Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Adventures in Self Tanning June 28, 2012

When winter finally ends in Chicago and I start wearing shorts and skirts I am always struck by how pale my legs or arms are.  Plus I have lots of prominent veins and capillaries on my legs that I really need to have professionally taken care of sooner than later, but in the meantime I am just trying to mask some of this unattractive feature.  This summer I decided that I should give Jergens Natural Glow for the body another try since now they had come out with a version with SPF 20.  I thought – perfect I’ll get my sun protection and a little color all at once.

I don’t want to look deeply tan or even medium dark – I just want a warmth to my skin instead of looking pasty white.  Of course, I knew that my skin should be exfoliated before application and that I should rub the lotion really well into my skin in order for the color, which appears after a few days, to look natural.  After reading the directions I realized I also needed to let the lotion dry thoroughly before I could get dressed.  This was difficult for me since I am always late and in a hurry in the morning, but because I didn’t want to get stains on my clothes I sucked it up and stood around my bathroom in my underwear and bra until I felt like the lotion was dry.  The lotion has, in my opinion, a strong scent which to me smells like artificial coconuts.  It isn’t my favorite smell, but I can live with it.

When I began using Jergens about two months ago, and even though I rubbed it in very well, it did not look good.  I had orange streaks on my feet, dark patches on my knees and elbows, and my hands were ghostly white since I wash them so much the self-tanner didn’t stay on them.  I tried to exfoliate the dark patches so that they looked more normal and gave up.  I just decided that stop using the lotion and live with my pale skin since I was so self-conscious about the results.

Less than a week ago I figured that I should just use up the self-tanner instead of chucking it.  And this time – wow!  great results!  No streaks this time, no ghostly white hands, and no dark elbows and knees.  The problem is I can’t figure out what I did differently this time from the time before.  Really.  Why did I get so-so, even bad results two months ago and nice, natural looking results this past week?  I wish I knew why.

I just finished the bottle this morning, and I don’t know if I am going to buy another one.  The smell bugs me, and I am afraid that my good results now were a fluke instead of what is going to go on all the time.

Please share your self-tanning tips and tricks below.  Remember – the only type of safe tan is a fake tan!

Extra Tips and Product Recommendations:

Image from jergens.com

 

Is an Alkaline Diet Good for Your Skin? June 7, 2012

I recently wrote a post that asked the question – is a vegan or vegetarian diet bad for your skin? – and concluded that no, neither of those diets are bad for your skin but sugar is.   Since I try to keep up with the latest information about all things skincare related I recently read an article in MedEsthetics magazine profiling dermatologist Jeanette Graf, MD.  In the article Dr. Graf talks about the skin benefits to following an alkaline diet:

Jeannette Graf, MD, is a well-known researcher and expert injector in the medical aesthetics arena, but more recently she has focused her career on creating great skin from the inside out.  Her theories are based on research that suggests that eating more alkaline-producing foods (versus acid-producing foods) offers optimal internal health, leading to glowing, healthy skin.  She recommends a 3:1 ratio of alkaline-producing foods to acid-producing foods when preparing meals.

Alkaline-Producing                                         Acid-Producing

Olive oil                                                                        Alcohol

Citrus fruits                                                                 Soft Drinks

Berries                                                                           Red Meat

Vegetables                                                                   Salmon

Sea Salts                                                                        White sugar

(page 49)

Furthermore, Dr. Graf explains how she became interested in the whole idea of an alkaline diet as a diet that would positively impact the skin (pages 49-50):

[Dr. Graf] came across a Noble Prize-winning study by Dr. Otto Warburg.  The study involved culturing cancer cells and normal cells in two different environments – one group he grew in a high oxygen, alkaline medium; the other he grew in a high acid, low oxygen medium.  “What he found was in the conditions with the high acid, low oxygen, the cancer cells grew like crazy and the normal cells could not survive,” says Dr. Graf.  “But in the alkaline medium with high oxygen, the normal cells grew beautifully and thrived, whereas the cancer cells could not survive.  That said to me, we need to be alkaline.”

