AntiAgeing Savantess

Global Wellness, Skin Care and Aesthetics

Archive for ‘May, 2013’

Aging Elengantly

Want to age like a pro?

As much as I love youth promising products and treatments, the most important things we can do to promote quality longevity are simple lifestyle modifications. What we eat, how we act and think, are what will ultimately dictate our biological age. How you age is really up to you! Genetics aside, we have the power to incorporate life enhancing acts to ward off the illnesses most commonly associated with our physical, mental and health decline.

     1. *****Make sure getting your vitamins and antioxidants!!

Juicing2

These are your primary defenses against cancer causing free radicals and stress related aging and disease!

How-to-tip: Make Fruits and veggies your go-to food .

  • Try Juicing in the morning, snack on veggies and include a variety of colored foods in your diet! Find some recipes and      tips on this helpful site All About Juicing.
  • The stronger in color, the higher vitamin and antioxidant power!
  • If you don’t trust you are getting in enough  antioxidants, try a trusted supplement like the one below from MacroLifeNaturals… Try the MarcroGreens or Miracle Reds! In Spain, a brand called Salangei makes some fantastic antioxidants supplements in capsules, check out  their product Phytomatrix here!

antiox supplement Miriacle Reds

     2. ****Drink purified water!! 

purified water benefits

Municipal water has been reported with potentially toxic amounts of Cholrine and Flourine. These chemicals have been associated with health hazards and urinary tract cancers.  Other toxic substances commonly found in tap water include lead, pesticides, benzene and heavy metals.  Taking into account we need 8-10 glasses daily to stay healthy, we should be wary of the quality of the water we drink!

How-to-tip:  Pass on sugary, artificially flavored, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks and drink filtered water.

  • Buy a filter! I have to be honest, after researching, it’s still unclear to me how to choose the best water purification system. There have been numerous reviews stating ” the reverse osmosis types using a thin film composite membrane” are best! Readers Digest recommends the Aquasana brand. If anyone has any insight or opinions to share I would love to hear from you!
  • If you’re interested in learning about the reverse osmosis filtration process and a thin film composite membrane, I found      this link here quite informative. http://espwaterproducts.com/about-reverse-osmosis.htm.
  • To give flavor kick to your filtered water try adding a bit of vitamin and antiox goodness with citrus fruits!

Choose water

Kleen Kanteen

  • Lastly, if you’re going to go for store-bottled water, beware that not all are created equal. Bottled water seems to be less often screened or controlled than we might think. Also, mineral contents vary and could mean different health implications. Do your research on your favorite brands!

     3. ****Meditate!!

meditate for health

Daily meditation has been cited to be more effective than any other relaxation technique to lower long-term anxiety, ultimately, improving mental function and preventing premature aging. According to a Study conducted by Dr R Keith Wallce, those who meditated for more than 5 years averaged 12 years younger biologically than non-meditating counterparts!

How-to-tip: See my instructions in my post on Beauty Sleep!! (Won’t hurt to pick up some tips on sleep, as proper rest is vital in combating stress and disease! (: )

  • Set aside 5-15 minutes a day to recharge and unwind.
  • If you find sitting quietly too stressing , try a walking meditation or listen to meditation guidance tapes.

      4. ****Squeeze in 30 minutes of daily cardio!!

take the stairs for health

Cardiovascular activity helps prevent heart disease (hence the name), decreases stress and improves metabolism! All of this helps cut your chances against developing the most common diseases related to decreased quality of life and premature disease.

How-to-tip: Cardiovascular exercise has mean any activity which raises your heart rate and makes you sweat a bit. The gym is a great place for motivation and wide variety of aerobic classes and “cardio machines”. Power walking sessions, jogging, bicycling, gardening and even certain types of house cleaning can also serve as great ways to activate the body, exercise the heart and increase metabolism.

  • If you need some motivation to get in your morning workout check out my previous post for some tips “ABCs for a Rejuvenated Morning”.
  • If you just can’t seem to make time during your hectic day, take the stairs and walk every chance you get.
  • Avoid couch potatoe -ing at all costs! I guarantee, a fresh walk will feel so much better or your mind and body than ingesting both extra calories and exogenous TV anxieties.

     5. **** Include Omega 3s in your diet!!

omega 3 brain power

Increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis have been shown in those consuming diets low in Omega 3s. Poor cognitive function, depression, fatigue, memory, attention deficit issues, inflammatory conditions and even Alzheimer’s can all be warded off with regular consumption.

How-to-tip: Try incorporating cold water fish, walnuts, flaxseed or eggs from hens fed on greens to your daily diet.

Flaxseed Smoothie

Get your Omega 3s! Add flaxseeds to your smoothie

Nordic Natural Omega 3

        6. ****Wear Sunglasses!!

sunglasses for eye health

Not only do large chic sunglasses give you a few points on the fashion scale…. They can also help protect your from wrinkles, cataracts and growths such as pinguecula or pterygiums! The amount you squint is directly proportional to the stress you are implementing on the ultra sensitive skin around the eyes…Sunglasses minimize the need to squint. A pair of groovy shades also works to protect the peri-orbital skin from UV exposure and associated increased risk for skin cancer and signs of aging.. Lastly, sunglasses help protect the eyes from the above eye diseases which could affect your sight. Cataract formation is many times genetic and, for many,considered a normal part of aging (50 % of those over 80 have signs of cataracts). We can, however, slow their insidious onset by protecting ourselves when outdoors with UV protective lenses. Studies have shown those who protect themselves in early life with sunglasses are less likely to develop cataracts and other disturbing eye growths.

