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hydroquinone, skin lightener

In the world of medical aesthetics, hydroquinone is often a necessary part of skin care. It is the gold standard for treating dark skin irregularities known as hyperpigmentation. As effective as it is, the rising concern regarding hydroquinone, is that there are a number of people who are using hydroquinone incorrectly, without on going professional guidance. Many of those who are using hydroquinone do not understand the risk of hydroquinone resistance or how to properly use it, as to enhance efficacy. It is important to use hydroquinone in a way to maximize it’s benefit, before the skin builds a resistance and how to properly transition off, to reduce incidence of rebound hyper pigmentation. Always seek a professional guidance before starting or continuing hydroquinone use. It should be used only under the strict supervision of a professional.

Why do we need Hydroquinone?

Hydroquinone is the single most effective topical ingredient for treating skin discolorations. Skin discolorations can include sun spots, Melasma and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), pigmented acne scars. When the skin is inflamed it can respond by over producing melanin, this inflammation can come from acne, injury, surgery or aesthetic procedures such as laser or chemical peels. UV exposure and hormones can also induce skin discolorations. In the world of medical aesthetics we are really dependent on the ability of hydroquinone to quickly correct hyper pigmentation. There are non-hydroquinone skin brighteners that are very good products, however they are not as effective as hydroquinone. That does not mean that botanical lighteners do not have a place, as you will learn, both hydroquinone and non-hydroquinone brighteners are important.

Resistance to Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone works by inhibiting tyrosinase, which is necessary for melanin production. It is believed that with extended hydroquinone use, the skin will compensate by increasing tyrosinase. This would causes the skin to become resistant to the effects of hydroquinone. When the skin becomes resistant to the effects of hydroquinone it will quit improving the hyper pigmentation. To prevent building resistance, it is not recommended to continue use for extended periods of time with out cycling off. It is usually recommended to cycle off hydroquinone after about 4-6 months. If needed, hydroquinone may be resumed after about 2 months. If you stop hydroquinone “cold turkey”, there is a risk of rebound pigmentation. To prevent rebound pigmentation, it is generally recommended to transition your skin off. While transitioning off and breaking from hydroquinone, continued stimulation with a retinoid is beneficial. When it is time to transition off your hydroquinone, you may begin to incorporate a non-hydroquinone skin brightener. There are several professional products that may be recommended. Exact regimens will vary individually, depending on skin condition and any skin treatments, such as laser treatments or chemical peels, that are planned. Do not attempt to cycle off hydroquinone without professional guidance!

Maximize Hydroquinone Effectiveness

When using hydroquinone to treat hyper pigmentation, the goal is to correct the condition before the skin builds resistance. In order to maximize effectiveness, we need to use a high quality hydroquinone product in the appropriate dosage, along with products that optimize penetration, assist in correction and protect from exacerbating factors.

We want to use enough of hydroquinone to reach correction, so a skin care professional needs to show you how to measure your hydroquinone and give you a time frame that you should expect to run out of product. Using hydroquinone every morning and night is a common protocol for treating facial skin.

We want the hydroquinone to have optimal ability to penetrate and work. Prepare the skin by cleansing with an appropriate cleanser. This would exclude anything that does not sufficiently clean the skin or leaves any occlusive film, this could inhibit product penetration. For this reason, I generally do not recommend cleansers like CeraVe or Cetaphil. Anything that is too harsh or active, should also be avoided, as we do not want to induce any unnecessary inflammation or irritation. After cleansing, an appropriate toner should be used, this will restore the skins PH balance after cleansing, preparing it for corrective skin care products. (astringent is not toner). Hydroquinone should be applied after toner, unless you have been instructed to use a Vitamin-C serum or other corrective serums. Always, confirm with your Esthetician or provider, the order your products should be applied.

