Tag Archives: Skin

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!!
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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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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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3 Fast Facts: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

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: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic at TheProductPro.wordpress.com

Dr. Pinnell’s baby: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic

➢ Fact 1

This fantastic product is a topical antioxidant used to protect the skin from future damage, promote cell renewal, and increase the build of collagen. Distinguished Duke professor, faculty-member, chemist, and Dermatologist, Dr Sheldon Pinnell published more than 200 articles and studies on topical antioxidants.

Known (by me, at least!) as the grandfather of topical antioxidants, Dr Pinnell developed this product based on much of his research. This serum has gone on to become and remain the cornerstone of Skinceuticals collection. Dr Pinnell had formulated the perfect C Serum: the right PH, the right percentage of C, and the perfect C-stabilizers: Vitamin E and Ferulic acid.

This emollient-like serum can be perfect for normal-to-dry skin types. Side note: Most reviews on the product describe it as ‘featherweight’, but I find that most oily- types find it too heavy, likely because of the Vitamin E.

➢ Fact 2

I love this formulation in particular because of its reservoir effect: once it is in the skin, it stays there for about 3 days- which makes it great for sweating runners and outdoor-lovers. This also says to me: “It really gets in there!”

(Keep things consistent and apply every day though).

➢ Fact 3

It also reduces inflammation in UV-irradiated cells. Slather this on afterwards if you happen to get a sunburn on vacay in Barbados. (But I know you won’t get a sunburn, right?!)

Here’s a link to learn more about it (the science!)

 

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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How To: Vinegar Soaks for Post-Procedure Skin

I thought it might be helpful to post a ‘How-To’ guide for a Vinegar Soak, a gentle way to care for delicate Post-Laser skin. White Vinegar’s not-too-acidic acidity can gently cleanse the skin without causing irritation, and the cool, gentle solution is great for calming and cooling the skin when you just feel, well, Post-Procedure.

Here I am after laser resurfacing. My skin is awesome now, but when I took this photo, I was in dire need of a vinegar soak and a weekend in the house! =)

Here I am the day after an aggressive dual (ablative/non-ablative) fractionated Halo laser resurfacing, SWOLLEN and looking TOASTY. My skin is awesome now, (in fact it’s amazing!) but when I took this photo I was in the mood for a vinegar soak and a night in! =)

Step 1: 

Measure out 1/3 cup of WHITE vinegar.

Step 1: Measure your white vinegar. I love to use my pyrex for this process.

Step 1: Measure your white vinegar. I love to use my pyrex for this process.

Step 2: Meanwhile, boil 4 cups water (to assure it’s clean)

How To: Vinegar Soak for Post Procedure Skin

Step 3: Combine and refrigerate until chilled.

How To: Vinegar Soak for Post Procedure Skin Tip: I love to use my pyrex measuring cups, especially for the last step. Once the solution is cooled, I will store it covered, pouring out small amounts for use when I need it. That way I never contaminate the batch.

Step 4: With clean hands, dip lint-free cotton pads or soft gauze into the solution and gently dab the skin. This feels great as a cool compress, too.

Once I cleanse the skin gently by dabbing, I’ll use new/fresh pads soaked in the solution to drape over the skin while I kick back for a while. It feels great to cool off and relax while you imagine how beautiful your skin is going to look. Ahhhhhh. 

Step 5: Apply your post-treatment skin care products as directed

Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor’s office! And until next time, stay fabulous, my friends!

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3 Fast Facts: Skinmedica TNS Essential 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! 


 

 

Three Fast Facts About: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

This all in one product is a heavy hitter in the fight against skin damage!

This all in one product is a heavy hitter in the fight against skin damage!

➢ Fact 1

All-in-one-awesome:

TNS Essential serum is product is used to correct, protect from future damage, promote cell renewal, smooth, lighten and increase collagen.

I personally call this fantastic product ‘The Mercedes of anti-aging products’. Not only is there Vitamin C in here, but lots of other potent goodies, too. Users will benefit from ultra-high concentrations of growth factors, 7 antioxidants, peptides, and super-potent  alpha-arbutin for lightening and brightening.

➢ Fact 2

 

Antioxidants both ways:

The antioxidants found in Essential Serum include ergothionine, green tea extract, blackberry leaf extract, saccharomyces ferment filtrate, coenzyme Q-10, tocopheryl acetate (E) and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (lipid-soluble C), which are all free-radical fighters.

Just like SkinMedica’s C & E Complex, there’s a combo of water- and lipid-soluble antioxidants here.  This is good because the water-soluble antioxidants can weave down between skin cells. The lipid-soluble’s are meant to actually enter the cell through its membrane. The two types of action here means that you’re covering your bases and in for a better result.

➢ Fact 3

In a hurry?

Essential serum is essential for the gal (or guy) on the go. A combination of both the beloved TNS Recovery Complex and APS corrective complex in one. This super-covenient dual chamber packaging is like those toothpaste/gel combo pumps that pump out both products simultaneously. One pump and both the APS serum and the Recovery Complex are dispensed.

Oh, and for the instant-gratification lovers out there: hyalauronic acid plumping spheres are present in this all-in-one serum. Buh-bye, fine lines!

 

Check it out here

Until Next time, Stay Fabulous, My Friends!

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3 Fast Facts: Skinmedica Vitamin C & E 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 C & E Complex

This satin-finish antioxidant feels like a makeup primer

This satin-finish antioxidant feels like a makeup primer

➢ Fact 1

This fantastic product is a topical antioxidant used to protect the skin from future damage, promotes cell renewal, and increases the build of collagen. Topical vitamin C’s have been known to reduce inflammation (think rosacea and post-sun exposure) and brighten the skin. These are usually great for everybody with the exception of super oily skin types, and some very sensitive or fragile types.

➢ Fact 2

Usually Vitamin C is really unstable… always about to oxidize and bite the dust. In this case, the vitamins are suspended in a silicone (dimethicone suspension) base so they are gradually released throughout the day and won’t oxidize. This assures that your product isn’t weakened or *GASP* causing oxidation. This is an ANTI-OXIDANT, for goodness sake. But don’t become oxidation paranoid, you’re safe with this formula.

There are 2 forms of beneficial C in there, too… lipid soluble and water soluble. Covering our bases here.

➢ Fact 3

The above-mentioned dimethicone suspension is not just a great delivery system, it feels like an awesome makeup primer! This super-satin finish will make you look forward to applying it. Use it in the AM’s to protect against the onslaught of free-radical threats that you’ll meet in your day. Your skin will thank you for it!

Here’s a link to learn more about it:

http://www.skinmedica.com/skin-care-products/vitamin-ce-complex

 

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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