Triluma– What happened?

Triluma, a combo of hydroquinone, Retin-A and a steroid was one of the first anti-aging tools I tried.  I used it successfully to reduce my dark circles and was planning to keep using it, but my dermatologist Dr Marmur said that I  needed to take a “Triluma Holiday”.  Apparently, it cannot be used  for more than three months at a time.  Then the skin needs to take a rest for three months before using it again.  But when I tried to refill my prescription, the product was “on back order”  at every pharmacy in NYC.  I began to hear from people who also reported they could  not get Triluma.  What  happened?

There was no FDA recall and no announcement from Galderma, the manufacturer of Triluma.   I kept digging and found that  Galderma itself  announced a recall of all its Triluma products made by a sub-contractor, Hill Dermaceuticals.  Apparently, Hill reported to Galderma that one of the  critical … Continue Reading…

Skin Deep Results of Hydro-Facial

Before my Hydro-Facial at the office of aesthetic surgeon  Dr Paul  Lorenc, his technician Carissa took a series  of  before and after  photos that were brutally honest. In the first pix,  the dark spots all over most of my face were signs of sun damage below the skin.  And here’s the scary part–  according to their calculation  I had mild-minimal damage.  I’ve got to see what significant damage looks like.  Note that  my forehead is pretty clear of dark spots.  I’ve worn  full bangs for 30 years which  has apparently protected the skin from sun damage.  Imagine how good my skin would  look with a full beard.  Around my eyes  you can see dark melanin pigment on  the lids as well as under the eyes.  Now I know  what’s driving my dark circles and … Continue Reading…

Does Everything Cause Dark Circles?

Apparently in addition to genetics, stress, age, salty foods, sunlight and skin type, allergies  can also trigger  dark under eye shadows.  I  had brought my dark circles under control with Triluma, a combo of Retin A,  hydroquinone and a steroid to keep things calm.  After three months of  use, you could see a real change.  However  Triluma can only be used for three months at a time and then  you need take a three month holiday before it can be used  again.  Its that strong.

In the meantime, I made sure to use a 20SPF sunblock under my eyes and avoided  pizza  and chinese food– two high salt foods– that were big dark circle triggers for me.   When my  three month Triluma holiday  was over, I  didn’t need  to  use it … Continue Reading…

Measuring Tri-luma

Looking  at my facial imaging photos  ( posted on Oct 8), I saw that that there were two  dark patches under my eyes–  also known as  under eye shadows.  It showed that this was not from indentation creating dark hollows, but true accumulations of sun damage and melanin.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  This  is the job that Tri-luma was  born to handle.

I had  used Tri-luma last  spring and was pleased with the results, but  this triple powered crem cannot be used indefinately, so I had stopped using it for several months.  I also realized that dealing with  hyperpigmentation under the eyes is not a short term problem.  The cells which produced so much melanin have a very long memory.  They are born to make melanin and given  the right circulstances  — sun exposure and stress– the cells again fill up with  dark pigment.   

But this time, I have another tool.  I … 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.

Continue Reading…

Beauty Dangers of Book Clubs

This week I had my monthly bookclub meeting which meant  great conversation, a perfect brie  and of course  several glasses of  a crisp Pinot Grigio.  The next morning I was reminded what  alcohol does to the skin.  My under-eye circles which  had nearly faded way ( thanks to Tri-luma) had now  suddenly  made an encore appearance.  The reddish/blue shadows were a clear sign  that  alcohol had caused minute leaking  from tiny blood vessels. under the eye.  I now have to wait until the body can breakdown this hemoglobin for the color to fade.   To help things along, I applied a compress of cold Lipton tea bags.  The cool temperature and tannin in the black tea  should shrink the swollen blood vessels– and shrunken  vessels won’t leak anymore blood and fluid.  Within 48 hours, the lurid color  had faded a bit and I can cover it with a dab of green Dermablend cream  under my regular concealer.  But I know  what … Continue Reading…

Under Eye Shadows and Allergies

Sometimes there are simple answers to complicated problems.  I was bummed out that  most of the improvements I had seen with Tri-luma were reversed by seasonal allergies.  But yesterday I went to an  allergist who gave me such a simple and effective solution– a saline nasal rinse.  You simply spray a salty solution into each nostril and blow.  I did it before  going to sleep  and  by morning,   the newly returned shadows  were noticably lighter.  I have to keep using the saline nasal spray   all summer, but its wonderful to have such an easy,  low-tech solution. 

This just goes to my  core belief that we need to get to the causes of  beauty problems to really  see a difference.  If  we don’t deal with  changes in the  body that are driving the problems, then attempts to fix the problem are just a frustating waste of time… and money.

Tri-luma Diaries

Tri-luma is a cream that is a combination of Retin A, hydroquinone ( established skin lightener) and a steroid  to  keep things calm.  It has been shown to successfully lighten unwanted dark areas on the skin– but not for everyone.  When it works it can lighten under-eye shadows as well as brighten a dull patchy complexion.  However it can also be irritating which  may actually  increase pigmentation — creating  more shadows and dark patches.  Definately not the result  I am looking for.

My first two days on Triluma were uneventful.  I followed standard  Retin A protocol and waited an hour after washing my face before applying a small dab of Tri-luma under my eyes.  In the morning  there was no redness or irritation.  I am going to take photos  every week  to note any changes.  The … Continue Reading…