When Hydroquinone is used with a mild exfoliant and Tretinoin (Retin-A), the pigment will be more evenly distributed. The goal is not just to suppress the production melanin (pigment), it is to have even distribution of the pigment. When the skin has hyper pigmentation, the melanocytes are not functioning properly. Not only is there an over production of melanin, but the pigment is not being evenly distributed to skin cells called keratinocytes. When Hydroquinone is used with Tretinoin, it works to evenly distribute the pigment. A mild chemical exfoliant will enhance the process by increasing the skin cell turnover. It is important that the exfoliant be appropriate to your skin type and personal skin care regimen, to reduce risk of any unnecessary inflammation. Here is the icing on the cake, tretinoin will also treat acne, increase collagen production in the dermis, as well as glycosaminoglycans such as Hyaluronic acid that bind to water and improve skin moisture. There is also evidence that tretinoin may positively effect gene expression in the skin. – Yes, please! I want all of that.

Sun protection is important for several reasons. 1) UV exposure stimulates the production of melanin, while hydroquinone is working to suppress it. It literally, defeats the purpose of using hydroquinone, if you do not have proper sun protection. 2) Hydroquinone, tretinoin and exfoliants can all cause photosensitivity of the skin. 3) Heat, including heat from the sun dilates capillaries in the skin and induces inflammation, which can exacerbated pigmentation problems. 4) UV exposure causes skin discolorations, free radical damage and breaks down collagen and elastin.5) UV rays damage DNA and causes skin cancer, and melanoma can be life threatening.

Your sunscreen should be an SPF 30 or higher and should have zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide can help by blocking some of the UV induced heat, that contributes to inflammation and exacerbates hyper pigmentation. Zinc also provides broad spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays without the irritation occasionally seen with chemical sunscreens. Professional zinc products are more elegant and will look better on the skin. Using a moisturizer, BB Cream or cosmetic with an added SPF, is not enough. It is important to have an actual sunscreen, with high broad spectrum coverage. Sunscreen should go on after any moisturizer, it is the last thing you put on, but before makeup. Sunscreen needs to be used EVERY day!

Topical antioxidants are useful for many reasons, but in regards to skin discolorations we especially like topical Vitamin-C. First, Vitamin-C reduces oxidized dopaquinone, which helps further brighten the skin. Perhaps, more importantly, Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation in the skin that can cause or exacerbate hyper pigmentation. Some antioxidants, including Vitamin-C also have photo-protectant ability, enhancing the effectiveness of sunscreen. They works by neutralizing the UV rays, rather than reflecting or absorbing UV rays like a sunscreen, so use them together to maximize your protection. We recommend using an l-ascorbic acid form of vitamin c, in serum form. A quality l-ascorbic acid, needs to be packaged in a glass bottle with a glass dropper, the bottle should be dark to reduce oxidation of the product.

Not all skin care products play well together and there are some skin care products that may be contraindicated to your personal skin care regimen. For example, you should not use any product that contains benzoyal peroxide with products that can oxidize, such as Hydroquinone and Vitamin-C Serums. Always inform your Esthetician or skin care provider of the products you are using, and do not add anything new without having it approved first.

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Read MoreMay 19, 2015 11:13 pm - Posted by Kristy

sunscreen

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. The American Academy of Dermatology launched a campaign for Melanoma Monday, and Who’s got your back. The American Academy of Dermatology states that the most common place for melanoma is the back. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Be sure to get your annual dermatology appointment to have your whole body checked for skin cancers and suspicious lesions. Also be sure you are applying your sunblock correctly. Sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it’s applied correctly.

Follow these tips which were taken directly from the American Academy of Dermatologists website. AAD.org

Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.
Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.

Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.

Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen. For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

People who get sunburned usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product.

Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

And remember, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. To protect your skin, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone:

Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
( I may be one of the only parents who try and adhere to this time frame about 95% of the time. I will not allow my children to swim during this peek time when the suns rays are the strongest. I feel that it is just a better idea to wait until later in the evening to swim or spend extended periods of time in the sun.)