      7. ****Add Fibrous foods to every meal!!

High Fiber Foods AntiAging diet

The benefits of a high fiber diet include: decreasing risk of heart disease, aiding in excretion of cholesterol, maintaining digestive health, preventing diverticular disease, helping manage healthy blood sugar levels and diabetes, removing cancer causing toxins from gut and helping you control hunger and fight obesity.

By maintaining digestive health, high fiber diets also help stabilize feelings over all wellbeing. Furthermore, the fact that those who eat diets high in fiber tend to be able to control their appetite and weight better, means less risk of eating foods containing unhealthy fats and sugar. Proper nutrition further protects you from heart disease and diabetes.

AntiAging gurus from around the globe have one unified message in mind…longevity is strongly linked to diets with high Fiber:Sugar-Ratio! More fiber and less sugar is the definite formula to wellness!

How-to-tip: To find out how much fiber you need and some high fiber food suggestions see Mayo Clinics site.

  • For more on Anti-Aging foods check out this slide show from the Dr. OZ website site.
  • If you can’t seem to get enough dietary fiber in your diet…..take a trusted supplementary source. I kinda like this list of supplements listed on Top10Supplements.com….sorry kinda cheesy site but really liked their choices (:

organic fiber supplement

     8. ****If you have to drive….don’t forget your seat belt!!

Wearing Seat Belt AntiAging

Wearing Your Seat Belt can Assure Quality Life

Ok so this may not be directly antiaging but its LIFE PROLONGING! The number one cause of non-disease related death is car accidents. This said, you can decrease your risk in three ways 1) DON’T DRIVE 2) IF YOU DRIVE, DRIVE A BIG CAR (increases your chances of survival but at the cost of the environment) 3) WEAR A SEATBELT.

use of alternative transport could be life prolonging

Embracing alternative transportation is AntiAging

How-to-tip: At the least, fasten your seatbelt.

  • If you can avoid driving, do it! Live in a community which is accessible on foot or with use of alternative transportation. Choose to live close to your work and children’s school.
  • I’m not going to lie…I hate seat belts (they trigger a sense of claustrophobia), furthermore don’t like driving! I limit my families necessity for use of automobiles by limiting our activities to the areas of the city where we can easily get to by tram, metro or on foot. This is a personal lifestyle choice which I understand may not be ideal for many, for this reason I stress the importance of the alternative! Wear SEAT BELTS please!

     9. ****Shave!!

shaving is antiaging

Great news girls!…Mens graceful aging secret’s out!… Apart from the fact that men have better structured collagen, more active fibroblast activity (those cells which make collagen and elastin), their smooth, wrinkle free skin is partially due to the fact THEY SHAVE!!! Shaving is an amazing way to stimulate healthy cellular turnover and keep skin looking and acting young! I’m not telling the ladies to start shaving to keep their faces looking youthful, but I am giving the act of shaving some props after over a decade of bad press from the laser hair removal advocates! What I do want to stress is before you go off and laser those legs is that there may be another reason, other than economical, to choose shaving! We may consider it an antiaging act! I’m not sure this should be in the top 10 but definitely something you could do everyday to keep skin looking youthful!

     10. ****Protect your skin from UV radiation!!

protect skin from UV radiation

UV radiation and smoking are probably the 2 factors most strongly linked to premature skin aging. UV radiation is also our strongest correlating factor to skin cancer. Those desiring a skin ageing prevention technique need to start with the basics of UV prevention. Since most sun damage is occurred prior to the age of 18, it is vital to educate our children and loved ones to take precautions.

How-to-tips:

  • Use antioxidant products daily. See my post on “The Power of Antioxidants
  • Wear Sunscreen with SPF 30+ with UVA and UVB Protection .If you read the above post on Antioxidants you will notice I tend to prefer those which offer physical UV radiation barriers over chemical.
  • Place tinted UV-protective film to your car’s side and  rear windows as well as to house and business windows. According to Skincancer.org, these can block up to 99% of harmful UV radiation while  letting in 80% of light.
  • Wear special UV protective clothing when outside. Look for the Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), the higher the better. I love CabanaLife, Mott50 and Coolibar for kids.
Protect UV clothing Cabanalife

Protect yourself with UPF Clothing

  • Invest in a Laundry UPF additives. These will potentiate clothing’s ability to protect you from the sun. SunGuard is one example, using a sunscreen chemical called Tinosorb FD. One wash with SunGaurd gives you a new UPF of 30 for up to 20 washes thereafter.
SunGuard protective UV wash

Add to your laundry wash for extra UV protection

  • Choose dark, tightly woven and loose-fitting clothing to provide the best barrier for skin from the sun.

Hope you enjoyed my recommendations and hope you find a way to apply them to your daily life!! If you need help on making better choices, talk to your doctor, nutritionist, fitness expert or antiaging guru and get a customized consultation!

Cheers to staying healthy and maintaining your most youthful you!

7 Comments

leg vein care

After reading The Body Project Leg Veins Part I, I hope you have a better understanding of why spider veins and varicose veins might develop and how you might be able to prevent the extent at which they affect you. Here, in the second part of this series, I hope to enlighten you on the options available to treat these conditions. From Sclerotherapy to surgery there are effective solutions! Below, I hope to help to decifer which treatment modality may be right for you.

