April 30, 2012

Beauty Balm.. Love it or leave it?

Using cutting-edge technology, cosmetic and skincare companies are joining forces to create better products that incorporate the aspects of a great skin care along with the complexion perfecting properties of makeup. 
Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm, is a product new to the US, but originated in Korea. The idea behind the product is a thick, tinted cream that acts like a moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and concealer wrapped up into one product. 

There is a long list of US cosmetic brands that have their own B.B. cream. The range of sunscreen SPF varies and the coverage varies depending on the product.  

For those with less than perfect complexion, beauty balms are not going to provide enough coverage but can enhance skin for a natural look. I recommend applying the balm all over and using a concealer for dark spots and under the eyes. For those with acne-prone skin, try it before you buy it! Some of the sunscreens used can cause oily skin to breakout. 

While highly popular in Asia, beauty balms life span on the US beauty scene is unknown right now but it’s worth a try!

April 26, 2012

Misleading Information About Your Eye Cream

In the May issue of InStyle magazine, under eye coverage “solutions” were broken down according to age group. There is a huge problem with this because... You could be 21 and share the same under eye problems as someone who is 51. 
Under eye bags, hollowness, lines are person-specific and can occur at any age. See our last two blog entries about the types of problems and treatments that have been proven to work.
Please see my solutions to under eye issues for a complete guide to under eye problems.

April 24, 2012

Makeup in a minute!

Time is money and having a quick makeup routine in the morning saves time. A great product that saves time is a one step, one shade tinted moisturizer. It combines supple moisturizing agents along with SPF 45 and just enough coverage to even skin tone and cover minor skin imperfections. Available at my McLean office is Intellishade SPF 45 by Revision Skincare. You can also order over the phone by calling us at 703-356-5111. 

April 23, 2012

Not All Under-eye Circles Are The Same!
Part II
So we have figured out exactly what type of under eye problem you are experiencing, now it’s time to discuss treating it. Whichever works out for you, staying committed to it and not making it a “whenever I remember” regimen will guarantee results!
If you still don’t know which type of under eye problem you have, ask Dr. Lily to help you with your treatment options. 
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Chronic rubbing can lead to thickened, dark under eye skin.
  • Retinoic acid creams can help exfoliate dark pigmented skin, however, it should be used in very small amounts. If this is over-used it can cause severe skin irritation, so always consult your Dermatologist before beginning any regimen of incorporating irritating ingredients into your skincare regimen.
  • Skin lightening creams can also help. Look for creams with azaleic acid, kojic acid or glycolic acid. Hydroquinone is highly successful in lightening skin under the eyes. You can find 1-2% strengths over the counter and more potent strengths can be prescribed after a consultation with your Dermatologist. 
  • Eye creams that contain caffeine can constrict the underlying blood vessels and temporarily diminish small visible blood vessels.
  • For large blue veins, laser treatments can be recommended however, this is not always for darker skin tones. Lasers can cause hyper pigmented scars if not used with adequate cooling techniques. Make sure you see a Dermatologist if you have moderate to dark skin. 
  • Treat seasonal allergies with over the counter allergy medications or see your Physician for prescription medications for resistant allergies or possible sinus infections. 
  • Sleeping on your side or stomach can encourage fluids to collect under your eyes. If you’re a side sleeper, you might notice a heavier bag on the side you sleep on. To help this, sleep on your back and add a pillow under your head. 
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes frequently, don’t go to bed with make-up on and avoid harsh cleansers. Anything that irritates the skin can cause fluids to pool in one place. Therefore, sleeping in your eye make-up can irritate eyes which will cause edema, or swelling. 
  • Placing chilled items like cucumber slices, tea bags, or a bag of frozen peas can constrict leaky blood vessels and lessen swelling of the under eye area. 
  • An underlying medical condition could also be to blame. If bags appear suddenly, thyroid, cardiovascular, or kidney problems all cause under eye water retention. See your primary care physician for further evaluation. 
  • These kinds of changes are often due to dramatic weight-loss or even genetics. 
  • The best treatment for this is a small amount of hyaluronic filler injected under the delicate skin of the tear trough by a Dermatologist. This can give outstanding results if done properly. 
  • See your Dermatologist for an evaluation to determine if this is the right treatment for you.
Sagging Under-eye Skin
  • Fractional Laser treatment or FRAXEL is an in office cosmetic procedure performed by a Dermatologist, this procedure resurfaces the top layer of skin leading to increased collagen formation and skin tightening.  
  • Another option is to use an eye cream daily with “firming” or “tightening” on the label, take note: this will take months of committed use to see any results.
Bags Under Your Eyes
  • As of right now, Blepharoplasty is the one and only solution for this problem. This is a surgical cosmetic procedure usually done in office by a Plastic Surgeon or a Dermatologic Surgeon. 
  • During the procedure, the “bags” or fat pads that protrude are surgically removed from underneath the eyes and then stitched back up to heal.

