Thursday, 24 August 2017

What you need to know about Dermal Fillers

We all relish the idea of keeping our youthful looks as we age. Enormous interest in looking young is growing rapidly in this selfie era; added to it is a need to keep your self-esteem up, no doubt. This has led to increased recourse to cosmetic treatments, irrespective of age.

Loss of volume is the topmost reason for old looks. Thanks to ever-advancing technology, we live in times when we do not have to get resigned to effects of aging: we can make use of cosmetic procedures to turn back the clock.

Image courtesy: www.staticflickr.com
Dermal fillers are one of the widely used cosmetic treatments to revive one’s youthful looks. The expertise behind fillers has dramatically changed over time since collagen was first artificially introduced in 1976. Latest dermal fillers are generally made of hyaluronic acid that occurs naturally in the body.

Fillers are injected into the face to correct fine lines, wrinkles and folds and loss of volume. They are used as well to plump lips, reconstruct nose and chin, and sculpt jaw line. Though there is a growing use of fillers, apprehensions still linger in some as to how effective and safe they are.
Here are the basics that you need to know about fillers and why they are not a thing to be afraid of anymore.

Why fillers need not be scary?

Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule naturally occurring in the body that largely makes up your skin bouncy and youthful. However, sadly, it diminishes with time and that leads to shriveling of fat tissue. Here comes the good news. As a water-holding gel, it has a special capacity of keeping 10,000 times its own weight in moisture.

Fillers are gel formulations of hyaluronic acid that help hydrate your skin tissue and plump it, filling fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved dermal fillers as agents for correcting moderate to severe facial wrinkles and nasolabial folds.

How well do they work?

The biggest plus with dermal fillers is that you do not have to go under the knife but just get injected with needles. Walk in and out the same day! Results are there for you to see immediately, right after the procedure.

You can sustain the good results for four to 12 months, based on the type of filler, health of the skin, the technique and the area that is injected. The more sittings you have, the longer lasting would be the results.

Post-treatment care

Chances are that you might experience some bruising, redness, pain and swelling after treatment, and they are common in any cosmetic procedure. However, most of the side effects are short term in nature and usually go off in less than two weeks.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s post procedure advice strictly. Make sure you seek immediate medical attention if you experience any abnormal symptoms like changes in the skin or unusual pain, shortly after the procedure.

Consult with an experienced aesthetic medical practitioner to find out if the procedure is right for you, and whether a particular dermal filler is appropriate for you. Learn about possible risks and limitations before going for the treatment. Keep your doctor informed of any allergies that you might have had.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Managing your Oily Skin

You have heard all about different types of skin. Let us see what type is yours. Are you feeling greasy on your face a few hours after washing? Are you sensing a buildup of oil in your ‘T-zone’ (forehead-nose-chin area) between noon and 5 pm? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you can be sure yours is oily skin.

Technically, oil on your face is called sebum. Oily skin is more prone to develop blackheads, pimples and other blemishes. You may also develop enlarged pores.

Hormonal imbalances or puberty might make your oil glands go on an overdrive. Anxiety, heat or excessive humidity could be other factors that lead to increased production of sebum. Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines to manage effectively your oily skin.

Use the right cleanser

Clean your face with a gentle cleanser or mild soap morning and night but not more than twice a day. You may also wash it after you have sweated profusely. Use warm water so as not to irritate your skin. Do not scrub hard with a washcloth or buf-puf; you would only stimulate more oil production through harsh scrubbing.

Try products that include acids such as benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Though they are typically sold as acne care products, they work well for those with oily skin only.

Look for the correct makeup

Preparing an oily skin is the first step to controlling oil. Go for an oil-free primer.

Choose oil-free products that last longer. Those that fit the bill are lightweight, creamy foundations that offer full matte coverage and do not budge the entire day. They let your skin breathe all day long.

Makeup solutions that come with the ingredient salicylic acid work well as oil absorbents. As for foundation, look for one that can be applied both wet and dry for a smooth and velvety finish. If they come with skin nourishing vitamins A and E, you cannot ask for more.

Look for noncomedogenic skin care and beauty products that would not clog pores. Toners may be used only on the oily areas of the skin, not rendering other parts of your facial skin patchy.

