Category Archives: anti-aging

12 ways to stay sexy Christie Brinkley style

“It has become irrelevant to me. I just don’t feel like that number is representative of my spirit, of my energy or anything…I love to fill my life with adventures.”

There is no denying the radiance that 59 year old Christie Brinkley exudes.  This gal just oozes a lust for life.  She is no stranger to adventure, and that just may be one of the most important elements in her quest for youth.  Folks that maintain that awe and wonder of life create a state of agelessness for themselves.  Botox can battle the lines and filler can boost the cheeks, but there is no miracle drug to get that sparkle in the eye.  Make a conscious effort everyday to switch up your routine, learn something new, and adjust your perspective.  According to Dr. Leon Seltzer there are 12 ways to achieve agelessness :

  1.  Maintain an Outlook of Innocence, Wonder, and Awe.
  2. Give Rein to Your Feelings of Curiosity.
  3. Foster a Carefree Sense of Adventure.
  4. Take Your Responsibilities Lightly.
  5. Dare to be More Spontaneous, Adaptable, and Open to Change.
  6. Consciously Cultivate Silliness.
  7.  Indulge Your Sense of Humor.
  8. Stay as Active—and Productive—as Possible.
  9. Travel—Both Outwardly and Inwardly.
  10. Become a Lifelong Learner.
  11.  Be more flexible and open-minded.
  12. Cultivate Your Creativity and Self-Expression.


Jane Fonda shows us just how sexy 75 can be


Jane Fonda is very clearly the poster child for aging sexy. The long time fitness siren reveals that exercise, plastic surgery and amazing sex have all contributed to her age appeal. We all want what this gal has at 75.  What is her take on getting there with plastic surgery?:  “I made sure that they kept my lines,” says Fonda. “I didn’t want to lose my wrinkles, I just wanted to lose the bags under my eyes. I don’t like it when it’s overdone, but we do live in a time when, if you can afford a good doctor, you can have subtle plastic surgery, which probably bought me five more years as an actor when I could be in movies.”



“The only thing I have never known is true intimacy with a man. I absolutely wanted to discover that before dying. It has happened with Richard, I feel totally secure with him. Often, when we make love, I see him as he was 30 years ago.”

Post-apocalyptic Skin Woes. DIY Beauty In Case of Survival

Post Apocalypse Glamour


After a brief scan of my Facebook feed it seems I somehow missed that the end of the world is happening on 12/21/12. China apparently has shown great interest in preparing for the apocalyptic doomsday by stockpiling candles. At least I won’t have to worry about sun exposure since there will be no light. We all know that vanity is my forte, so it should come as no great surprise that my first thought was holy smokes, who is going to do my microdermabrasion? If I survive the apocalypse, how on earth will I combat the steady and dreadful cadence of time as it swallows my face whole leaving sagging jowls and neck wrinkles in its wake? Naturally, I thought about stockpiling facial scrubs and Botox much like the Chinese and their candles. Think of how rich I will be when the House Wives of Atlanta are scrambling to trade me 10 bags of coffee, a goose, and their last bit of vicodan for a bottle of Botox and a clean needle! I think I am on to something. It can’t be that I am the only femme fatale that is lying in the bathtub with a glass of wine thinking about post-apocalyptic skin care and so I carefully constructed a survival list for you:

1. Folks will be trading food and what not instead of currency so stock up on sugar. Sugar makes for a great exfoliator. You can take a little ash from your fire and some fat from the goose you were traded and mix it all up with the sugar to create an exfoliating soap. I swear this is how Cleopatra did it between milk baths. Or if you are very rich and smart, like I will be, you could just mix a little sugar in with a gentle cleanser.

2. In an addition to sugar, be sure to hoard honey. A cleanser, anti-bacterial, and moisturizer all in one, honey will be pure gold. Especially when everyone notices your pretty and plump skin while they are sitting by candle light playing rummy. That’s right no IPhones after the apocalypse.

3. Oils will make for good currency. They will of course be needed for cooking and providing nutrition, but more importantly they will condition your hair and treat acne. Argan oil, coconut oil, and olive oils will be the most prized. I, myself, think I will go on a whim this week and buy up all of the unrefined coconut oil at whole foods to put on the shelf with my Botox and fancy face exfoliants.

I hope this little list jumpstarts your preparations for skin survival after this Fridays “end of the world as we know it party.” What beauty product or procedure will you have a hard time going without after the apocalypse?

