Walk into any Target nowadays and you’ll see that the skincare, haircare and cosmetics departments now span across 8 aisles or more. Scroll through your Facebook feed and you’re bound to see countless ads and before and after pictures of multi-level marketing skincare lines. Page through your favorite fashion magazine and see the latest celebrity touting the benefits of yet another skin cream. Wherever we go, it seems we are bombarded by beauty and skincare options, and for many of us, we feel overwhelmed and under informed! And now, added to the lineup, is a new designation of skincare labeled “Physician-Dispensed,” offered only through your doctor’s office. What makes this skincare different? Is it better, or more effective than what we can pick up at the drugstore or department store? And if so, why?
There’s no getting around it, Beauty is BIG Business! In fact, analysts at Goldman Sachs estimate that the global beauty industry is growing at 7% each year, more than TWICE the rate of the developed world’s GDP. Skincare products alone contributed over $24 billion in sales in 2016. With all of these options, and their aggressive marketing campaigns, how can the average consumer identify what options are truly effective? Let’s take a closer look at what makes Physician-Dispensed skincare different!
What ARE Physician-Grade or Dispensed Skincare Lines?
Although the term, “Physician-Dispensed Skincare,” is not officially recognized by the FDA, it generally refers to products (available almost exclusively through your physician’s office) that trigger biological actions on the skin below the stratum corneum. A “Cosmetic,” by definition, is a product that does NOT alter the skin’s structure or function. Many physicians whose practices or specialties involve skin health, choose to dispense these cosmeceuticals, or have them specially compounded, to offer heightened results to their patients and to enhance their results with other treatments, such as surgery or Botox®. These lines often combine pharmaceuticals, like Tretinoin, which are regulated by the FDA.
Designed to Deliver REAL Results
“I explain to my patients that the key difference between drugstore, department store and multi-level marketing skincare and what we retail at our clinic is the quality and strength of the ingredients and how they are formulated together,” explains Sara, a Licensed Aesthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare, the skin clinic of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “Physician Dispensed product lines are able to formulate with stronger concentrations of ingredients and enhance the way they are delivered into the skin,” she continues, “this translates into better and faster results for our patients. Plus! Patients get to partner with a Licensed Aesthetician like me, who will follow their progress every step of the way!”
An example of stronger, more effective ingredients being used in Physician-Grade Skincare are peptides and Vitamin C. The concentration and delivery of peptides is crucial for them to have any impact on the appearance of the skin. A clinical amount (which varies by peptide) is required to encourage such responses as increased fibroblast activity or collagen synthesis. Many of the skincare lines you see advertised will say they include popular peptides, yet the amount in the product is so miniscule that it will have virtually no impact on the skin. It’s important to look at ingredient lists and see where the ingredients you are paying for a placed. The further down the list it is, the less concentrated that ingredient is.
Vitamin C is available in multiple forms. Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is the most stable, non-acidic and effective of all forms but it is very expensive. It is almost exclusively found in Physician-Dispensed skincare lines for this reason. But, ANY skincare line can say that they have Vitamin C included in their products, even if the formulation of that Vitamin C has absolutely no clinical results on human skin.
Physician Dispensed Products Can Penetrate More Deeply into Your Skin
One of the biggest challenges in skincare is getting key ingredients to go deeper into skin so their impact is more profound. Due to research and development, Physician-Grade Cosmeceuticals are far more likely to do this than OTC products. Most Physician lines are created and formulated by physicians, scientists and skin professionals who have researched ingredients for years and put them into action in their own practices. They are custom formulated to have ingredients that actually reach their intended targets, such as the basal layer, to encourage actual change. Most drugstore and department store lines simply sit at the surface of your skin and provide hydration and absolutely no change in the quality, appearance, or health of your skin.
Profits Go Back into RESEARCH, NOT to Celebrity Endorsement Deals
A celebrity can get paid MILLIONS to endorse a department store line and be featured in its ads. In many cases, this celebrity does not even use the product on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the profits from the sales of most Physician-Dispensed lines go directly back into research and development. Many of these lines spend millions in clinical research and trials to ensure that the product is not only safe and efficacious, but that it delivers real and tangible results in the skin.
In addition, Physician Dispensed skincare lines are evaluated through countless studies to determine their “proof of concept,” or in layman’s terms…THEY DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY DO! Although most drugstore and department store skincare products are studied for overall safety and to make sure they aren’t too irrigating for skin, very little is spent on research to determine that they actually work.
The Bottle Doesn’t Deliver Results. What’s INSIDE of it Does!
Yes, we all like nice and attractive things, but a crystal or gold-encrusted lid on your more recent skincare purchase is NOT going to improve your skin! So, why pay extra for crazy, superfluous packaging? Prestige skincare lines know that you have MANY options when making your way through the cosmetics department. As a result, they spend millions packaging their products in eye-catching container colors, shapes, sizes and embellishments that will attract your attention. In many cases, the cost of container design and production FAR exceeds the cost of quality ingredients of what is actually inside the container. In turn, Physician-Dispensed skincare is oftentimes a far better value than department store products because your investment is in the ingredients, NOT the packaging!
A FREE Skincare Concierge is Included in the Price of your Physician Dispensed Skincare
“I take my partnership with my patients very seriously,” says Cyndi, also a Licensed Aesthetician with Face Cosmetic Skincare. “I listen to my patients concerns and perform a thorough skin analysis before I recommend any skincare to them,” she continues, “this allows me to customize their homecare regimen to ensure the best results and educate them about their skin and my recommendations.”
In addition to having the knowledgeable guidance of a Licensed Skincare Professional recommending your products, Physician-Dispensed products may offer far more versatility to matching your lifestyle. Unlike their OTC counterparts, these products may come in a variety of strengths, formulations and concentration to match all different skin types and conditions. They may also be developed to care for your skin while undergoing treatments with your dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon such as laser, chemical peels and/or Botox. Traditional drugstore and department store products just can’t afford to offer that level of customization or education.
“I check in with my patients on a regular basis and monitor their progress; if we aren’t seeing the results we want, or if they are experiencing symptoms like dryness, or flaking, we work together to adjust their regimen. It’s a true partnership that you’ll never find from a drugstore or cosmetics counter,” advises Cyndi.