Alkalinity is the basis of Dr. Graf’s book and also a key component of her practice.  “Internal to external is major for me and I talk about diet to everyone, because I want them to be alkaline.  I’ll even take out pH strips and test them,” she says.  “Every patient who comes into my office gets a lecture on what she should and shouldn’t eat.  We should be treating diet like a medication, and having a great lifestyle is all part of it.  And we heave to lead by example and start incorporating it into our practice.  Fortunately, I think we’re starting to see more of that.”

Once I read this information I realized that I read something similar in Kate Somerville’s book Complexion Perfection! .  In Chapter 4: Beauty and the Buffet, Somerville relates a story about her father-in-law Dave Somerville and how he started following an alkaline diet after receiving a cancer diagnosis (pages 44- 45):

Four different doctors presented treatment options such as surgery and radiation, but Dave decided to go with a different approach.  He’d always been interested in nutrition and alternative health, and when a friend recommended a naturopathic doctor in San Diego, he found what he was looking for: a doctor who “laughs at cancer.”  I was nervous; in fact I honestly thought at first that it was a mistake.  Yet this is where I first learned how dramatically nutrition can impact the skin.

Dave’s treatment regimen focused on organic foods, a range of immunity-boosting supplements, and drinking nothing but purified water – lots of it.  Most important, he maintained an alkaline environment in his body, the basis of his naturopathic doctor’s protocol.  Dave ate foods that alkalized his body and minimized those that acidified it, helping maintain his body in a healthy pH range and reducing disease-causing acid waste in his system.  The theory (one not supported by the traditional medical community) is that cancer cells don’t grow in alkaline environment.

My father-in-law was completely committed to this program, and in less than a year’s time, his cancer disappeared.  Total recovery. I know this sounds unbelievable, but the strategy miraculously worked for him.  I’m telling you this story here in this book because of the other changes I saw – changes in his skin.  I couldn’t believe it, but I actually saw brown spots and sun damage disappear from Dave’s face, in the same way that the cancer vanished.  From a clinician’s perspective, I thought, This is impossible.  I’d never seen anything like it in my life.  Generally, when people in my line of work see sun spots and pigment issues, we treat them with topical peels, usually aggressively, and topical products.  I was blown away, because Dave’s skin glowed.  I mean, it literally glowed.  To this day, he stays very close to the parameters of the diet, and looks a decade younger than his actual years.

To be sure, the choices my father-in-law made were fairly extreme, and he was absolutely dedicated to the strategy.  However, I cannot deny the impact that this diet had on his health and his appearance.

If you are thinking of switching to a more alkaline diet what exactly should you eat?  And how does this diet actually work?  According to the WebMD article Alkaline Diet: What to Know Before You Try It:

The theory of the alkaline diet is that eating certain foods can help maintain the body’s ideal pH balance to improve overall health. But the body maintains its pH balance regardless of diet.

For instance, your diet may affect the pH level of your urine. But what you eat does not determine your blood’s pH level.

What’s in the Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is mostly vegetarian. In addition to fresh vegetables and some fresh fruits, alkaline-promoting foods include soy products and some nuts, grains, and legumes.

Web sites promoting the alkaline diet discourage eating acid-promoting foods, which include meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, processed foods, white sugar, white flour, and caffeine.

The alkaline diet is basically healthy, says Marjorie Nolan, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman.

“It’s a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of water, avoiding processed foods, coffee, and alcohol, which are all recommendations for a generally healthy diet anyway,” Nolan says. “But our body regulates our pH between 7.35 and 7.45 no matter how we eat.”

Potential Benefits

Diets that include a lot of animal protein can lower urine pH and raise the risk forkidney stones. So eating a diet rich in vegetables, as with an alkaline diet, can raise urine pH and lower the risk for kidney stones, says John Asplin, MD, a kidney specialist who is a fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers have speculated that an alkaline diet might slow bone loss and muscle waste, increase growth hormone, make certain chronic diseases less likely, and ease low back pain. However, that hasn’t been proven.

There is also no concrete evidence that an alkaline or vegetarian diet can prevent cancer. Some studies have shown that vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, particularly colon cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. But vegetarians often have other healthy habits, such as exercise and abstaining from drinking and smoking, so it is difficult to determine the effects of diet alone.

