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…

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…

Tri-luma- Five Top Questions

1.  Can I use Tri-luma on  my chest?

In theory, yes but its not going to be that effective.  A chest with lots of freckles and age spots will need more help than Tri-lima can  provide.  Once areas of hyperpigmentation become raised and lumpy, you’re going to need some kind of  laser or IPL to deal with them. 

2. Can I use Tri-luma and Retin A together ? 

It  depends. Tri-luma already contains Retin A to increase cell turnover, hydroquinone to break down  and discourage pigment formation and a steroid to keep down inflammation.  If you are using Tri-luma  under  your eyes, you can  then apply Retin  A to the other facial areas.  If you have areas of discoloration on your cheeks and forehead, you can use Tri-luma on these areas, but not at the same time you are  using Retin A. It won’t do a  better  job and will  make you … Continue Reading…

Is Water the Secret to Beautiful Skin?

Its hard to pick up a newpaper or magazine without reading of another celebrity  who credits her  good looks to-wait for it- drinking  plenty of water.  For example Kim Kardashian   has admitted to  extensive laser hair removal (” hey, I’m Armeanian”) and  posted  photos of her post- Botox bruises.  Yet in an interview she credits her luminous skin and incredible body  to drinking water.

Now I have nothing against water but its not the fountain  of youth.  I drink it every day and in fact I  especially like Poland Spring water  which is from a real  spring and not  just filtered  reservoir water.  And I can understand that iconic beauties don’t want to reveal their use of Botox, fillers, lasers or even IPL.  But … Continue Reading…

Using Facial Imaging to Identify Skin Aging

This photo  shows the areas of sun damage via  theCanfield Imaging System. ( And I’m so glad that this is not a dating site).  On the left is a standard  photo and my skin looks fairly even in color.  On the right its a different story.  The brown spots are areas of hyperpigmentation– too much melanin from sun exposure.  What I find really interesting  are the light areas under the nose and around the eyebrows which are areas  where there is loss of pigmentation  Apparently UV rays can destroy cells ability to make any pigment.  Its not really visable to the naked eye, but it causes the skin to look dull and tired.  I was amused that the special cameras picked up the loss of pigment  areound the … Continue Reading…

Moisturizers CAN Prevent Lines and Wrinkles

Most doctors dismiss  the idea that moisturizers can prevent signs of aging–  and I believed them. But now new research may change their minds– and mine.  A new study  just published in the prestigious British Journal of Dermatology suggests that untreated dry skin does indeed lead to lines and wrinkles.  Even more interesting, the study found that consistant  use of moisturizers clearly prevented the development  of permanent wrinkling.

Here’s how it works:  Wrinkles develop overtime due to  repeated sun damage, hormonal changes and  repeated useage from facial expressions.  Every time we laugh, eat, shout, smile, talk or squint,  we  are straining the elastin and collagen fibers in the skin.  As the good ( and bad) times  go by, the skin gets quite a workout and temporary expressions become permanently etched in our faces.   Not to worry!  This new study  suggests that regular useage of moisturizers ” plasticize” the skin.  ( Their word, not mine) . This means that moisturizers, … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging At Any Age — The Fabulous Forties

Right now on the newstand the models on the cover of three top magazines are over 40– Julia Roberts  in Elle and the two Jennifers, Aniston and Lopez, in Glamour and Bazaar. Its not just that these women look great  for 40.  Ladies,  this is what 40  can look like today.

And this is true despite the fact that 40’s  are the start of true aging.  Up to this time,  beauty problems were  pseudo-aging from external  factors such as  sun exposure, cigarettes, alcohol use, stress and diet.  Now there is internal aging that affects how we look.  Our skin is getting drier and losing the ability to hold onto moisture. Fat pads under the eyes are shrinking which can increase under-eye shadows.  As the circulation starts to slow down, there is a decline in natural radiance.  Smile lines  appear when you are not smiling and squint lines frame the eye when its not sunny.

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Retin A in the Winter

I’ve been using Retin A for almost a week and its been fairly easy.  But when the weather turned cold and windy, my cheeks got a bit red and my chin looked flaky.  It looked so minor, but  knowing  the potential for real irritation, I decided to take it seriously.  I decided to skip Retin A  that night and drenched my skin with Aveeno Soothing Moisturizer.  By morning the skin  was calm and soft. 

For me, the take away is that when using Retin A, you have to be flexible and think ahead.  I need to keep using Retin A  regularly to get the maximum beauty benefits– and this means changing routinue at the first sign of the irritation and dryness.

Close-up: Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA)

Alpha Hydroxy Acids ( AHA), which are also called fruit acids, are naturally found in a wide range of foods including grapes ( tataric … Continue Reading…