Asian woman touching her face

Trending: The Asianification of Skin Care

The influence of Asia on beauty concepts, techniques, and treatments, also referred to as Asianification, took 2015 by storm and it’s showed no sign of slowing down in 2016. The global beauty business is massive, and Asia certainly seems to be at the forefront of it. Many western consumers are becoming increasingly focused on using products that include more natural elements. It’s also about products that combat environmental factors while helping skin to look more youthful with a glowing-from-the-inside-out appearance. The more benefits the product has, the better. Japan has long been a hot spot for trends, but there’s also an increase in fantastic developments emerging from South Korea and China. BB Creams have already been incorporated into many a beauty arsenal, but let’s talk about some other beauty trends that could take your skin care regimen to another level.

Sleeping Masks
The skin works hard to repair itself while you’re sleeping, and helping it along a bit can do wonders for waking up with skin that looks refreshed, hydrated, and brighter. Sleeping masks can add a huge dose of moisture to dry skin. You typically use it only once or twice a week, leave it on overnight, then wash it off in the morning.

Cushion Compact
They’ve been around for awhile, but the popularity of cushion compacts is steadily increasing. The product basically consists of airtight packaging that includes a sponge that’s soaked in the foundation. You can build up the lightweight multi-tasking formula on your skin and it provides even coverage. Additionally, if you’ve ever had a foundation spillage in your purse, you already know a cushion compact can be a big asset.

Splash Masks
It’s the “mask” that doesn’t require slathering a product on your face and letting it sit there for 15-minutes. All you have to do is add the liquid to water, splash it onto your face, pat it in, and you’re done. The concentrated ingredients can do wonders for your skin and all it takes is less than a minute to get them going.

Sheet mask

Sheet Masks
Using sheet masks can take a little getting used to considering on your face is a piece of cloth or paper that’s soaked with ingredients and has strategically cut holes in it. The mask presses all the good ingredients onto your face for the directed amount of time, then you’ll toss out the mask and usually pat the remaining ingredients into your skin rather than wash your face. They’re individually packaged and – depending on the mask – you can buy them in singles or in a box of multiples. There are a variety of different types of sheet masks, however, so it’s all about finding one that’s best for you.

Women from Japan, South Korea, and China know what they’re talking about when it comes to beauty and skin care. They’re smart, educated about the products and techniques, and they expect to get good results for their money. One of the great things is that many of these products don’t cost a substantial amount of money, especially for the exceptional results that they provide. It’s no surprise that Asianification has taken hold of the global beauty world.

Botox treatment

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Botulinum toxin type A is a biological substance that is produced by specific bacteria. In large doses, botulinum toxin type A can be highly toxic, but when used in very small doses, it can be used to treat a number of medical conditions. Botulinum toxin type A is most frequently referred to as Botox, which is a brand name of botulinum toxin type A. To find out more about what botulinum toxin type A is and how it is used, continue reading.

What is Botulinum Toxin Type A and What Does it do?
Botulinum toxin type A is a neurotoxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are eight distinguishable exotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum: A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G, according to an article published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. The same article states that “all serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis.” While muscle paralysis sounds like it would be a bad thing, the paralysis is completely reversible, which is why people who use Botox have to go in every few months to maintain results. Botulinum toxin type A has results that last an average of three months. Botox is the primary brand name under which Botulinum toxin type A is sold, however, there are other brands like Dysport and Xeomin (in the UK).

Why is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used?
Botulinum toxin type A is perhaps most famously used for cosmetic purposes as it is an effective way to treat wrinkles. However, botulinum toxin type A is also used “…in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially…various spastic movements, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment.”

When it comes to cosmetic uses, there are some misconceptions. Many believe that Botox is helpful in the removal of fine lines, but Botox is only helpful in treating hyperkinetic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are caused by repeated muscle movement. Botulinum toxin type A is an incredibly effective way to reduce wrinkles like frown and smile lines, crow’s feet and mental creases. The rationale behind using Botox for hyperkinetic wrinkles is that motion wrinkles occur due to repeated contractions of your facial muscles. By interfering with the cause of the wrinkles, Botox allows the skin to gradually reform itself, significantly reducing the appearance of the wrinkles. If motion wrinkles were shallow to begin with, Botox can make these wrinkles virtually nonexistent, but deeper set wrinkles may require additional treatment in the form of dermal fillers.

