Tag Archives: aging

Ever wonder what it’s like to have laser resurfacing? Behold: (15 second clip)

While I thought this was a still photo (and could have been a lot more engaging had I known it was a vid), I thought it would fun to share a glimpse into a fractional laser resurfacing treatment:

Here's our lovely model about 15 minutes after her treatment:

Buh-Bye, Sun Damage, Enlarged Pores, and Wrinkles… Hello, beautiful!

She's looking shiney and goopy because of the protective ointment applied afterward – and she's looking happy because she's on her way to tighter, smoother, and brighter skin. She'll be reapplying ointment and pink for several days to a week, which varies according to the intensity-level and type of laser treatment.

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

Treatment performed under the direction of board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr Daniel Danahey in Glen Ellyn, IL.

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Anti-Aging: A new reason why you need more than just UV protection

Fact: UV isn’t the only cause of skin aging from the sun… You need protection from IR, too.

That’s right: Just when you thought you had it the whole anti-aging thing down, science is showing we have more than UV radiation to worry about: infrared radiation (IR or IRA)

What is infrared?

IR makes up more than half of the solar spectrum. IR penetrates deeper into the skin than UV rays. -This is a scary thought, because  well, deeper in the skin means more damage to the skin. img_3319

“Infrared radiation lies between the visible and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared waves have wavelengths longer than (the) visible … the primary source of infrared radiation is heat or thermal radiation… The higher the temperature, the more the atoms and molecules move and the more infrared radiation they produce.”

…According to California Institute of Technology’s CoolCosmos.com Read the whole article here 

IR manifests itself as heat on the skin, so when you’re outside and you’re feeling the heat, IR is doing it’s evil work on your subcutaneous layers.

So, what does this mean for your skin??

Basically, THIS: (see pic)

theproductpro.wordpress.com

IR Radiation: basically baking your skin

 

IR causes free-radical production deep in the skin, essentially cooking the skin, causing free radicals to form, creating damage, hyperpigmentation, and of course: wrinkles. See my post on Free Radicals here.

What can you do?

It takes anti-oxidants to neutralize damage, along with broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect. A couple of my fave go-to “superscreens” combine the two for you:

SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair line features cosmetically-elegant superscreens in both tinted and not-tinted versions. I love this one.


Another newer and fabulous superscreen is Obagi’s Sun Shield TINT SPF 50, providing a matte finish and two shades to choose from: Cool and Light.

obagi-sun-shield-spf50-tint-2bottles

These easy-to use IR-defense products are making it easy to protect from UV and IR on a daily basis.

Check them out, give them a try this summer, and until next time: stay fabulous, my friends!

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The Skincare Ingredient You Didn’t Know You Were Missing

Neocutis has long been known as a skin care leader for their innovations in growth factor technology. (Read more about that here) 

The newest NEOCUTIS skin care line, MICRO•ESSENTIALS, is now available – and after weeks of experimentation, I can confidently say: I’m nuts about it. This brand new class of anti-aging brings a new addition ingredient to skin care – So what IS the newest thing, you ask?

The short answer: A brand new blend of peptides.

The short answer, explained: Inspired by matrikine technology, MPC™ (Micro Protein Complex) uses a new blend of peptides to help defend against and correct the visible signs of skin aging.

What will these fancy peptides actually do for me, you ask?

  • They stimulate Collagen 1, 3, and 7 (7 is the kind way deep down there, helping with “foundational” support of the skin. Think firm!)
  •  They stimulate your own production of Hylauronic Acid (HA). HA might sound familiar, it’s a popular ingredient in moisturizers, hydrating serums, and fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. It’ll keep your skin plump and hydrated.
  • They stimulate elastin synthesis. This is exciting, there’s not many products/ingredients out there that’ll do this.

The NEOCUTIS MICRO•ESSENTIALS line includes five products to help you kick butt in the anti-aging department:

MICRO•DAY™ Rejuvenating Cream:

  • Broad-spectrum Sunscreen with SPF 30
  • An all-in-one for the girl on the go, this moisturizing product also delivers anti-oxidant protection
  • Tinted and creamy, yet sheer and satiny consistency is lovely to apply and great for most all skin types

MICRO•NIGHT™ Rejuvenating Cream 

  • Finally… A great anti-aging product that isn’t too heavy, but still restores moisture. It’s about time we had a new product in this category.
  • Smooths skin and improves firmness while you sleep.

MICRO•EYES™ Rejuvenating Cream 

  • If you like Lumiere, you’ll LOVE this
  • alleviates the signs of fatigue
  • Light consistency, noticeable results
  • helps make the delicate skin around the eyes resistant to the signs of aging.
  • Safe to use on upper lids too! Woot!

