Posted in Uncategorized, tagged age spots, anti-sging, Clear and Brilliant, cosmetic laser, crows feet, IPL, lasers for the skin, photo facial Fraxel, preventing aging, reversing aging, skin re juvenation, skin rejuvenation, SPF30, sun cream, UV protection, wrinkles on May 3, 2013 |
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When I started No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I expected that most of the people who would be would be like me and over 40– way over 40. I was pretty surprised when site analytics showed that over 30% of No-Nonsense visitors were in their 20′s and 50% were under 40. In fact the majority of comments and questions were sent in from smart resourceful thirtysomething women. Its human nature to avoid issues until they on top of us, but these bright young women are asking all the right questions years before they actually have to face them in the mirror.
Different Answers for Different Aging
Like everything else in the body, skin changes naturally over time and its not surprising that anti-aging skin care differs over time. Under age 30 our skin is rich in estrogen and natural hydration. The challenge is not to mess it up. To prevent aging, women often use overly rich cleansers and night creams which can provoke the reappearance of teenage style acne. Called acne cosmetica, its the trigger in over half of adult acne problems. Not only are breakouts just not necessary, acne scars tend to become lines and wrinkles as we get older.
Rather than drowning still youthful skin in heavy anti-aging products , good skin care starts with gentle but through cleansing, and regular exfolitation with microdermabrasion brush. At night use an oil free glycolic acid or lactic acid lotion. These ingredients are like a baby step Retin A. They shed dead dry skin, hydrate the surface and encourage collagen and elastin growth.
Its during the day that thirtysomethings can take major steps to prevent aging. Up to age 60, between 80-90% of skin aging is due to UV damage– but using effective sun protection will short circuit environmental aging.
After age 40, the good times and bad leave their mark on your face. Sun filled vacation days reappear years later as dark patches, red spots and crows feet around the eyes. Work and family stress show-up as deepening lines on the forehead and along the sides of the mouth and chin. That’s the bad news. The good news? All of the signs of living can be reversed. But before buying a buffet of creams and serums with a boatload of anti-aging claims, think about what you skin actually needs. Before you swipe your credit card at a store or make an appointment at a doctor, identify what your skin issues. Brown spots and splotches? IPL, Clear and Brilliant and Fraxel lasers are different ytpes of lasers that quickly zap discolorations. Lines around the eyes? Botox will erase them in moments. Dull pale skin color and fine lines? Retin A will deal with both by reving up circulation and boosting healthy collagen. And when you’ve done with all the heavy lifting repairs, be sure to protect your investment with a 30-50SPF sunscreen to prevent new UV damage.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged decollete, Fraxel, fraxel laser, glycolic peels, hyperpigmentation, Poiklioderma, skin brightening, skin laser treatents, skin lightening, skin rejuvenatipn, sun damage, What is Fraxel, what is fraxel laser, wrinkles on April 6, 2013 |
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Question: My chest does not match my face. It’s discolored with brown, white and red patches. I’ve tried moisturizers with vitamin C, skin brighteners with Kojic acid and even broke down and bought hydroquinone to lighten the skin. Nothing worked. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: I have received several very similar questions and I finally have a good answer. The Woman’s Dermatology Society arranged for me to interview Dr Tina Alster, the internationally acknowledged expert in laser dermatology to discuss the best way to deal with a discolored chest or decollete. According to Dr Alster, the technical term for the problem is poiklioderma. Caused by unprotected sun exposure, its a mash-up of hyperpigmentation ( brown spots), hypopigmentation ( white areas), swollen blood vessels ( reddened skin tones), and damaged collagen ( wrinkles). The UV rays can lead to this permanent bronzing.While a standard vacation suntan usually fades by the time you have unpacked, thus type of hyperpigmentation stays darkened throughout the year.
If the discolorations are fairly mild ( often seen under age 30), they may respond to a series of office based glycolic peels. This is not the milder 10% peels that you can buy at the cosmetics counter. These are the 50- 70% peels that are available in a doctor’s office. They are adminstered by a nurse and physician. This strong glycolic solution is dabbed on the chest and allowed to reamin for 5-10 minute. Then a neutralizer is applied to restore normal PH to the skin.