  1. Sclerotherapy:

sclerotherapy

  • What is it? Your specialist will inject small amount of saline (essentially salt water) or chemical detergent into the lumen of the vein. This will damage and collapse the superficial, aesthetically displeasing, vein. Over days to weeks, the body will dispose of the remaining debris from the damaged vein.
  • What kind of veins is it best for? Spider veins or small varicose veins
  • Treatment and aftercare? Your doctor will use a tiny needle to inject a small amount of the chosen product into each vein. It may burn a bit but is generally well tolerated.
    • Afterwards your doctor will compress the injected site with a cotton ball and place tape over it to hold it in place. You will be instructed to wear compression stockings for a few days. Once you take the stockings off, the bandages can be removed and, you should see a notable improvement. It may take an additional couple weeks to see complete resolution of any redness or bruising.

spider vein tx

  • How much does it cost? $250-350/ session. You will need 1-3 sessions spaced at about 6 weeks apart.
  • Additional considerations? Best to do in winter as the injection sites take a few weeks to heal and must be kept out of the sun.
  • Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy? For bigger veins your specially trained physician will use ultrasound – sound waves  – to guide the procedure for maximum accuracy and safety.
foam sclero pic

Foam Sclerotherapy Technique

  • Foam sclerotherapy?Is a technique where the sclerosant is mixed with air or gas in a syringe to make a foam. This foam is then injected into the veins and is more capable to making contact with the walls of the vein to cause consequent spasm and closure.  Some experts are now saying this is the gold standard for small to medium size varicose veins.

2.  Laser Therapy

laser leg veins

  •  What is it? Using a laser, specific for the chromophore hemoglobin (the portion of a red blood cell responsible for giving its color), we can heat the vein from within and damage the vessel permanently.
  • What kind of veins is it best for? Veins less than 3 mm in diameter and most commonly red spider veins, telangiectasias or telangectasic matting (collection of superficial micro blood vessels that often occurs as a result of injury or sclerotherapy).
  • Treatment and after-care? Your doctor or specialist cool the area to be treated and then will deliver laser pulses to several areas along a vein until it blanches or gives indication for successful treatment. Each pulse feels a bit like a rubber band snap. It’s a bit uncomfortable but is over quite quick.
    • No bandaging involved but your doctor might prescribe a soothing serum and support stockings. Once again sun exposure is to be avoided at all costs while the treatment area is healing.
  • How much does it cost? $150-$300 per session. Like sclerotherapy, you may need up to 3 sessions.
  • Additional considerations? There are a variety of different lasers that can be used. Depending on the color, size or the depth of the vein being treated, you doctor may decide to use one type over another. Some of the laser options available in doctors offices are 532nm KTP, 755nm Alexandrite or 1064nm Nd:Yag.
  • Laser Therapy is considered an acceptable option for spider veins and telangectasia BUT most agree sclerotherapy is best for those veins you can get a needle into. Laser therapy is a great option for those with facial telangectasias or those who just don’t like needles.  Like most laser treatments, you must avoid sun while skin is healing.

3.  IPL

IPL leg veins

  • What is it? IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light. Unlike a laser, which uses a specific wavelength to treat a target of a specific color (chromophore) and depth, IPL uses a light spectrum of many different wavelengths. This means:          1)  IPL, using many different wavelengths, can treat may different targets of varying depths and chromophores. Being less specific has advantages and disadvantages. Advantage being it can treat for skin quality, pigment problems and vascular issues in the same treatment! Disadvantage being we ar more at risk of affecting skin color when treating a vein; this puts darker skin types at risk for pigment changes and side effects.                                                                                               2) IPL is a much less powerful treatment than laser for any specific condition. For this reason you may need several treatments of IPL to get the same result as one treatment with laser.
  • What kind of veins is it best for?  Its best for telangiectasias, hemosiderin staining and residual redness after alternative vein therapy treatment. IPL is the gold standard for mild to moderate Rosacea.
  • Treatment and after-care? After applying a protective gel, your doctor will  place a cooled crystal tip of varying sizes over the area of concern. Several pulses may be delivered to each site until a visual darkening or resolution of the vascular defect is noted. No specific after care is called for however most often, a hydrating serum or reparative balm may be prescribed along with sunscreen.
  • How much does it cost? $200-$400. If you don’t improve after 1-2 treatments  you may need to consider a different treatment modality.
  • Additional considerations?  Extra care must be taken with darker skin individuals as IPL, since less specific for blood hemoglobin, can impose higher risk of pigmentation irregularities secondary to treatment.

4.  Invasive Options: Endovenous Ablation and Vein Stripping

     RadioFrequency (RF) or Laser Endovenous Ablation (EVLA)

  • Procedure: Your doctor will use ultrasound to guide him in the correct treatment of the varicose vein.. A needle will be inserted into the vein to help wire and catheter placement. Next a probe is inserted into the catheter tube in order to be treat the varicose walls from within with the RF or Laser. Both mechanisms will use heat to damage the inside of the vein. This damage will shut down the vein and cause the body to eliminate the damaged portions.
  • Envenous Ablation is considered a minimally invasive procedure. It is best indicated for medium to large size varicose veins and is considered a less risky treatment that Vein Stripping (see below).

