The Anti- Aging Chest

golden globe (2)Watching the red carpet parade of beautiful women at the Golden Globes, I was mesmerized by the flawless chests above the strapless or plunging gowns. While we usually focus on signs of aging around the face and eyes, the skin on chest is often more lined and sun damaged and in need of some TLC. These women who professional lives depend on their beauty clearly knew this and they take great care to create a smooth polished and sexy decollete.

After trying  out  a wide range of anti-aging tools for my face, I realized that   there was now quite a difference between the skin on my face and the skin on my chest.  Last year  I had most of the freckles  and age spots  on my chest removed by  laser, but one big oddly shaped splotch resisted treatment.   … 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…

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…

Kojic Acid– Can it lighten my skin?

Kojic Acid  has been around for almost  100 years.  It was originally discovered by Japanese scientists  who were working on different fermenting methods  to turn malted rice into sake.  As the story goes, the scientists noticed that spots and freckles on their hands disappeared after working with Sake production.  Kojic Acid has been a popular Japanese beauty aid for generations.  In recent years we’ve learned that Kojic Acid acts somewhat  like hydroquinone by preventing melanin  formation.

Research has shown that Kojic Acid can be effective but it has its problems.  On the one  hand it tends to be unstable and high concentrations are often needed to be an  effective spot buster.  On the other hand, Kojic can be very irritating and is known  to cause allergic reactions.  Often the best solution is to combine lower concentrations of Kojic acid with other skin lighteners like soy or hydroquinone.

If you want to try … Continue Reading…

Can A Soy Moisturizer Brighten My Skin?

Soy is a fascinating ingredients in anti-aging  skin care products.  Studies  have shown that its a powerful antioxidant and help the growth of healthy new collagen.  In addition, genistein, a chemical in soy, prevents melanin pigments from attaching to skin cells.  This makes soy a great addition to sun protection and indeed soy  is effective for preventing and reducing  brown spots and freckles of sun damage.  However, soy does not work nearly so well for melasma, those dark patches that usually appear on the cheeks and forehead.   This type of hyperpigmentation appears to be fueled by estrogen and in fact genistein is a type of pseudo-estrogen.  In theory soy might actually  make melasma worse.

So to bottom line it, if you have been a sun baby and have lots of small freckles, soy enriched  moisturizers could  brighten your skin.  If you  have larger patches, especially  if they developed … Continue Reading…

Skin Lightening, Week One

  Here is the two step  jar of Elure, the new skin brightening agent.  The jar is divided into two compartments.  As per instructions, I used the first little spatula to put a dab of cream from the first side on  the BIG FRECKLE, waited a  minute then spread the same amount from side two on the same spot.  Totally simple, but I’ve yet to get into a routinue to do it twice a day.  So far, I’ve put  on about half  the recommended doses.  I’ve got to step up my game to give it a legitimate chance to work. I keep forgetting to put it on  either in the morning or evening.  I think that if I was using  on my face, it would be easier to remember, and just add it to my skin care routinue– but I’m not  … Continue Reading…

My BFF– Best Friend with Freckles

Intense Pulsed  Light (IPL) is a type of photorejuvenation  that uses  a blast of light to remove freckles, unwanted hair and  little red lines on the skin.    Often called the “lunchtime laser”  it does not burn off the top layers of the skin like a tradtional laser and the skin looks beautiful and smooth within a week.    I had IPL  last year in June  with Dr Marmur and was so pleased with the results.  I thought  it made my skin look tighter and fresher and I posted before and after pics on the blog.  My BFF ( best friend with freckles) liked  the changes so much that  she went  for her own IPL date.  I think her results were even better.  Not only does she look 10 years  younger, her skin  has a new radiance.  She is so pleased with the … Continue Reading…

A Beauty Bonus for my Neck

Here is a pix of my neck ten days after removing the various bumps and splotches.  The scabs are gone and  the redness is slowly fading. To avoid awkward stares  questions,  I am still wearing scarves and chuncky necklaces to cover them up.  I found that powder mineral foundation does hide them,  but then rubs off and stains  my tees and blouses, soI’m sticking to camouflage rather than make-up.  Now that I’ve worked so hard to  polish up   my neck and chest  I want to protect it from new problems.  I had three types of spots:

Brown spots:   These are a combination of age and sunlight.  The former I can’t so anything about– the latter just needs a daily sunscreen.  Done.

Skin tags: These are also linked to age and to high blood sugar levels. Not surprising, since I have type II … Continue Reading…