Prevent facial volume loss with topical products

Decreased volume in temples, cheeks, and the eyes is a large contributor to facial aging.  Although loss of volume due to decreased fat pads and bone remodeling is inevitable, using topical products that protect existing volume, prevent skin atrophy, and restore the epidermal and dermal matrix volume should be included in luminous aging skin care.

 Dermatologist Jennifer Linder writes in the  May 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, “Although minimally invasive injectables are the gold standard once adipose tissue and bone mass have been lost, there are many proven ingredients and product categories that can be added to a client’s daily regimen to help preserve, maintain and increase the facial volume of the skin”.  She writes that facial volume loss occurs from the breakdown of skin components such as collagen and elastin as a result of time and genetics and exasperated by environmental factors like sun exposure and free radicals (which are avoidable).

Dr. Linder advocates using sunscreen and antioxidants to prevent and protect from facial volume loss.  She writes, “The human body does have its own internal free radical-fighting system, but the daily use of topically applied antioxidants significantly improves the level of protection provided to the dermis, thereby reducing the loss of facial volume. There are three distinct categories of antioxidants, although some function in multiple categories. Primary antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, rendering them harmless; secondary antioxidants chelate metal ions; and co-antioxidants facilitate the action of other antioxidants. Below are some key antioxidants to add into the regimens of facial volume loss clients.

  • Primary antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, resveratrol, tea polyphenols, vitamin E, glutathione, silybin, ferulic acid, idebenone and coffea arabica extract
  • Secondary antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, silybin, caffeine and resveratrol
  • Co-antioxidants—L-ascorbic acid, vitamin E and glutathione

L-ascorbic acid, the bioavailable form of vitamin C, activates and stabilizes procollagen mRNA, leading to collagen deposition.  Only L-ascorbic acid provides the needed anti-aging activity crucial to building facial volume.”

She notes these antioxidant ingredients prevent dermal matrix break down valuable to fight facial volume loss.

  • Aloe vera
  • Beta-carotene
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
  • L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Resveratrol
  • Retinoids
  • Soy isoflavones
  • Vitamin E

She also lists peptides as an important ingredient category for building the dermal matrix to maximize youth.  “A peptide is a compound consisting of two or more amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Peptides act as transmitters from the brain to the body, telling the muscles and nerves to perform specific functions. There are multiple peptides available that will achieve different results when used topically. Those that trigger the deposition of dermal components are the most critical to a regimen designed to build facial volume, and include the following.

  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-38—Stimulates the production of collagen I, III and IV; fibronectin; hyaluronic acid; laminin-5; and heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), a chaperone protein that ensures these other important matrix components successfully reach maturity.
  • Palmitoyl tripeptide-5—Increases collagen deposition.
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—Improves skin firmness and elasticity.
  • Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4—Increases collagen I and IV.
  • Palmitoyl oligopeptide—Stimulates collagen production.
  • Palmitoyl oligopeptide-palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7—Stimulates the production of multiple ECM components.”

Retinol, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid are proven to stimulate dermal collagen and elastin production.  Dr. Linder states, “Additionally, retinoids are thought to be one of the only topical ingredients that encourage the proliferation of elastin.”  She notes that these are time-tested topical ingredients an individual can utilize to delay the needle (and knife).

I personally love Skinceuticals C E Ferulic antioxidant serum for day and have recently started using Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E for night.  I also like the Eminence Organics hyaluronic acid serum and although I haven’t tried it, they recently introduced an impressive peptide cream.

Inside-out beauty – Harmonized water with SPF capability

Alys Beach

Autumn on the beach

My skin doesn’t know how to behave in the sun.  I ran across this product and although it sounds too-good-to-be-true, I tried it.

Harmonized H20 UV Neutralizer is a supplement that has frequencies imprinted on water molecules that cancel out UV radiation by delivering these radio frequencies to the cells in the skin using water as a carrier. I don’t understand the actual science, but according to the Harmonized H2O website, “The frequencies we use have been determined by a proprietary math formula that allows us to reverse engineer most substances to determine their actual vibrational rate. We then imprint these frequencies on water molecules by forming standing waves (waves that pulse from rest).”

The molecules vibrate on your skin in such a way that, according to Ben Johnson, MD, the formulator and creator of Osmosis Skincare, “cancel approximately 97% of the UVA and UVB rays before they even hit your skin”.  Sun protection from the water is equivalent to SPF 30 and lasts about 3 hours, depending on the angle of the sun and the time of day.  Take 2 ounces of  UV Protection Water in another 2 – 4 ounces of water an hour before going out in the sun or tack on another 30 minutes if you take it with food.  Dr. Johnson states, “for some people, the effects can be continued throughout the day by simply repeating the dose after three hours.” 

Be aware that medications you take, even ibuprofen, can cause photosensitivity – and the harmonized water will likely not work for you.  Click here for a list of sun-sensitizing medications.  Also, do a skin check by taking the harmonized water as indicated and leave a small body part such as an arm or foot exposed in the sun for an hour.  And last, but not least, exercise that increases your heart rate over 100 bpm for more than 30 minutes will utilize the imprinted frequencies and another dose will be needed (and wait another hour) to start the process again.  