April 20, 2012

Not All Under-eye Circles Are The Same!
Under-eye issues can make even young skin look old and tired. If you have slept 10 hours and your co-worker asks if you are “tired”, listen up! Depending on what type of under-eye issue you are experiencing, the treatment changes.
Below are the various types of “under-eye circles”. Tune in next week for treatments for each type.
Darkening skin under the eyes, or hyper-pigmentation, can make someone look much older than they actually are. Your hereditary and genetic background are to blame for hyper-pigmentation around the eyes. Dark circles are much more prominent in Ethnic skin tones, like African-Americans and Southeast Asians because of increased melanin. Excessive rubbing of the eyes or diseases such as eczema may exacerbate under-eye darkening, as well.

People both young and older can struggle with this problem. Some veins are more pronounced than others but either way they are a hassle to deal with. The thin skin around the eyes can’t hide dark blue veins.

Again, this is a problem that has nothing to do with aging, as it effects people of all ages. Seasonal allergies , sinus infections, excessive crying or water retention from high blood pressure or eating a diet high in sodium are a few reasons the delicate under-eye skin becomes puffy.
Hollowness is a term used to describe a condition when eyes are sunken in or depressed into the eye socket. People who suffer from this condition describe it as looking “skeletal” or unhealthy. 
Sagging Under-eye Skin
There are numerous factors that come together to make under-eye skin become loose and sag over time. As we get older, there is a loss of skin elasticity because of the simple rules of gravity, sun exposure, smoking and lack of water intake, which leads to skin sagging not only around your eyes but on the face as a whole. 
Bags Under Your Eyes
Under-eye bags can be very tricky, they truly stand apart from all the different issues that were mentioned above. They are fat “pads” underneath the eyes that protrude over time.

April 19, 2012

Unruly Eyebrow Quick Fix

Eyebrows frame your face, it is essential to keep them polished and perfected. Clear brow gel that will keep unruly brows in place and assure the color will last all day long without feeling stiff or sticky. This can be used alone or on top of a brow pencil or shadow (whichever you prefer). Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel $21 at Sephora.com. 

April 13, 2012

The Three Biggest Hair Myths... Put To Rest.

One : A cold water rinse will give you shiny strands.

This has been a rumor in hair salons for ages, how does it work? The frigid water temperature will force your hair cuticle to close so that it lays flat and reflects light, as opposed to enlarged and dull looking. A scientific fact that makes that impossible is your hair does not contain cells that can react to hot OR cold water temperature. To insure a high shine finish, use treatments or styling aids that are rich in oils or contain silicone which both smooth the cuticle. Avoid dyeing hair and utilizing hot styling tools too frequently.

Two :
 Monthly trims will boost your growth.

This one is simple. Trimming the ends of your hair does not affect the follicles in your scalp, which determine if your hair grows rapidly or very slow. Across the board, hair grows approximately 3 millimeters in a month whether or not you've trimmed it. Regular cuts get rid of split ends which reduces breakage. Breakage makes hair look damaged, short and unruly. Schedule a trim every 12-14 weeks and ask your stylist to take only the split ends off and clean up the layers (if you have them).

Three : If you always wash with the same shampoo, it'll stop working.

Filling your shower with 4 luxe brand shampoos isn't necessary to keep your hair feeling clean and revitalized. However, your shampoo will work regardless of how often you use it. If you have recently dyed your hair, you should incorporate a "color care" shampoo for at least 1 week after you apply the color (Kerastase Bain Miroir $36 @ Kerastase-USA.com). For everyday care, stick with your personal favorite and use a rich conditioner on the ends for a smooth finish.

April 11, 2012

Problem Solved : Makeup Brushes

One of my patients brought up a very good question in my office this week. Why do makeup brushes shed? 

No matter the price of the brush, there are 2 main components when it comes to having your brushes work for you. 

The first main difference in brushes are bristle colors : most brushes are bristles that are dyed black or white, sometimes a very light tan color. The black dye they apply to brushes makes the bristle weak and causes it to break even if your brush is still "new". When you are applying makeup and you see small black bristles all over your face, it can be frustrating. You start picking them off your face and your makeup is no longer perfect. Stick with using white, tan or undyed bristle brushes. These  bristles are stronger and shed less. One of my favorites is the Sephora Pro Bronzer Brush #48 (http://www.sephora.com/pro-bronzer-brush-48-P183723?skuId=1005032). 

The 2nd half of having your brushes become the best items in your cosmetic bag is taking proper care of them, this is very important!  Wash 1-2 times per week by running lukewarm water over the brush and rinsing the brush before any soap is applied. Then apply a dime sized drop of a mild facial cleanser to the palm of your hand and work the brush in a circular motion to create a rich lather.  Finally rinse numerous times until no "suds" are rinsing from the brush.  Lay clean brushes flat on a towel and let dry overnight. Do not put the brushes back in your make-up bag until they are finished drying, bacteria can form if a moist brush sits in your cosmetic bag all day. 

Cosmetic brushes can be pricey, remember : the more you maintain your beauty tools, the longer you'll be able to use them!