One of the most common concerns surrounding botulinum toxin type A is its safety, but it is generally well tolerated and it produces little to no side effects. Experts recommend choosing your cosmetic surgeon very carefully, because ultimately the effectiveness and safety of Botox injections depends on the skill and expertise of the person who administers the injections. If you are concerned with wrinkles that have been caused by repeated facial movement, then Botox is an excellent option to consider.

Woman with mature skin

Perioral Region Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Think about how many times throughout the day you make facial expressions – you may not even be able to come up with a number because it happens so frequently. Over time, these expressions result in facial lines and wrinkles as your skin loses its collagen and elasticity. Perioral lines are common among aging women, and there are ways that you can help to prevent and treat these fine lines. Keep reading to learn more about perioral lines and how you can get rid of them.

What are Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Perioral fine lines and wrinkles are those that occur around the mouth and lip areas. There are three major types of perioral fine lines and wrinkles:

  • Smile Lines (Nasolabial Lines) – Smile lines are the lines that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These often start small and progressively deepen with age.
  • Marionette Lines – Marionette lines often result in an angry or sad looking face as you age. These lines are vertical fine lines and wrinkles found at the corners of your mouth and they can give your mouth a naturally downturned appearance that can make you look angry or sad even when you are completely relaxed.
  • Vertical Lip Lines – Smoking is one of the leading causes of vertical lip lines for two reasons: the constant lip pursing and the damaging chemicals, toxins and free radicals that result from smoking. Nearly all women, even non-smokers, end up with vertical lip lines because they are caused by repeated motion of the lips. Things like pursing your lips and drinking through straws also result in vertical lip lines.

Woman touching her face

Prevention and Treatments for Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles
You can’t live your life completely expressionless, but learning how to relax your facial muscles is a good start in preventing perioral fine lines and wrinkles. Facial massage is a great way to provide your muscles with much-needed relaxation, and you can do a quick two-minute massage at the end of your nighttime facial routine or as your apply an antioxidant serum. If you are a smoker, quit now. Always remember to apply sunscreen to every area of your face, and follow a healthy lifestyle that includes drinking plenty of water.

There are multiple ways you can treat perioral fine lines and wrinkles, including:

  • Facial Exercises – Giving your face a nice massage can help to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and performing facial exercises are a way you can help strengthen your muscles. When you lose collagen in the perioral region, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Using facial exercises tones your muscles, and when you have sufficient muscle tone, it can make up for the lack of collagen in your skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Topical Treatments – Anti-aging creams, serums and targeted treatments are all ways that you can help treat perioral fine lines. Look for skin care products that use antioxidants like vitamin C or resveratrol, that have moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid and/or products that contain retinol. All of these ingredients help to fight the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent the formation of new fine lines.
  • Botox and Fillers – Injectables are a common way to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Injectables like hyaluronic acid help to plump up your skin and smooth wrinkles, while Botox paralyzes the muscles around the face, keeping them in a permanent state of relaxation. It is important to note that while these treatments are effective for wrinkles, the results are not permanent and typically last for a few months.

When it comes to preventing signs of aging, including perioral fine lines and wrinkles, sunscreen is the best anti-aging weapon you can use. A skin care routine full of quality ingredients like retinol and resveratrol will also significantly impact the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles. Be consistent with your skin care routine and give your face some extra attention with exercises and massages to see your perioral fine lines and wrinkles diminish and disappear.

Woman squinting

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines?

Beauty is surrounded by many rules, guidelines and myths and it can be daunting to keep up with everything that you are or are not supposed to be doing to and for your skin. If you’ve ever heard that squinting your eyes can cause fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve heard correctly. This is one beauty myth that is absolutely true. Keep reading to find out why squinting causes more fine lines and wrinkles and what you can do to prevent additional wrinkles under and around your eyes.