Should you jump on the wagon with microdermabrasion or a chemical peel?

Every single human on the planet will need to speed up skin cell turnover with exfoliation after the age of about 28. Done. It is a fact. If you are not exfoliating then you are probably wondering where your luster went, why you are broken out, and why your skin tone is so darn patchy. It’s ok. Never too late to start. There are many many ways to exfoliate and demolish that dead flaky skin that is hindering your god given glow. Let us delve a little deeper into the utterly fascinating world of skin cell turnover:

Skin cell turnover is the sad little march of new skin cells to the top of the epidermis where they ultimately meet their demise and slough off. This march of doom can take anywhere from 14 days (in our infancy) to months and months (in old age). The typical span being about 30-40 days for us 30-50 something’s. The trick to luminous, tight and youthful looking skin is to decrease the time that new skin cells spend marching to their death and hanging out on our faces.


Microdermabrasion is great little way to get the blood flowing to the surface of the skin and get some fairly hard core exfoliation going for you. Ease your feet into the deep pool of anti-aging addictions by trying this little gem of a treatment first. I love microdermabrasion for any one that has healthy but dull skin or very light and superficial acne scarring. If you have redness, irritation, rosacea, broken capillaries, or a great disdain for following a treatment protocol of every 3-4 weeks for at least six treatments, then this is not a good option for you. Retin A users beware, while I don’t recommend microdermabrasion for you (remember that whole lipid barrier discussion on the sonic cleansing post), you must at least go off of your Retin A 3-4 days before a treatment.

Chemical peels are for folks that want to amp up their beauty routine. Chemical peels, unlike microdermabrasion, can really be customized as far as the depth of the peel and ingredients used to address the concern (wrinkling, irregular color etc.). Superficial, medium depth and deep chemical peels are available with a variety of additives that sucker punch anything from melasma (pregnancy mask) to acne and those, near to the heart, fine lines and wrinkles. Please see this post on glycolic acid peels if you want a little more information on peeling.

Your Dangerous Love Affair: The Sonic Cleansing Brush.

How could this miracle cleansing tool that leaves you with baby soft skin be back biting you?! How completely satisfying is it to get in the hot steamy shower with your sonic cleansing brush and step out with the smoothest skin of your life? There is no denying the outright allure of that little device. Some companies recommend using the brush to cleanse your delicate little face two times a day, and many of my clients are at least avid once a day users. But there is an ugly and dark side to the sonic addiction. I have clients that come to me with red irritated skin, acne flair ups and cystic pimples. After investigating for culprits, the one common factor is that they all are having a dangerous love affair with their cleansing brush! Here is why my clients are forbidden from using any cleansing brush more than 1-2 times a week:

You know me; there will be an anatomy lesson to be sure!

The top layer of skin, (aka Stratum Corneum) is made up of fats, cholesterol, water and protein. It retains moisture for you and protects you from bacteria, elements, and shriveling up like a prune. We call it the lipid barrier.

Once that lipid barrier breaks down, you start losing moisture (trans epidermal water loss aka. TEWL), your skin gets inflamed and red, bacteria can fight its way into the skin, and you may develop a rash or acne flair up. This is EXACTLY what happens when many people use their sonic brush every single day.

The beloved sonic brush is day after day breaking down that lipid barrier and causing water loss. While I have noticed that there are some skin types that can tolerate the brush (thick and very oily skin types), most can only afford to use the brush once or twice a week.

So, my friends, I encourage you to break up with your sonic brush. Bring it out only once or twice a week at most, and be sure to replace the lipid barrier with great emollient (replaces lipids) moisturizer.

I've had it with you!

I have had it with you!

So what do I tell my suffering folks that have already messed up their lipid barrier with overzealous sonic cleansing?

1. Stop using the tawdry sonic brush altogether for at least 2 weeks

2. Stop using all actives (retinoids, glycolics etc.)…on a side note if you are using tretinoin (renova, retin a) please throw away the sonic brush it will eat your face off.

2. Use a gentle creamy cleanser that is free of my most hated ingredient SLS (sodium laureth sulfate)

3. For two weeks switch your moisturizer to an emollient cream that will replace the lipid barrier such as Oxygenetix moisturizer (my personal go to) or CeraVe over the counter

4. Lactic acid has been shown to help barrier function and increase fatty acids so use a gentle lactic acid toner or serum like PCA’s Nutrient Toner once daily.

