Tag Archives: Health

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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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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Good Buys for the Beauty on a Budget: Coal Liner is Better than Coal

As a Beauty on a Budget myself, I know the value of a good Beauty Buy. When shopping at the Target in North Scottsdale, my mom and I noticed a number of cutie-pie ELF gift sets.

WAIT: Are you kinda wondering why ELF made my blog post, AGAIN? Because there are plenty of Just-Okay-Grocery-Store-Cosmetics out there, but they all cost a heck of a lot more. In fact, if I am buying a lip gloss from a display at Walgreens (without being able to see it outside of the package via a tester, or hear a firsthand description of the product from an attentive sales person) I feel like it needs to cost like, I dunno, $5 or less? Am I the only one who feels this way? I have seen OTC products and grocery store cosmetics exceed $39 (and higher!). Come on, guys. We are buying this item from a shelf-talker in a neon-lit convenience store. Make the price convenient, too! ELF cosmetics offer some pretty-okay cosmetic products at the price-point I feel they SHOULD be offered for. So that’s why ELF, in case you were wondering. Sorry, I digress….

Okay, here are the two winners (In my opinion) that are especially good values in the ELF Holiday Department:

IMG_3004

Full Disclosure: At the time I am writing this, I haven’t tried the Brightening Eyeliner Pencil OR the Shimmer Eyeliner. But I HAVE tried the waterproof eyeliner pen and it’s actually pretty good! $3 good? Sure! So I figured the other two items are simply a bonus and hey, they could be good!IMG_3002Here’s another good one, $3 for 3 pairs of lashes. I haven’t tried the glue, so I can’t speak for it yet, but I figured this: Ardell (our usual drug-store-Go-To lashes) are getting up there in price these days! For $1 a set, I figured we can’t lose here… so once again, the extra item here is kind of a bonus. And at the VERY least, these cutie little kits make great stocking stuffers. So, if you’re plum out of ideas (especially if you happen to be a Beauty on a Budget) I think ELF gift sets could be a good risk! (Coal eyeliner= better than coal!) =)

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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: Tensage Radiance Eye Cream SCA 10

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for this concentrated anti-aging eye cream. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This particular product is a light/medium consistency slightly-tinted eye cream.

Biopelle’s Website says this product:

  • is tinted for a more even skin tone
  • contains antioxidant and growth factor properties
  • delivers a firming and tightening effect
  • continuously hydrates the area around the eye

Get ready to be IMPRESSED

This product actually smoothes and evens tone… I couldn’t believe my eyes! ;)

Appropriate for who?:

Those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, those who like a lighter consistency, & those who have uneven skin tone under their eyes.

NOT so good for:

Those with very, very crepey, very wrinkled, or SUPER excessively dry eye-areas. I don’t believe that the light consistency would cut-it for these patients, and they may not desire the tint in the formulation.

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

My favorite part has got to be the tint- which I have to admit, I did not feel like I needed. I have very thin skin, but thankfully not much darkness or blue-ish tint from underlying vessels at all. Yet, I love it! The tint makes the whole area look more even and smooth, but isn’t heavy or makeup-like in consistency.

Just OK: n/a! I love it.

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

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

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-This is Biopelle’s most popular ‘fly’s off the shelf’ product in the Tensage line. I can see why after using it!

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Yes, it's tinted. You are right to be impressed.

Yes, it’s tinted. You are right to be impressed.

Bottom Line:

This product feels like it tightens and smoothes after just using it once, and who doesn’t love a bit of instant gratification? With prolonged use (I’m using it twice a day), I’m seeing some brightening and hydration.

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

Well done AGAIN, little snails! We thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★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!

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Product Review: Tensage SCA 3 Soothing Cream Moisturizer

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for the anti-aging element of this moisturizer. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This growth factor promotes healing and skin health.

This particular product is a light weight, yet potent moisturizer which contains SCA.

Nicely designed packaging makes you want to dive right in!

Nicely designed packaging makes you want to dive right in!

Appropriate for who?:

Acne patients (or those who break out easily), those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, and/or who may be healing from a procedure. This product is great for dry skin, normal skin, combination, mature, and reactive/sensitive skin types. 

NOT so good for:

Very, Very, Dry skin, those who desire SPF in their moisturizer, or those who want a more decadent consistency. (These particular people would try the Tensage SCA 6)

Here's my attempt to demonstrate the light/medium-light consistency

Here’s my attempt to demonstrate the light/medium-light consistency

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

This moisturizer has a non-greasy finish and seems to pack a serious punch of potent moisture. I have dry skin, but break out easily… so I am always paranoid of products that build up on the skin or cause congestion… this is not one of them. It also made me feel like my old breakouts were healing faster.

