UV Damage – “How the Sun sees You”

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This video went viral last week and I felt like crying seeing these people laughing at themselves!  I’ve had the photos taken from the VISIA Complexion Analysis machine and I can tell you that it is nothing to laugh about.  The reality of the power and damage of UV radiation is beyond a little sun burn.  This is worth looking at.  Wear your sunscreen and UV apparel!

 

Good Information . . . Smart Advice!

We pulled this infographic from our friends at PaulasChoice.com with their permission.  This is the best anti-aging information and advice we can think to offer you with regards to the realities of sun exposure.

PaulasInfographic

Where exactly do you place fillers?

We get a lot of questions on fillers and where they should go to get the most natural looking face.  We love using fillers, along with great skincare products and electrical modalities, and definitely recommend them.  That being said . . .  less is more!

I have coined a couple of terms that are appropriate given what we have seen over the years . . . “apple face syndrome” or “toddler face”.  Get that visual in your head for a second and you will totally get what that means.  Women that use too much filler have this “syndrome”! And it doesn’t look good, let alone natural.  Gigi and I are giving our opinion below on what we feel works for us . . . all the while trying to keep it soft and natural looking.

This will give you a clear idea on areas to focus on should you wish to use fillers  . . .

face-fillers

The first thing most women notice are the wrinkles on their foreheads and perhaps crows feet along with a droopy brow and the crease between the brow.  Botox hands down is the best for this (if you have waited too long and the wrinkles there are really deep, you would have to use filler here along with Botox).  But for fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane (all of which are hyaluronic acids), we suggest (and do!) the following . . .

Cheeks are an instant lift  . . . but not too much!  As we age, our faces actually flatten out.  By adding filler there it brings a youthful look back to your face. Be careful with the new product from Allergan called Voluma.  We have friends that are doctors and nurses that have tried it and noticed that the cheeks “fall” after injected. Perhaps the molecular structure is too heavy . . . jury still out on this new filler.

The hollows at your temples . . . you would be surprised how much you lose here and what a huge difference it makes when you “fill it up”.  And when you do, it does give a slight lift to your lower face as well.  Definitely gives a youthful appearance.

Your laugh lines are the nasolabial folds and along with pucker lines or lipstick lines and the lips themselves . . .  those areas are greatly improved with filler.

The marionette lines are a little tough to deal with and that whole area starts to collapse especially around 50.  Fillers have nothing to cling to here and tend to “float” in the area where injected. That is the toughest area to deal with.  Now having said that, Sculptra is an interesting option.  Sculptra is a synthetic poly-L-lactic acid and when injected metabolizes and breaks down stimulating collagen production.  Unfortunately it takes a few months before you see it working unlike a hyaluronic filler that you see immediately.  I’ve personally done both and still haven’t found anything I believe truly works.

Yes, you can fill your ear lobes and for many that have torn lobes or stretched lobes from heavy earrings, this area can be somewhat repaired.

Belotero is another filler option which was initially best suited for around the eyes and the hollowness that develops there creating that sunken look. Unfortunately, we found it not long lasting and wouldn’t recommend it.

Again . . .  PLEASE go to a board certified doctor or aesthetic nurse for any of these fillers and procedures.  You may have to experiment with several brands of filler as everyone metabolizes them differently and there isn’t a “one brand fits all” solution.

Seasons and Skincare

seasons

Routine is the kiss of death in a skincare regimen . . . it can make you look older and create unbalanced skin. This is a wake up call for many women on the quest for beautiful, healthy skin . . .  you have to change your skincare regime with the seasons.  Your makeup too.

I’m not mandating four different regimens as some areas don’t really have four seasons, obviously, like southern California or Florida, but I do strongly recommend switching up your routine at least twice per year.  I definitely do and have for years.  I have also seen improvement in the overall function and hydration of my skin because of it.

Think about it . . . we rely so much on vegetation/botanicals in our diet and skincare products.  And nature lives in the rhythm of seasons.  It is organic, it is life, and so are we. We eat certain foods because they are “in season” (grant it because we import so many fruits and vegetables from around the world, that isn’t 100% true anymore, but I’m talking in general here).  To follow natures rhythm, is to understand our own.  In nature, there is a time for expansion and contraction.  Our bodies mimic that as well on a cellular level. Skincare is “feeding” the skin what it needs daily and per season, what it needs to function normally, replenishing what it has lost and always protecting it.  To view skincare as merely an aesthetic proposition is missing the point and doing a disservice to you in the quest for healthy skin.