Hollywoods sexiest 40- somethings

These girls show how hot and gorgeous being a 40 something can be with a little prevention (hello sunscreen, vitamin C, and little dab of Botox!)

1. Kristen Davis- Age 47

2.  Carmen Electra- Age 40

3.  Sandra Bullock- age 47

4.  Gwen Stefani- Age 42

5.  Faith Hill- Age 44

6.  Naomi Watts- age 43

7. Nichole Kidman- Age 45

8. Martina McBride- 46

9. Jennifer Aniston- Age 43

10.  Elizabeth Hurley – Age 47

“My Fashion Chick” shares secrets to dressing sexier every decade.

When I hit my thirties and my body started changing, my credit card took the heat! I shopped like mad to find pieces that helped me feel like the sauce pot I was.  I felt like I was going through another awkward growing phase, never sure if I was dressing too old or too young or if I should stop wearing panty hose.   Women I have talked with share the same lament no matter what decade they were entering into.  Sometimes a girl just has to get some help to keep it together, and I have  learned from a very important contact that it need not cost a fortune to look like a million bucks.   Let me introduce you to a chick that has made it into my little black book:  Jen Pascual founder of My Fashion Chick, specializing in personal shopping and wardrobe editing.  Of course I hounded the Atlantan bombshell for secrets on dressing sexy at any age.  I am very excited to be joined by Jen of My Fashion Chick in an exclusive interview for dermaDARLING readers.

Mention dermaDarling to My Fashion Chick and recieve 20% off personal shopping or wardrobe editing. How do you think celebrities look so darn good?

What do you think is the key for turning heads at any age?

The key for turning heads, at any age, is your attitude – the way you “display” yourself.  You can be wearing the most fabulous, trendy outfit but if you can’t work the attitude, your style is lost.

 What advice do you have for gals that are updating their closets and feel confused because they don’t know how to dress hot for their age?

Fashion is a lifestyle.  First, when I do Wardrobe Editing, I glance through quickly and toss out anything that looks outdated.  Then I go through for a second time and consider each piece, picture what I could pair the piece with and how I could accessorize to make it look new. Some things never go out of style; they just need to be revamped.  For example, if you are in your 40s, toss away any skirt or dress that is too short.  Wearing something to make you look younger will actually age you by about 10 years.  And we don’t want that.

 What are the key pieces any woman needs in her fashion arsenal to help her look and feel saucy?

The misconception is that you have to spend a lot on fashion when in fact you don’t. I think that every woman, at any age, should own a great pair of jeans and a trendy pair of riding boots. You can find great jeans that aren’t too pricy and look spectacular.  Women tend to think that the more expensive the item is the better it will look.  That’s not always the case.  My $15 pair of jeans look so much better than my $80 pair.  As for riding boots, it doesn’t matter what color – wear them with a tunic, leggings, the right accessories, and you’re good to go. And don’t forget about finding a hairstyle that suits you.  People forget that their hair acts as an accessory.  If you have the right cut, and great makeup, your clothing will look better.  And make you look younger.

Do you have any insider’s secrets from personal shopping?

I do but shhhhhh…most of the time there are coupons for a store.  Also, almost everything goes on sale at some point.  If you can wait, it will be worth it.  If it’s an item you fell you’ll never see again, grab it and run.  You’ll make up for the cost with a less expensive item at another time.

What are your top 10 do’s and don’t s after 40?

I don’t have any.  My rule is not to have any rules.  If you’re 40, but look 30, dress like you’re 30.  You can dress in a modified way where you don’t come off as looking absolutely ridiculous. You wear what you feel comfortable in.  If you’re wearing a miniskirt, and you’re not comfortable, people will pick up on that and it will end up making you look ridiculous.  If you can still work it, wear it.

 How do we find you on the web?

My website is For fashion tips and tricks, follow my Facebook page My Fashion Chick.  I post outfit ideas, hair and makeup.  I offer Personal Shopping and Wardrobe Editing in the Atlanta area, Online Styling anywhere in the US, and I teach you how to shop for less on any budget.  You don’t have to spend a lot for fashion.  Fashion comes down to what you do with clothing after you purchase it.

Don’t be silly darling, I was talking to my martini.