Lasers to the Rescue
More pronounced poiklioderma mottling responds beautifully to a series of Fraxel or IPL laser treatments. Because chest bronzing is made up of four different problems, Dr Alster uses the Fraxel Dual in two different wavelengths to treat both white and dark patches as well as encourage new collagen growth. To deal with the redness, Dr Alster may also use pulsed dye laser or IPL. Fraxel will leave the skin bright red and a little sore for 48 hours. Use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil and moisturizer like CeraVe to reduce discomfort and peeling. If the skin seems super dry you can dab on a light layer of Aquaphor. If the sorenss persists for more than 2 days, Alster may recommend a mild steroid cream to reduce inflammation. Whatever therapy is used, it must be accompanied by an iron bound committment to use a 50SPF sunscreen such as SkinCeuticals Physical Defense SPF50 for both the chest and neck. Freckles and dark spots have a powerful memory and unprotected sun exposure will trigger their return.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anti-aging, collagen, Diva Debbi, Dr Oz, FDA approved, Haideh Hirmand, lines, sagging skin, Ultherapy, wrinkles on November 14, 2012 |
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I’m so excited to publish the very first guest post on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog. If you are already a fan of Diva Debbi, you know her flawless style and always helpful advice. If this will be your introduction to Diva Debbi, you’re in for a real treat.
Like me, Diva Debbi tries out different anti-aging tools and reports on their results. I have been curious, but a little nervous, about Ultherapy, an FDA approved ultrasound device that tightens collagen. When I learned that DD had tried it out, I was thrilled when she agreed to repost her experiences on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog. DD had Ultherapy on her eye area and on her neck. There are very few non-surgical options for the neck and it was wonderful to add a new option for neck lines and wrinkles. In her comprehensive article, she offers before and after pics and answers the four key questions:
* How it works
*Does it hurt?
* What changes can you expect?
* How much does it cost?
After reading her post, I’d love to hear you reactions. Do you think this is something that you would want to try?
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Question: Why doesn’t Botox work for me? After an injection I see a difference for a week or two, then I’m back to where I started.
Answer: Such an appropriate question since this year is the 10th anniversary of the FDA approval of Botox– the trade name for the neurotoxin that is arguably America’s favorite anti-aging tool. When properly injected, it relaxes the facial muscles including frown lines on the forehead and crow’s feet around the eyes. Botox can also make changes to the face that makes the eyes look wider and raise the eyebrows.
The key word here is “properly”. The face has 40 different muscles- some move up and some move downward. The injector has to know where to position the shots to get the desired impact.
According to Fifth Avenue cosmetic surgeon Dr Paula Moynahan, there are several possibilities to your lack of response.
1. The injector is not hitting the right spots on the face. Botox needs to be in the area of a specific muscle in order to relax a targeted wrinkle or lift a sagging spot.
2. If you were been tempted by an offer of a discount Botox treatment, it may have been over diluted. This could make the injection less effective with little or short lived results. The Botox arrives as a hard film at the bottom of a bottle. The physician adds liquid to the bottle to reconstitute the neurotoxin. To save money, an injector may add extra dilutant to make the dose go further.
3. And then there are the people who are genuinely resistant to Botox. FYI Botox is actually a brand name and there is a second FDA approved Botulism A product called Dysport. Dr Moynahan suggests that people who are resistant to Botox may have different results with Dysport.
Keep in mind that as good as it is, Botox cannot reverse all the natural and environmental signs of aging. It needs to be a part of an anti-aging game plan that includes Retin A and IPL to clarify the skin’s surface, lasers to erase freckles and facial hair and Zoom tooth whitening trays. And to preserve all these anti-aging efforts, never leave the house without a sunscreen.
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Posted in Q&A, tagged anti-aging, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, beauty foods, diet for beauty, NHANES, supplements, supplements and aging, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamins, vitamins for skin, wrinkles on March 30, 2012 |
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I so wish there was a nutritional supplement I could take that would make my skin smooth, soft and radiant. But the links between beautiful skin and nutrition are more complex than that. The NHANES study looked at the relationship between health and diet and found that people whose diets were higher in vitamin C, fiber, protein and linoleic acid looked younger and had fewer wrinkles. But these benefits were only there when the nutrients were from actual food– not where people took supplements. I know first hand how hard it is to find healthy food in a world dominated by burgers, tacos, pizza and take-out chinese food. At lunchtime, I’ve walked for blocks with a rumbling tummy trying to find a quick bite that wouldn’t shorten my lifespan. A multi-vitamin supplement can cover my dietary shortfalls but won’t really give me the juice I need to slow aging.
That being said there are two nutrients which are vital to good health but are almost impossible to get the amount we need just from food alone:
Vitamin D- Repeated studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D are linked to a wide range of health problems including breast cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. For years the recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been 800 mg./day, about two servings of dairy products. We can create our own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but our use of sunscreens have actually lowered vitamin D levels in most Americans.
