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.
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.



What Eve knew

The special swiss appleIt seems an apple may have been the thing most women would have picked in the Garden of Eden, or at least a rare Swiss Apple called the Uttwiler Spatlauber. This “Super Apple” is so rare that only 20 trees exist. Researchers noted that when these super apples were punctured, they healed themselves. Apple stem cells are rich in epigenetic factors and metabolites that help the longevity of skin cells.

Using plant cell cultures to maintain skin stem cells is a breakthrough in anti-aging and the science behind Eclos. This new line uses the super apple’s plant stem cells to boost the production of human stem cells. It protects skin from stress, and decreases wrinkles for fresher looking skin.
Hollywood has discovered the Super Apple too. Stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Julianne Moore are reported to use anti-aging products that contain super apple. 
Clinical test have proven the ingredients in Eclos to reduce Crow’s Feet by an average of 15 percent in four weeks. While many lines that include the Super Apple are pricy, costing hundreds of dollars a jar, Eclos is a bargain. Products in the natural, plant-based skin care line are priced from $12.99 to $24.99. I’m hooked on the scrub, as it is gentle enough to use several times a week and gives my skin a glow.
Eclos is available at Ulta and Rite Aid, and online.

A top plastic surgeon tells how to look your best

Dr. Steven DayanRenowned plastic surgeon Dr. Steven H. Dayan of Chicago gives DolceDolce readers the latest information and tips on how simple non-invasive procedures can help anyone look years younger. A board-certified expert, Dr. Dayan takes a holistic approach to beauty. He explains the importance of a healthy lifestyle and simple steps to look your best. Don’t miss a word from this remarkably articulate and informed expert.

DD: What are enzyme peels and who should use them?
Dr. D: Enzyme peels are mild exfoliants derived from fruit enzymes. The most commonly used are bromelain from pineapple and papain from papaya. Enzyme peels are good for all skin types; they work by dissolving dead skin cells revealing a softer, smoother appearance. However, enzyme peels should not be compared to chemical peels that are much stronger and provide significantly better results.
DD: What would you suggest as a quick way for anyone to look younger with a minimal investment of time and money? 
Dr.D: Botox and fillers! Fillers are one of the fastest ways to significantly turn back the wrinkled hands of time.  The mid-face or cheek warrants a particularly dramatic rejuvenation in as little as 10 minutes. Someone can walk out the door and immediately look 10 years younger! Botox and Dysport, its new competitor, also quickly can lead to a youthful appearance, but you have to wait a bit as it usually takes two to three before kicking in.
DD:  Is it possible to surgically tighten skin? Who is a candidate for non-surgical skin tightening? How long does it take and what is the cost? And how long does it last?
Dr. D: Yes, it is possible to physically tighten the skin, but to have appreciable results some downtime is necessary. Newer-generation fractionated lasers such as Lumenis Active and Deep FX can provide significant skin tightening that’s immediately visible. However a four- to seven-day downtime period of redness and some skin peeling can be expected if you want dramatic results. Alternatively, no downtime light-based and heat-based treatments for skin tightening, while successful for some people, often fall short of expectations for most.
DD:  What is the quickest and most economical way to remove skin discoloration? Do you prefer laser treatments or creams? In the case of lasers, how many treatments does it require and what is the cost?
Dr. D: Laser treatments are more effective but they work best when used in conjunction with lightening creams, especially those containing hydroquinone. The number of treatments needed depends on the severity of pigmentation as well as skin type and possible hormonal imbalances. Most people see significant differences after three treatments. The cost per treatment typically ranges from $250 to $500 for a full face.
DD: What can women do slow the aging process?
Dr. D: Sunscreen is the most important and easiest way to slow the aging process. A healthy lifestyle including no smoking and a balanced diet can also help to fight aging, as well as the use of good skin care products, recommended by a skin care professional. 
DD: What is a Botox face lift is and is it effective? How does it work?
Dr. D: Microdoses of Botox placed into the skin can provide a subtle but noticeable improvement in the skin’s appearance. We have noticed a decrease in acne breakouts, oil production, a narrowing of the pores, and a global improvement in the skin’s look. Additionally it has recently been proven that people who get Botox make a better first impression and enjoy an improved quality of life. However, its ability to actually lift the underlying muscle tissues is very minimal. Strategic placement of Botox around the neck can reduce the thick skin bands some people get in their necks and also help to lift the corner of the mouth. Also, Botox placed around the nose can lift the tip of the nose five degrees, and Botox placed under the eyebrow can lift the brows quite dramatically. These advanced treatments provide some lifting and certainly a quick and temporary solution to look more rested and youthful, but it is not equivalent to a surgical face lifting procedure.
DD:  Besides sun exposure, genetics and smoking what other factors or behaviors pre-maturely age a women’s appearance?
Dr. D: Stress can be a factor. Too much alcohol consumption can dehydrate the skin. And improper product use can cause excessive dry or oily skin which can make fine lines and wrinkles become more apparent. There also is new evidence that a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates leads to inflammation and skin damage. Also there have been reports that those who take fish oil and non-synthetic antioxidant vitamins and minerals, and consume low quantities of red wine can tolerate more sun before getting burned. Intuitively this would suggest these important components of a healthy diet also are protective to the skin and prevent accelerated skin aging.  

DD:  Young women are very concerned about aging.  What is too young to start procedures such a Botox or fillers?
Dr. D: There really is no age at which Botox is not safe, if administered appropriately. In fact we use it in infants prior to surgical procedures. However for preventing wrinkle formation, many women will start using it in their late 20s and early 30s. However, fashion models younger than that who are interested in the facial-shaping benefits that Botox can provide — such as narrowing the cheeks, raising the brow, opening up the eye aperture or lifting the corner of the mouth — may get treated. Once Botox is started you can stop anytime. Wrinkles will not get worse if you start and then stop it. But undergoing a Botox treatment two to four times a year will likely be preventative of wrinkle formation and is quickly becoming part of many women’s routine. Fillers in the cheeks or facial folds are rarely needed. The one area younger patients most commonly request fillers is for the lips. Some are born with naturally small lips and many in their 20s may desire fillers for a little more lip fullness and pout. Additionally fillers may be used on occasion for younger people who want acne and chicken pox scars filled.  
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