Oh the wild excitement of popping the cork on a good wine, or mixing up the perfect martini.  Warm and fuzzy social lubrication may well be the magic sauce that brings people together despite the typical barriers of language, religion, status, and age, but nothing comes without a price.   Just what sort of beauty woes will a night of liquid courage cost you?  Alcohol happens to be responsible for some of the most common beauty complaints that I hear on a daily basis. Alcohol dehydrates your skin and deprives your body of nutrients leading to tell-tale signs.  Signs of frequent indulgence include:

  • Tired red eyes
  • Puffy bloated face and body
  • Dilated blood vessels and a red face
  • Dry lusterless skin

So, what is a girl to do?  Women are encouraged to drink no more than 1 glass of wine or alcohol a day.  Drink 2 glasses of water for every glass of alcohol and slap some chilled cucumbers on those tired eyes first thing in the morning.  The dilated vessels may be permanent and need a quick blast with an IPL treatment to tone down the redness.  My favorite product combination for clear eyes:  drum roll please!….

Visine + Benefit’s Eye Bright= happy, clear, sinless eyes!

Don’t hide behind the mask. Melasma do’s and don’ts.

It’s known as the “mask of pregnancy”,  but it very well could be called the “mask of contraception” or the “mask of hormonal outrage”.  Melasma is dark pigmented patches of skin that plague the faces of a good quarter or more of my clients.  It’s a rare day that passes when I don’t have a gal in my chair lamenting her lost even skin tone. Melasma is one of the medical community’s annoying oddities that no one can quite figure out.   This small detail makes it a bit of a challenge to wipe off the face of the planet…..or at least off of your face. We do know that it is hormone related and that sun exposure makes it much worse.  Dark pigment in the skin is produced by overactive melanocytes (small cells that create pigment in our skin).   One of the first things my clients want to do is laser their faces off in hopes of destroying the malicious pigment.  Lasers may not always be the best option.  The trick to lifting the mask is removing the top layers of pigmented skin (microdermabrasion, retinoids, and/ or chemical peels) and suppressing the melanocyte that is producing the brown spots with tyrosinase inhibitors (hydroquinone, kojic acid).  Here are my top do’s and don’ts when fighting melasma:

  1. Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on skin care and treatments and then slather on sub par sunscreen, or worse forget it entirely.
  2. Do think of sunscreen as your first line of defense.  Sunscreen keeps the skin from sustaining as much “injury” from the sun.  (Melasma is made worse by stimulation of melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment!) follow me?  Apply your sunscreen every 2 hours when out in the sun.  I’m obsessed with Colorscience’s powdered sunscreen.
  3. Don’t hang out in the sauna or hot tub.  Studies show that heat can cause the melanocytes to rear their ugly heads and start to pump out extra pigment.
  4. Do get religious about your skin care routine.  Consistency is key when applying skin lightening products so don’t go to bed without dousing yourself in the creams your skin care professional recommends.
  5. Do add in the gold standards for treating pigment: tretinoin + hydroquinone + vitamin c.  You can alternatively look for non prescription products that have retinols, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acids.  It’s going to take 3-6 months to see a big change either way.
  6. Don’t jump right in to photofacials or IPL.  Studies show that melasma can be made worse following these treatments.  In my personal practice, photofacials tend to offer minimal benefits and carry too much risk for melasma.
  7. Do  try the safer medium depth chemical peels that are on the market today.  My personal favorite is the VI Peel.  It will make you peel like a snake and even out your skin by lifting off surface pigment.  You’ll still need your skin care products but peeling makes the process move along much faster.

    before/after Vi Peel


Age Sexy Inspiration

I started the company dermaDARLING and coined the phrase “Age Sexy” because I am obsessed with health and aging, and I believe that aging is to be embraced and enhanced,  not something to campaign against.  I am tired of media instilling the notion that only youth has sex appeal.  Photoshop has it’s place, and I appreciate a high gloss magazine as much as the next girl, but leave me some naso-labial folds and expression lines please.  I am all for enhancing beauty at every age while not trying to erase every single sign of experience. Women are beautiful.  Aging skin is beautiful, we just have to take care of it.  Every gorgeous gal has the ability to Age Sexy when armed with the right tips, tricks, and tools.  These lovely women have done it very well:

Helen Mirren

Susan Sarandon

Julie Christie


Lauren Hutton

Jane Fonda