MICRO•SERUM Intensive Treatment 

  • The Cadillac of the line, this glorious serum is the highest concentration of our new found peptide friends.
  • Absolutely lovely upon application, not sticky or goopy… Just elegant and enjoyable as it smoothed over skin.
  • goes beyond fine lines and wrinkles to address additional signs of aging, including elasticity, tone and texture.

The mack-daddy of MPC, Micro Serum

MICRO•FIRM: Check out my post about this 5-star product here. I am head-over-heels for this awesome serum-meets-cream rejuvenating and firming intensive treatment!!

If you’re interested in adding this new cutting-edge peptide to your regimen, find it at a doctors office near you! And in the meantime, stay fabulous, my friends!

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These Villains are the Cause of Skin Damage, Part 3

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, Click HERE for the 2nd in the series. Read on for the 3rd biochemical phenomenon in my series:


Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs)

AGE is a a conveniently-coincidental acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products, which are the evil little products of a reaction between glucose (sugar) and proteins… Specifically collagen and elastin in this case (glycation).
Yes, it tastes good, but excess sugar in your diet screws up more than just your waistline.
How does it cause aging? 
Glucose is good, of course, in the way of providing energy. But when there’s extra glucose, it rumbles with our collagen and elastin. This process produces AGEs, which make these fibers crispy and easily breakable. This reaction contributes to inflammation, slowed/inhibited growth of cells, and wrinkles (oh my!).
To simplify, think of it as turning your normal, elastic rubber band-like fibers into an old, dried out and crumbly rubber band. When AGE’s wreak havoc, your rubber bands are in an accelerated aging state, causing that loss of elasticity, sagging, and wrinkles.
You know all those old, crumbly rubber bands in the back of your desk drawer? That's your elastin after AGE's.

You know all those old, crumbly rubber bands in the back of your desk drawer? That’s your elastin after AGE’s. Yikes!

In an article for Prevention, dermatologist Dr Frederic Brandt (well-known for his research in AGE’s) breaks it down further: “Besides damaging collagen, a high-sugar diet also affects what type of collagen you have—another factor in how resistant skin is to wrinkling… The most abundant collagens in the skin are types I, II, and III, with type III being the most stable and longest lasting. Glycation transforms type III collagen into type I, which is more fragile.
The article goes on to describe that “AGEs deactivate your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, leaving you more vulnerable to sun damage—still the main cause of skin aging.”

yikes! What Now?
1) It’s time to build some new Collagen. If you’re not already, start using a Retinol or Retinoid.
My favorites for sensitive or dry types:
My favorites for resistant or oily skin types:
Rx Tretinoin .05 or Tretinoin .1 creams

2) Diet:
Cut down on simple sugars in your diet. From a dietary perspective, refined sugar seems to impact glycation about 10 times more than glucose.
Yup, just another reason… Sorry.
Judgmental cat seems judgmental, but he really just cares about your complexion.

Judgmental cat seems judgmental, but he really just has your best interests in mind.


3) Use topical antioxidants.
These guys are ONCE AGAIN a great way to cut down on all the domino effects of damage. . Click HERE to read more about them. 

4) Try a Targeted Treatment Cream: One of my fave go-to’s is Skinceuticals AGE Interrupter. Give it a Go if you’re in the market for a rich, cosmetically-elegant treatment cream.

And 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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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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Nuts about it Now: Neocutis

I will admit: I was hesitant to experiment with Neocutis a few years back because I am SUCH a SkinMedica TNS fan. Like, an Ultra-Fan.

But of course I have to keep my eyes and ears open for different and new ways to use products and new technology etc… so I dove in.

I loved the way the Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream felt, and really enjoyed the brightness it seemed to provide my eye area. I really enjoyed using the Exfoliating Skin Cleanser (featuring 10% Glycolic acid) which did not make my skin feel stripped. I also really loved the convenience of the Journee, a one-stop-shop anti-aging product featuring a sunscreen, a slight tint, and PSP, Neocutis’ growth factor. By far, my favorite of the group was the Bio-Serum: a concentrated growth-factor intensive that helped the clarity of my skin and the texture simultaneously.

Neocutis theProductPro

I’m nuts about this now: Neocutis goodies

I recently became re-familiarized with the line when my good friend Jill took on the Chicago Neocutis territory and dropped in to school me on the swiss technology …and let me play around with the products again. I am pretty excited about the line again, it’s just as good as I remember and I even had the chance to do a couple split-face comparisons with other products. (More about that in another post).  In the meantime, here is a another post I wrote about Neocutis and their approach to skin care technology: to check that out, Click Here

And until next time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!

