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Seriously, Can a “Face Lift” Really Be In a Jar?

THE SKIN CARE ARENA

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by Madeleine Arena, B.S., M.B.A.*

There are many products on the market that claim to lift and firm the skin, even when it’s crepey. Claims such as, “face-lift in a jar”, are almost always misleading. While some of these firming creams do have value for skin, for the most part, their promises go beyond the scope of what’s possible from any skin-care product.

In reality, no firming or tightening products will give you results that are remotely similar to what you get from any medical procedures including fillers, lasers, or cosmetic surgery. It’s important to know the truth about firming creams. They’re expensive, the results are temporary; and who wants to waste money?

Skin Firming Facts

  1. Elastin is the fiber that allows the skin to “bounce” back into place. The skin begins to sag when the elastin fibers are damaged. Combine this sagging with sun damage and the skin becomes like crepe paper.
  2. Elastin production in the skin diminishes as we age. It produces less and less until it makes almost none at all.
  3. Sun damage and the natural aging process degrades elastin fibers. Even with medical procedures, it is almost impossible for adult skin to make more elastin.
  4. Most firming creams don’t contain ingredients that can firm or tighten (lift) skin.
  5. Skin-care products containing collagen or elastin cannot help rebuild or reinforce these structures in your skin. The molecular size of both collagen and elastin are too large to penetrate the skin’s surface. So the collagen and elastin in these products cannot fuse with the collagen and elastin in your skin.
  6. Some products on the market claim that the collagen and elastin they contain are “micronized”. That means that the molecules are small enough to be absorbed into the skin. However, even if they are nano-sized, these ingredients still will not merge with the collagen and elastin in your skin.
  7. For the most part, products claiming to tighten crepey skin contain ingredients called film-forming agents. These film forming ingredients actually form a film on the skin that can make the skin “feel” tighter. The effect is temporary. The sagging skin will not be noticeably lifted.
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Strategies to Firm and Tighten Skin

1. While collagen doesn’t help crepey skin bounce back, it does help support skin structure so that sagging is less apparent. The idea then is to build more collagen.  To do this, use skin care products that contain potent antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.

2. Daily sun protection with an SPF 30 sun protection product is critical. Sun damage destroys elastin and collagen fibers. Remember your face doesn’t stop at your chin so apply sunscreen to your neck as well as to your face.

3. Exfoliating daily with either a salicylic acid (BHA) or glycolic acid (AHA)  product has been proven to help improve skin texture. In addition to smoothing skin, research has also proven that these ingredients build more collagen and, may also help firm the skin. There’s no need to use both; one or the other is fine. However, alternating them also is an effective strategy.

4. Topically applied Vitamin A, also called retinol, can help improve the shape of the elastin. Research has shown that it builds more collagen, and may also help build elastin. Applying prescription retinoids such as Renova, or a retinol product every night can help a lot.

5. Medical interventions such as lasers and other light therapies such as Fraxel or Ulthera have demonstrated remarkable skin-firming results. They have also improved crepey skin.

6.    It’s time to consider cosmetic surgery when you’ve tried everything, and you’re not getting the results you want. There is a variety of face-lift procedures that can make a dramatic difference without making you looked “pulled too tight.”  It’s essential to combine these procedures with an effective skin-care routine to maximize your end results.

Be cautious of “miracle” products. Skin care products that seem “too good to be true” probably are. Research products before you buy them. Before making a skin care product purchase, research the product and its ingredients.  If there are ingredients that are unfamiliar, look them up to find out how they work.

Sources: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2012, pages 1036–1040; Birth Defects Research, September 2012, pages 248–257; International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2012, pages 132–139, and February 2011, pages 62–69; Biomacromolecules, February 2012, pages 379–386; Journal of Cosmetic Science, March 2010, pages 125–132; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2009, pages 56–62; Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, volume 20, 2006, page 980; and Experimental Dermatology, volume 11, 2002, page 398.


* Madeleine Arena is a cosmetic chemist who develops private label skin and hair care products for the trade. Madeleine can be reached through her website – www.tscsource.com

Madeleine@tscsource.com

Use the form below to send questions to Madeleine.