Some people with oily skin may not need a moisturizer for regular use, but sunscreen is still necessary to reduce exposure to UV rays. Do your study in the store, check product information and go for oil-free sunscreen.

Say ‘yes’ to good fats

Having oily skin does not mean you should totally shun fats. Fish oil high in omega 3 fatty acids is in fact good for acne-prone oily skin, as it comes with anti-inflammatory properties.

Go easy on healthy diet choices like salmon and mackerel, flaxseeds and walnuts that give you valuable amounts of omega 3 fats. Load up your plate with colorful veggies and fruits for a good supply of skin-friendly vitamins A and C.

Bid farewell to too many products

Using too many beauty products at a time is more damaging than what a few do. Before you zero in on the right product that works fine for your skin, explore options with patience. It is always best to buy a product in small quantity, and try it to see how well your skin reacts.

Hands off

Oily skin is a good cause for acne breakout. You would be most tempted to pick or pinch in a bid to get rid of acne quickly. It is however a bad practice; you would do more harm than good as your hands may harbor bacteria, leading to a more severe breakout. So, hands off your face!

Go easy on home remedies

Do not get carried away with easy-to-follow home fixes suggested by friends and family. You would be more inclined to pick up products from your pantry to keep skin dry. Excessive cleansing, scrubbing, or exfoliating can only damage your skin cells, leading to secretion of more oil. Doing less is just perfect.

Consult a medical aesthetic practitioner in time

If you think you have reached the dead end of all home remedies, and are full of misgivings with no clear solution in sight, it is best to consult a certified medical aesthetic practitioner for recommendation on the right regimen for your skin care.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sun Damage to Your Skin: The Basics You Should Know

What is sun damage?

All of us love to bask in the warmth of the sun; however, excessive exposure can damage your skin in several ways. Its heat can deprive your skin of its natural lubricating oils; its harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to undesirable effects on your skin like wrinkly skin, freckles, premature aging and brown spots.

Exposure to UV rays of the sun is the major contributory factor to premature aging of your skin. If you are fair skinned with light colored eyes, you are at greater risk of developing sun-related skin damage and eventually even skin cancer.

Types of sun damage

Uneven pigmentation: When you run the risk of too much exposure to the sun, your skin starts increased production of a pigment called melanin that makes your skin look dark or suntanned. This may sometimes cause an irregular pigmentation of the skin. Sunrays in some cases may stretch small blood vessels, giving your skin a reddish look.

Age spots: Flat spots, usually brown, black or gray in color, occur when skin pigmentation peaks. Varying in size, they usually crop up on areas most exposed to the sun like the face, hands, arms and upper back. These spots are most common in older adults. However, young people too may not be spared of this condition, when overexposed to the sun without protection.

Melasma: This is a brownish darkening of your facial skin, occurring especially on the forehead and cheeks. Exposure to sunlight precipitates this condition. It is called ‘mask of pregnancy’ as well, and is likely to develop when there is an increase in the production of estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones. It affects usually women who are dark-skinned, pregnant or those consuming oral contraceptives or undergoing hormone therapy.

Symptoms

The following are two commonest symptoms of sun damage.


  • Dry skin: On prolonged exposure to sunrays, your skin would lose natural oils, and appear dry and flaky. This could result in a more wrinkled appearance, making you look older than you actually are.
  • Sunburn: If you are experiencing mild sunburn, you may have pain and redness in the affected area. You would get painful blisters in a severe case; nausea and dizziness may perhaps be other discomforts that come along with it.

Prevention and treatment

Here are some easy-to-follow preventive methods to shield your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

  1. Your lying on the beach is not the only occasion when harmful rays of the sun play the bad boy; staying outdoors under the sun for longer than 15 minutes too could be equally damaging to your skin. Make sure to dab on a thick layer of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. If you are using a moisturizer, make it do double duty, along with sunscreen guard. Reapply it liberally at least every two hours as long as you stay outdoors.
  2. If you are going for a swim in the hot day, waterproof sunscreen is the best bet as a protective measure.
  3. Pick up a wide-brimmed (no less than a 2–3 inch) hat of a tightly woven fabric such as canvas to shield the skin on your face, neck and ears.
  4. Wear clothing made of tightly woven materials in dark shades.
  5. Keep an eye on the clock. Harmful UV rays of the sun are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. If you plan to go out during these hours, stay in shade, or wear a hat or use sunscreen.
  6. Guard your eyes, as they are the first to show off your age. Pick sunglasses with wider lenses to block out sunrays better and protect the delicate skin around your eyes.