And remember, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. To protect your skin, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone:

Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.
Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

umbrella
Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible. ( and we are that family that is out at the lake wearing those long sleeved uv protective shirts)
Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. ( The ZO Skin Health line just came out with a face and body spray spf 50, and water resistant that I’m excited about!) oclipse-sun-spray-spf50

For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

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Read MoreMay 5, 2015 11:11 pm - Posted by Stephanie

décolletage
Décolletage is what we call the neckline, or more specifically the area made up of the neck, chest and cleavage. If we neglect this area between our face and breasts, it is sure to age us. Although we can cover up our décolletage, we would certainly be limiting our style and where is the fun in that.

The décolletage is a special concern, because it tends to suffer more sun damage than other areas and women also tend to develop lines between the breast while sleeping on their side. Luckily, there are plenty of options to improve this area, but we have to be patient as correction for non-facial skin is much slower than it is when treating the face. When we treat the décolletage or any non-facial area, we need to treat more conservatively and thus, more often. The skin cell turn over for non-facial skin tends to be slower, so this means the recovery process will take longer, which will require more time spaced between treatments. When treating the décolletage you should treat early and often. Slow and steady wins the race.

When it comes to skin care and anti-aging, the best approach is a comprehensive one. One treatment does not necessarily replace the other. Your skincare provider should work to help you understand which treatments are best for you and the time line that treatments may be done. When budget is a concern, you will need to decide which concerns are a priority for you.

Topical Skin Care

The first step is to use effective skin care products on your neck and chest, every morning and every night, just as you would your face. Most of the skin care products that are used on the face, can also be used on the chest. Some topicals, such as hydroquinone and retinoids need to be used less frequently on non-facial skin to avoid irritation. Some products should be used daily, such as topical antioxidants and an SPF 30 or higher. There are some great products formulated specifically for the neck and chest. Revision skin care formulated Nectifirm for firming the neck and décolletage. NIA 24 Sun Damage Repair for Décolletage and Hands, is formulated with patented Pro-Niacin to repair damaged skin. Consult with your Esthetician, to determine the appropriate protocol for you.

NIA 24 Before and After

NIA 24 Before and After

PhotoFacial IPL/BBL

Treatments that use Intense Pulsed Light work to treat brown spots and redness. There is also research to suggest that ongoing treatments will positively effected gene expression in the skin to mimic that of a younger person. Generally a series of 3-5 treatments are recommended, scheduled 3-4 weeks apart. For enhanced results Levulan may be applied prior, this is known as PhotoDynamic Therapy.
FYBBL_Before_After_Gallery_1(1)

Chemical Peels

Medium depth chemical peels that reach the papillary dermis or upper reticular dermis, such as the Obagi Blue Peel or ZO controlled depth peel will improve skin discolorations, improve texture, laxity, lines and stretchable wrinkles. A medium depth peel on the chest, may take up to 14 days for peeling to be complete. On the up side, peels on the face generally do not look bad during the peeling phase and are easy to tolerate. These peels can be done as often as 4 times a year, however I find that once a year is optimal when combined with other treatments.

Ultherapy

Ultherapy is the treatment of choice for the lines that develop between the breasts. Ultherapy works at a deeper level than any other non-surgical treatment, to lift and tighten skin. Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound to target deep into the dermis and even the top of the muscle. Like many other aesthetic treatments, Ultherapy works by creating a wound healing response, but because the targeted areas are at a deeper level we see more tightening and lifting. The increased collagen production in the treated area, can be seen a year post treatment. Most people should plan on repeating this treatment once a year, although younger patients may be able to stretch it out to every two years. Those with advanced photo damage, or who desire more improvement may choose to repeat the treatment in six months. Pain medication may be prescribed, in which case you will need to arrange for someone to bring you in to your appointment and take you home.
ultherapy_018p-d_beforeandafter-180day_1tx_chest

Fractional Resurfacing

Non facial skin does not respond well to “full coverage” ablative laser resurfacing. Non-ablative or sublative fractional resurfacing treatments, such as E-Matrix or Fraxel are more appropriate for treating non-facial skin. These treatments reduce lines, wrinkles and smooth skin texture. Like many other aesthetic treatments, fractional lasers work by creating a wound healing response in the skin, that stimulates the fibroblast in the skin to up regulate the production of collagen. Because laser treatments create heat, we appreciate a different type of wound healing response than we do with other treatments such as chemical peels, micro needling, which is why we see the up regulation of collagen for longer periods of time post treatment.
Fractional lasers generally work in the deeper layers of the skins dermis, an area which is not effected by chemical peels or IPL treatments. The frequency and number of treatments will depend on the level of treatment performed, level of correction desired and condition of skin.
fraxel chest

