AntiAgeing Savantess

Global Wellness, Skin Care and Aesthetics

Posts from the ‘beauty’ category

Summer life tough on skin

I won’t ask you to give up summer

With summer going strong, skin rejuvenation seems far off focus. Tans and parties seem to take the front seat. For now, sun damage, discolorations and broken vessels must wait till fall to get attended (for their treatments are too aggressive in times of intense sun exposure). As disappointing as holding off on your favorite beauty solutions may be, we CAN improve skin quality during these happy but skin-taxing months!  Its true sunspots and redness make skin look old but NOTHING is as concerning as when you start to see your skin sag, eyes droop and skin crinkle.

Prevent skin sagging

It’s for this reason why summertime can be an ideal time to work on this loss of skin structure and strengthen the skin from within.  The “non-surgical lift and tuck” requires use of technologies that don’t sensitize melanocytes or cause risky inflammation, even if your agenda may include trips to the beach. It is for this reason that I feel that we should take advantage of the off-laser season and focus on rebuilding what may have been torn down over the years. By working with Radio Frequency or Ultrasound, we can stimulate collagen production,  induce dermal remodeling and improve skin health. If you choose to undergo these procedures you can recreate a more youthful, tightened and lifted version of yourself. Best yet, this is done all without surgery and enhances your skins propensity to age prematurely.

Skin skin in its place...non surgical lift

Below, I list some of my favorite skin tightening treatments. From head to toe, you can smooth out imperfections and contour your skin to a place where you now only imagine it was once!!

Thermal

Thermage is the pioneer is non invasive skin tightening with over a million treatments performed, it is the most trusted device of its kind!

Thermage

The Technology:

 Thermage uses Monopolar Radio Frequency for deep and safe volumetric dermal heating.

Best for:

Thermage Eyes Non surgical lifting

Thermage Jawline results

In my opinion, it has unsurpassed results for facial shaping, jaw defining and eyelid tightening. Thermage is also great for body skin rejuvenation, however is an expensive option.

Benefits:

  • Clinical Research: Like mentioned above, Thermage is the pioneer in non-invasive skin tightening and because of this has more studies backing up it’s science, safety and effectiveness than any other device of its kind.
  • CPT for Comfort: Thermage uses Comfort Pulse Technology which involves strategically coordinated bursts of cooling and vibration to improve comfort and safety . The CPT also allows Thermage to use higher and more effective doses of RF in the deep skin layers.
  • Single Treatment: Most can achieve substantial results after only a SINGLE TREATMENT. While most Radiofrequency treatments require several treatments to achieve similar results, most patients are satisfied after only one treatment of Thermage .  Thermage is famous for its “One Treatment Once a Year” to maintain skin health and firmness.
  • Non-Surgical Blepharoplasty: Only FDA approved treatment for tightening of eyelid.  It’s results are NOT as effective as a surgical blepharoplasty but, for those wild mild to moderate eyelid hooding and refuse to go under the knife, Thermage is a great option.

The Procedure:

Thermage procedure

After assessing where your skin would most benefit from strengthening, tightening and slight lifting, your practitioner will place a treatment guidance grid on those areas of your skin. The grid is used as a map for the doctor to assure delivering the correct dose of Radio Frequency energy to each square centimeter we desire to strengthen and plump. Throughout the treatment, coupling gel is placed on the skin surface to make sure the RF energy is delivered evenly and safely from the hand piece into the skin. The hand piece is moved in a sequential and strategic fashion along each square of the grid while delivering RF in one square, before moving on to the next.  Once the area is sufficiently heated, your practitioner will use the same hand piece to deliver RF to specific sites in order to  achieve a contouring and lifting effect. The treatment can take between 45 min – 90 min, depending on the size of the area to be treated.   Improvements post treatment can be appreciated as early as a day after treatment and can continue to improve up to 6 months after.

Drawbacks:

  • Slight Discomfort: Most pulses of RF are painless but in a few sensitive areas you might feel a sharp deep heating sensation. On a positive note, if you do feel any discomfort, it quickly dissipates as soon as the pulse is over.
  • Costly for Large Areas

The Cost:

Average cost 2000-3500 Euros per treatment.

Where?

Ulthera

Ulthera is an alternative treatment for single session skin tightening and remodeling. Ulthera is indicated  to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin on the brow, neck, and under the chin.

Ulthera

The Technology:

Ulthera uses Ultrasound to tighten skin and muscle by initiating healthy metabolic activity and reparative processes.

Best for:

I like it best for the neck and brow area.

Ulthera Neck

The Benefits:

  • See it than treat it approach”: It’s the only device of its kind that so accurately previews exactly at what depth going to treat in the skin. Using diagnostic US Ulthera can image and project on-screen where the SMAS muscle layer is.  The doctor can then use the data concerning the thickness of your skin and location of this muscle layer (SMAS) to make sure we treat at an adequate depth to tighten both skin and muscle.
  • More Similar to Surgical Lift: As mentioned above, the Ultrasound energy is focused on the SMAS muscle layer. The SMAS is an important target as it will create the tightening of the skin to the muscle and give results more similar to surgical correction of neck and face.
  • Neck and brow area: Again, with Ulthera, there are incredible lifting results seen for the neck and brow area. I prefer Ulthera for the neck area over Thermage (mentioned above) or Elixis Elite. (discussed below).

The Procedure:

ulthera procedure

Once skin is assessed and Ulthera device correctly calibrated for your treatment, another layer of ultrasound gel is placed on the skin. The hand piece is then passed section by section to the area you desire to improve, until the whole treatment zone is treated. Once the entire zone is treated, your Ulthera therapy is complete. The treatment time is usually between 60-90 minutes. The improvement appears gradually over 2-3 months and may take up to 6 months post treatment to appreciate full improvement. The skin will visually appear healthier and you will notice a shifting of the skin to a more youthful position.

Drawbacks:

  • Discomfort: Most patients need to take some sort of oral pain medication. The treatment is quite uncomfortable for many patients.  Additionally, sensitivity may persist days after treatment in some sensitive individuals. For this reason, I feel best for smaller areas of concern.

The Cost:

2000-3000 Euros per treatment

Where?

Elixis Elite

Exilis Elite uses volumetric heating of the deep skin layers to and produce long-term benefits to the skin. The heating stimulates the collagen and helps empty localized fat deposits. The final result is smoother, firmer and defined skin.

Exilis

The technology:

Elixis effectiveness is primarily based on a high frequency Monopolar RadioFrequency energy. Effective doses of RF are possible because of a sophisticated cooling system. This feature allows the doctor to measure and modify temperature and intensity as it aims to treat different areas of the body.

Best For:

Elixis can be performed on both the face and body, but, in my opinion, is best for the décolleté and body areas.  Elixis is very gentle for the thin skin of the décolleté and is much more affordable for those who want an effective treatment for body skin toning. I especially like Elixis for the saggy leg skin as it is a difficult and expensive to treat with other modalities.

exilis results

Exilis Results

The Benefits:

  • NO Pain: The procedure is painless and no medication or anesthesia is ever required. Using an Energy Flow Control System (EFC), Elixis assures homogenous treatment of the entire treatment zone. This avoids energy peaks which could put the patient at risk for over-treatment and side effects in certain areas.
  • Effect on Fat: Additionally Elixis Elite may have some effect on Fat, shrinking the  volume of the treatment zone as well. For this reason, your doctor may insist you do a bit of exercise post treatment to aid in the lymphatic systems removal of fat from your system!
  • Rapid Treatment: Each area can be treated in 15-20 minutes making treatment of several areas in the same session possible.

The Procedure:

Exilis Procedure

During treatment skin temperature is assessed to stay within range of therapeutic but safe heating profiles. The applicator will cool the skin externally while stimulate the deep skin layers from within. During an Exilis treatment, precisely controlled radio frequency energy heats the deep skin layers. This heat causes fat cells to shrink and contracts the skin tissue, stimulating new collagen production in the process. You may feel a deep but tolerable heating sensation during treatment. Patients usually.  start seeing the results after only a month post treatment. Like Thermage and Ulthera, patients may continue to improve months after the last treatment.

Downside:

  • Multiple Treatments: Exilis must be repeated 3-6 times over 2 months to obtain maximum results.

The Cost:

150-250 Euros per treatment. (remember 3-6 treatments most often necessary)

Where?

 

Some Additional Facts

  • All devices are considered “without downtime”: You can continue on with your normal life right after treatment. The only precautions are taken for the first 24 hours where we advise avoiding direct sunlight and intense exercise.
  • You may experience a flash improvement. This occurs immediately after the procedure and is due to either slight swelling or temporary contraction of the collagen fibers! You will love your fresh look post treatment but know that this may go away within a day of your treatment! I often tell patients to take advantage of this and plan a social event that evening!
  • Unlike laser, these treatments are colorblind!! They can be used on all skin types without any risk! In fact, the darker your natural skin type, the more likely you have high fibroblastic activity! This means you produce collagen faster and are more likely to get fantastic outcomes!
  • The degree which you improve from these skin-tightening wonders can vary based on your bodies own genetic potential to heal and regenerate collagen. This is affected by your genetics, diet and lifestyle.
  • You can help enhance your results by eating foods that encourage collagen production. Check out my post here “Eat Yourself Beautiful”.
  • There are also fantastic supplements, which supply primarily amino acid building blocks. Providing the right amino acids assures that our body has the supply it need to construct new collagen we have encouraged with the treatment.  Try Proglyme.
  • Finally, preparing the skin with treatments such as PRP or Fraxel can help initiate the health and circulation of skin prior to your skin tightening treatment.  This prepping process will help assure you get the most of your Skin Tightening procedure.  Since Fraxel is not recommended until after the summer months PRP would be an excellent option. For more on PRP check our my previous post “PRP and the Vampire Facelift
  • Finally for some recommendations on products which help encourage body skin health and tone please check “The Body Project: Skin Essentials”.  Vitamin C is a core ingredient which you should look for when choosing a collagen protective cream.  Those organic creams with natural plant anti-inflammatories can also protect your skin from stress and accelerated degradation of your skins natural collagen.
Thermage, Ulthera, Exilis Non Surgical Lifting

Keep skin naturally fit and tone!!

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Is the Jet-Set Life Aging you? Your Guide on Keeping it Glamorous.

traveling should be chic.... preserve the glamor by incorporating travel tips 

So everyone assumes the life of those who travel the globe to be tré chic. When done well, the average Jet-Setter DOES have the opportunity to regularly enjoy and assimilate cultures, foods, scents, and experience adventure not easily found in the comfort ones city. It is exciting BUT what you don’t take into consideration is the constant movement and lack of consistency can take a toll on health and, most definitely, your appearance. Living out of a suitcase means your whole nurturing environment gets tossed. Your diet, beauty, sleep and exercise routines are sacrificed.  Some, are genetically better equipped to handle such chaos, while most start, to look and feel worn out.

Consistent travel results in a drop in both energy and immunity. Also, our mood, digestion, weight, skin and hair rebel! So how to prevent these not-so-glamorous outcomes?

exhaustion not glamerous

Here are somethings I have learned and adapted into my own travel-heavy life. Frequent flyer or not, I hope you can find some of these helpful when you getting ready for some taxing travel.

PRE-FLIGHT TIPS

boost immunity pre flight

1.    Arm your immune system: Getting sick is quite easy when traveling by air. Not only is your immunity compromised by the stresses of traveling itself, but , the air conditions in flight make you much more susceptible to getting sick.  Cabin air has only about 10-15% humidity. Low humidity means germs can soar from one person to another much easier, without getting trapped in moisture. Additionally, because of the close proximity to your neighbor, bacteria,  viruses and other pathogens don’t have to travel far to infect you.  Dry air also results in a breakdown of  your bodies naturally protective mucous membranes. Your nose cannot as effectively trap and prevent pathogens from entering and, we are therefore, infected more easily to whatever is in the air. Because of this, we need all the help we can get to make sure we are best equipped to fight off whatever airplane bugs may come our way.

  • If your lifestyle is a little choppy…Get yourself hooked on a daily multivitamin.  Any deficiency in vitamin, mineral or antioxidants can mean depressed immunity. If you are too busy to watch your nutrient intake then a multivitamin can help complement an unbalanced diet.
    • How to pick a multivitamin? It’s not easy but according to the reported by CNN Health “Avoid the vitamins singled out by ConsumerLab.com, and stick with mainstream names such as Centrum Silver and One-A-Day Women’s, which were found to be free of impurities and accurately labeled. Also, check vitamin bottles for the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), NSF International (NSF), or ConsumerLab.com (CL) seals. The USP and NSF are nonprofit groups that verify whether companies offer contamination-free products and use good manufacturing practices. Not every brand has the seals — some don’t want to submit to testing–but those that do (Kirkland and Nature Made carry the USP seal, for instance) are reliable.”

      nature made vitamins

  • Take a probiotic. Studies show that probiotic can help improve absorption of nutrients necessary for healthy immune system. Probiotic also can help make sure we have an appropriate line of defense for those pathogens attempting entrance in the gut. Since probiotic help establish a balance of healthy bacteria in the lining of the intestines, the bad bacteria are unable to thrive in this environment.

Probiotic for immunity

  • Have a healthy breakfast and squeeze in a healthy dose of antioxidants and super-foods. These will reinforce your immune system and give you natural energy. Try a spinach and berry almond milk smoothie with a teaspoon of flax seeds. I mean to talk about super-foods in the future but, until then, check out the site SuperFoodsRX.

spinach berry almond smoothie

  • If you are not good at taking a multivitamin or are in too much of a rush to have a healthy breakfast, you need to think of a plan B. Below are some trusted supplements that can support your immune system.
    • Start taking AirBorne a day or two prior to your flight and continue to take it three times a day for 3 days. Airborne has a combination of essential vitamin, minerals and herbs for optimal immune function. I love the new chewable versions as you can take them any time any where with no excuses!Airborne chewable supplements for immunity
    • Put a few drops of Dr Brandt antioxidant water booster in your water bottle.  I do this daily as it assures me that, despite my crazy schedule, I am receiving a balanced supply of antioxidants in my system.  Antioxidants support healthy immune system and healthy skin.

Antioxidant water booster by Dr Brandt

2.      Prep your skin:  We need to boost health, hydration and vitality of skin prior to exposing it to less than ideal air conditions. Both the extreme dryness and the increased exposure to pathogens make airplane air a nightmare for those who want to maintain youthful and flawless skin. A preflight skin ritual can help protect the skin from both dehydration and breakouts. Below, I suggest a few ways you enhance your skins immunity to aggressive travel conditions.,

Oxygen Peel for Preflight DetoxEmerginC Detox Mask

Skin Ceuticals Vit B5

3.    Invest in chic but comfortable travel attire: Chic and Comfy can co-exist! The Europeans do this fantastically! How? Look for loose-fitting styles which can be layered to best adapt to temperature changes.

for chic and healthy airport fashion

Tight clothing can impede normal blood flow and aggravate an already challenged in-flight circulation.  Especially for those of you who fly on a weekly basis, you want to make sure your circulatory and lymphatic system are working optimally and avoid pooling in the lower extremities. This pooling can cause pain, damage vessels and potentially worsen varicose veins. Also, for the ladies, I suggest buying a pair of fold up ballet flats to bring in your purse when your heels get uncomfortable! I love these here by Fab Flipsters Pumps – Fold-Up Travel-Friendly Ballet Flats or check out the variety City Slips.

For Chic Healthy travel try Fab Flipsters

4.     Practice Yoga: Everyone is familiar with the aches and pains of sitting in a cramped airplane seat. Your neck shoulders hips and ankles hurt!! Exercise in general boosts immunity, but yoga, has additional benefits to muscles and joints conditioning. Yoga, therefore, is an ideal way to prepare your body for the conditions of air travel. The mornings of travel, I personally forego my morning jog, for a bit yoga. Even if I have a flight at dawn, I manage to practice a few asanas I know will increase my metabolism and releases shoulder and hip tension.

GREAT PRE FLIGHT EXERCISE

5.      Pack your own food:  Airport food is not only high in unhealthy fat and calories but is pumped with preservatives! I try to avoid eating in airports and airplanes at all costs. If I do eat something it’s when I stumble upon an organic ecologic market or somewhere I feel they consciously have raised their nutritional standards.  Most often, I survive on some healthy food I pre-packed for the trip; raw nuts, a few protein bars, some fruit and maybe a sandwich with organic almond butter. If necessary I compliment my hunger with some go-to airport food such as garden salads, simple pastas or fresh fruit juice.

Keep healthy traveling, snacks for the plane

6.       Avoid Caffeine : Try to avoid at least coffee the day of travel.  Again, the cabin air in flight is very dry, increasing likelihood of dehydration and symptoms of low blood volume (dizziness, nausea, headache).  Caffeine will further dehydrate you and make these symptoms more common. To feel your best, opt for herbal or non-caffeinated Green tea on the morning of your travel. To wake up, a fresh fruit smoothie or orange juice works wonders.

Green Energy Smoothie in place of coffee

Replace your coffee with a green energy smoothie

IN-FLIGHT TIPS

Once in flight, there are a few tips which can help make your trip as comfortable and less physically taxing as possible.

1. Avoid sitting cross-legged: Although there are no studies linking sitting cross-legged with increase incidence of health or aesthetic related risks… most experts agree avoiding it can spare you veins a lot of unnecessary stress. especially in the cases where you must sit for long periods of time, you don’t want to further compromise your circulation. Crossing your legs, while in-flight, makes it easier for blood to pool in your lower extremities, aggravating varicose veins, ankle swelling and putting you at risk for symptoms of low blood pressure.

Dont cross your legs on planes

Doing many things wrong here but on the bright side definitely NOT crossing legs! Bravo!

2. Choose an aisle seat: Not only does sitting in the aisle allow you to get up and stretch your legs more often, but it also can help protect you from additional UV exposure.  To-date airplanes are not mandated to use UV protective glass for their windows. Some newer airplanes DO carry such glass, but , it’s not easy to find out exactly which carry this feature.  At certain altitudes UV exposure can be magnified and, with regular exposure, more dangerous to both your skin and eyes. For this reason, it is my opinion to be better safe than sorry and sacrifice your bird’s eye view for the practical assurance of an aisle seat.

choosing the right seat is important to your health

3. Coat your lips: The precious eye and lip areas most often fall victim to the dry air as they are exposed to harsh in-flight atmosphere. The lips especially get effected because of the frequent contact to liquids followed by the dry air (this assuming you are all drinking LOTs of water).  Because of this, most passengers leave the airplane with pale, dry and cracked lips. How can we protect them?

protect your lips

protect your lips…they are worth it!

4.      Avoid Alcohol and Salt: Sorry wine and salted nut fans….this is a detrimental combo for those wishing to arrive to your destination feeling clear-headed and fresh.  Alcohol consumption will dehydrate you and the salt will just enhance this effect and furthermore contribute to edema, or swelling, of the hands and feet. Additionally, the US Department of Transportation cautions that travelers who consume these dehydrating beverages that they may be at increase their risk of contracting a respiratory infection. Again, these components will leave you feeling disoriented, weak, puffy and with and increase possibility of getting sick!

avoid feeling unhealthy while traveling

Feeling terrible on your trip! Next time avoid the salt and alcohol!

5.   Embrace your hand sanitizer. This is an extremely valuable tool as it can prevent  you from getting infected by any germs you may find laying around arm rests and seats. As I mentioned above, germs travel faster and further in dry cabin air. Also you are within a short radius of at least 6 potentially sick passengers. I know they can be quite drying to the skin but it might be workth giving it a go ATLEAST prior to your meals!  I love Soap and Glory’s Hand Sanitizer, simply for its’ smell and convenient size!

soap and glory hand sanitizer

POST-FLIGHT TIPS

1. Avoid Jet Lag: Adapt most efficiently to your time zone. Follow the Schedule of your current time zone. Don’t stress about the sleep you lost. The faster you embrace your surroundings, live in the present and accept your new bedtime, the faster you recover and the more rest you will acquire overall.  Remember to eat accordingly and use melatonin for sleep adjustment when back in your home town. For tips on how to cultivate the most refreshing sleep, check out my previous post on “Beauty Sleep, Your Inner Symphony and a Better World”

beat jet lag

2.   Start Post-Travel Skin Recovery: Vitalize and Refresh Jet-Stressed skin.

Now that you have arrived to your destination make sure you read into your skins’ needs. If you feel its very “dirty”, repeat the pre-flight detox regimen, if too dry, continue with the pre-flight hydrating products OR if just kind-of “off” or needs a SOS overhaul, try one of the following products : SKII Treatment Masks, Kiehls midnight recovery complex or LAB Age Rescue Face Lotion for Men.

