Tag Archives: medical esthetics

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.

Perfect Foundation for Sensitive, Acne Prone, and Post Procedure Skin!

I was astounded when I found a website that promotes slathering on liquid foundation post laser skin peel (fractional ablative resurfacing).  I would never dream of putting makeup on freshly lasered skin, but the concept was very appealing.  I imagined the swarms of beautiful girls leaving my treatment room with gorgeous glowing skin instead of flaming red and goopy with Aquaphore.  I promptly called the company and began trials with my post peel clients.  They were completely astounded by how the foundation cooled their skin down and covered every trace that they had just gone under the laser!  The foundation is called Oxygenetix and is an aloe vera based liquid foundation that covers like a breathable second skin. Sensitive skin loves this light weight calming product and it is perfectly safe and even healing after procedures such as resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and FotoFacials.  Most of my clients become addicted to this foundation and continue to use it after they have healed from their procedures.  It gives the prettiest soft glow you can get from a bottle, and despite being used as a camouflage makeup, is very light weight and virtually flawless.

Immediately post Pixel skin resurfacing.

Don’t let the fear of down time and having to hide after your laser treatment keep you from aging sexy!  Get your gorgeous paws on Oxygenetix before going under the beam.

We carry this at Chastain Wellness Studio in Atlanta, Ga.  404-252-6662

What is in a Smashing Skin Care Routine?

Skin care.  Sounds easy enough.  Slather on lotions, creams, serums and sunscreens in hopes of slowing down the heavy hand of age, and hope for the best.  Hope for the best? Hope is not exactly who I want in the ring as I fight off father time.  I want heavy hitters and appropriate ingredients that will help me maintain my dewy fresh skin and make my foes a little jealous!  Enter the routine:

Cleanse-  Your cleanser needs to be chosen based on your skin quality: Are you Oily, Dry, Sensitive, or combination.  Dry skin tends to do well with creamy cleansers.  Oily and problem skin does well with low PH washes and lactic acid.  Sensitive skin does best with very mild cleansers with calming ingredients.

Exfoliate- Only the finest of exfoliants should come in contact with your precious face.  Steer clear of coarse grainy exfoliators such as St. Ives.  These particles nick the skin and cause irritation and redness. Choose exfoliants that are gentle and only use them up to 3 times weekly.  Also build in retinoids at night and/ or glycolic acid as daily chemical exfoliators (to be used after toning).  The best approach is to allow your dermatologist, nurse, or esthetician assist you in choosing exfoliation appropriate to your skin type and quality.

Tone- this step restores the PH balance of the skin and  prepares your skin for the absorption of other ingredients.

Treat- Remember “clear before creamy!” The order of application is very important! Serums, gels, creamy serums, lotions, then creams for best penetration!

Moisturize- acts as a barrier.  petroleum is not the most popular kid in class, but this heavy-duty moisturizer is a must for dry skin.  Water based formulas that are non-comedegenic are best for oily skin.  Sensitive skin formulas should contain chamomile, bisabolol, or green tea and clay.

Protect- look for a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and Zinc or Titanium based, and don’t skimp!  Sunscreen is the single most important product in your arsenal.  Every single day, you must put on sunscreen no matter if you plan to be outside or not. My clients hide from me if they have a tan or sun burn because I threaten bodily harm:)

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My Skin:  Oily, sensitive, acne prone.

My Routine:  I am a skin care junkie, but no matter what I rotate in or out of my routine this is what I end up going back to.

Day: Obagi- Rosaclear Gentle Cleanser, Obagi- Toner, PCA Rejuvenation Serum, Obai C-serum 10% (only around my eyes) followed by IS Youth Eye Serum, Obagi Rosaclear Calming Hydrator, PCA Perfecting Proctection SPF 30.

Night: Obagi- Rosaclear Gentle Cleanser, Obagi- Toner, tretinoin 0.25%, Obagi Rosaclear Calming Hydrator

Weekly: PCA gentle exfoliant 3 times weekly

Monthly: Facial with extractions

Yearly: VI Peel 2-3 times a year

Day 2 of my 3rd VI Peel of the year. ~

Those squirly fine lines don’t stand a chance!

