Skin Care and Med Spa


Age Spots and Wrinkles and Sagging OH MY!

Imagine a more youthful-looking you…

Both the pleasures and stress of life along with the simple passage of time tend to cause our skin to appear older. And the signs of aging and sun-damage are typically most visible on our face. While numerous treatments from simple creams to major surgeries exist to improve various facial flaws, skin specialists have always sought dramatic improvement with low risk and no downtime. In this article of Skin Care and Med Spa, I will look into this with you in better detail.


Skin CareAs a baby boomer over fifty, I have normal concerns on lines, wrinkles, and aging in general. Today, there are so many products and procedures out there to fight the aging process This week we will look at the procedures of the medical spa that will enhance our appearance. In addition, we will look to answer what attributes make us look old.

This issue is of particular concern to me, because I grew up in Long Island, New York, where I spent a great deal of time out at the beach. When we wanted to go swimming, we would go to the nearby Sunken Meadows Beach where we enjoyed the calm water of the Long Island Sound, or if we were up to driving a little further to the Atlantic Ocean, we would enjoy Robert Moses Causeway State Park or Jones Beach.

Like many teenagers, I spent hours in the sun getting a tan. Of course, being of Scottish-Irish and Polish background, I would generally burn the first day and then I would begin to tan. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, many of us made matters worse, by lying on metallic silver blankets, using facial reflectors and using baby oil with iodine to give us a faster tan. Yes, we were on the fast track to skin cancer and aging. Fortunately, my mother had us using moisturizers since we were ten. If she didn’t, I would hate to see my face now. Despite this, I have had my share of damaged skin, including skin cancer on my forehead.

For many women, wrinkles and fine lines are the banes of their lives. Looking into the mirror and seeing a face filled with wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines can be very disheartening, but it’s all a part of growing old, right?

Well, yes and no. Of course, our skin will age as we grow older, but in this day and age, we can take steps to reduce the appearance of aging and facial wrinkles. Today, advances in knowledge and technology have made it easier to delay the signs of aging and deal with skin that already looks aged.

Dark Spots

From all of those tanning years, I developed hyperpigmentation. These are dark spots on my face, hands and décolleté. In addition, some of these spots were becoming unsightly and elevated. So several years ago, I decided to invest in my appearance. I started out with facials, numerous types of chemical peels and moved on to microdermabrasion and finally foto facials. Like most women, I have tried many products for skin lighting, use a daily moisturizer and sunscreen, and have tried practically every brand of skincare products and wrinkle erasers. So which are the best? Which are right for you?

No doubt, there are so many products and procedures out there to fight the aging process. Prevention, of course, is the best thing that you can do. As always, it is best not to ignore the precautions and then hope for a quick fix. Even if you get a quick fix, you will need to do your part if you want to maintain the results.

Med SpaFace and Skin

Skin Care Basics

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Did you know that skin actually breathes and is home to billions of bacteria? Skin also contains enzymes that help break down and eliminate dead skin cells. Most importantly, the skin acts as the first level of defense for the body, protecting our flesh and organs.

Skin CareThe body uses a series of layers to build skin, with the top layer being fully developed skin cells called the epidermis. All of these cells begin at the basal level, where they form keratinocytes out of fat and keratins which are proteins. These new epidermal skin cells rise, replacing older dead and dying cells. Below the basal level is the dermis, home to sweat glands and hair follicles. This layer also contains the vitally important blood vessels that transport nutrients, lipids, moisture and oxygen needed to keep skin healthy.

As we age, skin cells divide more slowly, and the inner skin (or dermis), starts to thin. Fat cells beneath the dermis begin to atrophy, and the underlying network of elastin and collagen fibers loosen and ravel. Since they provide “scaffolding” for the surface layers, the skin begins to visibly lose its elasticity. When pressed, it no longer springs back.

The skin’s ability to retain moisture also decreases as the sweat and oil-secreting glands become less productive. Skin becomes drier and is slower in repairing itself.

Facial expressions–or dynamic motion–also cause permanent creases over time. Frown lines (those between the eyebrows) and crow’s feet (lines that radiate from the corners of the eyes) develop because of repeated small muscle contractions and habitual facial expressions form characteristic lines.

The degree of wrinkling depends on your genetic makeup, but smoking, dry skin and sun exposure (especially sunburns) make it worse. In fact, exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging. And most of the photoaging effects occur by age 20, even though it may take years to see it.

To slow down the process of aging you need to understand how wrinkles and lines form. Wrinkles are a sign of accumulated skin damage. Despite what most people have been told, wrinkles simply are not caused by dry skin. However, damaged skin cells do lose their moisture easily and quickly will begin to die. These dying cells soon pile up and damage new emerging cells. Eventually, these damaged cells create a domino effect, by which dehydrated or deflated cells become visible wrinkles. Dehydration does not cause damage; damage causes dehydration

Face and Skin

An Ounce of Prevention – Anti Aging

Whether you have yet to see the first signs of aging in your skin, or you have already received medically supervised age reversal treatments to reestablish the skin of your pristine youth, prevention is the best way to achieve and maintain youthful skin.