SKII Treatment mask

love these… rescue a shady complexion in a flash!

It’s not easy but with some stricat habits and a bit of priming and prepping… you can comfortably continue this hectic yet rewarding lifestyle without it costing your health, sanity and youthful qualities!

glamorous travel

Cheers to those frequent flyer miles, seeing the world and keeping it Glamorous!

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EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL: DETOX, TONE and PUMP

Now that we know what nutrients can help us protect, plump and burn us beautiful, we can continue to enhance our aesthetics by incorporating foods aimed at detoxing, toning and supporting healthy vessels. Below, I list some of the key nutrients and foods key in our mission to cultivate natural beauty through health.

detpx for beauty

DETOX NUTRIENTS
Why is detoxing or “gut purification” important? By incorporating detox foods we can purge the body of harmful substances which cause less than optimal function and appearance of the body.  These foods can mean better absorption of nutrients, more energy, a sharper mind and of course more beautiful hair, skin and overall physique. For more on some benefits, see my previous post where I talk about benefits of such practices ¨Pre Hoilday Detox¨

detox for healthy digestion

To appropriately support our bodies attempt to eliminate what is harmful and function well, we need to optimize liver, kidneys and gut function. To do this, we must both clean and stimulate these organs.  The foods listed below can help us do just this.

Chlorophyll: Assists in  the digestion and the elimination of toxic metals, herbicides, chemicals, metals and pesticides. Chlorophyll, also, helps promote flow of cleansing bile and enzymes which aid in digestion and liver function.

Best Sources: Blue green algae, wheatgrass, spirulina, spinach, chard, and arugula.

Chlorophyll for Detoxification

Vitamin C: As you may have noticed in my past posts, this super vitamin is essential to many bodily functions. It´s role in detoxification stems from it´s ability to transform toxins into digestible materials which can then be easily eliminated out of the body. Vitamin C also aids digestion, stimulating digestive enzymatic processes, and promotes faster metabolism of nutrients.

Best Sources: Lemons and Grapefruits are best for detoxification. Drinking water with these fruits can help support the detox function.

 lemons and grapefruit for detox

Catechins: A plant antioxidant known to increase liver function and prevent fat accumulation in liver. A fatty liver is consistent with damage and disease, so it´s prevention is valuable in maintaining liver health.

Best Source: Yes Again…..Green Tea. Green Tea is also light diuretic and vasodilator, assuring higher rate of filtration of lymphatic and circulatory fluids.

green tea smoothie detox

Turmeric:  This pungent Indian Spice has a protective function for the liver and the ability to regenerate damaged liver cells.  Tumeric like, chlorophyll can boost bile production and positively affect gallbladder function.

Best Ways to incorporate Tumeric into your life: Check out this website here from MindBodyGreen.

turmeric for detox

Variety of Raw or Juiced vegetables. The combination of these vegetable stimulate various enzymatic processes and help cleanse and purge the body of toxins accumulated.

Some Must-Add Varieties: Almost all fruits and veggies add value to digestive health but some have a bit more weight.

raw food detox

  • Avocados, Kale and Brussel sprouts:   These contain a rich source of Glutathione, a compound with strong detoxifying power, which helps breakdown carcinogens and fight free radicals. These foods actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power
  • Walnuts: Contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, also help detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia.
  • Watercress: Has the ability to improve elimination of carcinogens in urine, increase antioxidant levels and reduce the cancer related DNA damage.  Studies have shown watercress to be very helpful in smokers, helping excrete higher amounts of the dangerous carcinogens in the urine.
  • Artichokes: Contain cynarine which Increase bile production and improve digestion.
  • Cranberries: With natural antibacterial, antioxidant (hippuric acid), antiviral and  probiotic benefits, the cranberry has potent power for restoring digestive and urinary health. Organic juices are usually the best source.
  • Pears, Apples, Guava, Raisins : These fruits supply us with an important fiber known as Pectin. Pectin facilitates the elimination of harmful substances through the digestive tract. Pectin also promotes cellular turnover in the colon and helps prevent colon cancer.

Probiotics:  By supplying bacteria to the intestines we can aid in optimal digestion and detoxification processes.

Best Source: Organic Kefir

organic lactose free kefir

Note: Remember the best detox foods are organic varieties. Organic food is grown with the careful exemption of  harmful or unnecessary substances that may be linked to health hazards.

MUSCLE TONING NUTRIENTS

Tone muscles mean a faster metabolism, a better figure and less apparent cellulite.  These nutrients will help your body get the fuel it needs to build long, lean and healthy muscle.

eat for tone muscles

Omega 3 fatty acids: Once again this super nutrient commands recognition. Not only is it a super anti-ageing food, but, it supports muscle health and tone. Omega 3s increase blood flow to the muscles, keeping them well nourished while, at the same time, protecting them from breakdown.  Omega 3s also, with their anti-inflammatory properties, cut down on muscular recovery time after strenuous physical activities.

Best sources: Cold water fatty fish, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts or algae. Supplements are also an option. For more on best Omega 3 benefits check out my post here on ¨10 AntiAging Things you can do everyday.”

omega 3 sources

B Vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), and B12 (cobalamin), each essential for protein metabolism, energy production and nerve health. All of these processes are vital for muscle function and preservation.

Best Sources: Whole grains, eggs, lean meats, legumes, nuts, leafy greens, and fortified cereals. Fellow vegetarians beware!! If you are not eating eggs, you might need to take a vitamin B12 supplement as its only found in animal products! Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health and muscle contraction!

B vitamin sources

High Protein Foods: Our body needs protein sources to create muscle.

Best Sources: Egg whites, whey protein, white fish, chicken breasts, lean beef, tofu, or beans and lentils. Nutritionists recommend  2 servings of high-quality, lean protein a day, (each serving about a cup), to maintain muscular tone and health.

protein for muscle

Low or Non Fat Dairy: These dairy choices provide a type of protein called casein which because digested slower, supplies the body with energy and nutrition over a long time. Also the calcium content in dairy has great benefits to muscle. Calcium is essential for muscle contraction and growth. Also, helps prevent muscle cramping during workouts. This said, lean dairy is great muscle-building food pre and post-workout for those who want to maintain long lean physiques!

Best Sources: Try organic low-fat cottage cheese and non-lactose fat-free milk. For those who don’t consume dairy, the fortified dairy-free products, can also be a great source of calcium and lean protein.

low fat cottage cheese great protein source

Note: Of course, to build and maintain muscle, there are other choices your nutritionist may recommend. The above choices, are just some nutrients I have found most consistent and helpful in my own journey to keep fit and tone!

VASCULAR FITNESS FOODS

Studies have consistently proven that what we eat can help improve our circulatory health. By normalizing intravenous pressure and reinforcing the vascular structure, the right nutrients can make vessels more resistant to the induced stress and damage. The aesthetic result is a decreased tendency to form unsightly varicose and spider veins.  The following nutrients will provide you with the support your veins need to assure best circulatory health and flawless legs. For more on maintaining healthy leg circulation and preventing vascular lesions check out my previous post on here. For some insight on how to treat varicose and spider veins, check out another post I wrote on the subject here.

leg diet

Polyphenols:  A group of flavonoids, known for their ability to protect the vascular system by preventing oxidative stress. They do this by preventing the aggregation (clumping and sticking) of low-density lipoproteins (LDL aka bad cholesterol). They also act to improve overall circulation by stimulating the  vessels to vasodilate.

Best Sources: Pomegranates and Rosemary.

 pomegranates for vascular health

Quercetin-3-rutinoside or Rutin: An essential flavonoid with ability to improve venous circulation by decreasing capillary permeability and strengthening the walls of veins. Rutin is flavonoid, or plant pigment with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vaso-protective properties. Rutin works together with Vitamin C to strengthens the walls of you veins, leaving them healthier, more tone and with the ability to withstand higher pressures and stress.

Best Sources: Buckwheat, berries, citrus fruits, and green tea.

 

Buckwheat and berries for vein health 

Betacyanin: A plant pigment and potent antioxidant. Betacyanin is  especially helpful in protecting the vessels walls from being damaged by oxidative stress. In addition to reducing LDL cholesterol, it reduces levels of homocystein in the blood. Homocystein is an amino acid known to be quite harmful to blood vessel walls. For this reason keeping homocystein levels low with betacyanin sources, is considered protective for the vessels.

Best Source: Beets

Beets for vein health

Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins: These plant sourced pigments help support the structural integrity of the vessels and improve overall venous circulation. These are especially valued because of their anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities.  Additionally, they assist in healthy behavior of platelets, and repairing damaged vessels.

Best Source: Berries

 

berries for vascular health 

Bromelain and Other Fibrinolytic Compounds:These increase the fibrinolytic activity and therefore prevent fibrin deposits within the vessel walls. Fibrin deposits cause vessels to harden, increasing intravascular pressure and damage.

Best Sources: Cayenne pepper, Ginger and Pineapple.

Pineapple and cayenne pepper for vascular health

Asparagine: An amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic, helping remove fluid and preventing edema. Since edema can cause increased pressure on the venous circulation, preventing it means less stress on your valves and vessel walls. Less stress means less damage on the veins and decreased incidence of spider and varicose veins.

Best Source: Asparagus

Asparagus for vein health

So now that you have all the knowledge you need to Eat Yourself Beautiful, I encourage you not to wait! Make all your meals about nurturing your body to function optimally and reflect the ravishing nutrition you so carefully chose for it!

Cheers to delicious food and getting a bit closer to what nature intended us to portray…. our most raw form of beauty!

natural beauty

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EAT YOURSELF BEAUTIFUL:   Protect, Plump and Burn

eat yourself Beautiful

I believe core health stems from how we nourish it. Every meal can make a difference in your mood, immunity and overall well-being. I have discussed how what you eat can affect your mood in a previous post. Today, I how to encourage you to eat well for sake of your physical well-being. It does help that these same nutrients also highlight our aesthetic virtues! So, arm your image naturally and incorporate these key beauty foods daily!

I have broken up these beauty foods into two posts. This first post I will address the key Sun Protecting, Collagen Promoting and Fat Burning nutrients and their food sources.

In the next post, I will address the nutrients which best Detoxify, Promote Muscle and Vascular Health.

All the foods discussed will help balance, restore and vitalize the body. With these foods, we can function optimally and reveal our most beautiful selves!

Sun Protecting Nutrients

With summer imminent, we need all the help we can get to increase our defenses from harmful UV radiation.

  •  Lycopene: A carotenoid that serves to protect the skin from the long-term effects of radiation. Carotenoids are critical to the photosynthetic process and protect a plant or organism from damage by light and oxygen.

sun protecting watermelon

Best Sources: Cooked tomatoes (offer higher lycopene concentrations than raw option) and Watermelon. Studies show that cooking in olive oil greatly increases absorption and therefore benefits of carotenoids like lycopene (Asia Pacific J Clin Nurt 2005, Journal of British Dermatology).

  • Astaxanthin: Another super-carotenoid that attributes to the coloring of many marine and aquatic animals. Works as a internal sunscreen, protecting the skin from UV damage with added anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown 4-6 weeks of supplementation can help reverse signs of UV aging such as wrinkles and sun spots. (Experimental Derm 2009).

protect yourself from sundamage with salmon

Best Sources: Wild Salmon best, trout, shrimp and lobster also good sources.

  • Beta Carotene: Helps repair skin damaged from sun exposure.

carrots and sweet potatoes for skin health

Best Sources: You need about 30 mg daily, equivalent to 6 carrots or a sweet potato. Other sources include kale, spinach, mangos and apricots.

  • Antioxidants: Protect and reverse free radical damage caused by sun exposure. For some ideas on how topical antioxidants can help further protect the skin from sun effects, please refer to my previous ¨Skin Youth and Antioxidants” post here.

pomagranate and blueberries protect skin

Best Sources: Dark color fruits and veggies. Pomegranate and blueberries have especially high levels of antioxidants and reduce ability of UVB induced cancer cell formation.

  • Triterpenoids: 2007 study at Cornell University found this group of important chemical compounds which act as natural anti-inflammatory agent and prevent formation of skin cancer cells.

apple peels for skin health

Best Sources: Organic Red Apple, grape tomato and olive skins.

  • EGCG: A natural phytochemical that fights free radicals and decreased sun induced inflammation. An ideal anti-aging agent.

organic green tea protects skin

Best Sources: Green Tea.  A 2011 report in Journal of nutrition saw improvements in elasticity roughness, scaling and moisture content in those who consumed green tea regularly over 12 weeks. Other studies have shown that green tea can also help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by limiting blood supply to abnormally behaving cells.

  • Quercetin– Another helpful chemical which helps protect skin form oxidizing sun effects.

black tea for skin health

Best Source: Black Tea

  • Selenium: Essential mineral which acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and is needed for skin repair. Selenuim is needed to make a potent antioxidant glutathione peroxidase which fights development of cancer and skin aging. Also helps decrease incidence of sunburn and promote even skin tone.

crimini mushrooms for skin health

Best Source: Crimini Mushrooms and Fish (especially Red Snapper).

  • Omega 3: A 2013 study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that regular supplementation of omega 3s, protected skin from UV induced immunosuppression. This ability is what assures skin maintains its defenses to cancer and illness. For more on Omega 3s see my post “10 anti-aging things you can do every day”.

fish and flaxseed for sun protection

Best Source: Cold water fish, flax seed and walnuts.

  • Melatonin:  Melatonin acts as an antioxidant in the skin and protects DNA from UV induced damage. Melatnonin is best know for its ability to regulate the sleep cycle. For more information on this check out my post on “Beauty Sleep” here.

melatonin from cherries good for sleep and skin health

Best Source: Montmorency Cherries. These tart cherries have surprisingly high levels of melatonin, making them an ideal for both pre bed-time snack and a part of your summertime skin diet.

Collagen Promoting Nutrients

Collagen, elastin and soft keratin attribute to the connective tissue base of skin. This base provides strength and structure to our skin. As normal aging occurs collagen production and restructuring processes slow down. Because of this, our skin becomes increasingly thin, less elastic and weaker. The result is increased incidence of wrinkles, sagging and greater propensity to accumulate broken blood vessels and sun spots. There are treatments to help awaken sleepy skin, but, without appropriate and adequate nutrition, collagen cannot be made! Protecting skin from sun-damage will also help slow collagen degeneration so incorporating sun-protecting habits will assure strong, healthy and plump skin.

  • Turmeric: This anti-aging nutrient serves as a potent antioxidant which resists collagen degradation by producing protective hyaluronic acid.

kidney beans increase hyaluronic acid in skin

Best Source: Red Kidney Beans. Two tablespoons of beans a day help maintain healthy hyaluronic acid levels!

  • White tea: A study published in 2009 reports that White tea, above all others, has the most protective properties on collagen and elastin. (Journal BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine). Its extremely high concentration of polyphenols and antioxidants should be enough to convince you to make White Tea your go-to collagen preserving beauty drink!!

collagen stimulating organic white tea

  • Sulfur, Taurine and Lipoid acid “Collagen Trio”: Supports healthy production and repair of collagen.

Garlic and collagen production

Source of Collagen Trio: Garlic!!

  • Vitamin C– This Vitamin is critical for the skins defense against free radicals and is necessary collagen production and repair! Many current studies are reiniterating the importance of this basic vitamin in the prevention of premature skin aging and in healthy restoration of damaged skin.  For information on topical products incorporating Vitamin C for skin protection, see my previous post here.

lychees help encourage collagen production

Best Sources: Hot peppers, guavas, sweet peppers, black currants, lychees and rose hip plant.

  • Genistein: An element essential in promoting collagen production while also protecting existing collagen by inhibiting certain enzymes responsible for its degredation.

organic soy products for collagen

Best Sources: Organic Soy Products.

  • Manuka Honey: A honey variety from new Zealand, promoting cellular renewal, anti-inflammatory effects and formation of stronger, more resistant collagen.

Manuka honey for collagen

  • Plant Steroids: Encourages collagen production.

avocado oil for collagen

Best Source: Avocado oil.

Fat Busting Nutrients

Who doesn’t need a little boost in fat metabolism? Keep these foods readily available, especially during pool time festivities!

  • Capaicin: Boost fat metabolism by increasing the body’s internal temperature and caloric needs. Studies show consistent appetite suppression and weight loss with regular consumption!

spices for metabolism

Best Sources: Cayenne and jalapeño peppers.

  • Sulfur and B complex Vitamin rich foods: Support function of metabolism stimulating adrenal gland.

Sulfur and B vitamin foods for weight loss

Best Sources: Garlic, apples strawberries blueberries and lemons.

  • Thermogengic foods– These foods require more calories during digestion than they provide when consumed.

Thermogenic food for fat metabolism

Best Sources: Broccoli, spinach and tomatoes.

  • Leptin reducing foods: Studies done in mice and other animals show that lower leptin levels are associated with faster metabolisms and more efficiently burn fat. (University of Wisconsin) We believe that leptin has similar effect in humans.

sashimi

Best Sources: Fish

  • High Fiber Fruits: Help your body burn fat by helping mobilize contents through the digestive tract faster. This favors the absorption of vital nutrients essential for optimal metabolism and fat oxidation! For more on the benefits of a high fiber diet check out my post on ¨10 Anti-Aging Things You Can Do Every Day¨

strawberries and blueberries for fat metabolism

Best Sources: Strawberries, blueberries

  • Citrus Foods:  The chemical properties of these fruits help decrease insulin levels and promote faster metabolism and weight loss.

kiwi and grapefruit fat burn

Best Sources: Lemons, kiwis and grapefruit.

  • High Protein, Calcium Products: Organic sources usually supply high quality amino acids and proteins which help suppress appetite. Rich supplies of calcium assure healthy blood levels and avoid triggered release of calcitrol. Keeping calcitrol low is smart since it encourages storage of fat. Calcitrol also lowers production of the stress related hormone cortisol. Cortisol encourages accumulation of dangerous visceral fat. For more on dangers of cortisol and visceral fat see my previous post “ Your Waistline and Health”.

tofu and arugula fat burning foods

Best Sources: Fat free organic dairy, Tofu, Leafy Greens and Legumes.

Fat metabolism super nutrients? Although I´m not prepared to talk about these supplements in this post, there is some interesting evidence supporting their fat metabolizing abilities!   Goji Berries, African Mango and Green Coffee Bean extract are gaining tremendous momentum in the weight loss and fat burning arena.  I may decide to revisit in future post but until then, feel free to investigate on your on your own and inquire at your nutritionists office about their potential benefits. 

So, I hope from this post you have learned what foods encourage you natural beauty by:

  • Improving your skins ability to protect and repair itself from sun,
  • Preserving youthful skin structure and collagen production and …
  • Revving-up your fat metabolism!

Check back next week for my next post where you I fill you in on the key beauty nutrients responsible for helping our body detoxify, promoting lean muscle and improving circulatory health! 

Cheers to promoting beauty with food and a colorful, spicy and refreshing summer diet!

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For those near their ideal weight , lumps and bumps could be frustrating ..especially after months of commitment to the gym and a healthy diet. Now with top notch technology you can get the results, you thought just wasn’t in your DNA. Below I give you the skinny on these body shaping wonder devices!  Say goodbye to love handles, pudgy bellies and saddlebags safely ,with the help of your trusted doctor!

Body Shaping Solutions

The below technologies are non-invasive (no needles, knives or probes used), effective and most importantly, when in experienced hands, safe!

The first 2 options are one time wonders, although can be repeated for further benefits. The last 2 are treatments which are a bit more affordable per session, but need to be repeated to get the appreciated results.

What’s HOT?       Liposonix by Solta Medical

Liposonix

The Technology:   High frequency Focused UltraSound energy is used to thermally induce fat cell destruction at a fixed depth within the fat.  This highly focused way to using the potent energy ultrasound (U/S) assures a controlled and selective way to  destroy the fats cells permanently. That said, Liposonix offers consistent results and allows the doctor the ability to shape and contour with high efficiency and ease.

how liposonix works

The Promise:    Thanks to its thermal effects, targets fat with the additional benefit of collagen stimulation and skin firming. Each treatment  is about an 1 hour long and yields a drop in 1 dress/pant size.  “The Custom Contouring™ capabilities of the Liposonix® System is deemed elite in that it allows fat elimination and contouring in ONE SINGLE SESSION. 