“Clinical studies have proved without a doubt that people who eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and hydrate properly do have lower rates of cancer and other diseases,” Nolan tells WebMD, “but it probably has nothing to do with blood pH.”

Because there is no evidence that diet can significantly change blood pH, a highly irregular blood pH is a sign of a larger problem — perhaps kidney failure — not a dietary issue.

People with kidney disease or medical issues that require monitoring by a doctor, such as severe diabetes, should not attempt this diet without medical supervision.

“If someone’s blood sugar is not being monitored properly — especially if they’re on insulin if they’re type 1 or they’re a severe type 2 diabetic — you’re potentiallyrunning the risk of your blood sugar dropping too low after a meal if you don’t know what you’re doing,” Nolan says.

It all comes down to balance, Asplin says. The alkaline diet could potentially over-restrict protein and calcium.

“Vegetarians can be completely healthy in their diets as long as they make sure to get adequate supplies of essential components to a diet. But it is also true that many Americans over-consume protein and get much more than they actually need,” Asplin says.

If you do want to follow a more alkaline diet here are some tips from the Live Strong website:

Which foods fall into the alkaline category is not always obvious. For example, a lemon, which you would probably consider acidic, becomes alkaline when digested and hence falls into the alkaline category. Choosing alkaline foods may at first, therefore, require research. The alkaline diet closely resembles a vegan diet, in that you arrange your meals around plant-based foods rather than meat, the reverse of the typical Western diet. To ensure that you absorb important nutrients, plan to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Foods to Include

Alkaline foods should comprise about 75 to 80 percent of your diet. The foods to include in an alkaline diet menu include most vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains. To determine what foods belong to the long list of alkaline vegetables, the Macrobiotics Cooking with Linda Wemhoff site suggests choosing leafy, round root and sea vegetables. In the extensive alkaline fruit category, she recommends tropical- and temperate-climate fruits. Everyday Diet recommends flax, sesame and sunflower, among other seeds, and spelt and sprouted grains. Fresh water, herbal teas, almond milk and wine are considered examples of alkaline beverages.

Foods to Avoid

Acidic foods should comprise no more than 20 to 15 percent of your diet. Foods to avoid on the alkaline diet are meats, dairy, shellfish, saturated fats, hydrogenated oils, processed foods, refined grains and sugars, and artificial and chemical products. In addition, the Health and Rejuvenation Research Center advises avoiding preserves, canned fruits and dried sulfured fruits and various vegetables and beans, including asparagus tips and garbanzo beans. Limit alcoholic beverages and coffee.

Bottom Line:  If this diet interests you I suggest reading more about it.  You can find numerous books about an alkaline diet on amazon.   Most of the sources I read suggested trying to consume 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic for your overall health.  In the long run I could see how a diet like this would benefit both your skin and your health.

Sources and Further Reading:

Doing research for this post turned out to be very informative and interesting.  I learned a lot!  If you have the time check out the sources below for a lot more information about the alkaline diet.

Image from www.alkalinesister.com

 

My Beauty Business Icons April 2, 2012

Filed under: beauty — askanesthetician @ 5:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Allure published a list of their beauty innovators a while ago and that got me thinking: just who are my beauty industry icons? Allure named Estee Lauder, Elizabeth Arden, Max Factor, Bobbi Brown, and Charles Revson (founder of Revlon) as their beauty innovators since combined these five transformed the face of American beauty (or should we say faces?). While of these entrepreneurs have made lasting and important contributions to the American beauty industry I decided that my beauty icons were a little different (except I do agree about one of the people mentioned above). I’ve been thinking about this post for some time and finally decided that it was time to publish it even if, at the moment, only four people came to mind whom I wanted to highlight at this point. I have a feeling there will be a part two to this post in the future.

The four people I want to talk about in this post are: Bobbi Brown – make-up artist and mogul, Jane Wurwand – founder of Dermalogica and advocate for women everywhere, Linda Wells – editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, and RuPaul – drag superstar and role model. I know it is a diverse crowd, but why leave anyone out?