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Unfortunately, squinting really does lead to more fine lines and wrinkles. When you squint, whether you’re trying to watch TV, read your book and check emails on your computer, you are contributing to more fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. Dawn Davis, M.D, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says “…when you squint the muscles around your eyes grow stronger, and it’s kind of like a workout; therefore, the overlying skin will wrinkle.”

How to Prevent Wrinkles
The skin under and around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face, so it is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. While you can never prevent all wrinkles, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to keep yourself from squinting as often and causing more fine lines than necessary.

  • Get an Annual Eye Exam – Often, squinting is a response to not being able to see properly and visiting your optometrist once a year is an excellent way to make sure that your vision is in check. Your optometrist will be able to provide you with prescription glasses, sunglasses or contacts so that you can see clearly without having to squint.
  • The Sun – You’re probably excited about how close spring is because you can bask in warm weather and sunlight, but the sun is another primary cause of squinting. You can prevent squinting due to the sun by wearing sunglasses and hats to keep the sun out of your eyes.
  • Move Away From the Screen – Computers are amazing and you probably can’t imagine your life without one, but they can be quite hard on your eyes. Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City, New York suggests that you sit about 1.5 to 2 inches away from your computer screen to help prevent eye strain. Additionally, you should take two to three quick breaks away from your computer screen every hour to give your eyes time to rest, according to New York City based dermatologist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky.

Squinting does indeed cause fine lines and wrinkles, but you can fight back against them by making the above lifestyle changes. To most effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles under and around your eyes, you should combine the above advice with a high-quality anti-aging eye cream. Put on your glasses and step away from the computer once in awhile to reduce the amount of time you spend squinting, and ultimately to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Woman washing face

2 for 2: Wash & Exfoliate

If you have a chronically oily T-zone while other areas of your skin are dry, you probably have combination skin. Caring for combination skin requires a delicate balance between products that are strong enough to stop and control oil, while still being gentle enough to not cause irritation and further dryness to other areas of your face. Two of the most important steps in any skin care routine, but especially combination skin, are washing and exfoliating. Keep reading to learn what types of products you should be using and how to use these products on your combination skin.

Wash
Every good skin care routine begins with washing your face. When you have combination skin, it is important to use the correct cleansers to avoid aggravating dry spots or not properly removing oil. The key to washing combination skin is to use a gentle cleanser that removes dirt, oil and makeup in a mild way. Believe it or not, there is no single cleanser that works perfectly for each and every person that has combination skin, you will have to experiment a bit to find a formulation that works for your skin. If you have combination skin that leans towards the oilier side, check out gel-based or very mild foaming cleansers and if you have combination skin that is a bit drier, look for cleansing lotion.

Using the proper cleansing technique is also important in caring for combination skin. You want to begin with warm, not hot, water. Hot water will aggravate any dry areas of your skin because it strips moisture from your skin. Apply your chosen cleanser to your fingertips and wash your face using light pressure and circular motions. Aim to wash for about 30 seconds to one minute to allow the ingredients in your cleanser to fully penetrate your skin. Rinse your face completely using warm water, then pat dry with a clean washcloth. Although using a clean washcloth each and every time you wash your face can seem excessive, it keeps your washcloth from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Exfoliate
Exfoliation is critical for healthy skin because it removes dead skin cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin. Your skin is constantly undergoing a process known as desquamation, or cell turnover, and the final stage results in dead skin cells on your skin. In order to reveal the healthier and more radiant skin cells, you need to remove the dead skin cells. There are two types of exfoliation – chemical and physical – and for combination skin, you definitely want to use a chemical exfoliator.

Alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic and lactic acids, gently break up and dissolve the bonds that hold your dead skin cells together. When the acids break these bonds, the dead skin cells are sloughed away to reveal the newer and healthier skin cells your epidermis has been producing.

Caring for combination skin doesn’t have to be confusing and complicated. The main objective with combination skin is to keep it balanced. Consistent washing with a gentle cleanser and frequent exfoliation with mild exfoliants help keep your combination skin in balance and under control.

