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…

Exploring a New Freckle Fighter

I was intrigued by a new freckle fighting cream called Elure.  There are  good clinical studies that it can lighten dark patches in 7-28 days.  Elure gets  its power from a type of naturally occuring enzyme derived from tree mushrooms.  Called legnin peroxidase, it acts by breaking down melanin  in the skin cells.  Unlike hydroquinone, this enzyme is non irritating  and shows no skin sensitivity.

We all know that excess pigmentation is linked  to sun exposure.  What is less well known is that as we get older there is an increase in dark spots and splotches due to a slowdown in the rate of cell growth. In our twenties cells turn over every 28 days.  By the 50’s, the cycle is extended to 45 days.  This means that darkened … Continue Reading…

Red Carpet Shoulders

Watching the celebs walk the red carpet during awards season, I began to focus on the flawless  chests and creamy  shoulders of the stars  in their strapless gowns.  Was I  the last woman in America with  age spots  on my upper body?

The short answer is  no.  This is an often overlooked spot until a dress or bathing suit suddenly reminds you that sun damage doesn’t stop at the chin. That’s the bad news.   The good news?   There a buffet of spots removers including skin bleaches, IPL, lasers, Fraxel, peels and  microdermabrasion. The question is  which one  is the best.   According to Dr Marmur, I have several  different types of discolorations that require  different types of treatments.  For example the true freckles can be easily treated with a YAG or Ruby laser– the … Continue Reading…

My New Beauty Baseline

I got a new high resolution facial imging photo from Dr Bruce Katz  at the Juva Medispa in New York City.  My original image was done with the Reveal   machine– and to be able to accurately judge changes in my skin, I needed to get a new baseline photo from the same machine that I would be using to chronicle the differences anti-aging treatments will make. Equally important, these photos will be “read” by  the same expert  pair of eyes.

The  new photos done on the Visia imaging machine  also provides more information about dark spots, pores, wrinkles and texture.   According to Dr Katz, “the ultra violet light allows you to see what can’t be seen”.  Dr Katz   recommends  that women from 20-80 get a baseline facial imaging to assess the health of the … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Hands, part 3

The day fter the laserering of my hands, the spots feel totally healed.  They still look pretty red, but  they are not at all painful.  Rather than cover them  up with the dressings Dr M gave me, I decided to  use the same concealer that worked so well when I  lasered the age spots on my face– and off I  went for the day.

The no- bandaid decision was probably not my best idea.  The concealer quickly wore off and I realized that my raw laser treated hands  were getting way to much exposure to UV rays.  I ducked into Hampton Chutney, an UWS restaurant for lunch and was halfway thru my sandwich and perfect Indian ice coffee when  a preganat woman stopped by my table.

“Excuse me, but … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Hand Care

When I was just starting out as a beauty writer, a very elegant Conde Nast editor told me that ” hands give away  your true age”.  Back then, her mark went right over my head.  Today I get it. While Retin A and IPL have polished my skin smooth, my hands are wrinkled, veiny and dotted with brown spots.

I have been fairly diligent  about using sunscreen on my face, but pretty much forgot about my hands.  Like a textbook description of sun damage, the back of my hands  have wrinkles and age spots. According to my derm, Dr Marmur,  the spots  may fade in a bit over the winter, but will come roaring back even darker  in the spring.  Best treatment?  Another date with a laser .  I will get … Continue Reading…