Tag Archives: Tretinoin

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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Alert, Alert!! New Obagi Medical Products System, available next week!!

My lovely Obagi representative just alerted me to a new Obagi Medical Products line, specifically designed for those in their 20’s and 30’s, but likely appropriate for anyone who may not want or need an Rx Tretinoin (or anything ‘hardcore’, per se).

She didn’t have any literature to send me yet, but referred me to the Youtube vid here… which, at the time that I viewed it, only had 63 views!! This is new, hot off the press!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjKvHbZAxf4

Obagi 360 features only 3 products: an exfoliating cleanser, a retinol .5 to use at night, and a hydrating broad-spectrum SPF. This line promises simplicity, gentle care, an emphasis on consistency and routine, and maintenance! Well done, Obagi… can’t wait to hear more!!

Until next time, stay fabulous my friends!

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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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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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