Micro-Needling Collagen Induction Therapy

Aesthetic professionals use micro-needling pens such as the Eclipse or Dermapen, to deliver tiny needles into the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin creating micro-injuries. This begins a natural wound healing or renewal process that will stimulate collagen production in the treated area. There is little to no down-time, and it is surprisingly comfortable. Although, micro needling treatments do not deliver the same level of correction to skin texture as fractional lasers, they are the treatment of choice for scars and stretch marks. Micro-needling is also a good option for early intervention or in between other aesthetic treatments.

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Read MoreApril 22, 2015 3:21 pm - Posted by Kristy

coolsculpting truth
“Does CoolSculpting REALLY work”, this is a question people ask me all the time. I think the idea of removing fat permanently, without surgery seems hard to believe. Some people notice great results, while others may not see desireable results. So…why does CoolSculpting work for some and not others.

How CoolSculpting works

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical device that works by cooling selected areas of fat to a tempeture the causes the fat cells to go into apoptosis. Apoptosis is a programed cell death, it’s like your fat cells commit sucide. With each treatment cycle we expect 20% of the fat cells to die. You may see improvement 8 weeks after your first treatment, but the fat cells will continue to die up to 4 months post treatment.

Multiple Treatments

You may see a noticeable reduction of fat in the treated area after one visit, but you may appreciate even more fat reduction with additional treatments. Most people should expect to do two treatment cycles on each area treated. Occasionally, more than two treatment cycles are needed to achieve your personal desired results.
coolsculpting 2

Multiple Applicators

Coolsculpting uses something we call applicators that pull the fat bulge in and hold it in place during treatment. It usually take multiple applicators to treat a specific area. For example a stomach may require 3 applicators to treat the desired area, and the sides may require 4 applicators. The exact number of applicators needed to treat an area will vary by individual.
Coolsculpting applicators

What CoolSculpting will not improve

– CoolSculpting and other procedures like liposuction only treat adipose fat, which is the fat above your muscle. Cosmetic procedures do not treat visceral fat, which is the dangerous fat that surrounds your internal organs. The visceral fat needs to be reduced via diet.

– CoolSculpting will not reduce loose or excess skin, it is not an alternative to a tummy-tuck or body lifting procedures.

– CoolSculpting is not used to treat cellulite. Treatments like VelaShape that us RF to reduce the size of fat cells and improve skin quality are better for cellulite treatment.

– CoolSculpting is not an alternative to weight loss. Procedures are for reducing select bulges
visceral-fat

Why it does not work for some people

Occasinally, someone will tell me that they have a friend who had CoolSculpting and it didn’t work. The truth is, it most probably DID work, but it may not have worked enough or was not the best treatmentfor actual concern. If someone is confusing skin for fat, they will be disappointed with results. If they have a large amount of visceral fat, reducing the adipose fat will not make enough of an impact. While there are those who were not good candidates, the most likely reason someone may feel like it didn’t work is because they didn’t have enough treatment. They probably needed more applicators to treat the area of concern and may have needed an additional treatment to make an impact that is appreciated.

When I had fat transfer, the doctor used liposuction to remove fat from my abdomen to inject into my face. Now, I know for a fact that the fat was removed from my body, but I did not have any improvement in body conturing. To conture my shape he would have needed to suction out more fat. This does not mean that the liposuction didn’t work at removing fat, it means that MORE fat removal would have been needed to improve my shape. This is usually the case with CoolSculpting, it worked, but more treatment is needed for the desired results.

It is important to keep realistic results, make sure that you understand the amount of area that is being treated. Do not assume that you are the exception, and will only need one treatment. If you have had a treatment and were not satisfied with the results, follow up with your provider to see if further treatments are needs or if perhaps another procedure would be better.