The average consumer throws about hundreds of dollars on skincare products each year that have absolutely no medical or scientific backing. Hundreds of thousands of us are left frustrated and disappointed in products that don’t deliver the results promoted on TV or in Facebook Ads. Knowing the difference between Physician-Dispensed Skincare and OTC Skincare can have a dramatic impact on our skincare regimen’s effectiveness AND our pocketbooks!
Want to get started on a skincare regimen that actually works? Schedule a complimentary consultation with a Face Cosmetic Skincare Licensed Aesthetician! Call (651) 632-9700 today!
It seems as though 2017 was the year of the LIPS. Between Kylie Jenner’s overexposed pout, to at-home suction devices causing capillary damage to teens across the nation, to new techniques in permanent lip cosmetics, one thing is certain - Americans are obsessed with their lips! According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 27,000 lip procedures took place last year in the United States. That translates to a lip enhancement being performed with dermal filler every 20 minutes, a new record for this procedure. Overall, the request for non-surgical lip augmentation has increased 43% since 2000. With more dermal fillers coming to the market every month, let’s take a look at how you can get “Mistletoe Ready” this holiday season with lip enhancement!
“No, you will not look like that one woman on Real Housewives or the New York City “Cat Lady,” says Dr. Garrett Griffin, Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “The ideal results of a lip enhancement are subtle and natural, NOT a shape or size that makes you look like a caricature of yourself or someone else,” he explains. “Thanks to Allergan, we currently offer several dermal fillers that are appropriate for the lips to the extent that your injector can customize your treatment to your exact goals. For example, I may redefine a disappearing lip border with Juvederm Ultra XC®, but boost the volume in the body of the lip with Volbella XC®. Our approach is truly customized to give our patients the most natural results that fit their goal for the appearance of their lips,” he finishes.
As Dr. Griffin mentions, there are a host of new dermal fillers that sprung to the market in 2017. The day and age of one filler being used across the board for lips regardless of the age, lip structure and goals of the patient are GONE. The versatility and special attributes of each of these fillers allows your injector to truly customize your treatment to be as subtle or dramatic as you desire. Let’s take a closer look!
How do Lip Injections work?
Dermal fillers used in lip enhancements are comprised of a gel-like substance called Hyaluronic Acid. This compound is naturally occurring in the skin and attracts 1,000 times it weight in water to itself, hence, plumping the tissue. When injected correctly, this results in smooth, full and defined lips.
For patient comfort, Hyaluronic Acid fillers may also contain numbing lidocaine, making the procedure more comfortable. “As much as possible, I prefer to use a blunt tip cannula for my lip enhancements as opposed to a sharp needle to further my patient’s comfort,” says Dr. Griffin. “Instead of having to poke the tender lip tissue multiple times, the blunt, flexible cannula is threaded through the lip and used to inject the product. This results in much less trauma, swelling, and bruising for the patient,” he concludes.
What are the most popular dermal fillers for Lip Enhancement?
“Although there are several brands that offer dermal fillers for lips, our practice has found that the Allergan family of dermal fillers is best for our patients. These fillers are consistent, predictable, versatile and offer the ability for your injector to truly customize your treatment,” shares Dr. Griffin.
VOLBELLA XC® – The New Kid on the Block & 2017 Winner of the Allure Magazine Breakthroughs in Beauty Award
Released in 2017, Volbella XC® quickly earned a reputation as a great dermal filler to start with for first time lip enhancers. It is pillow soft and light, leading to subtle results that gently boost lip volume and redefine the border of the lip. It can even be used in those pesky little vertical lines (Smoker’s Lines) that extend from your lips and cause your lipstick to bleed and feather. Results last up to one year.
“I love having Volbella XC® in our family of fillers for lips,” says Dr. Griffin. “It is my go to filler for first time lip enhancement patients who are a little nervous about the outcome being too dramatic,” he continues, “results are so soft and natural and provide a simple boost to volume and definition.”
Juvederm Ultra Plus XC® – The “Gold Standard”
Long considered the “go to” product for patients who truly want fuller lips and to plump lips that are thin due to genetics or aging, Juvederm Ultra Plus XC® is the gold standard of many practices.
“Juvederm Ultra Plus XC® provides more fullness and structural support than Volbella XC®. It can be used in the actual body of the lip to enhance greater fullness, but I also use it within the border of the lips to restore definition; something we commonly lose with the aging process,” shares Dr. Griffin.
Like Volbella XC®, the results of Juvederm Ultra Plus XC® can last up to one year. In some cases, these products are used together. Juvederm Ultra Plus XC® is used to redefine the lip border and Volbella XC® is used in the body of the lip to boost fullness. Both products contain lidocaine to comfortably numb the lips during your treatment and enhance comfort.
“The preference of each patient for the appearance of her or his lips is very unique. I work with my patients to decide what shape and amount of fullness will look the most natural for their face, but also achieve their goals. I can’t stress enough the importance of seeking an injector who is properly qualified, experienced and who truly listens,” concludes Dr. Griffin.
Want to get YOUR Lips “Mistletoe Ready” with Volbella XC® or Juvederm Ultra Plus XC®? Schedule with one of our Facial Plastic Surgeons by calling (651) 632-9700!
We’ve all seen and heard the headlines, right? “Roll Your Way to Beautiful Skin!” “Perfect Skin from a Pen!” Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy is an increasingly popular treatment both in your physician’s office AND for home use. With benefits that range from smoothing fine lines to softening the appearance of acne scars, it’s no wonder why countless companies are racing to launch their own devices. But, what is the difference between a Microneedling treatment you receive at your Physician’s practice by a licensed provider versus a device you purchase for home use from your friend who is selling the latest Multi-Level Marketing option? As it turns out, the difference is substantial and can impact the safety and health of your skin.
The Science Behind Microneedling Collagen Induction Therapy
Whether you’re “Penning” or “Rolling,” the principal behind how Microneedling works is the same. Tiny needles create small, micro injuries to the surface of the skin. This, in turn, stimulates your skin’s natural wound healing process which encourages collagen synthesis. Collagen is the component of our skin that gives it a youthful fullness, smoothness, spring and bounce. As a result, we see improvement of fine lines, wrinkles, surface scarring and enlarged pores over time due to your skin naturally healing itself.