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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: http://www.neocutis.com 

Until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

 

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Food for Thought: Veggie-Based AntiAging Skin Care!

I will not pretend to be an expert in the realm of hormones. Not at all. In fact, I am perplexed by how intensely women are affected by hormones: hormonal changes, hormonal aging, and hormonal imbalances. Seriously, hormones affect just about everything… from hair growth and loss, kidney function, reproductive organs (obv), skin aging, and uhhh… basically everything. I thought this was a neat line to look into because of how little awareness there is on this topic (myself included, but perhaps a universal issue?)

Ummm, Yeah!  I TOTALLY get what's going on here. Why do you ask??? (brain explodes)

Ummm, Yeah! I TOTALLY get what’s going on here. Why do you ask??? (brain explodes)

The VENeffect Line was founded by Chicago locals (and sisters!) Rebecca and Cecil Booth. Rebecca Booth, MD is a gynecologist and hormonal expert, who aims to balance the decline of estrogen influence on the skin as we age. She and Cecil designed this line to provide women with a solution to the hormonal aging issue by utilizing their proprietary blend of phytoestrogens in topical products.

The Booth Girls, founders of the VENeffect line

The Booth Girls, founders of the VENeffect line

Here’s what the Booth girls say about PhytoEstrogens and what they do for the skin when applied topically: (click below to go to their site)

“They increase skin’s production of collagen as well as boost hyaluronic acid production, the dewy substance that gives healthy skin its glow. Phytoestrogens also increase the activity of fibroblasts: collagen-making cells that also pump out elastin, the substance that gives skin elasticity.  Phytoestrogens are also potent anti-oxidants that neutralize toxic free radicals as well as promote healing in order to slow premature aging. VENeffect has developed a proprietary phytoestrogen system that is safe and highly effective at restoring and preserving skin’s collagen and youthful glow.”

Here they are talking about the science behind VENeffect (click below to watch a vid):

http://video.neimanmarcus.com/media/veneffect0212.mp4 

 

From my perspective:

As far as the efficacy of topical phytoestrogen’s direct effect on the elasticity/tone of the skin: Hey, it’s food for thought!  I will leave the hormonal science up to them, and physicians or experts on this topic. What I CAN comment on is my personal experience while experimenting with this line. Here are my top three favorites:

#1 Favorite: I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Anti-Aging Lip Treatment ($85) .  This award-winning lip treatment harnesses that  ‘phytoestrogen technology’ to deeply hydrate. I applied twice a day, and really enjoyed the light green-tea-ish fragrance and delicate consistency. It really felt like the skin on and around my lips absorbed the product. While using it, I had no issues with color-bleeding  from lipstick, nor did I have any issues with flaky, dry, peely, or cracked lips. LOVED this.

2nd Place: The anti-Aging Eye Treatment ($125) was a nice product, too. I was told by Melissa Moore, (the Product Specialist that educated me here in Chicago) that the founders designed it to work well when applied OVER makeup in case you need a mid-day refresh. I tried it for myself and it did not roll up, ball off, or make my makeup muddy. This was a nice rescue product when my allergies caused me to wake up with puffiness, and when I got too little sleep a few times during the week.

3rd: The Firming Neck and Decollate ($155) product is  another winner in my book for it’s rich, yet not-greasy consistency.

 

I look forward to continuing to learn more about phytoestrogens and their impact on hormonally aging skin. But in the meantime, at least I found my current favorite lip product!  (So at least I can look good, even if I’m not totally sure why!)

I've got some homework, but at least I'll look great doing it!

I’ve got some homework, but at least I’ll look great doing it!

Until Next time, stay Fabulous My friends!

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Dr. Mauricio De Maio: The creme de la creme in Chicago

Juvederm Voluma XC Dinner in Chicago

BRRRR! We are still freezing in Chicago, but still smiling because we had a great time at the Allergan Master Class Dinner Program last night!

My boss, Chicago Dermatologist Dr. Quenby Erickson and I attended Allergan’s Master Class led by world-renown Brazilian Plastic Surgeon Dr Mauricio De Maio last night in Chicago. He is an intriguing speaker, the BEST, actually!

He demonstrated his incredible injection techniques, and showed how he uses Juvederm VOLUMA XC to restore lost volume in different severities of volume loss and laxity. He shared his amazing perspective on genetic aging, lots of advanced facial anatomy, and even told a couple good jokes for some of the most well-known physicians in the midwest. Can’t wait to get back to the office and share everything I learned, especially about VOLUMA XC!

 

Until Next time, Stay Fabulous My Friends!

 

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