Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week Kari of Fabulous Over Forty is hosting Fashion Flash.  Kari and I shared a stage at  Beauty Bash last  month and when she showed  her before and after  anti-aging  make-up, you could  hear  the audience gasp.  Her fifty something model  looked 10 years  younger in  ten minutes after  Kari camouflaged  her lines, sags and darkened areas.  Kari  shared  her makeover  game plan on her site and its a keeper.  Kari is a concealer grand  master  and  she uses it to literally erase years from your face.  I downloaded a copy and taped  it up near my make-up mirror .

And if you live in  New York city area,   make plans  to attend  the Clarins Beauty and Style Update on November10.  Sponsored by Glow Beauty Magazine, this  program will feature  Dr Tracy Pfeifer, selected by New York Magazine  as ” Best Beauty Doctor” in NYC and style expert  Jaccui Stafford.  There’s no charge, get 20% off Clarins  products, enjoy  the  wine and cheese  and leave with a goody bag of products.  Its an amazing beauty event and I always take home  new tips and information.  Please RSVP to Kerry at 212-734-6100.

Question and Answers- What’s the deal with Boots #7?

Question:  I’ve heard that a moisturizer from Boots Chemists actually works on wrinkles.  Is this true?

Answer:  This might sound like another urban legend, but studies of Boots #7 have actually been published in the always reliable British Journal of Dermatology.  Beautifully designed research actually looked at  changes both  in the cellular level and those visable in the  mirror and came up with desirable results.

Here’s how  it worked.  In the lab, this study looked  at fibrillin deposits in the cells as a “marker” for cellular aging.  Fibrillin is associated with new collagen growth anad as we grow older, fibrillin  levels naturally decline.  After six months of using Boots #7, researchers found increased levels of fibrillin right where you would want them to be.  Even  better, the study also found that in real time about 40% of the women saw a decline in wrinkles, especially around the eyes. 

Boots #7 has about 6% active ingredients of pentapeptides, antioxidants and retinyl palmitate.  This mixture is not as powerful as the gold- standard Retin A, but it is much less expensive and  less irritating anti-aging option. 

If you live in England you can find a Boots Chemists in practically every neighborhood.  In the US you can gets Boots#7 online at Ulta, Target and Amazon– at about $20.  Nice product, nice price.

Invisalign, Take 2

Last year I tried to get Invisalign orthodenture, but “Dr Braces” as  I call her said I was not a candidate.  Instead she offered a plan that started by extracting four back teeth.  Then full metal permanent  braces for at least two years and at the cost of at least 10 grand.   I got out of that office so fast I left skid marks.

This year at Beauty Bash ( the lifestyle expo created by Geri Brin at  Fabulous Over Fifty, I made a point to touch base with the cosmetic dentists.  I was especially impressed by Dr Jaqueline Fulop-Goodling  aka Dr Jackie.  She is one of the top Invisalign dentists in the US.  I was impressed by both her credentials and her dazzling smile.

 From the first  moment I  walked into her  New York office could sense a difference in  her approach.  Instead of  a plaster mold of my teeth,  Dr Jackie takes a  digital panoramic radiograph of   the mouth.  Standing up at the machine,I put my chin on a head rest and my teeth were clenched  on  a little bar.  The screens of the machine revolved around my face, capturing every missplaced tooth.

This time the report  was very different.  According to Dr   Jackie, my overbite  was not due to overcrowding, but another sign of aging.  Apparently as the years go by, the  jaw bone loses density and the teeth start to shift around.  They can sink back, twist around and/ or  push forward– all problems that Invisalign can handle.

Dr Jackie will also be  shaping my front teeth a bit so that fit  together better.  It will take about a year at about half the cost of the torture plan from Dr Braces.  At the next appointment I will get fitted for my first series of alignment trays.  Its much more fun getting orthodenture without having to deal  with  homework and curfew.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week the host of Fashion Flash is Staness of Menopause Makeover.   I love her blog for its  healthy delicious recipes and her down to earth advice.  She was one of the most popular experts at  Beauty Bash and  she had over 40 back to back consultations  over the two day event. It was the first time I met Staness and she  is beautiful, warm and super smart.  Her site always the latest info on woman’s health issues and its facts you can trust.

And when you’ve clicked through all the great Fashion Flash sites,  check out The Flat Belly Book by Liz Vaccariello who  is editor-in-chief of Prevention magazine. This best selling diet book offers nutritional dvice to reduce  belly fat.  All good, but what I like about this eating plan is the emphasis on fats like linoleic acid– the fat  linked to reduced  levels of wrinkles.  People who had diets higher in linoleic acid (found in nuts and avocodos) had fewer and later signs of skin aging.  The book is packed with nutrional tips and strategies.   For example it offers a uique 4 day anti-bloat  diet that is a wonderful way to have a flat belly on those occasions (  high school reunions, first  date)  when you want to look especially spectacular.  I tried the diet when I realized that  a new dress bought for a conference dinner  pulled around my tummy when I sat down. The anti-bloat diet worked beautifully  and I didn’t have to fall back on my black “fat” dress.

