Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My new favorite treatment #antiaging


The fountain of youth can be found in your blood! lol Well, kinda...... So PRP is Plasma-rich Protein.
 PRP is your own blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. PRP contains several different growth factors & many cytokines that can stimulate healing, which in turn increases your natural collagen production and does so much anti-aging with it!

Your naturally derived PRP is used in conjunction with the microneedling and is delivered deep within the tissue. Essentially it is stimulating collagen from below and above, which increases the amount of collagen bundling you get. That's what the black dots in the photo above represent.

The young lady pictured above had a series of six in a row. She did one every six weeks or so. These photos have not been touched up. She had Botox around the eyes, a little mid-face filler and Microneedling with PRP. Pretty dramatic, right?!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Loose the turkey neck

Before gobble day arrives, get rid of your gobble! hahaha!!
For real though, these treatments are fantastic because they actually work! Seriously, removing unwanted fat below the chin has never been easier. Also, once you remove that fat, the skin tends to retract, taking years off your face! There are 2 non-invasive solutions to choose from now!!! Less than a year ago there were zero non-invasive solutions for that fat pocket.
The first one is Coolsculpting. As you know, I had coolsculpting on my abdomen (and still love it) but they recently developed an applicator small enough that it can be used under the chin. Typically, two treatments are needed but this depends on how much volume you have. With one treatment you can expect to reduce the volume by 20-25% but with 2 treatments, you would see 40% or more! You will be measured to ensure you are the right candidate, because there has to be enough fat to fill the cup. If it's not enough fat, don't worry I am getting to that!

In this photo the client is getting measured by the technician with that device the arrow is pointing to, so that we can ensure this is the right treatment for her.

The procedure itself is fairly simple. You come in, get photos, get you hooked up for your treatment, the cooling begins and in one hour you are done. It gets so cold that you go numb, so it's pretty painless. It feels like that sensation when you hold ice on your skin for too long and it starts stinging. Not too bad for getting that fat to go away! The applicator is placed under your chin, it's pretty comfortable and you can play with your phone or take a nap. It takes 45 minutes to complete. Then the applicator is removed, the area is massaged and viola!!! You are done! Simple as that. There is a possibility of swelling, but everyone is different and it's typically minor swelling (if any) that goes away in 24-48 hours.

Now! If you don't have quite enough to fit in the Coolscupting applicator, then here is treatment #2! (and it's also a superb treatment, so really it's an equal alternative)

Kybella is an injectable alternative to the Coolsculpting Mini. It literally melts the fat once injected. Your injector will map out exactly where to put the product, as it's spread throughout the entire area. The injections are administered and your treatment will start working immediately! As it takes effect, swelling sets in and the inflammation for about a week. The advantage here, however, is that it's possible you may get a tad more tightening from this than you do the Mini. This treatment takes anywhere from 2-6 treatments and a vial is typically recommended for each treatment. I don't perform this treatment, but have seen the transition of those who have received it and results are great!

Above, the treatment area is mapped out and the Kybella is being administered.
Then!!!! There is a sneaky option that my co-worker Sandy Lanier (Physicians Assistant at Hall Plastic Surgery) came up with. She says that if there is a lot of volume, the fat pocket can be "de-bulked" with Coolsculpting first. This way you avoid that swelling initially from Kybella and still have the fat reduced. Once that process is complete (about a month later), follow up on that fat pocket with Kybella and get more fat reduction and tightening. It makes sense to me!

No one would volunteer to let me use their photos, so google it. Sorry ya'll! Honestly, the ads are true. We see amazing results with these two treatments regularly and because everyone responds differently, see a provider for specific answers on your goals. Being informed is a good start though! :) I do the Coolsculpting, so come see me at Hall Plastic Surgery if you are ready to start!

As always, feel free to leave comments or email me with questions. Sending you lots of love!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Treating hyperpigmentation

There are many effective ways available but understand that it takes time to successfully treat pigmentation. It took time to build up that level of sun damage, so it takes time to break it down.