Top five ways to avoid skin damage

There are many things we do on a regular basis that accelerates the damage to our skin. Here are the top five things that will damage your skin and how you can easily make a few changes to slow done the aging process:

1. The sun is one of the most dangerous environmental hazards when it comes to harming your skin. Not only can regular, unprotected sun exposure result in premature and severe wrinkling and cracking of the skin, but it can also lead to more serious conditions such as skin cancer. Protect your skin. Never go out into the sun without either an SPF moisturizer or a sunscreen on. If you are planning to spend hours out in the sun, then go for a suitable sunscreen; the higher the SPF, sun protection factor, the better. For everyday use, where you are simply traveling to and from work, you can opt for a moisturizer that incorporates UV protection. I like Jane Iredale Amazing Base Loose minerals which have an SPF of 20 in each layer. Anti AgingRecently, I switched to Eminence Organic Skin Care Sun Protection Makeup SPF 30. I switched because I like the convenience of the self-contained brushing dispenser. If you already have a favorite liquid foundation, then try Dermalogica’s Solar Defense Booster, you can add a few drops to moisturizer or foundation and it will provide you with an SPF of 30. These are simple to use and are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. If you are going to be out in the sun longer because you are involved in a sport or out in the water, then Skinceuticals Sport UV Defense SPF 45 is one of the most effective and it is waterproof. In the area of UV protection, an increased understanding of the role of UVA rays in both cancer and skin aging has led to a stronger emphasis on “broad spectrum” coverage that protects against UVA and UVB rays, as well as the introduction of improved UVA filters. In addition, recent research by Proctor and Gamble beauty scientists indicates that the most effective is an antioxidant sunscreen moisturizer combination.

2. Smoking is a major culprit when it comes to the premature onset of wrinkles, and cigarettes can result in deep wrinkling of the skin. Avoid smoking cigarettes, as they rob the skin of oxygen. By quitting smoking or never starting, you will be doing your skin a big favor when it comes to alleviating the worry of wrinkles.

3. Diet is also another important factor, and by eating the right foods (those packed with minerals and vitamins) and avoiding the wrong foods (fatty, rich foods) you can help to keep your body and your skin nourished and replenished. Most importantly, you must drink plenty of water to keep your body and your skin hydrated. Try and avoid excessive alcohol as this actually dries the skin out and will leave you and your skin looking and feeling dehydrated. Eat less meat. Eating meat causes bacteria to grow and die in sweat glands. Avoid carbonated beverages, since they also deplete the body of vital oxygen

4. Avoid swimming in chlorinated or chemically treated water. In addition, chlorine in drinking water damages skin cells.

5. Stress can also play a big part in the condition of your skin, and you can often find those in high-powered jobs suffering from premature wrinkling and aging because of the stress levels often involved in their work. Enjoy some relaxation. Whatever type of job you do or however busy your life is, it is essential to get a decent night’s sleep and time out to relax your body and your mind. Again, this is connected to your skin reflecting the way you feel inside. If you are feeling tired and stressed all the time, your skin will reflect this, and it won’t be long before the lines and facial wrinkles start to appear. Take time out for yourself each day to relax and spend time focusing on yourself.

Face and Skin

An Ounce of Prevention – Healthy Skin

Top Five Regimens for Healthier Skin

1. Cleanse: before using any cream or serum, a 100-percent clean facial surface is needed. Start with purified water and a non-greasy, non-soap cleanser. To avoid skin sensitivity, make sure the cleanser is pH-balanced. Cosmetics, pollution, smoke, food and acids all contribute to the residue that clogs pores, causes acne and, Healthy Skinmost importantly, damages skin cells. The ideal cleanser will penetrate, lift and remove 100 percent of these impurities. Unfortunately, many cleansers actually contribute to the residue by containing wax, soap, oil or harsh chemicals that remove too much sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that lies between the cells to hold in moisture. Hylunia makes several fabulous cleansers, and one will be perfect for your skin. Four months ago I began using the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush System, Clarisonic® gently cleanses, sweeping away impurities and clearing pores to promote healthier skin. Clarisonic is remarkably gentle for all skin types, including skin affected by complicated conditions. Clarisonic® cleans your skin so effectively that it actually prepares the skin to better absorb skincare products, and it creates the perfect canvas for makeup. Finally, your serums and moisturizers have the chance to work the way they should, and your makeup goes on smooth and even.

2. Exfoliate: It is important to exfoliate using antioxidant-rich and only mildly abrasive ingredients. Exfoliating removes the dead cells that accumulate and thicken the skin. These piled-up cells can smother the underlying epidermis, giving wrinkles a more pronounced look. Recommend to your clients that they exfoliate no more than one to two times per week to minimize over-stimulation, which can contribute to skin sensitivity.

The epidermis layers are between 35 micrometers to 50 micrometers thick (one micrometer = one-thousandth of a millimeter), except on feet and palms, where accumulated dead skin creates calluses, which are much thicker. By removing the outer layers or callused parts of the skin, new skin cells are allowed to form undamaged, breathe out toxins, absorb moisture and radiate the skin’s natural beauty. Exfoliation unclogs pores, refining the skin’s texture, tone, and color. Utilizing a mask or peel is another non-abrasive method of removing dead skin cells.