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown began her make-up empire because she saw a hole in the beauty industry for make-up that real women wanted and needed. Allure explained it best in their piece about Brown:

As a makeup artist in the high-artifice times of the late ’80s and early ’90s, Bobbi Brown sensed that something was missing from the marketplace. She wanted to wear makeup that enhanced rather than transformed, that celebrated uniqueness and was easy to apply. So she made it herself, starting with a pinkish brown lipstick that instantly took off. But as much as women loved Brown’s colors, it was her underlying philosophy of self-acceptance that really struck a chord. “Beauty isn’t about looking perfect,” she said. “It’s about celebrating your individuality.”

Reading The New York Times‘ recent article about Brown, The Mogul Next Door, made me admire her even more. Brown seems down to earth and approachable and is really committed to helping others . She very actively supports Dress for Success which helps women from disadvantaged backgrounds find, prepare for, and keep professional jobs. Not only does Brown really does want all women to feel great about how they look she gives them the tools to do so. I have Brown’s book Makeup Manual which I really love. This book really helps someone learn to apply make-up beautifully – for daytime or nighttime looks and for all ethnicities. I learned how to do a smoky eye from this book. I feel that Bobbi Brown sets a great example for anyone looking to succeed in the beauty industry. She also shows that nice girls can finish first.

Jane Wurwand

I am sure that unlike Bobbi Brown few people outside of the spa industry have heard of Jane Wurwand, founder and owner of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute (which offers post-graduate education for estheticians). In my opinion, the fact that Wurwand isn’t as well-known as Brown is a shame. As an esthetician I find Wurwand to be a great role model. Wurwand’s online bio from Dermalogica explains her key beliefs and causes:

Two core concepts guide the growth of the brand, as embodied by Jane herself: the transcendent power of human touch, and the far-reaching effects of education. These dual qualities have not only shaped the success of Dermalogica, but also provided a social blueprint for women’s financial success in every country and economy.

As a passionate advocate for mentoring and entrepreneurship, Jane writes and speaks frequently about the specific financial needs of women, especially in the developing world. Within the context of the skin care profession itself, comparatively modest licensing requirements and initial capital investments costs offer many women unusual access to financial independence. This experience is further enriched, socially, culturally and politically, by the fact that 98% of all professional skin therapists are women, and that these professionals attract a clientele which is 92% female—literally creating more woman entrepreneurs than any other industry in the world.

Through her work in many areas of philanthropy, education and women’s business development, Jane now champions her brand, via The Dermalogica Foundation, to create and support similar opportunities for women in other professions through a hand up, not a hand out. Jane shares the view that the future for world-economy depends upon the ability for women, especially marginalized women, to financially support themselves and their children. In January 2011, through her foundation and in partnership with Kiva.org, Jane launched a global initiative to empower women worldwide called FITE – Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship. The first microlending Web site that solely focuses on women entrepreneurs, FITE will help a minimum of 25,000 women to start or grow a business in over 57 countries around the world.

I think that it is great that estheticians have such a strong advocate for estheticians’ continuing education and success. I really admire Wurwand’s committment to helping women everywhere achieve financial independence. If you want to know more of what Wurwand thinks of a whole range of subjects be sure to read her blog. She’s feisty and opinionated, and I love it.

Linda Wells

Anyone who has read my blog with any consistency knows that I love Allure magazine (of course I even began this post by mentioning the magazine).   I love Allure for the make-up tips and tricks and for the up-to-date, excellent skincare information.  Yet another reason why I am a devoted reader of Allure is because of its editor-in-chief Linda Wells.  I wish Wells could be my friend since I feel like I know her just from reading her monthly letter from the editor in the magazine.  There is a realness to Wells’ attitude about beauty and celebrities that is refreshing and a pleasure to read.  Ok while I may be a die-hard Allure fan I feel like most people can really find something of value in this magazine in order to enhance their beauty routine.  Wells always seems to find the right balance between trying to look good and youthful without going overboard and being fake.  Lastly, unlike some beauty magazine editor-in-chiefs she really seems far from aloof which makes me like her even more.  And Allure almost never has articles about how to land a guy and what the newest sex position is.  It’s a magazine for intelligent women who just want to look good.

