Getting Back The Pretty

At the recent Mount Sinai derm conference Dr Marmur explored the beauty imperative of what  makes a man or woman attrctive.  For men its fairly simple — a strong jaw ( think Superman) and broad shoulders immediatey convey appealing masculinity.  For women, its more complicated.

Dr Marmur identifed the five features of femininity that are deemed appealing– full lips, big eyes, small nose, arched eyebrows, and smooth rounded forehead.  (Think Byonce, a young Liz Taylor  and Bratz dolls).  What  blew me away was that as we grow older we lose those signs of pretty femininity.  The forehead becomes lined  and bone loss at the temples  makes the eyes look smaller.  It doesn’t stop there.  Collagen contracts in the nose  making the tip to droop down and look longer.  As gravity … Continue Reading…

Can Women of Color Use Retin A?

I get frequent questions from Asian and Latina readers who are interested in using Retin A , but are concerned about the side effects.  On one hand Retin A has the ability to lighten  dark patches  and make  the skin look fresher and brighter.  On the other hand Retin A can be very irritating– and deeper skin tones tend to develop darkened areas when inflamed.

There’s a boatload of conflicting advice about the topic and I needed  an expert to provide answers.  Asking my colleagues  in beauty for the best source of information, I was referred to the noted Chicago-based cosmetic surgeon, Dr Seven Dayan.  In addition to seeing patients, Dr Dayan is the founder of DeNova Research, a center that  has extensive experience studying skin care in … Continue Reading…

The Link Between Health and Beauty

During the holidays, I went to an event hosted by The Three Tomtoes (thethreetomatoes.com), a great  site that is aimed  at women  “who aren’t kids”.  As I  looked around, I could see  the room was filled with attractive women.  Not so long ago women over  50 were described as “aging”  Today 50 plus women are dynamic, vital and sexy.  But this was not just a room of Botox Babes.  There was  something more, much more.

When I mentioned  to my physician husband how healthy and attractive the women looked at the party, Neil was  not surprised. “Women today look better because they are healthier.  They eat healthier, smoke less, exercise more and if health probems arise, we have new tools.”

Health care advances have changed the landscape of middle age.  For … Continue Reading…

Carbs and Wrinkles– Who Knew?

The NHANES nutritional study reported that  carbohydrate intake was linked to skin aging.  As the daily  carbohydrate levels rose so did  the appearance of  lines and wrinkles. But unlike the data on linoleic acid and vitamin C, there  is no single accepted recommendation for daily carbohydrates.  The standard diabetic diet  has about 125 grams of carbs each day.  The South Beach Diet ( phase 1) allows about 50 grams/day, while the heart healthy  Pritikin or Ornish programs can have as  many as 300 grams of daily carbs. Adding to the confusion, NHANES did not differentiate between so-called “good carbs, eg whole grains, fruits and vegetables and “bad carbs”  including sugar, white flour, and potatoes  Since all carbs  eventually turn to sugar in the body, maybe it doesn’t matter, but I’m not satisfied with that answer.  

Looking at it another way, experts give carb recommendations on the basis of percentage of daily calories.  Jillian Michaels, the uber-trainer … Continue Reading…

Retin A — Easy Does It

I was so delighted with the gentle progress of my new .1% Retin A Micro, I decided to step it up and use it every night after just a week.  Not my best idea  Seemingly overnight, my skin sprouted dry white flakes.  I’m sure that the cold windy weather didn’t  help.  I can’t control the weather– but I am  the supreme master of  how often  I use Retin A.  I’m going back to  an every -other- night routinue.  Lesson learned.

So what do I use on  my Retin A night off?  I know that I can’t use Vitamin C at the same time – potentially irritating- but what about on the  Retin A free nights.   There are shelves of peer reviewed studies that demonstrate Vitamin C  ( a powerful  anti-oxidant) can smooth out lines and wrinkles and  increase healthy  collagen– and after age 50 who can’t  use some extra collagen. 

There … Continue Reading…

Milia – those annoying white bumps under the skin

Its amazing what you can learn at a medical conference.  At a lunchbreak at the recent Mount Sinai Derm meeting, I sat down next  to two young dermatologists.  They were  talking about milia, those little white bumps under the skin– sort of faux pimples. ( In the picture below my milia is under my eye). Milia are formed when a pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells.  They are more common as we get older,  the result of slower cell growth.  Unlike the garden variety pimple, they do not contain oil or bacteria  so they don’t become red and inflamed.   Milia  just sit there. Forever.

Another important difference, milia are actually  in the dermis and if you try to  remove them yourself, you  can do real  damage to the skin. Seriously, you … Continue Reading…