What are Age Spots?

Updated March 2018

Age Spots or Liver Spots as they are sometimes called are not really caused by aging. Though they do show up as we get older, they are actually caused by sun damage which is why they show up on areas that tend to get more sun like our hands, chest and face. Bleaching creams, peels and lightening treatments may lessen their appearance but to rule out more serious problems, check with your dermatologist first.

Sunscreen is key to prevent further damage but also to stop the spots from getting darker.

My favorite!

Vitamin C is an ingredient that will help the current spots by brightening and evening the skin tone.

Retinol is similar to vitamin c but much stronger. This gets deeper into the skin creating even more results.

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The Truth About Anti-Aging Products

Updated: July 2017

We all want to fight the signs of aging and so we go to the malls, our Estheticians and Dermatologists, hoping they will have the answer, maybe even the cure for our wrinkles. From fighting free radicals to stimulating skin’s natural collagen production, anti-aging products make enticing promises.

Do they work? That’s what we want to know, right? Below I have listed 4 commonly listed ingredients and some evidence on whether they actually play an effect on your skin.

Peptides

As we age our skin gets thinner, loses fat and starts to sag and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We produce less collagen and elastin to keep our skin firm and plump. Oh my gosh!

Peptides are small proteins that help stimulate new cells to grow and to help skin cells to heal.

Scientists are still not sure how beneficial these actually are because of the size of the molecule. They are rather large and that makes it more difficult to deeply penetrate the skin. They can, however, do some good in a moisturizer and serum. This way they can hydrate the skin and make lines less noticeable. Whether they reduce wrinkles, the jury is still out.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)

Examples are glycolic, lactic and citric acids which are natural ingredients that come from fruits and milk sugars. They are great for exfoliation because they get rid of dead skin cells, allowing new cells to grow.

Each acid does something different for the skin. Lactic Acid (comes from sour milk) removes the dead skin cells so this will have a brightening effect. Glycolic Acid (comes from sugar cane) helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles which can make skin look smoother and tighter.

Retinols

A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.

There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. This Retinol Serum is amazing and when used correctly, can do great things for the skin.

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Antioxidants

Help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

There are many antioxidants that are effective, however, the formulation is the most critical. Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used and time-tested.

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You Asked. I Answered.

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Updated: July 2017

Q. “The little white bumps on the scalp and forehead. You can’t pop, you can’t scratch them, they are hard little things.”

A. Without having more information and without seeing them, I will assume they are milia. This is the most common answer to this question. The good news is…they are very common and not harmful to the skin. The bad news…hard to get rid of naturally. They are formed on top of the skin and are often caused by products that are too heavy for the skin or when the product can’t penetrate (like the eye area where you have no pores). They happen when dead skin gets trapped under the skin’s surface. The best way to try to get rid of these is to exfoliate (Glycolic Cleanser and Retinol Scrub) and hydrate. I recently got one and I was very diligent with those two steps and it was gone pretty quickly. They don’t always go away though and if they bother you then going to a Dermatologist is the next step. They can use lancets to extract them. Easy and pretty painless. (in some states, lancets can be used by Estheticians. California is not one of those states)

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Q. “After I get a cold sore (below my lip, between my lip and chin), I still have a lot of redness where it was over a month later. What can I do to get rid of the redness?”

A. This is actually a tough question with not necessarily an answer. Avoid picking the cold sore is priority #1! Just like a pimple, picking at it can prolong it and cause skin irritation long after it is gone. The best solution if picking isn’t your issue, is to hydrate the area. Medications (oral or topical) will dry out the skin because that is part of the healing process. It is drying out the bacteria to kill it. Therefore adding hydration to the skin is important to counteracting the side effects. So my advice is to keep it as hydrated as possible while you have it and obviously after it is gone. Grapeseed Oil is my favorite. Natural and non-irritating.

grape-seed-oil-6ozQ. “Is retinol the most powerful ingredient for wrinkle prevention? If not, what is?”

