Botox or Laser- Which is Better?

Q&A2Question:  My Mom  reads your blog and  has been talking about getting Botox  or the “lunchtime laser.”  I want to get  her a treatment for Christmas but don’t know which one to choose.  I can afford  only one  and I want  her to see the biggest results.

Answer:  What a great question and you’re a great daughter! Both  Botox and  Intense Pulsed Light  laser  ( also known as the lunchtime laser) will make a major  difference in her appearance.  The choice depends on the condition of her skin.  If she has spent many  happy hours in the sun, its likely that she has lots of freckles and dark patches.  An Intense Pulsed Light treatment  will literally vaporize this aging pigmentation and leave her skin younger and refreshed.  The results are permanent but brown spots will return if she goes out without sun protection.  … Continue Reading…

An Apple A Day Keeps Wrinkles Away

The NHANES study which looked at the links between nutrition and health  included a section that  reviewed  diet and skin aging.   One finding  showed  people whose diets were higher in fiber had fewer lines and wrinkles.  Nice to know, but the question is why?  One theory is that fiber helps control blood sugar levels.  Its those spikes in sugar that set off a series of events that ultimately damage collagen and impede growth of new strong healthy collagen.  And its collagen of course that is so important in keep the skin smooth and  freee of lines and wrinkles.

Current guidelines reccommend  20-30 grams of daily fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  ( And this figure is 2-3X  the 10 grams a day that  most Americans consume a … 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…

New Year, New Retin A

I finally got  my new Retin A this week and I’m lovin it.  To recap my Retin A adventures, I  had been using .04% Retin A  micro with wonderful results.  Its the lowest dose of  one of the gentlest forms  of tretinoin and I got good results  without too much discomfort. After about 10 months, I noticed that  I no longer could see  that characteristic yourthful glow you get with Retin A  and  realized  it was time to move up to the next level.  Dr Marmur gave me a prescription for.1%  Retin A– the  turbo powered one, not the micro-sphere stuff.  And here is where I went rogue.  In my local CVS, brand name Retin A was about $200.  I decided to order a generic version from Canada for $40.  I was so proud … Continue Reading…

Trading Up My Retin A

I’ve noticed that my skin had become very comfortable with  my .o4% Retin A Micro– maybe too comfortable.  It didn’t sting when I applied it right after washing my face, and I didn’t  see as much of the the rosy glow. After seven months of almost daily use, it  was time to graduate to a stronger version.  Dr Marmur gave  me a script for .1% Retin-A cream.  This is considerably stronger not only in concentration but in formulation as well.  It is also considerably cheaper.

Since Retin-A is now off- patent and there are generic versions, the prices  are lower, even in a US pharmacy.  A standard tube of branded Retin A is $129 at my local  Duane Reade. At my online Canadian pharmacy, I have two choices:

1.  Generic Retin A, which is labeled Tretinion,  is about $43 for about 40 grams ( about 1.5  oz) and made in Canada.

2. Branded  Retin A, is about the … Continue Reading…

Stubborn Dark Circles

I have been using two eye care products for about a month and neither has made a visible difference. In the morning I applied a roller with caffeine and at night I used a cream with AHA’s.   My shadows are still there and the slight bagging under the eyes  actually seems a bit worse. So when a dramatic looking package at Sephora  caught my attention, I was hooked.  Called Hylexin,  the box had a photo of  a young woman  with a football players black smudge under  her eye.  The box copy said that this product was for’serious dark circles’ (hence the name) and not for dark circles  that  ‘pop up in the morning and are gone by breakfast ‘ . 

Directions on the box said  to do a patch test on my arm.  I opened the tube and was rocked back by a heavy fragrance.  I hesitated a moment, took a breath and applied … Continue Reading…

Allergies and Aging

We all know that spring allergies can make us sneeze and itch– but did  you know spring allergies can make you look older?  Seasonal allergies produce daily inflammation that trigger dark circles under the eyes.  Blood vessels swell and leak fluid that pool under the eyes.  The result?  Eyes become puffy and swollen.  A bad allergy season  can lead to permanent  bags  and wrinkles under the eyes. 

With seasonal allergies, the  best offense is a strong defense.  When you see the trees and flowers blooming, start taking a daily non -sedating anti histamine like Zyrtec  or Claritin. Your body needs  several weeks  to build up allergy- fighting levels of medication for the months of pollen heavy air  that are coming.

Make you own home  an allergen-free zone.  To keep pollen from building up inside, close windows and turn on the A/C.  If you wake up with swollen eyes and congestion, try to … Continue Reading…