FDA:    Approved for non-invasive waist circumference reduction (i.e abdomen and flanks). In Europe have approval to additionally treat thigh circumference, hips, “saddle bags” and for buttock contouring (think tight round and smooth Buttock!).

The Procedure:   Doctor will mark the desired areas for contouring then target treatment by placing transducers over marked areas.  You will feel heat as the energy created by the US works to destroy fat cells.  Bruising and swelling are usually evident by the next day and may take a few weeks to resolve. Patients also say the treated area can be sensitive, “like recovering from intense workout”. Results become apparent after about 2 months with maximal improvement at 12 weeks. Additional treatments can be decided on for further contouring and fat loss. No additional life style modifications are needed to get a successful result…just don’t gain weight!!

The Price:  1500-3000 Euros

The Savants:  Try Clinica Diego de Leon in Madrid, Dr. Proebstle in Germany, Dr. Alexandrides in London, Dr. Chapas in New York or Dr Baumann in Miami. For a doctor near you check out physician locator on the website.

Whats Cool?     CoolSculpting by Zeltiq

Cool Sculpting

The Technology:    Cryolipolysis is procedure that uses a targeted cooling process to decrease temperature of the fat cells to the point they are no longer viable. This process destroys fat cells so the body can then use its natural healing processes to eliminate them.

The Promise:   Targets fat cells without effecting healthy skin cells. Studied and proven to be completely safe to all surrounding tissues, making it a gentle and organic approach to target fat.

cool sculpting before and after

FDA:   Cleared for the treatment of fat in the area of the flanks (love handles) and abdomen.

The Procedure:   After evaluating the area to be treated, your doctor will strategically place a gel pad and then the device panel on the marked skin. Each area  takes about 60 minutes to treat. Treatment time varies from 1-3 hours (depending on the amount of areas you need treated). Patients described the experience as an intense pulling of the skin accompanied by and intense cold feeling which they eventually grow accustomed to.  Post treatment, patients may complain of mild numbness, itching or stinging. Results can be seen after 2 months but may improve up to 6 months after treatment.

The Price: Depends on size of area to be treated but averages $1000 per area.

The Savants:  Try Dr Ribe in Barcelona,  Dr Mayoral in Miami, Dr Narurkar in San Francisco or Dr Braithwaite in Chicago. For more doctors in your area visit the Cool Sculpting Doctor finder.

What’s painless?        I-Lipo by Chromogenex

I Lipo

The Technology:    Uses low-level laser beams (650nm) to facilitate the release of a fat blasting enzyme called lipase. This enzyme works break down and release fat from cells so that it could be metabolized by the body and burned as energy. This procedure DOES NOT destroy the fat cells, but instead empties them so to shrink them in size.

The Promise:   Using a safe, painless procedure you can now shrink areas of concern in a way you would with diet and exercise but in targeted nature and with immediate results seen after a short treatment session. I Lipo maximizes workouts effectiveness by accelerating fat burning and sculpts your body in ways not possible without professional intervention.

I lipo before and after

FDA: Approved for waist circumference reduction.

The procedure: 8 treatments needed (2 treatments/week) Need to exercise 35-40 minutes post treatment to get results.

The price: Averages about 300 Euros/ $250 per treatment.

The Savants: Dr Leonard Grossman MD from New York, Jon Perlman in Beverly Hills or in London try London Harley Street Hethe Boutique Clinic. Check him out here Talking with Dr.Oz. For other doctors in your area check out the website here.

What’s got potential?      UltrashapeV3 by Syneron/Candela

UltraShape V3

The Technology:    Uses the acoustic properties of Ultrasonic energy to mechanically break down a specific volume of fat at a specific depth. The difference with this device, and others using ultrasound, is that the ultrasound energy is pulsed into the fat layer in a way which prevents it from causing any temperature increase (thermal effect). Its premise being that pulsed US without thermal effects is a more gentle and safer treatment. The new Ultrashape V3  uses a synergy of its pulsed focused ultrasound and a vacuum-assisted radio-frequency to causes immediate destruction to the fat cells by strictly mechanical means; preventing collateral damage to other tissues and side effects.

The Promise:    Helps selectively and permanently rid your body of localized fat deposits in multiple body locations. The treatment promises safe, and effective fat removal, with little- to -no discomfort.  The added radio-frequency allows additional skin tightening to treated area.

FDA:  UltraShape V3  approval is pending in the US and it is therefore NOT distributed in the USA.  You can seek treatment in Europe, Canada, Asia or Australia.

The Procedure:  Once your areas of concern are marked the device calibrated to your specific concerns, treatment head is positioned to deliver the first round of radio-frequency. This warms the skin slightly for some rejuvenating benefits and makes the fat more susceptible to the effects of the ultrasound portion of the treatment.  Ultrasound energy is then delivered according to device monitor to assure even and thorough treatment of the targeted fat. Unlike most localized fat treatments, UltraShape V3 is commonly described as quite painless procedure. The protocol usually consists of 3 treatment sessions spaced one month apart.  Each treatment lasts about 30 minutes and results are most often seen within a few weeks.  It  is common to lose 2cm of circumferential fat loss with each treatment. Check this video for more information on how UltraShapes works.

ultrashape V3 before and after

The Price:    Each session costs an average of $700 per treatment.

The Savants: Try Dr. Tufet in Barcelona, Dr. Khanna in Montreal or Dr Gary Cussel in Sydney.  For more doctors in your area contact Syneron or Candela.

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What’s right for you?

Whether you’re battling the bulge or just pressed for time and want to look perfect for an event… one of these devices might be right for you!  Remember, these work best when you are at, or close to, your ideal weight and furthermore won’t work if have an unhealthy lifestyle!   I truly believe these devices can offer supreme solutions for the appropriate and healthy patient! So if you have worked hard to get yourself healthy and fit, but, feel you deserve that extra little push to get that body you always dreamed of….Go for it!

Cheers going the extra mile to look and feel your best!! Take care, stay healthy and see your doctor for extra support!!

Get into your jeans!

Feels great to finally get into those jeans!

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Goodbye Cellulte

Now that we have addressed both skin and legs along our Body Project Journey, it’s seems quite appropriate to address another potential road-block in our pursuit to bare-it-all during the warm months….cellulite. Women of all ages and sizes are hassled with this skin nuisance and many partake in what seems a life time of discouraging battles to get rid of it.  Creams, treatments, wonder diets and supplements all take advantage of women’s determination banish cellulite…. But what can REALLY be done?

Cellulites’ pathophysiology is complex and no formula can ever fully reveal a universal plan to target its resolution.  Like most aesthetic and health concerns, the best actions are those which are premeditated with the understanding of the condition itself. With this post, I hope to give you the information you need to make the best decisions and, at the least, minimize the extent to which cellulite affects you. As most aesthetic specialists would certainly agree, cellulite has no cure and treatment can be difficult…. but solutions do exist! Below you will find a summary of the what, the why and the how to’s when it comes to understanding and treating your cellulite.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is really the symptom of a series of structural and circulatory morphologies and processes.  Some of cellulites’ attributes are due to subobtimal health, others, as explained below, are gender specific or due to hormone. In Summary, as a result of what is happening in the skin, the fat, your superficial circulatory system and muscles….. you display this visual condition referred to as Cellulite.

For those men and lucky women unfamiliar cellulite, I have posted a picture of it below!  It is the wavy, orange peel or cottage cheese-like appearance of the skin. It is most often experienced in the buttock, thigh and hip area but can occur almost everywhere on the body.

What is cellulite?

The Attributing Factors : A briefing

  • Sex: Your gender plays a big role in your tendency to form cellulite.  About 90% of women suffer from cellulite, while only about 5 % of men.

Here are 3 good but unfair reasons women suffer more.

1.  The structure and organization of the adipose layer (also referred to as the subcutaneous fat layer -SQ) predisposes women to cellulite. This is the most important factor attributing to women’s tendency to develop cellulite. Due to lack of male hormones, the connective tissue in the SQ layer develops very differently in women than in men. Women’s adipose tissue is constrained within chambers due to the orientation of the fibrous septae (connective tissue bands within the SQ). This chamber organization forces expanding volumes of fat to push up through the skin and cause dimpling  or uneven skin surface we see as cellulite. Men’s connective tissue is organized in the SQ in a way that allows the fat to expand horizontally, without causing superficial skin irregularities.

why women get cellulite

2.  Women tend to deposit fat in the hips, thighs and buttock, while men tend to gain more evenly adding less stress to any specific body part.

3.  The thickness of our skin: In general, men have thicker skin than women, especially in the area of the buttock and            thighs. Thicker skin is more resistant to the fat pushing up on it and also hides any structural deficits happening below            its surface.

  • Hormones:  Hormones affect every system in the body, tissues within the fat and skin are not exempt from their powers.  Tissue elasticity around and within the fat layer,  peripheral circulation and water retention all play a big role in cellulites appearance.  Those who suffer from abnormally high or unbalanced hormones do not adapt well to the structural and circulatory implications incurred from the hormones themselves.  These individuals more often suffer from abnormal accumulation and swelling of adipose tissue, impaired skin and fat circulation and toxin accumulation. All of these implications contribute to cellulites worsening appearance.

cellulite formation

  • Diet: Your diet is VERY important in maintaining a healthy fat layer.  You want to eat in a way which assures best microcirculation of the skin and fat, minimizes the accumulation of toxins and exogenous estrogens which are all stored in fat, and prevents retention of liquids in the fat.
  • Skin Quality: The  better, thicker and younger skin you have the less apparent everything that is happening below it will be. Genetic, sun damage and overall health can affect the quality of your skin. Genetics and gender you cannot control, but proper care of your skin and general health can help minimize cellulites appearance.
  • Muscle Tone: Since the SQ fat sits directly over muscle, muscle tone can affect the health of your fat layer and the appearance of cellulite. If you have toned muscles, you are actively and routinely massaging the fat layer, encouraging improved circulation and drainage of fluids and toxins. Toned muscles also help encourage a stronger connective tissue network throughout the fat and increase fat metabolism. All these sequels result in a smoother, more compact and healthier fat layer and reduced cellulite.

THE SOLUTIONS!

             OBJECTIVE #1: Improve Skin Quality, Make Skin Thicker

  • HABIT:
  • PRODUCT:
    • Use Topical Cream with Retinoids. Retinoids, like vitamin A has been shown to increase healthy cellular turnover of the skin and density of the epidermis with long term use. Some research also shows improvement of dermal thickness (the dermis is the collagen rich skin layer). The result of consistant use of a trusted retinol containing product is a smoothing, plumping effect, leaving the skin healthier, more radient and minimizing imperfections. \. Try ROC body products, they are famous for their effective retinol products.  For more body cream reccomendations check out my previous post The Body Project Skin Essentials.

RoC body products for cellulite

  • TREATMENT:
    • Radiofrequency– Will stimulate new collagen and elastin in both dermis and SQ layer. This will plump skin, improve elasticity and improve fibrous band integrity in the SQ. By shortening and tightening of fbrous bands within the SQ, RF can additionally improve wavy appearance attributed to cellulite condition.Try Thermage Monopolar RF, strengthens, tightens and improve skin quality in just one treatment, $2500-3000 per treatment.

Thermage Body

             OBJECTIVE #2 : Improve Circulation and Stimulate Lymphatic Drainage

  • HABIT:
    • Watch your diet– Avoid Alcohol, Salt, Preservatives, Non-Organic Meat and Dairy. These will all swell the fat, challenge proper circulation and drainage, make fat accumulation easier and fat loss harder. Also, make sure to incorporate foods which stimulate healthy circulation, fat metabolism and toxin elimination. Check out this link for some cellulite fighting breakfast foods.
    • Swim– Swimming is one  the best exercises to combat cellulite. Not only is it ideal to tone muscles, but massages tissues in a way favoring proper circulation and health. Swimming alone for 6 months has shown a immense benefits without any other method implemented.  I can’t tell you how many AntiAging and Dermatology conferences I have sat in that consistantly reported the benefits of swimming and lymphatic massage one of the best remedies for cellulite!

    Swimming benefits

    • Drink water lots of water, skip high sugar and unnatural beverages as this will contribute to fat swelling and toxin accumulation associated with cellulite.
  • TREATMENTS:
    • Manual Lymphatic Massage– Light Massage, when performed accordingly, can help activate the lymphatic system, allowing faster and better removal of lymphatic fluid, toxins and debris out of SQ fat. For more massage benefits check out my previous post  “5 reasons Massage Therapy is AntiAging”
    • Endermology– Uses mechanical rollers to mobilize fat and stimulate tissue. Studies of biopsies have shown increase production of elastin and collagen density in both skin and connective tissue in fat layer resulting in some softening of superficial irregularities and fat reduction.
      • Try Vela Shape– Classic Endermology results are not very impressive, however. the VelaShape device enhances its efficacy by combining it with suction, Infrared (IR) light and Radiofrequency energy. The additional heat created by the light and RF, enhances microcirculation, improves skin quality and induces tightening. All these benefits thicken skin and optimizes circulation helping improve cellulite.

               OBJECTIVE #3 : Work On The SQ Fat Layer

  • HABIT:
    • Incorporate Weight Training and Toning Exercises– As mentioned above, by keeping muscles tone, we can assure healthier overlying SQ tissue and minimize the extent at which cellulite appears. As mentioned, swimming is great, but the addition of  multi-dimensional muscle toning sequences can provide excellerated benefits.
      • I love this series for an amazing leg toning workout,  I literally discovered yesterday! Check it out here. It’s from a great website called GymRa which allows you to be your own personal trainer.
body toning for cellulite

Let’s help manage cellulite by keeping mucles toned

  • PROUDUCTS:
    • Use Topical Skin Products containing Methylxanthines (e.g., caffeine, aminophylline, and theophylline). Methylxanthines are agents that stimulate lipolysis, or fat breakdown.  While studies have reported consistent decrease in thigh circumference with use of these products, there have been mixed results concerning their efficacy for cellulite. With this said, Dr. Oz says those products containing over 5% of the mentioned ingredients work!! I have to admit…I love and trust the Dr. Oz team, so might be worth giving it a go!

Vichy CelluDestock for Cellulite

  • PROCEDURES:
    • MesoTherapy– Involves use of micro-injections of biological agents to promoting breakdown of fat and hopefully appearance of cellulite. Doctors combine substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes in hopes to stimulate fat breakdown improve cellulite. The most common and most important ingredient studied in cellulite treatments is known as Phosphatidycholine.
      • Although this practice is widely accepted in Europe, it is NOT FDA approved due to lack of consistency in methods and consequently results. With so many other better developed procedures, I don’t feel worth the risk.
    • Subscision- A minor surgical treatment that uses a needle instrument to break irregular connective tissue bands within the SQ fat layer. By releasing these bands the fat is released into a more natural position and therefore less likely to bulge causing the classic dimpling and skin elevations associated with cellulite.
      • Note: Although subcision can offer substantial improvement of cellulite after only one session, the technique isn’t well documented and therefore success of treatment can be variable. Furthermore, you must be prepared for weeks to months of recuperation and the possibility of side effects such as skin pigmentation. Success of treatment is totally dependent on your doctor’s experience, only trust an expert!.Here a YouTube Video of the procedure being done.

Subcision

  • LASER/US ASSISTED TREATMENTS:

    NON-INVASIVE OPTIONS:

  • SmoothShapes SV: This device incorporates a 915nm laser and a vacuum component to help more specifically heat and treat fat.  Additionally, it uses a 650 LED light source to mobilize treated fat and fluids in the SQ into the lymphatic circulation. The rollers in the handpiece provide massage while the suction helps bring the fat into the handpiece for better treatment. A total of eight treatments are needed over a span of 2 months. Treatments are fast and low on pain. For those who are seeking professional, predictable and safe treatment of mild cellulite, SmoothShapes may be the right treatment for you! Average cost per treatment is $400.

SmoothShapes for Cellulite

     INVASIVE OPTIONS: Like liposuction, these modalities target fat reduction with added benefit of restructuring SQ layer. The laser or ultrasound is incorporated to soften or liquefy fat for easier removal.  A pen-like instrument helps deliver laser/US energy in to the fat layer while mechanically breaking collagen fibers within the SQ fat. The heat created tightens skin  by improving elasticity and thickness of the underlying connective tissue. These procedures are considered minimally invasive, but, DO require anesthesia and have down time. They offer impressive results after only one treatment. Treatment cost run about $5500 per session.

  • Cellulaze by CyanosureThis Lipo-sculpting device uses  1440 nm side laser fiber sub-dermally.  Works mechanically to smooth protruding fat pockets by subcising them and releasing the fibrous septae. The laser creates heat from within the fat layer, softening fat and stimulating dermal collagen remodeling and production.  Currently Cellulaze is considered the most effective the treatment for moderate to severe cellulite therapy.

Cellulaze

  • VaserSmooth– This is the newest ultrasound assisted liposuction device. The use of ultrasound to allows physicians to work quicker than ever and promise their patients less downtime and side effects than any other modality used for fat or cellulite.  Those experienced with the device are betting VaserSmooth takes over as the newest Cellulite superstar!

vaser smooth cellulite results

CONCLUSIONS AND MY BASIC GUIDE TO CELLULITE 

I hope with this little Cellulite Review you better understand the nature of this bikini season nightmare! Prior to investing costly quick fixes, I encourage you to take a couple of months and focus of the basics.

My formula is one which consists of the essential 4 points below. As always, I stress healthy practices which will bring to your life much more than aesthetic benefits! Remember if you focus on health, the beauty will come naturally! I guarantee if you stick to the plan for 3 months you will see significant improvement SANS expensive devices and treatments!

  • Avoid foods sources harboring exogenous estrogens and preservatives!– Eat organic and mostly vegan foods.  Diet sodas and sugary, fried and packaged foods must be eliminated.  Since your fat harbors all toxins and excess hormones, you will see a tremendous improvement just by cutting out harmful food sources! See toxin and fat relationship in my previous post “Your Waistline and Health”
  • SWIM!! If cellulite is a major concern for you, I will again highlight the benefits of swimming! Swimming at minimum 3 times a week can do wonders for your lymphatic system and overall connective tissue health!
  • Get Weekly or Bi-Monthly Lymphatic Massages. Again, massage is a preventative health method consistently overlooked!  As mentioned, healthy lymphatic circulation is required to help flush the fat of toxins and liquids which cause disfigurment and dysfunctional processes associated with Cellulite. The aesthetic benefits of lymphatic drainage alone may be temporary, but, in combination with improved diet and excercise, could be key in preserving cellulite free skin!
  • Make sure getting Daily Fiber and Purified Water quota. This will help flush out toxins, improve circulation and health. All this will assure maximum energy levels, enhance immunity, stabilized mood and physical sense of “lightness” we need to stick to our healthy diet and lifestyle plan!

If you have tried these tips and still feel need extra support from treatments and products go for it!!

Cheers to smooth, tight and toned lower bodies!!!

Lovely cellulite free legs

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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??

5 Comments

      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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showing skin

Let’s get skin in shape for the warm weather!

With the cold and dry weather finally giving skin a break, it’s time to get ready to show some more skin!!

Body skin care is often overlooked. Our time, effort and money is most often funneled into taking care of our face… as it is the area of our body we see most often, and prize most. Because of this lack of care, it is most often a neglected body area that gives away our age. Time and time again, I see patients whose’ facial skin appears 10 years younger than the skin on their hands, chest or legs. It’s also because of this wrinkly stained and saggy skin that many women approaching their early 50s come in complaining of feeling old but not being able to afford the quite pricey and aggressive body corrective procedures.

Ladies, we need to start earlier and at home….with quality body skin care! I agree, this is easier said than done but spring time can be an ideal time to research and invest in a nice product or two. Recovery from winter skin will help prep skin for exhibition in the summer and also prioritize spring as a time for body enhancement!!

Even though nutrition, exercise and some TLC from your dermatologist or other aesthetic specialist may be in order… you can begin with the use of a functional product…. And then access if further attention is needed.

Good products for the body are hard to find….they tend to incorporate cheaper ingredients which don’t really do much more than just quench dry skin temporarily! Below, I list a few of my selected favorites. I have bunched them in two phases. The first involves “Polishing and Renew” and the second is “Repair Plump, and Nurturing”. For most, I recommend using one product from each category. You may want to start with a “Polish and Renew” product, then incorporate a “Repair, Plump and Nurture” as you see fit.