A few years ago physicians started prescribing vitamin D supplements at a scary 50,000 units/week. Current recommendations are scaling back this number to about 3000-6000 units per day. My recent blood test showed pretty low vitamin D levels but I hate BIG pills so I’ve been taking a daily petite gel cap with 2000 units. In a few months the test will be repeated and we’ll see if these supplements are working.
Calcium– this is arguably the most important mineral in the body– and we need alot of it. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth. Current recommendations are 1000-12000mg/day for adults and its actually pretty hard to reach that number without taking in some serously large portions of dairy products. For example one ounce of cheese has 200 mg, 1/2 cup of yogurt offers 190mg and 1/2 cup milk clocks in at just 100 mg of calcium. Reaching the RDA can be especially difficult for the millions of people who are lactose intolerant.
Calcium supplements usually supply about 1000 mg of which 400 are actually absorbed. If you do the math, two ounces of cheese, 1/2 cup milk and a calcium supplement will get you where you want to go. However a single 1000 mg supplement is a pretty big pill to swallow. Chewable antacids like Tums contain calcium carbonate, one of the most easily absorbed forms of calcium. Afforadable and convenient, popping a few Tums during the day are an easy way to raise your calcium levels to healthy numbers.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium which is why they are often combined in a single supplement. I find these large pills daunting and stick to small vitamin D gel caps and Tums to meet my nutritional goals.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 92nd st Y, anti-aging, anti-aging beauty, anti-aging creams, Dr Marmur, filler, laser freckles, serums, skin bleaching, skin care, skin moisturizer, SPF 30, wrinkles on March 19, 2012 |
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This week the host of Fashion Flash is Jackie of Aging Backwards. What I think makes Jackie unique is that she looks at the whole self– body, mind and spirit. Her mission is to share ways to have a long happy life and she does it with a passion that’s contagious. Check out her recent posts to learn the stay slim secrets of supermodels and the best ways to get the anti-aging benefits of fruits and vegetables.
To get the latest anti-aging news make a date to attend the ” Face to Face” lecture at the 92nd Street Y on March 27 in NYC. Dr Ellen Marmur, my anti-aging miracle worker, will be sharing her approach to skin care strategies for a radiant, youthful appearance. From the best and affordable skin care moisturizers and bleaching creams that you can buy in drugstores to the latest high tech anti aging lasers, Dr Marmur will give you tools to take care of your skin safely and affordably. And I think the best part of the evening will be the opportunity to ask her questions. She has such a seamless knowledge of anti aging tools and techniques that her answers are always packed with useful specific infomation. For example, when I wanted to use Retin A for six months and then laser-off the big freckles, she explained that lasers work best on darker spots and then I should use the laser first. Retin A lightens irregular pigments she explained, and the laser will be more effective if used when the spots are most prominent. When my skin healed from the laser ( in about a week) I could start using Retin A for maximum effect. To see these results go to my Facebook Fan Page and click on photos.
I will be there on March 27th and plan to ask a question about the difference between serums and moisturizers– besides the price of course. For more ticket info about the event you can call 212-415-5500. I hope to see you there!
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Posted in Beauty Foods, tagged anti-aging, beluga, caviar, collagen, health benefits of champagne, health benefits of wine, New Years Eve, osertra, seruga, wrinkles on December 30, 2011 |
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Every New Years Eve my Mom and Dad would put out a tray of caviar and champagne. In good years it was a little bowl of Beluga– and in bad times ( my Dad was a blacklisted writer) it was a bigger bowl of red caviar from the supermarket. I have always somehow believed that this was a healthy way to start the New Year.
This year, I decided to check it out. On the plus side all types of caviar from the most expensive ( beluga, seruga and oserta) to the little jars of red or black fish roe on supermarket shelves, have about the same nutritional profile. On the plus side, one tablespoon of caviar has a full days supply of vitamin B12. But every animal protein– eggs, chesse, fish, meat and poultry is loaded with B12, so unless you’re a vegan, this is not a key selling point. A tablespoon of caviar has 40 calories, and about 3 grams of omega 3– excellent since this has been linked to so many health benefits. But here’s where things take a darker turn. That little tablespoon has 94 grams of cholesterol ( it is an egg after all). Since caviar is often served with a topping of chopped eggs or in an omlette, you can be delievering quite a cholesterol payload to your body.
And then there is the issue of sodium. The priciest caviar at $150/oz has 200-300 mg of sodium in a scant tablespoon. The more affordable red salmon caviar ( $8/4oz jar) has a whopping 700-800mg of sodium per tablespoon.
