Monthly Archives: August 2013

Fillers, without the ouch: Dermasculpt Cannulas

"I think next time I'll ask for a micro cannula..."

“I think next time I’ll ask for a micro cannula…”

When a physician uses a blunt-tipped cannula to administer a soft-tissue filler like Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, Perlane or other, they are using a blunt-ended, usually flexible, straw-shaped tool to move around the area. This tool allows the injector to lay little threads of the filler product smoothly and evenly.

The key point here is that blunt-tipped micro cannulas are not sharp. When the filler is administered with one, the tissue is not pierced through or poked like it would with a ‘regular’ needle. The physician or nurse will be sliding the cannula in through a tiny pin-point opening that they create (in an inconspicuous place like the corners of the mouth). Then they’ll thread/glide the cannula through the tissue, smoothly filling the area with the product. Additionally, they do not have to pierce through the surface skin multiple times like they would with a needle. This means less possibility of bruising for you!

Have a low beauty-tolerance? Micro cannulas could be your new best friend.

Have a low beauty-tolerance? Micro cannulas could be your new best friend.

It’s also less painful, and you’ll typically end up with much less swelling. Here’s a great study from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, if you’d like to check that out. They did a 2 week comparison of post-injection ‘downtime’ of needles and micro-cannulas. They conclude that cannulas are the way to go!

l personally would describe the feeling as “weirdzies” versus “OUCH!!”. You can certainly feel something moving around, which is why I describe it more as a strange sensation, and not really a pain sensation. I’ve personally tried the Dermasculpt Cannula, which seems to be a great product. Dermasculpt cannulas have pretty much become the standard for soft-tissue filler treatment at Cadella Medical Spa and Wellness Center here in Chicago, so it’s the brand I’m most familiar with.

Even though blunt-tipped cannulas are a fantastic way to have a soft-tissue filler injected, not all docs use them. They can be much more expensive than regular needles, and training is needed (there is a learning curve, as I understand).  It’s also important to know that even if they utilize cannulas for injections in their practice, sometimes an injector will choose to use a traditional needle. It can depend on the product being used, because some fillers are thicker or thinner than others. It also depends on and what the injector wants to do with it, and where they’d like to put it, so it won’t be appropriate all the time. Chat it out with your injector to see if you’re a good candidate for blunt tipped micro cannulas at your next treatment.

Check out my other post on Dermasculpt and uplift filler technique here, and until next time: stay fabulous my friends!

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If Michelangelo was into aesthetic medicine, he’d do this…

"hmmmmm... should I be considering BOTOX?"

“hmmmmm… should I be considering BOTOX?”

Michelangelo Buonarroti is known to have described his sculpting as a process where he would ‘release’ a figure from the block of stone in which it slumbered. The masters of the Renaissance (and contemporary sculptors, too) would often create a model of their ideal figure first. Typically made out of clay, the artist would mold and manipulate the shapes to take form- and create something beautiful.

To me, this is not unlike the soft-tissue filler sculpting methods of today. Injectors will often use combinations of Artefill, Juvederm, Radiesse, Perlane, Belotaro, and/or Restylane to fill in areas that have lost facial volume due to age, injury, or medication/treatment. After the product is administered, they’ll sometimes use their hands to manipulate the material and sculpt the filler inside the tissue, (no, it doesn’t hurt!) since at this point, the fillers have a clay-like consistency. It absolutely makes me think of sculpting, like the masters of the Renaissance.

I’ve got soft-tissue fillers on my mind since the fabulous injectable event that I worked last night. We were SO busy, because once you’ve discovered who to go to for a gentle, natural liquid facelift -or- uplift injection, you don’t need to look any farther. Dr. Eliza Parker in Chicago is that physician (and a sort of Michelangelo) for many people. She is a MASTER with the soft tissue filler sculpting techniques and the use of Dermasculpt blunt-tipped micro cannulas. She uses the Dermasculpt cannula instead of a traditional needle, and smoothly threads filler into the tissue. She’ll do this as a part of her sculpting technique as her tool to restore lost volume and build a sort of scaffolding, which helps create a structure underneath any lax or sagging facial skin.

911! Somebody get me some filler, stat!!  As we lose the adipose (fat) tissue in the upper face, we'll see sagging in the lower face.

911! Somebody get me some filler, stat!! As we lose the adipose (fat) tissue in the upper face, we’ll see sagging in the lower face.

If you were to watch her perform an uplift, you could see how she gently moves and sculpts the product to the exact place she wants it to create a very pretty and natural contour, gently lifting jowles and naso-labial folds (nose-to-mouth). Here is a video of Dr Pierone in Vero Beach FL performing an uplift. We were lucky enough to visit him in his office to observe his technique a couple years back. You may find it fascinating…

If you’re in the Chicago-area, I would highly recommend seeing Dr. Eliza Parker for a consultation: her technique is total artistry. She even trains other medical professionals how inject with these special cannulas. Here’s Dr Parker’s website, so you can check it out!

Dr Eliza Parker: the Dermasculptor, and her tools of the trade.

