Sunscreen….Yes Here We Go Again!

I know you are so sick of me bringing it up - but yes, I am going to bug you about your daily (that's right I said daily) SPF. I am also going to remind you to only use broad spectrum (UVA/UVB), mineral based sunscreen with a minimum of 30spf. That's right, and you probably remember me saying you should reapply every 2 hours of being out in the sun, and to stay in the shade where possible - and wear a hat.  See you know all this stuff!  So why aren't you doing it?   "I'm so pale.", or "I need a little colour"… are NOT good reasons!  

May is Melanoma awareness month.  Melanoma is that ugly skin cancer monster that none of us want to even think about.  Many don't realize that it can be fatal - mainly because it usually presents itself as a small mole or blemish and seems harmless, until it's not. Please remember to check your spots periodically yourself and once a year with a dermatologist - especially if you are at high risk.  

Who is at high risk?*

  • People with fair skin
  • Those with a history of sunburns (even just 1 bad burn)
  • People with excessive UV exposure (sun, tanning beds, etc)
  • Living close to the equator or high elevation
  • Those with many moles (over 50)

What to look for.*
To help you identify characteristics of unusual moles that may indicate melanomas or other skin cancers, think of the letters ABCDE:

  • A is for asymmetrical shape. Look for moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves.
  • B is for irregular border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders — characteristics of melanomas.
  • C is for changes in color. Look for growths that have many colors or an uneven distribution of color.
  • D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters).
  • E is for evolving. Look for changes over time, such as a mole that grows in size or that changes color or shape. Moles may also evolve to develop new signs and symptoms, such as new itchiness or bleeding.

Cancerous (malignant) moles vary greatly in appearance. Some may show all of the changes listed above, while others may have only one or two unusual characteristics.
What do we do to prevent melanoma? Good question.  We don't truly know for certain what causes it.  We know that UV radiation exposure definitely increases our chances - but in some cases the melanoma has grown in areas that don't usually see the sun - Yes, literally "where the sun don't shine"!  

So now what?  The Top 5 Ways to Protect Yourself….

  • Avoid being out in the sun for prolonged periods between 10-4pm (stop rolling your eyes, I didn't make this up)
  • Wear your UVA/UVB broad spectrum sunscreen daily (number 1 protection against skin aging)
  • Wear a broad rimmed hat when out in the sun (extra protection for that beautiful face)
  • AVOID Tanning beds/lamps (seriously people it's not cool anymore)
  • Buy a great pair of sunglasses that offer UV protection too
  • Oh 1 more!  Remember to reapply your sunscreen 30+ every 2 you're in the sun 

Need help choosing a sunscreen?….Check out our video.

Special thank you to Julia Suppa from Suppa Media for her help and expertise with our video.  @simplysuppa

* Mayo Clinic  

My Summer Treatment Plan

Yes you know I am going to tell you to wear sunscreen.  Look if you have been spending money on Photo Facials, Microdermabrasion, Green Peels, INTRAcel or Laser - then OF COURSE YOU SHOULD MOST DEFINITELY FOR SURE WITHOUT A DOUBT wear sunscreen.  We actually do take it personally.  We feel as though we have helped you look so good - only to have you blow it!?  Not cool.  Ok rant is over…my apologies.  I promise not to mention sunscreen again.

As for the rest of your Summer Treatment Plan…

Here are a few tips to ensure you look FAB at every BBQ party!

  1. Cleanse. Tone. Eye cream. Serum. Moisturize. Sunscreen. (sorry I couldn't leave it out - awkward).  REPEAT for am and pm (sunscreen only in the am.  Again sorry I mentioned it twice now, but I felt I had to be clear).   Do Not let yourself get lazy.  Do not go to bed with an unwashed face just because it's 2am and you're exhausted.  Wash that face!  I'm ranting again…why so angry?  Sorry.
  2. Get outside.  Garden, walk, run, bike, hop - whatever it is, take it outside and take your children with you!  Lock the phones, ipods, tablets, laptops, in the house and play outside in the fresh, warm air.  Family time, Vitamin D time, and exercise too! (I really want to say it again here but I am holding my tongue…).
  3. Book your treatments in.  Don't put it off.  Get them booked in so your skin looks fab and you get that relaxed, calmer feeling that "Me Time" gives you.  Maybe I need some me time….
  4. Make Plans.  Look up interesting things to do in the city, in the country, on a farm, at the beach - anywhere!  Make Summer 2017 memorable.  Plan it. Book it. Do it.  Otherwise it will just blow past like the first half of this year!  Make it count.
  5. Make a Summer To-Do List. (Kind of an extension of #4 but just go with it). I know todo lists sound super boring - but this one is different.  This is a fun todo list.  