In case of mild sunburn, you could try the following home remedies to relieve you of the discomfort.

  1. Apply aloe vera gel to soothe the burn.
  2. Soak a washcloth in cool water and apply it as a cool compress several times through the day. Add to the water baking soda as a soothing ingredient.
  3. Replenish your dehydrated system with water and other liquids for your burn to heal faster.

If there is no reprieve from these simple home fixes, it is best to seek the expert assistance of a qualified and reputed aesthetic medical practitioner.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Why is Botox the Popular Choice of Millennials?

Botox, the most popular cosmetic treatment is no longer for Baby Boomers only. It is the top anti-aging treatment preferred by Millennials too; they do not want to undergo invasive surgeries to look wrinkle free. No surprises there for a generation that is in constant love with ‘selfies’; they consider compliments on social media looks (with Botox) to be ‘present perfect’ and ‘future beautiful’.

What is Botox?


Botox is a drug manufactured from neurotoxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Clinically, it has been in use since the 1970s. It is used to treat all kinds of spasmodic muscular conditions from facial spasms to cerebral palsy and severe underarm sweating.

A very reliable formula and approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Botox Cosmetic is used to smoothen out moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows, lines on the forehead, laugh lines and crow’s feet (lines around eyes). After it got the government nod in April 2002, it is now the 15th anniversary to Botox!

How does it work?

Botox when injected into muscles blocks temporarily signals from the nerves to muscles to contract. This in turn eases off the wrinkles.

Your aesthetic medical practitioner would numb the area with a topical anesthetic cream or cold pack 10-20 minutes before injecting the cosmetic. You would experience minimal pain, as the needles used in Botox injections are very small.

Your doctor would take as little as 10-15 minutes to administer. The Botox effect would last for three to six months. Results vary on individuals based on age, extent of wrinkling and muscle strength.

Minimal side effects would include pain at the injection site, inflammation and redness. Good news is there is no downtime.  Make sure to report to your doctor any side effects that do not wear off or if you experience dizziness.

It is necessary that you carefully follow all the pre- and post-Botox instructions given by your doctor. The effect would take 2-4 days to show up, and in some cases up to a week. Be patient, no need to panic.

Reasons to start Botox younger

When the Millennials are hooked on to everything fast in their lives from food through machines to life, it is no big deal for them to go under the Botox needles as early as twenties or thirties. Younger people opt for Botox, when they are not inclined to go through aesthetic correctional surgeries but still want to carry on the youthful look.

Some others go for Botox, after experiencing disappointing outcomes of minimally invasive treatments. Botox either prevents or at least delays more invasive beauty treatments for those who have undergone the procedure early on. Doesn’t one age fabulously then with Botox?

Botox is sometimes associated with a frozen facial look. However, some devotees of the product say starting Botox younger could prevent that plastic expression down the road.

For some others, Botox could be just another procedure in their beauty regimen to look super gorgeous. When gallons of water, designer diets, hours of beauty sleep and regular skin care fail to work up a super magic, younger women may perhaps go for it.

A word of caution: it is essential that you get the Botox done by a qualified aesthetic medical practitioner to avoid serious side effects.

Did you know? Botox is not a product exclusively for women. Men too have joined the bandwagon, making up 10 percent of users of Botox that is termed, ‘Brotox’ for them.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Acne : Causes you wouldn’t have Considered Seriously

Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, has been, since ages, a part of skin woes. It is a part of growing up among teens, but adults too can experience the annoying condition. Though myths abound that one should let acne take its own course of healing, dermatologists advice that it is not always the best way out. If you do not treat acne, dark spots and a blotchy skin would be the unwelcome after effect, once it clears.

Possible causes of acne

You are not alone in having acne. 40-50 million Americans suffer from it at some point in their life. Young adult men and women get it. Some women in their middle age too put up with it.

Many of us think that acne is just pimple. Blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules and cysts also come under acne. It can appear on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, nose or upper arms.