PHASE 1: Polish and Repair

– Out with the old and in with the new….let’s get fresh, healthy cells to the skin surface stimulating healthier activity and glow.

Option 1:  A Reboot for Dry, Flaky Aged Skin

Body retexturing treatment-SC

Skin Ceuticals Body Retexuring Treatment 200 ml

Exfoliiates and stimulates using only the most scientific ingredients. Skin will rapidly transform and appear more even, smooth and become soft to touch.  To be used one to two times daily until you achieve your desired result, then on a weekly basis for maintenance.

  • Key Ingredients include:17.7% hydroxyethyl urea/aminosulfonic acid compound (stimulates cellular renewal and restores normal cellular activity), 4% Niacinimide (a form of vitamin B3, calms via anti-inflammatory effects), Hyaluronic Acid (improves hydration capacity).  Leaves skin smoother, with improved tone and overall appearance.
  • Where? Doctors office, SkinCeuticals.com, $60

Option 2: A Luxurious Gentle Way to Revitalize Skin

La Prarie Cellular Body Exfolliator

La Prairie CELLULAR MINERAL BODY EXFOLIATOR200 ml

This product is a bit pricey but may serve as your go-to product when prepping for a special event. It leaves skin refined, silky and smooth. I know many that use this product prior to doing any skin bronzing. Its ultra-fine texture doesn’t leave any residue, its prefect for assuring polished skin surface.

  • Key Ingredients include: Mineral-rich gem powders, rosa centifola, smithsonite extract and La Prairie’s exclusive Cellular Complex.
  • Where? Department stores, Cosmetic Boutiques, Online. $125

Option 3: A Natural Detoxifying and Smoothing Gel For Younger Skin Types.

Jurlique

Jurlique Body Exfoliating Gel-300ml

This product offers the amazing experience of gentle exfoliation, detoxification and nutrient/antioxidant infusion, all in one! Skin is left soft, protected and visibly more radiant. Best applied after shower or bathing.

  • Ingredients include: Walnut Shell Powder (gently exfoliates), Witch Hazel, Rosemary, Tea Tree Oil, (balance skin), avocado oil, lactic acid and glycerin (soften skin), Green Tea Extract, Grape Seed Extracts, Grapefruit Extracts and Vitamin A, C, E(antioxidants and vitamins, protect and restore normal function) .
  • Where? Online, $40

Option 4: Organic Spa-Like Body Cutis Rejuvenation

NEOM luxury Organic Scrub

NEOM Real Luxury: Organic Body Scrub 332 g

This is a rich, pampering sugar based scrub, infused with nutrient rich oils. Leaves skin soft, enriched and radiant.  This product is great for those who want to enjoy their pampering experience and disconnect as they truly connect with the products essence.

  • Ingredients include: Along with an organic sugar base, many oils infused in this dreamy skin potion.  Of these oils, two of the most beneficial are its’ Safflower & Jojoba oil with added Vitamin E. Most of these oils serve to soften, balance and restore skin health. Pure essential oils, (Lavender, Jasmine & Brazilian Rosewood), give it its’ famed relaxing and luxurious scent.
  • Where? Online from UK site…but deliver almost everywhere for a price! 32 British Pounds

Option 5: Refreshing and Hydrating Way to Reinvigorate Skin

Clarin body exfoliator for new skin

Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub For a New Skin– 200ml

Using the polishing power of bamboo powder, an essential skin toners and effective detoxifiers, leaves skin feeling fresh, smooth and healthy.  Rich emollients are added to assure a hydrated skin base.

  • Ingredients include: Bamboo powders (natural silica micro beads exfoliate and renew) Moringa extract (pulls out skin impurities), Mimosa Tenuiflora (nurtures and repairs) and Cyamopsis and Shea (hydrate and protect).
  • Where? Online, Cosmetic Boutiques, Department Stores $36

PHASE 2: Repair Plump, Tone and Nurture

-Get active ingredients in to activate healthier cell activity, promote collagen production and improve overall elasticity and tone.

Option 1: Tightening and Smoothing Treatment

Strivectin TL tightening body cream

Strivectin TL Tightening Body Cream -200ml

This is a hydrating, non-greasy cream which works to stimulate thicker, healthier skin. Although skin visually improves after only one application, the full effect is seen using twice daily application for 8 weeks.

  • Ingredients include:  NIA-114™+ protein technology to enhance collagen formation and a multitude of vitamin and antioxidant derivatives, essential oils and caffeine.
  • Where? Online, DrugStore $59

Option 2: Firming and Skin Strengthening Treatment

body tightening concentrate SC

Body Tightening Concentrate SkinCeuticals– 150ml

This product uses well researched ingredients to reinforce skin weakened by sun and aging. As most of you have guessed….Skin Ceuticals is probably my favorite line of Non-Organic products. They are marvelous at investigating and using high concentrations of safe and efficacious ingredients. This product is relatively new and I was ecstatic to hear they have incorporated wonder-ingredients in a body line…. I have no doubt your skin will transform.

  • 2.5% tripeptide (stimulates natural moisurizing and favors collagen production), 5% yeast extract (smooths and plumps fine lines), 2% hydrolyzed rice protein (helps tighten and firm skin).
  • Where? Doctors’ offices, online $75

Option 3 : Organic Plumping, Smoothing and Wrinkle Prevention Treatment

Eminence Monoi Age Corrective NIght Body

Monoi Age Corrective Night Body Cream by Eminence – 147 ml

Perfect for those who want and Organic way to stimulate collagen production, improve smoothness and prevent wrinkle formation. To be used only at night.

  • Ingredients include: Argan Stem Cell Complex (Argan Stem Cells and Nutmeg Seed actively work to plump, smooth and tighten skin), Monoi oil (from Tahiti), Argan Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Grapeseed oil, Hyaluronic Acid (derived from mushroom plant). Oils serve to nurture, balance and provide antioxidant protection to the skin.
  • Where? Online, Cosmetic Boutiques, Spas $37

Option 4: Organic Nourishing and Refining Serum

One Love Organic body Serum

One Love Organics® Aromatic Body Serum –90 ml

This serum is based on organic essential oils. It also incorporates an aromatherapy element and is applied as a body spray.  The pumpkin seed oil acts as a natural exfoliant and therefore works to improve cellular turnover and improve overall skin health and appearance. Leaves skin refreshed, smooth and protected. Product options include choice of four natural scents: Lavender decreases tension, Rose enhances wellbeing, Neroli energizes and Chamomile relaxes and calms.

Ingredients include: Organic plant oils. All four  feature a base of pumpkin seed oil, which contains natural salicylic acid to refine skin texture. Sea buckthorn oil, is another star ingredient which is known as a anti-aging omega 7 acids.

Where? Online, Cosmetic Boutiques $39

Option 5: A Ultra Hydrating and Contouring Lotion

Mary Kay Timewise Body

Mary Kay TimeWise Body™ Targeted-Action® Toning Lotion– 236ml

This lotion introduced to me just recently is getting raving reviews. The skin smoothing results you see after just a couple of weeks. With continued use, up to 81% are claiming firmer skin and even more defined curves as a result of the use of this lotion!

  • Key Ingredients: Glycerin Moisturizer/Hydrator,  Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Vitamin E derivitives, coffee extracts, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract, Pumpkin Fruit extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Acai Fruit Extract and Myrtle Leaf extract. These natural extracts help tone, soothe and protect the skin via antioxidant properties.
  • Where? Find your local Mary Kay Consultant at marykay.com $28

 

Conclusions

I hope from this list, you find at least a couple that fit your personal philosophy and budget!  I know with beauty care, things could get overwhelming; we must prioritize per season as to where to focus our attention. By investing consistently in small beauty protocols and by remembering to enforce with healthy diet and lifestyle, we can age at a more elegant pace. Aging well will ultimately avoid unnecessary consideration of pricey aesthetic procedures which may be drastic or even pose health risks.So let’s start with a few creams!

Some additional insight: Make sure to read instructions as some require twice daily use while others are only recommended at night. I many times recommend the exfoliating, or “peel like”, treatments at night, as they can irritate the skin and may cause concern if exposed to sunshine. I then suggest your vitamin rich, antioxidant creams in the morning, as they offer additional antioxidant protection from the environmental stressors which cause premature aging. For more on antioxidants click here! The exfoliators, once used consistently for a few weeks, can afterward be reserved for a weekly maintenance product (like before a sexy Saturday night out!).  If you’re exfoliating product doesn’t incorporate oils or other intense hydrators, I would then lather on a product using regenerating or nurturing oil. I love the Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil!!

Finally, remember to use sunscreen if going to be out in the sun for more than 10 minutes!! Protecting yourself from UV radiation is vital to keeping your skin youthful. I won’t discuss products in this post as I have topic on sun protection planned for May!  Until then, I wish you luck on your personal Body Project and hope you find joy in watching your skin transform from dull to brilliant this spring!

Cheers to warm nights, mini skirts and keeping it fresh!

Dry Legs Solutions

To make sure your notified about up and coming posts please follow me on Facebook…. @ AntiAgeingSavantess! I would love your support and to keep you up-to-date on my journey to stay healthy and youthful!!

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With life, come wrinkles. They tell a story… how much we laughed, how much we cried and to what extent we experienced life.  I don’t disagree that a crinkle here and there can be charming. I do however, feel that they can begin to change our features to the extent we don’t recognize ourselves. Furthermore, as these groves deepen, they make us appear less happy, more annoyed and even angry. Studies have shown that the more often we are tense, the more we frown and the more we encourage the formation of deeper wrinkles. It is also for this reason most often the more permanent these lines become the more they may be a reflection of our internal discontent. Lets stop the cycle and have our fit bodies and our internal light match our reflection!! I hope to have offered you  a method to fit your lifestyle below!

wrinkle formation

First a bit of information: What is a wrinkle and how does it form?

A wrinkle is a line, crease or fold in the skin.

There are two types of wrinkles, static and dynamic.

Static wrinkles are wrinkles which you see on your face when you are at rest. You can see these wrinkles on faces of people when their faces are motionless (without facial expression or while sleeping). These wrinkles form as a result of loss of skins overall quality and because of repeated insult to certain facial expressions or lifestyle habits. As we age, the skin loses collagen proteins and elastin fibers. When young, skin is able to quickly resupply skin with these vital structural components, but as we age we lose capability of such regeneration. As a result, older skin loses volume, becomes less elastic and thinner.  Because of this wrinkles form easier, and we begin to slowly accumulate a greater quantity of static wrinkles.

static wrinkles

Advanced Static wrinkles.

Dynamic Wrinkles are the wrinkles which are exaggerated when skin making facial gestures or movements. Facial movements such as laughing, crying or when angry contribute to the formation of dynamic wrinkles. They are associated with the muscle movements of your face. In your youth, dynamic wrinkles are not as noticeable as the skin is very supple, (elastic with high hydration coefficient), and thick (more collagen).

dynamic wrinkles 2

Dynamic wrinkles

Some people don’t form wrinkles as easily because they overzealously take care of skin (by moisturizing and protecting) or genetically have better quality skin ( with more collagen, elastin and fibroblast  activity). Those who have very active fibroblasts, like men and those of darker color skin,  produce more collagen quicker.

Others, form wrinkles prematurely, (more easily and earlier than others), because of bad lifestyle choices. These can include those individuals who don’t protect skin from the environment, have poor diets low in protein and vitamin C or high in preservatives and other toxins.  Those who smoke are inevitably going to age prematurely as they suffer accelerated structural loss and poor microcirculation. Smoking inevitably results in early facial volume loss, skin thinning and wrinkling.

smoking effects on wrinkles

identical twins displaying aging effects of smoking! Guess which twin was a smoker

Despite your genetics, there are ways we can prevent premature formation of both static and dynamic wrinkles. As always, lifestyle modifications are key in preserving youthful function.  We can incorporate good nutrition, and the below guidlines, to assure a natural but elegant aging process.

Quick Guide to Basic Anti-Wrinkle Care

  • Replacing daily moisture loss with a good moisturizer.
  • Use sunscreen and antioxidants, See my previous post here on Antioxidants for some of trusted options.
  • Exfoliate regularly. Can incorporate daily or weekly treatments to help stimulate cellular turnover of dead skin cells and stimulate replacement with new healthier cells. New skin cells retain moisture better and make wrinkling less likely. Your exfoliators can be physical or chemical. Physicals use microbeeds to gently push off dead skin cells. Chemicals use alpha or beta hydroxyl acids or retinol based ingredients. See my post on Three Steps to Brighter Skin for product suggestions. Your doctor can also prescribe a stronger alternatives to these over-the-counter or drugstore options. Consult your doctor if you feel you may need a advanced strength protocol.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking may be your single most important risk factor to premature aging.
  • Avoiding use of straws when drinking beverages. This will facilitate wrinkle formation around lips.
  • Sleeping in positions which don’t fold the skin in a specific way causing lines. Example sleeping on your side will accelerate vertical wrinkles on chest.
  • Consciously trying not to make over dramatic facial expressions (especially those associated with anger or annoyance (: ) …This can help preserve the skin integrity and avoid intensity of wrinkles in corresponding anatomical areas. I know this may sound crazy and difficult but may help you remember not to lose your cool for silly reasons!
annoyed facial expressions lead to wrinkles

Avoid these faces…it will only bring on wrinkles sooner!!

But, what if you want to give yourself a little more edge in this wrinkle saga? By contributing a bit more time, effort and money, can we prevent to a greater degree these tell all signs of experience?

We can, by contributing a bit more time, effort and perhaps money, prevent to a greater degreee these tell all signs of experience. I hope to make you aware of some of the best options in anti-wrinkle methods below. As always, I will offer you a mix from the eastern and western medical practices and let you decide which one may be the right choice for you!

Advance Wrinkle Preventing Methods

These focus on preventing dynamic wrinkle formation…which ultimately results in less static wrinkles as well. Think about how if we limit folding a piece of cardboard to only a few times…..no permenant line will result. Its only if we continue to bend it the same way many times that a permenant crease will form. The aim is to limiting the number of times we fold or bend the skin in a certain way and therefore prevent certain wrinkles from appearing on our skin at rest.

       1. Baby Botox

I think by now, we all are aware of Botox and its uses to relax muscle motion and therefore minimize appearance of present wrinkles and prevent there formation.

For those that need reminding Botox is Botulinum toxin type A, a purified protein and neurotoxin produced by a bacteria bacterium Clostridium. When minute amounts are injected locally into muscles it blocks release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for activation of muscle contraction.

Botox is many times used to paralyze facial muscles so to completely inhibit dynamic wrinkle formation all together.  This is a great way to prevent wrinkle formation but cannot leave the face with unwanted frozen or unnatural look. Recently,  doctors have caught on to the demands of the public and developed and new philosophy or Botox application. This novice application, referred to as “Baby Botox”, consists of using small or “baby” doses of Botox to weaken but not eliminate the muscle movement. This muscular weakening prevents the aggressive facial movements which attribute to deep wrinkle formation. Those of you who were worried this method had something to do with Botoxing your baby can now relax!!! (:

Botox results

Baby Botox can be used earlier in younger patients to prevent formation of wrinkles and will also prevent necessity of using larger does in future.

  • Treatment details

Botox takes only about 10 min to apply but may take up to a week to appreciate the finally result. Your doctor or aesthetic practitioner will use tiny needles to inject small quantities of Botulin toxin A into the musculature around forehead. This is a virtually painless procedure which only rarely results in a slight bruise at the injection site. Once injected, you cannot lie down or massage area for 4 hours in order to prevent the injected toxin from moving out of the injected area.

Baby Botox

  • Other Considerations

Other aesthetic uses for Botox involve treatments of wrinkles around eyes, mouth, nose and neck. These are considered safe and effective uses, but, are considered “off –label”, since not approved by the FDA. There are also over 20 FDA approved medical uses for Botulinum toxin A, all of which will not be discussed in this post!

Botox is the trademarked brand name for Botulinum toxin A by Allergan. They are the first company to purify and get FDA approved for cosmetic use in treating glabellar wrinkles. Since then other brands have gotten approval for safe use. These alternative Botulinum toxin A brands include Azzalure, Bocouture, Dysport, and Xeomin. There are slight differences between brands but I will not cover this topic in present time. For more information, please click on the name of the product.

Use of Botox and its competitors, may come with risk and some side effects. By administering these products appropriately,and by using low doses, we are assuring extremely low incidence of such events. Pregnant women, those who have egg allergies or neuromuscular disorders are not candidates.

Like all aesthetic procedures, success is user dependent! Make sure you put your face in the hands of someone skilled and with an artistic eye!

 

   2.  Iovera by Myoscience

I was recently introduced to this innovative method of wrinkle relaxation. It is a toxin free alternative to preventing muscular movements which attribute to wrinkle formation. This is not only an ideal treatment for those wary of injecting any sort of nonorganic substance into the face but also for those who want to see immediate result of muscle relaxation.

Iovera Focused Cold Therapy

It creates intense focused cold, inducing frost formation between three probes to inactivate the activity capabilities of nerves responsible for stimulating muscle contraction. The Iovera device was originally devised by a small group of engineers who started a company called MyoScience with hopes to produce a muscle relaxing device using cold technology. With the help of their medical advisor and now director, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. Palmer, they were able to redirect their efforts and come up with a nerve numbing superstar…. This tiny device, the size of a cordless house phone, helps doctors inject tiny probes into the skin to freeze nerves responsible for forehead muscle contraction. The treatment results is the temporarily inactivation of these nerves and therefore inability to form dynamic wrinkling in the cooresponding area. This innovative minimally invasive treatment, allows us to achieve almost immediate resolution of dynamic forehead wrinkles, toxin free!

  • Treatment Details

Doctor numbs the templar area of forehead with a bit of local anesthetic. Once area numbed cold therapy delivered via probes into several areas of temple, until sufficient inactivity seen in forehead muscles. The doctor will acess this by asking you to frown and lift eyebrows several times after delivering each cycle of the cold therapy. When you are satisfied with smoothness seen in forehead skin while making these facial expressions, your doctor will stop treatment and apply compression to treated area for about 10 minutes.  At the end of your session you should see complete treatment result….a dramatic wrinkle reduction and smoothness in the forehead area without the use of any toxins or forgein material!

iovera focused cold therapy before and after

Before and After your “Frotox” therapy!

Results last around 3 months.

  • Other Considerations

This is a new treatment NOT  yet FDA approved in the USA for aesthetic use. It IS US approved for use in the treatment of peripheral nerve pain. This means that patients suffering with chronic mucsculoskeletal pain may now have an alternative to the dangerous use of long-term medications.. In Europe and Canada, however, we DO have approval for cosmetic use and Iovera is quickly becoming the official new rage in the treatment of wrinkles. With luck, Iovera will be in a clinic near you shortly and you too will have a choice as to which wrinkle therapy best fits your lifestyle!

I love the idea of a wrinkle treatment sans the systemic risks associated with toxins….don’t you??

3. Cosmetic Facial Acupuncture

For those who want to forgo western medicine technology all together and go for a more natural approach for fighting wrinkle formation….acupuncture might be just what the doctor ordered. This risk-free treatment has been used in China for decades as a way of preventing wrinkle formation. Those concerned with western rejuvenation techniques should know there are gentle preventative treatments which show promise in fighting signs of aging. Recent studies presented in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture showed that 90 % of clients who participated in cosmetic acupuncture showed overall skin quality and tone.

Acupuncture promotes circulation, healing and encourages collagen and elastin production; this improves tone and elasticity and therefore resistance to wrinkle formation. Also by inducing relaxation and stress reduction we prevent muscle overuse associated with wrinkle formation. The premise is that the outward beauty and youthful qualities of the skin reflect the inner peace and fitness of your nervous system which is gained by doing acupuncture.

  • Treatment Details

Cosmetic Acupuncture

During treatment the acupuncture practitioner will slowly and virtually painlessly insert sterile fine needles into the skin. This is done strategically to target certain energetic pathways, which have been proven to relieve certain ailments associated withstree, aging and wrinkle formation.

Results will not be as dramatic as western medical interventions for wrinkles but will last longer and have internal benefits associated with acupuncture as well. You will be less tense, more relaxed, sleep better and have an overall improved sense of well-being. Less stress will mean less frowns, worry lines and grimaces associated with discontent. As a result of treatment, you will be gentler with the facial expressions known to accelerate wrinkle formation. This along with improved overall health of facial skin will result in wrinkle prevention.