Woman exfoliating her skin

Why Exfoliation is Important for Good Skin Care

Simply put, exfoliation is the removal of dry, dead skin cells that rest on the surface of your skin. There are two ways to exfoliate your skin:

  • Physical Exfoliation – Uses washcloths, facial brushes, dry brushes or scrubs that use exfoliating ingredients like sugar or salt.
  • Chemical Exfoliation – Works by dissolving the “glue” that binds skin cells and sloughing them from the skin. The most commonly used chemical exfoliants are alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, though retinol is also used in many anti-aging products because it stimulates cell turnover.

Why is Exfoliation Important for Healthy Skin?
Your cells naturally regenerate, but the process slows down considerably as you age. As these skin cells pile up on your face, you may notice that your face looks dull, feels rough and appears dry. Additionally, allowing these dead skin cells to accumulate can result in clogged pores which cause blemishes and acne.

Cleansing treatment

Without proper exfoliation, the ingredients in your skin care products are not able to penetrate the skin and be fully absorbed. Bottom line, your face products are less effective if you aren’t exfoliating and if you have dead skin cells accumulating on the surface of your face, you are inviting more skin care problems. Here are some of the greatest benefits to regularly exfoliating your skin:

  • Clear Breakouts and Acne – Skin that is acne-prone sheds more skin cells than any other type of skin, but these skin cells don’t fall away from the face. These skin cells stick to the surface of your skin and clog your pores and follicles which causes your skin to produce more oil that causes blackheads and other blemishes. Exfoliating your skin regularly reduces skin buildup and decreases the likelihood of blemishes forming.
  • Improves Skin Texture – When you exfoliate dead skin cells away, your skin’s natural renewal process is sped up which allows younger, healthier skin to take the place of the dry, dead cells. This will even out complexion taking it from dull to bright and rough to smooth.
  • Minimize the Appearance of Pores – Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin clogs your pores and can trap other dirt and debris in your pores which make your pores appear larger. Exfoliating your skin essentially decongests them and diminishes the appearance of your pores.
  • Reduce Visible Signs of Aging – Your skin becomes drier and less elastic during the aging process which results in visible signs of aging. As previously mentioned, regular exfoliation changes the rough texture of aging skin to a smooth texture. Exfoliating also reveals more luminous skin and can help to combat other signs of aging like discoloration from both age and sunspots.

Exfoliation is critical for healthy, youthful looking skin and it makes your skin care products more effective. You can exfoliate your entire body to see smoother, more even skin, but be careful that you don’t overdo it. Using harsh scrubs can cause damage, so it’s best to stick with gentle exfoliators. As a general rule, exfoliating two to three times each week is plenty to keep your skin free from dead skin cell debris, but some people that use very low concentrations of alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids may exfoliate every night. Start exfoliating today to reveal younger and healthier skin.

Woman looking in the mirror

How to Cultivate Your Personal Style

Think you were born without the fashion gene? Think again. You’ve already got a personal sense of style, you just may not know what it is yet. The following five tips will help you narrow down what really makes you feel like your best self and how to build a wardrobe around these elements.

Start an Inspiration Board
Looking to celebrities and fashion icons can be a helpful tool when it comes to trying to determine just what your personal style really is, but the chances of having just one person represent everything you love about fashion is pretty slim. Head to Pinterest and start a board that contains celebrities, fashion icons or just general outfit ideas that you really love and are attracted to. After a while, you will begin to see trends across your board which can help you determine who to look to for inspiration and what the basic elements of your wardrobe should be.

Clean Out Your Closet
Once you have some ideas about the fundamental pieces that your ideal closet should have, go through your current closet and see what items you already have and what items don’t fit with the look you want to achieve. Plan to donate or sell any items that no longer fit or that you haven’t worn in the last six months or so. The more you refine your closet, the easier it is to build a wardrobe that contains only those pieces that really inspire and excite you and that reflect your personal sense of style.