EVLA varicose treatment

  • RF causes less heat than laser and therefore may be a gentler form of endovenous ablation to damage the varicose veins. New studies report less side effects with RF.
  • Both RF and laser endovenous ablation techniques use tiny incisions that heal without stitches and rather quickly.
  • These treatments can usually be done on as an outpatient basis but someone must drive you home after treatment to avoid agitation to treatment area.  Compression stockings are to be worn continuously for two weeks after endovenous ablation and  you are not allowed to get the area treated wet during this time.
  • Although one treatment takes care of most bothersome vasculature and relieves any associated discomfort, an additional treatment may be necessary to see complete aesthetic resolution of varicosities.
  • Those with spider veins, hemosiderin staining or telangectasic matting, will benefit from additional treatment of IPL and sclerotherapy.
  • Treatments average about $1200 a treatment session.

EVLA

     Vein Stripping:

  • Vein stripping is an older surgical technique in which your doctor will make incisions to remove unwanted portions of the vein.There are some doctors extremely experienced with this technique but stripping requires longer recovery and carries increased risk of side effects and DVTs.
  • For smaller varicose veins a procedure called hook phlebectomy can be used. Hook phlebectomy consists of the use of multiple small incisions to “hook and fish out” the vein using surgical hooks or forceps. The procedure is done under local or regional anesthesia, in an operating room or an office “procedure room.”
  • Larger veins require larger incisions made behind the knee or in the groin area. These incisions require several stitches and therefore are associated with increased risk of infection.  Anesthesia is always needed as well as an overnight stay.

vein stripping results

     VenaSeal

Last but not least, I’m happy to report a new exciting approach to varicose veins just on the horizon! Lucky for me I happen to have spent a lovely evening with Dr Proebstle of Mannheim Germany at a Solta Event Launching their new Total Tip for Thermage.  Dr Proebstle is a valued visionary and practitioner in the field of dermatology. This said, he often helps medical companies improve and test their newest and most innovative products. He shared with me his preliminary thoughts on VenoSeal varicose vein therapy. Here is what I found out!

VenaSeal new varicose vein treatment

newest treatment modality for varicose veins

  • The treatment involves injecting a glue type substance called Cyanoacrylate into the veins. This glue shuts off the lumen and causes a foreign body reaction forming fibrosis (a scar) in place of the damaged varicosity and therefore aesthetic resolution.
  •    This treatment protocol has been previously performed by vascular surgeons to safety treat congenital vein abnormalities, but, only recently, attempted for varicose vein treatments.
  •  The VenaSeal treatment is quick…most take only about 15 minutes.
  •  Requires no anesthesia or use of compression stockings, and normal activity can be resumed immediately after treatment.
  •   Currently this treatment is being studied in an international trial –eSCOPE (European Saphenous Closure System Observational Prospective) and is only available to those patients whose doctors are acting as trial investigators.
  •  It is NOT FDA approved but we are hoping commercial availability in Europe soon!

Check out this video here for more details http://www.venaseal.com/how-venaseal-works/

Which procedure is right for you?

  • All techniques are effective when conducted by experienced practitioners.
  • I often find that the best treatments are not device or procedure dependent but depend on the expertise of the doctors or specialist performing them.
  • You must get a consult from a several highly recommended providers. They will access your health and individual needs prior to recommending one procedure over another.

Will they return once treated?

For many, Yes. Unfortunately, if you have a strong family history of accumulating spider or varicose veins, others will form with time. However, if you take my tips from the first part of this series seriously, you can slow the rate at which they tend to sprout. Again, check out my tips here!

If these veins are an inevitable part of your future,  be aware of what you can do to make sure your lifestyle, diet and habits don’t contribute to the gravity of their presence. Also, once you have them, it’s a good idea to treat them early and prevent them from progressing into more than just aesthetic nuisances. Especially with varicose veins, the older they become the more likely to get larger, more painful, and complicated to treat!

Bottom line….get proactive, see a specialist and one step closer to replacing those leggings for summer dresses and boy shorts!

get nice legs

Cheers to silky smooth stems!!

2 Comments

summer ready legsBEAUTIFUL LEGS 101: Who is in?

  Talking about mini-skirts in my Body Project: Skin Essentials post, …..got me thinking about a few other conditions we must address prior to showcasing our summer-ready legs. One of these conditions is what I have found to haunt even the best cared for physiques….unsightly leg veins!

varicose vein

lets get a handle on how to prevent unsightly leg veins

The veins in our legs have an important and difficult job.  They push deoxygenated blood back up towards our hearts to be filtered and re-oxygenated.  The aesthetically bothersome leg veins are referred to as varicose and spider veins. These are the types of leg veins bring women into clinics seeking care. According to the women’s health organization they affect over 50% or all women and over 40% of all men.  They seem to creep up on us slowly and then get worse when we are not paying attention.  They also tend to shock us from time to time, appearing in places we thought we might be spared. They are not pretty, make us feel old and bring attention to our legs in ways we do not desire…they must go!  So what can we do about them?? I am breaking up this topic in 2 posts. Below I list the useful facts about this topic and important information to everyone on how to prevent them from appearing or getting worse.

**THE FACTS**

What are spider veins and varicose veins and why do they form?