The best way to treat stubborn hyperpigmentation is to combine both treatments and product. What you put on the skin daily dictates it's daily behavior, and sunscreen is a must. Treatments break it up and allow the skin care to get deeper into the skin and treat it more effectively. The best treatments vary according to the type of sun damage you have.

With hormonal pigmentation I prefer to treat it with chemical peels and cold lasers (such as the red LED lights). Both methods are safe and effective. The LED red or green  light therapy has zero downtime and can be done on your lunch break, but you need to do them once a week, every week for 4-6 months. That means 4 or 6 treatments total done over 4 to 6 weeks.

LED treatment above

Depending on which peel you do, you will peel for about a week following your treatment. Pictured below, I had a medium depth peel. The peeling with medium depths is not as bad as it's rumored to be. Photo is courtesy of the internet.

^Not going to happen^
HAHA! Everyone expects Samantha's down time, but that would typically be from a deeper peel like a TCA (Obagi Blue Peel) or a CO2 peel. Below is a photo from when I did a medium depth peel to target pigmentation. It starts around the mouth and works its way back into the hairline. Dang!! I had some filler in my lips then. Maybe I should do that

3 Days Post Peel

UV induced, chemically induced and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are easier to treat because it responds beautifully to the IPL or AFT. These lasers literally pull the brown spots out of the skin, but it needs to be done in a series of treatments. It would not require as many treatments as the LED light, but it does have a week of  minimal "down time". You cannot get any sun on your skin safely after this treatment for a couple of weeks, at least, so this is best to do in fall or winter months.

photos courtesy of Alma lasers

The skin care you choose makes a big difference, as well. First of all, protection is key. If you are investing in your skin protect it from future damage, please! An spf of 35 or higher and purchase from medspas or doctors offices are your best bet. They actually meet claims they make. Ask an aesthetician what you should use for your skin type. It can be tricky! I will cover that in another blog post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Understanding Sun Spots

This is the time of year that people start asking about pigmentation. We have been worshipping the sun and loving every minute, until it shows up on our faces. (I am choosing to omit tanning beds, because I know none of you are careless enough for that one! hahahahaha)

Discolored skin is one of the most common conditions treated in medspas everywhere. Regardless of how much we protect our skin, that UV light is strong and it still leaves a mark on our skin. Our skin also has a memory and the damage done in past years can start to surface as early as age 30.

Uneven tone or dark patches seem like the same thing, but to the trained eye, they are not all equal. There are 4 different categories of hyperpigmentation:
^This is Dr. Obagi's image explaining pigmentation ^

UV Induced is sun damage. It is created from years of sun damage. It can first presents itself as little freckles that grow with time and become "sun spots" or they can show up later in life as if you now have freckles. They start to pop up later in life without warning. They are reflected in the image above as brown spots.
<Sun Damage

Melasma, commonly referred to as pregnancy mask, has a quick onset. Literally one day it is not there, the next day you are on a boat in Cancun and at the end of that glorious day you look in the mirror to see that you have stains on your face that won't go away. It is the result of hormones and sun exposure. Birth control or pregnancy plus sun exposure can trigger this into action.

My sun damage!
Look at the concentrated spots, like above the lip or mid forehead. That's melisma.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is the purple or brown color that lingers following a scar or any damage to the skin, whether it is superficial or deep. Darker skin tones are more prone to this, but we all get a little bit of it from time to time.  Think monster pimple that took forever to heal. That's it!

Chemically induced photodamage is when your skin comes into contact with a light sensitizing chemical and is discolored after sun exposure. This is typically seen on the neck from perfumes.

Ok, guys! Next post will be all about how to treat it! Have a great week!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Top 5 Summer Products

As I am packing for a 4th of July vacation to the beach, I realized that I had to have these items so that I can avoid a sunburn! I thought I would share them with you, because they are cosmetically elegant and I have literally been on the hunt for things that work under the toughest conditions. Living in Austin has increased my time in the sun and I LOVE it, but had to change things up a little.