 

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CAN AUTHENTICITY AND COSMETIC SURGERY CO-EXIST?

Can authenticity and cosmetic surgery co-exist? Jane Fonda renews this conversation.

As a woman ages, “authentic” can mean several different things. To the feminist, the truly authentic woman is the one who just lets physical aging happen without a backward glance in the mirror. Others see “authentic” as being true to oneself, even in the face of negative societal judgments.

Most of us want to look our best and are willing to spend money to enhance our appearance. For some, this might mean coloring away gray hair, investing in porcelain veneers, getting facial treatments to beautify our skin. For others, cosmetic surgery answers the call. No matter the choice, many of us feel the conflict. We are torn between “Authenticity” and “Beauty”. It is not always easy to be true to oneself.

Why such inner conflict? I question how much women support one another as we each draw our own personal line between authenticity and beauty? To me, it means not being judgmental or telling this woman how you think she should have made that call. It means supporting her desire to look as good as she feels and appreciating her resolve to invest in herself. But I do believe there’s another side to authenticity – being true to oneself and avoiding glaringly inconsistent messages. To me this means taking ownership of your choice – not necessarily broadcasting it far and wide, but not being deceitful about it either. When Jane Fonda went on her recent book tour encouraging women to embrace their aging selves while admitting on prime time TV that she has undergone extensive work to defy the effects of her personal aging clock, many criticized that duality of perspective. But I didn’t see it that way.

Although I suspect the debate surrounding the co-existance of authenticity and cosmetic surgery is likely to continue to rage, I would like to shift gears to what I consider a more productive focus – a discussion on what it means to live one’s life being true to oneself.

Beauty Within

         Beauty Without . . .

                        What’s Your Passion?

Click to Explore the Many Dimensions of Beauty

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A New Look for Renee Zellweger – Plastic Surgery: Yes or NO?

So much in the news about 45-year-old Renee Zellweger of late, suddenly ushered in after her appearance at the recent 21st annual Elle Women in Hollywood Awards.

TMZ reported: Despite not appearing in a movie since 2010, Renee has definitely been working for the last few years … on her face.

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Is it really anyone else’s business? Well, in my case it became everyone’s business because I wrote a book about my experience. Was I self-conscious and a bit embarrassed? Sure. But I took the plunge and was glad I did. Sometimes honesty pays off.

All this banter abut Renee reminds me of an article titled “Hey, It’s Still Me in Here”, which appeared in the Sunday Style section of the NY Times some years back. I was quoted then about some of the positive and not-so-positive reactions I get from others. And after interviewing over 100 women who had undergone cosmetic surgery for my book, Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery, did I have stories to tell!

Check it out

@http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/30/fashion/30plastic.html?_r=2&ref=fashion&oref=slogin&

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Getting Over Getting Under by Dr. Barry Friedberg

Five reasons why Dr. Barry Friedberg, a 36-year private practice, Board certified anesthesiologist and the founder and president of the 501c3, non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation wrote Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you MUST know before anesthesia

Let no one ever kid you, being an advocate for change, especially in anesthesia, is about the most difficult task one could ever attempt to shoulder.

Hercules

     Hercules should have had it so easy.

 

 

In 1992-3, after seeing my first 50 cases of propofol ketamine (PK) sedation emerge without PONV or need for postoperative opioids, I felt much like Archimedes, “Eureka. I’ve found it.” PK numerical reproducibility was established with the addition of BIS/EMG monitoring in 1998.

I have published 5 peer reviewed papers, 15 letters to the editor in Outpatient Surgeon Magazine, more letters to the editor in Anesthesia & Analgesia, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, & Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a landmark textbook ‘Anesthesia In Cosmetic Surgery,’ and 51 lectures in the US, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Israel, Malaysia & Singapore.

Many people publish papers. However, half of all published papers are never subsequently referenced. My papers have been subsequently referenced in 144 papers and in 50 textbooks.

Despite my Herculean effort to change the minds of my fellow dedicated anesthesia providers (DAPs), the subjects of postoperative pain management and PONV continue to appear in the literature as if the solution had yet to be discovered (or worse if my efforts had never occurred.)