No risk, no downtime, healthy wrinkle prevention…..I’m in!

 

     4. Facial Yoga

Last but not least…an alternative for those who want to practice a wrinkle prevention mechanism which shares the no risk profile of cosmetic acupuncture, but without the use of needles at all! In fact, you can practice this daily in the comfort of your own home and at no additional cost!

Facial Yoga consists of a series of facial movements studied to encourage muscular tone and tissue health. Some of these movements are shown below.

facial yoga movementfacial yoga movementfacial yoga movement

“I’m teaching my students to consciously release muscles rather than paralyzing them, which is what Botox does,” says New York instructor Annelise Hagen.

By training muscles to remain relaxed and not tense up we can prevent them from getting hypertrophic because of overuse (reflecting expressions secondary to stress). The result over time is better toned muscles, healthier tissue and a more relaxed face which results in less wrinkle formation.

  • Practice Details

You can see a typical sequence for prevention and treatment of lateral eye wrinkles often referred to as “crows feet”, as described by Annelise Hagen on a You Tube video posted here.

For begginers it may be a good idea to attend a session taught by a well trainined instructor, buy a book or watch a few videos!

It would be great to practice this at a time of day when feeling a bit stressed and facial muscles a bit tense.

  • Other Consideration

This may be a great tool in prevention and overall tone maintenance but once wrinkles start setting in you may want to consider additional therapies.

For more information on improving overall skin quality, elasticity and tone, make sure to check in for future posts! More ideas on how to prevent skin wrinkling, sagging and youthfulness is soon to come! Thanks for following me on this exciting journel in aspiring to preserve youthful function and appearance! Remeber to follow me on my Facebook Page AntiAgeingSavantess! I hope to give you current updates on new products, treatments and lifestyle tips for ultimate health and beauty! Cheers!

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PRP and The Vampire Factor

I’m pretty excited to share with you another treatment that promises your skin a second chance at looking and behaving younger! For a recap on what happens to skin as we age, check our the introduction to my “Youth Injection” series here. The therapy I’m discussing in this post,  uses our bodies’ natural source of Plasma Rich Platelets (PRP). It’s natural, safe, quite simple to perform and best of all can help your skin recover from years of accumulative wear and tear! Sounds amazing right?

This innovative therapy is the latest buzz around the globe not because of its difficulty or controversial nature but because the SOURCE of its promises of immortality. PRPs value to skin health, youth and regenerative power seem quite in line with the desires of some of our most beloved fictional villains. It seems for the first time BLOOD may be a rich commodity for mankind and vampires a like.

blood red woman

Yes, PRP is a derivative of our own blood, for this reason PRP therapy is popularly referred to as “The Blood Facial”. A decade ago anything to do with blood may have caused many to squirm with a bit of uneasiness. This uneasiness has recently changed to something closer to genuine intrigue.  With all the current vampire craze (Twilight, Vampire diaries and such), most find these immortals dependence with blood quite fascinating. I mean. anything that can help them maintain their classic beauty, eternal youth,  and impressive physiques, century after century must be looked into..right? It is therefore no surprise, in this Vampire conditioned population, the beauty power of “The Blood Facial” be so excepted and sought after.

brad pit as vampire

The History

Studies have confirmed that blood contains growth factors and stem cells which have the ability to regenerate tissue. Use of PRP has been dated back since the 1970s. Fortunately, for those of you  who have been waiting  for an “organic rejuvenation method”,  the medical world has decided to apply these investigated benefits to clinical practice in aesthetics. PRP is now accepted worldwide as a clinically valid method of improving the health of various tissues and skin, contributing to restoration of its youthful function. Although popularized in the 1990s as a therapeutic treatment in orthopedic medicine (musculoskeletal injuries), it is today considered mainstream for its’ anti-aging skin benefits. Japan and Europe have been applying it to aesthetic practice since 2004 while doctors in the US embraced PRP therapy about 6 years ago, in 2009. As more and more doctors are becoming aware of the benefits and becoming skilled  in applying its technique, we can now seek out this cutting edge yet natural rejuvenation method from our favorite aesthetic professionals.

Why can PRP be referred to as natural or organic?

PRP is a treatment which uses the body’s own regenerative power to restore healthy tissue function. Specifically it uses regenerative power which lies in our very own blood and more specifically in our platelets. Aesthetically, doctors are using it promote healthy skin circulation, collagen production, decrease the appearance of wrinkles, scars and discolorations of the skin without any artificial or exogenous (made outside of body) substances. The treatment improves skin in terms of texture, color and thickness using only the components naturally found in your own blood.

blood needle

What is it about the Platelets?

Platelets are essential for normal hemostasis (control of bleeding and clot formation, the first phase of wound healing). Too few platelets mean risk of uncontrolled bleeding and prolonged healing to any minor injury. Too many in your overall circulatory system, means increased risk of blood clot formation and with this also an increased risk of blood clot causing stroke.

In PRP therapy, we not so much interested in the platelets function themselves, but their contents. Within the alpha granule portion of each platelet, lies its ability to enhance tissue repair and regeneration. By stimulating a process called degranulation, we can liberate the contents of these alpha granules and benefit from their rich components. These components include healing proteins, cytokines (cell messengers important for immune function) and growth factors. The release of these proteins and growth factors work to initiate processes to repair DNA, promote stem cell proliferation and their differentiation, resulting in advanced tissue repair and regeneration responses.

How is the procedure performed?

The treatment begins when your nurse or doctor removes a vial of blood from your arm and place in a tube with a gel that helps segregate the platelet rich portion. This is comparable to the removal of blood for a simple blood analysis. Immediately after the blood is placed in a special centrifuge machine which spins for approximately 9 minutes until the blood separates the cellular component (containing platelet poor plasma, Red and White Blood Cells) from the platelet rich plasma. Once separated the plasma portion rich in platelets is carefully removed with a syringe and activated by calcium chloride to release the growth factors and bioactive proteins. This activated plasma is then divided in to tiny syringes (like those used for Botox), ready to be injected into your skin.

seperating PRPPRP plasma

Your doctor will then inject the PRP into either specific areas of concern (along wrinkles, or an especially weakened or damaged area of skin) or in an even fashion over the entire area for general rejuvenation. PRP is can be used to rejuvenate entire face, chest, hands or several of these areas together.

method of blood facial

Topical anesthetic could be used to numb the area 20-40 min prior to the injections although, most, claim little discomfort.

Treatments are usually done 2-3 times, in eight week intervals. Some, start to take notice of visual improvements within a few weeks, however, we encourage waiting 2-3 months to appreciate full effect of a single treatment.

Benefits to skin?

By injecting these activated platelets under skin, we can achieve an accelerated skin rejuvenation which would have never been possible under normal circumstances. By using PRP, we can push skin into enhanced repair mode and stimulate renovation of the skin where it needs it the most. PRP works to activate the immune system to remove damaged cells and stimulates more collagen and elastin, ultimately creating thicker, firmer and healthier tissue.  It can also help improve microcirculation of the skin, repairing damaged blood vessels and assuring the skin better nutrition, oxygenation and toxin removal.

In general, the skin will visibly appear fuller and more youthful. You will be able to appreciate a softening of wrinkling, folds or scarring. Skin will improve in terms of overall color, tone, pore size, texture and you may even appreciate a subtle lifting effect.

Results will vary, depending on your age, overall health, extent of skin damage you have present, your nutrition and lifestyle factors (smoking and alcohol consumption). The more damaged your skin is , the more sessions that you may require to see full benefits. As with most treatments, if you are a heavy smokers, abuse alcohol or drugs you may see little benefit from PRP. Also if you have a chronic illnesses requiring you to take many medications PRP might not be appropriate an appropriate option. If you are interested in PRP and its benefits find someone who can evaluate your specific case! It’s an amazing antiaging tool but as with all procedures, is not for everyone!

PRP eyesPRP face

Some advantages of PRP in comparison to other treatments?

  • Use of platelets native to one’s own blood means the treatment is non-toxic, hypoallergenic and with extremely low incidence of side effects
  • Even when used alone adds natural fullness to face without necessity of more aggressive fillers or aesthetic treatments
  • Well established studies in area of sports medicine prove benefits of PRP to healing  and its ability to reduce need for surgical intervention .
  • Can be used to rejuvenate harder to treat and delicate areas such as skin around eyes, neck, chest and hands
  • Can be used to rejuvenate several problematic areas in one session.
  • Tolerability of procedure means little dependence on topical anesthesia.
  • Simple and quick treatment, usually an hour-long office visit is sufficient for entire preparation and procedure.
  • PRP can offer additional benefits in other areas of body, including use in scalp treatment to stimulate healthy hair growth.
  • Cost friendly procedure. Session prices range from $300-400 dollars per area (250-350 euros).
  • It is also frequently being used to  using it to improve out comes of other aesthetic procedures such as chemical peels, lasers and radiofrequency treatments and even pre-surgery to assure optimal healing
  • Most see results lasting for 18 months

PRP neck

Are there any disadvantages?

  • Involve needles or other invasive technique (dermaroller) to get into skin
  • May cause a bit more swelling than other aesthetic procedures such as Botox or fillers.
  • Takes 2-3 months to see full benefit of treatment
  • In cases of advanced aging or sun damage, PRP therapy will most probably not serve your aesthetic goals when used alone. Along with nutritional support, the use of lasers, dermal fillers or other advanced procedures will be recommended.
  • Those with autoimmune disorders, liver conditions or blood disorders are most likely not appropriate candidates for PRP.

Want to get more out of your PRP session?

For those who want to see a bit more benefit from their PRP session, the famed Beverly Hills RN, Sylvia Silvestri suggests an upgrade version called The Vampire FaceLift! Hollywood is going wild about the Vampire FaceLift results and everyone, including celeberties, are signing up without hesitation.  The fact that each guest at the OSCARS got a Vampire Facelift in their gift bags this year, says something about the value the treatment carries.

According to the Silvia Silvestri,  The Vampire Facelift reaps all the benefits of PRP, with the additional enhancement provided by those treatments which use Hyaluronic acid (HA products such as Restylane, Perlane and Juvaderm).

“The Vampire Facelift is a trademarked procedure that combines an HA and PRP. It is administered in a specific technique which requires that doctors and nurses be trained and certified before they can offer the procedure” explains Silvestre, the national trainer of the trademarked Vampire Facelift procedure.

Beverly Hills RN Sylvia Silvestre

The official Vampire FaceLift Trainer
http://www.beverlyhillsrn.com

What additional benefits do we see by adding Hyaluronic acid to the PRP?

“The HA serves as a scaffold structure for the PRP, and patients typically only need one treatment. PRP injected on its own without an HA sometimes requires more than one session,” explains Silvestri.

As explained in my previous post, The MesoLift Rejuvenation, HA is extremely hydrating, adds suppleness and additional structure to the skin, It also allows contouring power to the aesthetic practitioner, allowing additional fullness to be placed where needed and enhancing the rejuvenating power of the PRP.

Results are incredible to say the least. The only downfall? ….the cost. The Vampire Facelift costs $1000-1500 on average and therefore make the otherwise economical PRP treatment, a financial investment one must be prepared for..

To see a link of the procedure being done, I have attached the following you tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=uzeLAU1dgf8. Its a part of a series called Dirty Little Beauty Secrets featuring the Vampire Facelift performed by Dr Barnes in Newport Beach, CA. I chose this video because its short, sweet and kinda fun!

For more information on the Vampire Facelift click here. For those of you who may be doctors, or other medically licensed professionals, and want to get trained to perform this amazing treatment, contact the official Vampire Facelift trainer, Silvestre directly at www.BeverlyHillsRN.com.

Bloods AntiAging promise: Benefiting from the “Vampire Factor”

PRP offers you a natural alternative to other injectable or laser rejuvenation procedures.  By using only components naturally found in your own blood (including the blood derived growth factors which I refer to as “Vampire factors”), it can stimulate the skin to behave and appear more youthful, accelerate healing of any damaged tissue and create and environment for graceful ageing. If you can get past the needles and the blood… you may have an ideal way to economically restore skin health. If you’re looking to optimize other aesthetic procedures by providing the skin with a healthy base for healing and renovation, PRP therapy might be the right option for you. Talk to your aesthetic practitioner and find out if they are trained in PRP and if they feel you could benefit. It seems we can learn a thing or two from our vampire friends; a little blood may not give us immortality but can certainly enhance our aesthetic reality.

twilight

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Fighting Skin Aging and Preserving Health

preserving beauty

There are a few key practices which are vital to maintaining skin youthful in both function and appearance: in summary they involve  protection, stimulation and nutrition.  For some genetically blessed, protection may the only action required to maintain skin looking fresh and radiant into their 60’s.

It is common knowledge that sunscreens play a key role in protecting skin from damaging UVA and UVB radiation and therefore from its caustic effects leading to both aesthetic and skin cancer concerns.  (I will touch on sunscreen varieties in future posts!) What most don’t know is that sunscreen protect us from only a small percentage of total solar radiation (roughly 7 %) and gives us no protections from all other environmental stressors such as pollution,  smoke,  chemical exposure, toxins  (make-up and other creams ). Although with a broad spectrum sunscreen, we are assuming protected from certain skin cancers,  without any additional support we are still susceptible, via the above aggressors, to free radical formation.  Infrared radiation (IR, composing over 50 % of solar radiation,  has shown to be strongly linked to free radical formation. Additionally, IR has the ability to penetrate even deeper than UV rays, making its effects especially concerning.

What are free radicals?

Free radicals are the source of unpredictable cell behavior. They are formed when liberated from a damaged atom molecule. IR and other environmental stressors mentioned above,  disrupt electrical harmony of cells, forming free radicals. As we accumulate them we continually damage more cells, accelerate the aging of the tissues and ultimately causing health concerns.

“A free radical is an unstable oxygen molecule with an uneven number of electrons,” explains Miami dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD. “These free radicals are looking to steal electrons from your cells in order to complete themselves, and the result is damage to the cells in the form of inflammation, pigmentation, and even DNA damage.”

What can we do to protect ourselves from free radical formation?

For more global protection we need additional armor in the form of antioxidants.  Antioxidants give our skin the tools its needs to fight off free radical accumulation and therefore maintain healthy function and structure resulting in youthful skin appearance. By providing the electrons the free radicals are scavenging for, we prevent them from further damaging healthy cells and forming more free radicals. Antioxidants prevent premature aging and dangerous sequelae which can lead to irregular cell behavior linked to disease and cancer.

antioxidants

Antioxidants in diet is an undisputable requirement for overall wellness and health maintenance. Those who make conscious efforts to include antioxidant sources from fruits vegetables and nuts live longer quality lives with less risk of disease and cancer.  It’s a no brainer that regular consumption of berries, vibrant colored vegetables, omega fatty acid sources will also enhance your skins appearance but if you are not protecting your skin externally….you may be working against what positive work you have been doing internally. This is where the importance of a good skin product, high in antioxidants, comes to play.

So why not buy sunscreens which claim high antioxidant content and get the most out of a single product?

Although there are a few sunscreens which incorporate antioxidants, most don’t have high enough concentrations to do the work we need them to correctly.

In addition, even high quality antioxidants are unstable when exposed to direct light and air.  Antioxidants which are imbedded within sunscreens are many times partially oxidized and therefore less efficient at protecting skin.  Additionally, the sunscreen, if  has active chemical ingredients, produces free radical itself! This means that the antioxidants embedded in such sunscreens are utilized in neutralizing the free radical affects the sunscreen produces and therefore is not doing a great job at protecting the skin from anything else! Its for this reason your antioxidant should be applied first. Once absorbed you can put on your sunscreen. Again if you want to avoid free radical formation at all cost, it may be worth looking into a good physical sunscreen (no chemicals used, mostly mineral based, reflect UV rays and prevent absorption). Try ….Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50, MD Solar Science 50SPF, and Color Science Mineral Powder Sunscreens SPF 30 and 50.

What should we look for when looking for an antioxidant product?

The most famed antioxidants include Vitamin A, C and E. Out of these Vitamin C has shown the strongest qualities for free radical sequestration.  L-ascorbic acid is pure Vitamin C. Other forms of vitamin C include ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate,  ascorbyl palmitate and magnesuem ascorbyl phosphate. Vitamin C is a super antiaging agent as it stimulates collagen and protects at the same time.  Vitamin A  is found in forms such as retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate and retinol. Vitamin A is also useful for its ability to stimulate cellular turnover, preventing wrinkle, sun spots and in stronger forms cancer. Vitamin E is most often found as tocopheryl nicotinate and tocopheryl linoleate. Vitamin E is useful for not only its antioxidant properties but the fact it stabilizes vitamin C and gives your product a longer shelf life.

Other, less known, but powerful antioxidants include idebenone, ferulic acid, selenium, superoxide dismutase, alpha-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q 10 and Liprochroman 6. Other natural antioxidant sources include green tea, bamboo isoflavones (also act as a natural alternative to silicone), grapeseed, argan and jojoba oils, walnut seed, redwine, yucca, flaxseed and Hopextract.

Below I list 10 star antioxidant products and why you should love them! The first 5 use extensively medically proven ingredients, have strong clinical investigations supporting their claims, and raving customer reviews.  The last 5, are my top picks for naturally sourced antioxidants products.

CE Ferulic

1.      C E Ferulic  by Skin Ceuticals

  • Combination antioxidant treatment containing 15% L-ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C), 1% alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), and 0.5% ferulic acid.
  • Results in visually changes skin in weeks.  I have recommended this to my own patients and am astounded that a topical product can result in so much improvement in terms of appearance and quality of skin.
  • Works to protect, stimulate collagen, improve tone and firmness and replenish lipids to prevent and diminish wrinkles.
  • Great for those over 30 who want protection and aesthetic enhancing treatment in one!
  • Once absorbed, this serum can’t be washed or rubbed off. It remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, making it an excellent addition to sunscreen.
    • Price: $14

2.      Prevage  Anti-aging Daily Serum by Elizabeth Ardenelizabeth-arden-prevage-face-advancded-anti-aging-serum

  • An advanced anti-aging serum which includes Idebenone. Idebenone is said to have more antioxidant power than all most  other antioxidants. There is a bit of debate whether it prevails over Vitamin C.
  • Other active ingredients include the antioxidants Thiotaine, Bamboo isoflavones, Lipochroman 6 and a green tea blend.
  • Protects while reversing existing skin aging symptoms such as wrinkling, pigmentary issue, textural irregularities and overall skin tone.
    • $15

3.      Vitamin C+E Complex by Skin Medicavitamin-ce-complex

  • Incorporate both Vitamin C and E .
  • Silicone suspension used to prevent antioxidant oxidation and therefore improve efficacy of antioxidants ability to fight free radical formation by environmental stressors.
  • High percentage of active ingredients and gradual release formula make this an ideal product for those who want a gentle yet effective medical-grade anti-aging product.
  • $95

4.      Vivite Daily Antioxidant Facial Serum by Allerganvivite_daily_antioxidant_facial_serum_Lg

  • Uses mix of olive, pomegranate, green tea, chamomile, and licorice extracts to help protect and rejuvenate skin.
  • Also includes a bit of glycolic acid to control oil, smooth skin, and lighten skin discolorations.
  • Can be irritating for sensitive skin types
  • Great for oily skin types with tendency to have pigment irregularities.
  • Incorporates many natural antioxidant sources making it a nice balance of science meets nature!
    • $109

5.      RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum by Paulas Choicepaulas super antiox concentrate

  •  Incorporates antioxidants Vitamin C , coenzyme Q 10 , Vitamin E, Ferulic acid, green tea derivatives and others to  protect skin, support collagen stimulation and improve skin tone.
  • Customers rave about product smoothness, fast absorption and ability to combine with make-up and sunscreen.
  • Great for those who want an affordable skin base which protects, repairs and brightens skin.
  • Non-irritating, fragrance free
    • Average $25

…………..Now for my top five natural picks!

