New Respect for Retinol

I have often mentioned my reservations about retinols vs the more powerful retinoids like Retin A.  When applied to the skin, retinols have to convert themselves to  a true retinoid before they can be effective. Researchers estimate that a retinol is only 25% as effective as a Retin A.   For example, a .1% Retinol (  a very common concentration) is equal to a .025 Retin A–  which is actually the mildest Retin A on the market.  And then there is the problem that most retinol products don’t say how much of the power  stuff they actually contain.  You can’t know if a  product is to weak to be effective or too strong and irritating. 

I stayed away from retinol products until wandering in the exhibit hall  of a derm conference, I picked up  free samples … Continue Reading…

IPL– Five Top Questions

IPL laser treatments are one of the fastest growing anti-aging  office proceedures.  When I  had IPL and posted the before, healing and after  photos, I received more questions than on any other topic.   IPL is often described as the “lunchtime laser”, but its really a bigger deal than say,  a manicure.   What I learned from the experience should  give you the tools to get the beautiful results  you want

1.  Can I have IPL while pregnant?

It’s not recommended.  IPL has never been tested during pregnancy and few if any dermatologists would do the procedure during these critical nine months. If anyone says they will do  it at this time,  run.

2.  Can I have IPL on my hands?

Yes, it works beautifully  on the hands and probably heals faster than the YAG laser I used on my hands last month.  However IPL is more expensive than the traditional laser treatment on the same area.

3. … Continue Reading…

IPL Laser, Day 4

By Day 4   I decided to use a Buff Puff to remove the freckle debris.  I can see clear signs of improvement in the skin. 

It looks poreless and feels very soft.  There are a few red areas of irritation which I can easily cover  with a dab of concealer. IPL is recommended for early signs of aging and I can now see why.  I  have been using Retin-A for more than five months and  a YAG laser to burn off larger freckles.  The  heavy  lifting done, the IPL laser was able to gently but effectively refine  my skin.

Lunchtime Laser, Day Two

 The next morning I was happy to see the red splotches were gone, but now there were a shower of tiny brown spots on my nose and cheeks.  These are exploded freckles and  areas of discoloration. ( See photo) 

I know this means that my skin will  have a pinker more even color, but at this point its disconcerting.  They are supposed to fall off in a day or two.

While the after effects of the IPL laser is far less severe than a traditional laser, I wonder if the concept of  “lunchtime laser” has been ovesold.  I don’t know where you work, but I think my colleagues and clients would notice my new spots and splotches.  Next time  I am going to have  this type of anti-aging  procedure … Continue Reading…

The Anti-Aging Lunchtime Laser

I’m really happy with my Retin-A treatd skin but I’ve become greedy.  I asked my anti-aging  guru, Dr Marmur  of Mount Sinai, for micro-dermabrasion and she suggested  the IPL laser — aka “the lunchtime laser”.  Unlike the industrial strength CO2 laser, the IPL is non-ablative which means  that it does not remove whole layers of skin.  This makes healing much easier and faster.

Using bursts of  light of  different wave lengths, the IPL laser can remove freckles, brown patches, redness,  and enlarged pores.  As an extra bonus, IPL produces a bit of tightening for a  more youthful contour.  It is especially effective  for  signs of sun aging  when you’re in  your 30’s and 40’s.

I was told  to stop using Retin- A  three days before the procedure.  One hour  before my appointment, I applied lidocaine cream to numb the area.  Remembering my first painful laser exerience, I literally frosted my face with the numbing cream.   Dr Marmur  covered my eyes … Continue Reading…