When I started No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I expected that most of the people who would be would be like me and over 40– way over 40. I was pretty surprised when site analytics showed that over 30% of No-Nonsense visitors were in their 20’s and 50% were under 40. In fact the majority of comments and questions were sent in from smart resourceful thirtysomething women. Its human nature to avoid issues until they on top of us, but these bright young women are asking all the right questions years before they actually have to face them in the mirror.
Different Answers for Different Aging
Like everything else in the body, skin changes naturally over time and its not surprising that anti-aging skin care differs over time. Under age 30 our skin is … Continue Reading… →
Question: I am a 45 year old South Asian women. I now live near Chicago and the weather is usually grey and very cold. My cousin says I still need to use a sunscreen and I think its unnecesary at this time of year. Who is right?
Answer: Umm, I tend to stay out of family arguments, but in this case I have to say your cousin is right. The UV rays are hitting our skin all year round. While your melanin rich complexion provides protection from sun aging and skin cancers, even weak UV rays can provoke unwanted patches of darker pigmentation known as hyperpigmentation or melasma. Brown spots and splotches are an increasing problem for skin of color. Rather than spend a good part of your beauty dollar on products that promise to brighten and even out the skin tones, prevent hyperpigmentation … Continue Reading… →
While I cover many anti-aging tools, I get so many questions about Retin A, I decided to do a post covering the Five Top Questions. This actually increased the number of questions that I posted a free, four page PDF guide to Retin A. Retin A Road Rules covers the basic issues such as how it works and who should use it. The guide continues with a step by step program for incororating Retin A into a daily skin care. For example to avoid irritation and flaking you need to wait at least 20 minutes between the time you wash your face and when you apply Retin A before bedtime. Road Rules also includes a complete review of the six different types of Retin A , including the pros and cons of each … Continue Reading… →
When I started my anti-aging explorations, I really wasn’t thinking about my neck. It was just there to hold up my head and someplace to hang a great necklace. As I could see changes on my face from Retin A, I could see a clear difference in the skin quality between my cheeks and my neck. Dr Marmur, my uber dermatologist, told me that I could use Retin A on my neck, but it would take at least a year to show genuine results. She also reminded me to use sunscreen on my neck, something I had NEVER done. It just didn’t occur to me.
After several months on Retin A without the big results I saw on my face, we decided to remove the big freckles and age spots with lasers … Continue Reading… →
Answer: I love new beauty ideas that are based on good science and BB creams are just such a concept. BB stands for ‘blemish balm” where blemish is defined as a skin defect ( eg dark spots and splotches and acne scars), not just traditional breakouts.
The original BB creams were developed by a Korean dermatologist to help his patients care for laser treated skin. After having both IPL and frying off my freckles with a YAG laser, I had difficulty finding appropriate moisturizers and sun protection products. The treatments made my skin especially vulnerable to sun damage, yet traditional chemical sunscreens were irritating while zinc based formulations left my skin with a weird white sticky film.
BB creams are a genuinely clever idea. They are a zinc based high SPF moisturizer/sun block combo that have a flattering tint. The result? On the skin … Continue Reading… →
Question: I have heard so many horror stories about IPL, but you had great results. Can you tell me what machine was used and at what settings?
Answer: I had IPL with Dr Ellen Marmur of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, so I asked her to answer this question. Dr Marmur used the Luminis IPL with two handpieces– the 560nm and the 590nm. “Both of them focus on red spots, blood vessels and brown freckles” she explained. “The treatment settings vary from patient to patient based on skin color and the amount of the target to be removed. For example, I use lower settings for freckles to avoid over-heating the skin.’ Dr Marmur also warned against getting IPL when tanned ” You need to avoid the sun for at least wo weeks prior to IPL treament ” she warned.
This week’s question shows how far skin care products have come in the last ten years. Both cell growth factors and Retin A are significant anti-aging tools. Cell growth factors wake up old tired fibroblasts in the skin and get them to provide more collagen. Retin A also increases healthy young collagen in the skin but we don’t exactly know why. In addition the retinoids stimulat circulation producing a youthful healthy glow to the skin. Finally retionoids exfoliate the skin that has three, count ’em three great benefits– it removes dull dry tired skin, it stimulates the growth of new fresh skin and it slowly lightens discolorations and flat age spots. Nice.
But both retinoids and cell growth factors products have a few issues. Retinoids can be very irritating and some women just can’t use them. For women of color, retin A may actually cause … Continue Reading… →
Each time I do a post on skin lightening and mention hydroquinone, I get a flurry of concerned emails warning me against using it. Often they point out that hydroquinone can cause cancer and was banned in Europe. Yet the usually quick to pull the recall trigger FDA still permits hydroquinone to be sold here– both in over the counter formulations and in prescription only preparations. I was both confused and worried. Digging into the literature and talking to a few trusted experts, here is the current take on hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is considered the most effective skin lightenens currently available and is one of the very few on that acts by preventing melanin formation. There are three problems associated with hydroquinone:
1) Tthe British Cancer Journal published a study that linked very high doses of hydroquinine to cancers in mice. A second similar study found similar … Continue Reading… →