Beauty Best Bets– Three New Favorites

When it comes to personal care products, I tend to  follow the less is more philosophy.  Rather than   shelves of different options,  I  like to  find what I think  is the best product for me — and then stick to it.  This sets the bar pretty high and a new formulation  has to be unique to find a spot in my medicine cbinet. I’ve not added  to my  Fabuous Fifteen in more than ayear but with  newly sensitive skin, I needed new options:

1.  Anti-Redness Foaming Cleanser ( Alaur, $50) — When it comes to skin care it seems that most  people start with a moisturizer.  Not me.  I think that the right cleanser is the foundation of any treatment plan.   When my skin developed a type of rosacea,  I … Continue Reading…

Question and Answer– Retin A and the Eyes

Question:  If I can’t use Retin A ( aka retinoid) on my eyes,  what  can I use?

Answer:  I answer every email  that I get at  No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, but this one  is so relevant for all of us, I wanted to  put it in my Q& A.  While its  true that you can’t use  straight retinoids around the eyes,  a combination product of retinoids, a steroid and hydroquinone  known as Triluma can  deliver anti-aging benefits.   Triluma’s claim to fame is its ability to erase  dark spots and patches, but the retinoids  also  may build collagen and reduce wrinkling.  For reasons that are not clear, Triluma is  no longer available commercially, but a  full-service pharmacy can compound it specially for you.  I  did just that and uploaded up post about the process on March 28, 2012.

Triluma (  branded or custom made)  can only be used for  three  months at … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen in Real Time

Now that  sun filled days are here, I am wondering  how much sunscreen do I really need to use.  Many expert recommend one tablespoon for the face and  a total of two tablespoons for  both face and body.   To test  it out, I  measured out one tablespoon  of sunblock and dumped it on a small plate.  Then I went to work, dabbing it  on my checks, nose, and chin. I avoided my bang covered forehead.   At first, things went fine.  My skin seemed very happy  with the  extra moisture  of the sunscreen.  But as I applied more and more, it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting — or clown make-up.

One of my biggest concerns when using sunscreen has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequetly, foundation, powder or blush … Continue Reading…

Retin A and Cancer

I’ve been hearing comments and questions about cancer risks and sunscreens  and since I am such a heavy  user, I needed to get solid answers.    The health concerns focus on the the risk of retinol palmitrate, a common ingredients in sunscreens. Retinol Palmitrate ( RP)  is a storage form of Retin A.  In a sunsreen  its used both  as an  antioxidant and  preservative.   In lab studies ( eg a test tube)  when RP is exposed to UV rays, it can  produce free radicals… which can mutate cells.  Still with  me? 

However in mice treated with  RP and then exposed to UV rays, there was no cancer.   Retinoids  have been used on the skin  for over 40 years and there is no increase in skin cancer in people that use them.  In fact, oral forms of retinoids ( Accutane)  has actually been shown to  prevent skin cancers.  There are   many factors in our environment that  definately cause cancer– … Continue Reading…

Tri-luma- Five Top Questions

1.  Can I use Tri-luma on  my chest?

In theory, yes but its not going to be that effective.  A chest with lots of freckles and age spots will need more help than Tri-lima can  provide.  Once areas of hyperpigmentation become raised and lumpy, you’re going to need some kind of  laser or IPL to deal with them. 

2. Can I use Tri-luma and Retin A together ? 

It  depends. Tri-luma already contains Retin A to increase cell turnover, hydroquinone to break down  and discourage pigment formation and a steroid to keep down inflammation.  If you are using Tri-luma  under  your eyes, you can  then apply Retin  A to the other facial areas.  If you have areas of discoloration on your cheeks and forehead, you can use Tri-luma on these areas, but not at the same time you are  using Retin A. It won’t do a  better  job and will  make you … Continue Reading…

Reversing Summer Aging

I’m happy that the summer heat wave is over, but my skin seems parched, dazed and well, somehow older.  According to my amazing derm Dr Ellen Marmur, the change in weather  has sent my skin into shock.  After months of sun, heat, sweating, chlorine, from the pool, and summer allergies, my skin is dull dry and tired.   Even more troubling, a few dark patches on my nose  that had been removed by laser,  have made a comeback.     I was all set to slather on my new stronger Retin A to jump start a better complexion, but  Dr Marmur  had a different two prong approach:

Step 1:  Take off the old dead layer of dead, dry and discolored  skin cells with a mild  office glycolic peel or microdermabrasion

Step 2:  Add  moisture, moisture and more moisture.  To this end  during the day I am to use a rich sunscreen such … Continue Reading…

No More Aging Sunburns

The UV wristbands are  on  their way to all  subscribers  who emailed  me their contact information.  They are so easy to use– Apply a dab of  your sunscreen to the top of the strip, and watch the colors change.  As soon as you go into the sun, the band turns a bright purple.   When it fades  to a lavender pink, its a signal  to put on more sunscreen.  When the band is pale, yellowish color, its time to get out of the sun.  Children really seem to like it and run to tell me when its time to put on more sun lotion– which is more fun for both of us than running them down and struggling with them to get more suncreen. 

The wristbands can be hard to find, but I found a cache at a K-mart  near NYU. I still have twenty left, so email me if you want  one.  And  let me know  how they worked … Continue Reading…