SkinPen® Microneedling by Bellus Medical
SkinPen® is a Microneedling treatment which is only offered through your Physician’s Office, or at an establishment that is under medical directorship. It is classified as Medical Device by the FDA. Most often performed by a Licensed Aesthetician with advanced training in skin and Microneedling technique, a SkinPen® treatment begins with topical numbing of the skin. Because the small, sterile, surgical-grade stainless steel needles which are used in SkinPen® are longer than what you can legally purchase for home use, this numbing is required to keep you comfortable during your treatment.
Once your skin is numbed, your Licensed Aesthetician will move the pen over your skin in a series of passes while paying special attention to key areas which need improvement. During treatment, much consideration is given to the absolute sanitation of the implements and treatment room to ensure the safety of your skin. No needles are EVER reused and treatment begins with a new, sterile pack.
The small needles gently vibrate over your skin at a rate of 6,000-8,000 rpm as they create the small injuries which invoke collagen synthesis. As your skin heals in the subsequent days after your treatment, and as you repeat the process, an overall improvement in skin smoothness, volume, pigment and lift will result.
At Home Dermal Roller Treatments
Microneedling devices used at home are oftentimes called “Derma or Dermal Rollers” due to their round, drum-like shape that is covered in small needles. These are devised to be rolled over the skin 2-3 times per week and are advertised to open the “channels” of the skin to allow better product absorption. Like SkinPen®, these device manufactures claim an improved appearance of skin over time.
Dermal Rollers are intended to be used at home, at your own risk, and without the guidance of a trained or licensed professional. Unlike SkinPen® in which the needles are disposable and a sterile pack is opened for each treatment, in Derma Rolling, the same device is used over and over again on the skin.
Key Differences Between SkinPen® Microneedling and At Home Dermal Rollers
During a SkinPen® treatment, your Licensed Aesthetician can control the depth of needle penetration along with the rate of penetration. For example, she may use a deeper setting and more passes over an area that has a chicken pox mark or enlarged pores. This versatility translates into faster results with more structural improvement to the skin. With Dermal Rolling, your only option is to pass over an area such as this with more rolling which can cause dramatic skin irritation and even scarring.
SkinPen® is performed by a licensed professional who will have a solid understanding of how to create a sanitary environment to perform the treatment to avoid the risk of injury and infection. She will also know appropriate treatment parameters for your skin type/condition and will customize your Microneedling to safely achieve the results you’re looking for.
Unlike Dermal Roller needles which, due to the round shape of the roller, enter your skin at an angle, SkinPen® needles enter the skin vertically. Because of their slanted angle, Dermal Rollers can cause extreme irritation to the skin and even run the risk of truly tearing and scarring your skin. In many cases, this will create a larger open channel to the skin than intended and can lead to escalated irritation from subsequent products applied and even infection.
What does the FDA say about At Home Dermal Rollers?
The FDA has not approved ALL Microneedle Rollers for at home use. In fact, many of the rollers produced outside of the US are on the FDA’s Import Alert Red List because the length of the needles technically classifies the roller as a “Medical Device.” As with many things, this does not necessarily mean that the FDA considers Derma Rollers unsafe, but just not appropriate for at home use.
One of the most popular and readily accessible Derma Rollers on the market is manufactured by Rodan and Fields. Intended to be retailed through a Multi-Level Marketing Platform, the AMP MD Derma Roller is sold by company consultants and no licensing in skincare or aesthetics is required.
In 2012, Rodan and Fields suspended the sales of this device while the FDA investigated whether or not it needed to be classified as a “medical device,” and therefore, have its sale regulated. Due to the minimal depth of the needles used on the device, the Rodan and Fields skin roller passed the FDA.
A key concern of the FDA is the difficulty in creating a sterile/sanitary environment for at home use. If a roller is not properly cleaned before it’s next use, you may be introducing harmful bacteria to open channels in your skin and injury and infection may ensue.
Curious about Microneedling? Want to discuss SkinPen® to improve the appearance of your skin? Schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our Licensed Aestheticians by calling (651) 632-9700!
The Duel of the “Double Chin”
Just a few short years ago, your options were incredibly limited to improve the appearance of your neckline. In fact, a Surgical Neck Lift and/or liposuction were among the only procedures available to reduce the appearance of a “double chin.” But suddenly, in 2015, a new treatment called Kybella® entered the market, promising to dissolve excess fat in the chin area, all without the need for surgery. Lasers that claimed to destroy chin fat with high heat or freezing temperatures soon followed. Although these advancements in neck rejuvenation are exciting, the increased number of options can leave patients feeling confused. Now, more than ever, it is important to consult with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to decide if a surgical or non-surgical option is most beneficial to YOUR neckline.
According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, submental fullness (double chin), is a concern of nearly 68% of all Americans. With origins that are sometimes genetic and other times due to weight gain or aging skin, a double chin is a combination of excess subcutaneous fat and a certain amount of lax skin. Together, these components give the appearance of a fold, or extra chin, at a patient’s neckline.
Although the appearance of a double chin can improve with weight loss efforts, many patients who are close to their ideal weight can still experience submental fullness. In fact, a double chin is oftentimes resistant to exercise and overall weight loss and can be highly frustrating. Many patients choose to disguise the appearance with turtlenecks or scarves and for many, a double chin can severely impact their confidence in their appearance.
“It always makes me sad to hear a patient discuss how vulnerable the appearance of their chin or neck area has made them feel,” shares Dr. Christopher Tolan, Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “The appearance of their double chin oftentimes makes them shy away from taking pictures with their families, avoid dating, and even impacts what clothes they choose to wear,” he continues. “Our goal is to educate patients to know that there are multiple treatments options available to them and that together we can come up with a solution that will get them great results and fit their lifestyle!”