Here's an example…

  • Finally visit that beach you've been wanting to see
  • Go to Wonderland with the whole family
  • Have some friends over for a BBQ
  • Go camping
  • Learn how to fish
  • Go to the drive-in (there aren't many left)!
  • Hike a new trail
  • Have a water fight
  • Join a beach volleyball team
  • Go for more bike rides
  • Walk Central Park NYC 

Plan for an Awesome Summer 2017 and it will happen! 


Enjoy! 

Sunscreen Guide 2017

The best and safest way to avoid sunburns and aging (UVB/UVA) rays is to stay out of the sun!   However enjoying Summer activities, outdoor exercise and fresh air can be difficult to do indoors ;).  So now we go to step 2 - Choosing a Sunscreen.  It sounds easy enough, however there are hundreds of different sunscreens out there.  It can be easier to choose a husband!  I thought I'd make it a little easier for you by putting together My Top Ten Summer Sun Care Survival Tips…

  1. Do not use a chemical based sunscreen.  Choose Mineral based.  Products using minerals are not easily absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore to not add to our toxicity levels.  Yay! (For face we recommend our beloved EltaMD 41 physical UVA/UVB sunscreen).
  2. Apply every 2 hours while in the sun.  Sunscreens breakdown and become less effective the longer they are on.  Also be sure to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.
  3. Be careful with sprays as the molecules become air born and can be inhaled.  The effects of particles in the lungs is not yet known - but it's probably not good.  
  4. Wear a hat.  Not a baseball cap - a real hat with a real wide brim.  Protect your face - you only have the one!
  5. Avoid prime time sun.  Try to hit the shade between 12-4 if possible. Ya, ya, grumble, grumble - don't shoot the messenger! 
  6. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen - those have both UVA/UVB protection.  (The sunscreens in Europe have much better UVA protection - so if travelling abroad, pick one up there!)  Keep in mind both UVA and UVB rays can cause melanoma and childhood sunburns increase our chances.  Read more here - http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/skin-cancer-on-the-rise/.
  7. Use a higher quality sunscreen on your face.  Don't use the same cream you use all over your body.  The skin on our face is much more delicate and reactive.  Hasn't it been through enough?  Treat it kindly and use the proper sunscreen for it - it will thank you (by not breaking out, drying out, forming a rash, being itchy, etc).  
  8. Don't be so darn lazy!  This is sunscreen folks - not a serum, moisturizer and anti-aging treatment all-in-one.  A. Those all-in-one's do not work as well (Jack of all trades….you know the saying)  B. They can cause more harm than good.  Some ingredients are great but when combined together and combined with the sun - they can be cause for concern.
  9. This one will surprise you - avoid sunburns but not sun exposure all together.  Apparently Vitamin D plays a large role in keeping us skin healthy as well.  I say - sunscreen on the face daily and get your Vitamin D from 15 minutes of sunshine on the body.  There's no reason to age quicker and get sun spots on our beautiful faces!
  10. Completely confused and frustrated?  Perhaps you'd rather just purchase one of these - http://www.ecostinger.com/men-uv-swimwear-stinger-suit-with-hood-dive-skin-upf50-gold-chlorine-resistant/.

The bottom line is there is still a lot we don't know about a lot.  Lol!  We don't really know what causes melanoma and why the numbers are going up.  Are they increasing because the children born in the 70's and 80's had many sunburns as children?  Or because we have been slathering ourselves in chemical based sunscreens for decades?  Hopefully with continued studies we will have the answers to these questions.  In the meantime, buy the UV unitard and sneak in 15 minutes a day of sunshine without sunscreens (except for your face - sunscreen that face!), and then cross your fingers - cause that always helps!  

Enjoy your Summer!

FYI although I am extremely brilliant (no chuckling please), I definitely must thank our friends at Environmental Working Group (LINK)… for all of their diligent research and reporting. We look forward to better news in next year's guide!  Feel free to peruse the full guide they have put together.

Sunscreen Guide 2016

A big thank you to Environmental Working Group for their on-going research on sunscreens and advocating for our safety.  After reading their report, I have put together a short top 10 list of what to do to protect yourself and your kids this Summer….

  1. Stay out of the sun during peak hours (12-3).
  2. Wear large rimed hat - Tilley has some great ones with 50+ UPF (check out the Men's section for Father's Day ideas).
  3. Use a 30 - 50 SPF mineral based broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen daily.
  4. Reapply every 2 hours you are outdoors.
  5. Seek shade where possible.
  6. Avoid chemical based sunscreens with ingredients such as oxybenzone (a hormone disrupter).
  7. Avoid sunscreens with Vitamin A.
  8. Allow your arms and legs to get up to 15 minutes daily unprotected sun exposure to increase your vitamin D intake (unless you are undergoing laser treatments - then supplement temporarily).
  9. Do NOT EVER use tanning beds.  Don't think about it.  It will increase your chances of skin cancer by as much as 75%!
  10. Do not use spray sunscreens as small particles are able to enter the lungs.
  11. Enjoy the Summer!  Be careful and smart about your skin and its exposure to the sun's UV rays.  Follow these tips and enjoy a sunburn free, anti-aging Summer! 

