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Archive for September, 2011

Q&A– Trusting Health News

Question:  You often say “studies show” when giving an information.  There are so many experts giving so many opionions how do  I know  who to trust?  I hope you are not offended that that I question your sources, but I read  so many things.

Answer: No offense taken! The validity of studies behind skin care and health recommendations is a super important question– and you are not the first to ask it.  Last week I got some  good info  on studies  at a  Beauty of Data event for beauty editors and bloggers hosted by Ortho Dermatologics, the makers of Retin A Micro.  Since I look at the studies for Retin A  as the gold standard for anti-aging research, I felt it would be a reliable source of information. 

Dr Eric Schweiger, a dermatologist associated with Mount Sinai Medical Center   presented three great tools to evaluate any study, not  just those for beauty:

1.  Look at the number of patients in a study.  If its  just 10-20 people, results are interesting but should not be used to change current standard treatments.  For  reliable results  researchers agree that a study should have at least 100 participents to be taken seriously by the medical community.

2.  The study should be published in a peer reviewed journal.  This means that before it is published, the study has been evaluated by  doctors in the same field.  So if its a study on the effect of soy  on sun damage, it needs to be reviewed by  doctors  who have also studied the impact of soy on health.

3.  A peer reviewed journal  has an editorial board and publishes original research.   The articles are all written by doctors ( MD’S or PHd’s)  who are affiliated with a research center or university.  The journal is often associated with a national medical society.  For example the journal Chest is  published by The American College of Chest Physicians.

So what does this look like?  For example I often quote the NHANES nutritional study which compares diets to a wide  range of health issues. For 10 years  it followed 32,000 men and women in the US.  The research was done at  first tier univeristy medical centers throughout the US and the authors of the published papers were all academics.  It has been published in  some of the most prestigious medical journals including The New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA.  So when they reported that higher carb  intake was linked to more skin wrinkling, I put down that cookie.

 Health articles in newspapers and consumer magazines usually don’t provide  their sources of info about  articles.  If  you read something that deals  with something that impacts your life, you can often track down the original article online to see if its something that you can trust.  If you need help  finding a source, just send  me a email and I can try to track it down at a medical library online service.  There is so much info   available– both valid and sketchy– and the  challenge is determining which is which.

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Its just three days to Beauty Bash, an amazing beauty and health expo that will be held  in NYC  on Oct 1&2.  I am putting the finishing touches on the presentation  I will be doing with Kari of Fabulous Over Forty.  We are offering  ” The Top Ten Skincare and Make-Up Tips on Sunday Oct 2 at 10:30.  Beauty Bash will also  feature  two of my favorite doctors.  Dr Ellen Marmur will be speaking  on skin cancer and melanoma on Saturday at 3:40 and on Sunday  from 10-4 pm Dr Albert Lefkovits will be doing free  skin cancer checks.

Midday  Saturday,  The Glam Gals from Fabulous After 40  are going to have you looking fab in a hands on, interactive workshop.  This dynamic duo are going to be reviewing the five common faux pas women make and teach you how to go  from from fruumpy to fabulous with a few easy “tweaks”.  I definately don’t want to miss miss  another Fashion Flasher, Staness of Menopause Makeover.  Her presentation “What Your Mother never Told You About Being Over Fifty” will be on Saturday at 2:50 and her book, The Menopause Makeover will be at the Beauty Bash Barnes and Noble table. 

There will be more than 30 superstar speakers including  celebrity hair stylist Mark Garrison, make-up artists Wendy Geller and Sandy Linter, over  40 cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic dentists and eleven fitness experts including Guiding Light star Beth Chamberlin.  Over 40 and as nice as  she is incredibly beautiful, Beth  and her husband Dr Peter Roy have developed a unique anti-aging exercise and nutritional program.  They will be speaking  on Sunday at 11:30 and demonstrating how to use kettlebells  for a great toned body.

But wait there is more.  There are more than 40 booths including  L’Oreal, Laura Geller, Soft Surroundings, The Red Hat Society and two  of my top picks Jane Iredale and Skinceuticals.  I will have a booth  with Kari and will be giving away  samples kits of anti-aging  skin care products from Eucerin and  the No-Nonsense Beauty Blog guide to Retin A.  And  when you leave Beauty Bash you will get a bag of goodies worth over $300.  Every day there are great specials  on  Beauty Bash tickets.  For example, yesterday  there was a mother/daughter special.  If you buy a full price $75 ticket  for your self, you daughter comes free. 

I am really excited by the caliber  of the experts and vendors that will be at Beauty Bash.  After being rejected by Invisalign, I  have been trying to find the best cosmetic dentists in my area.  Beauty Bash will have  four of them, and I plan to grab  a few curbside consultations.  Hope to see  you  there!

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This weeks hosts are Fashion Flash founders The Glam  Gals of  Fabulous After 40.  I love to read their blog at the start  of each season to give me a cheat sheet on how a women over 40 can master  trends.  They decode the new ideas and then  explain how to use them in real time.  For example, plaids are  going to be  huge this year, but a grandma in a plaid mini skirt in not my idea of chic.  You’ve got to read Fabulous Over Forty to see  what smart ideas they have  for plaid.

