External vs Internal Aging

Since I wrote No-Nonsense Beauty Book, I  followed the anti-aging skin care rules– I used scrubbing grains to exfoliate  the skin surface, slathered on sunscreen, and avoided the two biggest beauty killers, namely smoking and excess alcohol.  It seemed to work  for years — and then it didn’t .  While I  didn’t develop fine lines, crows feet and  brown patches, I suddenly looked pretty old.  My skin was pale  and sagged along the jawline.  I felt a bit betrayed.  I spent all those years limiting my time at the beach and passing on that second glass of  wine.  And now   there were clear signs of facial aging.    What I learned was that   pale and droopy skin are two characteristic signs of  internal aging.    This means that the decline in hormones as well as a slowdown of blood flow and cell growth, all signs of natural aging, were driving  the changes in my skin.  … Continue Reading…

Even My Neck Has Wrinkles

Until I started this blog, I had pretty much ignored my neck.  I was happy that it held up my head and didn’t hurt. While I was vaguely aware that it was rough and wrinkly, I was pretty much focused on my dark under-eye circles and vertical smile lines.  After about a month on Retin A, I realized that there was a significant  amount of difference between my face and my neck.  The skin on my face looked smoother, pinker and  firmer.  On the other hand my neck, has horizontal lines, loose skin tone and was just plain pale.  The difference is so strong that it looks like I am wearing make-up on my face and my neck is dirty. ( See photo)

I was therefore thrilled  when Dr Marmur,  my  dermatologist, told me that I could apply … Continue Reading…

The New Beauty Budget

Lets be honest here — an effective anti-aging plan is not cheap: Retin A is $300/tube.  Laser hair removal a painful $800.  Laser removal of freckles –$325.  Still to come  will be a bit of Botox ( $300) and  fillers for  my lines ( $800).   Rather than  dip into my savings to pay for these items, I decided to create a  personal beauty bank.  Here’s how it works. 

I looked over my usual expenses to see where I could cut back and save the money for my anti-aging plan and this is what I found–

* one less  dinner out each month@$100/dinner= $1200/year

* 3 less lattes/week @ $5/lattes= $780/year

* 2 less taxis/week@$10/taxi= $1040/year

* Bring lunch from home 2X/week@ $10/lunch=$1040/year

Add it all up and I can potentially   save  just over $4000/year!!.  Following my  new budget guidelines,  in less than nine months I was able to save  about $2700, more than enough for all … Continue Reading…

It Really Worked!

For the past week or so, it appeared to me that I looked “better”.  To my eyes, my skin seemed to have a healthier color, the smile lines seemed less deep and the skin texture smoother and fresher.  But it can be so hard to judge yourself.  But when I compared  my before and after pictures, the improvements  were real.  Photo 1 is my face before I did anything to it.  Photo 2 is after almost three weeks on Retin A. In the second photo my skin is clearly pinker and the texture  looked firmer and younger.  When I started with Retin A,  I read in Natural Beauty by Bobbie Brown  that I could see  real changes within a week to 10 days– and I did.

I did have to do some real work  to earn … Continue Reading…

A Beautiful Guarantee

It’s a double insult.  I buy a  skin care product  and it doesn’t work.  My beauty problems are still there and I’m  out beween $20 and $100 for something I will never use again.  So, I was really psyched to find a growing number of products now come with a  money back guarantee. Pro-X  from Olay states on the package  and in ads that” satisfaction guarenteed or your money back” .   Bath and Body Works covers all their products with money back guarantee. Nice!  I’m making a list of products and/or brands that come with such a promise.  If you have come across any, let me know.

Close-Up: Niacinamide

A form of  vitamin B, niacinamide appears to  offer solid anti-aging benefits.  Studies have shown it can act as an exfoliator, to take off top dead cells and  encourage new skin growth– much  like fruit acids.  In a study of 50 women who used a … Continue Reading…

Retin A and Snowstorms Don’t Mix

NYCsnowstormThe cold  and snowy weather continues to cause problems for my  Retin A  treated skin.  Apparently it is the low humidity in the air that’s driving the red patches, tightness and flaking.  I’m going to cut back Retin A useage to 2-3x  per week and drench my skin with a  heavy  moisturizer  in the morning and evening. In addition I’m going to address environmental humidity both inside and outside.  At night I’m going  to plug in my humidifier to compensate for radiator dry air.  To humidify myself I’m  going to try to remember to drink  at least a quart of  water a day.  In warm weather I seem to  have a glass of ice tea surgically attached to my hand.  When it gets cold, my daily liquid intake  drops to several cups of tea  and coffee.

Continue Reading…

Date with A New Dermatologist

To move forward  with my anti-aging  make-over I need to partner with a dermatologist.  When I asked Dr Laser about different options, his answer for everything  was a TCA peel.  This is an expensive and extensive treatment that leaves you bright red and swollen for weeks.  It usually reserved for  heavily lined skin with widespread sun damage.  Since I hate pain and have just seven, count ’em seven sunspots, I felt that TCA  was overkill.

I found a great new partner in a  young dermatologist with impressive academic credentials and who is pretty enough to model.  She looks like she is in her late twenties and actually just turned age 40.  This is a dermatologist who clearly walks the walk.  My original game plan was to (1) use Retin A  to refine the surface,(2) laser my freckles and then(3)  plump up smile lines with a filler like Juvederm.  My new  doctor liked the  steps but … Continue Reading…

Retin A in the Winter

I’ve been using Retin A for almost a week and its been fairly easy.  But when the weather turned cold and windy, my cheeks got a bit red and my chin looked flaky.  It looked so minor, but  knowing  the potential for real irritation, I decided to take it seriously.  I decided to skip Retin A  that night and drenched my skin with Aveeno Soothing Moisturizer.  By morning the skin  was calm and soft. 

For me, the take away is that when using Retin A, you have to be flexible and think ahead.  I need to keep using Retin A  regularly to get the maximum beauty benefits– and this means changing routinue at the first sign of the irritation and dryness.

Close-up: Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA), which are also called fruit acids, are naturally found in a wide range of foods including grapes ( tataric … Continue Reading…