Monthly Archives: August 2015

Things that make you go HMMMM: Spaghetti Sauce Skin Care?

Recently spotted on my home television: a Pasta Gravy commercial that begins with a woman spooning sauce onto her arm:

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This’ll make you do a double-take!

  
Creative Sauce campaign of the year: Silver Palate is positioning eating (no, not actually wearing) their tomato sauces as Lycopene-rich, protective skin care.

 So, what’s the scoop with Lycopene?  

From mayoclinic.com: “Many studies suggest that eating lycopene-rich foods or having high lycopene levels in the body may be linked to reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders.”

Lycopene, n antioxidant phytonutrient, is also known for boosting your skin’s defenses against the sun. Lycopene can be found in papayas, watermelon, carrots, and of course, tomatoes. So, open up a jar of tomato sauce tonight and ‘anti-age’ right there at the dinner table! 

Until next time, they fabulous my friends!

Acne: 6 ways to Troubleshoot when you’re breaking out

Trouble-shooting causes of acne and breakouts is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a fun challenge, like trying to solve a mystery. I’ll always start by asking LOTS of questions, and keep it up until we get an ah-ha moment.

Below is a list of some of the things I ask patients about. If you’re having trouble with acne, try troubleshooting your routines and products.


1) Liquid Makeup
It’s a mean cycle: you break out, so you need to cover up. But liquids and creamy formulas can contribute to congestion, causing another breakout. Remember that oil is sticky, and in an acne scenario, dead skin cells and debris are already getting glued down with oil. Frequently, more coating on the surface can cause more congestion and breakouts.

Contrary to popular belief, there are mineral powder foundations that deliver high coverage. My faves for great coverage without contributing to acne:

Tip: Try a liquid foundation brush with these powders to lay down more opacity/ coverage where you need it. 


2) Over-Extraction

Not every blackhead or follicular deposit is going to cause issues. And that little tiny blemish won’t actually ruin your day. If you tend to break out, Hands Off!

See an esthetician for a pro extraction and ask for a conservative session. Hard truth to swallow: If you break out after a facial, (or home extraction) it might be because of over-stimulation… NOT because the skin is “purging” – an idea you’ll hear suggested from time to time. Bring post-facial-breakout feedback to your skin care pro and they can adjust appropriately for your next treatment.IMG_9357

Tip: The use of Tretinoin, retinol, or another treatment product recommended by your doctor or esthetician can act as a pre-treatment and make extractions easier on you… and your facialist.


3) Benzoyl Peroxide and Spot Treating:

Benzoyl Peroxide is a great acne treatment. However, it works as a preventative by killing off pimples in the early stage. (Zits can take up to 90 days to form). Sometimes we feel like it helps as a spot treatment because it can be drying to an acne lesion, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not applying it all over. My favorite BPO is in the Obagi Clenziderm System because it’s a solubilized BPO, not a micro-crystal (like other BPO). It’s 1/10,000th the size of a standard BPO crystal – this means it penetrates most effectively into the follicle. Give it a try!


4) Bar Soap:

I’ve never met a bar of soap that I liked. Picture a bar of soap: waxy and skin-coating, dry-looking, or simply sitting in a little pool of water getting mushy: whatever it is, we just don’t get along- and neither should you.

Two things about bar soap:

1) Just to physically get it into bar-form, the pH here has to be higher than other formulations like creams, gels, or liquids. This means that they can be more drying. Lets not freak out your skin any more than we need to.

2) Bacteria likes to live on bars of soap. Doctors don’t seem too concerned with this from a disease-proliferating perspective (washing your hands with bar soap seems to be fine), but if we’re trouble-shooting, we’re trouble-shooting. I say, use a liquid, non-soap cleanser instead.


5) Use of Topical Vitamin C:

Topical Vitamin C’s are great as a brightening product and anti-aging measure, but you should avoid this one when troubleshooting breakouts. In my experience, vitamin C’s are not always acne-friendly and are not often recommended for those who break out easily.

That being said, Vitamin C’s are great to lighten acne marks (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH) from old breakouts.  If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types. I prefer Phloretin CF for oily types. 


6) Makeup Sponges

If you’re breaking out, ditch the sponges – they harbor bacteria. If you are currently in the sponge club, really, try brushes! You can get much better coverage and get much more mileage out of your makeup. Just be sure to clean them regularly.

My favorite brush cleaners are:

IMG_9322Tip:  If you HAVE to use a sponge, grab a bag of disposable wedges, snip them in half (so you get double the use) and throw them out EACH TIME you use them.


