1. No more rough stuff

    Loved the movie, but skin care shouldn't leave you as bruised as rollar derbyThe rough treatment some women give their skin never ceases to amaze me. They rub it raw or burn it red. They let estheticians and medical facialists squeeze, poke, and scorch their lovely faces – all in the pursuit of loveliness. Quelle horreur! Now there are conditions, such as serious scarring, that may require serious intervention and resurfacing. But in the normal scheme of things, I have seen better results from tender loving care.

    Not everyone agrees. There are doctors who will sell you laser treatments that burn, and prescribe so-called anti-aging potions that burn and itch. Even Retin A and glycolic acid can be used gently. There are two schools of thought, but in my opinion, skin that has been burned red and “regenerated” never looks quite right.
    I prefer doctors who prescribe more gentle treatments. I gravitate towards experts who start with a gentle peel and gradually increase the strength, so that your face is never more than a little red and peely. It may take longer to get the fresh, luminous skin you want if you have neglected your complexion, but it’s worth the wait.
    Never underestimate how much you can improve the appearance your skin; it is never too late or too early to start. Finding the right beauty makers to give you guidance is essential. You can’t be too fussy. The fit has to be right. Ask friends with gorgeous skin who they use. Make-up artists for prestige lines can often recommend good doctors. Dermatology at its best is as much an art as a science. You want to find a doctor who is an artist; one who really cares about making skin beautiful. Not all of them do.
    Be sure to peruse websites carefully before making an appointment. Never be afraid to ask prices ahead of time, most anti-aging and even acne treatment may not be covered by insurance – even in Canada. Don’t be discouraged. There are so many options these days, so a doctor should be able to offer you several choices to perfect your skin, one of them in your budget. Avoid any office that uses the hard sell. You can tell a lot over the phone.
    Don’t be offended if a doctor mentions Botox or fillers, unless you are very young. They are effective safe tools for making patients look younger without surgery. Done properly, they look natural and are very safe. You might be surprised how many women – and men – discreetly use them. But, if you are not interested, a good doctor will cheerfully move on to another option. And never be afraid to walk away from anyone you are not comfortable with. Believe me. I have. There are many approaches and doctors; one is right for you.
    Not all doctors’ visits will result in costly in office treatments either. One problem that plagues women of all ages is hyperpigmentation or ugly brown spots. They can happen at any age from too much sun or hormones. Women hate them and after you are in your mid-thirties, they can be very aging.
    Until recently the only effective over-the-counter treatment for these spots was hydroquinone. And even if you went to dermatologist they just offered you very strong hydroquinone cream. Now, stronger pricy prescription creams are available that combine hydroquinone with other ingredients. They are more efficient at removing the spots, but they also have serious side effects for some women. Some derms offer peels or special laser treatments to remove or reduce the dreaded spots.  
    Even though numerous studies have found hydroquinone to be safe, it has been banned in some countries, such as France and South Africa. Its use has raised concerns about an increased risk of cancer and ochronosis, or darkening of the skin.
    I have friends who have had their skin darkened with hydroquinone.
    That’s why I have been very interested in the new product developed by  Standford University. Lumixyl is a complex of oilopeptides that has been found to significantly inhibit tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanin production. In other words, it stops what produces unwanted brown spots. http://www.lumixyl.net/
    I have tired Lumixyl on my own sensitive skin. I am seldom in the sun and never without SPF 50. But occasionally on vacation I will get small patches of hyperpigmentation from strong sun despite my precautions. The Lumixyl Brightening system is fabulous. I think is most exciting new product I have seen in years. The combination of glycolic acids and the Lumixyl peptides makes fast work of any discoloration without disturbing side effects. According to studies done by Lumixyl, it takes eight weeks to see significant improvement for moderate or severe hyperpigmentation. There are great before and after shots with clear medical lighting on their site. I got rid of my little patch in week, but it was very light and I took prompt action.
    The Lumixyl Topical Brightening System has four products, including Active-Prep Cleanser, the Topical Brightening Creme, GlycoPeel 20 Rapid Exfoliating Lotion, and Moisture-Lock Sunscreen SPF 30.  
    This system is available only from doctors office at his time, but I would recommend it to women dealing with moderate to severe brown spots that have not responded to over-the-counter products such as Olay Definity. The Olay product is excellent and well-priced, but it may not remove stubborn cases of hyperpigmentation.
    Darlings, whatever your complaints – acne, oily skin, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, spots, dry skin – you can improve your skin and have a beautiful glowing complexion. We have the technology and you can do it on any budget. But be gentle and kind. You are precious.