Coming in as a close second for my favorite editor-in-chief of a beauty magazine is Joanna Coles of Marie Claire magazine.  I “discovered” Coles while watching Project Runway All Stars where she was the mentor for the contestants.  I love the fact that Coles is straight-forward without being mean, that she’s intelligent, and a great advocate for women, especially working women.  I just wish I liked the magazine she edits more.  And by the way, am I the only one out there that develops “crushes” on magazine editors?  It must be a side effect on my life long fascination/addiction to glossy beauty and fashion magazines.

RuPaul

I know that my inclusion of RuPaul in this list of my beauty business icons may seem odd to many and quite a stretch given the category, but here’s a fact about me – I love drag queens. And I really love RuPaul. Yes, sometimes RuPaul can be over-the-top and outrageous, but I also think that she is very beautiful and glamorous. I also believe that RuPaul is a great role model and not just for gays or aspiring drag queens. I think everyone can learn more than a few self-esteem lessons from this drag superstar. Though RuPaul is really an entertainer above all and not a beauty maven, in the past RuPaul has been a cosmetic spokesperson (as the first face for MAC’s Viva Glam make-up whose sales support HIV/AIDS awareness), as well as a music star, and now a mentor to other drag queens on his show RuPaul’s Drag Race (and yes, I have watched the show, well I watched one season all the way through). If you read any of RuPaul’s books or bio you’ll see that RuPaul has struggled with finding his place in the world, low self-esteem, and substance abuse issues. Having overcome all of these I really believe that RuPaul serves as a gorgeous role model for anyone looking to express themselves without shame or embarrassment. Lastly, RuPaul proves that true beauty knows no boundaries.

I would love to hear who you admire in the beauty industry. Please share below.

image from papermag.com

 

How Much Does Your Beauty Regime Cost You? March 26, 2012

Recent false reports have claimed that Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston spends $8,000 a month on her beauty regime.  The reported hefty price tag included not only pricey skincare products and treatments but Aniston’s workout routine as well.   Aniston denied the reports saying to People:

“Although I am a sucker for an amazing moisturizer, love a great facial, have been using the same cleansing bar since I was a teenager and have always been a dedicated tooth-brusher, reports that I am spending eight thousand a month on a beauty regime are greatly exaggerated,” she says.

So what’s the true total? “By my tally,” she shares, “this month I’m in for about two hundred bucks.”

Of course this got me thinking – how much do I spend a month on my beauty needs?  It will take me some time to figure that out (ok – in all honesty I didn’t really want to take out the calculator and figure it out, but I guess depending on the month I use beauty products and make-up worth anywhere between $50 to $100), but ultimately does it really matter?  If you think that you look good you feel good, and investing in one’s self shouldn’t be anything to be embarrassed by.  In the end, can you really put a price on feeling good?

Feel free to share your thoughts below about pricy beauty routines, regimes, and products.

Image from beautylish.com

 

Facials 101 March 15, 2012

Every once in a while I come across a great post on another blog that I feel I need to share immediately with my readers.  The latest one comes from one of my favorite beauty blogs Gouldylox Reviews which is a wonderful resource for anyone since it is filled accessible beauty information and make-up ideas.

Recently Gouldylox Reviews published a fantastic post called What to Expect at Your First Facial.  Truthfully, I couldn’t have said anything better myself!  The post goes step by step through the facial process – from arriving at the spa to entering the treatment room, and even includes really on target tips about how to tell if you are being treated by a good esthetician or not.  I always get a little nervous when I see that people are writing about spas and estheticians since, unfairly and unfortunately, estheticians can get a lot of bad press.  So I very pleased when I read through this post.

Here are some of the things, according to Gouldylox Reviews, that set a good spa and esthetician apart from a so-so one:

Since not all spas are created equally, here are my guidelines for what I look for. I’m picky, so if certain things don’t bother you, then carry on.

1. The esthetician must take time to ask you how you are hoping to benefit from the appointment (unless you are a regular client and they know you really well).