There are reasons for the options out there i.e. gels, foams, lotions, oil-free,  geared towards oily, dry, normal and sensitive skin types. But it’s not just about “skin type”. Sometimes you’re drier, sometimes you have more oil production, even sweat. If you’re dry, you will probably like a lotion based cleanser along with continued use of a moisturizer. Sebum production does elevate in a warmer climate and everyone knows that humidity is nature’s moisturizer.  I have oily skin . . .  I prefer gel cleansers and no moisturizer in the spring/summer.  Sometimes a toner along with a serum is plenty. I move towards a creamier lotion type cleanser and lightweight moisturizer in the autumn/winter months. If a product is well formulated, you don’t need a ton of them on a daily basis but you do need a “range” of products based on what your skin is doing and how it is behaving.

The same goes for makeup, primarily foundations.  Switch it up at least twice a year.  A heavier foundation will not serve you well in the warmer months and looks heavy and “aging”. If you feel you need a full coverage foundation due to imperfections, remember, when the skin is functioning “normally”, you will have cellular turnover which leads to better tone and texture. Imperfections can be dealt with.  There is a technology for every ailment out there.  Switching your color palette should also coordinate with the season.  Just changing your lip or blush color can make you look younger and more radiant. Besides . . .  isn’t it boring to look exactly the same every day?

Skin does react to climate changes. Seasons, arid environments, hormones, stress etc., all affect your skin. If you truly take the time to “listen” to your skin, observe it, you will know what to do to keep it looking its best.  Keep it simple, but mix it up.  Trust me, you will notice and see a difference!

Sun . . . is it as bad as we have been taught to believe?

truckdriversundamageLet this photo answer that question . . . BUT there is a yes AND no here! We stumbled upon this image in an online article originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  This photo was labeled as a truck driver with dermatoheliosis . . . photoaging or sun-induced aging.   The article states that the dermatologists believe that because his skin was exposed to the sun on just one side (the amount of time driving and exposing the left side of the face), is the reason for the total breakdown of dermal tissue.

Yes, we do need to protect ourselves from the damaging rays of the sun, BUT we are also dealing with vitamin D deficiency as a whole.  We subscribe to so many newsletters and at least once a week we are seeing articles mentioning this deficiency, some calling it a pandemic.  I have included two links below on the importance of vitamin D and I advise a thorough reading when you have time (this is really important, do it for your health!) . . .

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/vitamin-d-and-your-health.htm

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/22/dr-holick-vitamin-d-benefits.aspx

I personally have spent about 40 years in the desert of southern California, the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs area) and I have baked my skin more than any other human being I have ever met.  I was also born next to the Sahara desert and was born loving the sun. That being said, I should look WORSE than this photo with all the time I have spent in the sun!  I have baked, burned, blistered, peeled and repeated this madness time and time again.  I am praying that there isn’t something lurking deep down in my dermal tissue from all those “stupid” years.  The reason I mention this is quite simply . . . I always feel good and am extremely happy after spending time in the sun!  It’s almost the same feeling I get when I leave the gym but a more relaxed state of joy.  It’s a common response from everyone with some kind of exposure to the sun.  We NEED the sun.

Here’s the bottom line . . . skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among many other authorities . . . over one million cases are reported every year.  Broad spectrum sunscreen has a place in our world, it must.  We do believe in obtaining vitamin D from sun exposure and you will receive it from simply being outside . . . your head (scalp/ears/eyes … BTW you can get melanoma behind your eyes . . . wear your sunglasses!), arms, legs . . . any part of our body exposed or simply wearing sheer clothing will allow the UV rays to get to us.  The absolute minimum, and call it for “vanities sake”, should be to make sure your face and neck are protected.  That is THE best anti-aging advice we can give.

Is that pretty little jar worth the price tag?

jar1I felt compelled to write this article based on an online post I read from another beauty blog.  I subscribe to several to stay on top of trends but this one threw me over the edge.  It touted several high-end skincare lines, mostly luxury brands, packaged in beautiful jars with a price point well above $200.  It was insulting.

First of all . . . it’s true . . . most people don’t know their ingredients and fall for a good sales pitch along with a beautiful looking product.  Gigi and I aren’t chemists by any stretch, but if we don’t know what something is, we research it to death! And after so many years of doing this . . . you begin to understand how effective the product might be by the ingredient list. Having said that, another educational process is learning why the packaging of a product is SO IMPORTANT.

A great product is one that has active and effective ingredients that are scientifically and clinically proven to do what it should do based on the claims the company is making.  Many beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, peptides, retinols . . . degrade in the presence of air and light.  Oxygen attacks the integrity and chemical stability of a products formulation as does light.  Have you ever noticed how a product containing a good dose of vitamin C turns brown after a few months? That is because it has oxidized.  Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant but once it turns rancid, the oxidized matter actually causes inflammation.  So now, you are creating problems for yourself let alone using a product that is no longer “positively potent”.  In an airless container, more “natural” products have reduced artificial preservatives in their formulas and this technology actually allows for a longer shelf life let alone greater efficacy.  We constantly follow packaging trends and breakthroughs in the industry and we noticed that our favorite skincare line went through major repackaging a few years ago.  This is an important issue!