A. Retinol isn’t necessarily for prevention. It can be used that way but most use it to soften fine lines and wrinkles. (prescription retinol, like Retin-A is much stronger and can definitely be used for prevention…with side effects though!) Exfoliation, acids (like Glycolic), vitamin-C and SPF are your best bets. Along with regular facials, of course. Getting rid of dead skin is key. Using a scrub (or my favorite, the Konjac Sponge) helps get rid of the dead skin in a physical way. A Glycolic Acid (which is proven to be the best chemical exfoliant for wrinkles) is a great addition to your routine. Vitamin-C will brighten your skin and also help with protection from the sun (hyper-pigmentation!). And, we all know that SPF is the #1 way to prevent aging. Probably not the answer you wanted if you were looking for a miracle but I have always said that there is no miracle when it comes to skin care. (Grapeseed oil is the closest!)

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Q. “I’m getting age spots on my hands!”

A. Hands are often neglected and exposed to the sun A LOT! We wash them all throughout the day and usually don’t think to apply SPF to them. I recommend that every time you apply it to your face, rub it on your hands as well. Of course, that only lasts until you wash your hands again so keep some with you at all times. There are travel size bottle that are small enough to keep in your purse (not in your car, too hot!) Another way to help is to exfoliate and hydrate your hands properly. If you use a Glycolic Acid on your face, use it on your hands too. Along with serums and grape seed oil. All these things will probably not get rid of age spots (very, very difficult to do on anything below the face) but they will help prevent.

My favorite!
My favorite!

To Shop For Any of the Products Recommended (and more!), Visit:

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Let’s Prevent Summer Sun Spots!

If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation (age spots, sun spots, brown spots, etc), then you probably notice that they become more visible during the summer. It’s definitely a challenge to prevent and/or fade these spots, there are ways to help keep your skin more evenly toned.

  1. EXFOLIATE– It’s always important to exfoliate your skin but even more so when dealing with skin discoloration. Using ingredients like glycolic acid and retinol will help break apart these pigmented cells and lessen their appearance. Of course, you don’t want to exfoliate too much because in the summer the melanin is already so active, you don’t want to do anything to trigger more melanin. Recommended Products: Glycolic Cleanser, Glycolic/Retinol Pads, Retinol Scrub, Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum (safe for pregnant/lactating women)
  2. SUNSCREEN– Wear sunscreen everyday, apply generously and often. The #1 cause of premature aging is UV light and exposing it to the sun will bring out those unwanted spots. Your sunscreen should be SPF 30 (a higher number does not necessarily give you more protection but it does have more chemicals) and it’s important to apply enough to cover the skin. The biggest problem with SPF is not the number but the amount used and how often applied. If you’re in the sun, I recommend applying at least every 2 hours (more if you go in the water). Recommend Product: Sheer Protection SPF 30 (my favorite sunscreen ever!)
  3. WEAR A HAT– Covering your face and not exposing it directly to the sun is the best idea but you have to be careful because if wear one that is tight on the forehead, it can cause increased discoloration (especially if you’re prone to getting it there) due to the heat.
  4. BEWARE of the HEAT and SUN-The newest research has show that it isn’t just the UV light but the actual heat that can do damage to our skin.The heat stimulates the melanin. Even if you do everything to protect your skin, you may still get the discoloration so this means that limiting your exposure to the sun and the heat can be equally important.
  5. VITAMIN C– Using a natural skin lightener like vitamin C (specifically magnesium ascorbic phosphate, a form of vitamin C) helps to suppress melanin cells to fade and prevent discoloration.Vitamin C can also help boost your SPF! Recommended Products: Vita-C Serum (Best-selling serum!)
  6. MONTHLY FACIALS– Be Proactive, Not Reactive. I have said this for years and it’s still true. There are many things that I can do in the treatment room to help your skin during the summer months, like fill it with lots of antioxidants. It’s easy to get sidetracked and not come in for facials and just wait for the fall, but since preventing is easier than correcting, don’t skin the summer! Recommended Facials: Summer Glow Facial or Customized Facial

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If you have any questions or would like personal help with your skin, please email me at devyn@psblounge.com or Book an Appointment Online.