Approved by the FDA in 2015, Kybella® (deoxycholic acid) is manufactured by Allergan, the company which created Botox®. At that time, it was the first, non-surgical treatment for dissolving excess fat under the chin and improving the contour of the jawline. When injected into targeted fat areas behind the chin, Kybella® causes the rapid destruction and absorption of fat cells while also preventing future fat accumulation. After treatment, the fat is cleared from the area by the body’s natural metabolic process. When injected properly, Kybella® targets only fat cells; all other cells and tissue remain unaffected. Treatment can require up to six different sessions, spaced about a month apart depending on the initial amount of fat under the chin. Downtime is minimal with a slight tenderness, bruising and swelling for up to 2 weeks.
Surgical Neck Lift
Sometimes dissatisfaction with the appearance of the neck/chin area can be more related to loose skin and lax neck muscles than to excess fat, think “Turkey Neck.” This is where a Surgical Neck Lift is most beneficial. During surgery, small incisions are strategically placed under the chin and/or behind the ears. Next, your physician will separate neck muscles from skin and tighten them to a more youthful positioning with sutures. Finally, neck skin is re-draped and any excess is carefully trimmed away. Typical recovery from a Surgical Neck Lift procedure is 10 to 14 days, with a return to strenuous activity at 4 to 6 weeks.
Kybella® injections and a Surgical Neck Lift are very different procedures in both mechanism and results. Where Kybella® is a fantastic option for patients who truly just want to reduce the volume of fat under their chins, it does very little for skin tightening of loose tissue. This is where the Surgical Neck Lift shines, as it can not only remove fat, but also reposition muscle and tighten excess skin for true rejuvenation.
When it all comes down to it, you and your physician will discuss if you simply need volume reduction, in which case Kybella® may be an effective option, or if you need true correction in not only volume, but in tightening sagging skin. In this case, a Surgical Neck Lift may be a better option for optimal outcomes.
Regardless of what procedure your physician recommends, the results of BOTH procedures seem to be worth it! Kybella® currently has a 95% “WORTH IT” rating on RealSelf by thousands of patients. In turn, Surgical Neck Lift gets a 94% “WORTH IT” rating by patients seeking full rejuvenation of their necklines!
Ready to ditch YOUR double chin? Call (651) 632-9700 to discuss Kybella® and/or Surgical Neck Lift with one of our Double Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeons!
It’s true, the last year in cosmetic medicine seems to have been all about lips and youthful cheekbones, but a new trend is emerging and it’s shifting the focus south of our faces. Your Neck is the “neck’s thing” that both skincare product companies and non-surgical treatment advances seem to be focusing on, and for good reason! Your neck shows your age faster than other parts of your face and body. So, as we embark upon the Thanksgiving Holiday, let’s take a look at one treatment that is quickly becoming a rising star in saying “Goodbye Gobbler” and “Hello Neckline!”
As one of the most commonly neglected areas of skin on your body, your neck shows advanced signs of aging, sun damage, wrinkling and sensitivity more quickly than other areas. Neck skin is thinner than our facial skin, and is more prone to damage, dryness, deep lines and loss of elasticity. As a result, many women first notice changes in their late thirties in the form of a less defined jawline, or deeper lines and texture changes. More significant changes such as severe sagging, coloration changes and deep neck bands tend to surface in our 50’s.
“Prevention is the name of the game when it comes to maintaining a youthful neckline,” advises Cyndi, a Licensed Aestheticians with Face Cosmetic Skincare. “I encourage my clients to treat their entire neckline with as much love and attention as they give their faces, including extending their skincare products all the way down to their chest area,” she continues. “Sun protection, skincare products with growth factors and peptides and SkinPen® Micro-Needling are my go-to weapons when treating the neck concerns of my clients!”
Unlike the popular Kybella®, or other fat reduction treatments available to reduce the appearance of a double chin, SkinPen® directly addresses the texture and firmness of the delicate skin of the neck. Micro-Needling works by creating hundreds of microscopic channels into the dermis to stimulate your skin’s natural production of new collagen and elastin. These are the components of your skin that keep it smooth, tight, firm and youthful!
“I’ve had incredible neckline results with clients who are consistent with SkinPen®,” shares Cyndi. “It’s important to realize that a series of treatments is needed for significant improvement and that results may take up to 6 months to fully realize,” she continues. “But, I love it when clients share that they finally feel comfortable wearing a V-neck shirt again, or showing off their favorite necklaces!” She goes on, “SkinPen® is just part of it though, clients need a solid skincare routine that they perform at home to protect their investment and see continued improvement!”
Key Benefits of SkinPen® Micro-Needling
- Reduces the signs of aging on face, neck, chest, hands and more
- Improves the appearance of acne scarring
- Softens the appearance of stretch marks
- Minimally invasive treatment with minimal downtime
- Noticeable results with one treatment
- Safe for all skin colors and skin types
- Versatile and effective on all body parts
- Reduction in the appearance of pores
“Many of my clients are initially nervous that small needles are involved, but after I show them the actual SkinPen® they see how tiny they are,” smiles Cyndi. “In addition, we apply a topical anesthetic to the skin prior to the procedure and most clients only notice a light tickling sensation during the treatment,” she continues. “Downtime depends on the individual client, but slight redness and swelling is normal for up to 48 hours, but makeup can be worn the morning after your treatment.”
Although clients may notice healthier, smoother looking skin along their neckline immediately, the natural repair process that SkinPen® stimulates continues for several weeks and final results are seen months later. For more extensively damaged skin, multiple treatments will be recommended and results may take up to 6 months to be fully visible. These treatments are generally spaced 4 weeks apart.
“For clients who have been embarrassed about the appearance of their neck and have been covering it with scarves and turtlenecks for years, the results of SkinPen® Micro-Needling can be absolutely transformational,” says Cyndi. “It is definitely one of those treatments that requires so little time and investment, for a truly large impact!”
Want to discuss improving the appearance of your neckline with a Face Cosmetic Skincare Licensed Aesthetician? Call (651) 632-9700 to schedule a complimentary consultation. Ask about our MRewards program to enjoy deep discounts on Micro-Needling all year round!
Fall is here! For many of us, it’s our favorite season due to nature’s gorgeous display of changing colors, the unpacking of cozy sweaters, and the ever popular, Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING. But, fall is a transitional time of year for many of us as our skincare regimens that worked so well in the Summer, just don’t seem to cut it in regards to keeping us smooth, bright and hydrated in the Fall. Cooler temperatures and drier conditions can make us feel like we’re wearing a literal mask of dead skin cell buildup and leave us looking dull, dry and lackluster. It’s time to step up your exfoliation game and “Shed the Dead” with treatment options that unveil healthy, fresh and radiant skin!
