Category Archives: Weird Science

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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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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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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Love Lobster?? Read On! The Top Ten Anti-Aging Foods

It’s (of course) not just the products we use ON our skin that helps us fight the good fight, it’s what we put iN our bodies that can help our skin, too.

Make sure you’re eating the right ones! Health.com brings us the top ten antiaging foods:

  • Coffee (bio-actives can help fend off melanoma)
  • Watermelon
  • Pomegranate 
  • Blueberries
  • Lobster (woohoo! Did we even need another reason to love lobster? It’s anti-inflammatory effects can have a beneficial effect on the skin)
  • Kale
  • Eggs
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Cantaloupe (this one was a surprise to me, but beta carotene makes this one a win!)

Read the whole article here: Health.com

 

coffee is anti-aging: sorry not sorry

Coffee is anti-aging?? Dont mind if I do!

 
And until next time, stay fabulous my friends! 

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Ob-sessed: Olaplex

I’m obsessed with my hair color this week. Ob-sessed. Why? My colorist, Tracy, used Olaplex in addition to her professionally concocted, genius hair color formula, then gave me a professional Olaplex treatment at the salon to top it off.

Behold: Olaplex

Behold: Olaplex

As someone with (mostly self-colored) self-proclaimed “fire hazard hair”, I’ve been waiting for the release of Olaplex ever since rumors of its existence were leaked.

Olaplex is a game-changer for anyone who lifts their hair color, but especially blondes and those who highlight/balayge. It’s not a conditioner or a protein treatment- it’s a “bond multiplier”. Tracy explained it to me with a helpful analogy: it’s like taking an old, dried up, crumbly rubber band and restoring it to a new, springy, strong (hydrated?) rubber band.

Why? Because when you color your hair, formula must break down the bonds that hold your natural color, usually resulting in some type of damage. Olaplex claims to permanently restore some of those bonds, and I’m drinking the kool-aid so far… I’ve not had this much lift and this much shine in as long as I can remember, and my hair feels great.
This is a game changer, people. Call your stylist asap, you’ll thank me later!

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!


Check it out here:
http://www.olaplex.com/pages/consumer

If you’re in the Chicago (ish) area and want to give my colorist a try, find Tracy here: http://www.lineasalon.com

 And while you’re surfing the web, be sure check out this well-known stylist who is using it to create some crazy-artistic, amazing color.

Click for Guy Tang on Instagram Here

This is art! Check out Guy Tang from West Hollywood at the link

This is art! Check out Guy Tang from West Hollywood at the link above.

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Why I did miraDry

Have you heard of miraDry? It’s a device that microwaves your underarm sweat glands. Yes- literally microwaves them.
Cool, right?

Using heat to selectively seek and destroy is not a new concept. That’s how laser resurfacing works, among many other things. In this case, it’s seeking and destroying the sweat glands.

Here’s an interesting fact: there are two different types of glands in your underarms. One kind produces sweat (the wetness) and the other one produces the odor and whatever makes the underarm area of an old white t shirt yellow.

Miradry zaps both, and as a special bonus, the underarm hair too. I’m sold.

There are people out there who have hyperhidrosis, that’s when the sweat glands are stuck in overdrive mode. I don’t have that, but when I stood up in my best friend’s wedding a couple of years ago, the photos revealed that I must of been a little nervous presenting my maid of honor speech- my satin gown gave me away with some classy sweat marks. Nice.

Ok, it’s true that I’m not giving speeches in satin dresses all the time. So why did I do it, then?

I hate anti-perspirant. I’m actually allergic to almost every kind on the market. The only one I wasn’t allergic to became Discontinued, so I’ve been ordering it for the last couple of years on Amazon.

Another reason? The aluminum compounds in anti-perspirant have been rumored to add to breast cancer risk and/or contribute to the Alzheimer’s. (The evidence is inconclusive that it actually does that, so don’t freak out… here’s a link): http://www.m.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/antiperspirant-facts-safety

Whether or not that ends up being true, I think reducing how much chemical is on my skin on a daily basis is probably a good idea.

Miradry treatment can take 1 or 2 treatments to work. I ended up doing two, just to really nail it. I’ve been really really happy since then, and so have my underarms (no allergic reactions here)!

Satin dresses are no match for me now!

Here’s a link to my office’s page on miradry, check it out!

http://www.ericksondermatology.com/miradry/

MiradryEricksonDermatology

Here’s me with the miradry device at Erickson Dermatology in Chicago right after my treatment. It’s actually quite the relaxing experience!

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E Experiments: BOTOX in the Bands, aka The Nefertiti Lift

It’s about time I share my experience with ‘Botox in the bands’, aka the Nefertiti lift. My boss, Board certified dermatologist Dr. Quenby Erickson performed the procedure for me, which I love, love, love.

Side note: this use of Botox Cosmetic Is considered off-label, like many of the ways offices use it these days. But not every office offers this treatment. From my perspective, it’s more of an advanced technique, (so do your homework on your provider before trying)

Here’s the scoop:

What is it?
The Nefertiti lift is a non-surgical technique used to make the Neck, chin and “Gobbler” area look smoother and younger by injecting Botox into the platysmal bands. As it turns out, these bands are partly responsible for the downward pull on the lower face (Either side of the chin) and the development of the dreaded ‘turkey neck’.

