, and I use a little filler for volume.  I test out all the latest procedures as far as technology but honestly peels are my gold standard.  I am hopeful that this alone will avoid any cosmetic surgery in the future . . . one can hope!

Chemical peels, also known as derma peeling and chemexfoliation, are minimally invasive procedures and definitely improve the skins appearance.  It’s basically a doctor or nurse (do NOT go to anyone else with this type of procedure!) that will apply a chemical solution to your face. That can include neck, chest, and hands as well.  Most solutions are glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acids.  If I need a “quicky”, I will usually do a light glycolic peel that basically gives you fresh and glowing skin immediately.  No peeling, just a little sluffing of the skin.  About twice a year now I do a more intense peel which is a Retin A peel.  It looks like a mild sunburn initially, the skin will tighten, and then it will peel . . .  big time!  A disclosure here . . . I accidentally left the Retin A solution on too long the first time I did it and I peeled in sheets!  Literally sheets of skin were coming off!  And talk about raw!  The photo below is what my neck looked like a couple days after those initial sheets of skin came off.  Honestly, it hurt like hell . . .  but the results were worth it!  Vanity knows no bounds!

Obviously . . .  you must protect your skin with great SPF/broad-spectrum during and after this stage (you should always anyhow!) but be more diligent than ever. It’s something I would not recommend in the summer months.  Peels for the most part can improve irregular skin pigmentation, sun damaged skin, some freckling, reduce fine lines especially around the eyes and mouth area, treat certain types of acne and their scars, and overall improve the look and feel of your skin. Plus they do aid in stimulating collagen production which is a major plus.  Just another treatment in our arsenal!

me

 

Cosmetic Micropigmentation: permanent makeup/tattoo

tattoo2Yes, this is a “tattoo” that allows you to wake up with makeup!  It’s by far THE greatest thing I have ever done for myself!  Gigi too!

So that being said, so many women get an immediate visual of some REALLY bad cosmetic tattoos and have heard a lot of negatives. Let me say this upfront . . . you MUST go to a licensed professional. There are many professional organizations, specialized training, technical education and certifications that should be researched and seriously looked into.  The two most important being . . . SPCP.org (The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals) and AAM (The American Academy of Micropigmentation).  Both adhere to a strict code of ethics and safety standards.  Look for a professional with these credentials.

Permanent cosmetic/tattoo of the dermis isn’t  really permanent and there is also a technique to adjust any “mistakes”.  The color remains in the epidermal layers where continued use of products containing retinoids, retinols, AHA’s and BHA’s (those are acids in skincare products) are likely to fade out your procedure over time. Usually a cosmetic tattoo will last 3 to 5 years.  Everyone is different however, so that varies.  Gigi goes in every few years to touch up her brows, while I haven’t touched up my lips in well over 6 years now.  Yes, my lips are totally done.  A great tattoo plus filler . . .  awesome! . . . as I can divulge that I wasn’t born with lips to speak of!  And no one can tell!

The real beauty of this procedure is far more important than just makeup for vanity or convenience, it is the corrective aspect.  This procedure can disguise scars for example, on burn victims and the breast areola after breast implant surgery.  Alopecia, chemotherapy and/or any genetic disturbance can be dealt with.  It really is a Godsend when you are dealing with these issues.  I have witnessed many of these areas being touched up and it truly is amazing and the relief it gives the patient (men too!) is simply wonderful.

Please look under “VIDEOS” above as you will see Gigi getting eyeliner (known as lash enhancement) and her eyebrows done from a procedure a few years ago with the lovely Elayne Davis at www.permanentcosmeticarts.com.  If you are in San Francisco or Los Angeles, our dear friend Athena Karsant is also phenomenal, www.foolingmothernature.com.

Fractora on Sue at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics

As promised,  here are two quick videos of my Fractora procedure.  I really wanted to show the before as to prep the skin is so important, not pretty as I mention, but important to get the skin as numb as possible.  Obviously the right topical anesthetic is paramount.  The second video is a quick look at the procedure performed by Peri Corsiglia, BSN, RN at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics (www.mymedaesthetics.com), and Kyle O’Hara filming and giving some narration.  The Fractora device delivers improvements for the broadest range of symptoms of aging skin . . . wrinkles, texture, pigment irregularities, blood vessels and redness.

