Category Archives: Oily skin

3 Fast Facts: Skinmedica TNS Recovery Complex

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! 


 

 

Three Fast Facts About: SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex

This anti-aging product moonlights as a post-procedure super hero!

This anti-aging product moonlights as a post-procedure super hero!

➢ Fact 1

Growth factors are not something that come naturally to aging skin. Thankfully, SkinMedica has provided us with the #1 growth factor on the market, NouriCel-MD, which is a naturally secreted , physiologically-balanced combo of over 110 human growth factors that are both active and stable. TNS Recovery complex is made up of 93.6% NouriCel-MD (this means it’s potent).

Growth Factors like TNS Recovery complex basically play a game of telephone with the skin to unlock it’s ability to heal and repair itself. Since age and inflammation basically wound the skin, TNS helps ‘heal’, improving skin texture, smoothing fine lines, and reducing photo damage.

➢ Fact 2

This nifty red gel is quickly absorbed by the skin. In fact, you’ve got to be pretty quick about it! This has been a patient favorite for years. I would say that there’s almost a cult-like following of TNS among many clients/patients. Many of our patients insist that it almost instantly tightens upon application and won’t go without it. Great for all skin types, use AM/PM before all of your other serums and moisturizers.

➢ Fact 3

Since procedures like chemical peels and laser treatments are also a sort of wound, TNS Recovery complex is often times appropriate to use after your peel or laser treatment to help the skin heal quickly and predictably. That’s one reason it was called Recovery Complex! (Always check with your doctors office to see what their specific post care instructions are for your procedure). We love it after HALO laser, MicrolaserPeel, pro-fractional laser, chemical peels, after the incisions seal up post-surgical procedures, and all the time!

Here’s a link to learn more about it:

 

http://www.skinmedica.com/skin-care-products/tns-recovery-complex

 

 

Until Next time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!

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E’s 3 Current Faves: a Sunscreen for Everyone

Here’s a blog post I wrote for work, Erickson Cosmetic Dermatology. Enjoy! =)

chicagoderm

Hi, Elizabeth for Erickson Cosmetic Dermatology here!
I think many of us thought it would never happen, but Spring is upon us… and the sun is out Chicago! Well, it’s THINKING about it. =)
Though it’s important to be aware of daily sunlight exposure all year-round, the thought of daylight in Chicago after this winter is suddenly inspiring! So, I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite daily-use facial sunscreen products.

My favorite for a smooth, powdery finish (AND there’s bonus Vitamin C!!!):
Obagi Medical Products Gentle Rejuvenation Fortified Sunscreen. 

This awesome makeup primer-consistency Sunscreen is fortified with Vit C. This is like winning the  multitasking skin care lotto! This awesome makeup primer-consistency Sunscreen is fortified with Vit C. This is like winning the multitasking skin care lotto!

This is sunscreen is unique because it features the ever-important antioxidant Vitamin C in its broad spectrum, matte finish sunscreen formulation.I love this one for it’s fresh, almost citrusy (yet subtle) scent. This line rocks, by the…

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Before and After: My Obagi Transformation

I think the Spring season gets a lot of credit for renewal and transformation, but Fall is really when I (and clients/patients alike) really get in the mood for change. The summer can be a time when we drop off of our strict regimens and become a bit lax… with schedules, eating, bedtime, skin care, and who-knows-what else.

In my opinion, there seems to be something about the changing colors, the crispy air, and the earlier nightfall that seems to make us all think: ‘OK, these summer freckles are bothering me. Time for a change’, or ‘Hey!! I’m suddenly interested in regimented self-care again’. I myself jumped back onto full time Obagi use a couple of weeks ago, and I thought I would share my slightly embarrassing before and after pictures from my first time using the Obagi Nu Derm system. (about 7 or 8 years ago)

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 11.48.57 AM

Yup. You are right to be impressed.