2. If they glower at you when you mention you use drugstore skincare, I would not return again. Nothing irks me more than snobby estheticians who try to profit by making you feel less, looking down on because of how much you spend on your products. Skincare can be very expensive. Many drugstore brands work beautifully and many very expensive brands do not. It’s a personal decision and anyone that makes you feel less than for not using expensive products is missing the point. They should be concerned with what is best for you. It could be that a Kate Somerville product may be perfect for you. But if you can’t afford the price tag, it should not affect the quality of care you receive.

3. The treatment rooms should be quiet and clean. Your esthetician should not smell of smoke, including her hands, or chew gum. Call me picky, but these two things make me insane and feel dirtier, not more clean.

4. They should always observe your modesty.

5. They should be knowledgeable about all products they use or recommend. Skincare is changing at lightning speed, and like any professional, it’s important to stay on top of what’s available and how it works. This includes products as well as treatments like lasers, peels and other medi-spa options.

Finally, if you are happy with the service, you should tip 20%. If you were uncomfortable or unhappy with your service, you should politely tell them why, so they can change and suit your needs better. A good spa will want to know how to improve your experience. While it’s great if you can financially swing a facial each month, it does your skin good even if you can only go quarterly.

Fabulous advice!  I agree wholeheartedly that estheticians should not be trashing a client’s home care regime – no matter where her products come from.  If someone asks me what I think about a specific product I’ll give them my honest opinion, but only if they ask.  Having said that there are some estheticians out there whose whole shtick (aka personal gimmick, attitude, ploy, or persona) is to have a “I know better than you” attitude.  Some people actually like this and don’t mind when the esthetician trashes their skin, their home care routine, and choice of skincare products.  I guess they think that the esthetician is an expert so she knows what is best for them.  Or perhaps they like being around forceful personalities.  Who knows?  Personally I don’t like when people treat me in a condescending way so I try to avoid doing this with my clients at all costs.  Plus I want my clients to come back and see me (and refer me their friends) so I want to make sure that they feel good about their experience.  In my book putting someone down doesn’t equal a positive spa experience.

Though I also agree that an esthetician should be up to date on the latest skincare, make-up, and treatment options available I think you need to evaluate this criteria from a very personal perspective.  If you know more than your esthetician about the latest innovations in skincare and the newest and greatest thing in the beauty industry is important to you than perhaps you should think about finding someone else to go.  But if you just want to relax for an hour and don’t care if your esthetician knows all about the developments in laser technology than you can asess your esthetician on different criteria.  That is a truly personal choice.  But as pointed out above since the whole skincare industry changes at lightening speed, if your esthetician hasn’t heard of something but is open to finding out about new things take that as a positive not a negative.

And if you are a beauty junkie or novice I suggest subscribing to Gouldylox Reviews for on-target beauty tips.

Further Reading:

My Related Posts:

Image from www.facefactsclinic.co.uk

 

Don’t Neglect Your Skin! Start Early, See the Results Later March 8, 2012

I work for a plastic surgeon and there is a phenomena that I see here at our office again and again.  Women in their late 40s and their 50s come into the office because they suddenly feel that they look old.  It is as if overnight they aged.  Just think – you wait until your late 40s or 50s to invest in your appearance you will end up having to spend a lot of time and money trying to recapture your youth.  Instead – invest in your appearance early on in order to look your best as you age.

Let me be clear that I am not advocating trying to look like you are 20 when you are 40.  I believe in looking both great and appropriate for your age.  Two of examples for what I mean by this are Glenn Close and Meryl Streep (and that is why I used their images in this post.  Also notice how natural, yet flattering both of their make-up is).  I am all for some filler, Botox, laser treatments, and even cosmetic surgery if you feel that you need it, but if you develop good skin habits early then you can actually save yourself the time and expense of having to invest in lots of treatments later on.