3. Masks and Peels: Masks and peels are non-abrasive and employ either acids or enzymes, which separate and remove the outer layer of the skin. This guarantees that an even layer of skin is removed. These treatments create a more oxygenated surface by increasing circulation, which brightens the complexion. They also cleanse deeply into the pores, removing embedded grime, dirt and residue from makeup, pollution, cleansers, and lotions. These mask and peel processes also allow cutting-edge creams and serums to work more effectively.

4. Creams and Serums: Hyaluronic acid (HA) quickly is becoming recognized as the most effective moisturizer ever. HA is a chemical the body produces to draw moisture into its cells. It helps lubricate joints and ligaments and, more importantly, it helps skin cells remain plump, supple and hydrated. When skin cells are damaged, HA easily leaches out of the skin and the cells quickly become dehydrated. These dehydrated cells look depressed or deflated, like a balloon with too little air.

The HA used in skincare products comes in two forms: injectable, like Restylane®, and topical creams. There also are two sources of HA—animal, and vegetable. Studies show these work equally well to hydrate and restore skin cells to their normal size. HA also is unique because it only affects the cells that are HA-deficient and need to be hydrated; this is how it lifts and repairs the depressed regions, effectively smoothing out the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

For best results, choose a high-potency serum that contains a wide variety of vitamin C esters, both water- and fat-soluble. Each type of vitamin C performs a slightly different function, so using only ascorbic acid or ascorbyl palmitate creams will not have the same effect.

5. Herbs and Foods: A wide variety of herbs are purported to contribute to skin health. Cherries, blueberries, pomegranate, and dark-pigmented fruits contain bioflavonoids and antioxidants important to skin health. Aloe vera juice has been shown to increase basal carotenocyte (skin cell reproduction) activity by up to 400 percent and also contains polysaccharides that are beneficial to the skin.

Green foods such as wheatgrass and spirulina detoxify, oxygenate and renew skin cells. Bamboo shoots and the herb horsetail contain abundant silica that helps build hair, skin, and nails. Ho Shou Wu, a Chinese herb, has been used for centuries to restore youthful skin. Also try chamomile, valerian and melatonin to help relax nerves and contribute to healthy sleep patterns, as stress and lack of sleep contribute to dull and unhealthy-looking skin.

Face and Skin

What is a Medical Spa?

Medical spas are locations that can offer everything from facials and hair removal to pharmaceutical injections and other medical procedures. Medical spas may be located in a physician’s office, or in non-traditional locations such as shopping malls, storefronts and beauty salons.

There are many excellent and convenient Medical spas that offer safe, physician-supervised treatments. However, for those providing treatments outside of the physician’s office, there are no national standards for medical spas, no recognized definition of what constitutes a medical spa, and no oversight organizations that provide the information you need to make an informed, safe choice for your medical spas experience. You may want to check with your State Board of Cosmetology and/or your State Medical Board to see the regulations in your state.

It is important that you do your homework as you should on anything that can affect not only your appearance but your health and safety as well. We suggest obtaining the following information: Here are some guidelines and questions that have been put together by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), so please keep that in mind as you review them.

About the facility:

  • Is the Medical spa located within a physician’s office?
  • While problems are infrequent, physician’s offices generally have medical personnel available if a problem develops.
  • Is the Medical spa located outside of a doctor’s office in, for example, a mall or salon?
  • If so, ask the name of the physician responsible for oversight and when they are available for consultation or questions before having any injectable, deep peel or laser treatment. Also, ask about the training of any other medical personnel. This is vital to protect your health and ensure an optimal outcome. These are generally safe procedures with minimal recovery but do have real risks.

About medical supervision and personnel training:

Does your medical spa have a physician who can help in determining your goals, provide a treatment plan and direct your care?

What are the credentials of the physician supervising your treatment in the medical spa?

BotoxInjectables (such as Botox and tissue fillers), skin treatments (such as laser, intense pulsed light, and radiofrequency) and deep peels should be under the supervision of board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists. Ask to see these credentials. Doctors in other specialties, designating themselves as “cosmetic medicine physicians” may lack the comprehensive training that is needed for administering drugs and treatments to the deeper levels of the skin and lack the experience necessary to achieve optimal aesthetic results or to manage potential complications. Just as you wouldn’t see an allergist if you were having a baby, it’s in your best interest to see a physician who specializes in plastic surgery and dermatologic care when seeking cosmetic medical procedures.

Who is performing the injection?

Depending on the state you’re in, injections and deep peels may be performed by a nurse, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner. However, never allow a non-medical, unlicensed person to perform a medical procedure and be sure that the procedure is supervised by a physician board-certified in plastic surgery or dermatology. Your health and safety depend on it.

About efficacy and risk of procedures and realistic expectations:

How effective are facial injectables and what is the right product for me?

Injectables are generally very safe and effective treatments. There is a wide range of products on the market that are FDA approved and provide good outcomes. However, be sure to ask your provider the following questions:

Is the product FDA approved? Is it approved for this use?

If your provider is reluctant or does not directly answer this question, don’t proceed with the treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the manufacturer’s label for any injectable product.

