• The Truth About Microneedling

    Microneedling is hot these days and for good reason: It stimulates collagen to give you better-looking skin on every level. Whether done at home or by a professional, there’s still a lot out there that’s not that cut and dry. That’s why we decided to set the record straight on these misconceptions.

    Myth: What your doctor uses on your skin is exactly the same as what you can use yourself at home.
    Fact: This couldn’t be further from the truth. Doctors always have access to stronger medical grade versions that aren’t safe and acceptable for at home use. If you have microneedling done at your doctor’s office, expect to get the state-of-the-art new radiofrequency microneedling or microneedling pens; at home you can only get microneedle rollers.

    Myth: Microneedling hurts.
    Fact: For the most part, microneedling may be uncomfortable but it’s not totally unbearable. Nashville, TN, dermatologist Michael Gold, MD, says, “Microneedling procedures done in an office setting may be performed with topical anesthesia depending on the depth of the procedure being performed.”

    Myth: Microneedling leaves holes in the skin.
    Fact: While microneedling does create a controlled injury in the skin to incite collagen production and does it by creating microscopic holes, the holes it creates are so tiny that they can’t be seen by the naked eye. You may notice more of a red or pink flush to the skin, which will dissipate soon afterwards, and potentially some bleeding. No need to worry, it’s totally normal. Plus, makeup can easily cover up anything that you don’t want exposed.

    Myth: The treatment can’t be done around the eyes or lips.
    Fact: Thanks to advancements in both science and skin care, microneedling can safely be done in these areas as long as the right device is used. Companies like Environ, which manufacture microneedling tools, have specially designed rollers that can be used on the upper eyelid, close to the eyelashes of the lower lid, the areas on the side of the nose and the upper lip.

    Myth: The only benefit you’ll get from microneedling is an anti-aging one.
    Fact: Sure, the treatment works on an anti-aging level to create smoother skin but it has been shown to be effective in correcting acne marks, too. The microneedles stimulate collagen production to help with scarring—when retinoids and other collagen stimulating topicals are applied to the skin after a treatment they are able to penetrate better for more improvement.

    Originally featured on NewBeauty.com

  • Things To Know Before Getting A Facial

    No matter what your makeup preference is, be it daring to demure, a great canvas is the first step to getting there. But when over-the-counter lotions, potions, and creams simply aren’t working, you might need to call in the calvary. One secret weapon of Hollywood starlets—their facialists (or aesthetician) can help you get the healthy, glowing, skin you deserve. Read on to learn more about what to expect.

    Find The Right Treatment for You
    “Since we all have different skin types, your facial should be customized based on what’s going on with your skin,” explains licensed aesthetician and Head of Spa Services at Very Polished Nail Lounge & Spa, Yami Johnson. “Whenever I meet with a client and conduct a skin analysis, I always address the most severe problem first. In some cases we can treat multiple issues with just one customized facial treatment. Keep in mind that your skin type can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to get a skin analysis before each treatment—especially when visiting a new aesthetician that’s not familiar with your skin.”

    Minimize Your Chances for an Allergic Reaction
    “Communicate with your skin therapist,” explains Lead Aesthetician at Heyday NYC, Jill Kibildis. “Let them know everything you use on your skin, especially products from a dermatologist. Tell them about past experiences if you’ve had any weird reactions to ingredients. Even food allergies are important. The more we know, the safer we can customize a treatment. During your treatment, let them know if anything feels like more than a tingle. Never be afraid to speak up during a facial!”

    Plan Ahead For Big Occasions
    “If you are getting ready for a big event, you should book a series of facials (four treatments) starting three to six months ahead of the time,” explains Senior Director of Spa Development at Clarins USA, Milana Knowles. “This will ensure that your skin is regularly detoxed and treated resulting in a near permanent glow. For an easy at-home ‘day of treatment’, exfoliate well with our one step gentle exfoliating cleanser followed by a thick layer of the Beauty Flash Balm, which will instantly brighten and tighten your skin! Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, pat off with a cotton pad soaked with Clarins Camomile Toner and continue with your regular beauty and makeup routine.”

    There’s A “Right” Way to Do Extractions
    “Extractions are necessary for better facial results (if necessary) as long as they are performed correctly and gently,” shares Johnson. “Not everyone needs extractions but if you have visible clogged pores it is definitely beneficial to have them. The ‘right’ way for an aesthetician to perform an extraction is by first softening the skin. Next, they should wrap his/her fingers in soft tissue to manipulate the skin to remove dry sebum and impurities out of the pores. The goal is to remove the congested oil without leaving significant redness and scarring.”