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Acne Scars

The first thing you should know is that acne scars will probably never completely go away. Minimizing acne scars is possible though but it is not easy and depending on how deep they are, it may not be cheap. But for some, it doesn’t matter how much it costs, having skin free of scars is all they want. So I have created a list of options. Some are better than others, some are more expensive than others and some have better results. Please remember that the time it can take to get rid of these often depends on the depth of these scars. Here is the breakdown…

1. Professional Products– This is the easiest and least expensive way to try and minimize the scars. Using products with retinol and glycolic acid can help diminish superficial scars over a period of time. If you include these products in with #2 or #3, your results would be even better! (products pictured can be purchased from me)

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2. Chemical Peels– Doing a series is best and there is some downtime with these. but usually only a few days (at most) and not always after every peel. There are a lot of determining factors on how long this takes and what exactly it will entail.

3. Microdermabrasion/Dermafiles– This is also best done in a series. Minimal downtime, if any. Sometimes, depending on the age and scars, you might be able to mix this procedure in with the chemical peels.

new-dermafile-pro-set-detailsDermafiles

4. Laser– This is the most expensive way to diminish the scars because it is used to remove layers of damaged skin surface. Recovery is from 10-21 days.

Contact me if you’re interested in options 1, 2 and/or 3.

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Winter is Here- How’s Your Skin?

As the seasons change so do the needs of our skin. Our skin can get drier, more oily, we can have more breakouts or maybe just more sensitivity. Don’t panic! It’s most likely not your products that have suddenly stopped working for you, it’s the weather that has changed your skin. All it means is that you need to change how you use your products. So much easier, right? And a money saver! Here are some ingredients with their side effects that may affect your skin differently in the winter. Change accordingly if you needed.

Retinol– A derivative of Vitamin A, this can be drying to the skin. You may not notice it as much during the summer but in the winter when our skin gets drier, this can wreak havoc on our moisture level. You don’t have to stop using this, just use less.

Salicylic Acid– Great for acne and breakouts but extremely drying for the skin. When I recommend this product, I do not suggest using this everyday (for most of my clients) because I do not want to dry out the skin as the acne goes away. I usually have them use it every other day or only 3 times a week. If you find your skin seems flaky or dry, cut it back a bit, maybe just once and go from there. You still want to use the product and get the effectiveness but not as much. Sometimes even one less use can make a difference.

Vaseline– This seems like an odd choice to be on this list, right? Well, in the winter this seems to be the go-to product. A lot of people use it on their chapped lips, hands, feet, etc. Here’s the thing…it’s occlusive. That means it can’t penetrate the skin and will only sit on the surface. It will not moisturize the skin but it will protect it. Great to put over lotion on the hands and feet for extra hydration (it will lock in that moisture) and also for the nose area when you have a cold. It has no healing benefits though. It can clog pores on the face since it can’t penetrate so use with caution.

Benzoyl Peroxide– Same as salicylic acid but even more drying. Hopefully you are only using this as a spot treatment. The severe drying side effect can actually age your skin. Whatever the season, use with caution. In the winter, think twice.

Hand Sanitizer– Although this is not for the face, I thought I would throw it in here anyway. 🙂 The alcohol and lack of water can really dry out your hands. Try washing your hands like we used to…with soap and water and then moisturize.

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These are guidelines and suggestions. What works for one person may not work for another. Some may not be able to change their routine so that means you will need to add to your regimen so you can get more moisture. You need to compensate for the water being pulled out of your skin because if you don’t, your skin will start to produce more oil.

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