You can Botox that gorgeous face till the cows come home, but you won’t see those static lines going away anytime soon.  Static lines are the squirly little fine lines that are visible when you aren’t using your muscles to make a facial expression.  They typically show up in your 30s but can grace you with their presence as early as your twenties.   There is no reason to wave that white flag when you start seeing these feisty lines of fury.  Enter the big guns.  With the invention of tretinoin, chemical peels, and fractionated resurfacing, those babies don’t stand a chance!  When deciding which strong arm to bring into the rink against fine lines, you have to keep your schedule in mind.  Not every resurfacing method is created equal when it comes to beauty down time.  Tretinoin is a cream that resurfaces slowly over time.  You may have some minor flaking, but no real down time.  Chemical peels take about 3-5 to run their course of shedding.  You will have anywhere from light flaking to peeling like a snake depending on your peel choice.  Then finally there is the laser peel with fractionated resurfacing.  Enter the Pixel.  The Pixel resurfaces the skin by lasering tiny channels into the skin leaving a majority of the skin untouched and healthy.  Beauty down time is only about 3-4 days, and you get the benefits of stopping those fine lines, dark spots, and loose skin in only 2-3 treatments.

Glycolic Acid for celebrity perfect skin….ahem minus the photoshop wizard.

Glycolic acid has the very desirable talent of “softening” fine lines (that is esthetician and nurse speak for:  Don’t even think it’s going to eradicate ALL of those wrinkles).  Sun damage and the faux mustache known as “melasma” is also nipped in the bud.  This is done over a series of treatments, and  I typically will recommend anywhere from 6-8 peels, spaced around 3-4 weeks apart with 40-60% glycolic acid.   Chemical peeling of any type dissolves the desmosomes (sticky glue) that hold the skin cells together.  These peels also strip lipids that make up the acid mantel that protects us from bacterial invasions and dry skin, so you must replace what you take away.  Following a peel,  a rich anti-inflammatory moisturizer should be part of your recovery with a healthy fat dollop of sunscreen.  Stay off the actives that you have bought and use religiously because you are a very well-educated DermaDarling follower for 7-10 days  (vitamin c, AHAs, retinol, and hydroquinone) .  The peels range in price from $120- 250 each depending on your city. I would highly recommend getting a package of 6 to save some cash, since you know you are going to have to have more than one.   Glycolic acid should be a considered addition to your bag of tricks for smooth gorgeous skin.  Celebrities rumored to be fans of Glycolic acid: Cher, Janice Dickenson, Naomi Campbell.

You are not a candidate for a glycolic peel if:

You have sensitive skin

You want instant results

You want no social “downtime”

You want nothing less than a blooming miracle

You are standing in front of the counter at the nail salon asking about their LivingSocial glycolic acid discount

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I will be teaching an advanced chemical peel course at the Elaine Sterling Institute the first week in November.  For more information on how you can advance your esthetic career please call ESI at 1-877-233-5246

Gemini’s Hot Little Beauty Horoscope

Your childlike fascination with the world around you has you pondering where your life is headed and what the meaning of it all is, you must remember that you have options!  You are full of life and vitality right now as you take on the world like it’s a piece of cake!  Put more emphasis on networking this month as more and more opportunities will fall in your lap, especially since your witty charm makes you the center of attention.   Since you are feeling so fabulous and unstoppable, consider adding a little flair to your wardrobe!  Something feminine yet powerful and hell, why not be a little quirky…If you’ve got it, you’ve got it!  Try a cute high fashion version of the bowtie with an ultra femme skirt on your next after work drink date.  Since you are on top of the world right now, you may not have time in your busy schedule for down time for skin maintenance such as with a chemical peel or laser treatment.  Put that on hold till fall and look into Obagi’s C-RX system for gals on the go that can’t deal with flaking but want a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.   Also, your mate could be needy this month since you are jet setting the social scene.  Take a minute to let them know that you care.  Enjoy this hot month Gemini!