    Stop Your Breakout In Its Tracks
    “Your aesthetician can not only sanitize your skin and remove the bacteria causing the inflammation—they can help stop the spread,” shares Kibildis. “Your facialist can also choose soothing products to calm any inflammation stemming from the breakout. However, if you have an open lesion or a cold sore, you should stay away from a facial. Not only does it have the potential to transmit from person to person, but some of the facial activities could make it worse for you.”

    Steam Pending Your Skin Type
    “The rumor that you can ‘open’ your pores by steaming your face is very popular but pores are not like your eyelids; they don’t open and close. However, steaming does help unclog pores by clearing away the dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria that can cause breakouts. You also have to be careful with steaming if you have severe acne. Sometimes steaming can make it worse because the steam may increase perspiration and stimulate blood circulation. If you have certain skin conditions that are aggravated by sweating or increased blood circulation, such as rosacea or a fungal infection, then facial steaming may do more harm than good to your skin.”

    Learn The Ins & Outs of Facial Massage
    “It increases blood flow and circulation which plumps your skin, lifts and firms sagging areas, and improves muscle tone,” shares Kibildis. “It’ll give you an all over glow and it’s relaxing so then your functional facial lines can rest—like unfurrowing that brow! Never skip the facial massage! It’s so important but with that said, definitely read up on how to do one on yourself.”

    Double Up on Cleansing
    “Doubling or tripling your cleansing treatments is good only if you cleanse with the right products,” explains Johnson.“This will help you avoid breakouts and revive your skin. Because makeup is usually applied after cleansing, I recommend products that don’t dry your skin because it can make your makeup flaky. At night, try an oil cleanser because oil cuts through oil, which helps to remove excess oil, dirt and makeup. Always use a toner and moisturizer or day/night time protection after cleansing.”

    Remember to Relax
    “Avoid direct sun exposure and let your skin “breathe” post-treatment,” explains Knowles. “Don’t forget to enjoy the beneficial ingredients that were applied to your skin. To maintain your glow, follow the personal beauty prescription plan your aesthetician recommended for you.”

    Originally featured on Stylecaster.com

  • Botox for Teeth Grinding?

    Stress rears her ugly head in so many ways it’s hard to keep track. Wrinkles, acne, dull hair and skin, headaches, infections—the list goes on and on. Everyone’s body channels and releases stress in different ways, but me? Teeth grinding is my stress thing. My masseter muscles (the ones responsible for chewing) are the greatest bearer of my bodily stress, and to make matters worse, most of the clenching was happening at night, so I couldn’t even catch myself in the act and modify the behavior. I would wake up every morning with tightness and soreness along the side of my face that I would try—fruitlessly—to massage away. Before you could say “night guard,” I had cracked the filling on a molar and wore down another molar to a rounded stump. I wanted to find a real preventative solution that would help me avoid extra trips to the dentist: twice a year for my cleaning is more than enough, thank you.

    Grinding Your Teeth? Botox to the Rescue

    Botox, which is fast becoming a panacea for all sorts of health and beauty issues, is a very useful tool for dealing with jaw tension. This makes sense: Botox paralyzes muscles, and teeth grinding is caused by the masseter muscle going into nocturnal overdrive. Weaken the masseter muscle and you alleviate most, if not all, of this tension and greatly minimize cracking and dulling yours molars. Essentially, it’s Botox for your teeth.

    It’s Quick & Painless

    I visited Dr. Dara Liotta, Chief Medical Director at City Aesthetics at Totum Health, for this unbelievably quick and painless procedure. It took ten minutes and two tiny pinches. The first time she did the procedure she used 20 units of Botox on each side. When Botox is used to relax the facial muscles that cause fine lines, the maximum effect is seen in 7-10 days. When Botox is used on the masseter muscle, the maximum effect is not seen for three months, and results can last up to nine months. Dr. Liotta recommended I get repeat injections every six months to maintain results. She also said that many people enjoy very long term results after three treatments. Within a month, I noticed a huge difference in the pain and tightness around my jaw. I no longer woke up every morning feeling like I’d been gnawing on a wad of Hubba Bubba all night. Now, nine months since my first injection, I’m happy to say I haven’t had to make a single extra dental visit!

    Happy Side Effects

    As if the reduction in pain and dental visits was not enough, the procedure has cosmetic benefits as well. I have always thanked my Russian ancestors for my chiseled cheekbones, but since the Botox reduced the size of my masseter muscle, it also reduced and softened my jawline, creating a more dramatic angle from my cheek to my jaw. This allowed my cheekbones to pop even more than before. When Dr. Liotta showed me pictures taken before and then two months post-procedure, I was floored.