Washing down salty caviar with champagne is actually not a bad idea- in moderation. A study published in 2007 found that moderate consumption of champagne may help preserve brain cells. One last piece of advice. Because the alcohol is mixed with bubbles in champagne, its absorbed more easily you can get get drunker quicker. Keep in mind that alcohol in any form attacks collagen and accelerates wrinkling, so limit your champagne to one delicious glass.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anti-age, anti-aging, anti-aging beauty, anti-aging skin products, at home laser, Beauty Bash, best anti-aging, facial anti-aging, home laser, laser at home, laser hair removal, laser skin, Palomar, Palovia, skin laser, wrinkles on December 7, 2011 |
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It’s no secret that I’m a fan of lasers. I respect their power to erase dark patches, eliminate lines and fry away unwanted facial hair. But they are expensive and when I saw the arrival of home lasers I was interested– but cautious. Lasers are powerful tools and in inexperienced hands can cause burns, scars, discolorations and even eye damage.
At Beauty Bash in October, I stopped at the Palovia Booth to talk with the rep about their home laser kit. I was delighted to learn that its made by Palomar, one of the most highly regarded makers of professional grade lasers used by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. I was even more impressed to hear that Palovia is FDA approved to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.
They offered me a machine to try out and despite my natural cowardice, I really wanted to see what anti-aging benefits they can deliver. The thick instruction booklet was a little daunting. It had a fairly extensive list of guidelines and I read it severral times before feeling comfortable enough to get things started. There are several on and off buttons, charging instructions, choices in intensity, and a list of potential problems that were sobering. And I have to admit that I was afraid of pain.
I charged it up for several hours, read the booklet one more time and was ready to start– with baby steps. The instruction book recommends trying out the machine on your arm to get used to the sensation. I decided to try the home laser on my arm for several sessions to see how my skin responds. I adjusted the Palovia to its lowest setting and as per instructions, I spread on a layer of gel I ( included in the kit). I placed the head of the machine on my arm and pressed the on button. I felt a very mild buzzing sensation for three seconds, then the machine turned off. That was my signal to move to another area. I repeated the treatment in four closely linked areas. When I wiped off the gel, my skin felt a tiny bit irritated and the redness lasted for about an hour. So far, so good. The sensation was definately not painful and I’m going to continue tonight, extending the treatment time to see how my skin responds. Baby steps.
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Posted in Beauty Foods, tagged anti-aging diet, c-reactive protein, cholesterol, fiber, linoleic acid, MUFA, NHANES, the flat belly diet, walnuts, wrinkles on November 11, 2011 |
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I have to admit that when I think of walnuts, I think of chocolate chip cookies, apple crumb pie and fudgy brownies studded with nuts. But all by themselves, walnuts turn out to be a great beauty food. They are high in linoleic acid and fiber– two factors linked to fewer wrinkles. In addition they are high in antioxidants and low in saturated fats. Studies have shown that walnuts lower both cholesterol and C-reactive protein which are two markers for heart disease. All good, but keep in mind that like its other nut cousins, walnuts are pretty high in calories clocking in at almost 400 calories/half cup.
Instead of thinking of walnuts as a baked goods best friend, I now sprinkle walnuts over a green salad, a bowl of oatmeal, a topping for green beans or a snack of 1/4 cup of walnut halves. If I’m still craving that brownie, I make a tray of sugar free candied walnuts. Here’s how its done:
Ingredients: 2 cups of walnuts, shelled, 1 egg white, lightly beaten, 1/3 cup Splenda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F. Top a baking sheet with a piece of Reynold Release tin foil and spray with Pam. Combine nuts, egg white and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread nut evenly over the foil ocverd sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on wax paper and store in airtight pan.
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Question: I’ve heard that a moisturizer from Boots Chemists actually works on wrinkles. Is this true?
Answer: This might sound like another urban legend, but studies of Boots #7 have actually been published in the always reliable British Journal of Dermatology. Beautifully designed research actually looked at changes both in the cellular level and those visable in the mirror and came up with desirable results.
Here’s how it worked. In the lab, this study looked at fibrillin deposits in the cells as a “marker” for cellular aging. Fibrillin is associated with new collagen growth anad as we grow older, fibrillin levels naturally decline. After six months of using Boots #7, researchers found increased levels of fibrillin right where you would want them to be. Even better, the study also found that in real time about 40% of the women saw a decline in wrinkles, especially around the eyes.
Boots #7 has about 6% active ingredients of pentapeptides, antioxidants and retinyl palmitate. This mixture is not as powerful as the gold- standard Retin A, but it is much less expensive and less irritating anti-aging option.
If you live in England you can find a Boots Chemists in practically every neighborhood. In the US you can gets Boots#7 online at Ulta, Target and Amazon– at about $20. Nice product, nice price.
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