6.      Sundara (Beauty) Face Oil by Jiva ApohaJivo Apoha Sundara Face OIl

  • Uses Vitamin E, grape seed and jojoba oils antioxidant and nourishing properties to create natural antiaging skin base..
  • Grapeseed oil is rich in  OPC  (potent  antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes)
  • Infused with 100% essential oils such as Sandalwood and Jasmine, Lavender Rose and Chamomile to soothe tone and prevent irritation.
  • Easily absorbed, non-greasy formula that actually serves to balance natural oil production.
  • Jiva Apoha combines search for natural beauty with healing practices of Ayurveda.
  • Ideal product those searching for healthy and natural beauty antioxidant to protect, balance, replenish and heal skin.
  • I just love this product line! The philosophy, the pureness and the ingredients resonate with my idea of responsible consumerism and beauty through investment in health!
    • $105

7.      Eight Greens Youth Serum by Eminenceeight-greens-youth-serum-142

  • Bio-complex formula includes various vitamins and antioxidants including coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid.
  • Other antioxidants include Yucca extract, flaxseed and Hopextract
  •  Includes lavender oil to calm and prevent irritation.
  • Handmade, Paraben free, harsh chemical free and organic.
  • Great for those wanting natural gentle protection + more even skin tone
    • $42

8.      Vitamin Sea Serum by OSEA MALIBUVitamin Sea serum Osea

  • Antioxidant boost with an anti-aging blend of seven organic seaweed extracts that nourish and hydrate.
  • Contains Vitamins A, C, and E, walnut seed and green tea extracts
  • Perfect for those searching a protective skin base treatment that is 100% Organic and Vegan.
    • $68

9.       Sea Vitamin Anti-Aging Boost  by OseaSea_Vitamin_Boost OSEA

  • Similar benefits and properties to Vitamin Sea Serum with additional ability to repair cellular damage and prevent inflammation. Potent blend of Vitamin C, pomegranate and red wine antioxidant extracts. These protect from cellular damage and inflammation.
  • Other ingredients include pomegranate and red wine extracts and Gigartina Algae. Gigartina Algae is hand-harvested off the shores of Patagonia, and sun-dried at the OSEA seaweed farm on the southern tip of Argentina. This algae is known for its high vitamin, mineral, amino acid and enzyme content and serves to regenerate, protect and soothe skin.
  • I don’t love the smell particularly and you need to combine with sunscreen cream which is  hydrating and easily absorbed.
  • Great for summer months or when traveling for additional protection against aggressive sun. Can be used as spray on the beach.
    • $32

10.  Vitamin C Anti-Aging Face Serum by John Masters Organicsjohn masters organi cvitamin C serum

  • Combines Vitamin C for prevention and rejuvenation with natural botanicals such as sea algae, nettle and rosebud to moisturize and nourish.
  • Protects skin, promote health and repair of damage.
  • Great  for people with younger skin who want economical and natural way to be proactive in keep skin healthy and youthful.
    • $30

Some final insight…….

Remember that as helpful as any one antioxidant product can be, the best you can do for yourself is armor yourself with as many as you can. A diet high in antioxidants is important for overall health, function and disease prevention. A good product should contain high concentrations of antioxidants (make sure they are at the beginning of the ingredient list ) and low in preservatives and harmful chemicals. Hydrate yourself and your skin with antioxidant infusions. There are supplements which contain antioxidants helping protect your immune system and skin health. If eating adequate amount of fruits and vegetable is difficult for you, you might want to invest in a trusted source. Lastly, just because something claims to have green tea or vitamins doesn’t mean it’s good for you. If you are not familiar with the manufacturer of a certain product, check for validity from a trusted health care provider.

Even with the help of antioxidants prolonged solar radiation can take a toll on skin health. Its always a good idea to wear protective clothing and a hat when spending all days outdoors.

KIDS PROTECTIVE CLOTHING

With antioxidants by your side you can finally unleash your genetic potential. Would it not be amazing to find out what your skin might age like in a closer to perfect world of ideal nutritional choices, with less toxins, pollution and solar radiation? I’m curious ….arent you??

POSSIBILITIES AND AGING

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baby lashesBabies seem to be blessed with long full lashes. They use them to charm us into doing practically whatever they want. Eyes are key when trying to gain someone’s trust and lustrous lashes make it easy to pay attention just long enough to convince our audience we are worthy of theirs. 

Eye lashes, like hair, tend to thin and lose volume as we age. Typical lash cycle lasts between 30 and 60 days. As lashes fall out, they replace themselves with new ones. Like skin and hair on our heads, lashes are sensitive to sun exposure, smoking, pollution, chemical exposure and diet. Keeping them thick, healthy and shiny may take a bit of consideration. Our diet, products we choose and the way we care for our lashes in general can affect how they grow and thrive despite our genetic and hormonal predisposition. Once you have assured you are eating a balanced diet, have no hormonal or health related disorders affecting your lash health or loss, it’s time to figure out what we can do.

So with a billion dollar lash product market out there….which products should we trust?

Can a product help make our lashes healthier, longer and fuller as they claim? From the grocery store to the doctor’s office we see dozens of lash products promising us all we need to revive the lashes we once had and really give our eyes the beautiful frames they deserve.
Below I have outlined for you the some of the best reviewed on the market. These are the products that I thought, had some of the best studied ingredients and therefore had clinical validity. Some are aimed at both stimulating new hair growth and optimizing growth potential while others are simply conditioners to help promotes healthier and more beautiful lashes.. I list their users claims, their key ingredients, price and some other valid considerations.

Here I list my top 10 lash enhancing products. I made sure to have a nice mix of medicial, aesthetic and natural products. Scroll down below and I give you a glossary of all the clinically valid ingredients used  in lash serums and how they can help restore or improve lash growth and health. With this information I give you the tools to decifer which lash product may be right for you!
M2 beatuy logo

M2 Lashes by M2 Beaute

  • Claim: Lustrous lashes without side effects. Use MDN, claimed to be safer prostaglandin derivative. Prolongs growth phase and delays their loss. Result is longer, fuller lashes in 6-8 weeks.
  • Ingredients :MDN**, Biotin, Hyaluronic acid, Prodew 300 moisture binder, Hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycan (GAG)
  • Other/Buying info: Use prostaglandin analog**. Sold without prescription in Europe and Asia. Not sold in USA.
    • 120 Euros. 3 month supply.Clinics, Online

lattisse

Latisse by Allergan

  • Claim: Prescribed for treatment of hypertrichosis (intentional or unintentional lash pulling) or inadequate lashes. Thicker longer and darker lashes in 6-8 weeks.
  • Ingredient: Biomatoprost ** is the only listed active ingredient
  • Other/Buying info: Uses prostaglandin analog **. Sold in US only. Allergan dispenses Lumigen in Europe and Asia, identical in composition but prescribed mainly for glaucoma patients.
    • $120 .By prescription only.4 week supply. Dispensed in Physician offices.

neulash

NeuLash by Skin Research Laboratories

  • Claim: Transform dry brittle lashes. Improves overall health and condition of lashes. Creates optimal environment for growth
  • Ingredients: Peptides, Provitamin B5, biotin, Pumpkin seed extract amino acids biotin hyaluronic acid, New formula without Isopropyl cloprostenate (IPC).
  • Other/Buying info: Celebrity endorsements. Not much clinical support. Had problems because included IPC and never reported. Recently removed from formulation.
    • $95 Online. 6week supply

Rapid Lash

 RapidLash

  • Claim: Conditioning moisturizing and strengthening serum. Improves the overall appearance of eyelashes and eyebrows.
  • Ingredients: Peptides, Sodium Hyaluronate,Biotin, Panthenol, Glycosaminoglycans, Allantoin, Cucurbita, and Licorice extract. New formulations without Isopropyl cloprostenate!
  • Other/ buying info: Valid Ingredient list with good price. Little clinical validation behind claims but good consumer ratings
    • $50 Retailers, Websites

Jan Marini Lash

Marini Lash by Jan Marini

  • Claim: Conditions, prevents premature breakage, giving better volume and texture.
  • Ingredients: Peptides, biotin vitamin B12, copper, panthenol, folic acid white tea leaf and cinnamon bark extract.
  • Other/Buying info: Lots of clinical research but Low concentration of peptides.
    • $79 Doctors’ Offices, Website                     hydropeptide lash

Hydropeptide Lash    

  • Claim: Grow long thick full lashes. Beauty meets science philosophy.
  • Ingredients: Peptides, Sodium hyaluronate, folic acid, biotin, amino acids
  • Other/Buying Info: Money back guarantee. Can also use on eyebrows.
    • $98 Retailers, Online

MD lash factor

MD Lash Factor by Dr Susan Lin

  • Claim: Longer, denser lashes in 4 weeks using non prostaglandinformula.(53% increase)
  • Ingredients: Copper peptide technology, biotin, sodium lactate, sodium PCA
  • Other/Buying info: Created by physician using medically validated Cu peptide technology. Like products with prostaglandin ingredients, can cause skin and iris darkening.
    • $100-140. Cilnics, Online

maxolash

MaxoLash by Dermagevity Cosmeceuticals

  • Claims: Natural, non-irritating formula to promote healthier and fuller-looking brows.
  • Ingredients: Protein complex and vitamins hyaluronic acid, ProVitamin B5
  • Other/ Buying info: Unlike most lash enhancers, wear like mascara.
    • 100% Natural, No Parabens, No preservative, No irritation
    • $79 Online

Tarte lash

Tarte Multiple EYE Lash Enhancer by Tarte

  • Claim: A natural lash enhancer that increases the appearance of lashes.
  • Ingredients: Plant Peptides, protein emulsion, amino acids, and vitamin C.
  • Other/Buying info:  All natural but may cause irritation in some with sensitive skin
  •   $65  Sephora,Online

Loreal Lash

L’Oréal 24-Hour Lash-Boosting Power System

  • Claim: Lengthening day mascara and lash-boosting serum for night. Claim to have similar results to expensive treatment serums.
  • Ingredients: Fortifying amino acids, panthenol, ceramide and centella asiatica extract.
  • Other/Buying info: Economical conditioning and strengthening system. Won’t grow lashes but support health.
    • $20 Drugstores, Retailers, Online

All these are credible products. Which is right for you depends on your personal philosophy (pro or anti medicines, doctor vs spa dispensed ect.), where you live and your pocket-book. I personally have tried M2 Beaute on one eye (while leaving the other untreated) and was amazed at the results. I also love Jan Marini products and believe in the restoration properties of the copper peptide technology (MD Lash Factor).  And for those who just want to treat their lashes with a little extra love without breaking their pocket book….L’Oreals product seems like the obvious choice. Most products are applied once daily above the upper lash line. Click on the product name for more details. Below you have ingredient info to help you understand how each help you get the most of your lashes.

                                

                                         Lash Enhancing Ingredient Glossary: The Key Players

The Ones that Enhance Growth: Prostaglandin analogs, Polypeptides, Copper Peptides

  • Prostaglandin Analogs– Bimatoprost,  Isopropyl Cloprostenate and MDN. Prostaglandin derivatives which have been clinically studied and proven to increase eyelash growth. This effect found by accident by glaucoma patients who were prescribed this to treat their medical condition. Naturally we can produce prostaglandins only if we assure we have enough fatty acids, omega 3’s and omega 6’s. Like all medications the drawback is risk of side effects. Although rare prostaglandin analogs can be linked to any of the following: discoloration of the eye lid skin or even iris (may change blue or green eyes to brown), an itchy or burning sensation affecting the eyes, dryness of the eyes or watery eyes, dizzy sensation or general feeling that something is in the eye.
  • Peptides– Increase eye lash growth by stimulating keratin (the protein of hair) production for longer thicker lashes. Also linked to promoting collagen production therefore supporting structure of hair follicles creating ideal new hair growth environment.
  • Copper peptides– Peptides with additional anti-inflammatory properties which promote wound healing and overall skin health. By inhibiting the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can prevent age related hair thinning and loss.  Also can enhance health of hair follicles so can grow healthier thicker hair. Precaution when combining with Vitamin C products as both can cause skin irritation, especially in combination.

Peptides are the preferred growth enhancers by purists who believe them to be a more natural way to stimulate growth without side effects of drug controlled ingredients such as those derived from prostaglandins. However, more clinical data has shown effectiveness of prostaglandin sources in stimulating hair growth.

Health and Beauty Enhancers:

        The following ingredients promote the ideal environment for best quality lashes to grow and reach their optimal growth potential. They may also contribute to repairing damaged lashes.

  • Allantoin– A plant-based ingredient to help sooth calm and protect lash skin.
  • Alphalfa extract– A great protein source that conditions and increases metabolism to promote lash skin healing.
  • L-Arginine– An amino acid (building block of protein) which has several added beneficial effects including waste elimination, creatinine production (muscle-building), and causing vasodilation of blood vessels or improved circulation. This benefit of improved circulation in theory is thought to help with tissue repair, circulatory related issues (heart and other vascular diseases) and in skin related issues and hair loss.
  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)-Promotes faster hair growth and stronger, less brittle hair. Also helps prolong hair growth phase and delay shedding. Vitamin B7 is necessary for metabolism of amino acids (building blocks of protein). Without deficiency, hair loss is inevitable.
  • Calcium– Enzyme activator which linked to stronger hair follicles. Works with Copper to promote eyelash growth.
  • Centella Asiatica– Herb used in African, Indian and Chinese Medicine for improved circulation benefits. Thought to stimulate hair and nail growth. No clinical studies exist to support use for any condition.
  • Cinnamon Extract– Prevents hair breakage and reduces hair loss.  Stimulates skin and hair follicles to improve circulation and promote healthy hair growth.
  • Folic Acid– Aids in red blood cell production and therefore proper circulation and metabolic function of healthy cells. Folic acid has been linked as a key player in healthy hair growth and therefore in eyelash health and growth
  • Glycols– Used as vehicles to deliver active ingredients into the skin where can work.  Problem is that they leave skin greasy and make difficult to apply make up after. May also cause irritation to some sensitive skins
  • Hyaluronic acid– Promote hydration to eyelashes so that they are more resistant to breakage and environmental aggressors.
  • Hydrolyzed glycosaminglycan (GAG)- Moisture binder and ensures greater elasticity, flexibility and strength.
  • Licorice extract- Contains calming and brightening properties to shield against irritation and redness. Helps soothe and brighten the eye area.
  • Olive. Emu or Castor Oil– These oils condition hair to protect and nurture hair growth, health and shine.
  • Pathenol (ProVitamin B5)- Coats the lashes and brows and seal in moisture and nourishment for improved overall appearance Strengthen eyelashes allowing them to reach maximum growth potential. Promotes flexibility and durability. Soothes and calms the skin.
  • Protein complex – Since hair in general is made up of proteins (keratin to be specific). Supplementing with protein assures we have what we need to grow strong thick hair.
  • Pumpkin Seed Extract– Contains fatty oils with linoleic and oleic acid. Excellent source of vitamin A, B6 and C. Also contains zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron and a unique amino acid, cucurbitin which can help in balancing hormones. This function on hormone mediation has shown positive on hair growth.
  • Resveratrol– Potent polyphenol antioxidant found naturally in red wine (grapes), peanuts, pine trees and plants. Has anti- inflammatory properties which are beneficial to skin and hair health. Since premature hair loss linked to inflammatory injury to hair follicle, resveratrol has been shown to help prevent loss ad stimulate regrowth of injured follicles.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate– Moisturizing and protective skin agent derived from hyaluronic acid that because of its smaller size can penetrate skin easier and therefore ideal component of topical skin products.
  • Vitamin A– Another powerful antioxidant is responsible for new cell growth and generating keratin (the protein which hair is composed of).
  • Vitamin C and E – These can help increase circulation for ideal growth environment. Vitamin C and help form collagen to provide structure and support for eyelash growth. Vitamin E protects hair from free radicals (environmental stressors and is also vital in helping repair and heal damaged, dry and spit hair).
  • White tea leaf extract– Antioxidant promoting health skin environment. Promotes ideal hair structure and strength.

                                                   Some Conculsions

Although fake lashes and dramatic mascaras can mask unhealthy appearing lashes, their effects are temporary and many times appear unnatural. In addition they dont treat the source of the problem, are costly and may even damage your lashes further! Its important to be aware of what IS good for your lashes and how you can invest wisely in their beautification!

lady gaga eyes

I hope this guide helps empower you to start picking better products for your eyelash health. Remember if you are going to pick between a slower process of healing and restructuring, or just the instant flash superficial fix-up…..always invest in core health practices and the beauty will follow naturally!

M2 before and after

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thinner but healthy and attractive lips

No matter the size shape and color of your lips there ways to maximize their aesthetics to your advantage. No matter what curves you’ve got going on elsewhere in the body, lips heighten sensuality and make others a bit more interested in what you have to say! It is for this reason keeping lips healthy, youthful and plump, bring value to our longevity socially, professionally and romantically…I say this is a good reason to invest in them, don’t you?

Factors contributing to aging lips are much of the same which contribute to our skin aging, sun, genetics, smoking, irritant exposure to name a few.Unprotected exposure to cold, dry weather, wind, chronic licking of lips, cold sores and other injuries can also cause chronic dehydration and damage, contributing to distortions such as wrinkling and volume loss. As we age, the perioral area (area around lips) also developes deep vertical wrinkles because of repetitive movements most often encouraged by smoking, drinking out of a straw, coffee mug or water bottle spout. The cumulative factors contributing to aging most often leave our lips rough, wrinkled, less defined and a bit less capable of showing off our favorite lip stick.

What to do? I propose a month dedicated to lips…Why not let it be February? Its an ideal month where love thrives and the cold, dry weather starts to give us a break.  Dedicate February to lip rejuvenation and some professional lip pampering.  After that, lets move on to protecting and maintaining your spruced up pout!!

So first for the Rejuvenating Part………..

Below I offer a 4 week treatment plan which requires you to partner up with your Dermatologist or Medical Aesthetic Practitioner. This month-long protocol is for both restoring age-related issues and uncovering natural beautiful attributes which may have been neglected in during the cold months.

Week 1 Objectives: Restore smoothness, remove dry skin  and relax wrinkles

@ Professional: Glycolyic Peel, +/- Botox Perioral wrinkles (this optional and only if needed)

  • Glycolic peels can be used in various concentrations to help prevent or treat lip and perioral rhytides (wrinkles or lines). Low concentrations can be used gently exfoliate dead skin cells and promote healthy cellular turn over to prevent wrinkling and aging skin problems. These can usually done without any skin preparation, with little downtime and virtually no risk of side effects. Higher concentrations can be used in the periorbital area, most often above the upper lips to help reduce the appearance of wrinkling and discolorations. A more aggressive treatment may require some planning and preparation with your Aesthetic Practitioner.
  • Botulinum toxin  can help relax the muscles around the mouth, softening and smoothing the appearance of the dynamic lines in the perioral area. Dynamic wrinkling refers to the lines which form as we move the lips in such a way to make them more apparent. Botox can also prevent those static lines that tend to get deeper with age as we repeatedly pout, whistle, suck (sorry no better word for this) or even drink from spouts. This can be a very valuable procedure for those who are smokers, as they most often have deep lines formed from years of smoking.  As valuable as a procedure Botox maybe , beware as this requires a skilled injector and conservative doses of Botulin A toxin. Inappropriate or excessive doses can cause temporary impairment of natrual  mouth gestures and even change your smile!.

@Home: Start using an intense hydrating lip treatment.

  • Top Savantess Pick:  Eminence Citrus Lip Balm treatment. Its organic and includes sunflower seed oil, shea butter and lemon balm. Sunflower oil is a great source of vitamins A, D and E, lemon balm a great vitamin C source as well as natural calming property and  shea butter is an optimal moisturizer.  This balm also incorporates natural sources of peptides which are ideal for healing, collagen production and even swell the lips a bit for an added volume effect.

eminence

Week 2 Objectives: Remodel lip structure and define lip border. Aim to strengthen and thicken perioral skin.

@Professional: Laser Non Ablative Fractionated resurfacing.

  • Fractional Resurfacing refers to the fact that we are using lasers in a way to treat only a percentage of the skin surface in comparison to traditional lasers which cause damage to the entire skin surface.. Fractional lasers cause micro injuries  of a specific depth (depending on the laser and setting), surrounded by unaffected tissue.  This gives Fractional lasers advantage over traditional lasers in that they offer faster recovery, predictable results and low incidence of side effects. For some, ablative fractional lasers are more effective for the treatment of wrinkles and are preferred because they have the  additional benefit of tightening. Ablative laser can do this because they actually remove the outer layer and stimulate more aggressive healing processes. It is for the same reason they are advantageous that they are not ideal for many. They are more likely disrupt melanocyte activity(pigment controlling cells located in upper skin layers), require more caution, preparation and downtime. It is for this reason, for the purpose of our month-long lip protocol, I strongly recommend a fractional non ablative laser. Fractional non ablative lasers can go deep, creating collagen remodeling and production, smoothing wrinkles and textural problems without concern of most side effects and downtime of the ablative lasers.  Talk to your doctor to find out which laser is right for you. Although there are cases where a non-ablative laser would be of little help, for most, they stimulate healthier, smoother, stronger tissue, with less discolorations, more definition, and softer lips.
  • Top Savantess Pick for Periorbital-Non Ablative Laser Rejuvenation: I have a long-standing relationship with the Fraxel 1550 nm laser. I love it! I will write much more about its benefits in future posts. Feel free to check out other non ablative fractional devices….there are a few great companies out there which have produced amazing lasers, one example of a reputable example is Palomar Lux 1540nm.