If you’ve exhausted these possibilities and you’re still having trouble, see your dermatologist. They will troubleshoot further and might look at additional factors like hormones.  They might also prescribe a topical or oral medication as well.

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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These Villains are the cause of skin damage, Part 2

If we want to look at our anti-aging practices from an informed and discerning perspective, it’s good to know what’s going on in there that causes wrinkles (and other not-so-fun manifestations of skin aging). So far, we know about three main things that happen in the skin when damage is caused. Click HERE for the 1st Villain I wrote about. Here’s the 2nd biochemical phenomenon in my series:

•    The Villains: MMP’s

MMPs: Don't let them get your collagen!! At theProductPro.com

MMPs: Don’t let them get your collagen!!

Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes -envision Pac-Man!- activated by inflammation.  Inflammation can be caused by elements like UV exposure and infrared radiation. MMPs are not cool because they contribute to the breakdown of collagen. And as if that wasn’t bad enough… they also work to inhibit new collagen formation.

For a scholarly article type of resource, check out this white paper on The National Center for Biotechnology Information website. They say Matrix-degrading metalloproteinases are key mediators of collagen degradation that is observed in photoaged skin. Key mediators? Oh man!!
Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 6.51.42 PM

Yikes! What to do now???

Don’t freak out, its just one of the biochemical phenomena that results from CHRONIC damage and UV exposure. Let’s be proactive about this…  Since we know MMPs are expressed as a result of UV and IR, we have a shot at preventing by using great SPF and using antioxidants. Click here to read more about some of my fave go-to antioxidants. And stay tuned for another edition of Skin Damage Villains, coming soon!

Antioxidant products at Theproductpro.com

Nobody FREAK OUT… we have Antioxidants on our side! 

Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous (and Informed!) my friends!

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Understatement of the day: Kybella is fabulous.

I wanted to share a quick video I put together of/for Dr. Erickson (amazing and fabulous board certified Chicago dermatologist) explaining and demonstrating the Kybella treatment during an event to introduce the procedure last week.

Watch as Dr Erickson explains the Kybella Procedure here

Watch as Dr Erickson explains the Kybella Procedure here

Kybella was recently FDA-approved for the treatment of the *dreaded* double chin, AKA ‘sub-mental fat’. Once injected, the product will actually destroy the fat cells under the chin, which can make for a much slimmer and younger appearance. Everyone is different, so the amount of treatment sessions you may need can vary, but are typically spaced one month apart.

Check out the Kybella procedure (and other neck treatments) on Erickson Dermatology’s website here,

…and until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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MEOW! My favorite eyeliners for a Cat Eye

I’ll admit it, I can be fickle when it comes to eyeliners. I am always on the lookout for the best – liquid, cream, space-age material, whatever! But if you’re going for a cat-eye or even just a sleek, lash-defining line, it’s got to go on perfectly.

 

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Cat Eye Liner can inhibit ones soical life. Don’t let this be you!

Oh, and also stay there once it’s on.

Here are my favorites of this moment for staying power, quality of color and usability:


They’re Real! Push-Up Liner: $24

PRO’s:

-This soft and flexible rubbery tip makes a precise line (thick or thin!) with a bevel at the end… purrfect for a cat-eye.

-This liner goes NO. WHERE. once it’s on. Ever feel like spontaneously running through a sprinkler or hanging by the pool in your perfectly placed cat-eye liner? This one is for you.

CONS:

-Once it sets, this creamy, stay-put formula doesn’t have the most color saturation I’ve seen. It would be A+ in a very very dark blackest Black kind of shade.

-Once the product has lived in your makeup bag for a while, it can dry out.


eyeliners! theproductpro.wordpress.com

These liners are crushing it

ELF Essential Expert Liquid Liner: $1

PRO’s:

-Super budget-friendly buy (no… you didn’t hallucinate. This is $1)

-It’s staying power outweighs many more expensive versions

-The applicator brush is user-friendly for most ‘A-typer’s’ (not too too long or floppy), but take your time to prevent wayward brush action.

CONS: It dries very quickly, so fix any botched spots ASAP or you’re stuck with a look you likely weren’t going for. :/.

-If you’re used to a foam applicator or a shorter brush, this may not be a good fit.


NYX The Curve Liner: $15

PRO’s:

-The handle’s ergonomic design (hence the name) makes this liner easy to hold and guide while applying. The shape also makes for an easy application on someone else, if you happen to be helping a friend. **

– This formula is less wet going on than the ELF, but delivers almost the same depth of black. LOVE the saturation.

-The foam tip seems to hold the right amount of product, perfect for a thick OR skinny line.

CON:

-Well, I can’t think of one. There it is.