Dr Eliza Parker: the Dermasculptor, and her tools of the trade.

And if you happen to be in Florida, you could certainly give Dr Pierone a call. Dermasculpt seems to be having trouble with their physician-finder page as I write this, so if you’re in any other of the 48 states… (sorry!) check back with them soon to find an MD in your area: Here’s the Dermasculpt link for you, and until next time: stay fabulous, my friends!

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Drug-Store Shout-Out: L’Oreal Sublime Sun Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Oil

So, I’m completely paranoid about bathing suit season. Let’s face it… when you’re just as nervous about skin cancer and premature aging as you are how your thighs look in a bikini, it’s not a recipe for a care-free day. But that’s where this little product entered into the story, and made my day at the beach much easier!

Bikini-Friendly, cellulite blurring formula, I love you!

Bikini-Friendly, cellulite-blurring formula, I love you!

This innovative, sheer-oil formulation claims broad-spectrum SPF 30 or 50 (depending on which one you choose) AND makes your bikini-clad bod look less frightening with it’s subtle glisten! (think: body builders… they must slather oil all over for a reason, right???) But this oil isn’t super sticky or gross, like I would imagine hugging a body-builder to feel like- haha!

This product lacks offensive/overwhelming scents, and has a super fabulous price point of around $10. I plan to continue using this dewey, imperfection-blurring product on my neck and chest beyond summer season…

….and maybe even for competitions when I finally pursue my dream of bodybuilding.

(kidding!)

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Drug-Store Shout Out: e.l.f Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer

A decent makeup primer can be YOURS for the low, low price of $6!!!

A decent makeup primer can be YOURS for the low, low price of $6!!!

I was intrigued by e.l.f. when some makeup artist acquaintances rolled down a list of their secret e.l.f. favorites, so I thought I’d start exploring by demo’ing some basics. I chose this $6 Primer in Clear to start, which was 30% off when I ordered it- wow. I must say: I was pleasantly surprised by this particular elf item.

It has a very similar silky/satin-like consistency as some of my favorite primers, including GloMinerals Face Primer ($26) and Smashbox Photo-Finish ($36). This product also has a similar ingredient deck, though there are a couple of silica ingredients that some of the others lack. Interestingly, this product is gluten-free, while my favorites are not. It doesn’t stay perfect for quite as long as some others, and lacks some of the anti-oxidants (like Vitamin E) that others have, but for $6- I didn’t feel disappointed, necessarily.

So, if you’re in the mood for a good gamble with not much at risk (besides maybe hour 12 of foundation perfection!) it might be a good one the next time you find yourself in need of primer.

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Product Review: Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

“This groundbreaking, weightless, 100% physical sunscreen provides water-resistant broad spectrum protection with transparent titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (Z-Cote®*). Enhanced with artemia salina, a plankton extract, this lightweight sunscreen increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress.

Color-infused technology enhances natural skin tone and boosts daily radiance.”

Starts off as a lightweight liquid… dries to a satiny powder finish. Consider your world rocked.

Appropriate for who?:

Normal, Combination,  Oily, Sensitive… pretty much everyone!

NOT so good for:

For the darkest Fitzpatrick skin types, I suppose the powder-finish would be less ideal, as it could look a bit light/dry-ish. This being said, it is still better than almost any other physical-only formulation I’ve used on dark skin.

Those who desire a dewey, super-hydrated finish may not prefer the mattefying quality of this product.

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

Copy-Cats have tried with similar consistencies and claims, but product is unique and fabulous because of it’s PHYSICAL-ONLY, chemical-sunscreen-FREE  formulation. This means more broad-spectrum protection with less irritation- this is normally only achieved with HEAVY, white creams!

Just OK:

I wish the larger, limited-edition 4.2 fl oz size could be available all year round!!

Size DOES matter... pictured here is the limited edition mega-size, next to the regular 1.7 fl oz

Size DOES matter… pictured here is the limited edition mega-size, next to the regular 1.7 fl oz

Needs work:

The smaller, ‘regular’ 1.7 fl oz has a screw-on top. I’d love to see the flip top from the limited edition size make it’s way to this always-available version.

Star Rating:

4 STARS!!!★★★★

★1 Star: Might pass this one up

★★2 Stars: Okay for the money

★★★3 Stars: Really nice product, I’d buy it

★★★★4 Stars: Pretty much deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, want it/need it/ have to have it!

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-Shake it before you use it, so it mixes up thoroughly.

-I’m obsessed with this very-slightly tinted formulation because takes the “white” out of a titanium/zinc sunscreen. This product may also be the only sunscreen that men will readily use, because of the clean/non-goopy finish. It leaves a silky, natural and texture afterward, and almost feels like a favorite makeup primer.

Bottom Line:

No, it doesn’t smell like coconuts, and it won’t make your eyes sting either- all of our usual sunscreen-skipping excuses are flattened. Well done, Skinceuticals!

Practice Safe Sun, kids! And don't forget to re-apply!!

Practice Safe Sun, kids!
And don’t forget to re-apply!!

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