Varicose veins are winding and twisting tubular or cord-like structures that appear on legs. Not only are these a bit unsightly but they can get quite painful when swollen. Varicose can vary in size, depth, elevation and range from flesh to purplish in color. Varicose veins are a result of something called venous insufficiency (VI). VI results because the valves within the veins responsible for keeping blood flowing upward against gravity,  get compromised (damaged or lose stiffness). The reason for this valvular compromise can be genetic, due to hormones, or associated with certain environmental factors such as diet, medications and activity. VI is also strongly associated with those who are overweight. Compromised valves have both health and aesthetic consequences; making it harder for these veins to do their job. When the valves get damaged, veins must compensate by getting wider, thicker and taking extra turns to make sure blood continues in the right direction and at the correct pace. This ultimately causes the vascular disfigurement we refer to “varicose veins”.

formation varicose vein

A spider vein, also known as a telangectasia,  can be a less concerning, but more common sign of a compromised or challenged superficial venous vascular system. They result for much of the same reasons as varicose veins but also as a result of an injury to the superficial skin and tissues.  Spider veins, look like varicose veins but are usually much smaller (less than 1mm in diameter), and most often not raised.

spider vein formation

Other Contributing Factors

As we age, our vessels, like our skin, lose elasticity and get weaker and more susceptible to damage. Older veins are unable to handle the pressure younger vessels are able to withstand and our valves break easier causing more blood pooling and further weakening and disfigurement of the veins.

As mentioned above genetics and hormones also help dictate which individuals suffer most often from varicose and spider veins.  Your genetics will dictate what type of valves you have and sometimes if you even have them at all!

Those who have family history of varicose veins are 50% more likely to suffer from them. Evidence of this lies in the fact that not even olympic athletes are not spared from developing spider and varicose veins.

Surges of estrogen and progesterone from pregnancy and supplementation can make us more susceptible to vein damage.

Some other environmental factors encouraging formation of varicose and spider veins: sun damage, excess weight, excess blood supply associated with pregnancy, constipation, injury or compromise to legs, hips or groin area, and prolonged standing or sitting.

Apart from the aesthetic, are there any medical concerns of which one should be aware of?

Yes, if your leg veins hurt when standing or walking or you notice a sore forming near one of the varicose veins, you should seek medical advice. The medical concerns that may arise as a result of varicose veins are:

  • Venous stasis: Chronic blood pooling in the low leg could result in a skin condition known as stasis dermatitis. Stasis Dermatitis occurs because of the mounting pressure within the varicose vein results in sub-optimal nutrition of the surrounding skin. The skin becomes dark, dry or scaly and is more susceptible to ulceration formation. Once an ulcer forms, it can take months of professional care to heal and has high probability for reoccurrence.
  • Superficial Phlebitis: Inflammation of the superficial vein may arise if a clot forms in a varicose or other superficial leg vein. If you notice your vein become warm, inflamed and tender…call your doctor immediately. Although superficial phlebitis is usually not usually associated with the dangers of a deep vein phlebitis, you should go and see your doctor so he can assure the low risk nature of your symptoms.  Most often the superficial phlebitis will resolve with elevation of the leg,  warm compresses, some aspirin and elastic support.
  • Thrombosis: Those with severe varicose veins may be at risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVTs. DVT risk is increased with valvular insufficiency of the deep venous vascular system. DVTs are life-threatening, as the clots formed can dislodge and head straight for vital structures such as the heart or lungs.   If you feel heavy pain, swelling and tenderness of your leg (most often your calf) which gets worse with upward bending of your foot…go to the emergency room immediately!

**PREVENTION**

Although the tendency to accrue leg veins is highly genetic and based on sensitivity to certain hormones, there are certain things we can do to help prevent them.

  • Exercise to help improve the overall health of the circulatory system, give optimal tissue nutrition and function.
keep legs fit and encourage vein health

Keeping legs fit promotes optimal vascular health

  • Maintaining healthy leg muscle tone, this will take some stress of the venous valves as the muscles will help stimulate blood flow in the right direction…..YOU NEED TO EXERCISE!
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding mid-section weight accumulation will limit pressure on the legs.
  • Avoiding extended hours on our feet and when sitting elevate legs to give lower venous vascular system a rejuvenating rest.
  • Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time, especially on airplanes. This constricts blood flow in the veins, making more work for the venous vascular system of the legs.
crossing legs puts stress on circulatory sytem of legs

Beware of sitting cross legged for extended periods

  • Practice inversions: Legs up wall pose, shoulder stands and head-stands are ways you can offer extra relief to the venous vascular system. I propose incorporating a 10 minute gentle relaxation/ inversion pose after you daily exercise. This will do wonders for your legs, metabolism and brain. Check out my post here “ABCs for a Rejuvenated Morning”.
inversions help vein health

Marilyn practicing Shoulder-Stand

  • Wear support stockings when necessary and whenever possible.  According to the Center of Vein Restoration “Gradient compression socks or stockings help improve the blood flow by compressing the veins and making the valves in the veins work more efficiently. This is done by delivering the highest level of compression at the ankle and gently decreasing this pressure up the leg.  Improving blood flow helps the wearer experience immediate relief from tired, aching legs”.
  • There are 3 kinds of compression stockings: Support pantyhose (no graduated, offer little support throughout the leg), gradient compression hose (offer more compression in the places most needed), and prescription strength compression hose (offer best and most pressure but need to be fitted and prescribed by professional). The last two can only be bought in drugstores and by medical supply companies…they are extremely effective but  often less fashionable ): Lucky for us a woman in southern california started a brand that are actually quite fun!….., check out her website and styles here
rejuvahealth compression stocking

