Category Archives: Skin Care

Road Tested: Ultherapy / Dr. Jacono Reviews

We all have our bad beauty days–you wake up and regret the salty food you ate the day before or the extra-late night or the second cocktail. But you get through the day, get some extra shut-eye, eat lots of fruit and veggies and within a day or two your eyes are bright again and your skin glows. Lately though, I’d been noticing it took me a little longer to bounce back and my skin wasn’t as taut as I remembered. I couldn’t blame it on anything but age. My less-than-tight jawline was all I could see when I looked in the mirror and I was hoping there was a solution to reverse this downward shift, short of cosmetic surgery.

I’d heard about Ultherapy and thought it might be just what I was looking for but there were conflicting reports–some people seemed to love their results and others couldn’t even see a difference. Said to improve loose, sagging skin in the face and neck in a significant but completely non-surgical way, Ultherapy is a non-invasive, no-downtime, anti-aging, in-office procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to bypass the skin’s surface and heat the deep layers of skin tissue, stimulating collagen production for subtle yet visible tightening (the best candidates can expect about a 30% improvement).

I made an appointment with world renowned Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Andrew Jacono at his NYC office. He explained how the loss of volume in my lower face was contributing to my less than taut jawline. Though everyone is not an ideal candidate for Ultherapy (possibly the reason for the mixed reviews) he  accessed my skin and assured me great results. Apparently, those with a fair-ish, on-the-dry side, thinner-skinned complexions will get better results than those with oily, thicker skin. Since it’s hard for people to determine this on their own, speak to your doctor about your skin type and whether you’re a good candidate for it as well.

Before my treatment I took some Advil to make it a bit easier to handle. Through an imaging window (that looks very much like a computer) Dr. Jacono looked below my skin to determine which specific areas needed the most energy to jumpstart new collagen growth. He marked up my skin like a roadmap (see my before picture) so that Joyce, his Laser Technician/Aesthetician would know the precise locations and depths to direct the energy. I had to stay very still as Joyce used the hand-held transducer  to zap me a few times in each area Dr. J had marked. The whole procedure took about 60 minutes.

It can be uncomfortable at times (especially around the bonier areas), but Joyce was calming and patient as she got the job done. She didn’t even bat an eye when I found that the lamaze breathing I learned many years ago was helping me get through it. In fact, once I started doing the breathing techniques it was quite easy to handle. The second the treatment was over any discomfort was all but forgotten.

Afterwards, I had almost no redness and was able to go about my day as if I hadn’t done anything. I went to a work event and even met a friend for dinner. Over the next week or so I did experience some mild tenderness that almost felt like what a sunburn or mild bruise feels like even though there weren’t any visible marks on my skin. I was actually happy for it since I knew it meant it was working.

Ultherapy prices vary from office to office but it costs approximately $2000 – $6000 depending on the area(s) being treated and the doctor or technician’s expertise. Though it’s non-invasive with no downtime whatsoever, don’t count on a spa-like experience. Basically, Ultherapy heats small, targeted amounts of soft tissue below the surface of the skin to the point that it contracts and the body starts creating new collagen. It’s tricky because the right amount of heat needs to be delivered to the right depths of tissue, without injuring the surface of the skin.Re-building collagen takes time and I was informed that results can take 2-3 months to appear and many clients experience continued gradual lifting and firming for up to 6 months afterwards. My after  photo is taken just 2 months post-treatment and you can already see a more defined jawline, so I’m excited to see this through to the 6 month mark. Though the results aren’t as dramatic as they’d be with surgery, I’m quite pleased. I actually prefer maintenance types of treatments like this that no one will ever mistake for surgery. You’ll look like yourself, but you on your best day all the time.

If you’re looking for a non-invasive, anti-aging treatment with no downtime that can put off (or put an end to) the need for surgery Ultherapy has got what it takes. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

 

 

Big Day Beauty: Skincare Tips from Dr. Jeanine Downie

“Tis the season for special events like weddings, proms, graduation parties and more. Whether you’ve got a big day coming up or you want to look your best all the time The Beauty Wall has the tips for you, courtesy of Dr. Jeanine Downie, a top dermatologist based in Montclair, NJ.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. A good skin care regimen should begin weeks before your big event. Include gentle cleansers, like Neutrogena Ultra-Gentle Cleanser or Aveeno Ultra-Calming Cleanser.  Use sunblock with an spf 30 or more every day rain or shine regardless of your ethnicity.  Dr. Downie also recommends the Aveeno Faces spf 30 and the Neutrogena Dry Touch 55.  Don’t forget to moisturize your body including heels, elbows and knees. Dr. Downie likes Aveeno Eczema Relief for the Body. Drink a lot of water, get enough exercise and plenty of rest.