It absorbs completely, but if a creamier SPF is applied on top, (I applied PRESCRIBEDsolutions Up the Anti Oil free SPF 30 during the day) you’ll retain a dewey, glowing look and feel, which I liked. Not unlike the Tensage Intensive Serum, it feels like it brightens and smoothes after using it once.

Just OK: Wishing it was in a pump. (it’s in a nice-looking jar)

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

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

I'm dry! WAIT: I Break out! WAIT: I can be sensitive! This is for you guys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

I’m dry! WAIT: I Break out! WAIT: I can be sensitive!
This is for you guys, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde!

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-A little goes a long way.

-If you plan to use this when healing from a procedure, ask your practitioner how they’d like to see you use it. Rumor: layering it on ‘like cake frosting’ after a chemical peel (or other procedure), allowing most to absorb, and then smoothing out the excess is a great way to calm and hydrate.

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Bottom Line:

Thank GOODNESS that those of us with adult acne (or prone to congestion) have an anti-aging moisturizer that won’t cause breakouts! YES!

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

Well done, little snails! Once again, we thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★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!

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Product Review: Tensage SCA Intensive Serum 40

Word on the Street/Company Claims:

Cryptomphalus Aspersa, a type of snail which has evolved to heal itself with it’s own secreted Glycoproteins and growth factors, is the source for this concentrated anti-aging serum. SCA is used both for post-procedure (when you REALLY have to kick up the healing process) and to heal sun-damaged or aged skin in a daily home-care regimen. This particular product is in ampoule-form, and contains the highest concentration of SCA. Used either daily for 7 days and then one time per week, or once in-office followed by 3 days in a row (then weekly after that), this growth factor promotes healing and skin health. Additional benefits include:

  • Helping to repair skin damage caused by environmental smoke and toxins
  • Helping skin recover from the effects of sun damage
  • Helping skin heal after laser and aesthetic treatments

The stuff dreams are made of. Thanks little Aspersa!

The stuff dreams are made of. Thanks little Aspersa!

Appropriate for who?:

Those who are concerned with anti-aging or preventative maintenance, those who may be healing from a procedure, dry skin, mature skin

NOT so good for:

Very, very reactive/sensitive skin types may detect tingling when this product is applied. Anyone who experiences irritation should call their skin care provider.

Totally Fabuliz: (Favorite part):

This serum feels like an in-office treatment… but you can have it at home whenever you want! I love this after a dermaplaning! Although it’s got an elegant serum-consistency, it absorbs completely and does not make me feel oily or break out. It feels like it brightens and smoothes after using it once.

Just OK: n/a! I love it.

Needs work: n/a!

Star Rating:

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

Here I'm attemting to demonstrate the consistency... a little hard to see, but there were no snails around at the time!

Here I’m attempting to demonstrate the consistency. A little hard to see, but there were no snails around at the time who I could borrow…

Misc Notes/Other need-to-know’s:

-Depending on how dry I am when I apply it, I can feel a brief tingle or warmth sensation. It only lasts for a moment, and doesn’t bother me. I understand this to be the vehicle, which then evaporates.

-The ampoules can be used in several different ways, ask your skin care professional in what intervals they recommend using it.

-Check out my Post on Biopelle’s Tensage SCA technology here

Bottom Line:

While I still love the technology behind the highly concentrated HUMAN growth factor in TNS Recovery Complex and TNS Essential Serum, this natural growth factor offers a different approach… with a fun-to-use, cosmetically elegant edge.

As far as it feels, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Others who have tried it agree. And who doesn’t love a little instant gratification, backed with some good anti-aging science??

Well done, little snails! We thank you!

STAR RATING KEY:

★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!

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OBSESSED. (no snails were harmed in the making of this post)

It sounds like a strange, anti-aging fairy tale: A special breed of prehistoric snail has evolved to produce secretions of growth factors and glycoproteins. These snails are farmed in a facility in Spain, and their secretions are harvested for use in an anti-aging product. Yes, one that you put on your skin.*

EEEK!  ...WAIT. This will make my skin better??? ...OK, carry on.

EEEK!
…WAIT. This will make my skin better??? …OK, carry on.

*I know what you may be thinking… (I was thinking it, too) So I asked: Their secretions are filtered for purity before use.