Can a medication, filler, or a device be used for a purpose different from which the FDA originally approved it?

In the United States, FDA regulations do not prohibit physicians from prescribing approved medications, fillers and devices other than their original intended indications.

Good medical practice and the best interests of the patient require that physicians use legally available drugs, biologics, and devices according to their best knowledge and judgment.

If physicians use a product for an indication, not in the approved labeling, they have the responsibility to be well informed about the product, to base its use on firm scientific rationale and on sound medical evidence, to fully inform the patient that it is being used “off-label” and to maintain records of the product’s use and effects.

Will injections last and prevent the need for a facelift in the future?

In most cases, injectables are temporary solutions and will not give the long-lasting outcome of a surgical procedure.

Have you been fully informed of the possible benefits and side effects of the proposed treatment and have you been apprised of possible options?

Have all of your questions been answered and are you are fully aware of the risk and rewards of the procedure?

All medical procedures, whether they are injections or surgery carry some risk. If you are not fully informed of all risks and requirements for aftercare, find another provider.

These procedures should never be performed in someone’s home, hotel room, or at a party. This is not only unethical and legally risky for the injector but unsafe and potentially dangerous for you.

Take control of your own treatment options:

What do you expect from your medical procedure?

Discuss your expectations with your provider. If you are promised unqualified, 100 percent success it is probably best not to proceed.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Take the procedure seriously

Surgical deep peels and injectables like soft fillers and Botox are not the same as getting facials or other superficial beauty regimens. Make sure you have done your homework on the treatment you seek and be aware that these are medical procedures.

Base your decision on the best treatment option and not on price

Medical care of any kind is not a commodity. Be sure you have based your decision on the credentials and experience of the practitioner, not on price.

Have you asked to see before and after pictures?

They can be very helpful in determining with your provider the right treatment for you.

What if I’m unhappy with the result?

A qualified practitioner can provide you with appropriate revisional or after-care. Make sure you ask this question before the injection or treatment.

Have you been told who holds financial responsibility for any revisions or if complications arise?

Medical Spa Treatment

Face and Skin

What facial factors show your age? 

Wrinkles and fine lines have long been the focus of age-targeted interventions, but advanced technology has brought forth new measures that give a full picture of how age is perceived. By understanding these, you can have the ability to select treatments targeting these various factors. Beauty researchers established the degree to which skin tone affects perception of age, healthiness, and youth.

Anti AgingResearchers (Matts, Fink, and Grammar) isolated the role that skin tone plays in the perception of age. Digital facial images were taken using a custom high-resolution digital imaging system and cross-polarized lighting was introduced to eliminate skin surface texture. 3-D facial forms were created and shown to 430 people who were asked to estimate the biological age (ranging from 10 to 60 years of age) and rate each image according to 15 attributes to assess perceived attractiveness, health, and apparent skin condition

• 3-D forms with more homogeneous skin were rated as younger, healthier and more attractive as compared to those with less homogeneous skin tone.

• Estimated biological age ranged from 17 to 37 years, demonstrating that uneven skin tone alone can account for up to 20 years of age perception, independent of facial form and topography.

• Melanin concentration and distribution played a major role in the perception of age. Strategies to improve aging skin should address color distribution in addition to other features.

Based on this, when you meet to discuss your anti-aging skincare needs, you will want to address the overall concerns of aging in order to ensure that you will be satisfied with the results. Many will focus on the lines and wrinkles and feel that if those are taken care of they will look younger. However, as these studies indicate it is equally important to address the skin tine, evenness of skin color and pore size. This doesn’t mean that you have to medically address these concerns, the Clarisonic can assist in skin tone improvements and airbrushing makeup can easily camouflage uneven skin color.

The importance of even skin tone

In the age-old quest to retain youthful beauty, reducing wrinkles and fine lines has often overshadowed maintaining even-toned skin. But a glance at art across cultures and centuries shows that luminous, even skin tone is considered ideal. From the palest white powders used by Japanese courtesans to the bronzers applied by women of today looking for even, sun-kissed color without the risk of tanning – changing skin tone to enhance beauty has been an ongoing interest of women for hundreds of years. In recent years, medical science has offered pharmacological tools to help with pigmentation changes due to natural aging, photodamage or skin conditions, and many of these tools and understandings are now being reapplied to the world of cosmetics. Still, the connection between skin tone, skin health, and perception of age is only beginning to be illuminated.

Anti-aging – Fine Lines & Wrinkles

The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is one of the most common signs of aging in people around the world. Yet, regardless of when wrinkles are first noticed, they are an unwelcome indicator of age, especially for women who are leading more active lives and are looking for ways to look and feel their best. Increased life expectancy has changed the concept of aging and, in turn, propelled anti-aging research that has led to a multitude of topical applications. Skin science is advancing at an exponential pace, yet profound gaps remain in patients’ understanding of the biological mechanisms of the skin and the research supporting interventions that can help to preserve supple, smooth, youthful skin and nourish, replenish and renew aging skin.