I had some issues, as you can see. It’s especially tough to have skin trouble when you are a professional aesthetician. After all, how are you supposed to recommend treatments and products for your practice’s patients when your own skin is terrible??

Notice the acne, the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (red spots left-over from acne), melasma (patchy-brown above my lip and on my forehead), freckles, and uneven tone.

I used the Nu Derm system with tretinoin .1% (hardcore!!) religiously for 18 weeks, followed by a maintenance regimen. What a life-changing transformation this was for me! I am so thankful for this line, and have many, many happy clients who would agree.

So if you are in the mood for change yourself, join me in fall transformation! Start using that night-time product instead of falling asleep on the couch at night, jump into that Zumba class, or finally organize your closet by color; whatever blows your hair back! :)

Check out Obagi Medical’s website here to learn more about nu derm, and until next time: Stay Fabulous My Friends!

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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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“I LOVE re-applying Suncreen!” …Said no one. Ever.

So, even as an anti-aging obsessed skin-cancer prevention advocate, I have to be honest: reapplying sunscreen is the pits. Maybe you have makeup on… maybe your hands aren’t clean and there isn’t a sink nearby… maybe you just don’t feel like slathering goop all over the place!

Here’s a nice solution to the re-application challenge: Sunscreen powder. If you haven’t tried one of these, it’s worth a go. Mostly all of them are appropriate for anyone 6 months of age and over, and they are NOT MAKEUP. This means you can put it over your existing makeup, or apply it to an unsuspecting husband, boyfriend, or son.

Here’s a link to my favorite one so far, Colorescince Sunforgettable: http://jxeqr.jklky.servertrust.com/product_p/brush50.htm

Now you have NO excuses! Ahahahahaha!!! (Evil Laugh)

Now you have NO excuses! Ahahahahaha!!! (Evil Laugh)

I would personally get the medium, (I am a somewhat fair caucasian) because the light is pretty darn light and the darkest one can start to look really dark and almost muddy on light or medium skin if you reapply more than once (the whole reason we are using sunscreen powder, right? …to re-apply!!!)

If you don’t already own a spray brush cleaner, I would probably get one so you can clean the brush in between uses.  GloMinerals is my favorite, who’s brush cleaner actually smells AMAZING (almost like strawberries, but better!) and dries a little faster than some: http://www.gloprofessional.com/brush-cleaner

Now get out there and re-apply!! :)

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ZITS: 5 Break-Glass-In-Case-Of-Emergency Tricks

As I sit here with a blemish so large that I may end up naming him (Thor? Steve? Brutus?), about to get my Kenalog Injection, it occurred to me that I may want to share a few of my emergency acne treatment ideas.

Yes, it’s true. Even the skincare-obsessed (and skincare professional) will get the occasional blemish. If you are like me, you might have a fabulous dermatologist in your back pocket.  A quick and almost-painless injection of a steroid and will have you like new in 24-48 hours. What I have is called Kenalog- it’s a glucocorticoid corticosteroid meant for intralesional, (meaning: in-the-zit-itself), injection.

This is one of the best ‘break glass in case of emergency’ treatments before weddings/prom/reunions. There’s risk of a scar when you have these injections, so talk it out with your doc. Sometimes the blemish itself threatens a scar, like when it’s big enough to have its own name. So depending on your situation, despite the risk you may still opt for the shot.

Don’t have a derm? No time for an appointment?

Here are 5 of my top at-home emergency blemish treatments:

Acne Arsenal: Here are a handful of my fave blemish-fighters

Acne Arsenal: Here are a handful of my fave blemish-fighters

Over-the-counter hydrocortisone: 

(I prefer the cream version, but it’s also available in an ointment form) you can apply hydrocortisone 1% a couple times a day for up to 7 days to help reduce inflammation and redness.

Ice, Ice, Baby (better yet, cool packs):

Reduce inflammation by holding a cool pack on for 15 minutes at a time, or as long as is comfortable. It’s good to do while you’re checking email or watching a movie.