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT USING A TANNING BED. Tanning beds increase your risk of melanoma by 75% and age your skin significantly. If you must tan get a spray tan (as long as you don’t have asthma) or use a topical self-tanning agent like Neutrogena Micromist.

GET A FACIAL. If you have acne get it one week before your special event.  If you don’t have acne, 3 days before is ideal. The peels available in a dermatologist’s office are stronger than salon/spa facials and can give you more of a glow factor. Dr. Downie likes chemical peels with glycolic or salicylic acid since they help with tone, texture, acne and fine lines.

ADDRESS YOUR BACNE. It’s hard to treat.  Dr. Downie recommends oral antibiotics, topical anti-acne treatments, at home masques, chemical peels and laser treatments.  The quickest way to begin to get rid of it is to use oral antibiotics and salicylic acid peels or modified Jessner’s peels (Vitalize or Rejuvenize peels).  Some bacne can take more than a year to go away, some is chronic and lasts a lifetime.

NEVER SQUEEZE A CYST. Leave it to the pros–to prevent scarring and/or pitting leave it alone and have your dermatologist inject it instead.

(photography courtesy of j.crew)

Suncare Stash

You know the drill. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage even when it’s cloudy outside. Sunscreen applied each and every day will help maintain the health of your skin and prevent wrinkles, spots and other aging skin damage. Look for chemical sunscreens like those with avobenzone and oxybenzone or physical sunblocks such as those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

To stay safe:

  • Avoid the sun between the peak hours of 10:00am to 2:00pm.
  • Apply generously. The average adult needs a shot-glass full for the body plus an additional 2/3 a teaspoon for the face and neck.
  • Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming, even with water resistant products

My Sun Stash:

Coola Sport SPF 45 Unscented Moisturizer ($32 for 5 oz.) is sweat and water resistant up to 80 minutes, paraben free and ultra sheer plus it’s formulated with 70% certified organic inactive ingredients.

Coola Face SPF 20 Unscented ($36 for 1.7 oz.) works well for sensitive skin. This mineral-based sunblock is hypoallergenic, ultra-sheer and enriched with anti-aging antioxidants.

Mustela Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion 50+ ($22 for 3.4 oz.) is gentle enough for infants thanks to the physical blockers micronized titanium and zinc and is ideal for the most sensitive skin.

Australian Gold Sheer Coverage Continuous Spray SPF 50 with Kona Bronzers ($11.99) gives you an instant sun-kissed glow while it protects you from sun damage. Quickly absorbs, oil-free formula and water resistant for 80 minutes.

Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ with Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50 ($16.99 for 6 oz) combines broad spectrum sunscreen with a blend of Antioxidants for extra protection. It’s water resistant for 40 minutes, clear and rub free plus it sprays at any angle so it’s easy to cover those hard to reach places.

Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 for Face and Neck with Hydresia®  ($12.95 for 2 oz ) has UVA and UVB protection plus natural peptides and extracts to combat aging and skin soothing ingredients.

Kiss My Face Sensitive Side™ SPF 30 ($12.95 for 4 oz) is non irritating for sensitive skin thanks to soothing Oat Protein , Green Tea and Carrot Extract and extra moisturizing.

eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Lemon Drop ($3.29) protects lips with SPF 15, Vitamin E and natural oils so lips stay soft, moist and protected.

(featured image courtesy of Pinterest)

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Illuminate Me!!!

As far as skincare ingredients go, Glycolic Acid is a superstar!

  • It brightens skin by breaking down older, dull skin cells to reveal the newer, fresh skin beneath.
  • It can diminish fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyper-pigmentation and even scars.
  • It boosts radiance due to an increase in circulation.
  • Used twice a week it will put an end to unsightly blackheads.
  • It’s helpful in the treatment of acne and can even eliminate those white bumps on on the upper arm area.

Keep in mind, Glycolic acid is an AHA, a chemical exfoliant. It targets dull, dry skin by sloughing off the top layer and promoting cell turnover. You will most likely feel a tingling sensation at first and you might also experience some redness so for best results I recommend using Glycolic products at night so the redness has plenty of time to subside–you’ll wake up with brighter, clearer skin. I like using it a few times a week to keep my skin in check.