Update June 4, 2014:

My husband held his tongue during his inward eyeroll at my “one body part exposure” experiment on the nape of my neck during an hour in Texas 9 am sun.  Although this is a very cool idea, I was very sunburned as a result of my test patch.

Facial filler can cause permanent vision loss

The cherry red spot of central retinal artery occlusion.

A study published online March 27 in JAMA Ophthalmology reports that facial filler injections can lead to irreversible and severe vision loss due to various types of blockages in the artery of the eye that nourishes the retina.  Different degrees of occlusions are associated with the kind of filler used and patients who received autologous-fat injections were the likely to have the most severe adverse outcomes.  A report published on March 6 2014 in  JAMA Ophthalmology by Dr. Richard Roe from Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Los Angeles investigates permanent blindness and vision impairment in patients who had forehead injections with three different types of fillers.  He tells Reuters Health by email that “given the dramatic rise in cosmetic facial filler injections over the past decade it is not surprising that we are seeing more reports of complications,” and that  “these results only reinforce the fact that these cosmetic procedures are not without risk and that blindness, though likely a very small risk, should still be discussed as a possibility during the informed consent process.”


Botulinum toxin injections improve depression

Link to Innate Beauty website

At the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) 72nd Annual Meeting, presented March 22, 2014, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern in Austin and Allergan consultant (makers of Botox), Michelle Magid, MD presented research suggesting botox (botulinum toxin) injections improved symptoms of depression, even after the forehead wrinkles returned.  The researchers were encouraged by this particular finding, suggesting that the anti-depressant effect isn’t just related to the cosmetic improvement of erasing wrinkles.  Skeptics point out that although the study is interesting, the results are complicated because the subjects were able to see the cosmetic improvement from the botox injections.

Dr. Magid explained to Medscape Medical News that two possible reasons exist for the improvement in depressive symptoms.  “The first is that the botulinum injections made it difficult for the subjects to frown. If individuals smile more and frown less, they are likely to have better social experiences, which could lift mood. The second possibility, favored by Dr. Magid, is a biologic explanation. MRI studies have shown that when people are unable to make angry facial expressions because of botulinum injections to the glabellar region, there is less activity in the amygdala than expected. Such a connection could be mediated by the trigeminal nerve, which links the glabellar region to the brain stem and amygdala and is the control center of anxiety, trauma, and the heightened fear response. If a person can’t frown, the brain does not register a frown, and the amygdala does not get the trigger that the person is upset”.  It is interesting to note that patients with depression and anxiety were affected more significantly than those with strictly melancholic depression.  Read the entire article written by Jim Kling for Medscape Medical News here.


Going Green

The science behind Perricone’s Chloro Plasma

I’ve been eating blue-green algae for over 20 years and was excited to see it as an ingredient in Dr. Perricone’s anti-aging skincare line.  This algae is considered controversial as a food supplement as there are toxic forms of it and some consider it “pond scum”.  I can testify to it’s health benefits because I ate it when I was vegan and pregnant to increase my iron levels.  It worked so well, I went from anemic to normal range in 30 days.  I’m happy Dr. Perricone has given blue-green algae recognition as a superfood despite the bad rap.

Blue Green Algae – “The single-celled plants known as blue-green algae (BGA) are superior sources of phytonutrients, antioxidants and chlorophyll. They also possess superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. If color is present it means there are phytochemicals present, bestowing great anti-inflammatory benefits.

BGA’s are rich in essential fatty acids, such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), and omega-6 fatty acid with many healthful properties. GLA is essential in keeping the skin soft, supple and smooth. The right fatty acids are vital to healthy skin as they are highly skin-compatible and maintain the fluidity and stability of the cell plasma membrane–the cell’s first line of defense.”

Agave: More naughty than nice


Agave has become popular to whole-foodies as a gluten-free, vegan, low glycemic index alternative to sugar.  I have seen it’s profuse use in popular paleo-chef’s dessert recipes.  It has even found it’s way into the mainstream grocery stores and recognized in the media as “diabetic-friendly”.  While agave seems appealing as a natural and sustainable plant-based sweetener, it is 55-90% fructose.  The fructose in agave is the reason for it’s low glycemic index but what also what makes it harmful.  Unlike glucose, which can be metabolized by all cells with the excess stored as glycogen in the liver, fructose can only be metabolized by the liver.

The problematic products formed from fructose metabolism in the liver include triglycerides (fat), uric acid, and free radicals.  Inflammation, caused by inflammatory messengers called cytokines, result from the boost of blood sugar.  Cumulative inflammation and free-radicals lead to pre-mature aging of the skin and a whole lot of other problems.  The liver gets over-worked from metabolizing fructose, becomes insulin resistant, and has to recruit the pancreas to produce extra insulin.  Excess insulin can cause a multitude of metabolic problems leading to most deadly diseases.

Not only does fructose metabolism make you look and feel old, but it also makes you fat!  The triglycerides formed during fructose metabolism are transported via the blood to adipocytes (fat cells) and stored as fat.  The resulting cumulative adipose tissue secretes adipokines (a form of cytokine) which contributes to further inflammation and metabolic syndrome.  Of course, everything is ok in moderation and a teaspoon here or there won’t harm you. According to Jack Norris, RD, a person should not exceed 2 tablespoons per day to avoid negative results.