Rejuva Health Fashionable compression stockings

  • Massage and Lymphatic drainage to improve health of overall tissue, lymphatic and vascular system. Warning: if you experience pain with pressure applied to affected area of legs, do not get a massage and get a medical consult! To learn more on Massage benefits check out my previous post here!

lymphatic drainage for leg health

  • Eat a diet high in fiber and low in salt. This will help prevent digestive constipation and water retention which can attribute to increase pressure on the venous vascular system.
  • Avoid using undergarments which squeeze hips, groin and low abdominal area; this could make more work for the leg veins to work against when trying to push blood through this area.  I always tell people to beware of those tummy and buttock shapers if not equally providing support for the legs. These are ok for a few hours for a special occasion but regular use of extra tight support in this low middle area might encourage the formation of spider or varicose veins…especially if you have a genetic tendency!
  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Comfortable shoes cause less stress on our vascular system and therefore less trauma to our vessels and better circulation. Low heeled shoes can help tone our calve muscles, improve vein health and aid proper venous flow.
comfy feet for spider vein prevention

If you can’t live without heels, make sure they are comfortable!

  • Don’t Smoke. Smoke can inhibit optimal blood circulation and contribute to Vitamin C and Bioflavinoid deficiencies leading to poor elastin and collagen production and weakened vessels.
  • Take leg protecting supplements which include helpful ingredients such as Vitamin C and B, hesperidin, diosmin, Fish oil, Gingko, Bacopa and Grape Seed. These ingredients help strengthen vascular structure and promote circulatory health
    • Other supplements shown to improve venous insufficiency symptoms are Bilberry, Gotu kola, horse chestnut, butchers broom.
    • An example of a supplement which incorporates many of these ingredients is Swanson Time Release Leg Vein Essentials.

swanson leg vein essentials

  • Increase foods high in antioxidants to improve tissue health and circulation: blueberries, green tea, grapes, berries, pineapples, chillies, dark chocolate, garlic, turmeric, fish, ginger and olive oil.  For a list of foods which have shown promise in keeping veins healthy go to http://www.healwithfood.org/varicoseveins/foods.php

So I hope you got the background you needed to identify and understand what these leg nuisances are, why they form and what we can do to prevent them. For those of you who have already experienced an encounter with spider or varicose veins, check out my upcoming post “Leg Veins Part 2: The Solutions”. It should be out in a few days!!

Until then, I beg all shoe makers….please invent sexy, comfy, not-to-high heeled and fashionable shoes!! For the sake of conserving our young and beautiful legs!! We will be forever faithful!  Anyone got any leg friendly and fabulous shoe favs??? Please share!

inversion helps maintain leg health, Antiageingsavantess

Handstand in heels anyone…nice balance, don’t you think??

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      get laser beautiful at home

Do you ever wish there was a bit more you could do for your aesthetic concerns from the comfort of your own home?

Medical grade aesthetic treatments are expensive, require downtime and are a bit of a hassle to organize into your life. For this reason, laser companies have made attempts to help create “mini, hand held devices” with less potent, but effective technologies, to be used for personal use at home.  These device offer smaller benefits to the skin than a treatment offered in a medical office, but with this also advantageously bring less risk of side effects. The idea is that with regular use, started in younger patients, they could offer protective and even palliative therapy to those who use them. They devices used alone or in combination with topical treatments, help skin maintain youthful properties and stimulate healthy behavior. With consistent use, they cultivate beautiful skin and hair that only more aggressive modalities were able to deliver.

Below, I have listed some of the best researched and physician supported mini devices. They offer solutions to tone and texture issues, collagen loss, sun damage, eye and lip wrinkling, hair loss, acne, sensitive skin and overall skin aging. To some, they may seem pricey, but when considering the cheapest physician mediated procedure starts around $150 Euros, you can quickly imagine how these devices will save you money and give you results you thought only your doctor could promise.

  1. For Tone and Texture: Keeping Skin Fresh

PMD at home microdermabrasion

PMD Personal Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is probably the most sought after device-mediated aesthetic treatment in both doctors’ offices and medical spas. Patients love it because it gives smoother clearer skin instantly. Microdermabrasion is an ideal treatment to help clear up blackheads, remove dead skin cells and absorb topical creams better. Physician’s love microderm prior to any medical laser or application of topical medicine, as it improves proximity to the target skin layer (the newer and deeper skin).  By helping assure healthy skin stays on surface, we are able to keep skin radiant and hydrated (as dead skin cells prevent optimal hydration potential). The more hydrated, the better protected and the less likely we are to form static fine lines and wrinkles.

PMD allows you to do mini sessions of microdermabrasion at home. This means with consistent use, you are getting the benefits of microdermabrasion at regular intervals and, therefore, keeping wrinkles, discolorations and dull appearance of the skin at bay.  With concurrent use of topical skin care, you can save yourself money, and time and make smooth, even-toned skin, your signature look.

Use once a week. Watch a video here

My Take: Microderm is a great treatment for the treatment of blackheads and prevention of sun spots and fine lines. It’s also an amazing way to prep skin for application of any cream or treatment.

Catch: As much as I love microdermabrasion, you must continually do it to maintain its results.  I find skin looks great for a time after treatment but if you are not doing anything to change the skin structure, you skin tends to go back to its only habits. Also, it’s not suitable for sensitive skin types, (this includes rosacea sufferers), as they may get additional irritation in response to treatment. Those who have active acne must also beware; they may spread the bacteria and suffer an additional acne flare after treatment.

