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…

Glycolic Acid: Five Top Questions

Glycolic Acid is an amazing anti-aging tool. Used in a peel it  gives the skin a fresh rosy glow tht lasts for hours.  In a moisturizer,  glycolic acid increases cell renewal,  stimulates collagen and reduces wrinkles– sort of  a baby steps  Retin A. The trick is getting  maximum  benefits.

1.  What’s the difference between a glycolic peel at home and an office based peel?

The glycolic peel you can buy in stores contains 10-12% glycolic acid.  It will give your skin a little extra boost and a bit of a glow.  Cost:  $2/treatment.  THe office based peel uses 30-70% glycolic acid.  It can  leave your skin pretty red, and by the next day, somewhat flaky.  Everything calms down within 48 hours leaving your skin especially smooth and fresh.  Cost:  Range form $100-150 per session.  Home peels can be used several times a week, while office based peels are used no more than once a … Continue Reading…

Reversing Summer Aging– The Plan Begins

As I  progress in this anti-aging journey, I’ve discovered two things about myself:(1)  I really want to look good; (2) I want to look good really  FAST.  The little home  DDF Revolve Exfoliator  delivered on both accounts.  My skin looked fresher and healthier and it took only one minute.

The small hand held Revolve 400X is ultra easy to use.  It comes with two types of heads– a brush for deep cleansing and a sponge that’s used with a gritty gel.   The instructions are short and simple.  Squeeze out 1/2 teaspoon of the gel onto the sponge head.   Wash face as usual but don’t dry.   Push the grey button and press the vibrating sponge agaist your face for one minute.  I also aimed the exfoliator at my neck to tackle  that dull, bumpy skin.  Then I rinsed off my face throughly  to remove the gritty bits.

The difference was clear … Continue Reading…

Reversing Summer Aging

I’m happy that the summer heat wave is over, but my skin seems parched, dazed and well, somehow older.  According to my amazing derm Dr Ellen Marmur, the change in weather  has sent my skin into shock.  After months of sun, heat, sweating, chlorine, from the pool, and summer allergies, my skin is dull dry and tired.   Even more troubling, a few dark patches on my nose  that had been removed by laser,  have made a comeback.     I was all set to slather on my new stronger Retin A to jump start a better complexion, but  Dr Marmur  had a different two prong approach:

Step 1:  Take off the old dead layer of dead, dry and discolored  skin cells with a mild  office glycolic peel or microdermabrasion

Step 2:  Add  moisture, moisture and more moisture.  To this end  during the day I am to use a rich sunscreen such … Continue Reading…

Glycolic Power Peel

Sometimes an airbrush tan is too much for  special event.  Out of season, a sunny glow may seem out of place, especially if they saw you the day before  without one.  If you’re not showing a lot of skin, it  may not  be as appealing  or worth the time  and money.  And if you’re in  wedding party ( the bride or her  attendants) a tan can photograph as sweaty and shiny.  Not good.

To still get a dewy ” red carpet” complexion, my stylist friend swears by  a mild, store bought glycolic peel .  It takes about 3 minutes and leaves your skin rosy and poreless for hours. I love the peels that come in individually saturated two step pads.  The first  pad has the glycolic acid and the second has the neutralizer.  The pads are a perfect form of portion control.  You don’t get too much acid  that could burn or … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging at Any Age – The Thirties

This is the time the rubber hits the road.  Your body is still pumping out enough hormones to keep  the skin firm and soft.   But unless you’re in the habit of wearing a burkka,  your complexion  will be showing a few signs of environmental aging.  If your idea of a perfect  day is long, hot and sun-soaked,  odds are you are going  to have more than a few signs  of  external aging.  Seemingly overnight, you will  see larger than average freckles and raised brown spots.  If you live in sunny states, crows feet appear from   years of squinting in constant bright sunlight. 

 Depending on genetics and lifestyle ( alcohol, cigarettes and stress), under eye shadows can develop and  the skin looks dull and tired.  This isn’t nearly as depressing as it sounds.  Remember signs of ‘aging”  in the thirties  are  actually pseudo aging and can be easily  ( and affordably) erased. The first step is a … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Prevention Plan- The Twenties

For the twenties the key word ( or actually words)  to remember  is Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA’s.   Found naturally in  a number of  foods incuding milk, grapes and apples, the AHA’s   are a  twenty somethings best friend.  I like to see  them in cleansers, moisturizers, treatment products, eye creams, peels  and face masks.  This plan shows  how to use  them to enjoy  your youthful firm skin.

In the Morning:

* Wash your face with effective cleanser for your skin type.  If your skin tends to be dry use a moisturizing forumlation such as Aveeno Positively Radiant Cleanser with Soy.  There’s good science behind soy, indicating among other things  it  protects against sun damage– always a good thing.  If your skin tends to  be on the oily side  use an oi-free cleanser  such as  Deep Clean from  Neutrogena.  Wet your face with warm water  and rub a dab into your skin.  massage gently and rinse … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging At Any Age: Twenty-Somethings

The twenties are  a time for truely beautiful skin.  Acne should  be under control and visable signs of  aging are years away.  All your skin is asking from you  is effective cleansing and aggressive sun protection.

The challenge is not screwing  it  up.  A good cleanser will take off  the top  layer of  stale oil and dry, dead skin cells,  but will not strip  the skin of moisture or leave a sticky film.  Bar soap for normal skin or rinseable cleansers are excellent choices.   During the day use an oil freee moisturizer with at least a 15SPF ( 30 would be ideal).  At bedtime, treat the skin with an alpha hydroxy acid, one of my all time favorite  beauty ingredients.

Alpha Hydroxy acids ( AHA’s)  are found naturally in  common foods including apples, tomatoes, sugar crane, lemons, wine, and apples. In fact women have been using AHA’s as beauty aids for centuries.  Cleopatra has … Continue Reading…