The other concern is bacterial contamination.  The skin harbors bacteria no matter how clean you are or how often you wash your hands.  Not only are you polluting and degrading the quality of the product you are using by dipping your fingers into it, but now you are putting in on to your clean skin!  So then you close that little jar and use it again tomorrow.  And then you open it up again, dip those fingers in there adding more bacteria and put it on your face.  And you wonder why your skin doesn’t look any better after plopping down major $$$.  Whatever beneficial ingredients were in that jar is now worthless.

bacteria

If the company claims that this notion of polluting the product is unfounded that’s because they have bombarded it with preservatives.  Many of which are NOT good for the skin or your health.  So, the more preservatives, the worse it is for you and the less effective it will be.  The cleaner it is, it is even more important to look at how it is packaged.  Buyer, please be AWARE.

Don’t forget your hands!

glovesI have been on a serious mission since the beginning of this year to deal with the sun damage on my hands.  If I only knew 20, 30 years ago what I know now! How many of us even thought about our hands until all those lovely little brown spots started showing up?  And THEY DO!  I personally noticed them in my early 40’s and by the time I got around to really thinking about them, it seemed like a huge undertaking.  Well Ladies . . . all is not lost!

Thank goodness there are topicals and technology to deal with this issue. We recommend that you talk to a credible aesthetic nurse or doctor with regards to their professional opinion regarding your skin type.  I recently had an IPL (intense pulsed light) and also started with a good vitamin C serum on my hands and the spots are 50% gone! Yes! I am seeing results.  The next step is to prevent further damage that will undo all the work I just spent a lot of time and money on.

I was in Los Angeles recently and had the pleasure to meet with the beautiful and super smart Mitzi-Jo of SunDriven – Age Defying UV Wear (www.sundriven.com). This line of eco-friendly clothing products are my new obsession . . .  especially the gloves!  We all know that you can tell a woman’s age by her hands (her face is pretty much getting all the attention) and not only is it unsightly with all those “age spots” which is really skin that is damaged from the radiation of the sun, i.e. photo aging, but it is a cause for concern as melanoma is on the rise.

SunDriven uses fabric that is naturally anti-bacterial with zero chemical additives, absorbs moisture, is lightweight and comfortable. The entire line is UPF/SPF 50+ that blocks 99% of UVA/UVB rays . . . and there is no sunscreen that can do that!  This line is dermatologist tested and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  Check out my video below . . .

Anti-Aging Facials – Oxygen Dome

The grand finale in an all encompassing anti-aging facial and secondary modality of an oxygen treatment.  Terese Eastman of Skin Techniques in Petaluma, California (www.skintechniques.net) puts the finishing touch on Gigi’s facial by placing an oxygen dome on her face.  This treatment hydrates and heals the skin along with greater product penetration.

There is something that needs mention with oxygen therapy as it is considered by some to be controversial.  Aestheticians and patients may dismiss the theory as the results are immediate and evident (let’s face it, we all love immediate gratification), but we would be remiss not to mention that some industry experts believe that bombarding the skin with and overuse of this type of oxygen treatment (wand and dome) may lead to increased free radical activity.  As with anything, more is not necessarily better and it is always advisable not to overindulge in anything externally or internally.  We always preach “balance” and that too applies to your facials.

Anti-Aging Facials – Microcurrent Mask

Below you will see another modality of electrotherapy that Terese Eastman of Skin Techniques in Petaluma (www.skintechniques.net) uses in her facials.  This is a mask of microcurrent added for greater product penetration, increased circulation and the lifting and toning effect that this technology is known for.

Anti-Aging Facials – Oxygen

Here’s a little secret . . . the majority of celebrities have this treatment prior to walking the red carpet! It’s instant gratification and we know because we’ve been incorporating an oxygen treatment into our facials for years.  I personally have done this more in the winter months as that’s the only time I tend to be a little dryer, but for those of you who are on the dryer side as a skin type, it can be a year round treatment.  The great thing about this treatment is that you will see more “plumped” skin immediately.

Terese Eastman of Skin Techniques in Petaluma (www.skintechniques.net) is using the “Bio-Oxygen – oxygen infusion system” in Gigi’s anti-aging facial.  The “intraceutical infusion” by Intraceuticals is another player in the industry with this technology. This is just one aspect of an oxygen treatment.