MAC Fluidline $16.50

PRO’s:

-Is it a gel? Is it a cream? NO! It’s Fluidline!! This awesome foolproof, waterproof winner is SUPER easy to use if you’re comfortable with using a brush.

-Doesn’t flake, crumble, or smudge. If it HAS to be perfect, this is your liner.

CON:

-You must be comfy with using a brush. Sometimes (especially if you get stuck doing your makeup in rush hour on the grid-locked Eisenhower like I do sometimes…) you just need convenience, too. A brush might be a home- application-only thing. In case you are in the market, however, This is the brush I suggest and personally use. (welcome to your next fave brush if you’ve never tried!)


I don’t always review makeup… but eyeliner advice may prevent others from showing up late to dinners, events, and dates. It’s almost a public service, right?? Until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

**Product Credit: They’re Real and The Curve were both donated by my best friend Kel, so I could experiment and yes: help the greater good (Those who need eyeliner reviews). Thanks, Kelly! xoxox

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Drug store shout out: A Great Way to Reapply

 

Spotted on shelves at Whole Foods, Fruitfull Yield and healthstores near you, a high-quality, good buy for re-application -  Spotted on shelves at Whole Foods, Fruitfull Yield and healthstores near you, a high-quality, good buy for re-application

Spotted on shelves at Whole Foods, Fruitfull Yield and healthstores near you, a high-quality, good buy for re-application

We hear it all the time: reapply, reapply, reapply.

SPF (regardless of the sun protection factor… SPF 10, 15, 30, three-zillion, whatever) begins to break down minutes after you put it on. This is especially true when swimming or sweating.

But what about the SPF you put on your face in the morning? Many of us will put make up on over that, and go on with our day, unable or unwilling to slather creamy stuff all over to reapply.


 

Here’s a great way to reapply without the goop: Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense.

My original mineral brush-on loves are Colorescience Sunforgettable and Peter Thomas Roth, but if you’re not in the mood to shell out $30-$64, this is a theProductPro-approved budget-friendly version!

This great mineral spf buy ($16.99-$19.99, depending on where you buy it) is a Paraben-free, 100% vegan, and non-chemical sunscreen that looks good on many skin types.

Try keeping it in your handbag and dust on the backs of your hands, face, neck, and chest before hopping in your car to drive home from the office. Or, use it to reapply while out and about.

The Mineral Fusion website has a 15% off coupon right now if you sign up for emails, but they seem to be low on stock, depending on when you check for it. If you’re the instant gratification-type, pick it up at a health food store, Amazon, or an Ulta near you!

Until Next time, Stay Fabulous my friends!

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These Villains are damaging your skin: Part 1

If we want to look at our anti-aging practices from an informed and discerning perspective, it’s good to know what’s going on in there that causes wrinkles (and other not-so-fun manifestations of skin aging). So far, we know about three main things that happen in the skin when damage is caused…here’s one:


The Production of Evil Villain #1: ROS, aka Reactive Oxygen Species

Free radicals: A bull in the china shop (of your skin) at theproductpro.wordpress.com

Free radicals: A bull in the china shop (of your skin)

ROS: These little oxidative destructors are also known as free radicals. When they’re produced by damage, they are missing an electron – so they’ll tazmanian-devil through otherwise stable molecules wreaking all kinds of havoc.

Throughout this mission of destruction, they are looking to steal an electron for themselves, causing those other normal cells to become free-radicals, too. This chain reaction of destruction and theft leads to inflammation, damage, and the cross-linking of collagen and elastin (wrinkles!!)

Eeek!
What should I do, you ask? The best product-related helpers are antioxidants and sunscreens, which both help prevent the formation in the first place, and help neutralize the offenders. (Picture a knight in shining armor, swinging a sword at an evil free radical… and read more about those here!)

Antioxidant products at Theproductpro.com

Antioxidants are your night in shining armor: Let’s Go Fight the Good Fight! (click for more on anti-oxidants)

More on those villains later, and until next time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!

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Yay! A New Clarisonic 

  
Ok- I’m so excited! This Mia 3 ‘Sonic Romance’ (available at Nordstrom) is super cute! My mom gave it to me! It’s totally trumping my old and boring white Clarisonic Pro – I can’t wait to use this bad boy! 

A Clarisonic is a great tool to increase the efficacy of your topicals by prepping the skin effectively. It cleanses 6 x better than manual cleansing. This means your expensive and amazing products can penetrate much more effectively. 

Clarisonics are fun and unique because you can customize/choose the ‘strength’ of the brush for more or less exfoliation. Most models also feature timers so you don’t overdo it. My mom and I both love how clean we feel after using these awesome tools – we’ve both been Clarisonic-users since about 2008… And neither one of us is willing to go without them anymore!