As Aspect’s Dr. Paul Manberg often opined, ‘Change is glacial.’ When presented with my thoughts about getting better patient outcomes, most of my colleagues attitudes were essentially, ‘We’re not killing anyone, why should we change?’ Somewhere Semmelweis’ corpse is turning over in his grave.

Actually, as Li reported in 2009 Anesthesiology (110, 759-765), we are killing one American patient every day from anesthesia over medication, the natural result of not directly measuring anesthetic effect on the cerebral cortex. Even more saddening was that the editors of Anesthesiology did not deem this mortality study worthy of being an article of special interest.

Part of the human condition is that all people regardless of their profession resist change. Physicians as a sub-set are notoriously resistant to change. DAPs as a sub-set of physicians are virtually impossible to change. Unless presented with this simple paradigm in training, most DAPs will not even consider the notion of a differing paradigm.

The DAP syllogism goes like, ‘All surgery is painful. Opioids (narcotics) are painkillers. Therefore, all surgery requires the judicious use of some opioids.’ Having successfully practiced for the past 16 years without intra- or postoperative opioids, I would beg to differ.

Postoperative pain is a function of intra-operative pain.

Only by midbrain NMDA saturation prior to incision (or injection) does one avoid entrance of pain signals to the brain. NMDA saturation is accomplished in 98-99% of patients with a 50 mg dose of intravenous ketamine 3 minutes prior to stimulation. Hallucination free use of ketamine is accomplished by incrementally titrating propofol to BIS <75 with baseline EMG; i.e. tinyurl.com/n98x86k

Instead of being frustrated with my apparent inability to produce change in my fellow DAPs’ intra-operative conduct, I considered using the same paradigm for change that got fathers in the delivery rooms for the births of their children; i.e. public knowledge leading to public demand.

What are the 5 reasons I wrote ‘Getting Over Going Under, 5 things you MUST know before anesthesia?’

Reason #1: How can a pre-surgery patient know to ask for the best available technology, a brain monitor, if they do not even know that such as thing exists?

Reason #2: Why would they ask for one without the knowledge that over medication can lead to delirium, dementia and even death, especially in those over 50?

Reason #3: Why would the general public not assume they would receive the best available technology for their anesthesia care, especially if it might improve their chance of waking up without brain fog?

Reason #4: Why does PONV still exist and is there is an established way to avoid it?

Reason #5: Why does postoperative pain still exist and is there an established way to avoid it?

The answers to these reasons are easily digested in his 2010 book for which a free Kindle giveaway this summer was very successful and another is planned for this fall.

All proceeds from the sale of this book support the education message of Dr. Friedberg’s non-profit Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation, “No major surgery under anesthesia without a brain monitor.”

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For further information, contact Dr. Friedberg @drfriedberg@drfriedberg.com

Beauty and Anti-Aging Tip – Wrinkles and Face Lifts – Do They Work Together

If you see a woman with a road map of wrinkles on her face, do you instantly think: “She’d look so pretty if only she’d get a facelift.” Well,maybe a facelift isn’t the best solution . . . unless of course, you admire that wind tunnel look!

In this video, noted plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Kotler, explains why, and tells what might be a better solution.

Watch it here.

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ANTI-AGING WITH NEW DERMAL FILLER

voluma2 Juvederm’s  new dermal filler is getting raves from patients and surgeons alike. It’s thicker constancy is said to get better, more long lasting results. Is the result the same as a facelift? Not on your life. It’s not as long lasting, nor is the result as dramatic. But if you are surgery adverse, it might just be enough. 

Check out this video @http://www.realself.com/question/does-voluma-cost

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Addendum:

Cosmetic Surgery consultant, Denise Thomas, just sent me her thoughts on the dermal filler, Belotero. Since I have never tried any of these fillers, I was interested in her experience.
“I am going to share my experience with you after trying, Belotero, as a filler.
Juvederm has been my favorite, but noticing many good reviews on Belotero, I tried it.
To my dismay, after three months the line between my brows has returned. Also, my sister immediately noticed a very slight puff in that area plus a slight darkness.
This is not to say others have not be pleased. I will stick to Juvederm, Belotero is less expensive, but not for me.”