And when you’ve clicked through all the great Fashion Flash  sites, please stop on Fab Over Fifty to grab a ticket for Beauty Bash.  Held on Oct 1&2 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th St, this is an incredible  health and beauty  expo that celebrates women over 40.  On Sunday Oct 2, at 10:30  I will be doing a presentation with Kari of Fabulous Over Forty called “Top Ten Skin Care and Make-up Tips.”  I will be explaining the twelve signs of aging and how to deal with  them easily and affordably.  I’ll also be giving out samples of,  IMO, the two most important  anti-aging  items  we should have on hand.  If you can’t make the presentation, I will be at  a booth with Kari handing out the No-Nonsense Guide to Retin A and will have  more samples.  Please come by to say hello!  If you go to  the Beauty Bash site  and enter the code FOF20, you will get a 20% discount on the ticket price!

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Yesterday  was the first day of fall– and nothing says fall like a ripe juicy pear.  These  beauties  provide hydration and if you eat the skin, a nice serving of both fiber and vitamin C.  In fact one  pear provide 4 grams of fiber at the cost of  just 95 calories.  By comparison 1/2 cup of cooked beans ( famous for their fiber) have 6 grams of fiber at 150 calories.

All pears eg Anjou, Bosc, Bartlett, and Comice share the same nutritional profiles.  Most of the nutritional payload in pears is  in the skin,  so canned and cooked pears don’t have the same anti-aging benefits.

Selecting the perfect pear can be a bit challenging.  A ripe  pear is very fragile so they are always  taken off the tree when still green.   There is a very fine line beween a hard unripe pear  and one that is soft, brown and mushy.  Best test?  If you press dow on the flesh around the stem and it yields slightly, its a perfect pear.

Pears are a great snack with a bit of cheese and a few nuts.  I also add chunks of pears to an endive and blue cheese salad and tuck a few slices into a grilled cheese sandwich.  Just keep in mind that  pears need to be served with their skin  to  keep their nutritional benefits.  Peeled  pears just  are too high in the glycemic index scale  to be a beauty choice.

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  Here is the two step  jar of Elure, the new skin brightening agent.  The jar is divided into two compartments.  As per instructions, I used the first little spatula to put a dab of cream from the first side on  the BIG FRECKLE, waited a  minute then spread the same amount from side two on the same spot.  Totally simple, but I’ve yet to get into a routinue to do it twice a day.  So far, I’ve put  on about half  the recommended doses.  I’ve got to step up my game to give it a legitimate chance to work. I keep forgetting to put it on  either in the morning or evening.  I think that if I was using  on my face, it would be easier to remember, and just add it to my skin care routinue– but I’m not  used to treating my forearm twice a day. Guidelines are also to top the treated areas with a sunscreen but since sweater weather is here, the arms are not exposed to the skin, and I skip this step.

On the plus side, I didn’t have any irritation or rednesss that has been a problem with other skin lighteners.  Doctors also recommend  combining Elure with other brighteners   such as glycolic acid, kojic acid and arbutin.  I’m going to try that in the next  round, but right now I want to see  what this contender can do all by itself.

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This week the host of Fashion Flash is Geri of Fabulous Over Fifty  who is putting together the final schedule of events for Beauty Bash.  This two day beauty and health expo will be held on Oct 1&2 at the Metropolitan Pavillion in New York City.  The speakers are a who’s who of dermatologists, celerity hairstylists, cosmetic surgeons and makeup artists who  will be presenting their best tips as well as be available for 1-1 consultation.

And  there will be at  five Fashion Flash bloggers  who will be speaking in the event area  and who will have their own booths in beauty, fashion and  health areas at beauty Bash.  Kari of Fabulous Over Forty and I  will be sharing the stage in a joint presentation- Ten Top Make-up and Skin Care Tips. We’ll be talking at 10:30 on Sunday Oct 2.  If  you miss our talk come by our booth  on either day to say hello and pick up some beauty samples.  In the fashion area the Glam Gals  Jojami Tyler and Deborah Boland will be at their booth to  help you tweek your chic.  They  have an uncanny ability to put together the perfect look.  This summer Jojami  put together  an amazing  outfit that worked so well  I wore for practically every event I had to look good. It was  a little worn out by the end of August and I’m looking forward to getting their advice  on an equally wonderful look for fall.

Because  Geri is part of Fashion Flash, she  has provided a code for our visitors that gives a 20% discount on Beauty Bash tickets.  I hope you will use  it and I really look forward to meeting  some of the people  who have written so many wonderful comments and emails to us.  Its going to be an amazing two days.

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Question:  Although I am only in  my late twenties I’ve done everthing I shouldn’t to my skin.  I’ve smoked since I was 15, used baby oil to  bake in the sun ( love the smell) and  never pass up a plate of  hot  fries or a cold beer.  What can I do  not to look 40  before I turn 30?

Answer: LOL. Great question and I hope my answer doesn’t sound too preachy. Up to age 60 about 80% of skin aging is due to lifestyle choices.  Diet, sun exposure, tobacco and alcohol add decades to your skin age.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  You are young enough to erase this damge and prevent new problems.

Given that you probably have sun damage  I would  jumpstart skin care with an IPL treatment.  ( You can see the great before and after pix of my BFF Judith) To keep the anti-aging process on track, I would use Retin A three times a week.   Give the baby oil to a baby and protect your skin with a 30 SPF moisturizer. You’ve recognized  your own bad beauty habits and I’m betting  that you are ready to walk the walk to healthier choices.  Good luck!

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