Face and Skin

Primary Facial Concerns

In a Harris Poll, women express the most concern about wrinkles and sagging skin. This chart indicates the percentage of woman who had indicated a concern in that area:

Facial Aging

Reasons why Woman Would Have Injectable Medical Spa Procedures

More than three quarters of women (78%) felt they would have a facial injectable treatment in order to look better. Half also said they would do so to feel younger (52%) and to be more confident (51%).

Feeling Young

Face and Skin

Top 5 Nonsurgical Skin Treatments for Women

Maybe you’re a boomer gal who’s not yet ready for surgery, but definitely starting to panic about the aging process. Or maybe you’re a young woman — in your late 20s or 30s — looking to preserve your good looks as long as possible.

Either way, you may be a candidate for one of the biggest booms in self-improvement — skin treatments designed to update your looks without the drama, downtime, or cost of operation. From wrinkle injections to laser resurfacing, to the muscle-relaxing effects of Botox, experts say, a world of easy and affordable options awaits you.

Old standbys that treat skin by removing its outer layer remain popular, even as cosmetic doctors experiment with new devices. Chemical peels are the second-most-popular cosmetic procedure, with a total of 1 million procedures last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Among all cosmetic treatments, that’s topped only by Botox injections, at 4.1 million. Microdermabrasion – using a gentle sanding device to rub off the outer layer of the skin comes in as the fourth most popular cosmetic procedure, with 817,000 last year. In the overall popularity of cosmetic procedures, it’s just behind laser hair removal, at 887,000 last year, and ahead of dermal fillers, at 778,000.

At the same time, not every procedure is right for every woman or every problem, and you may need to combine procedures in order to achieve the desired result. To see a brief overview chart of injectable solutions procedures view the Injectables at a glance chart. Here are the top five nonsurgical skin treatments performed on a woman.

Skin Treatment No. 1: Botox

BotoxWhat It Is: Without question, the most popular wrinkle treatment — in fact, the most popular cosmetic procedure of any kind is Botox. This treatment consists of injections of tiny amounts of the botulinum A toxin directly into the muscle that lies below a wrinkle.

What it does: Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscle, allowing the wrinkle to relax so surface skin is smoother and younger-looking. “The toxin binds to the nerve endings and blocks the release of a chemical that would otherwise instruct the muscle to contract. This, in turn, causes the muscle to relax, creating a smooth surface where the wrinkle used to be,” says Rhoda Narins, MD, a dermatologist at New York University Medical Center. Narins says it’s best used for problems on the upper third of the face: “wrinkles in the brow, the ’11’ lines between the eyebrows, frown lines, and the typical crows’ feet around the eyes,” she says.

More recently, though, Botox has been used in conjunction with wrinkle fillers to increase the longevity of both treatments.

How Long It Takes: A treatment takes about 30 minutes.

Downtime: None, in most women

Cost: Each treatment costs between $300 and $500 dollars, with the effects lasting up to 6 months.

Negatives: If you’re looking for instant results, this may not be for you. It takes about a week to see a difference, and about 4 weeks to see the full effect.

Side Effects included droopy eyelid, headache, and nausea. There have also been reports of muscle weakness, localized pain, inflammation, tenderness, and swelling at the site of the injection.

Skin Treatment No. 2: Chemical Peels

Chemical PeelWhat It Is: No. 2 on the list of the top 5 treatments is the chemical peel. Chemical peels are a means to help improve the skin’s appearance. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves mild scarring and age spots, and gives skin a better texture. People with fair skin and light hair benefit most from chemical peels, in terms of smoother, younger-looking skin. Chemical peels also rejuvenate skin that is wrinkled, blemished or damaged from the sun. Two types of chemical solutions (Phenol and TCA) are used in a peel. These chemicals cause the top layers of skin to peel away, allowing new skin cells to form and produce smoother, younger-looking skin. Chemical peels typically require multiple procedures to achieve the desired results. Depending on your skin problems, you may need several mild or medium peels.

TCA peels are mostly used to treat fine surface wrinkles and superficial blemishes, with a recovery time of one week. Phenol peels treat fine or coarse wrinkles, blotchy skin coloring, and sun-damaged skin. Patients tend to take close to two weeks to recover and will experience a few days of swelling. This procedure uses various compounds to “peel” away damaged layers of skin and surface lines and wrinkles.

The chemical peel is used for softening wrinkles, and correcting pigmentation and other sun damage problems, as well as improving skin texture. It also works to tighten skin and erase acne scars.

Types of Peels: There are three types of chemical peels — superficial, medium and deep, depending upon the type of chemical used and duration of the treatment.

“The deeper the peel, the more extensive the renewal process, with medium and deep peels able to stimulate collagen renewal, so skin is firmer and there are fewer wrinkles,” says David Goldberg, MD, director of Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey.

How Long It Takes: The light or superficial peel is often called the “lunchtime peel” because it’s so quick and easy — taking about 30 minutes, with no recovery or downtime. It is often repeated for the best results. Medium peels take 30-60 minutes, require a 4- to 7-day recovery, and last about a year. A deep peel takes about 2 hours, requires sedation, and needs about 2 weeks of healing time. The results are permanent, though new wrinkles can form over time.

Cost: The cost runs from several hundred dollars to over $1,000.