Try:

Lather 10-minute Brightening Mask with Glycolic Acid,  a twice a week fix for a dull complexion. It’s best to use it at bedtime because you can have redness (due to increased circulation) that can last about a half an hour. Apply a thin layer on cleansed skin (a tingling sensation is normal) and rinse with warm water after 5-10 minutes.

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10 Percent Moisturizer, an anti-aging, exfoliating facial cream. Use it at night since redness may occur.

Glytone Retexturize Body Lotion, SPF15, a skin smoothing and brightening lotion. Will turn dry areas (even elbows, knees, heels) silky and keep your skin radiant. Use sparingly, a little goes a long way. Thanks to added SPF you can use this lotion all day.

(photography courtesy of Pinterest)

 

Skin Savers

Fashion Week was a whirlwind, not only for the editors, writers and buyers that attended the shows but also for the models that walked down the runways. Yes, most are genetically blessed with “gorgeous” genes but that doesn’t mean the pre-show preps of fittings, running around in the biting cold and early-to-late hours wouldn’t take as much a toll on their skin as it would for you or me.

Designer Richard Chai was taking no chances. He teamed up with Dr. Jart+ to guarantee his models looked their best. Here’s what it took to get them runway-ready:

“Richard Chai is all about dewy, fresh skin,” says Joy Fennell, Lead Makeup Artist for Dr. Jart+.  For this show, she relied on the V7 Cleansing Foam, Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask, Ceramidin Liquid, and Ceramidin Cream to help achieve a radiant complexion.

Dr. Jart+ V7 Cleansing FoamThe V7 Cleansing Foam not only removes old make-up but brightens and calms dull, stressed skin, making it an easy choice for backstage use.  Formulated with a super antioxidant blend containing 7 essential vitamins, this cleanser neutralizes free radicals to restore stressed skin.
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel MaskLike a glass of water for your skin, the Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask infuses moisture into dry and dehydrated skin within minutes of applying.  Made with a unique hydrogel material that locks in moisture, the mask also contains hyaluronic acid and natural extracts to restore elasticity and bounce to the skin, providing a little TLC during the backstage frenzy.
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid and Ceramidin CreamConstantly having makeup removed and applied to the face can cause some serious irritation, but models were saved by the quick, soothing relief of Ceramidin Liquid and Ceramide Cream.  Jam-packed with micro-encapsulated ceramides, these powerful moisturizers smoothen and soften the models’ dry, itchy skin, helping to creating the perfect blank canvas for makeup.  Dr. Jart+’s patented ceramide stabilization technology also ensures the ceramides are able to penetrate deeper into the lipid layer, enhancing the skin’s natural strength and ensuring it stays well-hydrated throughout the day.

 

For more information or to purchase Dr. Jart+ products, click here.

 

Baby Your Skin…Literally!

Have I mentioned my little beauty vice?  I’m addicted to taking hot showers two to three times a day. Nothing else warms me in quite the same way but this “habit” of mine was taking a huge toll on my skin. It was very dry, but the additional hand-washing throughout the day and not always wearing gloves when outside had turned my hands rough, red, old-looking, seemingly beyond repair…not attractive or healthy at all!  And then I tried Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream. It’s a miracle cream –after just one use my hands were fixed! They were soft, smooth, supple and even-toned. Did they look this good before?

This cream is different than anything I’ve ever used. It’s rich and light (if that makes any sense) — it goes on creamy but almost feels slick like a gel as I rub it in and it quickly nourishes and soothes dry, moisture-depleted skin. I’ve been using it on my body and hands and my skin is back to healthy and really soft! It contains Mustela’s patented Sunflower Oil Distillate, which improves skin barrier function with an ingredient that’s concentrated in tocopherols, phytosterols and essentail fatty acids without any proteins so it’s even safe for those with nut allergies.

Mustela’s Stelatopia line was developed to meet the specific needs of eczema-prone skin and though I don’t have eczema, my skin was very dry and this cream got the job done like no other cream that came before it. The moisturizing cream is rich enough for me for everyday use and I love the way it penetrates easily without leaving any greasy feel, but if you or your children have extremely dry skin that’s irritated or suffer from itching and/or eczema there’s also a balm with a richer, thicker texture, Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm for Extremely Dry Skin/Excema-Prone Skin. It also contains the patented ingredient, is gentle enough to be used on the face and body of infants, babies and children and it’s even been awarded the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance.

If you’re familiar with Mustela, you might know they’re the No. 1 baby care brand in Europe  and their Dermo-Pediatrics Stelatopia line is formulated to handle the needs of babies’ more vulnerable skin but if you have dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin I know these products will work for you, too. I’m sold!!!

