Meeting Giselle

A few years ago I was excited to be called into a meeting to discuss a beauty book project with Giselle Bundchen, the  legendary  supermodel.  The meeting started  late and so in the interest of time, the assorted agents, editors and fashionistas decided to skip introductions.  Looking around the conference room I was a little bummed that I did not see Giselle at the table.  I pulled out a notebook and tried to follow the rapid fire conversation  which often dissolved into French or Italian.  It seemed  that they were talking as though Giselle was in the room, but I could not see her.  Everytime someone spoke I stretched  out my neck to see who was speaking, but still no Giselle.  After about 15 very confusing minutes I realized that the slender girl sitting two chairs to my right ( who I thought was someone’s admin) was the iconic beauty.  I … Continue Reading…

The Price of Beauty

After the “Boob Job in a Box” fiasco, I have given up on over the counter remedies for dark undereye circles.  I decided  crank up my  strategy with a cream called Tri-luma.  Available only by prescription it is a combintion of Retin A, hydroquinone which is known to lighten skin and a steroid to control inflammation from these two heavy hitters.  Unfortunately it carries a hefty  price tag of almost $300/30grams ( about one ounce).   Since I don’t know if  it will actually work  for me, that’s a big investment for a ‘maybe’. 

To get a better price, I went online to order Tri-luma from an online Canadian pharmacy.   It  looked so easy online, but getting my  hands on a  tube of  Tri-luma  was harder  than I expected.  Despite  listing Tri-luma on their websites, most pharmacies   did not actually sell Tri-luma  or were indefinately out of stock. None took … Continue Reading…

The Problem with Parabens?

Parabens are widely used as preservatives  in make-up and skin and hair care products.  Some studies with rats suggest that parabens can have a weakly estrogenic effect on cells.  The potential result? It may stimulate growth of estrogen -dependant breast  cancer cells.   There are no human studies that show this effect from  toiletries with parabens and the FDA is currently studying the issue.  

Parabens  have been considered less irritating than other forms of presevatives and  are found in processed and prepared foods.  Interestingly, soy which is lauded  for its health benefits, also  has weakly estrogenic activity.

Keep in mind that parabens  are found  in over 80% of all  skin and hair care products.   I  have taken a  position  of watchful waiting.  I limit  my soy intake ( such as edamame) and  I’m delighted  when  a product I like is paraben free.  But presence of parabens is not a deal breaker for me.

Stubborn Dark Circles

I have been using two eye care products for about a month and neither has made a visible difference. In the morning I applied a roller with caffeine and at night I used a cream with AHA’s.   My shadows are still there and the slight bagging under the eyes  actually seems a bit worse. So when a dramatic looking package at Sephora  caught my attention, I was hooked.  Called Hylexin,  the box had a photo of  a young woman  with a football players black smudge under  her eye.  The box copy said that this product was for’serious dark circles’ (hence the name) and not for dark circles  that  ‘pop up in the morning and are gone by breakfast ‘ . 

Directions on the box said  to do a patch test on my arm.  I opened the tube and was rocked back by a heavy fragrance.  I hesitated a moment, took a breath and applied … Continue Reading…

Retin A Options

I have been using Retin A Micro for several months and I’m thrilled  with the results.  There are also several other types of  Retin A products ( available only by prescription) that you should know about.  In addition I’m going  to decribe  two new types of  retinoids  that   have different features that could be of value.

1.  Retin A — This is the granddaddy of anti-aging products and has volumes of research behind it.  Its now available in a generic version that costs less than $30 online.  By comparison the drugstore price for the brand name Retin A is about @$120/tube. This is one of the strongest  forms of Retin A and you  should follow the rules  very carefully to avoid irritation– its worth it and the savings are amazing.

2. Retin-A Micro-  This is the form that I currently use.  It has  two strengths–.o4%  and .1%.  It is … Continue Reading…

My Summer Beauty Tool Kit

The return of warm  sunny weather  made me realize that  my beauty tool kit needed a tune-up. While I keep using Retin A,   I need to crank up  my sun protection and  add anti0xidants  to repair sun damage.  I  have found six products that fit the bill perfectly:

1.  Eye Make-up Remover —Almay Oil-Free  Travel  Pack ($.99)

I used this product  all winter and really loved  the way it took off my mascara without leaving an oily film.  Only problem was the package — a 3 inch high jar that did not pack well.  At Ultra, I discovered  it came in a travel size of 15 pads that fit beautifullyinto my toiletries bag.  Just perfect for weekend strips  to the country.

2. Cleanser — Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash ($8.99)  This fragrance-free clear liquid cleanser is gentle and oil free.  Its so mild that it can be used to remove eye … Continue Reading…

Antioxidants- Great Hope or Overpriced Hype

antioxidantsYou  see antioxidants advertised  in practically everything from baby cereal to low-carb beer.  Some experts believe that  antioxidants can prevent cancer,  heart disease and aging.  Other scientists are  rather dubious about the health benefits of antioxidants.  As with  most things in life– the truth  lies somewhere in between.

Antioxidants    have the ability to subdue unstable molecules known as free- radicals.  These bad boys  are molecules that have lost an electron. Free radicals crash around cells interferring with routinue functions such as growth, repair and immunity. Things calm down when  antioxidants  provide the missing electron.

There is no shortage  of antioxidants in  our environment. The short list  of antioxidant- rich items  include   vitamins A, C and E, olive oil, salmon, green tea, red wine tumeric and sunflower seeds. We have lots of  laboratory studies that show anti0xidants can protect cells … Continue Reading…

Saving My Own Neck

I have been  using the same  anti-aging  plan for my neck for about eight weeks and here are the before  (top)and after (bottom) photos.  While the changes are not as dramatic  as they were on my face, you can see a genuine improvement.  There is  now a pinker tone to the skin so there is no longer  such a big difference in color between  my neck and face. It was a nice surprie to see that the baggy skin under my chin looks significantly tighter.  You really have to  hand it to Retin A!

The texture is a bit better, but still looks a bit like chicken skin ( eg bumpy).  The horizontal lines are about the same.

It takes much longer to repair  neck skin, so I’ll just keep going with the plan.  At night I  apply … Continue Reading…