Acne occurs when a pore in your skin is clogged. This clog can occur from dead skin cells that rise to the surface of the pore. When your body produces a lot of sebum (oil) to keep your skin from drying out, the dead skin cells stick together and are trapped inside the pore.

Not all is lost when you get it. Here, we will run you through some common causes of acne that you can easily watch out for. Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to acne treatment, rest assured you could control it.

Skin care products with clogging ingredients

A known cause of acne breakout is lanolin, a greasy ingredient found in many face creams designed to moisturize skin.

Oil-based creams and moisturizers clog pores. To avoid acne, watch out for cosmetic ingredients like algae extract, cocoa butter, coconut oil, mink oil and wheat germ oil.

Go in for a water-based moisturizer/cream instead. Some concealers now contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to fight acne. Make it a habit to remove makeup regularly.

Excessive use of spot treatments

Won’t it be a real assault on your skin if you are going to try too many spot treatments at a time? Miracles do not happen overnight. Give a purge period of at least six to eight weeks for any product to work on your skin. Keep a note of which product works for you.

Scrubbing skin too hard

Are you using face scrubs frequently to keep your skin dry? Contrary to what you think, excessive exfoliating could strip your skin of its natural oils. Your skin may go on an overdrive, producing more oil when it is dry.

Picking at your pimples

Keep your hands off! Picking at your pimples is the quickest way to push bacteria and oil further into the skin. Popping causes swelling and scars that would become another concern. Consult with a certified aesthetic medical practitioner if acne scars are worrying you.

Eating ‘unhealthy’

Takeaways and processed foods loaded with high levels of fat, refined sugar, and artificial preservatives could possibly lead to acne breakout.

Go natural. Try adding salmon or tuna, chia seeds, almonds and complex carbs like brown rice, barley and quinoa to keep your skin blemish-free. Load up your plate with deep colored veggies and fruits for a good supply of vitamin A and C.

Bottling up stress

Is your final test round the corner? Are you worried about your new relationship, or any other? Such anxieties cause an imbalance in your hormone levels; that is reason enough for your skin to break into acne.

Keep cool. Find ways to relax your nerves: yoga, swimming, gardening, salsa or walking; anything that lightens you up would serve the purpose.

Acne myths

Myth 1: Eating chocolate causes acne.

Fact:  The culprit is not the chocolate but the sugar and dairy in it. Be sure to pick up dark chocolate with cocoa content 70 percent or higher.

Myth 2: Only teens suffer from acne.

Fact: Dermatological studies have revealed that 20-49-year old women reported having acne. Blame it on the hormonal surge a woman experiences during first period and perimenopause.

Myth 3: Make up worsens acne.

Fact: Powder-based mineral foundations with ingredients like silica, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide absorb oil and keep your pores clog-free.

Myth 4: Use of moisturizers worsens acne.

Fact: If you apply a lightweight moisturizer every day, your skin will stop producing oil.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Restore Lost Volume in Your Hands with Radiesse

We live in times when everyone talks about aging gracefully with an appropriate diet schedule and moderate exercise routine. Whatever said and done, hands often give away the age of a woman, next to gray hair and facial wrinkles. When you are on an aesthetic regimen to look good and feel young, the next logical step for you to work on would be your hands.

You begin to lose fat naturally in your hands as you age, making your veins and bones jut out. Would you like to put out your thin, wrinkled hands giving off your age? Absolutely not! You can turn back the hands of time with Radiesse and be a classic example of Audrey Hepburn’s quote, “And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”

What is Radiesse?

Radiesse is opaque dermal filler composed of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite (a component of medical products for many years) microspheres suspended in a water-based gel carrier. It is injected below the surface of the skin and used to restore volume loss in the back of your hands; it smoothens out visible veins and tendons.

Why Radiesse?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved as clinically proven, safe and effective this sub-dermal gel implant for hand augmentation.

Radiesse is the first and the only injectable named by the FDA for hand rejuvenation with minimal side effects. It requires typically 1-2 injections to get those amazing results. It is painless; there is no downtime and the results are instant for you to see.

The Radiesse difference

Once injected, Radiesse replenishes lost volume right away and continues to work by stimulating your body to produce its own collagen. The gel gets absorbed leaving behind natural collagen, making your hands look soft and smooth the way you would love to. The outcome lasts for a year or even more.