Shop Smart
When you’ve thoroughly gone through your closet and cleaned out items that no longer fit, that don’t mesh with your personal style or that haven’t been worn in six months, you can start introducing pieces that do fit your style into your wardrobe. When it comes to buying clothes a good rule to follow is quality, not quantity. Invest in classic pieces like a great pair of leather boots or the perfect little black dress because these items will last and are great essentials. Shop at stores like T.J. Maxx or Forever 21 when you want to experiment with trendy pieces. This allows you to still play with the most recent trend without dropping a lot of money on items that may not really reflect your personal style.

Woman taking a selfie.

Snap a Selfie
As you begin to build your closet with pieces that you really love, it’s easier to get a bit more creative about how to wear these items. Some days, you walk out your door just oozing confidence and feeling like a million buck and when this happens, take a picture of your outfit, accessories, hair and makeup. These pictures are the epitome of your personal style and can serve as inspiration for more spin-off outfits or they can help you put together an outfit when you’re feeling less than inspired.

Consider the Whole Package
Your clothes are only one element of your personal style; you still have hair, makeup and accessories to play with. Add a signature piece to your closet. Audrey Hepburn had cropped pants, Jackie O. had her amazing sunglasses and Taylor Swift has her red lip. Look at the clothes you own and consider what element will work with your wardrobe in its entirety then try it out.

It can be difficult to part with clothes in your closet, but you will feel so much better once your closet contains only those items that really make you feel like you. Have fun experimenting with different pairings and use accessories to help each individual outfit stand out. Cultivating your personal style is all about making you feel like the most gorgeous and confident version of yourself possible and the five tips we mentioned will help you to find your own sense of style.

Woman cleansing skin.

Seasonal Skincare

To get the healthiest, most radiant skin, you’ll have to do some year-round maintenance work. One thing that remains constant during every season of the year is that you want to be sure you are protecting your skin against damaging UV rays. However, some other areas of your skincare routine may require tweaks here and there as the seasons, and your skincare needs, change. Discover what the main seasonal concerns are and how you can best address these to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Woman applying a facial mask

Winter
Dry, flaky, irritated and itchy skin are all common complaints during the winter months. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, you also need to protect your skin from other environmental elements. Harsh winds, freezing temperatures and incredibly dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin in winter and one way to fight back is to keep your skin covered when possible. Items like gloves and scarves can help to easily protect your skin.

You may need to switch out some of your fall products for more heavy duty formulations in the winter. Consider the following ideas when remedying winter skin:

  • Switch from a gel cleanser to a creamy or oil-based cleanser
  • Swap your toner for a more moisturizing one to soothe dry skin after cleansing
  • Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides for maximum hydration
  • Use gentle exfoliants on your face and lips to keep dry, flaky skin at bay

Woman touching her skin

Spring
Say goodbye to the dry, flaky skin of winter by starting spring with some much-needed exfoliation. Using chemical exfoliants such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is a great way to gently remove dead skin cells and other debris. A homemade scrub of olive oil and sugar is perfect to get your arms and legs glowing again and to keep them looking great, consider investing in a dry brush. You may also want to:

  • Change from heavy moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer
  • Keep lips well protected with balms and treatments that contain SPF
  • Store your moisturizing toner for a lightweight toner or essence to treat skin and combat oil
  • Remember that you still need to be protecting your skin with an SPF every day during spring.

Woman in a beach

Summer
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding summer skincare is the presence of excessive oil. Part of why this happens is that the warm temperature can liquefy the sebum (oil) in your pores, which causes the oil to leak out onto the surface of your skin resulting in unwanted shine. When you mix sweat with the oil, your skin looks not only greasy, but it feels uncomfortable as well. Combat excess oil in the summer by:

  • Use a gel or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil and sweat from your face
  • Decrease the intensity of your moisturizer to a lightweight lotion or a serum
  • Use beta-hydroxy acid to deep clean pores and help stop excess oil
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains mattifying properties

Summer fashion exposes far more skin, so be sure that you are applying sunscreen to any area of your body that is exposed. A general guideline is to use the equivalent of a shot glass (1 oz) to cover your entire body. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens can be applied immediately before stepping into the sun. One application of sunscreen a day isn’t enough if you’re going to be outdoors; reapply sunscreen every two hours or after every time you immerse yourself in water. Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses are also a good idea to protect yourself.