Where? Online $179

     2.   For Collagen Stimulation for Aging Skin: Repairing and Strengthening Skin

SilknFace FX Antiaging at home

Silkn Face Fx AntiAging

This device uses a combination of fractional red light therapy and deep thermal heating to stimulate collagen and helping keep skin looking and action youthful.

Benefits of red light have been well documented for anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Red light can safely and easily penetrate to the deeper dermal skin layer where age related effects are most often inflicted.

The effect of deep thermal heating, increases the metabolism of fibroblasts and other connective tissue cells leading to increased collagen and elastin fiber. Heat increases blood flow to the skin, improving nutrition and waste elimination, restoring healthy function and decreasing age and disease related inflammation.

The cumulative result of regular use of low-grade red light and heat therapy results in skin plumping, reduced pore size, and a brighter, more even complexion.

Each session lasts about 15-20 min and looks like this.

My Take: I love the gentle and reparative nature of this device. I think ideal for those who have suffered effects of premature sun or smoking related aging.  You can appreciate the strengthening and plumping of the skin after only a few weeks. The skin is undeniably healthier in both color and overall appearance! I believe in combination with some nutritional support, Silkn Face could serve as a good way to restore health of weakened and damaged skin!

Catch: If you are expecting miraculous results you will be disappointed. This is a treatment you must use religiously (3x/week) for the first weeks to start noticing more healthy and smooth skin, The results will be subtle but visible.

Where? Online $299

     3.       For an Eye and Lip Wrinkle Reduction and Rejuvenation

JeNu

JeNu

JeNu is an ultrasound assisted skin care device for eye and lip area.

JeNu uses the beneficial properties of ultrasound (US) to enhance uptake of well documented micro sphered anti-aging agents into the commonly problematic areas of the eyes and lips. These agents include vitamins, peptides, antioxidants and Hyaluronic acid. Results have shown 12 fold increase absorption potential of these ingredients with the use of the JeNu Ultrasound device. Ultrasound works by creates a mechanical pressure waves which causes molecular components of the skin to vibrate and move. These vibrations alter the stratum corneum, (the outermost layer of the skin), making it more permeable to products applied topically.  It does this by removing obstacles such as lipids and create temporary micro-channels through which the above mentioned micro-sphered agents could move through.  These micro-channels essentially provide a path for these anti-ageing agents to reach deeper skin layers, where they could better work against common changes associated with skin aging.

Since Jenu uses safe, gentle doses of US, it is safe to use at home. After just two weeks we have seen, exponentially improved skin hydration and diminished appearance of wrinkles.  Treatment of the lips results in plumper, fuller and smoother lips. Patients claim up to 48% diminished appearance of fine lines.

JeNu can be used daily. You will notice changes even from the first application.

My take: I believe in JeNu’s principle, as I have seen effective no-needle meso therapy techniques using US for various skin conditions.  I believe US is an idea aesthetic modality as it quite safe in small doses for personal use. Since the skin around the eyes and mouth tend to age much quicker, I think it’s quite nice to have a device which helps us improve treatment of these areas at home.

Catch: Seems to be kind of a pain to do this treatment long-term. I would plan on doing intense treatment intervals a few times a year and take other measures to protect your eyes and lip area in between. Also this is not a good treatment for those who have medium to deep static wrinkles. In cases of more severe wrinkles, you may want to consider seeing  your dermatologist for more attention. For more information on preventing wrinkles see “Baby Botox and other Wrinkle Prevention Treatments”. Also,  see my post titled “ Lip talk” for more tips on lip care!

Where? Online $249

     4.       For the Treatment and  Prevention of Hair loss

Hair Max Laser Comb

Hair Max Comb

With aging, there are inevitable hormone and skin changes resulting in both medical and aesthetic concerns. As a result of these changes, skin’s function declines and so does the way it grows hair. Medications and Hair Restoration Therapies are commonly chosen by those patients who refuse to let aging hair patterns take place. Others try vitamin supplements and some over the counter products with some success. But what if there was something a bit more effective than that which is offered in your local drug store and less aggressive than Hair Restoration?  The Hair max comb seems to qualify as such a procedure that can be done safely and effectively from the comfort of your home.

Hair Max Comb is the only at home medical class II device that is approved by the FDA to treat hair loss and stimulate growth for men and woman.

The technology of the HairMax comb involves the use of visible light, from the red light spectrum, to treat hair loss and stimulate hair follicles. The light promotes healthier hair by 1) Improving circulation, nutrition and waste elimination (including elimination of DHT, a hormone which inhibits hair growth) and 2) Increasing cellular activity in the hair follicle and enhancing the microclimate in which hair growth thrives.

Clinical studies have shown 93 % of users report both improved growth and appearance of hair in after 4 months of use.

Use 3 times a week for a minimum of 3 months. Continued use brings best results!

My take: I love the safely profile of this device and the fact that it is free of side effects of medications and surgeries. Furthermore, the light therapy acts preventively by improving the overall health of the skin of the entire scalp!  A healthier scalp means we are insuring it works better to grow thicker and fuller hair in the future, something that other therapies cannot promise. Sounds like we may be able to do more than just pray our hair doesn’t fall out!  Successful and healthy aesthetic-preserving strategies do exist!! See my post “The Power of Hair” for more tips on keeping hair beautiful!