And I think its recipe for Sassy water ( a blend of  ginger, lemon and cucumber) is worth the price of the book.  Calorie and caffeine free, Sassy water offers delicious hydration and anti0xidants  that you can sip on all day.   I’ve started to keep a pitcher of it in my fridge.

Its Faux Tox Friday!

Question:  Do  Botox  creams really work?

Answer:  Its sounds  like  a back room  beauty product– Botox in a gel that  you simply  apply  to the skin.  But its really happening.  A true  Botox  topical gel is  deep in clinical trials and results are very encouraging.   The gel is applied to  the skin  by a physician and delievers about 25% of the impact of a Botox injection.  According to Reverance Therapeutics which is developing the gel, more than 200 patients have been treated with it and it  has been shown to be both safe and effective.   It will be approved for treatment of wrinkles around the eyes and offer  a reasonable  option for those of  us who cringe at  injections. I’ve heard that the price  for applications will be  significantly less than true Botox, about $150/treatment. 

However keep in mind  that  you won’t be able to use it at home.  Every application will have to be done in a doctor’s office.  Its still in clinical trials and probably won’t be available for another year.  But its very nice to know its coming.

Currently there are a number of  existing  products that claim to  have Botox-like effects.  They often contain  ingredients  like argireline  which  is supposed to inhibit a unique protein in the cells that sends  signals from nerves to muscles.  At least that’s the way its supposed to work.  Most experts  are not impressed with the results and I am going to wait  for the real thing.

Do Vitamins Cause Cancer?

My aunt and uncle were true believers.  Every morning they would open a tackle box  filled with rainbow colored pills and capsules.  They took so  many supplements that their holistic physician urged them to cut back.   They ignored him and   were healthy and active until their late 80′s. Even  as she reached 90, my aunt looked lovely with a  thick hair and bright blue eyes.

Watching them dip and swoop about their box of pills  turned me off vitamin supplements, but I couldn’t argue with success– so I hedged my  nutritional bet with a  daily  multi-vitamin.  I was careful to choose  supplements that stayed within recommended limits.  Smugly I felt I had gamed the odds.  I covered my basic nutritional needs, but I didn’t risk excessive levels. My little red multi-vitamin gave me a nice sense of security.

Now, not one but two new studies found that  daily vitamin supplements were  linked  to an increase in cancer.   Researchers at the University of Minnesota tracked 38,000 women over 18 years in  still ongoing study called the Iowa Woman’s Health Study.  The women were over 60  when they started to report on their daily vitamin  supplement use. The results?  Not only did the supplements fail to protect against disease, the real shocker was that they were linked  to a 2.5% increased mortality.  Not good news.

The second study  by the  National Cancer Institute looked at the impact of vitamin E on risks of prostate cancer.  It had been assumed that vitamin E reduced the risk of prostate cancer, but things didn’t work  out as planned.  The ten year study found that men who took vitamin E had a 17% increase in prostate cancer.  Now I don’t even  have a prostate, but I’ve been taking  it for supposed cardiac benefits.  Should I be worried?

Do you take vitamin supplements?  Do these studies worry  you?  And what about all  the vitamins  that are in anti-aging creams? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week Shawna of Female Fat Loss Over 40 is hosting Fashion Flash.  She recently  threw down a challenge to  the  rest of rest of us to join her in a structured fitness program.  Jojami  of Fabulous After 40  took  it on and  has posted a video clip  of her progress.  We were together at Beauty Bash and she looked  amazing. But  even more impresive was her stamina.   After six hours   on her feet at the Fabulous After 40 booth, she was still bright and bubbly– and in  4 inch heels!  

And when you have  checked out all the linked posts on Fashion Flash, go back to Fabulous After 40  and click  on The Ultimate Cure for the Dysfunctional Closet DVD from Jojami.  I thought I had my clothes under control, but  Jojami is a closet grand master.  She takes you through   cleaning out  the content,  buying the right tools, and how to put  it all back.  The Ultimate Cure for the Dysfunctional Closet is an extremely well done video– funny, well edited and with great energy.  I’m not surprised since   Jojami has been connected to  media since childhood.  Her  dad is actor James Best  who was a fixture  on TV westerns in the fifties and on The Dukes of Hazzard.

Q & A- Does Soy Cause Breast Cancer?

