A Moisturizer For All Seasons

Q&A2Question:  Is there a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores?  When my skin gets dry from RetinA or a laser type treatment, I need to  put on a moisturizer to relieve dryness and flaking.  But whatever I try  seems to provoke acne  breakouts.  Any ideas?

Answer:  This is such a common problem and until last week I didn’t have  much of an answer.  Sometimes a moisturizer that was both oil and fragrance free would work, but often that too  could provoke problems.  Then at a recent dermatology conference in New York,  laser care expert Dr Mark Nestor of Miami recommended a  water based spray to provide moisture.  In addition to water, the spray should contain glycerin and  natural  moisturizing factors  such as hyaluronic acid. Plain water sprays would actually increase dryness but  the glycerin and hyaluronic acid would help the skin … Continue Reading…

What’s the best way to deal with brown patches?

Darkened areas  on the cheeks, dark circles under the eyes, age spots, and  hyperpigmentation  are all basically  the same problem– excess melanin production in the skin.  It  can happen at any age, but as  we grow older  it becomes more of a problem.  While we often focus on lines and wrinkles as signs of aging, clearing  brown spots and splotches  can erase years from your skin. 

While there seems to be a boatload of options, there are basically two different approaches:

1.  Products that inhibit the skin cells from producting melanin.

2.  Procedures that actually remove darkened skin.

One of the  most powerful tools against hyperpigmentation  has been hydroquinone, but  many doctors use it cautiously.   There were reports of increased pigmentation and  allergic reactions  with hydroquinone and  but according to Dr Wendy Roberts  these problems were often due to contamination of hydroquinone products. Doctors found that it was the … Continue Reading…

Getting Back The Pretty

At the recent Mount Sinai derm conference Dr Marmur explored the beauty imperative of what  makes a man or woman attrctive.  For men its fairly simple — a strong jaw ( think Superman) and broad shoulders immediatey convey appealing masculinity.  For women, its more complicated.

Dr Marmur identifed the five features of femininity that are deemed appealing– full lips, big eyes, small nose, arched eyebrows, and smooth rounded forehead.  (Think Byonce, a young Liz Taylor  and Bratz dolls).  What  blew me away was that as we grow older we lose those signs of pretty femininity.  The forehead becomes lined  and bone loss at the temples  makes the eyes look smaller.  It doesn’t stop there.  Collagen contracts in the nose  making the tip to droop down and look longer.  As gravity … Continue Reading…

The Link Between Health and Beauty

During the holidays, I went to an event hosted by The Three Tomtoes (thethreetomatoes.com), a great  site that is aimed  at women  “who aren’t kids”.  As I  looked around, I could see  the room was filled with attractive women.  Not so long ago women over  50 were described as “aging”  Today 50 plus women are dynamic, vital and sexy.  But this was not just a room of Botox Babes.  There was  something more, much more.

When I mentioned  to my physician husband how healthy and attractive the women looked at the party, Neil was  not surprised. “Women today look better because they are healthier.  They eat healthier, smoke less, exercise more and if health probems arise, we have new tools.”

Health care advances have changed the landscape of middle age.  For … Continue Reading…

Retin A — Easy Does It

I was so delighted with the gentle progress of my new .1% Retin A Micro, I decided to step it up and use it every night after just a week.  Not my best idea  Seemingly overnight, my skin sprouted dry white flakes.  I’m sure that the cold windy weather didn’t  help.  I can’t control the weather– but I am  the supreme master of  how often  I use Retin A.  I’m going back to  an every -other- night routinue.  Lesson learned.

So what do I use on  my Retin A night off?  I know that I can’t use Vitamin C at the same time – potentially irritating- but what about on the  Retin A free nights.   There are shelves of peer reviewed studies that demonstrate Vitamin C  ( a powerful  anti-oxidant) can smooth out lines and wrinkles and  increase healthy  collagen– and after age 50 who can’t  use some extra collagen. 

There … Continue Reading…

Big Girl Retin A– Week 2

I’m learning  how to deal with this uber-strength Retin A.  I’ve stepped back  and now  using it every three days, rather than every other day.  The white flaky bits  are gone  and I can see a bit of a glow– rather than a chalky pallor.  When  we think of aging, wrinkles and lines are what  usually come to mind.  But its that dull  pale skin ( a combo of  a slow down in circulation and  increased dryness) that is making the skin  seem old and tired.   Every cell in my body  wants to  speed up  my anti-aging project– but I’ve learned to respect the process and  take it  slower.

I wait a full hour  between washing my face and applying the new Retin A.  After … Continue Reading…

Big Girl Retin A — Week One

The flaky dry skin has arrived.  I had almost forgotten  the white peeling skin that goes along with Retin A treatment.  The weather has turned cold and windy which isn’t helping matters. My regular moisturizer can’t keep up, so I’m going to have to crank up on the hydration.

I’m also a little concerned that I don’t see my skin “pinking up”.  One of the first things that I noticed with Retin A Micro was a youthful healthy glow, the result of  an increase in circulation.  This was just about my favorite  anti-aging benefit from Retin A, but so far, I don’t see it from this  generic, albeit much stronger formulation.  Even my mom said I looked pale– and when the one person in the world who thinks you always look good says you are pale– well, I pay attention.

I was so buzzed to find  such an affordable version … Continue Reading…

Soy + Sunscreen = Pretty

Apparently there is no end to the versatility of soy.  Low in calories, sodium, and cholesterol, high in protein and anti-oxidants, now I learn that soy appears  to have a role in anti-aging skin care.   There are good studies  published in top tier  journals that show enriched soy- enriched  skin creams prevents UV damage, preserves  elastin fibers and lightens dark patches.   So far I have found soy in several sunscreens  which is certainly a logical place for them to be.  Soy-enriched products include Aveeno  Continuous Protection Sunblock Face SPF30 ( which also has antioxidants vitamins A, c, and E) and Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF100+.  Neutrogena Age Shield and Repair SPF 55 also contains soy.  In fact the wonderful  skin and make-up site 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic also recommended this product, so I know I am on the right track.   

Given all that soy can do I am looking for  soy-rich … Continue Reading…