Keep a few things in mind – we have a tremendous amount of control over how our skin ages.  About 20% of skin aging is genetic and the rest is caused by the environment – sun, stress, pollution, disease, medication, our overall health, etc.  Following smart skincare steps like protecting your skin from the sun on a daily basis, keeping your skin barrier intact in order to prevent skin disease and chronic inflammation to the skin, eating a diet rich in antioxidants, and not smoking will all help keep your skin looking good.  If you follow all these steps does that mean your skin will never sag or wrinkle?  Of course not, but if you follow a few simple steps everyday you can definitely help maintain your youthful glow and edge for longer.  So keep in mind that when you use your Vitamin C serum every morning you are preserving your skin for the long run – building collagen and fighting inflammation in order to prevent the aging effects of chronic inflammation.  Just because you don’t see a big payoff immediately with how your skin looks after applying Vitamin C doesn’t mean that you aren’t protecting your skin for the future.  Keep the big picture in mind when caring for your skin so that you don’t have to pursue invasive treatments in the future in order to have your outside reflect how you feel inside.

Lastly, remember the following in mind – it takes hundreds of dollars to prevent but thousands of dollars to fix.  So consider investing in your skin as a “must have” and not a “maybe”.

Reference:

Check out:
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Image of Glenn Close from luxefinds.com and image of Meryl Streep from abcnews.com

 

The Transformative Power of Make-up March 5, 2012

Filed under: beauty,make-up — askanesthetician @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

If you like fashion then you are already keenly aware of the fact that Fashion Week has been going on all over the world for the last few weeks – New York, London, Milan, and now Paris.

During all these different fashion weeks The New York Times always has a fun feature called Model Morphsis that allows you to see simultaneously what models look like before and after they are made up for fashion shows. This tool allows the viewer to really understand just how transformative the application of make-up can be.

One more thing – if you are secretly hoping (I’ll admit I kinda was) that the models look terrible without make-up you’ll have no such luck.  But the before photos do make it clear that even models do not have perfect looking skin and show up for work with dark under eye circles.

Have fun looking through the different make-up looks!  Now if I could only have been born with those model cheekbones.

 

Interesting Little Fact February 2, 2012

I’ve written more than once in this blog about how much I love Dr. Amy Wechsler’s book The Mind-Beauty Connection.  It turns out that I am not alone in my admiration for her book.  After reading her book the powers that be at Chanel approached Dr. Wechsler:

The Chanel-Wechsler romance is, in fact, a five-year courtship that is still evolving. “We call it working in ‘Chanel time,’ ” says Christine Dagousset, the brand’s executive vice president of fragrance and beauty.“We’d met with her, we read her book [Wechsler’s 2008 The Mind-Beauty Connection], we loved her philosophy, and eventually we decided it was a good time to get her inside.” Wechsler will serve as a liaison to the Chanel lab coats, weighing in on everything from formulation tweaking to final testing.

Like many a big-name doctor, Wechsler had toyed with the idea of creating her own line, though one thing always held her back: “I didn’t want to quit my day job,” she says. “But to be able to say to Chanel, ‘Try this ingredient! Try that ingredient!’—no one gets to do that!” Starting early this year, Wechsler’s practice will offer new treatments centered around various Chanel skincare launches. First up: a supernourishing process highlighting Hydra Beauty, a new moisturizing line that draws on the protective and hydrating abilities of the camellia flower, Chanel’s botanical mascot.

And it turns out that Chanel’s scientists are always thinking about the psychological impact of their products as well as their scientific formulations and that Dr. Wechsler’s expertise as both a dermatologist and a psychiatrist comes in handy for them:

“Skin’s connection to the brain has always been fascinating to me,” Wechsler says.  …

“When I met with the scientists at Chanel, they weren’t just thinking about chemical compositions—they were also studying psychological experiences with their products and using different psychological parameters in their thinking,” says Wechsler.

 

Though I have never been impressed by the Chanel’s skincare products perhaps I will reevaluate that notion in the future now that I know that Dr. Wechsler consults for the brand.

 

Source:

 

 

Photo from W Magazine

 

Going Overboard January 27, 2012

Filed under: beauty — askanesthetician @ 6:05 am
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W magazine had a fun feature in their December, 2011 issue that poked fun at people who over do beauty and cosmetic treatments.   (The illustrations Melanie Teppich are playful and definitely worth a look.)