Talk to your doctor before the procedure

Discuss with your aesthetic medical practitioner if Radiesse is the right option for you. Once agreed upon, keep your doctor in the know of any blood thinners or medicines that you might be taking, and any injuries or disabilities of your hand or any skin treatments undergone.

Common risks

You may experience mild to moderate injection-related reactions such as swelling, redness, pain and bruising that could last a week; rest assured that they require no treatment.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use Radiesse. If you have a history of allergies or bleeding disorders, you should not opt for Radiesse. The risk for infection is there as it is common for all procedures involving a shot through the skin. Do not go in for the procedure if you have an infection that has not healed yet.

You may experience slight difficulty in performing everyday tasks soon after the procedure, and that too will ease off soon. Formation of lumps in the back of the hand may be common. You may have to stay away from strenuous activity with your hands until the bumps disappear. Make sure you do not expose the treated hand to excessive sun or heat for about 24 hours post treatment.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

How to Care for Your Skin Everyday

You ARE that enviable person gifted with a clean and clear skin for which everyone adores you. For those compliments to keep coming in frequently, you feel it is necessary to rely upon skincare applications in little doses every day.

The popular and easy practice is to pick store-bought beauty products. Maybe you are unaware that the commercially produced ‘beauty products’ could be packed with artificial preservatives, colors and fragrances that might harm your skin with passage of time.

It is best for you to get started with skin care right from your home, relying upon the easily doable and the just about inexpensive, instead of spending a fortune on popular brands.

Basic products make a huge difference

Beauty care cost need not be heavy on your wallet, contrary to common perception. Say ‘yes’ to a simple skincare routine at home every day; you can pick up from your refrigerator or pantry natural products readily available. Coupled with a little extra care, you can watch your skin transform from dull to a radiant glow.

Go Natural

Stay close to nature and pick unprocessed ingredients for natural skincare. When you ensure that they are on your regular shopping list, natural products never fail you: their use keeps your skin glowing and the results are everlasting.

Not only do they beautify your skin but also they help absorb antioxidants and boost the UV resistance of your skin. Get ready to bask in the adulation that would soon come your way.

Honey, one of the treasures of nature can serve as an excellent facial cleanser that is not harsh on your skin. Aloe Vera is a natural wonder gel that can slow the aging of skin, lighten blemishes, treat sunburn and soothe irritation. You can use it as your daily skin moisturizer. Hurrah! No side effects! What more could you ask for?

Exfoliate with a body scrub

You can use a sea salt honey scrub or sugar scrub to unclog pores and to boost cell renewal. It removes dead cells, leaving your skin dewy soft.

Shield your skin from the sun

Spending a day at the beach? Or travelling outdoors when the sun’s rays are most intense? Use a sun block to cover up. Wear hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven materials (like canvas rather than straw) that absorb ultraviolet light better than cotton fabrics in lighter colors.

Taking a dip in the pool? Make sure to apply a thick layer of waterproof sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. You may have to dab it on 20-30 minutes before exposure for your skin to absorb it.

Get your beauty sleep

Have you noticed puffiness around your eyes or under eye circles? Well, blame it on that girls’ night out. You must get enough shut-eye – 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep for your skin to repair and recover by itself. While you snooze, your skin makes new collagen, which plumps up your skin and makes it wrinkle free.

Drink enough water

Drink enough water to keep your skin soft and supple. Water hydrates your skin naturally and enhances its elasticity. The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines is slowed down and you will not look your age.

Eat fruits and veggies

Eat well to look good. Make fresh fruits and veggies a part of your daily diet to work on your skin, inside and out.

Water-dense watermelon helps keep your skin baby soft. Eat vitamin C-rich Kiwi to help produce collagen that makes your skin taut, keeping fine lines at bay. Consume peach to moisturize your skin. Apple ensures you do not age faster and lends a glow from within.

Spinach flushes out toxins, leaving your skin bright. Carrot fights wrinkles. Regular intake of carrot juice helps get rid of skin blemishes. Know what the humble tomato could do to your skin? It has anti-aging properties, tightens pores and prevents acne.

If the DIY measures do not work to fix serious or age-related skin problems, consult with a qualified expert aesthetic medical practitioner.