To purchase: Mustela Stelatopia Moisturizing Cream, $22 at drugstore.com,  Mustela Stelatopia Lipid-Replenishing Balm, $22 at drugstore.com.

(photography courtesy of Pinterest and Mustela)

Quick fix for Dry Lips

It’s cold out there!!! Give your lips some love with the nourishing shea butter and soothing jojoba oil infused eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm, $3.29 at EvolutionOfSmooth.com and drugstores nationwide.

I love the look-at-me shape and fun, delicious flavors! Apparently, so do a lot of people…Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian and even the Broncos’ Von Miller are huge fans!

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Heliocare

It’s cold and it’s snowy and I’m talking sun protection. Why?

Damaging UVA rays are around all year. They trigger the release of free radicals and can age your skin significantly. Sunscreen protects your skin but most people don’t apply during cold or cloudy weather or they don’t apply enough, miss spots or fail to reapply. That’s where a little insurance can come in handy. In addition to your usual topical sunscreen containing at least SPF 30 I highly recommend you get some added protection like Heliocare, a natural anti-aging oral supplement with antioxidant effects on the skin. Antioxidants help eliminate free radicals before they have a chance to do damage. Heliocare contains Polypodium leucotomos, an antioxidant extract shown to help maintain the skin’s ability to protect itself against sun-related effects and aging. It helps eliminate free radicals produced by sun exposure. Less free radicals means younger, healthier skin.

Heliocare, $29.99 at  drugstores nationwide and walgreens.com.

 

Review: The Woodhouse Day Spa

I was recently invited to experience the The Woodhouse Day Spa in downtown Summit, NJ. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I was stressed, had knots in my shoulders and had lost my inner calm and my outer glow — turns out this little window of “me time” was the cure-all I needed.

I was greeted by Chuck Marr, the warm and welcoming General Manager, who offered me a choice of teas from my favorite brand (Harney & Sons) and directed me to the changing room where I slipped into the coziest robe I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing and a comfy pair of Sensi Spa Sandals. In the Quiet Room down the hall my tea was waiting and I was given a heated, herbal neck wrap. Being a new guest, I filled out a brief form of my personal preferences and health information.

After a sip or two of tea I realized I was already relaxed. The plush robe, subtle aromatherapy, low-key spa music and the Quiet Room (dimly lit and furnished in pale hues, luxurious chairs, chaises and couches, plus healthy snacks for the taking) had done the trick…and I hadn’t even had my treatment yet. Clearly, they knew what they were doing!

My therapist, Luba, greeted me and led me to a private room where she worked her magic during my Advanced Anti-Aging Facial with a Microdermabrasion Facial Enhancement which included cleansing, extractions, toning, strategic massage, glycolic acid, microdermabrasion, skincare plus a shoulder, head and foot massage. Not only was I left glowing but I felt pampered, taken care of and nurtured…like I’d been at a destination spa for a week rather than a day spa for less than two hours.

After my treatment I was introduced to Veeran and Madhuri Reddy, co-owners of the spa. They excel at attention to detail and live and breathe the Woodhouse philosophy of  “give your guests one step beyond what they need.” Mission accomplished!

You can even bring a little bit of your experience home…the Naturopathica products (known for being extremely gentle and super effective) used throughout the treatments are available for purchase as are the robes, tea, aromatherapy and more. This is more than a day spa, it’s a sanctuary…and I plan on becoming a regular!!!

The spa is open for business so feel free to book now and enjoy your treatments before the official Grand Opening on Saturday, February 8, 2014. For more information, to book an appointment or inquire about special packages: The Woodhouse Day Spa, 420 Springfield Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901 (908) 608-1120. Click here for their spa menu.

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Top 10 Beauty Products for 2013

If it’s good enough for David Letterman, Amazon and Billboard it’s good enough for The Beauty Wall! Here, my Top Ten Favorite Beauty Products that I wrote about this past year…
Tarte Glamazon Lipstick…because it stays put for hours.

Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer…because flawless looking skin is always in style.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage…because nothing covers as well while still looking natural.

Cane + Austin Miracle Pad…because why look older when you don’t have to.

Lamas Botanicals Pumpkin Spice Polish…because it cleans, sloughs and polishes and it smells amazing.

Lather Vanilla Bean & Shea Soap…because it smells sooooo good.

Korres Shower Gel…because this is way better than the next best thing.

Arrojo Defrizz Serum…because frizzy hair should be someone else’s problem.

Ouidad Wave Create Sea Spray…because on some days less is more.

21 Drops…because it helps cure whatever ails you and the packaging is so damn cute.