YES, CoolSculpting does work and well.

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Read MoreApril 17, 2015 11:27 pm - Posted by Kristy

Youth Serum by iS Clinical
A serum that claims to give you the “best of both worlds”, how perfect is that?! Youth Serum is designed to provide an instant smoothing and tightening effect, and long term wrinkle reduction (via collagen production). Could this Youth Serum be the fountain of youth we are all searching for?

I think expecting any single skin care product to be “THE” fountain of youth, may just be setting you up for disappointment. I believe that the fountain of youth is a full comprehensive approach to anti-aging, which would include skin care products along with aesthetic treatments, healthy lifestyle, diet, excersise and what ever fits your personal beliefs towards a healthy mind and spirit. With that said, I think it is fair to say that Youth Serum is one of those things that will add to our fountain youth.

This serum is appropriate for all skin types, espesially when anti-aging is a concern. As someone who works in medical esthetics, I am very interested in the role this product plays in wound healing, tissue remodeling as well as it’s anti-tumor effect and ability to protect DNA from the damaging effects of radiation. I think this product would be very beneficial for those with thin or impaired skin that may have reduced wound healing ability due to medical conditions or treatments.

[The Top 5 IS Clinical Skin Products We Love!]

This serum uses intelligent proteins that target damaged sites, strengthen dermal structure, to smooth fine lines and firm skin. YOUTH SERUM’s safe, bio-identical growth factors gradually rebuild lost collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles long-term. The patented Extremozyme® technology, combined with a powerful blend of antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, E, and centella asiatica, encourage cellular health, provide UV photoprotection, and prevent environmental damage. The result is a more youthful, vibrant, and resilient complexion.

Benefits

• Clinically proven to increase collagen synthesis
• Contains safe growth factors that shield skin from cancer development, improve skin firmness and elasticity
• Helps prevent DNA damage (Extremozyme technology)
• Excellent for use under makeup
• Paraben-free

Key Ingrediants

Copper Tripeptide-1 Growth Factor – Copper Tripeptide-1 sequence is found naturally in your bodies collagen, and it stimulates the synthesis of new collagen. This is a bioidentical growth factor, which means that your body recognizes it and it can be put to use immediately. This growth factor has been shown to prevent tumors, helping to protect skin from cancer development. It stimulates collagen production, which restores the skin’s structure and smoothes wrinkles over time.

Extremozymes – Think of them like “extreme” enzymes, these enzymes are harvested organisms that are able to withstand extreme conditions.These enzymes work to nuture skin and prevent free radical damage with powerful antioxidants. Clinically proven to repair and protect fragile proteins and DNA components.

Intelligent Peptides & Proteins – Primarily pseudoaltermonas ferment extract, which is a glycoprotien from the Antarctic Sea. Clinically proven to adhear to damaged sites, providing targeted regeneration.

Active Algae Extracts – A potent intertidal seaweed extract, that is a rich source of a rare amino acid found only in collagen – which triggers the epidermis to repair collagen loss.

Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, & Madecassic Acid Sourced from Centella Asiatica – Efficacious antioxidants that stimulate collagen synthesis and improve microcirculation, capillary flow and vascular tone, to promote wound healing and reduction of scar tissue.

Vitamin A, C & E Blend – Powerful vitamin antioxidant blend.

Thank you for visiting Best of Both Worlds Az
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Read MoreFebruary 26, 2015 12:22 am - Posted by Kristy

inner thigh gap

It seems that the “inner thigh gap” has become an obsession for many women. The internet is absolutely littered with “ITG” or “inner thigh gap” propaganda. Obtaining this goal can be dangerous, if you are dropping to an unhealthy weight. There are however, options to help you achieve the coveted thigh gap, with out starving yourself.

About Fat Cells

Our bodies, generally do not create new fat cells after puberty. While the actual number of fat cells remain the same, they do change in size. Each fat cell will become larger with weight gain (stored fat), and when we lose weight (reduced body fat) each fat cells shrink. Where the fat cells are concentrated within the body, will vary, individually. Although, diet and exercise can reduce the size of fat cells, it will not reduce the number of fat cells or change the concentration of fat cells in a specific area. Luckily, there are procedures that can reduce the number of, or shrink fat cells in a targeted area.