Negatives: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, possible side effects of medium and deep peels include scarring. Deep peels can also cause a permanent change in skin color. Light peels may cause temporary redness. People with certain skin types have a risk of developing temporary or permanent skin color change. Certain factors can increase this risk: taking birth control pills, pregnancy, or family history of facial discoloration. There is also a low risk of scarring.

Recovery: Depending on the type of chemical peel, a reaction similar to sunburn occurs following the procedure. Peeling usually involves redness, followed by scaling that ends within three to seven days.

Medium-depth and deep peeling may result in swelling, as well as the presence of water blisters that may break, crust, turn brown, and peel off over a period of seven to 14 days.

Side Effects: Since new skin will grow following a peel, it is fragile and more vulnerable to complications. You will need to protect the new skin from overexposure to the sun. People with a history of cold sores may develop a severe outbreak, but medication can help prevent this. You may need to take an antibiotic or antiviral medication if your peel is medium or deep.

The effects of a series of chemical peels typically last six to 24 months for mild to medium-depth peels. The effects of deeper peels can be permanent.

Face and Skin

Top 5 Nonsurgical Skin Treatments for Women

Skin Treatment No. 3: Wrinkle Filler Injections

What It Is: In the No. 3 spot is what some call the medical equivalent of “spackle and putty” — the anti-aging solution known as “wrinkle injections.” Unlike Botox, which goes into the muscle, this treatment is an actual wrinkle filler. It basically fills out the wrinkle with one of several synthetic substances that plump the skin and erase the line.

Injectable fillers, including collagen and other substances, they can give your facial skin a plumper, smoother appearance. With age the skin’s tone and elasticity suffer and facial lines appear. Injectable fillers help smooth these facial imperfections as well as most types of scars.

Several types of fillers can be used in these injections, including bovine-derived collagen, bioengineered human collagen, synthetic filler material, and your own collagen (from another part of your body). Most are only temporary fixes since the body absorbs it over time. You will need routine injections to maintain a smooth appearance. For longer effects, it is possible to have your own body fat (from thighs or abdomen) surgically implanted, which can achieve more permanent results.

“Wrinkle fillers are among the quickest and easiest ways to instantly take years off your face — with startling results in under 30 minutes,” says Bruce Katz, MD, a dermatologist, and director of Juva Medi Spa in New York. Most often used on the lower portion of the face, Katz says fillers target nose-to-mouth lines, “marionette” lines around the mouth, and “smokers’ lines” on the upper lip, as well as being employed for lip plumping and cheek sculpting.

Types of Fillers: Several types of wrinkle filler injections are available. They include collagen (Zyplast, Zyderm), hyaluronic acid (Restalyne, Juvederm, Captique), beads of polylactic acid (Sculptura), calcium hydroxylapatite(Radiesse), and polymethylmethacrylate (ArteFill). The ASPS says hyaluronic acid injections are the most popular.

Procedure: You should expect to receive a small injection of local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. Your doctor will then inject the filler material. Depending on the substance injected and your goals for treatment, need additional procedures may be required.

Cost and Duration: Starting at around $500 per injection, all fillers produce an immediate result after a 10- to 30-minute treatment. Collagen and some early hyaluronic acid injections last about three months, while newer versions — Restalyne and Juvederm — can last 6-9 months or longer. ArteFill’s results are permanent.

Negatives: While Katz says the risk of side effects is small, one significant problem is lumping under the skin — a condition known as a granuloma. When fillers are temporary, problems can be resolved via an injection that dissolves the compound. Granulomas that occur with permanent fillers require surgery to remove. Other problems can include tissue death, also requiring surgery to correct. The risk of allergic reaction is minimal, but the injections can cause temporary redness and burn at the site.

Recovery: In most cases, the swelling, redness, or bruising will disappear in a few days to one week, depending on the site injected and the filler used. When fat injections are used, this can take longer.

Common Side Effects: There is a possibility of slight bruising, and you may experience puffiness, redness, and tenderness around the treated site.

Face and Skin

Top 5 Nonsurgical Skin Treatments for Women

Skin Treatment No. 4: Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion, the “power peel”, works on all skin types and colors. It produces subtle changes, causing no skin color change or scarring. It improves or eliminates very superficial skin problems like fine lines, dull skin, brown spots, and acne. However, it is not effective for deeper problems like scars, stretch marks, keloids, or deep acne scars.

With microdermabrasion, there is less downtime than with dermabrasion; skin fully recovers within 24 hours. It’s ideal for people who cannot afford to take time off from work or social activities for healing.

There are two types of microdermabrasion treatments.

The regular crystal microdermabrasion technology involves the use of a special, hand-held device that propels a high-speed flow of aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin. At the same time, the machine’s vacuum system sucks away dirt, dead cells, and used crystals.

The diamond dermabrasion system, on the other hand, replaces the micro-crystal flow with a disposable or reusable diamond tip wand. Areas closer to the eyes and mouth can be abraded more accurately with diamond abrasion (no risk of stray crystals causing damage or being ingested). Other than that, crystal-free microdermabrasion works in the same way traditional microabrasion does.