Ok... it could be worse.

Ok… it could always be worse.

The Treatment:
this simple procedure was done in less than maybe five minutes. It didn’t hurt, and after it was done I went on with my day, not giving it another thought. Dr. Erickson used 30 units of Botox to treat me, but everyone will be different. As the Botox kicked in during the next week /10 days, I started to notice that the treatment made a surprising difference to me.

My Results:
I originally tried this for experience/learning and preventative purposes, But as the effect set in, I noticed a really nice change that I’m really excited about! To me, it looks like there is less tendency for any ‘pulling down’ by the corners of my mouth and chin, in addition to improvement in my neck, “gobbler” area ((technical term?? Ha)). My jawline is more defined in an elegant, pretty way. I’m liking that!

My Favorite Part:
I love the jawline definition I have now, (even though I would not have necessarily listed that as an area for improvement on myself before). Keep in mind, everyone is different, so depending on how many units (I had 30, but I regularly see 50 plus in the office) and how much lift you need, results will always vary. BUT if you have an open mind and would be satisfied with a nice, subtle improvement, this is worth a go!!

Until next time, Stay fabulous, my friends!

You gotta help me, doc! ...BOTOX my bands!

You gotta help me, doc! …BOTOX my bands!


Nefertiti lift with BOTOX Cosmetic by Dr Quenby Erickson in Chicago

Am I looking any more like Nefertiti yet??

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Neocutis to the Skin: ‘I’m gonna need you to start the healing process, ok?’

I wanted to share a bit about my recent look into Neocutis Skin Care products, their technology,  and how their growth factor ‘PSP’ works. Here’s the scoop.

Neocutis offers a number of products that feature technology that was developed by leading Swiss researchers out of the University Hospital of Lausanne, a leading international research facility. Their claim-to-fame/ proprietary ingredient is called PSP, which they have termed the “Cadillac of Peptides”.

Here are some interesting facts about PSP and how it works:


The Healing Power of Peptides

Inspired by the phenomenon of the scarless healing of fetal skin, medical researchers in Switzerland created a biotechnology process to obtain the super power proteins involved in wound healing from cultured fibroblasts.  A dedicated cell bank was established for developing new wound healing and burn treatments with these amazing proteins.  That same cell bank is the source of the fibroblasts that produce PSP, which is Neocutis’ secret weapon. By the way, fibroblasts are the collagen producing cell found in skin.

PSP

PSP stands for Processed Skin Proteins. PSP is a mixture of Human Growth Factors, interleukins, and the other cytokines that were discovered by those Swiss scientist smarty-pants.

Ok, so it heals wounds (that’s pretty cool). But what does it do for the skin’s appearance?

Let’s face it: aging skin is damaged.  No matter what you want to primarily blame for the inflammation, damaged/aged skin is basically wounded skin.  The free-radical damage (reactive oxidative species) that causes the wound (aging/ skin damage) is caused by stuff like

  • glycation
  • injuries to the skin
  • pollution
  • chronic skin conditions
  • sun damage: the tanning bed you hit in high school, the baby oil/iodine days of the past, or even just daily daylight-exposure

The scientists found that even though the skin does not actually absorb the growth factors, they are proven to play what I like to think of as a game of ‘telephone’ with the skin when applied topically.  They are able to stimulate the healing process, actually acting to ‘heal‘ the ‘wound’ of the aging/damaged skin.

Hey Skin, it's me, PSP. I'm gonna need you to start the healing process, STAT.

Hey Skin, it’s me, PSP. I’m gonna need you to start the healing process, STAT.

The result is smoothed, brightened and firmed skin, all with no color or fragrance additives. Give it a try and see what you think! Check it out here: www.neocutis.com 

Until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

 

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Things that make you go ‘Hmmm!’: Cool SPF Photography

http://www.upworthy.com/what-happens-to-your-face-when-you-wear-sunscreen-might-shock-you-it-did-for-these-people

Here’s some really great videography illustrating essentially how SPF can help protect your skin. Remember to re-apply! :)

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

Have you heard? HALO is the word!

Ok, I meant to post this a few weeks ago… time flies!! But I’m too excited about this technology to let this one sit in my ‘drafts’ folder any longer. Read on about our fabulous new laser technology!

Have you heard of HALO?

Erickson Cosmetic Dermatology is the first in the nation to receive this awesome new laser resurfacing technology!

Here is Dr. Erickson and Sciton laser platform, fully loaded with the new Halo

Here is Dr. Erickson and her Sciton laser platform, fully loaded with the new HALO

Halo at Erickson Dermatology

Here we are with Sonja from Sciton, who came out from San Francisco to to certify Jennifer and I on the new technology!

In a nutshell, it provides the results of an intense/major laser resurfacing, but without the downtime. I had one myself, and it was amazing! I will be posting more about it soon!

Check it out here:

http://www.halobysciton.com

And until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

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