My Writings. My Thoughts.
How do you choose a skin care product that claims to provide complete skin rejuventation?
1. Read the ingredients that are on the back label.
- Look for ingredients like peptides, stem cells, epigentic factors, ceramides, anti-inflammatories
- Make sure these ingredidnts are at least in the middle of the list of ingredients and not at the end.
- If glycerin or hyaluronic acid are the 2nd or 3rd ingredients be suspicious
- Look for evidence that the product works…not testimonials
- Call the manufacturer to learn more about ingredients you don’t understand and demand answers
2. Ask for a money back guarantee and if it doesn’t work…return it. Give the product 3 months to show results.
3. Sometimes when a product that does contain good skin rejuventation ingredients at the right concentration is put on the skin, the skin may feel a bit red and irritated until it adapts to the product. Wait for 3-4 days to let your skin adjust. If it doesn’t adjust…return it.
4. Find out about the manufacturer. If it is a company you don’t know, find out about who is formulating the product and check their credentials. Often times you will find smaller companies have very good formulas if there is an expert formualtor behind it.
5. Finally word of mouth is sometimes the best way to find a great product. If you find a great product…spread the word.
Faster Healing After Laser Resurfacing
There are a number a different techniques used to resurface skin using lasers. They all accomplish a similar objective which is to provide a much smoother, even toned skin surface with less wrinkles. There are a number of issues that arise as a result of these procedures. They include effectiveness of the procedure, pain involved with the procedure, side effects including pigmentation after the procedure and of course down time. While all of these are important and we will discuss these in later blogs, we will address downtime here. You can see in the above series of photos that half of this patient’s face cleared completely in 72 hours as opposed to 100 hours on the other side. This significant decrease in downtime was due to a post healing agent which included, anti-histime actives, anti-inflammatory actives and anti-cytokine actives. Make sure when deciding to have a laser resurfacing procedure done you discuss with your provider the downtime and how they handle that. It can make a differences in your quality of life, the effectiveness of the procedure and your overall comfort.
Let’s see your basic skin IQ. Answer the following questions. The answers are at the bottom:
1. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is twice as effective at blocking UV rays as an SPF 15. (T or F)
2. Imparied barrier function leads to chronic dehydration and dryness. (T or F)
3. Scars can be improved by using topical products. (T or F)
4. Once you find a solution for acne you should stay with it (T or F)
5. ”Better than Botox” products work to remove forehead and crow’s feet lines?
1. False: The sunscreen scale for protection is logarithmic which means the protection does not increase in a straight line with the number. SPF 30 gives about 7% more protection than an SPF15.
2. True: You may have run into people who say, “I cannot get my skin hydrated no matter what I do”. The reason that people experience chronic skin dryness is due to barrier impairment. This means that lipids in ther skin are not function properly and water is allowed to escape from the skin very quickly. Fix the barrier and fix the dehydration!
3. False: For the most part, there is very little you can do for most scarring. The products that are used super hydrate that area around the scar and therefore make it less obvious. Once the hydration reduces the scar will come back.
4. False: The biggest problem with acne treatment is that people assume that once something works for their acne, it will continue to work. Acne has multiple root causes and constantly changes with age, environmental conditions and other factors. Bottom line: you will always have to change your product regimen to stay ahead of your acne.
5. False: For a topical product to work like Botox it would have to go through the skin layers, the fat layers and then be active between the nerve tissue. That will never happen so don’t believe the hype.
Congratulations on your success. Watch for IQ test #2.
Yoga began as a spiritual practice 5,000 years ago in India. It focuses on the mind/body relationship by combining meditation techniques with precise movements. Done correctly, it can provide a full body workout while also training the mind to focus. By practicing various breathing and meditation techniques, you can train yourself to eliminate mind “clutter”, thus creating a very calm state. With increased practice, you can maintain peace of mind as well as optimal health.
There are many different forms of yoga. One of the most basic, Hatha yoga, has gained mainstream popularity. It combines seated as well as standing postures, and emphasizes breathing throughout for a calm, meditative practice.
Iyengar is similar to Hatha but is practiced at a slower pace. It uses props such as pillows, blankets, straps and blocks to help ease into postures. This allows virtually anyone to practice yoga, since postures can be modified with the help of these props.
By contrast, Ashtanga, or “power yoga” , is a fast moving, physically demanding practice. Students move quickly through a series of postures, producing an intense workout. It is not for beginners!
The Bikram style is also very demanding in that it is practiced in a room heated to 95-105 degrees. This promotes flexibility as well as detoxification.
Whether you prefer the focused, meditative style of Hatha or Iyengar, or the athletic challenge of Ashtanga or Bikram, continued practice of yoga will improve strength, endurance and overall health.
Authored by…..Jayne Lucas
There is ongoing controversies regarding the words “organic” and “natural” when is comes to skin care products. Let’s start with the official regulatory agency..FDA..which oversees the cosmetics industry. The FDA has no formal definition regarding these terms. Therefore, legally, the terms confer no legal significance in the marketplace and manufacturers can use ingredients of their choice to convey these claims.