Diamond Microderm machines usually come with tipped wands of varied size and coarseness for different skin types and depths of resurfacing. The wand tip is made of natural diamond chips that polish the skin and remove dead cells, which are then vacuumed back into a waste filter. Many professionals prefer natural diamond tips because they are easier to control and don’t irritate the skin.

Microdermabrasion Crystals

Aluminum oxide crystals have been the most commonly used abrasive agent for the last 20 years. Aluminum oxide is the second hardest mineral. Personally, I prefer to avoid aluminum. I prefer to have vitamin C crystals or sodium bicarbonate crystals.

The irregular crystal shape makes them a more effective abrader. Aluminum oxide is also an inert material and it causes no allergic or adverse reactions. It is not toxic when ingested and is non-carcinogenic.

Sodium bicarbonate crystals are an organic alternative to aluminum oxide crystals but they are a lot softer and less effective in microdermabrasion. They are used on patients with hyperpigmentation and can be easily washed off after treatment because sodium bicarbonate is water-soluble.

Diamond Microdermabrasion (Crystal-Free)

Crystal-free tips and natural diamond tips are easier to use and unlikely to leave tiny particles in the eyes, nose or mouth. But a crystal-free microdermabrasion machine isn’t completely safe.

Bacteria from exfoliated skin stay on the tip and can be unknowingly spread to other areas of the face or body. Diamond tip microdermabrasion is also not as effective on irregular surfaces because there are no crystals to fit the exact irregularities of the skin.

What It Is: In this procedure, doctors use a vacuum suction device, in tandem with mild micro crystals, to remove the top layer of skin cells. It has been compared to sandblasting. This brings new, more evenly textured skin to the surface. Best to do in a series, most patients have microdermabrasion treatments once a week for a period of four to twelve weeks. Age spots and fine lines can be erased, creating softer, smoother skin that has a younger feel to the touch.

Precise and pain-free, microdermabrasion is best for ultra-fine lines; rejuvenating the complexion, increasing skin tone and color, and helping topical products penetrate more deeply and work better.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, microdermabrasion is frequently used as an adjunct to other antiaging therapies.

How Long It Takes: Although the process takes just 30 minutes, it does require multiple treatments and several weeks to see full results.

Cost: The cost runs between $150 and $300 per treatment.

Negatives: There are virtually no complications. In rare cases, a few crystals may get into unprotected eyes causing irritation for 24 hours.

Common Side Effects: Redness of skin, dry and tight like “sunburn” or “windburn” for about 24 hours.

Skin Treatment No. 5: Laser Hair Removal

What It Is: While it might not make you look younger, it can make you look better and even feel more confident. That’s what experts report women say about the fifth most common nonsurgical cosmetic treatment — laser hair removal.

Laser Hair RemovalThe lasers on the market today come in all shapes and sizes. Different lasers use different wavelengths of light; some utilize a cooling device and some do not. All laser systems emit a gentle beam of light that passes through the skin to the hair follicle where it is absorbed by the hair. The laser energy is then transformed into heat which disables the follicle. Today, individuals with white or dark/tan skin can utilize lasers to remove their unwanted hair with positive results. Lasers that utilize a cooling device will help provide the patient with increased comfort and protection by cooling the upper layers of skin. This cooling selectivity helps to protect the skin while effectively treating the unwanted hair.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most requested areas for laser hair removal include face, upper lip, neck, cheeks, breasts, underarms, back, stomach, bikini line, and legs.

Because hair grows in cycles, every individual will need at least 3-6 laser treatments, but some might need up to 8 in order to maximize results. Skin tone, hair coloring and coarseness of hair are all contributing factors to how many treatments will be needed

How Long It Takes: Treatments can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as a few hours, depending on how much hair you want to be removed.

Cost: The cost of laser hair removal is about $400-$500 per treatment.

The procedure is safe when performed properly. After the procedure, patients may experience slight pink or red skin in the treated area. The color will most likely fade within a few minutes to a few hours, and in rare cases, a few days. When cold packs are used, the skin will return to normal much more quickly. The lasers utilize energy wavelengths of light that pass directly through the skin into the hair follicles. Lasers that do not pass through the skin leave residuals. For example, X-rays are taken at the hospital leave a residual in the body. If too many are taken in a certain time period, the residuals can become a health risk. The lasers used for laser hair removal are passive, they leave no residuals; therefore, they are completely safe.

Face and Skin

Spavelous Preferred Facial Treatments:

Three treatments that did not make the top 5 list, but in my book are definitely worth top consideration are: Foto Facial, Face Lift Acupuncture and Microcurrent Facelift.


As I indicated earlier, I had the Fotofacial procedure done several years ago. I selected it because; many conventional treatment options can only address one condition at a time. While they entail a prolonged recovery time, considerable pain, and potential side effects. The FotoFacial fit the bill for the outcome I desired, and I was very pleased with the results.

FotoFacialFotoFacial™ Treatments are a non-invasive treatment that erases skin damage without disruption of the skin’s surface, hence, no downtime. Intense Pulsed Light™ (IPL™) can simultaneously treat a wide range of facial concerns safely and effectively, such as broken capillaries, skin discoloration, age spots, freckles, mottled pigmentation and the symptoms of Rosacea.