Woman dressed for fall

Fall
Drier skin isn’t the only fall skin concern that you need to be worried about. Your skin may go into a bit of shock after summer and this manifests as visible sunspots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. With all of the excess oil that your glands produced during summer, you may have enlarged pores heading into the fall. To keep your skin looking healthy in the fall you should:

  • Store your lightweight moisturizers and serums and begin to use a more heavy duty product
  • Use a gentle cleanser, toner and exfoliant because skin is sensitive from UV damage
  • Begin using retinol to erase signs of sun damage from the summer
  • It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you need to continue using an SPF daily to protect from further sun damage.

If you are using quality skin care products with great ingredients and formulations, there is a good chance that you won’t need to change your entire collection of products with each season. A few key items here and there can help you keep your skin healthy during every season of the year. Sunscreen is always in season, so don’t forget to stock up on it when you create your seasonal skincare routine.

Woman getting a facial massage.

Anti-Aging Facial Treatments

The desire to look younger is nothing new, ancient cultures had many potions or elixirs designed to keep a youthful appearance. Breakthroughs in science have provided some incredible anti-aging skincare ingredients, but there is no magic product that will erase years from your face as soon as you apply it. A great skincare routine is a huge part of maintaining a young visage, but when you need a little extra help, there are anti-aging facial treatments available. Below, find out about three of the least invasive, yet effective, anti-aging facial treatments.

Facial Massage
You know if you want to keep your arms and legs looking long and lean you need to work the muscles and keep them toned, but you probably don’t think about your face that way. Ymedisour facial muscles require attention as well to maintain a younger looking face particularly because when your facial muscles are tense, they encourage wrinkles. Julia Baba, an esthetician at The Spa in Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel, advocates for facial massages saying they are an amazing anti-aging treatment that you can do daily at home and just one to two minutes per day can provide anti-aging results. The main rule when giving yourself a facial massage is to avoid pulling or tugging at your skin. Use different motions like tapping or softly pinching near your eyebrow area and always massage in an upward circular motion because as Baba says, “you want to work against gravity so that everything goes up.”

Woman getting laser treatment.

Energy Facial Treatments
Lasers are a popular and effective method of addressing signs of aging on your face, but they are also a significant investment and may require multiple treatments. Energy facial treatments are growing in popularity as are the number of medispas or cosmeceutical treatments. The energy facial you receive will be based upon the doctor or medispa you visit, but these treatments have one major thing in common: heat. Many treatments use ultrasound, radio-frequency rays or micro-currents to firm your skin. The idea behind energy facial treatments, which you could do on your lunch hour and return immediately to work, is that the heat used “tricks” your skin into believing it has been damaged so that your skin will remedy the problem with an increase in collagen production. Energy facial treatments are non-invasive and provide immediate results, though the results are temporary.

spa you visit, but these treatments have one major thing in common: heat. Many treatments use ultrasound, radio-frequency rays or micro-currents to firm your skin. The idea behind energy facial treatments, which you could do on your lunch hour and return immediately to work, is that the heat used “tricks” your skin into believing it has been damaged so that your skin will remedy the problem with an increase in collagen production. Energy facial treatments are non-invasive and provide immediate results, though the results are temporary.

Facial Fillers
Botox has been around for ages and it continues to be used frequently as a way to treat sagging skin and wrinkles. While women today want to eradicate wrinkles and look younger, many women are concerned that traditional plastic surgery or Botox will look “fake” and “plastic,” and they desire a treatment that reduces wrinkles and leaves them looking younger, but still natural. When done by a skilled cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon, fillers can have a dramatic effect while remaining more natural looking. Hyaluronic acid as a filler is gaining popularity not only because it fills in lines and wrinkles, but it can actually lift problem areas as well. Frederic Brandt, a dermatologist in Miami and New York, says that when done properly, one can expect a replenishment of youthful contours such as chins, jawlines, cheekbones and temples and lifting of the face. On certain areas, you can place the filler under the muscle, which will add volume but also give a more contoured and structural effect.” According to Brandt, these facial fillers can last up to two years, but proceed with caution when selecting a doctor. “The filler is only part of the equation. The technique in which it’s used is an equally or more important part of the treatment,” notes Brandt.