The real take on sunscreens -  We don't know to what extent they are helping vs harming us. We do know they are protecting us from burning, some skin cancers and from aging quicker than we would without them.  Since most of us slather it on from head to toe - especially on our children - we need to take other precautions and avoid some sun altogether. 

The fact that melanoma rates have tripled since the mid 70's is rather alarming.  Not to mention melanoma is rarely found in an area that receives daily sun exposure.  Other skin cancers are preventable with sunscreens, however, again, we don't know everything there is to know about them.  This article on melanoma was extremely interesting, check it out if you have a minute.  Link. 

To check out the full 2016 sunscreen guide click here.  

The Benefits of a Proper Skin Care Regimen

It is so important to follow a proper daily skin care regimen.  We still find most people skip toner or eye cream and many still haven’t added SPF to their daily skincare routine!  These steps are all important, for different reasons.  Toners help to restore the PH level back to 5/6 (where it should be) after we cleanse, thus adding moisture (not oil) instantly.  This allows us to use less moisturizer and better balance our skins oils.  

Eye cream is formulated specifically for the eye area.  Moisturizers are not able to be absorbed in that area - working only as a barrier.  Eye cream however, is formulated with much smaller molecules than facial moisturizers, and are therefore absorbed and hydrate the tissue around the eyes.  

SPF - well, don't get me started!  Most of you have heard us preach about using SPF daily - even if you are only hopping in and out of your car.  Just wear it every day!  Sunscreens help protect us from skin agers like UVB and UVA.  Unprotected sun exposure is the number 1 cause of aging.  Isn't that why you are coming to us anyway? :)  

The bottom line is - if you are following a great daily regimen, you will look radiant and you will shave years off your age (unless you are 20).  Our treatments are fantastic at erasing years - but if you aren't taking care of your skin at home, you won't reap all the benefits of the treatments you are receiving.   Finally enjoy that awesome, glowing, healthy looking skin!  You deserve it!
 

Whether you are prepping to go to the Oscars or just the next family gathering, here are some celebrities habits that might help.

How do those celebs' do it?  They just seem to look so darn good on that red carpet!  Well, their big secret is planning well in advance.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was Cate Blanchett's incredible gown!  Truth be told, most celebs' faces have been prepping for months as well!  We all want to look "naturally beautiful", but most celebs do get a little help from their med spa friends.  

You're Planning Ahead

Months prior to an event they aim to have any somewhat invasive treatments ie. minor plastic surgery, series of skin tightening/resurfacing sessions, deeper peels, etc. performed.   Therefore, if you want to show cousin Magda who got the better gene pool, plan ahead.  You may choose to book a few INTRAcel (microneedling with RF) treatments approx 2-3 months apart, or have the Green Peel Classic (an intense deep herbal peel), or alternate them for even better results.   Doing a series of treatments such as these will increase collagen, plump up those lines and basically reverse the aging process.   Swelling, bruising, peeling and/or pin prick scabbing may occur, and for some it might linger - however all are easily covered by make-up.   Also, skin tightening treatments take time to show a visible result, taking 2-4 months.  If you don’t have that kind of time, these treatments may not be the best option.  

You've R.S.V.P'd and bought your dress (or Dior has shipped it to you to showcase)….

With that special event being only 3 weeks away, Botox and Fillers are a great option, shaving off 5+ years in just minutes….well sort of.  It actually takes 3-5 days for the Botox to settle into the muscle.  However you could bruise at the needle site and there is a small chance of needing a correction (in case you experience an excessive arch or not enough was used).  You'll want to allow extra time just in case.  Botox is a no brainer for most celebs wanting to minimize a few lines in the upper areas of the face.  I say no brainer because it's quick, easy (yes even for the needle squeemish), and it delivers awesome results.  Dr. Amber Bocknek is the physician on our team.  She has 17 years of experience in injectables.  Here is a link to her bio.

Filler is just that - designed to fill in any lines/wrinkles that are undesirable - INSTANTLY!  Most commonly filler is used in the nasolabial fold area (smile lines), brow furrow and for lip plumping.  Filler may cause some minor bruising, so typically a celeb would do this at least one week in advance of any red carpet event.  If doing the lips, they would likely touch them up at least 2 weeks prior as they tend to stay swollen for a longer period of time and they may bruise or just feel tender.  This is a great quick option to turn back the clock.  Take that cousin Magda!  Is she still using Nivea?  Seriously!

Last Minute Touches

So it is the week of the Academy Awards…what would be the magic treatment?  The treatment that would have people wonder - "How does she look SO good?".   Ideally they would have a Microdermabrasion treatment or a light skin peel - or even both.  A mini Microdermabrasion treatment followed by a light peel such as a Green Peel Fresh Up would produce awesome looking skin - Red carpet ready looking skin…..Magda envy looking skin!  Hee hee.

