Custom-Made Tri-luma for me– and you too

Tri-luma was a popular combination of tretinoin ( the generic name for Retin-A), hydroquinone  to lighten the skin and a medium strength steroid  by the name of flucinolone. The tretinoin  would hasten skin growth and exfoliation to shed darkened skin; the hydroquinone would  decease melanin production and the steroid would avoid redness and swelling from the other two turbo driven ingredients. It worked  well  for my under eye shadows and was the go to-product for brown patches  known as melasma.

It would take  at least three weeks  to see results  for Tri-luma, but when it worked, it WORKED.  You had to be complusive about sunscreen using at least a 30SPF during and after Tri-luma  since  the ingredients increased sun sensitivity to the sun.Then one  day Tri-luma seemed to disappear from pharmacy … Continue Reading…

Easy Answer to an “Old” Problem

Nothing screams “old lady”  like a couple of white hairs on your chin.  I  had started  my anti-aging plan with laser hair removal and was delighted with the results.  It hurt, took several sessions, was expensive  but  the  dark hairs were gone.  But in the last few months I was  not pleased to see the arrival of about six, tough white chin hairs.  (The photo is an extreme close-up)  I was even less happy to learn that lasers and IPL  don’t work on light colored  hairs.  What did?  The answer  is  old fashioned electrolysis. 

 I have always been afraid of electrolysis.  I’ve heard its painful and not that effective.   My college roomate  went frequently for electroysis and I remember her sitting  all night with an ice pack on her upper lip.  Now it was was … Continue Reading…

Milia – those annoying white bumps under the skin

Its amazing what you can learn at a medical conference.  At a lunchbreak at the recent Mount Sinai Derm meeting, I sat down next  to two young dermatologists.  They were  talking about milia, those little white bumps under the skin– sort of faux pimples. ( In the picture below my milia is under my eye). Milia are formed when a pore becomes blocked with dead skin cells.  They are more common as we get older,  the result of slower cell growth.  Unlike the garden variety pimple, they do not contain oil or bacteria  so they don’t become red and inflamed.   Milia  just sit there. Forever.

Another important difference, milia are actually  in the dermis and if you try to  remove them yourself, you  can do real  damage to the skin. Seriously, you … Continue Reading…

Salt, Aging and the Supermarket

I was really shocked to see the salt content of so many seemingly non-salty foods.  Cutting back on sodium is such a simple and affordable anti-aging strategy, its important  to identify the stealth salt in your food.  I asked a few  friends and neighbors for their weekly shoping list ( and a few  lunchtime fast foods) and came up  with a  list  of commonly eaten foods.  Can you estimte how much hidden salt  you are getting daily?  Remember max salt intake   should be  less than 2000mg.

*1/2 cup canned peas—- 308mg

*1/2 cup canned corn —–170mg

*1/2 cup canned mushrooms— 536mg

* 1/2 fresh mushrooms ———2mg

* 1 cup tomato juice ————-700mg

* 1 slice white bread —————150mg

* 1 potato—————————-8mg

* 100 calorie bag of chips——-200mg

* 1 cup cornflakes—————–325mg

* 3 pancakes———————–600mg

* 1 cup canned chicken noodle soup- 1100mg

* 1 cup tomato sauce ————700mg

*1 tablespoon unsalted butter–7mg

* 1  tablespoon … Continue Reading…

#1 Beauty Diet Tip– Watch Your Salt

Salt–its everywhere.  It makes everything, even desserts  taste better.  But  our love of salt ( or sodium) comes with a big price.  You probably know that too much dietry salt  has been linked to heart disease, high blood ressure  and an increase in asthma symptoms.  Now it turns out that salt  can make you ugly.

Here’s how it works:  Salt attracts water and more more salt attracts more water.  In the short run, the extra fluid will make the face look puffy  can increase undereye bags.  Did you ever notice that after a chinese meal ( redic high in sodium) that your rings are tight and  under eye shadows are   darker. Its the sodium.  In the rest of the body, a big sodium load makes  blood circulation more difficult.  The slower circulation  makes growth and repair of skin cells slow down–  decreasing collagen and elastin production. So in the long run, … 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…

Anti-Aging Cream– A Risk for Breast Cancer?

As I’m sure your know October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  And  given this current focus, I think its the right time to raise  concerns  about a popular underground beauty treatment that going around on the internet.

Reading other beauty and lifestyle blogs, I’ve come across posts  recommending  the use of estrogen based vaginal creams  to deal with facial aging.   Its actually not a new idea.  Decades ago, research  showed that estrogen creams encouraged the growth of collagen, relieved dryness and  lessened lines and wrinkles.    For a while estrogen creams were even available without prescription on drug and department store shelves.

Then  the research took a troubling turn when  estrogens were  linked to increased risk of breast cancer– and the hormones were quicky removed  from beauty aids for more than 25 years.   Today estrogen creams are  making an … Continue Reading…

Measuring Tri-luma

Looking  at my facial imaging photos  ( posted on Oct 8), I saw that that there were two  dark patches under my eyes–  also known as  under eye shadows.  It showed that this was not from indentation creating dark hollows, but true accumulations of sun damage and melanin.  That’s the bad news.  The good news?  This  is the job that Tri-luma was  born to handle.

I had  used Tri-luma last  spring and was pleased with the results, but  this triple powered crem cannot be used indefinately, so I had stopped using it for several months.  I also realized that dealing with  hyperpigmentation under the eyes is not a short term problem.  The cells which produced so much melanin have a very long memory.  They are born to make melanin and given  the right circulstances  — sun exposure and stress– the cells again fill up with  dark pigment.   

But this time, I have another tool.  I … Continue Reading…