This technology is called SCA, which stands for Secretion of Cryptomphalus Aspersa, and has been helping patients to heal after cosmetic procedures. It is also used as part of a homecare regimen, which is how I’ve been experimenting with it.

I had the pleasure of trying (albeit, reluctantly at first!) 3 super fabulous products: Tensage Intensive Serum 40 SCA, Tensage Soothing Cream 3 SCA, and Tensage Radiance Eye Cream 10 SCA. The number at the end is what Biopelle (the makers of the line) call the Biorepair Index Number, and represents the percentage concentration of SCA in each product.

My Snail Serum Score

My Snail Serum Score

I have to say, I am always leery at first when a new product appears on my radar. Especially when the claims seem fairytale-like in nature. But I cannot deny how awesome this makes my skin look! It’s smoother, my breakouts are healing (yes, I’m totally acne-prone) and my skin tone is evening out after a long summer honing my skills in beach volleyball.

And these products are instant-gratification-city. Not only are they cosmetically elegant and light in consistency, but my skin looks like something out of a fairy-tale when I’ve got them on!

And of course, the proof is in the pudding: they’ve got some very nice studies to back it all up. Because it’s one thing if it makes you LOOK good, but it is actually DOING anything? Seems as though the answer here is yes. Here’s a short, fairly-understandable read on how this snail secretion inspires proliferation of human keratinocytes and dermal fibroblasts when used topically. So, even though I’m imagining Spanish snails living happily on a farm, now it’s a bit less fairytale for me. ;)

Stay tuned for individual product reviews for these, and until next time- stay fabulous, my friends!

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BOTOX for Babies: Part 1- Thin is not always in

Have you been nervous to try an injectable because of bruising or discomfort? Read on…

There is a TOTAL laundry list of ways to avoid little bruises or lessen the slight (and temporary) discomfort from an injectable cosmetic treatment, but here is one of my tips based on my experiences in the office:

Avoid blood-thinning meds and supplements:

Why? Because when the blood is thin, it can flow out of an injured capillary pretty fast, causing a pretty solid new purple beauty mark! Check out my post on what causes a bruise here. This most commonly means avoiding things like:

Ibuprofen

Aspirin

Alcohol

Herbal teas (and Green or Chinese teas)

Gingko

Vitamin E

Fish Oil/Omega 3’s

Medications like Plavix and Warfarin

(There should be a complete list of these blood thinning elements and other contraindications available at your doctor’s office.)

Try to avoid any drugs/supplements known to thin blood for about 5 or 7 days beforehand. However, you should talk to your doctor (don’t just stop because you read a blog!) if you are on those Rx blood thinners, as you’ll want their professional direction about risk vs. benefit.

Don't Pop that (Omega 3) Pill the week before your injection!

Don’t Pop that (Omega 3) Pill the week before your injection!

This is not a complete list of meds to avoid… and your doc will likely have specific post-care instructions for you. This is post is simply meant to be fun and informative- not the authority on your health, so please always follow your doctors instructions, and NOT what you read on the internet! (yes, this blog included!!)

Keep in mind that there are always risks to every procedure, so chat it up with your physician to make sure these procedures are appropriate for you… Stay safe, and fabulous!

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Bruise News: What causes a Bruise?

A Bruise will occur when a blood vessel becomes injured… so like, when you bump into something. Or, in the case of a cosmetic injectable procedure: when a needle ‘bumps into’ a blood vessel.

Uh, You should have seen the other guy??

Uh, You should have seen the other guy??

The blood that was hanging out in there is suddenly free to flow into the tissue surrounding the vessel. It’s worse if your blood is thinned by medications or supplements, as it takes longer to stop flowing out, and there is more blood to collect. This is what you see when you observe that lovely bruise-darkness through the skin.

Bruises are normally harmless, and go away gradually. Generally, the chances of getting a bruise from a cosmetic procedure are lower if:

-You’re not on blood thinners or supplements that can thin the blood

-Your injector is very experienced (though it can happen any time, no matter who injects you!)

-You’re not on steroids (like prednisone) which can make your blood vessels fragile

-You avoid using corticosteroids, as it can make the skin thinner and less protective of those capillaries.

If you do get a bruise, try to keep your head up (sleep with an extra pillow at night) as gravity can help the blood drain from the area, and keep swelling to a minimum.

Stay tuned for more info on bruise-prevention in a series of posts on injectable-procedure tips for wussies! And until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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