Now for the "Glow"

Lotions and potions and most definitely SERUMS are slathered on face, neck and décolleté always - but especially prior to an event.  Vitamin C and Retinol serums are still proving to be the most popular and are achieving the best results.  However, as every celeb knows the 4 pillars of skin care are a must - Cleanser, Toner, Eye Cream and Moisturizer.  They do not leave home without it.  Book a free consultation with us to discuss the best skin care regimen for you.  Once you are using the right products, your skin will glow with happiness - and so will you!

There is one more product that is the Holy Grail of skin care in the 21 century….drum roll please….can you guess?....Come on, you shouldn't even have to think about it - have we taught you nothing?….Yes!  Sunscreen!  They do not leave the house/mansion/penthouse suite without it.  After all the $$$$ and the hours spent on turning back time - they do not want to ruin it all with the most aging of enemies - The Sun.  Nor should you.  Our medical brand Elta MD sunscreens are all 40+ SPF broadband (UVA & UVB), mineral based creams.  These are by far the smoothest to apply and give amazing protection without the grease.  Come in and pick up a sample - you will never use another brand again!  

Your Inner Celebrity

While you may not be a celebrity, you might still want to feel good about yourself on a daily basis and of course for any special event.  Especially when you know you will be seeing cousin Magda at the next family get together and she likes to remind you of how tired you look.  Perhaps a new skin care treatment plan is in order?  Your best bet is to come in for a complimentary consultation and we can discuss what your concerns are and how we can help.  If you are new to receiving any skin care treatments, starting with a skin care analysis and/or a facial or Microdermabrasion treatment might be best.  Please do not hesitate to speak with us.  We are here to help.  

…And maybe Magda will wonder how you've aged much more gracefully than she has.  :) 

Buyer Beware! Don't Fall For These Skin Care Scams

While researching for this month's newsletter topic, I couldn't help but become more and more disturbed by the amount of sneaky advertising I came across.  In reading about skin tightening, cellulite treatments and acne causes, I began to notice many (some even quite reputable) sites that had misinformed clients or used before and after pics that were misleading.  As I dove deeper into my research, I began to uncover a much bigger, crazier scam.  This will be an important read for you - especially if you like to try the "latest & greatest" skin care products that "all the celebs" are using.  

Let's start with the Before and After Scams I found, and how to spot them yourself. 

1.  Client positioning

Sometimes the client or their clothing is positioned a certain way.  For example, in a recent Women's Health Beauty Editor article (which I love to read), "How to Stop your Neck from looking Saggy", the before and after that was used was ridiculous!  The woman in the before pic has her head pulled back in order to crease her neck and in the after pic she extends it to smooth out the lines.  It was likely the doc being interviewed who supplied the B & A or it could be from the manufacturer. 

2.  Lighting & Make Up

Many before pics are done in regular lighting while the after pics are taken with a brighter light, which will reduce or even remove lines and wrinkles completely.  It is also common to blur the after pic, which you will see as you scroll down to the first photo in this link - it uses different lighting and is also a little blurry.  The second photo is an example of an after with more intense lighting.   Here is another example.
Then, my favourite - just slap a ton of make up on them - check out this link.   

3.  Photo Shopped Pics

Here you should look for a before and after pic that is EXACTLY the same.  The pose is perfectly the same in the after.  Check out these examples.  Scroll down to see half the face with wrinkles and the other half 10 years younger (with essential oils)!  

Look at this incredible photo shopped pic (notice every little hair in exactly the same places?) - .   Who wouldn't purchase a package of treatments that could do that?  

4.  Taking an After Pic Before the Before pic

Sound confusing?  Check out this video that explains it best -  

 Crazy, isn't it?

 

And now the piece de resistance - the BIG BIG scam that YOU may fall for if you aren't "in the know"…

Look out for skin care products online that sound too good to be true - BECAUSE THEY ARE!  Clients, friends and even family members have sent me numerous links to "miracle skin care" products that I "need" to check out.  Please be careful - DO NOT FALL FOR THE FREE TRIAL SCAM.  These ads include stars - usually Dr. Oz and other celebrities and they offer a free trial.  However, in the teeny, tiny print it usually says you have 12 days to sample it and then your credit card will be charged the full amount - which usually runs approx $90 per product.  The best part is that the product will continue to automatically be shipped to you on a monthly basis - charging your credit card each time of course.  The topper is that it is extremely difficult to cancel the order and out of frustration you finally have to replace your credit card in order to stop the charges.

Most of these companies are based in countries without an extradition policy - so they are able to run these scams without recourse.  If they receive enough bad publicity, they simply rename their product and slap a new label on it and they are off and running again.  

This is an awesome scam - they really do a great job.  The page is usually set up like a news feed or a magazine page.  It looks quite believable until you try to click on the links.  Check this one out - link.    Notice the reviews listed at the very bottom.  You will see those same fake comments on multiple sites.  