Cosmetic procedures are ideal when you want to reduce the concentration of fat in a specific area, however they are not intended to be used for weight loss. Cosmetic procedures target subcutaneous fat, which is found underneath your skin, but over the muscle. Cosmetic procedures do not target visceral fat, which is below the muscle and surrounds internal organs. Exessive visceral fat is associated with many serious health problems, and needs to be controlled with a healthy diet and exercise.

Treatment Options

Liposcuction is a surgical procedure, where fat cells are physicaly and permently removed from the treated area. Liposuction has long been used to remove fat, but we now have non surgical options, such as CoolSculpting and Velashape to treat targeted areas of fat.

VelaShape™ is a non-surgical option that uses a combination of Bi-Polar Radiofrequency (RF), Infrared Light Energy, plus Vacuum and Mechanical Massage to increases the metabolism of stored energy, increases lymphatic drainage and reduces or shrinks the size of the actual fat cells and fat chambers. In short it shrinks fat cells, tighten skin and reduce cellulite. Velashape allows you to target the fat cells in the treated are. Most people should expect to do a series of 5 treatments, each treatment scheduled about 2 weeks apart. This treatment is very comfortable and with out any down-time. A typical treatment takes about an hour per area.

CoolSculpting™ uses controlled cooling to freeze and eliminate unwanted fat cells without surgery or downtime. CoolSculpting procedure is similar to liposuction, because it actually reduces the number of fat cells in the treated areas permenatly. Results can be seen as early as 6 weeks and continue to improve up to 4 months after each treatment. Most people should expect to do about two treatments per area.

Motivation & Self Image
Most of the people I see in the clinic are a healthy weight, but would prefer to reduce the fat between their thighs, without dropping a lot of weight. These women are good candidates for aesthetic contouring procedures. My concern is with anyone who may have an unhealthy body image and an inner thigh gap is a measure of how thin they have become. If you are hopeing for an inner thigh gap, you need to ask yourself if you have a healthy goal or if you are struggling with body image and a possible eating disorder. In general a BMI below 18.5 is underweight, but if you are not sure consult with a doctor. History has shown us, that like beauty trends, body type prefreances will come and go, but healthy is always pretty.

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Read MoreFebruary 12, 2015 10:33 pm - Posted by Kristy

breast-augmentation review
I’m letting you all in on my personal experience getting plastic surgery. After having 2 children and breast feeding both of them, the volume that was once there in my early 20’s was not there. Can we say deflation?! After trying on a swimsuit and having hardly any volume up top and feeling frustrated, I told myself it was time. I was not happy with the way my breasts looked anymore. Luckily for me, I work for an extremely talented plastic surgeon, Dr. Geoffrey Leber. After seeing all of his happy patients, and how they would glow and their confidence boosted and seeing countless before and after pictures, I knew I was in good hands and that I would get a great result. My decision was made. I had a consultation with him and explained the look that I was going for and that I was just looking to replace volume and have a natural looking breast. He understood what I wanted. He took my measurements and a 3-Dimential photo with a system called the Vectra, that was able to measure my chest wall and minor asymmetries. It was super high tech and he was also able to select the size, brand, and type of implant that he would place in my breast. It was very helpful to get to see what my breast would actually look like with implants.

After my consultation Dr. recommended the Sientra brand, textured silicone implants, moderate profile, and for them to be placed under the muscle and the incision to be in the inframammary crease (under the breast, in the crease). The Sientra brand is highly cohesive silicone which means that if you were to cut the implant in half and squeeze it apart it wouldn’t leak out. This is the true “gummy bear” implant. They call it the “gummy bear” implant because if you cut a gummy bear in half it is similar to what the implant would do if cut in half.

