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.

Product review: Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex and A.G.E. Interrupter

This video explains how the products reverse signs of aging caused by glycation in the skin.  I bought my products from Viva Day Spa as a recommendation for a night cream by an aesthetician.  I’ve used Skinceuaticals products for over 10 years and have noticed the benefits of using their antioxidant serums to give my skin a healthy glow and protect my face and neck when I’m exercising outside.  So I trust the company and it’s products.  I know they work for me if I  use them regularly.  From the list of ingredients, it looks like Proxylane is the super-star key contributor in that it stimulates the synthesis of the GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) which are “the essential molecules responsible for holding water and nutrients in the skin, increases skin elasticity and thickness, stimulates collagen synthesis, and boosts skin moisture levels.”

The creams are pricey, but a little goes a long way and just a pea-size of the product will cover your face and upper neck.  I also cover my decollate, so use a bit more.  It”s not greasy and get’s absorbed right away.  If my skin seems more dehydrated than normal, I put another cream or oil on top for extra emollience.  I haven’t really noticed the decrease of under-eye circles from the eye cream, but they are stubborn and hereditary.

I wanted to review this product because as I enter my mid-40’s, I’m curious about preventing further skin damage and didn’t really understand the glycation process.  According to Kris Campbell in the November 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, “if there is too much sugar in the body, protein molecules can cross-link with sugar molecules.  Once this cross-linking process has occurred, the new sugar proteins are called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). The human body does not recognize AGEs as normal, and will produce antibodies that cause inflammation in the skin.”  She writes, that when AGE’s are formed, they attack the collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of the skin, compromising the skin’s structure.  Wrinkling and sagging; weakened elastin and collagen; and a reduced ability for skin to quickly rehabilitate are the result.  This cellular turnover slow-down presents as a hollowed-out appearance due to fat redistribution.

Scary thing is, she says that “the more sugar you eat, whether processed or natural, the more AGEs are produced”.  Yikes! It’s hard enough to not eat that cookie, but the point is to not overload on carbs.  Truthfully, I won’t know if this product really works until I can say that I don’t need injectable fillers to replace future volume loss.  In the meantime, I’ll rely on products to age luminously.

Parabens explained

This video was published on Oct 28, 2013 by First Coast Oncology.  Scot Ackerman, M.D. discusses what you need to know to keep yourself as chemical free as possible. Follow Dr. Ackerman on Twitter:

According to the Breast Cancer Action website, “Parabens are chemical preservatives that have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of the naturally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.”  The FDA deems both BPA and parabens safe in small amounts, but according to Dr. Ackerman, ongoing studies are finding more links with breast cancer.  You can find paraben free products online, at natural grocery stores, or even at Target.  The Breast Cancer Action website has a list of brands that carry paraben-free products.


Look good…feel better

Look Good Feel Better

I’m excited to become a certified provider for the Look Good…Feel Better program.  Look Good…Feel Better is the free, global program that helps women address the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.  Serving over 700,000 women and supported by 14,000 volunteers, it’s a safe place to find support, nurture hope, take control, inspire courage, gain confidence, and lift spirits.

Check out this video:

Facial rejuvenation with microneedling


According to dermatologist, Sabine Zenker, microneedling is an effective facial treatment for increasing collagen production and serum penetration by producing micro-incisions in the skin’s dermis.  As an alternative to laser treatments and chemical peels, the procedure is increasing in popularity for skin rejuvenation and treatment of facial scars.  All skin types and colors can benefit from the treatments as there is no risk for scarring, low risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and no heat occurs during the session.  Because the incisions close 10-15 minutes after treatment, there is also a low risk of infection.  This is awesome news for us with acne scars, wrinkles, and photodamaged skin.

More greens please



Aging is not a graceful process.  Freckles that were once cute now look like ugly splotches and skin that was once plump and fresh is crepey and thinning out.  The good news is that nature provides the nutrients to age luminously, preventing and repairing damage through antioxidants found in foods.  In the June 2013 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Richard Roberts, reports on the positive impact of ingesting carotenoids to promote healthy skin.  Living in Texas means getting a lot of sun exposure – even just going from house to the car gives me freckles even though I’m slathered in clear zinc!  He states that the highest levels of the dietary carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in green leafy vegetables and have been clinically proven to protect the skin against photoaging and premature skin aging by diminishing epidermal inflammation and sunburn cell formation. Maybe that’s why all I want in the summer is salads and green smoothies!

Women love a faux-glow

Photo from Beauty Company

The Beauty Company  released its “Beauty by the Numbers” series #5 focusing on sunless tanning statistics and found that 99% of respondents to their survey had used sunless tanners in the past and 92% had used a sunless tanning product within the last 6 months and 59% said they used tanners within 3 months of the survey.  The top product mentioned is from Jergens, my favorite, for least offensive smell, best color, and minimal streaks.

Minimal ingredients. Maximum benefits

DermOrganic-Soapless-Facial-CleanserWhen I put lashes on my guests, I want them to last as long as possible, and that means using the most natural, essential, and fully researched after-care product possible.  I have guests that use everything from olive oil to clean their face to those who use basic facial wipes, and others that will spend $40 on a high-end facial cleanser.  I have two criteria for recommending aftercare cleanser.  The first requirement is that the ingredient list is short, plant-based, and free (of all the offenders listed below).  The second criteria is that it must take off mascara and eyeliner with one application without irritating the eye.   After experimenting with different cleansers that effectively remove eye makeup, DermOrganic Soapless Facial Cleanser is the best I’ve found to suit most guests needs.

 We all want to simplify our routines and maximize results.  The problem with wipes is the fibers get stuck in the extensions.  The problem with oil-free cleansers on the shelves is they have propylene glycol, parabens, and alcohol that break down the lash adhesive.  The problem with using oils like olive oil or argan oil is they don’t work across the board for everyone to clean the face.  Your eyelid and lash hygiene are extremely important and this product can be used as an eye-makeup remover, it removes all traces, or it can be used as a facial cleanser, even on rosacea/sensitive skin.

This cleanser is oil-free, fragrance-free, sulfate-free, paraben and propylene glycol-free.  It is plant-based with Argan fruit extracts which provides natural moisture from Omega-6 lipids, antioxidants, and Vitamin C.  Plant extracts derived from Yuzu root provides collagen and elastin support for the skin.  The DermOrganic slogan is “Minimal ingredients. Maximum benefits” and I think that says it all.