If you do try a cleansing device, I would recommend this one. It’s patented sonic technology is much more effective and gentle than a spinning brush, which can (in theory) stress out the capillaries, maybe upset elastin fibers and irritate the skin.

If you try one, enjoy! And until next time, Stay Fabulous my Friends! 

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Vitamin C: it’s not just for breakfast… Products that Prevent

The best product-related helpers to prevent damage to the skin are arguably antioxidants and sunscreens, which both help prevent the formation of free radicals in the first place, and also help neutralize these offenders.

Picture a knight in shining armor, swinging a sword at an evil free radical, he’d be considered the antioxidant.

How can we ever thank you, Antioxidant?! At theProductPro.wordpress.com

How can we ever thank you, Antioxidant?!


My go-to, long-standing favorite antioxidants are topical Vitamin C’s.

 Topical vitamin C’s are known to have many benefits, including:

  •  Neutralizing free radicals, preventing skin aging
  •  Helping to maintain normal cellular turnover
  •  Helping to build collagen
  •  Lightening and brightening the skin
  •  Reducing inflammation
  •  Decreasing transepidermal water loss (your skin won’t leak moisture so much)

Here are just a few I love:


The Need-To-Know:

How to Use Vitamin C: Use Vitamin C in the mornings after toner and before moisturizers and sunscreens to help defend skin from the onslaught of pollutants, sun, and all kinds of other threats that you’ll meet out there during your busy day.

Think: I’m drinking my OJ in the morning, My skin needs its Vitamin C in the morning, too!

Mom always said: Drink Your OJ! ... but dont forget your morning topical C! at TheProductPro.wordpress.com

Mom always said: Drink Your OJ! … but don’t forget your morning topical C!

Oh, and don’t forget the neck, chest, and the backs of the hands… they need protection, too.

Buyer Beware: Even though Vitamin C is a sort of ‘knight in shining armor’, it’s also really unstable… always about to oxidize and die. Be sure that you don’t go with just ANY vitamin C. Those that have published research or from reputable companies are the best bet.

Oxidation: If you’ve got a water-based C (L-ascorbic) like CE Ferulic, for example, be sure you toss it when it starts to turn orange/amber in color.  This assures that your product isn’t weakened or *GASP* causing oxidation. This is an ANTI-OXIDANT, for goodness sake.

Acne Patients Beware: Vitamin C’s are great for many people, but acne patients should avoid: even though Vitamin C’s are great to lighten acne marks from old breakouts, they are not the best choice for those currently breaking out. If you currently have active acne, get your breakouts under control first, and then consider choosing a formula meant for all or oily skin types.

Stay safe in the sun out there – and Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!

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3 Fast Facts: Obagi C Clarifying Serum

I started 3 fast facts because I could go on forever about some of these products… which can make writing about them a little daunting.  Instead of overthinking (and therefore procrastinating), I’ll just use this category to finally touch on some of my favorite products & three reasons you might love them too! 


Obagi C-Clarifying Serum

Obagi C-Clarifying Serum

What can I say except: WOW. This little powerhouse is amazing, and the only of its kind on the market.

Obagi C-Clarifying Serum: With Marketing like this, how could it NOT be fabulous?? at theProductPro.wordpress.com

Obagi C-Clarifying Serum: With Marketing like this, how could it NOT be fabulous??

➢ Fact 1:

The first and only:

Its unique formula features 10% Vitamin C combined with prescription strength 4% Hydroquinone, the Gold standard treatment for dark spots and discoloration. Prescription strength means that the product is able to penetrate the dermal layers to reduce the over-activity of melanosomes.

Translation: Not only will the Vitamin C work to lighten and brighten, but the power of RX lighteners are in your corner too. It’s really under-rated, in my opinion: This product is not only neutralizing free radicals and protecting the skin, improving the appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation! What more could you want??

➢ Fact 2:

It works. And Fast:

In studies, this product was mostly observed effective at about 4 weeks. In reality, I observe patients (and on my own skin!) notice changes much faster than that. Some people swear up-and-down that they see significant lightening and brightening as soon as a few days! Expect results to continue to get better for up to 4 months. The prevention benefit will continue beyond that, as long as you’re still using it.

➢ Fact 3:

Two sizes fit most:

Originally (way back) only available in one formula, this serum is now-a-days available in two ‘flavors’: Normal to Dry and Normal to Oily, they’ve thought of everyone here! It will help treat multiple kinds of darkened skin:

  •  Freckles
  • Age spots
  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (the ‘stain’ that’s left over after a blemish for example)
  • Melasma

 

Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!

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