The list of bogus sites and products is ENDLESS!  I searched "wrinkle creams" and the Consumer Wrinkle Reviews site popped up at the top of the list - and yes - it too is BOGUS!  It shows the Top 9 Wrinkle Creams for 2015 - which are all products that are a part of this awesome scam.  If you click on the "reviews" tab at the top of the page, it will list hundreds of creams.  Any cream or brand that you click on has a brief description, followed by why they do not recommend it.  They are positioning themselves as a well-respected company that reviews products, but they only seem to favour the Top 9.  BRILLIANT! 

To take this a step further -  I also found Rachel Vrabel of Women's Blog Talk, who exposes these scams in this article .  Rachel provides a great explanation of the scam - however, she is selling LifeCell on her site!  She answers a slew of questions to eager buyers (which seem fake to me), and the product is far from wonderful - read these reviews on Amazon  and here it's on the Complaints Board website touted as a scam.

In a nutshell,
- do not fall for the free trial
- research customer reviews on reputable sites - such as Amazon
- research any company you plan to give your credit card number to
- remember NO skin care product is legally allowed to promise changes in the deeper tissue layers - only surface.  Anything that promotes a        deeper more permanent result is considered a drug and must meet the requirements of one.  
- once again - IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS!

NEW! It's FINALLY here - The CryoProbe!

We are now able to treat skin tags, warts, sebaceous hyperplasia, benign moles, and many other funky skin growths that we would rather live without.  So bring us your strange unwelcome thing-a-ma-jiggies, and we will zap them away!  How it works….The CryoProbe's micro-jet (doesn't that sound awesome?), allows the application to be accurate to the millimeter and by using Nitrous Oxide treats only abnormal tissue avoiding permanent damage to the adjacent healthy tissue.  There is very little "pain", and only slight discomfort which allows for longer treatment and a deeper freeze for more effective results.  There is no anesthesia, and very little to no, pre and post treatment care needed.

Repair, Reversal and Prevention

Small and Simple Procedures produce greater results and are best in the long run...

jillian-michaels-in-shape-magazine-july-august-2014-issue_1.jpg

"I've always encouraged my patients to consider small procedures earlier, rather than wait until radical corrections are necessary",  Dr. Imber states in August's Shape magazine (article - The Lunch Hour Lift).   I couldn't agree more.  Working with someone who has a good amount of collagen, allows us to double that amount easily.  The more collagen present - the easier it is to manufacture more.  

Turning back the clock is a little more tricky and more costly.  Prevention is most definitely the best plan.  Prior to noticing the signs of aging, I recommend the start of anti-aging treatments.  Wouldn't it be great to age gracefully and have only subtle changes?  Wouldn't it be great never having to worry about deep set lines/wrinkles and sagging skin?  PREVENTION.

If you're reading this thinking "I'm 50+, so now what?",  there are plenty of repair methods as well.  Combining treatments is the best solution.  There is no one treatment that can magically do everything.  A treatment plan which includes different treatments and technologies that are specific to your needs, produces optimal results.

Bottom line - have a consultation.  You should never do any treatment you are not comfortable with.  Let's discuss it.  We will put together a treatment program for you and get you on track to aging gracefully - not "plastically".   

Isn't it time you look as young as you feel?

Book a complimentary consultation today.

Intensive Age Refining Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night

So thinking I have tried it all, I decided to try this product out.  I was a little reluctant, as I did use Retinol back in the acne days and remember the dry, red, flaky looking skin.  I have been reading up on the changes in Retinol (Vitamin A), and have known for a long time it is one of the best anti-aging ingredients to seek out in a product, so I decided to come full circle and start using it again.  In all honesty, even after just one application, I noticed a difference in my skin.  The next morning, after washing my face, I could not believe the feeling of my skin.  It just felt smoother and softer - and that was with nothing on it!  Most creams feel great when they are applied to the skin, but after they are washed away, the skin usually feels pretty similar to dry skin without cream.  This really impressed me, and I have continued to use it, and am really pleased with the long term results as well.  I have noticed my blemishes/breakouts are more infrequent and controlled, the texture of my skin is so smooth, as for the lines, it is both too soon and difficult to tell.  I will be sure to keep you posted.  However, my lines are also improving from my INTRAcel treatment as well.  I will continue to age gracefully - but not without a fight to look great and feel great!  Who's with me?

Daniela

Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night

Perfect skin is what we all strive for. A clear and even complexion with a healthy glow. Along with ensuring the skin ages gracefully - unfortunately aging is inevitable. BUT! We can slow down this process with the things we can control in our life; such as healthy food choices, a good skin care routine, anti-aging treatments and overall a healthy life style. Remember your age is only a number.