Responsible manufacturers make it a point to look at their ingredients carefully and make decisions regarding their source based a numerous factors. These factors can include supplier certifications, independent “Organic Group” certifications, internal definitions that the company has defined for itself as well as defining for themselves what is organic, natural or not. There is a new lawsuit that has been filed against a number of companies making the organic claims by specific third party certifiers along with manufacturers who agree with these particular certifiers. They have argued that third party certification is required and had invoked the USDA as the authority here.
These types of lawsuits are self serving and only add to the confusion in the market place. There is a lot of money to be made with these little words “organic and natural”…but buyer beware…unless the FDA gets involved to set standards with regard to these terms, there will be no standard.
One phrase I observed coming from these certification organizations and the “ultimate natural and organic” companies is “chemical free”. I can tell you as a 25 year cosmetic chemist, if a product is chemical free then there will be nothing in the bottle. Everything we touch or feel is a chemcial of some sort. One other inaccurate assumption that consumers seem to make based on some of these “natural groups” is that natural is good. What about arsenic, curare, petroleum, hurricanes, earthquakes…all natural…but good?
My best piece of advice is to read your skin care labels carefully. If you are unsure about the ingredients call the manufacturer or go to a reputable source like this blog to ask questions. Be an alert consumer and stay informed on all sides of these matters.
The word “Laser” is often used in the wrong context relative to aesthetic treatments. The primary confusion is with “IPL” which is intense pulsed light. IPL delivers a broad spectrum of light waves to achieve a number of purposes includinghair removal and de-pigmentation on the skin. A laser is a single wave length of light which targets a single aspect in the skin. There are many different laser systems on the market but, in general, the target for the lasers in only either water, melanin (pigment in skin) or hemoglobin. Depending on the wavelength the laser will target one of these to deliver a particular improvement in skin.
There are two general categories of laser treatments; ablative and non-ablative. Ablative simply means that skin is removed during the procedure and non ablative means that energy is put into the skin for a particular reason but no skin is removed. Examples of ablative procedures include laser peels to resurface the skin and improve tone and texture. Examples of non-ablative procedures include skin tightening in the face or abdominal areas of the body.
There are many different types of laser procedures which remove pigment, wrinkles, bad texture, tone, cellulite, acne and other conditions in skin. Do your homework on the laser system your provider uses and then interview the practitioner as to their experience and talk to some of the practitioner’s patients or clients before proceeding.
If you would like more information just respond to the blog. We run clinical studies with many different laser systems.
There is a new skin care technology now available to rejuvenate the skin relative to fine lines, tone and texture. It is called Apple Stem Cell technology. In short the technology is based on a particular species of apple which is resistant to aging and rotting. The factors that have been identified in the apple stem cells to resist skin from aging have been incorporated into these formulas. Stem Cells are not in the formula. The Epigenetic factors that were from the stem cells are incorporated into the formulas. These are the signaling molecules which embed with skin stem cells to allow your own skin to start to manufacture newer looking skin cells.
The technology is safe and we have seen that skin has improved in clinically studies we have performed in our laboratories. One word of caution. These compounds have to reach the mid level range in the skin. therefore is base that these compounds are in must deliver these to that part of the skin. Too often these products are formulated incorrectly and it remains on the top of the skin where it will do no good and waste your time and money.
A new bio active derivative of Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw) has been clinically proven to reduce both oxidative damage and non-oxidative damage to DNA caused by stress, viruses or bacteria. It also contains effective anti-inflammatories which have also been clinically proven to improve immune function. There are specific compounds in this extract called carboxy alkyl esters which directly achieve some of these effects. This is a patented technology which looks to have an excellent future in nutrition.
This active product can be delivered both topically and orally. This active ingredient has been through phase II clinicals to confirm the efficacy described above. Once again, be very aware of the source of the products you purchase. Make sure the % active concentration is listed along with the word standardized. The trade name for this particular derivative is AC-11.
We’ll define nutriceuticals for the sake of this blog as products taken orally that are intended to improve skin quality.
The Nutriceuticals category is filled with minefields. There are thousands of companies making many claims on nutriceutical products without strict regulations on them. The latest craze is Acai. If you list all of the claims made by companies selling Acai derivative products you would think that it could cure any disease we have ever heard of.
There are are narrow range of products and product ingredients that actually have been proven to work directly on functions in the the body which affect skin function and appearance. This class of products is anti-oxidants which are primarily based on polyphenols (the actual chemical that does the work). The challenge is to find a product that has been “standardized” with a level of polyphenol that can do work in the body.
Another group of products that can be beneficial to skin are anti-inflammatory products. These are products which suppress inflammation reactions in the body which can give rise to a cascade of chemicals that can do damage to tissue cells. Again, there are a few products out there that have the proper level of these ingredients that can do the work in the body.
There is one that I know of which has Phase II clinical trials on anti-inflammationa and DNA repair based on cat’s claw (a natural botanical compound from Brazil).
Be careful walking through this minefield!