FotoFacial™ Treatments are full face, neck and/or chest treatment using Intense Pulsed Light™ (IPL™) that effectively improve facial redness and flushing as well as the visible sign of sun damage and aging. FotoFacial™ Treatments were developed and first introduced by Board-certified dermatologist, Patrick Bitter Jr. MD as a noninvasive method to rejuvenate and improve skin with no downtime. A non-laser IPL™ medical device (MultiLight from ESC Medical) is used to deliver a series of gentle pulses of light to the skin. Specific settings are selected for each treatment to maximize improvement.

A series of five or more treatments are performed at three-week intervals. The benefits of FotoFacial™ Treatments are consistent, visible improvement in the skin with no downtime, little discomfort, and minimal risk. With FotoFacial™ Treatments for the first time, the embarrassing redness and flushing of Rosacea can be dramatically reduced and sun-damaged, aging skin can be noticeably improved

Each treatment takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. A mild amount of discomfort can be expected People with more sensitive skin may prefer to use Ela-Max a topical anesthetic cream. When Ela-Max is used 30 to 60 minutes before treatment there is almost no discomfort with treatment. There is no discomfort after treatments. Immediately following treatment, the skin may appear red and flushed and tiny capillaries may appear more visible. Brown spots generally appear darker. All of these changes gradually fade over a period of hours to a few days.

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture

Facial Rejuvenation AcupunctureThis special treatment combines elements to enhance healthy facial skin and muscle tone while creating an experience of deep relaxation in mind, body, and spirit.

Facial rejuvenation acupuncture blends ancient Chinese and modern holistic practices for health and longevity. These promote internal healing through nourishing and harmonizing the Three Chinese Treasures: Qi (vital energy), Shen (spirit) and Jing (essence). This balance promotes grace, harmony and a calm spirit which radiates through our being and face as true beauty.

This protocol works to relax the person fully, to address specific facial concerns directly and to address underlying constitutional needs. Our face and skin are a reflection of our inner spirit, mental and emotional habits and physical health.

Acupuncture in combination with herbal and other holistic modalities works to improve the flow of energy in the body and to nourish and invigorate the blood. Through this intensive treatment, the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the skin is naturally improved. Removal of waste becomes more efficient and inflammation is reduced. This enhances facial skin and muscle tone and the facelifts itself!

Microcurrent Face Lift

Microcurrent Face LiftI like to think of this as an exercise for your facial muscles. Also known as the Bio-Ultimate facelift, a microcurrent facelift is a non-surgical facelift procedure that is aesthetically effective and cost-efficient. During a microcurrent face lift, gentle electric currents are applied to the face, stimulating a natural cellular reaction. The effects of this stimulation are varied and include exfoliation and rejuvenation of the skin, tightening of the facial muscles, reduction of sun damage, and improvements in overall skin tone. By promoting the skin’s natural ability to produce collagen and elastin, microcurrent facelifts leave patients with subtle but exceptional facial enhancement.

Face and Skin

Medical Spa Trends

Jeffrey Spiegel, MD, Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, indicated that people are frustrated and disappointed with the expensive, minimally effective procedures touted as rapid solutions. “People are going to expect better and more predictable results. With the economy slowing somewhat, the desire to look your best will remain, but people will expect to get what they paid for and be less tolerant of only minor improvement with a big cost,” stated Spiegel. He predicts that several significant changes in plastic surgery are expected in the coming year.

• A return to more traditional procedures with a decline in shortcuts. The time invested pays off in the long run and the safety of established procedures is so high that people don’t have the same concerns they may have had in the past. “We’ve really gotten people to heal nearly as quickly from the traditional procedures as they do from the much less effective interventions that are so widely publicized.”

• New fillers last longer without the need for skin testing. Many new types of fillers have been recently released to treat the fine facial lines and wrinkles for which Botox™ is not appropriate. Some of these may last a year or longer. “This is one area where you truly can expect good results with just a very short (few hours) recoveries,” states Spiegel.

• Laser technologies continue to progress but the greatest innovation is a new way to deliver energy beneath the skin. Smartlipo™ is an example of a technology where a laser can be used to rapidly and safely melt fat beneath the skin with only a very tiny incision. Expect further refinements in how lasers are delivered (without the need to send energy through the outer layers of the skin).

Medical Spa Trends

Face and Skin

Skin Care and Med Spa – Final Thoughts …

Wrinkles, fine lines and uneven skin texture are persistent and universal concerns of aging patients, particularly for women. But new innovations in topical treatments are allowing these concerns to be addressed both through preventative care, specifically the inclusion of ingredients that protect against UV-related damage, and restorative skin creams that deliver anti-aging benefits. Ingredients that have been shown to unequivocally deliver wrinkle, fine line and texture benefits include niacinamide, peptides, retinyl propionate, and N-acetyl glucosamine.

When it comes to lines, wrinkles, and aging, know that there are several options available to you. However, prevention is always the best course of action. Even after you have had a procedure done, remember that it is always, best to adhere to prevention precautions to maximize your results.

Next week learn more about medical spa treatments for the face and body. Until then, let Spavelous help you to find a medical spa in your area.

Face and Skin