Last summer I was not prepared and one month of unpreparedness out here made a mark on my melasma, so I learned quick!

1. Elta MD Sport has the Skin Cancer Foundation endorsement, will not sting your eyes if you are sweating and has a pretty good feel for being sweat/water resistant. It is also oil free and paraben free! Bonus!!

2. Phloretin CF- AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goes under sunscreen and gives you so much more protection than sunscreen alone, I never leave home without it (unless it's night, of course). CE Ferulic is also fantastic, but is for drier skin. These two skinceuticals products are the best antioxidants for summer sun, in my personal opinion. :)

3. Colorescience Even Out is an AMAZING make up and treatment in one bottle. I wear it over the Elta MD Sport for days that we are out on the lake (in the sun for a long time) and it is a great way to double up on your spf. It boasts a SPF of 50 and reduces the appearance of your pigmentation immediately. It goes on light and smooth, like a mousse, and is so natural looking you don't look like you have make up on.

4. Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen is also amazing! It is an spf 50 and is a brush and spf combined in one clever brush. I cannot lie, I do put both on top of my sunscreen when in the sun for long periods of time, but if that's not for you than this is a great way to be able to reapply throughout the day with no hassle.

5. My materail love, the magic mitt. HAHA! I take it with me (when out in the sun for awhile) so that I can clean my face easily and reapply all the layers. I just use bottled water and my magic mitt, rub on my face and neck gently, and voila! I am ready for my next application. You have got to be clever when trying to keep your melasma in check! It gets out of control fast, so this is the best for ongoing pigmentation issues.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gross Common Cosmetic Ingredients...are they in your skin care?

So this is something I find fascinating and fun- gross, common cosmetic ingredients! I was literally in the treatment room of Woodlands Wellness (before I moved) telling my client about some of these to distract her from the discomfort of laser hair removal, and we laughed so hard. I decided it would be a perfect blog topic for the same reason!

Please know that this is meant to be entertaining only and I will not be naming actual products as I do not want to get in trouble. The photos are obviously not mine either, and I linked them to original sources to cover myself. Ok! Let's begin.

1. Whale Poop

Well…..either whale poop or vomit can commonly be found in expensive perfumes. Its technical name is ambergris. Ambergris is a waxy, yellow, solid substance that lines the intestines of Sperm whales. It is suspected to protect them from sharp objects that they may swallow. It is the “gold of the sea” because its estimated earning potential is $10,000 for one pound.

2. Crushed Parasitic Beetles

Cochineal Beetles (Dactylopius Coccus) are tiny insects that feed on cactus plants and eat their red berries. When the beetles are crushed, they are red and dye is produced from their guts.....or, as I read on some sources say that the dye can be extracted.......the first one is way funnier. Anywho! It is safe for a majority of people so it’s a favorite of large companies. It can be found in lipstick, ice cream, candy, yogurt and eye shadow. Starbucks even used it at one time (until the vegans found out, that is). It is disguised as carmine, chochineal extract or natural red 4.

3. Roadkill

This is no joke. It’s for real!!!!!!!!! GASP (personal side note- this one actually makes me think of the time my ever-so-handy, adorable, amazing father made my Mom turn the car around to pick up a beaver carcass on the side of the road for its fur. He uses it to make flies to fish with! lol) 

Anyhow, animal carcasses are boiled and their fat bubbles up to the top. That glorious fatty substance that emerges is called tallow and is a common ingredient in many of your favorite cosmetics such as: eye make up, lipstick (haha you eat it!), foundation, shampoo, soap, moisturizer and skin care products. It's an extensive list! 