I’m sure you already know Daniela and I take great pride in testing all products, treatments and machines before we bring them into Freedom. We recently added the PCA Peel to our services. Clients have really enjoyed this treatment and have had great results. I of course had the PCA Peel performed on myself first and it was great! PCA is a very well know line in the Aesthetic world.  Along with their professional treatments and peels, they also have some very effective serums.  Since I really enjoyed the PCA Peel I wanted to try one of their at home treatment products to enhance and maintain the benefits of the Peel. I decided on the Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night.  This product claims to repair hyperpigmentation and acne. It also helps increase exfoliation, increases collagen production and has powerful anti-oxidant protection.

I noticed a difference in my skin only after using this product for a couple days. I noticed my skin tone looked much more even, and my skin felt very smooth. My post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (pigment from acne) seemed to have noticeably faded. I had a couple little acne friends (Bob, Joe and Martha) pop up the day before I started using this product. My unwelcome friends healed and completely vanished after two days of using it.  I’m very pleased with the results from this treatment so far, and I imagine the results and benefits will only continue to get better.
 
A good home skin care routine is so important.  Using products that are suited to your skin type and conditions will keep your skin at optimal health. If you are having treatments done for your skin, home care will only improve, enhance and maintain the results of the treatments.  Proper home care is a worthwhile investment.

Vanessa

Super Hero Fights Evil Sugar Molecules

So here's a fun fact you likely did not know -

Sugar Causes Wrinkles!

COME ON!  Can't a girl get a break here?!  Let me get this straight - God gives us a "cycle" which causes crazy cravings only to find out it is bad for our health (which we have known for a long time), bad for our teeth, and NOW bad for our skin!  Cruel!  
 
Apparently sugar attaches to proteins in our bodies which form harmful new molecules - AGE'S (advanced glycation end products), they then damage our collagen and elastin. What are we to do?  Well, there is the obvious - we stop eating sugar.  However, that is not at all as easy as it sounds.  Even sugar in fruit, grains and vegetables count - making avoiding sugar extremely difficult. However, added sugars and foods containing high sugar content (especially sodas and fruit juices) are the worst enemies.
 

Another solution (which I believe goes hand in hand with the first), is to increase our anti-oxidant intake as well as use skin care products which help to combat these AGE's.  Make sure you are getting your B1 and B6 daily requirements , Vitamin C and as well as green tea.  As for skin care, products containing Retinol, Vitamin C and E and other combative ingredients will help.  Our very own Dr. Schrammek Time Control line has Carnosine - a peptide which encapsulates the sugar molecules deeming them harmless to our collagen/elastin fibres.  Yay!  Like a super hero to the rescue!  This new line also has Matrixyl 3000, which repairs damage and Milk Thistle which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

For more tips on how to Fight those evil sugar molecules follow this link.

Daniela

 

Skin Care for Every Age Group

Pre-Teens
The best skin care for this age group is simply keeping the skin clean without causing harm with any harsh chemicals.  Generally this age group can simply wash their face with water in the am and pm.  However, if there are any signs of pores becoming clogged, then it may be time to introduce a very gentle cleanser - DO NOT USE YOUR MOM'S! - for two reasons.  The first being, she probably spent a lot of $$ on it and you would get into trouble!  The second, it will likely be much too harsh for you.  My recommendation would be to use a product like Cetaphil.  You can find it at the drug store and it isn't expensive and is extremely gentle.

TEENS
Ah the pesky teen skin dilemas.  This will most likely be the worst period of time in your life in terms of having nice, healthy looking skin.  Between puberty, the dramas of teen life (ie. Stress), and not taking proper care of your skin - this is a tough decade.  My advice - find a cleanser that is best suited to your skin type.  Most teens find their skin becoming quite oily, therefore a gel cleanser for oily skin would work well.  Also a blemish cream - one that not only helps to cover up blemishes but also helps to treat them, not just dry out the skin, (like our Blemish Balm), will become your best friend!  Now that your mom won't be looking out for your hygene needs - remember to cleanse twice a day (am and pm) and use water based mineral sunscreen in the summer months.  I recommend buying a really good light sunscreen that is non-comedogenic (non clogging) with at least a 15 SPF, and use it daily if you are going to be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes.  In terms of exfoliating and moisturizing - these can exacerbate an acneic condition if you are not careful.  I would definitely recommend speaking to a professional about what will work best for you.  This is a great time to have your first facial - see there is some good news!  Seeing a professional and learning about your skins needs would be very helpful.
*NOTE: DO NOT use products with Benzoyl Peroxide, products with high alcohol content, and do not use soap.  Prolonged use of harsh chemicals such as Benzoyl Peroxide may cause increased redness, and may even result in Rosacea.  Many teens like the way these products cause the skin to feel dry and tight and without oils, however, the sebaceous glands begin to work even harder to lubricate the skin, thus creating a vicious cycle.