The day of surgery, I arrived at Paradise Valley Cosmetic Surgery Center and checked in. I was super nervous, but Dr. Leber gave me a hug and assured me that all would be okay, I felt much better. After he marked my breasts, I met with the anesthesiologist and then went back for surgery shortly after. My surgery was only an hour and when I woke up the nurses had dressed me and I was being wheeled out to my car and ready to head home! I asked my husband to drive by my office which is located in the same parking lot as the surgical center, I wanted to say hi to my co-workers! They thought it was great how excited I was after just coming out of surgery!

That day when I got home I was in a moderate amount of pain, and so I basically laid in my recliner chair and dozed off for most of the day while making sure to keep up on pain meds. For the most part, I would say that most of the pain was the first four days. I was still able to get up and walk around, but did not do any housework or anything like that. By day five, a little ibuprofen took care of any discomfort. I had my surgery on a Tuesday and I was back to work the following Monday, with a light day of performing facials and lasers.

So here I am, over a year later and very happy with my decision to have breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Leber did an amazing job and has the best bedside manner. He just recently updated his website and has thousands of before and after pictures for all of the surgeries he offers! www.drleber.com

logo

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Read MoreJanuary 24, 2015 4:12 pm - Posted by Stephanie

glypro-exfoliating-facial-cleanser
Skin Medica’s new GlyPro ia a glycolic acid cleanser that uses eco-friendly microbeads to give you the combined benefits of chemical and manual exfoliation. This encourages skin cell turnover while reducing the look of premature aging. It will also help to refine pore size, smooth and brighten skin, and unclog pores.

APPROPRIATE FOR: All skin types
If you like facial scrubs or cleansers with scrubbing microbeads you will like this cleanser. If you like other glycolic product lines, such as Vivite, MD forte or JanMarini’s Bioglycolic, this will likely be a favorite.
PURPOSE: Sloughs off the top layer of skin to reveal fresh, new skin. Proper deep cleansing improves efficacy of other skin care products.
WHEN TO APPLY: Use 2 – 3 times a week, in the morning and in the evening as tolerated. Alternate GlyPro with your regular cleanser. We do not recommend using this cleanser to remove I make-up.
WHERE TO APPLY: Evenly onto face (neck and chest if desired)
HOW TO APPLY: Moisten skin with lukewarm water. Apply a small amount to fingertips, add a little water and gently massage into face (neck and chest if desired). Rinse thoroughly with warm water. After cleansing and gently patting skin dry, apply other treatment products if you are using them, followed by moisturizer and sunscreen (a.m. only)

Key Ingredients & Benefits

Glycolic Acid → an alpha-hydroxy acid that helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps support natural skin turnover for smoother-looking, softer skin
Eco-friendly Microbeads → an exfoliant that helps slough off the top layer of skin
Salicylic Acid → a beta-hydroxy acid that pairs with glycolic acid for more complete skin renewal
Olive Leaf Extract → a highly active antioxidant and soothing agent; polyphenols help improve skin hydration

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Read MoreJanuary 5, 2015 11:17 pm - Posted by Kristy

Angelina Jolie
Stars like Angelina Jolie and Kim Kardashian are rumored to be fans of Collagen Induction Therapy, also known as micro-needling. Collagen Induction Therapy is a minimally-invasive skin rejuvenation treatment designed to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and even stretch marks of the face and body by improving collagen production in the skin.

About Collagen in The Skin

Collagen is the main structural protein of the skin, it is produced by a cell in the dermis called fibroblast. Collagen works with elastin and keratin to provide tensile strength, firmness, elasticity, resilience, and skin density. Throughout life the activity of the fibroblast slows and the genes that degrade collagen become more active, as a result collagen levels continuously and progressively decline. Adding insult to injury, the quality of collagen is also degraded and less organized. There are a variety of influences that can further accelerate the decline of collagen, such as genetics, hormones, and sun damage. Collagen begins to decline in our 20’s, and by the time we are in our 40’s, it’s about half of what it was at 18.
Scar tissue is also composed of collagen, but the organization of the collagen is different. In scar tissue, the collagen is aligned in a single direction, instead of a random basket weave formation.