For example:

Eyeagra Latissima

(eye-AG-ra  la-TEES-ee-muh)
Fixation on making eyelashes appear thick and  erect at all times.
Symptoms: Addiction to prescription Latisse  or other eyelash“conditioners”; frequent reapplication of mascara. Often  diagnosed in tandem with Red Carpet Face—a perma-squint resulting from lids  being weighed down with copious amounts of lash.

Or

Botoxia

(bow-TOX-ee-ah)
Obsessive need for  frequent injections of botulinum toxin into one’s face in an attempt to be as  smooth and wrinkle-free as a fiberglass statue.
Symptom:  Confusing actual skin with that depicted in magazines.

Check out all the different beauty disorders here.

Image from W magazine

 

Truth in Beauty Advertising – There Isn’t Much Out There January 9, 2012

Filed under: beauty,make-up — askanesthetician @ 6:05 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Perhaps you have already heard that the above CoverGirl advertisement has been withdrawn from publications by CoverGirl’s parent company Procter and Gamble because the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus ruled that the ad was misleading.  I have to say that I applaud both this ruling and the fact that Procter and Gamble withdrew the ad from publications.  One of my pet peeves about the beauty industry is that ads for cosmetics and skincare are so air brushed and unrealistic looking that they set-up unattainable goals for real women about how they should look and can look.

Here’s the scoop on what happened with the CoverGirl ad:

There’s a certain Taylor Swift ad for CoverGirl mascara that you won’t be seeing in American magazines any time soon.

In the ad, for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, Ms. Swift’s eyelashes have been enhanced after the fact to look even fuller, and, as a result, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus ruled this month that it was misleading.

In response, Procter & Gamble, the owner of the CoverGirl brand, “permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement,” the ruling said.

In a statement, Procter & Gamble said: “Our scientists work very closely with our advertising teams to ensure that benefits are accurately portrayed, and P&G’s policy is to feature visuals and claims that accurately reflect these benefits. As soon as we were aware that the N.A.D. had concerns, we voluntarily discontinued the advertising — a move that the N.A.D. itself regarded as entirely proper.”

This is the first time the advertising division has brought a claim like this against a cosmetics company, said Linda Bean, a spokeswoman for the advertising group.  …

In the Procter & Gamble case, the advertising division looked at both the express claims made in the ad and what was being implied, Ms. Bean said. The express claims were that the mascara would give eyelashes “2x more volume” and that the product was “20 percent lighter” than the most expensive mascara.

But, she added: “The photograph stands as a product demonstration. Your eyelashes will look like this if you use this product.”

The fine print under a photo of Ms. Swift read that the lashes had been “enhanced in post production.”

Andrea C. Levine, a lawyer who worked on the case and who is the director of the National Advertising Division, said on Wednesday: “This isn’t a question of airbrushing. It’s a question of actually demonstrating what your lashes will look like when you use this product.”

Lawyers at the advertising division routinely scour print publications, broadcast, television and social media to find misleading advertisements. They also help settle claims of misleading advertising that competing companies bring against each other.

“The rule is that an advertising has to be truthful, accurate and not misleading,” Ms. Levine said. “What the picture says, the small type can’t take it away.”

(Source:  CoverGirl Withdraws ‘Enhanced’ Taylor Swift Ad – The New York Times)

The UK is well ahead of the US in cracking down on misleading photos and ads for make-up.  Back in July of 2011 ads from L’Oreal and Maybelline were banned in the UK for being overly airbrushed.  British ads are regulated by an independent body called the Advertising Standards Authority which works to make sure that the ads are truly presenting consumers with truthful, not misleading, information.  In the US the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) oversees advertising yet airbrushed ads are very rarely withdrawn or even commented upon by the authorities.  Let’s put it this way – cosmetic companies have a lot, and I mean a lot, of wiggle room when it comes to how they can promote their products both with the images and the words they use.  Buyer beware.

I do have to applaud the attitude and actions of one make-up company – Make Up For Ever.  This company has started running print ads that are not airbrushed.  Hooray!  I hope more companies follow suit.

Further Reading:

Photo from The New York Times

 

 
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