Catch: It’s a bit of a long, slow processes so you must commit as you would to a gym routine!

Where? Online,  Sephora $259

     5.       For Deep Cleansing/ Anti-imperfections/ Sensitive Skin Care

clarisonic brush healthy skin base

Clarisonic Cleansing System

Ever feel like your skin still feels dirty even after a few rounds of using your favorite cleanser? Chances are it still is! The impurities left on the surface may contribute to uneven tone and texture or even black heads and acne. The Clarisonic brush can make sure this doesn’t happen!

Clarisonic uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to gently, and 6X more efficiently, remove dirty residue off your skin. The sonic technology helps prep the skin so that your creams and serums are at their maximum effectiveness. Dermatologists agree that clean skin is the most logical first step toward healthier looking skin.

The sonic frequency induces micro-massage motions via the brushes and gentle releases dirt and contaminants from pores. The end result is healthier tissue and less inflammation associated with bacterial contamination and sub-clinical allergies. The skin will have less blackheads, be more even in tone, texture and color.

To use: Twice a day, with non-abrasive cleanser (without micro-beads for exfoliating) prior to applying serums and creams. Can be used on any body area. Treatment time is one minute per area. Clarisonic is waterproof so perfect for shower or tub use. Must be charged prior between uses.

My Take: This is a great device to have. It’s ideal for sensitive skin types as it’s gentle and may remove allergens and bacteria causing subclinical inflammation, reactivity and acne!

Where? Online $119-200 depending on size. There is even one made especially for the body $229

     6.       For Acne

At home Acne Claro

Claro

This device uses Intense Pulsed Light Technology (using benefits of heat and light) to quickly and effectively clear acne breakouts without the use of medications or harsh topical creams.

This FDA approved device can be used regularly to kill acne causing bacteria and decrease inflammation to calm angry acne.  The device delivers a 6 second pulse of the red, blue and green light concurrently with heat over the area of concern.  After just 2 pulses, users see improvement in terms of decreased redness, size of papule and associated pain. Portable, battery operated and chargeable this device is ideal for anyone suffering from acne, who wants a safe and fast way to treat reactive skin.

My take: For those suffering from acne, there is a huge comfort in having this device by your side. It helps you recover twice as fast and leaves less potential for picking and scar formation.  Also prevents you from running to your doctor for the occasional flare and puts the power to heal acne in your hands. Best of all, this is an “organic option” in comparison to corticosteroid shots and other strong medications your specialist may offer.

Catch: This is only good for those with a few occasional mild-moderate acne lesions. If you get dozens of papules all over your face, you need more support. Call your doctor to get your acne under control and then control occasional acne emergencies at home with healthy diet, hygiene and your Claro.

Where?  Online, Nordstroms, Best Buy $195

     7.       For Anti-Aging Rejuvenation

ReAura2

ReAura

Solta Medical and Philips have joined forces and developed ReAura. Solta is famed for its Fraxel technology, offering unsurpassed medical aesthetic care for everything from pre-cancers, to sunspots and acne scarring. They have now used the same technological basis to create a less aggressive, handheld system known as ReAura. ReAura works, much like its parent technology, to stimulate the body’s natural cell renewal process to rejuvenate skin. ReAura works deep; to replace old damaged skin, with healthy new ones. Treating Bi-weekly for 8 weeks you will be able to visually appreciate a change in your skin. Skin will become stronger, smoother, and more even in color. Fine lines and sun damage are also addressed as you continue to use the device. The idea is that ReAura is causing a controlled injury which when repaired leaves healthier tissue which looks and acts more like the skin of your youth. ReAura also comes with calming serum, containing anti-inflammatory properties such as chamomile, St. Johns, Wort and Edelweiss extracts. The serum helps relieve skin after treatment so you recover quickly and can continue on with your normal daily activities.

To be used twice a week for 8 weeks for maximal results. Can be used 2-3 times a year, depending on necessity and only when can limit sun exposure (as your skin will be more sensitive to the sun!).

My Take: My favorite at home device by far. Its technology and efficacy has major investigational backing by doctors and Solta Medical. With consistent use of ReAura, I believe you can keep your skin fresh and healthy and prevent signs of aging. It’s on my wish list….I hope to give you real-time experience soon!

The Catch: Quite expensive (but when you consider the results you are getting a steal!!) and can only be bought in Europe!! Sorry my US friends, you must take a holiday to the Europe to track one down!

Where? Online www.douglas.nl and www.spacenk.co.uk 799 Pounds

Closing Statements!

These are fantastic devices, if you want to get more out of your @home routine…now you know how. There are a few other devices that I love but didn’t mention above such as PaloVia Laser for eye wrinkle reduction $500, Baby Quasar MD for wrinkles $795 and Wellbox, at home endermologie, for Cellulite and Body Smoothing $1700. Make sure to send me you questions or inquires about any of the above devices or others not mentioned. We are getting far in this sector and devices are getting smarter.  At this years ASLMS (American Society of Laser Medicine), lead doctors and scientists took time to discuss these devices and their benefits for patients skin. This is impressive and means we are getting statistically significant results from these small wonders. The technological age has arrived… be sure not to  let your skin miss out on all the fun!!

For more on my laser adventures, follow me on my facebook page AntiAgeing Savantess or on Instagram and Twitter! I would love to share my journeys with you!

Cheers to Mini- Lasers and Devices and their Futuristic Skin Promises coming to life!

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