Posts Tagged ‘under eye shadows’

FrecklesIts back on shelves!  Tri-luma, the turbo powered skin lightener is now available after a more than an 18 month disappearance.  There was no FDA recall or explanation from the company.  Nothing.   I discovered that compounding pharmacies could make it up for individual prescriptions, but that option  was just not widely  available.  Then,  without fanfare  or explanation,  Tri-luma  was back– and I’m delighted. 

 How Tri-luma Works

This prescription- only skin lightener  contains three active ingredients:

1.  Tretinoin ( aka Retin A) is famous for its ability to speed up cell growth and exfoliate darkened areas.

2. Hydroquinone which prevents melanin production and is considered one of the most effective  weapons in the  anti- hyperpigmentation tool  kit

3.  Mild corticosteroid to keep  things calm.  Both Retin A and  hydroquinone can be irritating.  Enter  a  mild steroid.  It allows the skin brighteners to do their job  while keeping the skin calm and comfortable

While Tri-luma can be used over the entire face, I needed it mainly  to lighten my dark under eye shadows.   Plain Retin A  is too irritating to be used on delicate under eye areas but mixed with a steroid it can  address  skin darkness without causing more  problems.

Tri-luma was one of the first anti-aging tools I used and I loved the way it lightened  my long standing  dark shadows.  However while plain RetinA can be used continuously for years, most  doctors recommend using  Tri-luma  only for three montha at a time.   The treatment period  should be followed by a three month  Tri-luma holiday and then the  product can be used again for another three months.  To keep it fresh and effective, pharmacists recommend keeping it in the refrigerator.

There is a whole buffet  of skin lighteners including kojic acid, arbutin and soy extract, but Tri-luma  is often the product of choice.   It represents the new thinking about  medical treatment.  Rather than a single  solution to a problem , researchers are looking at different targets  for treatment.  In the case of  hyperpigmentation,  some skin lighteners like retin A a can help the skin shed darkened skin cells while  while ingredients like hydroquinone  can break up existing  melanin.  Combining them in one product can be much more effective than used spearately.  Since Kojic acid seems to prevent melanin production, I would love to see a  product  that combines all four ingredients.  There are so many me-too  products, it would wonderful to see a formulation that uses all of the science  we  now have about treatmenting dark patches and spots.


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I was really shocked to see the salt content of so many seemingly non-salty foods.  Cutting back on sodium is such a simple and affordable anti-aging strategy, its important  to identify the stealth salt in your food.  I asked a few  friends and neighbors for their weekly shoping list ( and a few  lunchtime fast foods) and came up  with a  list  of commonly eaten foods.  Can you estimte how much hidden salt  you are getting daily?  Remember max salt intake   should be  less than 2000mg.

*1/2 cup canned peas—- 308mg

*1/2 cup canned corn —–170mg

*1/2 cup canned mushrooms— 536mg

* 1/2 fresh mushrooms ———2mg

* 1 cup tomato juice ————-700mg

* 1 slice white bread —————150mg

* 1 potato—————————-8mg

* 100 calorie bag of chips——-200mg

* 1 cup cornflakes—————–325mg

* 3 pancakes———————–600mg

* 1 cup canned chicken noodle soup- 1100mg

* 1 cup tomato sauce ————700mg

*1 tablespoon unsalted butter–7mg

* 1  tablespoon salted butter —150mg

* 1 oz cheddar cheese ———-200mg 

* 1 cup whole milk ————–120  mg

* 1 cup plain yogurt ——————-117mg

* 1 cup Carnation Instant Breakfast– 242mg

* 1 oz ham——————————-312mg

* 1 tablespoon bottled Italian salad dressing

* 1 cup chili with beans and meat—1355mg

* 3oz tuna fish————————-325mg

* 1 frankfuter————————-776mg

* 1 oz bologna———————–370mg

* Whopper with cheese————1164mg

* KFC fried chicken breast——–654mg

*McDonld’s Egg McMuffin———-885mg

* Taco Bell Burrito ——————992mg

* 2/3 cup Rice a Roni————–820mg

* 1 cup macaroni and cheese—–1085mg

* 1 bouillion cube—————–960mg

* 2 Tablespoons soy sauce ——2665mg

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So here I am with no make-up on in a photo taken early in the morning.  There’s good news and bad news about my aging issues.  The good news is that  I don’t  have all 12 of the dirty dozen.  The bad news?  I’v got  seven of them.

1.  Pallor— that greenish skin tone is not the fault of my camera or your   computer screen.  My skin is sallow and pale.  I’m one of those people that actually use up  cakes of bronzer and blush, scraping my brush down to get out every last bit of color.

Solution:  My skin is pale because  my circulation has slowed.  One of the great benefits of Retin A  is that it stimulates blood flow.  I’ve been told  that I should see a pinker tone in a week to ten days.  We’ll see.

2. Age Spots — I’ve got seven noticable brown spots, some of them raised and bumpy. 

Solution:  I can try  to lighten them with bleaching creams, but this can take 4-6 months and may not work.  I’m impatient for results, so I am going to zap them with a laser. 

3. Facial Hair– There is nothing sexy about facial hair.  Its  just another gift of age. 

Solution:  I’m going to treat it with another type of laser.  There is a cream called Vaniqua that is said to reduce facial hair growth, but at   my age I want results like yesterday.

4. Smile Lines — I like to think that these lines showed I laughed  alot over the years.  Everyone  has them  when they smile.  Its just as we get older that they remain  even when we are very, very somber.

Solution: While Retin A may build up a bit of collagen to make laugh lines somewhat softer, to make  a major difference, I’m going to need fillers like Juvaderm or Restylene. These will be injected directly into the lines to compensate  for the loss of fat pads which  are driving these deep lines.

5.  Under Eye Shadows– These sooty shadows make me look sad and tired even when I’m happy and relaxed.

Solution: I’m going to try  Tri-luma which is a combination of Retin A, hydroquinone ( which is a skin bleaching agent) and a steroid to calm things down.   There are other tools such  as lasers and fillers, but I’m scared of doing stuff around my eyes. 

6.  Discolored Teeth– You can’t see my teeth in this picture, but take my word for it, they are definately yellow.  I don’t smoke and red wine gives a headache.  However I  love strong tea and coffe which certainly can darken a smile. 

Solution:  I had  Zoom lightening  about 10 years ago, but didn’t keep up with the  weekly touch-ups.  I’m going back to my dentist for a custom tray to  lighten up the tooth surfaces.

7.  Sagging Jaw Line— The softening of the jaw line is due to equal parts of fat pad loss and weakened collagen.  Its typical of the aging process especially in people who don’t have too much sun damage.

Solution:  Until recently, the only  real solution for this type of sagging was a true face lift.  That not on the table, so I’m really happy that   a softened jaw line can be treated with fillers and Botox. Its going to be one of the last things I am going to do.

Next:  The longest journey starts with  the first step.  In my case, its a date with a laser.

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