Don't forget your 20% off coupon! Super Cutie Cool Packs at Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Don’t forget your 20% off coupon! Super Cutie Cool Packs at Bed, Bath, & Beyond

Tretinoin (aka Retin-a):

If you have some of this (generally for use all over the facial skin at night) I have found that if you use a dab during the day, it can help to flatten things out a bit faster. Tretinoin is typically for anti-aging and /or acne treatment and prevention- it’s a power house prescription. If you don’t happen to have any laying around, Salicylic Acid is always a good one to dry and flatten things out. I love Obagi’s Clenziderm MD Pore Therapy.

Anti-histamines:

Try taking Benedryl or Claritin, if its appropriate for you (i.e, your md says you’re good to go) … It’s all about reducing the inflammation!

Um, yuck. Murder those anaerobic bacteria jerks with BPO

Um, yuck. Murder those anaerobic bacteria jerks with BPO

BPO:

Benzoyl Peroxide products are awesome for prevention and treatment of the pustule-type of lesions… the yucky ones with the ‘head’ on them. This is because BPO works by bringing oxygen in to murder the anaerobic (O2-hating) bacteria in the follicles. A crazy awesome Rx version is called Acanya, otherwise my fave and most-recommended BPO is Obagi’s Therapeutic Lotion.

Of course, always follow the recommendations of your own skin care professional or physician- and may the force be with you!

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Product Review: Obagi Medical’s Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration: Obagis HYDRATE

1.7 Ounces of Glorious Hydration

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

“Hydromanil technology” delivers moisture in a 2 Part Action.

Part 1: There are Hydromanil matrix molecules that stay on the surface of the skin to reduce LOSS of moisture.

Part 2: A water-bearing 3D matrix captures and hold on to water within the skin, continuously releasing moisturizing compounds, increasing moisture for at least 8 hours after you put it on.

Appropriate for who?:

It’s designed for every skin type, and I would agree with that after using it.

It’s got a medium consistency that would please a dryer skin-type, but it dries mostly matte and does not feel heavy or look greasy, which oilier types would love. It is mild enough that I would recommend it to people who are post- chemical peel or using retinoids (or other treatment products) that could compromise the skin too!

Here's what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Here’s what it looks like right out of the bottle. Pretty, no?

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part): It didn’t make me break out (Just look at me wrong and I’ll break out!) but I really feel that it improved my dry skin.  I’m also not seeing an increase in pore congestion or any indicators of build-up. There is no scent, so I didn’t have to decide if I liked the smell or not. (no fragrance also usually means non-sensitizing and non-irritating, which is a score!)

Just OK: I suppose the packaging could be splashier? That’s getting picky though.

Needs work: Nothing!

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:

It’s Non-comedogenic and allergy-tested. Obagi says that there is a 51% improvement in transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after 8 hours, and a 92% improvement in moisture content of the skin within 2 hours.

I would definitely buy that, since their clinical studies were performed using a Tewameter ® (funny name!) and a Corneometer… this wasn’t an interview of 3 of your best friends who thought they liked it (‘3 out of 4 women agree’)!

They used a Tewameter... yup, it's a real thing. :)

They used a Tewameter… yup, it’s a real thing. :)


The consistency is medium... not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

The consistency is medium… not too heavy, not too light. The Goldilocks of Moisturizer??

Good work Obagi… I will be recommending this one for sure. 

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La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water… for all kinds of hotness!

Drug-Store Shout Out!

Thought I’d share one of my faves for comforting the skin post-laser, post-chemical peel, or to refresh and cool when you are just feeling HOT! (Although we know you’re always hot! :))
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, seen here for $13.
We used to carry this at the plastic surgery institute I worked for. We loved it! The company tells us that it has a pretty neutral pH, (great as a toner) and it’s rich in Selenium, which is to help skin heal faster! Pick it up the next time you’re in need… saw this at Walgreens.

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