Finally, The Anti-aging Laser Treatment for Skin of Color

You are right to be wary of a laser beam pointed at that delicate dark skin of yours.  The increased risk of scarring and keloids are extremely high in light brown to dark brown skin.  Melanocyte reactivity and fibroblast reactivity demand respect when undergoing rejuvenation procedures.  Take heart, that fibroblast reactivity makes you a great candidate for skin tightening with infrared laser technology because you have the ability to build more collagen quicker than your paler counterparts.  In fact, dark skin responds better to this treatment than any 0ther skin type!  Finally, an anti-aging laser treatment specifically for dark skin types! 

How does it work?

We slowly heat the skin to cause inflammation to the dermis while leaving the epidermis unscathed with a series of treatments.  3- 6 months after your treatments, new collagen formation has caused that lovely little lift in the neck, jaw, smile lines, and around the eyes.

Does it hurt?

Not at all.  Clients describe a sensation similar to a hot stone massage.

Is there any downtime?

Absolutely not.  This is truly a lunch time procedure. – providing you have a 2 hour lunch to account for the 45 minute procedure and the time it takes to reapply makeup and eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat while braving Atlanta’s lunch hour traffic crunch.

~  Laser treatments on skin of color  whether you are Hispanic, Asian, Indian or African American carry serious risks of pigmentation changes and keloid scar formations.  Please ensure that your medical esthetics professional has loads of experience and has been specifically trained in safely treating darker skin types IV-VI.

Taurus Beauty Horoscope

Happy Birthday Taurus! 

Take heart precious bull, while this month will put you face to face with your need to make some difficult changes in your life, you are strong willed and it will be the start of something beautiful that will last for many years.  Use this month’s restlessness to your advantage- even though you may be afraid take the leap!  It may be a stormy month but your sexiness is at an all time high.   Now is the time to make a drastic change in your appearance so if you’ve been wondering whether to go platinum blonde or raven black with your hair, do it!  Your air of confidence will only intensify if you take charge of those little wrinkles that are starting to appear around your eyes from all of the weariness this past year.  Your beauty homework- Resurface your face with a Pixel Perfect laser treatment.

Put Some Icing On Your Cake!

 

  Many of you have reached long sought after weight loss goals quickly and are ready for the next level of transformation.  The next logical step is facial rejuvenation.    Innovative and advanced laser treatments can be the icing on your cake if you are committed to making a big change in your appearance.

You can completely transform your skin into smoother, clearer, tighter skin with esthetic laser services including treatments for fine lines, large pores, sun spots, loose skin and unwanted hair.  Fractionated laser resurfacing, skin tightening, and photo-rejuvenation are gold standards for stimulating collagen formation and cleaning up sun damage.   Lasers should be in the arsenal of everyone who is interested in keeping a youthful face.

Resurface Me- Pixel Perfect

Everyone of us has that line on our forehead, around our mouths, or around our eyes that we wish we could wipe off the face of the earth.  The best thing that you can do to manage those fine lines is to resurface your skin.  Allow  me to introduce the big gun- The Pixel fractional resurfacing laser treatment.   This treatment delivers the heat to that collagen layer forcing it to bone up and smooth out.  The laser resurfaces 20% of the skin in an array of pixels while leaving untouched skin to improve healing time.  This translates to “inside” time of about 4-7 days.  Not bad considering it fills out minor acne scarring, fine lines, and stimulates collagen remodeling to tighten skin.  For it’s prime anti-aging benefits, you will need 3 treatments 3-4 weeks apart.  What to expect:

  1.  A numbing cream will be applied to your face for 15 minutes.
  2. Your face will be cleansed and degreased.
  3. Laser treatment begins.  Sensation is like a mild snap of a rubberband against your skin.
  4. After the treatment you will feel as though you have the worst sunburn of your life.  This is good because the heat is what causes the collagen to start strengthening.  If your face is on fire- Congratulations you will get a great result!
  5. You will go home with post care instructions and a skin care routine to maintain results