How it Works

Micro-needling delivers tiny needles into the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin creating micro-injuries. These micro-injuries to the skin break up old collagen strands which cause the skin to begin a natural wound healing or renewal process. During the renewal process, skin releases growth factor which triggers fibroblast proliferation, matrix production, followed by the deposition of collagen, elastin, proteoglycans, and GAGs. This tissue remodeling results in an increase of collagen production that is better organized. This collagen induction process can improve lines, wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks. Micro-needling is an exciting anti-aging option to induce collagen, even at an early stage.

The best part is, there is little to no down time, and, with topical anesthetic, it is very comfortable.

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Read MoreDecember 29, 2014 7:43 pm - Posted by Kristy

forever youn
Can you imagine that in 10 years from now, that you could look 2 years younger than you do today? A recent study may have discovered the fountain of youth in a popular skin treatment that utilizes BBL technology, also known as IPL.

PhotoFacial is a popular skin treatment that utilizes IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) technology also known as BBL (Broad Band Light). Traditionally, IPL/BBL technology has been used to treat reds (vascular) and browns (pigmented spots),but new research shows impressive anti aging benefits.The study looked at the effects that BBL treatments had on the skin over a period of nine years. They found that with continued treatments over the nine years, skin looked two years younger than it did before treatment.

Click to Learn More {Photofacial: Understand the Benefits of IPL}

Why Does Skin Look Younger

Many of the treatments that we use in aesthetics, benefit from skins wound healing ability to produce collagen. Although IPL/BBL treatments do cause a wound healing response that will stimulate collagen production for the first 3 weeks post treatment, it isn’t exactly long enough to account the level of anti aging results observed. So, then, why did the skin look younger?
The study revealed that ongoing BBL/IPL treatments positively effected gene expression in the skin to mimic that of a younger person. Gene expression is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis or form a functional gene product, usually a protein. Aging is associated with changes in gene expression, which is most evident in the skin.

The study indicates “that patients who maintained a regular annual or biannual regimen of BBL treatments over 5 to 11 years can reduce and delay the long-term signs of skin aging such as photo damage, telangiectases, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin laxity in a natural way.”

BBL has been shown to change the expression of genes associated with aging, longevity, and increased lifespan.
Study_Gallery_1 Before Treatment: 43 Years Old | After Treatment: 55 Years Old
After 12 Years of Forever Young BBL treatments, the skin looks younger…

10710937_742020059184825_7648943499020787460_n Before Treatment: 58 Years Old | After Treatment: 67 Years Old
After 9 Years of Forever Young BBL treatments, the skin looks younger..

Forever Young BBL
Before Treatment: 58 Years Old | After Treatment: 67 Years Old
After 9 Years of Forever Young BBL treatments, the skin looks younger…

How To Stay Forever Young with BBL/IPL

The protocol that we use for this treatment is more advanced and differs slightly from traditional “Photofacials”. IPL/BBL devices use something we call “cut-off” filters, which are used and changed to target specific chromophores in the skin, for example the color in melanin (browns) or hemoglobin (reds). The best IPL/BBL devices are equipped with several “cut-off filters” that the technician can switch between during a treatment. With a traditional “photofacial” treatment we use these “cut-off filters” to specifically treat brown spots and reds such as broken blood vessels and we work only until we reach what we call a “clinical end point”, which basically means we have treated the targeted lesions. With this new approach we treat with multiple “cut-off filters” and make more passes over the skin than we do with a traditional IPL/BBL treatment. We are not focused solely on treating reds and browns, but also on rejuvenating the skin to act more youthful.

To delay aging, I generally recommend a series of 3-5 treatments, spaced 3-4 weeks a part. A treatment series should be repeated annually or biannually depending on level of improvement desired. I would like to emphasize the importance of a comprehensive approach to aging, as the aging process is multi-faceted and ongoing. Regardless of how great any treatment is, it will never replace the need for treatments that address the other aspects of aging. – One treatment does not necessarily replace the need for another. Consult with your skin care professional to determine which treatments are best for you.

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Read MoreOctober 8, 2014 11:56 pm - Posted by Kristy