Prevention is key in the fight against aging, so protecting your skin as best as you can early on will result in less work as you age. Always wear an SPF not only on your face, but down your neck and chest too because these areas show signs of aging as much, if not more, than your face. Be consistent with proper skincare and add a facial massage to your nightly routine and when you need more serious help, look for anti-aging facial treatments like the above to give you a younger, yet natural looking face.

Laser treatment

All About Laser Treatments

If you’ve ever considered laser treatments for your skin concerns but have been worried about looking like a lobster for several months, we’ve got some good news. Laser treatments have advanced significantly since their inception and while there are treatments that will leave you looking like you just got a sunburn, there are also procedures and treatments that provide great results with minimal side effects.

What is a Laser and How Does it Work?
The word laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. What this boils down to is that lasers work by generating a concentrated stream of pulsed bright light that can be strategically controlled and directed over the surface of the skin. Unlike a regular white light bulb that contains a spectrum of colors, lasers only contain one specific color. These intense rays of light are used to destroy unwanted pigments, hair or other skin concerns. Lasers are classified as either ablative or non-ablative.

Ablative Lasers – Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface of your skin (epidermis) as well as the lower, deeper (dermis) layers of skin. In order to penetrate to these lower layers of skin, ablative lasers injure or ablate the surface of your skin. Ablative lasers can be used to:

  • Fade skin discolorations
  • Remove sun damage
  • Reveal healthier skin
  • Improve appearance of deep lines and wrinkles

Non-ablative Lasers – Non-ablative treatments target the lower layers of your skin, but they leave the surface of your skin undamaged and intact. Non-ablative lasers are used to:

  • Improve or eliminate redness from broken capillaries or rosacea
  • Remove superficial spots
  • Improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stimulate collagen production

Types of Lasers
Laser technology has advanced significantly since the treatments were first offered. Today’s lasers are able to provide more precise results with less damage and side effects. Some of the most common types of lasers used for laser therapy include:

  • CO2 Pulse Laser – This ablative laser is one of the oldest lasers in use. It provides significant results following therapy, but the side effects are intense with the potential for skin to remain red for up to two months following treatment.
  • Erbium YAG Laser – Another ablative laser, this machine is less invasive than the CO2 Pulse Lasers, but it also does not treat wrinkles as deeply as those machines. There is also the Variable YAG Pulse Laser, which is a popular option for its ability to work almost as effectively as the CO2 Pulse, but without as much damage.
  • Fraxels – These non-ablative lasers are some of the most frequently used because they deliver impressive results with minimal side effects and risks. The name is derived from the word fractional, which is how fraxels work. Instead of one, steady stream of light, fraxels pinpoint target the skin with a polka-dot type pattern of light that causes less tissue damage. Fraxels are used for a large range of skin concerns from wrinkles and stretch marks to hyperpigmentation.
  • Long-Pulsed YAG Laser – This laser is also non-ablative and is used mainly for wrinkles and reducing the appearance of acne scars. These lasers, while less invasive than others, provide more subtle results than others.

What to Know Before Laser Therapy
That’s definitely a question for your doctor to decide. If you are considering laser therapy, it is a great idea to do some research, but remember that your doctor is the expert. Look for offices that feature multiple types of lasers, because an office that only has one may use it on your skin to keep your business, but it may not be the most effective or safe treatment for you. Laser therapy costs range widely depending on the type of laser, the number of treatments, your location and what type of laser therapy you are having done. Laser therapies come with varying amounts of pain. The majority of laser treatments do not require numbing before the treatment, but if you are having deeper resurfacing done, your doctor may use “…a topical anesthetic or a combination of a topical and pain injections plus anxiety drugs such as Ativan or Valium,” says Brian Biesman, clinical assistant professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Laser treatments are an effective way to treat a large number of skin concerns from resurfacing to deep-set wrinkles. Prior to undergoing any type of laser therapy, we recommend doing some research to find a doctor that you trust and the laser treatment that is right for you.

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