What Is Exfoliation?
In “Skincare Speak,” exfoliation is anything you introduce to your skin, whether it be physical or chemical, which removes dead skin cells. Our skin actually has a natural process of exfoliation called, desquamation. This is the process of shedding old, dry, hardened skin cells so that fresh healthy ones can take their place! This process can be slowed down due to climate, skin condition, disease and the aging process.
Why Is Exfoliation Important?
Exfoliation is crucial for ALL skin types and conditions. It helps unclog pores and discourage blemishes in oily/acneic skin. It can increase circulation and gradually remove sun damage on more mature and hyperpigmented skin. By gently sloughing away the dead skin cells that may be irritating to a hair follicle, exfoliation can soothe sensitized inflamed skin and even prevent ingrown hairs! The benefits go beyond just wanting your skin to look amazing and glowing; your skin truly needs exfoliation to be healthy! It’s really just a matter of finding out which type, or method of exfoliation is right for YOU!
3 Treatments that are Exfoliation Superstars!
Having a Licensed Aesthetician prescribe a skincare regimen that is customized to your skin type and skin condition can be the key to consistently healthy and beautiful skin. A professional will be able to match your skin, and your goals for your skin, to the correct exfoliating products. Although gentle scrubs feel great and are fantastic options for some skin conditions, many Licensed Aestheticians favor chemical exfoliants which are left on the skin and can be customized to specific skin conditions. For example, products which contain derivatives of Vitamin A, such as retinols, are great options for aging skin as they not only regulate cell turnover, but encourage new collagen formation to fight wrinkles. Salicylic Acid is an effective exfoliant for oily and acneic skin as this ingredient is attracted to oil and can actually remove dead cell build up within a pore and prevent breakouts! Exfoliants such as glycolic acid are wonderful if you have more lethargic skin that needs a circulation boost.
As you can see, there are MANY options on the homecare front when it comes to exfoliation! A Licensed Aesthetician will help you navigate the options that are best for you and your skin!
Dermablading & Microdermabrasion
Dermablading and Microdermabrasion are two options which PHYSICALLY remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Dermablading involves the use of a rounded, butter blade scalpel that is precisely drawn across the skin in short, gentle strokes. Not only does this method remove any dead skin cell build up, it also removes all of that peach fuzz, or vellus hair, on your skin’s surface. This makes dermablading a wonderful option for special events, as your makeup will set evenly and look flawless!
There are two forms of Microdermabrasion. One method blasts tiny, sand-like crystals at the skin while simultaneously vacuuming them up with a small hand piece. This is, in essence, like sandblasting the surface of the skin to knock off and whisk away any buildup. In an alternate method, a small hand piece with an encrusted diamond tip is dragged back and forth across the skin with vacuum suction to buff away dead cells. Microdermabrasion is a great option for those with more hearty, resilient skin types.
Unlike Dermablading and Microdermabrasion, Chemical Peels create a chemical reaction on the skin that causes cells to detach and slough off, or peel, over time. Many Licensed Aestheticians favor chemical peels because it allows them to customize the peel to your specific skin concern by choosing specific acids. They can even choose chemical peels that blend together multiple acids for multifaceted results! Chemical peels, when done on a regular basis, can also encourage new collagen growth over time and have benefits that extend far beyond just keeping you smooth and exfoliated!
Picture your skin like bricks and mortar. The bricks are dead skin cells and the mortar is tacky sebum, our skin’s oil, that keeps the bricks together. When a Licensed Aesthetician applies a chemical peel in office, the peel is attracted to the mortar and slips between the cracks of the bricks. After a few days, that mortar is dissolved and the bricks begin to lift away and shed. Most peeling begins 2 to 3 days after your treatment and can continue for up to 10 days.
HydraFacial MD® is truly the best of both worlds when it comes to exfoliation! It combines the PHYSICAL exfoliation properties of Microdermabrasion to knock off dead skin cells instantly, with a light chemical peel to brighten your skin for days after treatment! What makes HydraFacial MD® so unique is that is does this while infusing the skin with nutrient rich cleansers, exfoliating solutions, and solvents which saturate your skin with antioxidants and humectants.
Hydrafacial MD® is truly 4 treatments in ONE. It starts with an exfoliating cleanse of the skin with a hand piece that bathes the surface with deep cleansers and simultaneously sloughs off dead skin cells with a mildly abrasive tip which suctions away all debris. Next, a light chemical peel is applied evenly over the skin which is customized to your skin condition. If needed, gentle, suction assisted extractions are performed next to deeply detoxify your pores. Lastly, your skin is infused with a powerhouse cocktail serum of antioxidants, humectants and brighteners. You’ll look glowing, bright and smooth for days to come. Because of its multi-faceted benefits, many patients choose to maintain their skin on a monthly basis with HydraFacial MD® to keep their skin healthy and radiant all year around!
As you can see, there are many forms of exfoliation and key benefits to each. Partnering with a Licensed Aesthetician who can assist you in identifying your skin type and skin condition is key to getting your best results! She’ll also prescribe a seasonal approach to exfoliation which will ensure you look your best regardless of the season!
Ready to “Shed the Dead” and get your Holiday glow on? Schedule any of the services described above, or a consultation to get you started, with a Face Cosmetic Skincare Licensed Aesthetician by calling (651) 632-9700!
Ask anyone their thoughts on Botox® Cosmetic and you’re bound to get as many opinions as people you ask! In addition to those responses you will most likely hear a few myths about this popular treatment that many people still hold true! With so many circulating thoughts about Botox® and its increasing exposure and popularity on reality shows and mainstream media, it’s important to be able to separate fact from fiction to make choices that are right for YOU!
Myth #1 “Botox® is a dangerous poison that is toxic to your body!”
Botox® Is a highly refined protein derived from the Botulinum Toxin. This toxin is a type of bacteria that thrives in poorly preserved foods and can lead to food poisoning. BUT! The concentration of Botox® actually used in a cosmetic injection is incredibly low and is administered, by your physician, with precise accuracy into a very specific muscle. As a result, it is virtually incapable of spreading to other areas of the body where it could pose a great threat.