    Using Botox to reduce the jawline is fast becoming a popular procedure as it is minimally invasive—traditional jaw reduction surgery involves breaking and removing part of the jaw bone. Ouch! Oh Botox, what will you think of next?!

    Article originally featured on Yahoo Health

  • Confessions of a Spray-Tan Newbie


    Summer is almost here and it’s time to show some skin! Airbrush tans are suitable for all skin types and customizable for all skin tones. No chance of having tiger stripes here! Allure magazine compiled a list of the best tips for getting the most natural, long lasting spray tan. Happy SAFE tanning!

    Schedule smartly. Evening appointments are the most logical, since you can go after work, then scurry home and promptly seal yourself into your private chambers. After the session, you’re forbidden from getting wet for six to eight hours while your tan is developing, so you’ll have to wait until the morning to shower. Morning appointments, however, are “best if clients need to shower that evening,” says Natalie Cupid-Riley, the owner of Glow the Spray Bar in New York City. If you are getting spray-tanned for a special occasion, make the appointment for two days before, but consider “a trial a month in advance before a big event, like a wedding,” says Cupid-Riley.

    Prep your skin, part one. “Always exfoliate with a non-oil-based scrub before a spray tan,” advises bicoastal spray-tan pro (and bronzer to the Angels in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show ) Kristyn Pradas. “It is best to do this a day before your scheduled appointment, but the day of is fine, too.” Acceptable forms of exfoliation: scrubbing gently with a creamy formula, shaving the day before (“always use new razor blades to avoid a situation where your tan fades unevenly,” says Pradas), or waxing a few days before.

    Dress down. Pack some scrubby, loose-fitting clothes to wear home from your appointment. (Don’t breeze in wearing nothing but your dry-clean-only career-girl clothes, like I did.) No wiggling into leggings, tights, skinny jeans, or any formfitting clothes (you should even try not to put your bra back on), or your bronze will look like a remnant from your vacation to Streak City. For footwear, wear “sneakers with no socks, ballet flats, or any kind of slide-on,” says Cupid-Riley, who adds, “Prior to your session, anything is fine, just remember any clothing that indents your skin beforehand will indent your tan afterward.”

    Prepare your skin, part two. Wash your face at the salon before your appointment, and wipe your body down with a cleansing towelette. “You want to come in with clean, fresh skin, so no moisturizers, deodorants, sunscreens, makeup, or oils of any kind,” says Cupid-Riley. And since you won’t be showering—or washing your face—after, taking off all your makeup just makes good sense. (And check the weather, because if an unexpected rainstorm hits and you are not fully equipped with protective covering, you should reschedule the appointment.)

    Shower time! Once your eight hours are up, shower with “lukewarm to cool water, never hot. Wait until the water runs clear, then pat dry and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize,” says Cupid-Riley.

    Maintain. “The more hydrated your skin is, the longer the tan will last. I suggest moisturizing morning and evening with a pH-balanced formula,” says Pradas. She also recommends steering clear of retinols, anything with alcohol or witch hazel, scrubs, masks, strips, microdermabrasion, or “any products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, malic or lactic acids.” You should also avoid getting full-on manis or pedis, as they’ll break down the tan. Cupid-Riley says polish changes are OK, but “no scrubbing, bubbles, soaks, massages, or hot water.” (So no point.) Working out’s fine, but “it’s best to wait at least two days before exercising, as heavy sweating removes the color sooner. If workouts can be avoided, they should be,” she says. (I guess that’s why they say if you can’t tone it, tan it.)

  • Will Medical Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels reduce the need for Facelifts in the future?

    Over time, cell turnover diminishes which means the same cells that used to only take a month to renew when we were young, may now take more than twice as long. This leaves skin looking dull and can lead to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

    Regular exfoliation can help to encourage cell renewal, sloughing away the damaged outer layers of cells and leaving behind a clean, radiant and clear complexion. For effective rejuvenation and to prevent premature ageing, Non Surgical treatments are ideal.

    According to one expert, Medical Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels while you’re young may actually be the key to wrinkle prevention. She said: “The need for major face lifts will be much less because of the current generation of ‘skincare-aware’ individuals.

    “Twenty-, 30- and 40- year-olds today have all of the preventative tools available to them, such as microdermabrasion and peels, which will not allow their faces to get to the stage where today’s 50- and 60-year-olds have.”

    Chemical Peels can be used to effectively treat sensitive skin, sun-damaged skin, oily skin, ageing skin, and Acne scarring. It removes the skin’s dead cells from the surface, stimulating cell renewal.

    Medical Microdermabrasion is effective on fine lines and wrinkles, oily skin, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, and superficial scars. It uses medical grade crystals to blast the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, renewing and rejuvenating your complexion.