*A side note . . .  I am posting this 4 days after this treatment.  I did experience a pretty bad breakout and have become more concerned with getting that under control rather than the healing from the Fractora.  Because of my experience as I have very sensitive, oily skin, someone interested in this procedure should prepare for this potential side effect.

Fractora demo at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics, Part Two

Below you will see Gigi receiving her second of a two part treatment from the Fractora device we introduced previously.  Again the lovely Peri Corsiglia, BSN, RN is performing the procedure at their offices in the Napa Valley.  Yes . . .  there is more than just food and wine up here!

Fractora demo at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics, Part One

Below you will see Gigi receiving her first of a two part treatment from the Fractora device we introduced in a previous blog post. This first video is the Fractora Firm RF with Peri Corsiglia, BSN, RN performing the procedure.

Fractora at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics

Gigi and I are always testing the “latest” in technological innovations of skin care and will try to keep you current with what we feel is really worth looking at. We are crazy about two wonderful aesthetic nurses at Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics, Kyle O’Hara and Peri Corsiglia (www.mymedaesthetics.com). These ladies know their “stuff” and are exemplary in the world of anti-aging and skin care while understanding and utilizing current technologies. We are going to be featuring an amazing fractional rejuvenation and resurfacing device today and the effects of it on Gigi and myself in the future. I wanted to give credit where credit is due, so below you will see the credentials of these two lovely nurses along with video introducing Fractora.

Kyle Dailey O’Hara, RN is the founder and co-owner of Maintain Youth Medical Aesthetics and has over over twenty years nursing experience in the clinical practice of age restorative medical and aesthetic treatments.

Kyle began her training as a cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery nurse in 1990 with Dr. David Apfelberg, founder of the the prestigious Atherton Plastic Surgery Center. Kyle pioneered nurse applications in dermatology laser treatments, dermal fillers, sclerotherapy and laser hair removal through her work at the Atherton Plastic Surgery Center.

Kyle went on to become an international clinical trainer of physicians in dermatology laser applications, dermal fillers, chemical peel and neuro-modulator treatment applications.

In additional to her clinical nursing skills in plastic surgery and dermatology, Kyle is also a skilled practitioner in holistic age management and is certified in Physician Level Intravenous Nutritional Therapy. Kyle has been a Registered Nurse for 35 years and is a graduate of West Virginia Northern School of Nursing.

Peri Corsiglia, BSN RN graduated from San Francisco State with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She worked for over 18 years as an intensive care nurse at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and began her medical aesthetics training in 2005. Peri is highly skilled in advance medical aesthetic procedures and has been a model nurse injector for PPIB, a major national insurance carrier for medical aesthetic practitioners. Peri has a very high client retention and referral rate for her medical aesthetic skills in Napa and Marin counties.

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

Try, try again

lip sitesI feel the need to mention a procedure that we brought forward from our old Blog a few years ago.  The video clip at the bottom of our Blog Posts shows me receiving Botox Cosmetic at my vermilion border (lip line).   I can confirm that it works on very superficial vertical lip lines/wrinkles . . .  i.e., smokers lines, pucker lines, whatever you want to call them.   But I can also confirm that it really doesn’t work as the lines deepen.  Again, on superficial wrinkles that are just beginning to form, it’s ok, but because that muscle area is so strong and is used so frequently as the lines deepen, Botox is not a good option as to lose control of those muscles can make the movement of your mouth a little strange.  Glad we showed it, however, as most women do not realize that there are options available for this area of the mouth and it is one of the first areas to show age.

What does work . . . again for me . . .  is Juvederm Ultra XC (a hyaluronic acid filler) injected along the vermilion border.  It’s a double whammy!  Not only does it fill in those now deepening wrinkles (not 100% but enough to be satisfied and keep it functioning naturally), but it plumps up your upper lip as well!  I personally can’t stand “duck bill lips” that I see on so many women and if done by an “artist” on injectables, it will fill in and plump in one shot and no one will even know you’ve had anything done . . . which is exactly how I like it.  I have found that going about every six months or so seems to work for me.  Please note, that all fillers are temporary and Gigi and I always advise going to a Board Certified plastic surgeon, cosmetic dermatologist, or aesthetic nurse.

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.