Tag Archives: skin care

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

Post Apocalypse Glamour

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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.

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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.

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!

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

Madonna

Lauren Hutton

Jane Fonda

Age Sexy! Top Ten Commandments.

Helen Mirren rocks the sexy at 60 vibe!

I have so many clients in their 50s and 60s that are truly sexy and inspiring.  Working with them has taken my fear of aging and shook it out like a dirty rug.  I have interviewed many of these little foxes about how they have aged so sexy, and there are common denominators!  We must listen to our bodies and learn to play them like the fine instruments they are.

We now know that inflammation wreaks havoc on our poor little bodies.  Inflammation is a cellular response caused by the body’s defense mechanism that also speeds up aging!  Aging can be a beautiful and sexy maturation if you take control of your habbits and live with awareness.

The Age Sexy Top Ten Commandments:

I.   Stop smoking– this includes tobacco and various weed varietals.  If you have smoked in your youth, load up on antioxidants to assist your body in it’s recovery.  None of my foxy 60 year old clients are smokers.

II.  Exercise–  The gals that I work on that make me excited to turn 50 are all heavy exercisers.  Some are champion ice skaters, alot of pilates junkies, and they sure don’t back down from the 60 minutes a day rule.

III.  Take time for yourself–  Make time to exercise, eat well, take a bath, travel, get a massage.  Know when to call the calendar full.

IV.  Maintenance and shameless self preservation–  These gorgeous gals are in to see me often for skin resurfacing, cellulite smoothing, photo rejuvenation and medical grade skin care.  They don’t think of it as anything more than maintenance.  Make a budget and alow yourself a little Botox a few times a year and a resurfacing treatment once or twice a year.

V.  Diet–  A diet high in fruits and vegetables and low on inflammatory foods such as dairy, meat, and gluten will keep you glowing and your skin smooth well into the golden years.  Drink no less than 9 glasses a day of water.

VI.  Manage Stress–  Take yoga, indulge in a therapist (your hair stylist doesn’t count), take lots of time to be with your friends and family, leave work at work, and cut out caffeine.

VII.  Give Freely &  share your blessings– Don’t just count your blessings but share them.  The women I interviewed were all altruistic in one form or another.  Some run charity organizations, while others leave amazing tips to their service providers (thank you very much!)

VIII.  Skin Care–  Tretinoin, Vitamin C, Sunscreen, Moisturizer, Obagi’s Elastiderm Eye Treatment + monthly rendevous with your esthetician =  Perfectly ageless skin.

IX.  Sun Protection–  If there was one piece of advice my sassy age-less clients would give you it is to stay out of the sun so that you don’t have to spend all the money they have had to spend to clean up the resulting mess!  Sunspots age you quicker than any thing.

X.  Alcohol– Practice moderation.  My gals aren’t afraid to knock back a glass of bubbly every now and then, but you won’t find them nursing a hang-over.

Are You Using the Best Cleanser For Your Skin?

First a quick A & P lesson: What does your skin do for you?  A cool .05 inches thick, it protects your body from alien invaders, expels toxins and locks in water so that you don’t shrivel up like a prune.  The layer that we are most obsessed with in the beauty world is the saucy little horny layer known as the stratum corneum.  It is called the horny layer because the cells are cornified  and rough in order to serve it’s protective purpose.  This is the layer that is continuously being sloughed off.  The cells are held together with sticky fatty glue making your most glamorous layer of skin waterproof.  Overlying the stratum corneum is the acid mantle. This is a very thin layer of fatty  (oil), sweat, and proteins with an acidic ph of 4- 6.5.

How Cleansers Work:  Your cleanser must be formulated with the pH of the acid mantle in mind….A pH higher than 7 is alkaline and very drying to skin, while a pH of 5-7 will be more moisturizing.  If your cleanser leaves your skin feeling tight and dry after washing your face- it is stripping the acid mantle, and you need a new cleanser. Check your labels- look for ingredients that are known to effectively and safely clean the skin>> isohexadecane, DEA, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Never use soap to wash your face (most soaps have a pH of  9 or higher!)  Cleansers are not all created equally and must be formulated for your skin type.

Choosing Your Cleanser: 

Oily and acne prone skin- clearly has more fats, bacteria, and grime to clear away.  Your face wash should contain salicylic acid and/or alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid or glycolic acid. Recommendations: AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel by Renée Rouleau, Facial Wash Oily/Problem by PCAdD Budget Beauty OptionAlba Pineapple Skin Enzyme Facial Cleanser.

Dry and sensitive skin- needs a cleanser with properties that moisturize.  Look for creamy formulas containing emollients and/or lactic acid.  Recommendations: Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser, Boscia Soothing Cleansing Cream, Obagi’s Rosaclear Sensitive Skin Cleanser.  dD Budget Beauty OptionCetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Combination Skin– A glycolic acid cleanser should work great for you.  Recommendations-Vivite Facial Cleanser, Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash . dD Budget Beauty Option: Smart Essentials Pore Purifying Facial Wash by Aveeno

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.