4. Bull Semen

Not as common as the others listed, but gross enough to make my list! Due to high protein content, bull semen has become a specialty salon treatment and can be found in high end products that deliver “healing” properties. referred to it as “Viagra for hair”

5. Snail Ooze

I personally find this disgusting but fascinating! Side note-at home, we once prepared a salad from the family garden for dinner. I was so excited! We were all sitting around the dining room table talking, As I spoke, I stabbed a fork full of lettuce and continued talking with my hands…. After a moment or two of yabbering on, I looked to take that scrumptious bite of homemade deliciousness to see a slug climbing up the fork toward me. Gross! That’s what I think of on this one. Lol

So back to my point, snail ooze is used as an ingredient in many moisturizers. Snails produce glycolic acid and elastin naturally in their secretions to protect its own skin from cuts, bacteria and UV rays. Remember the snail facials? Now I understand why they existed.

Apparently this one has been around since the days of ancient Greece. Hippocrates reportedly prescribed a mixture of sour milk and crushed snails for skin inflammation. I am such a nerd for these type of details but I love it. Hope you do too.

6. Fish Scales

Guanine is the technical nail and it is a light reflective material found in mascara and finger nail polish most commonly, but can also be found in lip stick. It is ground up fish scales and it is not surprising that it produces a shimmering color.It is a surprising ingredient, but this one doesn’t gross me out too bad because I fish. Regardless, I thought it was worth mentioning.

7. Fetal Foreskin

Yep! You read that correctly. Little baby penises on your face. Literally!  I may be guilty of testing this one out myself and I must say, the product delivers. It is an anti-aging ingredient that uses a combination of soluble collagen, antioxidants, natural growth factors (hint: foreskin) and matrix proteins (hint hint) that they claim will slow the aging process and encourage new cell growth. It is actually a derivative of the foreskin, but its kinda funny isn't it?

8. Sheep Wool Wax

This is one I have grossed people out over for years! Lanolin. It can be found in almost every lip product. Take a look. It is also in lotion, balms, nipple soothing cream and shaving cream.

Lanolin is collected from sheep wool and the animal isn’t actually harmed for the process. It is a greasy, waxy substance that emerges once the sheep wool has been boiled after shearing. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Vitamin C for your skin

Hey sun bunnies! Here's an easy way to manage the damage you get this summer. Apply Vitamin C under your daily sunscreen and self tan at night for a healthy, skin kissed glow without the damage! (If you're going to tan your face anyway *sigh* then use Vitamin C to "manage the damage" lol)

I'm going to focus on Vitamin C in this post BECAUSE I have some Vitamin C to give away!!!! To enter the contest, comment on my blog, state your skin type (oily, dry, combination) and why you deserve to win. I will be giving away 1 Skinceuticals Phloretin and 1 Sanavi Cascading C Serum to the lucky winner!!! Thank you Skinceuticals and Sanavi for being so good to us!!!! ❤️ #gratitude
One of the ways that our skin keeps itself renewed and youthful looking is through the production of a protein called collagen. I'm sure you have heard of it. As we age, our skin just doesn't produce as much collagen as it did in our younger years. Less collagen = more signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, etc... 
Vitamin C has been proven to support collagen synthesis BUT it has to be applied topically and in the correct molecular structure. If it's too big to penetrate deep enough, it sits on the surface and costs you a fortune, so choose wisely. 
Vitamin C has been shown to help:  
  • Calm skin
  • Brighten skin
  • Retain moisture without making you oily
  • Support the skin’s natural defenses against harmful UV damage
  • Enhancing healing (think post acne marks)
  • Stabilize Vitamin E
Info on the goodies:

Phloretin (Skinceuticals) is a superior Vitamin C product that works well on all skins, including oily skin. It has many more antioxidants than just Vitamin C alone, but it is heavy on the C. It is super potent and very effective. It's molecular structure dives deep into the skin allowing it to repair and correct damage where it's needed the most. It's also going to give more sun protection than sunscreen alone. Value $162

Sanavi Cascading C Serum is also a superior antioxidant cocktail heavy on the Vitamin C. It's molecular structure is a little larger, but still small enough to penetrate skin, allowing more sensitive skins to use it with no irritation. This one is more nourishing and ideal for dry, sensitive or intolerant skin. It's also going to protect you from the sun more than sunscreen alone and fight environmental damage. Value $85