20's
Welcome to your 20's!  This is the decade of fun, fun and more fun!  By this point your hormones have settled and you no longer look like a connect the dot activity - Hurray!  This is a good time to re-evaluate your skin and what it may need.  You'll likely still need that blemish balm for a spot here or there (if you are like me - you may need it for LIFE!), of course a good cleanser - the gel cleanser may have become too drying by now - make sure you assess your skin and choose the right products.  DO NOT STEAL YOUR MOMS - again for the same 2 reasons above and DO NOT USE WHATEVER IS UNDER THE BATHROOM COUNTER.  Again - for 2 reasons.  The first, if it is expired or has been open for a while it has likely gone bad. (If you aren't sure if it's expired - the rule of thumb is 18 months or less unopened is okay or 6-12 months if it was opened). The second, it likely isn't what is best for your skin.  If you use product just to "use it up", and it isn't right for your skin, you will have to deal with some sort of skin backlash (ie. Break outs, hives, itchiness, blotchiness, dry patches, sensitivities - get the picture?).  The 20's mark the start of your adult skin care regime - YAY! (Now you start to take even longer to get ready each day!).  You should now be using an appropriate cleanser, exfoliant, toner, and moisturizer with SPF.  By 25, you should be also using an eye cream to help prevent fine lines and keep the eye area hydrated.  A moisturizer will not absorb into the eye area as the molecular structure of a moisturizer is too large.

30's
This is the decade where you tell yourself you don't miss your 20's at all and you are at the pinacle of your being.  And it really is kind of sort of true…
As for your skin - well now you have some new problems - likely caused by your refusal to wear sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF daily - YES - fine lines. :(
The cruel little things start at the sides of the eyes and a line or two may be starting to furrow between your brows and - do those smile lines seem a little deeper?  So, what do we do?  This is when we start to use anything and everything to grasp onto our "youthful glow".  Seriously now, my advice, is to start using age preventing creams suitable for your skin type of course.  Usually if you haven't switched to a cream cleanser yet, this may be the decade for you to do so.  You most definitely do not want to be dry, which encourages and highlights a wrinkle as well.  You should still use what I mentioned from your 20's, but this is a good time to add an anti-aging serum to the list.  I would also recommend starting Microdermabrasion treatments.  As we age, the process by which the skin naturally exfoliates and sloughs off,  begins to slow down.  It needs a little help from exfoliants and treatments such as Microdermabrasion.  They are a great first step toward age prevention and you will look and feel FANTASTIC!

40 and Up
I am not sure since I'm not there yet…ok I'm in denial, let's move on please! (I should have changed it to "41 and Up" Lol!).  Some of you may be thinking that is too vast a group - 40 - 99!  However, really the skin care needs will be quite similar.  Skin care will always need to be customized to your specific needs.  In these years, you want to use a great basic line (as you started in your 20's), but you will tweak it as your skin changes ie. Products for dry, oily, sensitive, etc.  You also want to be using eye cream (from 25-30yrs - FOREVER), an exfoliant, an anti-aging serum, and occasional masks if required (certain conditions will see a great improvement with the use of masks).  For most people continuing with Microdermabrasion treatments will really benefit their skin - the products you use will penetrate much better as well as helping you maintain that youthful glow.  For some, skin peels may be better, or may be recommended in conjunction with Microdermabrasion.  For those with redness in their cheeks or sun damage, a series of IPL treatments may be the solution.  This is also the age group that may wish to start to use Botox and/or fillers for those annoying deeper lines.  A more natural way to treat those lines (and also treat any pock mark scars/large pores/loose skin/etc.), would be the INTRAcel treatment.  (I will be having another one shortly, and will blog about it - maybe I'll even show you some video/pics!).  Remember, if in doubt of what treatments or products you should be using, we will always provide a complimentary skin analysis.

Sunscreen: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

Here it is - the "Coles Notes" Version of our recent research….

The Good…

  • Mexoryl (strong photostable protection)
  • Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M UVA blockers (better than Avobenzone)
  • Zinc Oxide - UVA protector
  • REAPPLY EVERY 2 HOURS OR MORE
  • Slather it on - studies show we use 1/4 to 2/3 of the proper amount to provide us with the products SPF rating
  • Cover up where possible
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Canada is working on stiffer sunscreen rules than our U.S neighbour.  It's taking a closer look at Europe - who has much tougher sunscreen regulation.  As of now, more than 50% of our sunscreens would never be able to be sold in Europe.

 

The Bad…(AVOID)

  • Oxybenzone - disrupts hormones in the body
  • Sprays  (inhilation concerns/inadecuit coverage
  • Loose powders ( same as above)
  • Retinyl Palmitate/Vit A (harmful when in the sun)
  • No spray sunscreens - lungs/respiratory
  • Have your Vitamin D levels checked - you do not want to be depleted of such an important nutrient in the body.  You may need to supplement.
  • UVA rays do not decline as much when the sun is lower in the sky or is overcast and also - really bad news - it penetrates glass!  That really stinks!  So…in other words, make sure you are wearing a daily cream or make up with 15 or greater SPF.  


