Preventing Aging vs Reversing Aging

older and younger womenWhen 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…

Do I Really Need to Use A Sunscreen in Winter?

Q&A2Question: 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…

Retin Road Rules– last chance for free anti-aging guide

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…

Anti-Aging Neck News

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…

Question: What are BB creams?

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…

IPL– Safe and Beautiful Results

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.

IPL Road Rules

IPL … Continue Reading…

Retin A vs Cell Growth Factors- Which is Better?

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…

Does Hydroquinone Cause Cancer?

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…