Myth #2 “Botox® is super new to the market…buyer beware!”
BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used for over 17 years and is approved for medical use in over 78 countries. It is one of the most extensively studied medical aesthetic treatments on the market. The safety and efficacy of BOTOX® Cosmetic have been evaluated in both Allergan (the manufacturer of Botox®) sponsored clinical trials as well as in 417 peer-reviewed articles in scientific and medical journals.
Myth #3 “Botox® will leave you looking like a frozen, emotionless ZOMBIE!”
“You would have to specifically ask your provider to inject you this way if that’s the aesthetic you were going for, and even in that case, any responsible provider would discourage that sort of outcome,” shares Dr. Garrett Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. He goes on to say, “The whole point of Botox® is to prevent the future occurance of wrinkles and to make you look like a more refreshed, youthful version of yourself…NOT an entirely different person!”
Myth #4 “You should only start Botox® when you start to see lines.”
“The name of the game is PREVENTION,” advises Dr. Christopher Tolan, also a physician with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery and a National Botox® Trainer for Allergan. “Waiting until lines are fully formed, visible and etched into the skin makes it more difficult to smooth their appearance again,” he continues.
Botox is most often used for lines and wrinkles which form from facial movements like scowling, squinting, frowning, and raising your eyebrows. By starting Botox preventatively, a patient (and their muscles) actually learn to not make certain faces and expressions over time that contribute to wrinkles. As a result, these wrinkles may never form and that patient may need less Botox or need it less often in the future.
Myth #5 “Botox is super expensive and costly to maintain.”
The average Botox® treatment is around $350. While this isn’t Inexpensive, it IS an investiment with reliable and visible results. If you’re tired of throwing your money away on skincare products and spa treatments that aren’t delivering results, Botox® can actually SAVE you money. In fact, many of us spend more on fancy Starbuck’s coffees each year than Botox would ever cost to maintain at 3-4 treatments per year!
Plus! Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox® has a patient rewards program called Brilliant Distinctions that allows patients to earn points with each treatment. These points are then applied as discounts to all subsequent treatments making your Botox®, dermal filler and Kybella treatments even more affordable!
Myth #6 “When Botox® wears off your wrinkles will look WORSE than before!”
Relax, (no pun intended) when your Botox® wears off after 3 to 4 months your appearance will simply return to what is was before. Your treatment stopped the clock on those wrinkles advancing and when your Botox® wore off, the second hand started ticking again.
Although repeated Botox® treatments will prevent your wrinkles from worsening, if you stop treatment you will slowly lose the relaxing effect of the treatment and will resume your normal facial movements and wrinkle development. Botox® will NOT make wrinkles worse.
Myth #7 “Botox® injections hurt!”
“I just had a first time Botox® patient the other day describe the feeling of the injection to that of a accupuncture needle, so NO…the injection is NOT painful,” shares Dr. Griffin. “There may be some mild discomfort at the injection site, but the majority of our patient find the injections completely tolerable, if felt at all,” he concludes.
Myth #8 “Botox® is addictive.”
“Sure! You may be addicted to the way you LOOK with Botox®, but NO, Botox® Cosmetic is NOT addictive,” smiles Dr. Tolan. “Botox® is safely eliminated from your body 3 to 6 months after your treatment. We advise most patients to return at 3 to 4 months for a subsequent treatment so their transition between treatments is smooth and their appearance is consistently youthful. This is NOT because your body wants or needs more of the product,” he explains.
Myth #9 “Botox® is just for Women.”
Ever hear of “BRO-TOX?” Botox® treatment among men is on the rise! For some, it’s just about looking as youthful as they feel, for others, it may be to soften the appearance of an angry or tired look. It’s a competitive job AND dating market out there and men want to look just as good as their female counterparts!
Myth #10 “Botox® is only used in the Cosmetic Industry.”
Botox has gone FAR BEYOND just cosmetic. When used therapeutically it can be used to treat migraine headaches by reducing muscle tension and creating less strain on the nervous system. It can also be used to temporarily block sweat glands (hyperhidrosis) to stop excessive sweating on the palms of your hands or underarms. Botox® is even being used to control overactive bladders and being studied to prevent feelings of hunger by relaxing stomach muscles!
Regardless of which of these myths YOU may have thought true, it is important to partner with a reputable provider to ensure your BEST BOTOX RESULTS! At Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery, our cosmetic injections are ONLY administered by our double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeons.
Call (651)632-9700 to schedule your Botox® treatment and let our physicians debunk any myths you may still believe!
Believe it or not, the Holidays may be the BEST time to schedule your surgery. Find out why!!
Let’s face it. Deciding to pursue facial plastic surgery is a deeply personal journey. It involves research, pouring over the before & after pictures on the internet, serious self-reflection, and countless consultations with board-certified surgeons. After deciding “YES,” to facial plastic surgery, the most common next question is “WHEN?”. Facial Plastic Surgery includes healing and downtime that needs to be planned for to ensure that you will look your best for any social obligations or special events on your future calendar. Believe it or not, some times of the year may be better to schedule your surgery than others. Here’s why!
“Scheduling a surgical procedure around the holidays is sometimes the LAST time of the year that a patient initially considers,” shares Dr. Garrett Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “We traditionally think of the holidays as countless social and family obligations stacked up to the hilt, but there are several benefits to utilizing some of the downtime the holidays also facilitate, especially during Winter in the Midwest!” Dr. Griffin continues, “Plus! It allows you to start off the New Year with a fresh, rejuvenated appearance!”
Let’s take a closer look at why scheduling your surgery during the Winter Holidays may benefit you!
Midwest Winters Allow for Hiding Under Hats and Scarves!
Who’d have thought that the thing we most complain about during the Winter, the COLD, could serve us during our post-surgical downtime! Artfully crossed bulky scarves can disguise lower face bruising and stylish hats can cover large portions of the upper face and ears. Throw on a pair of fashionable sunglasses and you can feel confident about cruising the isles of your local grocery store and running into neighbors a few weeks post-surgery! Living in a climate that allows us to “layer up” provides many opportunities to disguise post-surgery incisions, swelling and bruising. Far more so than warmer climates.