 October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I thought this is the right time to get the right answer to this question.   For almost as long as I can remember, nuritionists have urged us to  replace red meat with soy.  In  China  its  called the meat without bones and its nutritional profile- high in protein yet  low in  cholesterol-  certainly seemed to justify its place in the good food hall of fame. 

But within recent years there  have  been concerns that the estrogen-like compounds in soy, called phytoestrogens, can trigger estrogen receptors in the breast and  increase risk of breast cancer.    There have  been  a  number of dueling studies, some  finding an increased incidence  of cancer while others that say it actually can lower risk.  These dueling  yes  it does no its doesn’t  studies may be entertaining for researchers, but  for women who are trying to stay healthy, the back and forthing is well, upseting.

At this point in time  ( and it could change with the next study) doctors generally advise that  soy in moderate amounts will not cause problems in a well rounded diet.  But its not that easy.

Soy is so widely used  and in so  many forms its hard to judge how much soy  you are actually eating everyday.  In addition  to the obvious soy sauce and tofu, soy in the form of flour is added to commercial breads, crackers, cookies, even frozen prepared meals.  Soy milk lates are a standard at Starbucks  and whole shelves at Whole Foods are devoted to soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy pepperoni, soy mayonaise and veggie burgers.  Soy is routinely  used in Kosher food products and don’t forget soy ice creams  like Tofutti.

The multiple food uses of soy can lead  to  troubling levels of daily  soy intake.  For me the takeaway  is to monitor  how much soy I am actually eating/using.  I read packges of  bread and crackers, switched  to almond milk lattes and limit my beloved edameme  to a once a week treat. And  I still use my favorite soy entiched moisturizer where it acts  as an antioxidant and reduced inflammation.

Are you concerned about soy?  Have you changed your eating habits to reduce soy exposure?

Another Anti-Aging Option

I recently watched a video that helped me finally understand  how human growth factors actually  work. At an excellent breakfest presentation at Bergdorf Goodman, Dr Alex Khadavi  explained how this type of  anti-aging moisturizer can reduce  fine lines and wrinkles.  Let me walk you through it:

Collagen is  produced by fibroblasts and naturally occurring human growth factors trigger fibroblsts into action.  As we get older, the levels of human growth factors fall and  the fibroblasts   seem to go into hibernation.  THat’s the bad news.  The good news?   Human growth factors in  face and eye treatment products   wake up the  fibroblasts to start doing their job making new collagen.  With healthy new tissue, the skin is  firmer and less lined.

Keep in mind that  lines  are  just one of over a dozen signs of  facial aging.  Growth factors does not affect  age spots, dark patches,  pallor, redness  or  dryness– and  the skin needs  additional help to deal with these problems.  However  if you don’t want   to or can’t use Retin A,  there is growing evidence that human growth factors are a viable option.   You can  also combine growth factors  with other anti-aging solutions.  For example you can reduce  dark patches with IPL and use growth factors to  firm up skin tone.

SkinMedica  makes one of the first   and most studied  human growth  products on the market. LA based  Dr Khadavi has developed a human growth factor product  ( RejuveMD) that is delivered in a liposome which improves absorption.  I was given a  one month sample and I am going to  use it on my laugh lines.  I’ll post  before and after pix  so we can both judge the results.

One final point:  I keep using the term HUMAN growth factor.  There are actually anti-aging products with PLANT growth factors.  Many experts including Dr Khadavi point out that  plant growth and human growth are widely different–  and do not believe that plant growth  factors can be  of much help to  human skin.  Makes sense.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week  host of Fashion Flash is Jodell of Black Cat Plus  who  has a review of  new lingerie that combines the control of the old-fashioned corset with the comfort of modern shapewear.   She actually road tested the new shapewear for an entire day and evening which  can be a very long time to be in  shapewear– and its a review you can  trust.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminding me that five close friends   in the past three years have been diagnosed with cancer.  While smoking, alcohol and environmental issues  certainly play a role, peer-reviewed studies  believe that 30% of cancer  risk is related  to diet.   The NHANES study which I use as a source of info for the role of diet  and skin aging found sigificant  connections between daily diet and cancers.  The articles from this study are impressive,  but very technical and still don’t really tell you  what to eat.  Foods To  Fight Cancer  by Drs Beliveau and Gingras ( DK Publications) is a dynamic guide that translates the studies to practical info to  the foods that reduce cancer risk.  Its packed with on point information, easy to read and  is encouraging rather than scary. Illustrated with beautiful photographs and dotted with  useful charts,  its become  my go-to guide on nutritional details.  And best of all its in paperback at less than $20.  I’ve ordered copies for my friends for Amazon and feel a little less helpless to support them.  Have you  friends who are  dealing with cancer?  How do you show  that  you are there for them?