Fraxel mouth pic

  • For those getting ahead of themselves and want more dramatic results and resurfacing, a few suggestions for Ablative Fractional Devices. I will personally vouch for both the Lumenis Active Fx CO2 laser and Scitons Profactional Erb:Yag laser. I have experience with both and when diagnosed for the correct candidate and appropriately administered, give incredible results! There is also a Fraxel CO2 Ablative device called the Repair which gives sublime results.

@Home: Focus on repair and hydration.

Caudalie Lierac LIp

Week 3: Stimulate Cellular Turnover, remove residual dead skin cells resulting post peeling and laser procedures.

@Professional : Microdermabrasion

  • Microdermabrasion is a fast, easy way to stimulate cellular turnover, remove dead skin cells, lighten discolorations, smooth and soften wrinkles. It uses either tiny aluminum oxide crystals or a diamond tip piece to mechanically scrape away only the most superficial skin layer. It leaves a fresh skin layer, which can better absorb active ingredients and promotes healthier skin function overall.

@Home: Great week to get back on the Eminence product mentioned above or nourishing treatment as the one described below.

  • Try  Lierac Paris’ Coherece Levres Lip Plumping Serum. It nourish, smooths, hydrates and promotes collagen. With ingredients such as Collagen III accelerating vectors (6%), plumping peptides, hyaluronic acid and shea butter, it was destined to be your star lip product.

Week 4:  Continue Remodeling Tissue structure. Strengthen and define lip, +/-  work on restoring volume loss or plumping wrinkles with filler.

@ Professional: Repeat Fractional Laser Resurfacing treatment .Collagen or Hyaluronic Acid filler should be injected as needed for additional volume or wrinkle smoothing.

  • Most experts agree that for defining the lip line, Retylane is a superior product. For giving lips volume try Juvederm Ulta XC and for filling in lines around the perioral area try Juvederm Ulta Plus XC. These are all hyaluronic acid products which are cross linked and dispersed in different ways to give different consistencies. Restylane is stiffer and helps make a nice defied lip while Juvederm Ultra is thinner and less clumpy and gives the lip a nice smooth and soft pout. In comparison, Juvederm Ulta Plus is thicker and lasts a bit longer to plump up wrinkles around the mouth.
  • Keep on the look out for a new collagen product for lip enhancement Evolence Breeze awaiting FDA approval in the US.  It has advantages over older brands in that it is causes less allergies and lasts longer (6 months vs 2-3) and also over the above HA products in that it causes virtually no swelling.  It will help create a new niche for those seeking a  lunch hour remedy for plumping and softening lips!

@Home: Another great week to focus on repairing and soothing skin. See week 2 @ Home recommendations.

Now for some maintenance tips and recommendations!

  • Use the Right Lip Balm daily.Products with SPF plus ingredients such as beeswax, petroleum, coconut oil, jojoba, vitamin E and paraffin are best. These help lips retain moisture and protect from outside aggressors such as sun, wind, toxins and even citric foods. These are a few of the best I found incorporating Antioxidants and SPF: try Coola LipLux Organic SPF Lip Balm, , Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Supergoop SPF Lip Balms or for those who want a bit of color try Kaplan MD Sheer Lip Balm.

Coola LipLux SPF

  • Exfoliate daily: I like to do this before I go to bed. Once dead skin is removed, you can better hydrate and absorb other healing ingredients. Also exfoliating regularly stimulates healthy cellular turnover and prevents wrinkles. The Lip Scrubby Sarah Happ Cocoa– helps remove stubborn skin for smooth soft and plump lips. You can also use an old tooth-brush to gently scrub of dry skin or make a homemade scrub with some sugar, a touch of lemon and honey!

Lip Scrub Sarah Happ

  • Keep harsh acne or wrinkle treatments away from lips. Also ingredients such as menthol, camphor, fragrances and silicone can irritate or remove moisture from lips, causing cracks.
  • For a natural remedy for irritated lips apply almond oil, olive oil or vaseline prior to going to sleep. For sunburned lips apply a  aloe vera product. Aloe vera naturally relieves inflammation, hydrates and repairs.
  • Avoid licking lips. The enzymes in saliva are harsh for the sensitive nature of the skin on our lips. If they are dry, keep your favorite lip balm close.
  • Matte lipsticks tend to dehydrate lips. If you do choose to continue using them, apply a nourishing balm first or alternate their application with a reparative lip treatment. I love matte lipsticks because they tend to last longer but use them only at night-time and usually avoid in the winter when my lips tend to be the driest.
  • To enhance superficial circulation to the lips and create transient plumping, apply a bit of peppermint oil to the lips every few hours. Capsaicin is another ingredient extracted from hot peppers that acts similarly to plump lips. These ingredients are commonly found in lip plumping glosses. Again they are great for temporary plumping  but beware of the glosses as they often dehydrate lips! I say use the peppermint oil and complement with your favorite hydrating cream based lip color!
  • As for over-the-counter cures for sun damage and wrinkling, look for anti-aging treatments containing peptides (for healing and collagen stimulation), retinoids (for promoting cellular turnover and smoothing skin), vitamin C (for `protects skin against oxidation and stimulates collagen) and hyaluronic acid (hydration and plumping).  These products should be specifically formulated for the areas around the mouth.

I hope you find my lip make-over plan helpful! I know for many of you, lasers, Botox and fillers may seem too aggressive or premature but I hope to try to integrate a few key ideas. Everyone can benefit from a peel, microdermabrasion or even Clear and Brilliant lip treatment. These treatments are ideal to combine with the maintenance tips when aiming to prevent signs of premature aging and to keep lips at their most plump and youthful state! xx

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Promises of HA

Young skin is characterized by certain features. What we most often appreciate visually is its nice pink undertones, smooth even texture. lack of spots, wrinkles and what seems like a poreless landscape. So what happens to this perfect canvas as we age? There are a multitude of factors which help contribute to our new reality. Some factors which contribute to aging include the following: we start to breakdown collagen faster than we build it, the vasculature responsible for giving nutrition to our skin becomes compromised, melanocyte activity (the cells which control pigment) gets disrupted or stimulated, our skin’s ability to protect itself and retain its water content declines, the fibrous bands which are responsible to keep our skin smooth and tight loosen and become unorganized. Although genetics plays a role in how skin functions and appears with age, there are many factors which can accelerate our natural tendencies and therefore cause us to age prematurely. External factors are major contributors and include sundamage, pollution, wind, toxins, hormone surges and less than ideal diets. Preventative lifestyle habits, good skin care, sun avoidance, healthy diet and nutritional supplementation can all help protect us from these external aging influences. Thankfully for those of us that may have neglected our skin while preoccupied with enjoying life… there are treatments. In fact, there are a multitude of treatments which can help restore and maintain both health and youthfulness. They work to reinforcement and stimulate key processes responsible for optimal skin function and beauty.
The ideal treatment would serve to do all of the following: improve microcirculation to help utilize nutrients better and remove toxins, hydrate the skin, improve fibroblast activity and therefore elastin and collagen production, encourage collagen remodeling and heighten skin’s immune response so to fix problems as they come. In theory, an improvement in any of these aging attributes can help us regain that healthy, thick, even and smooth complexions once again. Sounds amazing right? It is…but many times not simple. As discussed preciously, there are many ways to help stimulate our skin to behaving like its youthful self again… Special diets, lasers, peels, light and energy devices can all help rehabilitate aged skin. I plan to address each category of therapy with you in future posts. The right modality depends on your age, the level of damage you have, specific skin type, the downtime you can sacrifice and economic considerations.

In this three post series, I would like to talk about promises of youth via needles. I know sounds intimidating and even scary, but in reality are quite simple, easy to endure procedures. In comparison to other treatments, these have little downtime and side effects. When performed by experienced clinicians they can offer vast benefits with little trauma. A skilled injector can provide low to no pain treatments’ which allow you to return to your daily life by next day. I have seen patients which have visited the clinic with lifeless, tired looking skin returning after these treatments with revived, plump and happy skin. In each post I will discuss a different youth infiltration technique which have shown tremendous value in terms of prevention and treatment of aging skin.

In this first part of the series I will discuss MesoLift, also known in some clinics as MesoGlow, rejuvenation technique. Although I have not tried these treatments first hand I have seen benifits in both my own patients, as well as in patients of visiting clinics and I am a believer in the magic of its benefits.  Part 2/3 will discuss a procedure called Plasma Rich Protein therapy and in Part 3/3 I will discuss a procedure which injects Stem Cell rich fat for rejuvenation. I hope you enjoy learning about the endless posibilities!

PART 1/3 MESOLIFT REJUVENATION

What is it?

Meso-Lift/Glow is the name given to mesotherapy procedure when done for the purpose of facial rejuvenation. Mesotherapy is the procedure which uses a tiny needle to inject small quantities’ of a customized formulation of active ingredients for therapeutic or aesthetic benefits. Within these formulations we can commonly find pharmaceutical or homeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid and many other ingredients which have shown to induce healthy and improved function of tissues. Although the Parisian born procedure has been a mainstay aesthetic treatment in Europe since its development in 1952 , it has only been introduced to the US during the last 5-6 years. Uses of mesotherapy range from fat and cellulite treatments, to hair regrowth, scar and stretchmark therapy. The focus in this post will be on its’ uses to diminish wrinkles, rejuvenate skin and restore youthful overall appearance.

What are the ingredients commonly used  in the Meso-Lift procedure and why?

Vitamins C, D and E  replenish skin of any deficiency and work as strong antioxidants to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis and improve immune function of skin. Minerals help reinforce biological metabolism of skin and therefore improve function, circulation and elimination of toxins. Amino acids help form structural molecular elements in proteins and therefore allow more efficient construction of the strong architectural foundation found in youthful skin.  Coenzymes are used to help activate biochemical reactions and nucleic acid serve to stimulate natural synthesis of proteins. All these ingredients are depleted in skin which has suffered premature ageing.

Of all ingredients commonly used in MesoLift/Glow procedures hyaluronic acid (HA) is the most valued.  In fact according to Dr. Ana Molina, one of my favorite Skin Savantess’s, the mesotherapy product Restylane Vital is the best for skin rejuvenation. Restylane Vital is a HA based product specifically formulated for a MesoLift/Glow procedure. it is the precious filler which provides mechanical cushioning of our skin matrix (made of predominately collagen and elastin). Hyaluronic acid gives our skin volume, suppleness, regulates tissue repair, immune function and inflammatory responses and holds moisture. Since we inevitably lose concentration of HA as we age,  complementing HA in treatments is vital in preserving health of our cellular skin matrix.  “Restylane Vital gives unsurpassed hydration and overall fullness to the skin, its ideal as a base treatment for softening wrinkles and treating dull and tired looking skin, ” explains Dr. Molina. “I also love to combine it with other treatments such as Radiofrequency or PRP”.  PRP and Radiofrequency are great rejuvenating procedures that I will cover future posts!!!

More about Restylane Vital?

Restylane products are superior HA containing products due to fact they uses predominately NAS Hyaluronic Acid (NASHA). NASHA bioengineered HA is engineered to be almost identical to the HA found in human skin and cross-linked and converted into a stable gel. Because of its structural similarity to our native HA it casues low rate of allergic reactions.  Depending on the size of the molecules it is dispersed in, it can be used as a rejuvenating product (Vital), or filler for different areas of concern, wrinkles or volume loss (Restylane, Restylane-L, Perlane, and Perlane-L).

Benefits to skin?

Skin appears thicker, smoother (with less apparent wrinkles), radiant and texturally more elastic and firm.

Advantages of Mesolift in comparision to other treatments?

  • Fast procedure with minimal discomfort and down time. MesoLift/Glow usually takes only about half hour. Topical anesthetic cream can be used for sensitive patients. Redness associated with treatment usually subsides within 12 hours. If combined with a nourishing face mask and Vit K cream, treatment may cause less irritation. ). “The normal case scenario is that skin suffers very little trauma so patient can return to normal social life quickly”, states Dr. Molina.
  • Cost friendly procedure. Session prices range from 150-200 dollars or euros.
  •  A great supplement to improve aesthetic outcomes of other procedures such as lasers and surgeries. “when the skin health is improved we then can count on more predictable, faster and natural appearing results,” states Dr. Ana Molina.
  • Can serve to regain skin tone of previously hard to treat areas such as legs, neck, arms and hands.

Disadvantages?

  • Involve needles which sometime mean dozens of tiny injection sites. The use of an injection gun can help decrease anxiety revolving around the dependence of needles and skills of the injector. Injection pens make it very tolerable, easy and quick to preform (15 min)
  • Bruising can occur.
  • Not regulated by the FDA and no formal training program in the USA.
  • Needs to be repeated to appreciate and maintain benefits. Mesolift procedures like most mesotherapy procedures require several treatments prior to seeing visible results. Many times you need 3-4 treatments scheduled every few weeks. The effect are cumulative so when repeated regularly will serve to improve collagen and elastin concentration and overall health and function of treated skin.
  • Different brands, compositions mean that you need to do your research and trust your doctor as to define which formula is right for you.

Mesolift is used in Europe as a quick easy fast and relatively inexpensive way to refresh tired looking complexions. Women usually start at first signs of aging and swear that it is the secret to maintaining youthfulness. In the US, since not regulated by FDA many doctors are reluctant to use the technique for skin rejuvenation. Since FDA only regulates products and not procedures MesoLift is unlikely to be accepted as mainstream treatment.   With the right research and the right doctor MesoLift could be the right treatment for you! It’s fast, easy, safe and allows you to return to normal life almost immediately! I love the results as I have seen many transform quickly. It is true it’s not for everyone but I encourage you to talk to your doctor and see if right for you!

RESTYLANE VITAL faceRESTYLANE VITAL CHESTRESTYLANE VITAL hands

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beautiful and bald woman

Some people’s beauty does not depend on a lustrous mane. For the rest of us, however, beautiful hair can upgrade average looks to cause show stopping stares and poor quality hair can make an otherwise attractive person, barely noticeable.

This post is especially dear to me because up until about a year ago, I honestly was not the slightest bit proud of my hair. Slavic people are not famous for having beautiful lustrous hair. In fact, we traditionally have thin, straight and wispy hair. This hair might make hair styling fast and easy, but the fact is, some of us, including myself, can’t even own up to a ponytail most Spanish girls can be proud of by age 5. It’s for this reason, that when I moved to Spain, I was forced to pay a bit more attention to the state of my hair. Living among women with the most beautiful thick hair on the Western Hemisphere can make anyone a bit self-conscious…..

Because of this, I started a 4 part mission to help get my hair happy and healthy.

Part 1: Find out what it takes to have strong and beautiful hair.

From my research there are various key elements needed:

  • An abundant supply of fibrous protein keratins available to the scalp- Like nails, hair is made up of keratin. The more keratin available, the more likely the hair will grow at its optimal rate. Keratin supply is directly related to protein in the diet.  Lean protein consumption is vital to maintaining hair strong and replenished. Sources include beans, fish and eggs.
  • Optimal Iron levels- Iron is essential for growth of hair, so deficiency can lead to slow growth and even loss. A easy sign of deficiency can be the appearance of spoon shaped nails. Some iron rich foods include lentils, skin potatoes, tofu, shellfish, dates, raisins, leafy veggies and whole grains.
  • Essential nutrients – These directly nourish follicular roots and help hair growth thicker, faster, stronger and shinnier . Some include, selenium, zinc, biotin and omega fatty acids. Optimal hair health and growth depends on a balance of essential nutrients that you may be depriving yourself of if not eating correctly or partaking in fad diets.
  • Good blood supply to the scalp- Good circulation  to the scalp is vital to getting our scalp the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain hair healthy, strong and abundant.
  • Ability to manage stress- There are three cycles a hair goes through before it is shed, Anagen (active hair growth phase lasting up to 2-6 years), Catagen  (the transitional and the shortest phase, only lasting about 2 weeks) and Telogen (resting phase which can last 1-4 months). Once the hair is shed the follicle once again starts growing new hair to replace it; starting the cycle anew. The longer the hair is in anagen, the faster and longer hair will grow. When the body incurs abnormally high amounts of stress, it shocks hair follicles anagen and cause them to remain longer in telogen.  This is bad news because it means smaller percentages of your hair follicles are actively growing hair at any given time, hence causing abnormally high rates of hair loss, without replacement. In normal conditions, 85 % of all hair follicles on your head are in Anagen and only 10-15% in Telogen . When this balance is thrown off, you will notice thinning hair or even areas of the scalp without any hair growth. This phenomenon can also occur in moments of sickness or even with dieting …the body faces shock, and therefore stress, and again force the cycle of hair growth into resting phase. Hair can take up to three months to recover after such a state.
  • Hormone Balance: If things seem off, rule out hormone imbalance: pregnancy, menopause, disease, immune disorders and under-active thyroid can all cause hair pattern irregularities. Hormones play a role in certain metabolic processes essential to hair growth cycle. Its always a good idea to have your doctor review your blood panel to rule out conditions which need to be treated with medications, hormone supplements or with a specific nutritional or supplemental protocol.

Part 2: Consult Hair Savant for best treatment regimen promoting healthy hair growth and repair.

I have been lucky enough to work with one of the most renowned dermatologists/hair specialists in Europe and chairman of the International Hair Restoration Society, Dr. Jiménez Acosta, from Las Palmas, Spain. Dr. Jimenez had recommended a few of the best supplements made to give hair strength, shine and even volume. These work on the root of the hair you are actively growing. Although this may take a few months to really give you that aesthetic visual result, proper vitamin and mineral content is best solution for thin, damaged or poorly nourished hair. The most effective supplements, according to Dr Jimenez are those which include biotin and other essential B vitamins (for scalp health and hair strength), the minerals selenium (to promote healthy growth),  zinc (to prevents brittleness and thinning especially in cases of underactive thyroid), copper (to prevent premature graying), and sources of essential fatty acids such as primrose and flaxseed oil (which work to restore scalp dryness and itchiness, while restoring overall health and shine of hair).

I, personally, have tried hair supplements by the brands Inneova, Oenobiol and Pilexil, and have seen amazing results.  I originally started after pregnancy, concerned my hair would suffer as hormone levels plunged and nursing depleted me of all nutritional goodness. I worried I would face what many friends and patients have commonly complained of…. weak or thinning nails and hair! I can happily say that with the help of these supplements my hair actually improved in thickness and strength! If you can’t find these brands in your area go to your local dietician or natural food market and they will be able to direct you to some supplements with similar compositions. Also, remember these essential nutrients are found naturally in foods. There are many websites listing food sources of such nutrients. A few examples of such sites are Diet and Fitness Today or WH foods.

Dr Jimenez also addressed a few medical remedies for those who are concerned with hair loss or thinning.

For males, Dr Jimenez recommends the medication Finasteride (brand name Propecia, 1 mg/day) as the most effective treatment.  It works at the molecular level to block production of a hormone DHT from testosterone. DHT provokes hair loss by blocking hair growth so the fact Finasteride blocks this, makes it a very valuable tool to those doctors treating hair issues. Since women also have low levels of testosterone, they also can produce DHT and, therefore, suffer from androgenic hair loss (hair loss caused by prevalence of male hormones), but are affected, more often, when their female hormone levels subside after menopause. Finasteride is not, however, prescribed often to women as it has shown to be dangerous to the normal development of fetuses. For males, it is a safe and efficient way to retain healthy hair and recuperate some of hair lost.

Also, on the horizon, is another similar acting drug called Dutasteride (brand name Avodart). The manufacturer and researchers claim it is even more effective at blocking DHT and, may therefore, be even more effective it preventing hair loss and re-growing hair! Don’t send your loved ones running to the pharmacy just yet as we are still awaiting the FDA approval of Dutasteride use for the treatment of hair loss.