Make Your Holiday “Paid Time Off” Work for YOU!
“Fear of missing work and having a lapse in monthly income due to surgical downtime is real concern of most of our patients,” says Dr. Christopher Tolan, a surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “Our patients are real people with real jobs and families who may be pursuing their surgery on a very fixed income. Scheduling their surgery during the holidays when they have PTO is oftentimes, the smartest time for them to schedule” he advises.
Just because you’ve made the decision to have facial plastic surgery doesn’t mean that the bills won’t keep coming every month. (Unfortunately!) In addition, we are living in a job market in which many of us are scared of losing our jobs and see extended time off as risky to our job security. Planning your procedure to utilize already established Holiday PTO from your employer can be a logical solution. Savvy scheduling that bundles holiday dates that your office will be closed along with PTO can truly work out to your financial advantage. Plus, it allows you to oftentimes return to the office well advanced into your healing and simply looking relaxed and restful to co-workers!
“One of the things we like, as surgeons, about patients scheduling their procedures during the holidays, is that this usually means other members of their family will also have time off,” shares Dr. Tolan. “Although our office will be checking in with you often, it is important to have a support network at home after your procedure to help care for you! It also makes finding a designated driver after your procedure much easier,” he smiles.
What Better Gift to Yourself than Renewed Self-Confidence?!
Yes, the Holidays can be stressful and many of us get so “wrapped up” in doing everything we can to make the holidays great for OTHERS that we forget about honoring ourselves. With family and friends being home for the holidays, it can be the perfect time to simply ask for the gift of their time, love, and support during your recovery. In lieu of a gift, you may ask for a ride to your check-up appointment, or a grocery store run. Gifts come in all shapes, sizes, colors and intentions and the gift of someone’s time and support can prove to be priceless.
“Many patients I see have been considering, planning for, and saving for facial plastic surgery for years. I feel so honored to partner with them through this journey. Pursuing a surgical procedure that renews your self-confidence is, in my opinion, one of the best gifts you can give yourself – regardless of the season,” concludes Dr. Griffin.
The 411 on Scheduling Your Holiday Facelift Surgery
If your intention is looking great FOR the Holidays by getting a surgical Facelift, the time to schedule is NOW. It only takes a few weeks after a surgical facelift to return to your normal daily activities, but you will NOT be looking “headshot” or “selfie” ready a week after surgery. But, as long as your holiday plans don’t require a professional family portrait session or a solo appearance in a holiday musical, holidays can be a great time to schedule. Many patients can expect to take about 10 days off work and return to work feeling comfortable with their appearance. In addition, a holiday procedure means you’ll be looking your absolute best for the coming year’s Spring and Summer weddings, class reunions and special events!
Are you curious about scheduling a surgical procedure with Dr. Tolan or Dr. Griffin? Schedule your consultation to discuss your options now and learn about the benefits of scheduling your procedure over the holidays! (651) 632-9700
What they are, how they work and what they mean for your skin!
Whether you are paging through a magazine, scrolling through your Facebook feed, or watching a celebrity TV show, one thing is for certain – Stem Cells are a HOT TOPIC in skincare right now. But, many people who are interested in the science behind these ingredients are getting discouraged by all the hype and frankly, opportunist companies out there just trying to make a buck on the notoriety of the term, “Stem Cell.” Let’s cut through the celebrity gossip and sensational headlines and take a look at the REAL science behind Stem Cells and what they can do for YOUR skin!
Most of us are familiar with the discussion of and the controversy surrounding the use of HUMAN stem cells. These cells claim to hold the promise of treating disease, regenerating a host of different kinds of tissues and nerves, slow the aging process and even extend our life expectancy. Unfortunately, many companies have simply jumped on the bandwagon of using the buzz words, “stem cells,” and have irresponsibly launched product lines before the science, and its efficacy in the skin care world has truly been proven. This clouds the waters for the consumer to truly discern what product lines may have true merit and credible science backing them. A grasp on the true science of stem cells is thus required to make sound decisions in your purchasing.
What makes stem cells so unique? They are literally the chameleons of the body! They are shape shifters that have the ability to differentiate into other types of cells such as muscle, bone and nerve cells. As a result, they are able to regenerate these tissues and restore functionality to damaged tissues.
While controversy surrounds the use of stem cells which originate from embryonic tissue, the use of human stem cells are sampled from a fully formed human who is not harmed in the process. For example, the practice of harvesting stem cells from human bone marrow transplants has been implemented for decades now and, in turn, has saved thousands of lives.
The key benefit that many of us are searching for in our skin care is the ability to reduce, if not REVERSE the signs and process of aging in our skin. Many scientists now agree that aging is actually a condition and the process of aging is really a series of accumulated and poorly healed wounds in the skin. Put this theory together with the ability of stem cells to effectively heal wounds and you have a potentially magic combination for truly effective skin care! The goal of skin care lines that contain true stem cell technology is to restore your skin’s natural ability to heal itself and, in turn, reset the aging process.
One skin care line has surfaced as a leader in this new frontier of stem cells in skin care. DefenAge® has developed a propriety peptide complex, Age-Repair Defensins that stimulates a specific stem cell in our hair follicles to produce more keratinocytes (skin cells). Defensins are a group of peptides that play an integral role in wound healing, so the ability of this peptide to shift our skin’s wound healing response into 5th is garnishing a lot of excitement in the medical community!
DefenAge® recently conducted a multi-center, placebo-controlled study whose results were presented at the Las Vegas Cosmetic Surgery Conference in June of this year. This study revealed that the treatment group noted the following improvements:
- Increased epidermis thickness
- Greater number of proliferating cells
- Reduction in pore size
- Reduced superficial wrinkles/fine lines
- Reduced deep wrinkles and folds
*6 week controlled study with use of all DefenAge® products
*Results based on histology, high-resolution ultrasound imaging, clinical photography and 3-D Skin Imaging
There is no doubt that this realm of skin care will continue to develop and advance. Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery and Face Cosmetic Skincare are excited to be one of the FIRST practices in Minnesota to offer our patients the entire DefenAge® Skincare Line.
Schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our Licensed Aestheticians to discuss adding the power of stem cells to your overall skincare regimen! 651-632-9700
Learn how your skin ages with each passing decade and what you can do about it!
Another school year is just around the corner. For some of us, that means back to the rigorous schedule and stress of academia. For others, it’s back to the juggling act of dropping kids off, picking them up, and transporting them to after school activities. And still for others, our school years are far behind us and we are left reflecting upon memories and, perhaps, laughing over all of those class photos. How has your face changed since those photos were taken? Your skin? You will quickly notice that wrinkles are not the ONLY sign of how our appearance changes throughout the chapters of our lives!
“Patients often correlate aging with wrinkles, sagging skin and nothing else,” says Dr. Griffin, Facial Plastic Surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “But the reality is that several things contribute to the aging process through the years such as bone loss, facial fat and muscle loss, and collagen breakdown,” he continues. “As each decade passes, we may notice subtle or dramatic changes in our skin’s quality and our face shape. It’s important to understand what happens in each decade of life so we know how to prevent the things we can and become educated about solutions for the things we can’t,” shares Dr. Griffin.
Collagen and Elastin are the components of our skin that give it spring, bounce and firmness. These proteins are humming in our Twenties and, along with fat, act like the box spring to your mattress; in this case, the mattress being your skin. In our Twenties, our collagen and elastin fibers are still replicating and therefore, keep our skin supple, elastic and firm. At this age, there are minimal signs of aging on your skin unless you have actively abused tanning beds or spent excessive time tanning outdoors. UV damage breaks down collagen and elastin fibers, causes pigment damage, and accelerates aging.
Many men and women experience acne during this chapter of their lives. As a result, these can be formative years in regards to how we learn to care for our skin. Our choices and actions at this time can have a dramatic effect on how our skin will appear in the future. Especially when it comes to lifestyle behaviors such as sun avoidance, smoking and stress. How you care for your skin in your Twenties can truly dictate what kind of damage you may deal with in your Forties and beyond.
“Lines between the eyebrows and around the eyes, uneven skin tone, broken blood vessels and sun spots – these are the most common complaints I hear from my female patients in their Thirties,” says Dr. Christopher Tolan, also a Facial Plastic surgeon with Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery. “And, not getting carded when they buy alcohol anymore,” he laughs.
There is a saying that it’s in your Thirties when you begin to experience the skin you “deserve. Lifestyle behaviors of your Twenties will manifest in your Thirties. Sun damage may start to surface along with some loss of elasticity due to UV exposure and a dwindling collagen production. Hormone related pigmentation issues (melasma) may be present, especially post pregnancy. Fine lines around the eyes or, Crow’s Feet, may be more noticeable and the worry line between your eyebrows may appear to deepen.
It is in this chapter of our lives in which our collagen and elastin fibers virtually stop reproducing. In addition, our cellular turnover slows down and our skin may appear drier and duller. We may start to see the first evidence of fine lines, wrinkles and skin that that has some slight sagging.
“Your Thirties, and even earlier, are a great age to start treating with Botox® and dermal fillers, such as Juvederm®,” advised Dr. Griffin. “The objective of these treatments is to give subtle rejuvenation, so it is best to fine tune and tweak along the way to attain the most natural results. In addition, laser treatments such as IPL can help remove some of the sun damage that is surfacing.”
Treatments like chemical peels and the new HydraFacial MD®, along with medical skincare that contains retinol, can regulate your cellular turnover and encourage the growth of collagen and elastin and keep your complexion bright. Serums that contain hyaluronic acid can also restore a dewy and hydrated complexion to parched skin. To further encourage fresh, new collagen growth, Micro Needling by SkinPen®, is a revolutionary treatment that introduces microscopic injuries to the skin to encourage the healing process which produces more collagen!
At this point in your life, your face starts losing that subcutaneous fat you had so much of in your Twenties. Your face may appear more sharp and angular. In addition, this fat loss isn’t lost equally in all areas of the face.
“Although there are variations due to genetics, in general we lose the deep fat pads in the mid-face and those of the temples and the front of the ears first,” says Dr. Tolan. “Then we lose fat around the mouth and chin and along the jawline. It looks like the skin is falling, but actually, it’s more like our faces are deflating.”
“Volume loss and sagging skin are common concerns of our patients in this age category,” shares Dr. Tolan. “Our faces tend to thin out in our Forties due to fat loss or fat redistribution,” he continues, “this can cause the skin to look saggy and the under-eye area to look hallowed out and gaunt. This is the most common age group that I introduce long lasting and lifting dermal fillers like Voluma® to. Voluma® helps restore volume and lift to the cheek area and temples, while softer fillers can fill in hallows under the eyes and restore definition to your lips. The objective is to make a patient appear like they did 10 years ago…not alter their appearance all together,” he concludes.
Fifties & Beyond
Our Fifties and especially our Sixties, are when we start to see the aging that directly correlates with bone loss and accelerated facial fat loss. Our facial bone structure acts like the framework to our skin; it provides lift and height. When we experience bone loss through areas such as our cheekbones, brow, the bridge of the nose and our jawline, it can appear as though our face has ‘fallen’ or deflated.
“Depending on the severity of the bone loss, this may be the time to go beyond fillers and graduate to more permanent surgical solutions such as a Facelift, or cheek/chin implants to restore lost structure,” says Dr. Griffin. “A Facelift procedure can re-establish the youthful lift to sagging skin and dermal fillers and implants can replace lost volume, especially to the apples of the cheeks,” he continues. “Each patient’s aging process is unique due to their genetics and lifestyles, so the way we restore a more youthful appearance must be too!”
Regardless of what chapter of life you are in, all of us have the opportunity to control the environmental factors of aging such as sun exposure, free radical damage from smoking, and stress. In addition, we live in a day and age in which the cosmetic chemistry behind some of our skincare products can truly enhance the health and appearance of our skin. Combined with the state of the art services that are now offered through physicians and their extenders, such as chemical peels, laser treatments and injectable such as Botox®…we have more control of our how our skin ages now than in any other time in history.
Interested in partnering with our team to assess your skin and receive your customized anti-aging regimen? Call (651) 632.9700 to schedule a consultation with one of our Physicians or Licensed Aestheticians!