The Ugly…

Oh that "healthy" bronzed glow…IT'S NOT HEALTHY!...

  • DO NOT USE TANNING BEDS - they expose us to 15 times more UV radiation then the sun. This is what they believe has caused the increase in Melanoma cases.
  • Do not use self tanning creams - many chemicals in them have not been tested.
  • MEN - USE SUNSCREEN!  Only 34% of men vs. 78% of women use sunscreen and twice as many men are dying from melanoma.
  • TEENS - Here is a shocker - YOU WILL BE 40 ONE DAY - so take care of your skin.  Almost every 40+ person we see, tells us they wish they had been better with taking care of their skin in their teens/early 20's.

 

Skin Care Tips for colder months ahead….

1. SUNSCREEN - Yes, yes, I know you thought you were done with this until next July - sorry to tell you, you do in fact still need to use it throughout the fall/winter months.  It is in fact much easier to burn or cause deep tissue damage in the colder months rather than in the summer months.  When we feel the heat we usually slather on protection, but when we feel cold and the sun's warmth feels so nice - we don't think it's causing harm.  It is!  The Optimal Protection cream is an awesome daily light moisturizer that includes a 30 SPF.  It doesn’t make you feel greasy and absorbs nicely.

2. MOISTURIZE -  Although year round we should be hydrating our skin, it is that much more pertinent in the colder months.  Hydrated skin appears healthier, and is better protected from the elements.  Depending on your needs (i.e. sensitivity, acneic, anti-aging, dryness, etc.) we can help you choose the moisturizer that would be best suited to your needs.  Don't forget to moisturize those hard working hands too!  (Try Dr. Schrammek's Derma Zone Body Cream - AMAZING!)

3. EXFOLIATE - When the epidermis (the surface layer of skin) becomes dry, a fine layer of dead skin cells form.  While this layer may not be visibile, it makes it difficult to have proper serum or moisturizer penetration.  Not to mention it may also cause pores to become clogged.  Exfoliating 1-2/week will help clear that layer of dead skin cells and give you that desirable glow.

4. HUMIDITY - Check your home's humidifier level or have a small unit for your room during sleep.  If you're just one of those people that have that raw, dry, itchy winter skin, then it's worth using one to increase the humidity.

5. TURN DOWN THE HEAT - Be careful that your home isn't too warm.  I know some people who like wearing shorts and tee's at home, so they crank up the temperature.  Well, it's not great for the environment, your heating bill, or your skin.   That's 3 strikes!  Also, VERY drying - hot showers.  Turn down the heat a notch.  I know the feeling of warming up in a hot shower in the bitter winter is AWESOME….but…it is SOOOOO drying to the skin.  Be sure to rehydrate once you are out of the shower.

Now you are ready for -20 temps!  Yay!  

Sugar EXPOSED!

Have you heard of Glycobiology?  Not likely.  This is an entirely new science which looks at lipids and sugars and the role they play in our bodies.  Researchers are finding that sugars may be playing a large role in how quickly our skin is aging.  Hmmm....what else are they going to take away?!!! Tanning, smoking, alcohol - now sugar!? 

The studies have found that the greater the level of blood sugar the more the appearance of aging. 

Check out the full article featured on the BBC News Health site at this link.

 

Summer of 2012 Sun Protection Guide - Sunscreens EXPOSED!

It was quite shocking to see what is happening in the sunscreen world.  We have come along way, however, not far enough.  The FDA is working on changing the current regulations.  In the meantime, I highly recommend educating yourself on the topic.  There are some extremely harmful ingredients in MOST sunscreens - choose wisely!

What to AVOID when choosing a sunscreen:
    - Oxybenzone - this is a Hormone Disrupter, may cause cellular damage and is linked to allergies
    - Retinol palmitate or retinyl palmitate - may cause skin tumours and lesions
    - Sprays - they may be inhaled and can be very damaging to the lungs
    - Loose powder sunscreens - possibly carcinogenic when inhaled
    
What to look for:
    - Avobenzone 3%
    - Mineral sunscreens are the safest choice as per EWG Environmental Working Group
    - Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) - great mineral sunscreen ingredient (has high UVA)
    
   
TEST YOUR SUNSCREEN!  What is your score?  See how your sunscreen measures up by following this link

If you are using what we have been recommending - Ombrelle 60 SPF, you may be disappointed to note - it isn't listed!  I am confident however that our score should not be higher than a 3 (the lower the score the better the product).  I have emailed them to notify them they are missing an important contender.  Remember however, the Ombrelle 45 does have Oxybenzone in it - so AVOID that one.

Nine surprising truths about sunscreens.

I have used some sunscreens in the past that have made it to the Hall of Shame!  Have you? Check it out…  

Questions?  Comments?  Anything to add to this hot topic?  Please respond directly below or send them our way.

On a less serious note, I'm sure you may have some great stories from "back in the day" when we used to lather on baby oil and the coconut smelling Coppertone oils.  Share them with us!