Another medication Minoxidil 2-5%, is applied topically (or directly to scalp). It is also endorsed by most Dermatologists for the treatment of hair thinning or loss.  Minoxidil is safe for women and can also be used as a complementary treatment for men taking Finasteride. In the US, Minoxidil can be found in most pharmacies and the most known brand is Rogaine. In Europe, you must buy Minoxidil over the counter or via prescription and most common brands include Regaine, Alopexy and Regaxidil. Its seems that 5% has better results and most prefer foam form vs the liquid solution.

The good news is that as long as you continue to use these both these medications you will maintain their benefits. The downside is once stopping the treatment, hair recuperated will most likely fall out again. Minoxidil, is thought to work by improving cellular activity, structure and hair growth rate, most possibly by helping scalp circulation. Although the exact mechanism of this drug is unknown, we have seen that with its use, we help shed quicker those hairs in resting, telogen phase and get more thicker hairs in the active hair growing, anagen phase.  It shows to be most effective in those who are in early hair loss stages, suffer from hair loss of the crown and central portion of the scalp, and in women patients. Within 4 months of using the 5% solution, many see a halting in the hair loss and some even recuperate the hair they lost.

Like all medications, these are not free of side effects. 5% of Finasteride patients have seen increase incidence of depression and enlargement of breast tissue. Of those using Minoxidil, some complain of increase hairloss in the start of the treatment because of the shedding of hairs in inactive state. Minoxidil can also cause or worsen dry scalp. Also you must keep this medication far from your pet cats, it is toxic to them even with skin contact.

Part 3: Find the hair products, which actually work.

The goal of this part of my mission was to find hair products which protect, hydrate and repair the exterior portion of the hair. With help of celebrity hair savantess, Bonnie Cleverling, and my local hair care savantess, Cristina Lopez at Creatival BCN, I was able to find a few products that my experts and I, can happily endorse.

Kiel’s Magic Elixir– Ingredients include Rosemary lean oil, avocado oil, Vitamin E, omega 6 fatty acids to moisturize scalp and hair, and promote more balanced and healthy environment for new hair growth. You massage  the Elixir into the scalp 10 minutes before washing. It provides an ideal environment for hair to grow and thrive. Feel and see the difference in 4-6 weeks. Hair grows with more life, manageability and volume.

Icons Healing Conditioner and Beauty India Oil– Both of these amazing products contain Aragon Oil. Aragon oil is a true beauty oil. More of its properties I will discuss below. The Healing Spray contains quinoa extracts which give its powerful ability to repair and give strength. The Beauty India oil gets its name due to its star ingredient…. Moringa oil. Moringa oil is one of Indias most native and cherished oils. It is main attribute is healing damaged frayed ends and protect hair against aggressors. Beauty india oil is to be place on ends first, then run throughout the hair before styling or prior to bed.

Icon products are simply incredible. Even after their first application you will see your hair as you have never seen it…shinny, thick and silky to touch.  You will also grow addicted to the calming power of the natural oil essence… Beauty and aromatherapy in one!

icon pics

Before I move on I wanted to enlighten you a bit more about Aragon oil. Aragon oil is lightweight,  non-greasy and  derived from kernels of Aragon fruit of Morocco. It is known best by Morocco’s women and famed for its ability to restore life to hair. Although no real scientific study can prove its benefits, natural medicine professionals, familiar with the oil, claim its properties give nutrition to hair, lock in moisture, help prevents damage by external stressors and improves elasticity. Users, including myself, have found that it restores smoothness and manageability. Aragon oils natural antioxidant properties are said by its experts to strengthen damaged hair by restoring its cellular membrane. By also naturally contains Omega 3 and 9 it conditions the scalp and strengthen the bonding structures of hair and help heal split ends.

Fermodyl Treatment Ampoules–  For those of you who have abused or continue to abuse your hair with chemical treatments such as color or straightening and need to reinvigorate life back in to dry, brittle and dull hair, Femodyl formulation products are for you! Fermodyl treatments were developed by chemists who sought and found a protein molecule to merge damaged hair fibers, interact with the keratin and restructure hair. Depending on your hair type, there is a specific formulation for you. They come in ampoules, which are to be broken open and the serum massaged into your scalp before styling. After a month of use, studies have shown increase tensile strength, (that which protects against breakage), by 15% and the diameter of the shaft, (the thickness of the body of each strand hair), was increased up to 20%. This is a great solution for those who have damaged hair to due chemical aggressors!! Here’s your chance to give your hair a new life!

For those of you who are seeking a completely natural line of anti-aging hair care products, look into the Phyto hair line. They are amazing for protecting hair, restructuring damaged ends, hydrating and adding shine and manageability. Working with many high profile clients with demands for both quick results and long term investment, Bonnie has become a supporter and regularly recommends these products. For those who seek a solution to dull, dry hair with split ends try Phytokeratine Reparative Serum. This serum uses plant proteins, Brazilian palm oil, hyaluronic acid and silk peptides to give you shinny and smooth hair! I also love the anti-aging line including the Phytodensium AntiAging Serum and Phytodensium AntiAging Mask. The serum uses B vitamins to add strength and density and a derivative of tyrosine (an enzyme that catalyses the production of the pigment melanin) to help delay the appearance of gray hair.  The AntiAging Mask is also fabulous, using natural proteins and a combination of grapeseed and black currant seed oil (rich in fatty acids), to nurture and regenerate hair. The result is healthier, smoother and softer looking hair with maximum volume and shine.                  Anything non-toxic + prevents aging + beauty benefits = Top AntiAgeing Savantess pick!

For my last bit on products, I wanted to present some research I found on those labratories claiming the latest breakthrough in antiaging hair care. These products are neither medications or beauty products but designed to be somewhat higher scale and sold in drug stores or over–the-counter. They are presenting hair treatments incorporating a start ingredient called Diaminopyrimidine Oxide (Aminexil). Aminexil’s properties are said to help combat premature hair loss and hair weakening from a condition called perifollicular fibrosis. Perifollicular fibrosis is a progressive accumulation of excess collagen, (forming something similar to a scar), around the hair root, pressing on the follicle and making it difficult to work properly. This causes growth of thinner hair, as well as, an overall slowing and even halting growth to a increasing percentage of these hair follicles over time.  Studies published show that hair loss and aging (thinning and weakening of hair), no matter what the reason (hormones, stress, age ect) all are related to some degree to the condition of perifollicular fibrosis. Aminexil, is said to help prevent this excessive collagen formation while soften the skin around the follicle. The effects allow follicles it to maintain its natural youthful position and form, preventing abnormal hair growth and loss. Manufactures claim studies have proven slight improvement in new hair growth over 6 weeks (6%), a prevention of loss and an increase in strength and volume (70-80%). Although no real scientific large scale studies have been conducted to prove the efficacy of these Aminexil containing products, its’ ability to serve as an anti-aging product seems intriguing. Below are some products containing Aminexil. I plan to test it out….let me know if you do!

Try: Vichy Laboratoires Dercos Aminexil and AMINEXIL GL M by Keratase

Aminexil loreal

Part IV: Incorporate lifestyle habits to encourage maintenance of healthy hair.

Some lifestyle changes which can AVOID follicular damage, hair breakage, split ends, loss of moisture, and ultimately result in dynamite hair include:.

  • Do Wash hair only as needed! Although washing doesn’t contribute to hair loss, it does cause it to be more susceptible to dryness, brittleness and breakage. Wet hair is more likely to break than dry hair and more likely to be handled with heat and aggressive grooming techniques.
  • Do Bush your hair before washing….this minimizes complex tangling and therefore aggressive de-tangling techniques which are needed when hair is wet and more sensitive. As stated above we want to manage hair as little as possible when wet. .
  • Do Use UV containing conditioners when sunny to prevent drying out and sun related weakening of hair.
  • Do Trim hair every 6-8 weeks to avoid further splitting of hair ends. This is more for the aesthetic benefit of having smooth, non-fringed ends. Although trimming hair regularly, WILL NOT help hair grow faster, , it will help prevent it from looking dry and straw-like. The more you allow split ends to “stay around”, the higher up the hair strand they travel…this is why we need to cut them out before they have an opportunity to grow. Some products can make them appear to be repaired but just binding them ends temporarily… They won’t go away unless we cut them out.
  • Do Pay attention to what you wash and style your hair with. Talk to your doctor and hairstylist about the current state of your hair and which products might balance it correctly. Each hair type has different need, you may want some professional advice on what those specific needs are.
  • Do Consider natural vegetable sourced hair dyes. These are not only better for you, but cause less allergy related issues of the scalp. The color may not last as long but you will come to realize that with time your hairs’ natural beauty will take away your dependence on fresh color!
  • Do Find ways to relieve excessive stress…. yoga, walks, a friend to vent to, read, shop …whatever!! As discussed above, stress increases cortisol which is known to shock hair follicles in the anagen phase (when they are actively growing)into telagen (the resting phase)! Since it could take your hair months to recuperate, it would be great to act preventatively! If cortisol (our stress hormone), can do this to your hair, imagine all the other effects it has throughout the body!! Make stress relief practices a priority; no one can prioritize this for you but YOU!
  • Do Give your hair a daily scalp massage.  A nice 10 min head massage helps condition scalp, strengthen hair roots and increase circulation to the hair follicles, ultimately improving its’ nutrition and proper function. Massages are also an extremely calming  tool for tension and stress reduction!
  • Don’t wear tight ponytails or up-dos for long periods of time: This stresses and weakens hair at the root and may damage the way hair follicles grow hair.
  • Don’t use alcohol containing styling products: This will just dry out your hair and take away its shine and manageability.
  • Don’t process your hair with chemical or peroxide containing products faster than you can repair the damage you may be causing. If coloring is important to you, find a way to stretch apart your color sessions as much as possible, combine with intense conditioning and repairing treatments, and cut your hair afterward to avoid further hair splitting.

If hair loss is a concern, see your local specialist. Hair loss can be genetic, hormonal or stress related. There are treatments available to prevent hair loss and even re-grow hair and the earlier we treat, the better. I will post about this topic again in the near future…until then, value what you do have, act preventatively and talk to your dermatologist for more specific information regarding your specific condition!

I guarantee if you apply any these care tips above into motion, your hair will begin to transform and its’ inner potential unveiled. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that we can get that hair we admire on others; we just need to give it a bit more attention, treat ourselves with more care and choose products that make sense! Enjoy your newfound power!

curly strong hair

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Ok, so I don’t really mean real Scotch…I’m talking about an American nail polish brand that happens to be called Scotch Naturals… a new discovery I had to share.

Mani’s Pedi’s and Health: Everyone can appreciate the value of a good manicure. It can transform your mood, give you a touch of elegance, put you in the mood for a party but at what cost to our health?  Recent studies have raised cause for concern and its effect on our health has been pondered. Previously, we have questioned the safely of salon manicures and pedicures….without strict sanitation guidelines, we found they increase the risk of nail infections and fungus contamination. Most recently, however, the spotlight of our concerns has been focused on the nail polishes themselves.

 What is it we are so worried about? It has been proven that conventional nail polishes contain harmful metals and other toxins.  These substances are now known to cause health concerns if absorbed in small qualities overtime. The most concerning are the  chemicals toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The “toxic trio” have been studied and found to be associated with serious health concerns ranging from birth defects to cancer. They are included in lacquers because companies claim they contribute unmatched qualities to their products in terms of shine, quick-drying ability, durability and flexibility. They also are prime culprits in causing allergic reactions of the skin that can appear on the hands or in other areas of the body seemingly unassociated creating difficult diagnosis. The  ingredients formaldehyde resin and camphor packing have also been linked to health problems if inhaled or ingested (concern for fingernail biters)…this brings our list of worries to 5!!

So…Should we forgo our cultures fun but unhealthy nail dressing ritual and settle on celebrating the homely, but possibly under-stated, naked nail? Apparently, not…thanks to companies such as Scotch Naturals, an organic beauty line which specializes in giving you healthy manicures and pedicures! Despite growing concerns, it’s quite shocking that only a handful of companies have gone out of their way to help us enjoy quality “5 free” lacquers without these toxic ingredients.. Scotch Naturals, has graciously decided to embark on this clearly necessary philosophy! After 4 years of sparsely painting my nails, (mostly due to fact I was pregnant twice within these 4 years), I have now been inspired to do so once again! I became a fan just recently when an eco-chic nail/wax boutique, Sundara, opened close to my home in Barcelona. I immediately researched the products and ran to do some firsthand exploration. I love the posh color selection and the fact even the darkest red comes off easily without staining my fingers or discoloring my nails.

This leads me to further elaborate on another important reason to avoid toxin containing polish….. to avoid the horrific “nail polish hangover”!! This condition I describe is none other than the dry, brittle and yellow nail which we suffer after our seemingly simple attempt to liven up our lives with a boost of a berry, citrus or red polish. After a mere week of upbeat finger tips, we many times suffer, what I have referred to above as,  the nail polish hangover. The worst of it is, if we resist what many red polish addicts commonly cannot, a vicious cycle of reapplication which ultimately makes nails just angrier and yellower, we are stuck with this unattractive yellow hue for up to a month! The use of nontoxic nail polishes can help you enjoy the excitement of a happy nail polish, without suffering from a its respective sequele in 2 ways: Firstly, it uses a pigment which is suspended and NOT dissolved in the color, and secondly, it avoids the use of a caustic, volatile remover for its complete removal. By using a suspended pigment, we get much less absorption through the keratin nail cells and, therefore, less staining. Furthermore, by using the soy-based, or similar gentle polish removers, we are avoiding making nails more susceptible to discoloration. Specifically, we avoid stripping them of their natural oils and protectants. It is  true that all nail polishes, could theoretically, serve to help maintain hydration of nail beds and protect them from irritative soaps and chemicals. The problem is since traditional polishes require aggressive removers, we negate these potential benefits. Therefore, by choosing nontoxic polishes we can reap the benefits of a nail protectant without disturbing the integrity of the natural nail oils which attribute to its shine and smoothness.

I am happy to say that I now am enjoying the seasons trendiest nail color sans gulit. I can rest assure that the cost of my pampering doesn’t go beyond my economic effort! For me the safety of these products is a priceless assurance I wish for everyone to have access to!

More tips when considering nail related health:

When using a water based polish such as Scotch:

  • Be prepared to not shower, bath or swim for 2 hours after application
  • Make sure you use their top coat, otherwise you might be disappointed with its lack of luster.
  • After getting out of the bath or shower, rub with a soft towel to restore shine.
  • Soak in warm water a few minutes prior to removing with the non-toxic remover.

scotch natural w removerzoya nail polishhopscotch kids

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As we age, our skin’s cellular turnover slows…this means we have older skin cells hanging around longer. The older the skin, the less capacity it has to retain moisture and therefore, it begins to appear dull and wrinkles easier!  In general, once we hit 25 years old, the skin needs to be “woken up” from time to time, to kick-start a more active cellular turn over cycle. The faster the cells are turning over, the more often we can get those plump, healthy, glowing cells on the skin surface and the less we depend on makeup or anything else to get that lustrous skin we all desire.
As we enter winter, this task of bright, glowing skin gets more daunting, since the dry and cold weather dehydrates our skin and pushes it into a hibernation mode. This is not a good thing, especially since we have holiday parties coming up and want to roll into the new year fresh and vibrant, matching our desires for 2013.

To address this, I want to present a 3 step plan to brighter and happier skin:

STEP 1 : Exfoliate and Reinvigorate
This is the first and most vital step. We need to remove those dead skin cells and get new skin to the skin surface. New skin not only looks better, but also absorbs topical creams and serums better and reacts more quickly to any rejuvenation treatments. Here are a few ideas of how to get your skin alive and ready for the holidays!
@Home– Get yourself using a night treatment that lists retinol or alpha hydroxy acids as an ingredient: these ingredients help break up dead skin cells and make way for the new ones. Here are a few I love: Skin Medica Tri Retinol Complex , Green Cream Level 6 by Green CreamIntensive Resurfacing Peel by Murad, or Paula’s choice RESIST weekly resurfacing treatment.
Since these products all have potentially irritating ingredients I suggest you start slow, every other day, and increase to daily use if you are certain you have no tolerance issues. I also recommend you use a day cream/sunscreen to protect the new, sensitive skin we are generating. My favorites include Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with sunscreen, for those with sun-damaged or mature or dehydrated skin, Uredin Fusion SPF 30 by ISDIN for those with normal or combination skin (I use this with a few dabs of matte foundation mixed in it) and my choice for sensitive/oily skin is Sheer Physical Defense SPF 50 by Skin Ceuticals, it’s light and mattifying.
@Expert-
Don’t pass up an opportunity for a light chemical peel , microdermabrasion, or a jet peel. These are ways to remove dead skin quite nicely and rapidly. Not only are these procedures a great and efficient prep for step 2, but they can also, if repeated regularly, help even out pigmentation, reduce the appearance of fine lines and hydrate/nurture skin. I will definitely revisit these individually in future posts. I suggest you discuss these treatments with your medical provider and find out which is more appropriate for you. As far as peels go, there are few brands in which I not only have recommended for my own patients but have seen consistent and safe results. Ask about Resurfacing Gel 70% Peel by Jan Marini, or Esthetique Peel or Ultra Peel by PCA skin.  These peels use low concentrations of certain acids to remove the damaged and lifeless outer skin layers. They contain ingredients to activate quicker healing, stabilize pigment and soothe skin simultaneously.

STEP 2 : Stimulate and Renew
This step includes a new and fascinating 1440nm fractionated laser treatment called Clear and Brilliant. This laser is changing the aesthetic world as we know it. It allows us to slowly and safely remodel the deeper layers of the skin. It is a remarkable anti-ageing tool which in a perfect world should be a part of everyone’s skin care regimen. Previously. lasers and even fractionated lasers were reserved only for those who wanted complete skin makeovers (scars, wrinkles, sun damage), but now with lasers like Clear and Brilliant, we are able to use fractionated laser technology on anyone who wants a gentle treatment to prevent skin aging and restore skin health. Thanks to these lasers, we are now able to treat everyone (every skin color) early on, without downtime and prevent essentially all skin attributes related to aging skin…..I’m in love, can  you tell? I will definitely talk more about this in the future… but don’t wait to go ahead and try one. You most commonly are prescribed 4-6 treatments every 2 weeks, but can see and feel the difference even after the first treatment.

STEP 3 : Nurture and Infuse
This step occurs once we have our fresh skin base, which is more receptive to absorbing topical products. You now can make those expensive creams finally work for you! Once the skin tissue is healthier, it is able to use more efficiently the nutrients we feed it.
Although it depends somewhat on your specific skin needs, which topicals are most appropriate for you, we can assume that everyone can benefit from some form of vitamin and antioxidant skin cocktail. Vitamins and antioxidants give your skin the defenses it needs from environmental stressors that lead to premature aging. Below, I have listed some of my favorites. I suggest that as you run out of one, try another!! They all have different compositions and therefore may benefit you in different ways. What they DO have in common is that they are absolutely yummy for your skin and are to be worn UNDER your sunscreen!!
Some of the best include: Prevage AntiAging Daily Serum, CE Ferrulic by Skin Ceuticals, Vespera Bionic Serum by Exuviance or Summun Serum by Cumlaude Lab.

I know some of the above may require a bit of an investment and therefore, do not seem practical for some of you. I do, however, highly suggest to at least start with some good products and as for the treatments…… maybe ask for some as a holiday gift?!  These steps can assure you both beautiful and brighter skin for the holiday and long-term investment into a younger appearing, future you!

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cafe research

The process of aging elegantly includes a mixture of techniques including the right diet, lifestyle habits and a multitude of preventative and therapeutic practices. With such a variety of advice and promises it may be difficult to merge them and create a formula you can apply in your daily life. An even more difficult task maybe how to assure responsible economic and safe consumption of aesthetic procedures and treatments.

I have already, personally and professionally, dedicated my life to this mission of preserving youth by restoring overall health. Too often, we attempt to correct our aesthetic concerns at sake of our well-being, leaving us to deal with a cycle of reoccurring obsessions about our appearance and never really addressing the source of our concerns! I hope you find my experiences helpful in cultivating your own impressions and practices to look your best at any age.  I have sought out global ideas of youth preservation and Anti-Aging techniques and hope to present them to you in an entertaining way in this blog.

Cheers and Enjoy!

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