All posts in Guest Blogger – Dr Irwin’s Beauty Tips

Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – Are Your Hands Revealing Your Age?

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Womenlovebeauty’s guest blogger Dr. Brandith Irwin who has been a guest medical expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Weekend Today Show, reveals beauty tips on hand care.

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Are your hands revealing your age?

It is easy to focus only on your face when considering anti-aging procedures and products, but don’t forget to treat for your hands too.

Our hands often reveal our age because as we get older they lose volume, which leads to thin skin and visible veins and tendons. Additionally, our hands are constantly exposed to the sun and we usually forget to put sunscreen on them daily. This results in brown spots and a leathery appearance.

There are a variety of treatments available to rejuvenate your hands, so they look just as youthful as your face!

First, look at your hands. Is the problem brown spots, loose, inelastic skin, enlarged veins, or loss of volume? Or, a combination of these? The best treatment option for you depends on the condition of your hands.

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – 6 Myths About Skincare Products

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Womenlovebeauty’s guest blogger Dr. Brandith Irwin who has been a guest medical expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Weekend Today Show, shares with us the 6 myths on skincare products.

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6 Myths About Skincare Products

We have all heard these skincare myths and have probably fallen victim to some of them. Here are 6 of the top skincare myths, plus the truth!

1. Products have to cost a lot to be good. There are some excellent drugstore products that cost between $10 to $25. You don’t have to spend $400 on a serum to get good skin care.

2. The newest, latest, greatest thing is better. Usually the only advantage to the newest, latest, greatest skincare product is its marketing muscle. Some of the best products on the market are tried and true with long track records of success. For example, vitamin-A cousins (like Renova and Retinol) have been shown over many years to help prevent skin cancers, normalize sun-damaged cells, and prevent wrinkles. Newer products seem great because they have large marketing budgets to promote them.

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – Anti-Aging Beyond The Face

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Womenlovebeauty’s guest blogger Dr. Brandith Irwin who has been a guest medical expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Weekend Today Show, provides beauty tips on anti-aging, my favorite beauty topic ever.

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Anti-Aging Beyond The Face

When we think of anti-aging treatments we automatically think about the face. But don’t forget that the neck, chest and hands age too! In order to look flawlessly youthful, it is a good idea to treat all of these areas so you have an even look.

Laser treatments, chemical peels and injectables are common non-invasive anti aging treatments for the face that can also be applied to the neck, chest and hands.

The skin on your neck and chest is usually exposed to the sun just as much as your face, but not everyone remembers to apply sunscreen to these areas. Therefore this skin can become damaged. Laser resurfacing treatments, like fractional CO2 or Fraxel, or IPL can remove the sun damage, brown spots and wrinkles on your neck and chest, leaving all of your skin looking smooth, fresh and youthful.

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin Talks About Clarisonic Cleansing System

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We talk a lot about good skincare, but there are also important complimentary products which can help enhance overall results. You may have heard of one of these, called the Clarisonic Cleansing System.

The Clarisonic is a facial sonic cleansing brush that exfoliates, stimulates circulation, and deep cleans pores. It may help your skincare products penetrate and work more effectively. If you have ever heard of the sonic toothbrush, then this is the same technology, just designed for skin instead of teeth.

Regular cleansing can often leave behind dirt and oil, and this build up can make your skin appear dull and hinder the absorption of skincare products. The Clarisonic company claims their system removes 6x more makeup and 2x more dirt and oil than regular cleansing with your hands alone. The exact improvement is debatable but I do know many of my patients like the way the Clarisonic makes their skin feel cleaner and smoother.

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Video – Laser Treatments for Wrinkles with Dr. Irwin

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Looking for a solution to remove wrinkles? Here’s an informative video by Dr. Irwin on laser treatments for wrinkles. View the video and find out which laser treatment will be suitable for you.

Click here to learn more about Fractionated Carbon Dioxide Laser or here about Fractional Lasers.

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – When To See A Dermatologist

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Finding a good cosmetic dermatologist is extremely important. There is a big difference between a great doctor and a just okay one. A great doctor will consistently get you good results and if you do have a problem or complication will know how to fix it. A not so great doctor will have more complications and may not know how to fix them.

Four questions to ask before going to visit a new dermatology office:

  1. Is there a doctor on site at all times?
  2. Is the doctor board-certified in dermatology? Go to www.aad.org
  3. Has the office been in business for more than 5 years?
  4. Who does the lasering or injections?

Click here for more detailed information on how to find a good cosmetic dermatologist.

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When should you see a dermatologist?

A small outbreak of acne doesn’t always require a trip to the dermatologist, but if you have conditions such as the ones listed below, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist:

See your dermatologist RIGHT AWAY if you have a:

1. Mole that has changed. The main things to look out for are the ABCD’s of Melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer):
- A for Asymmetry, if one half is different than the other half
- B for Border Irregularity, if the edges are notched, uneven or blurred
- C for Color, if the color is uneven or has shades of black, brown or tan
- D for Diameter, if the mole is larger than 6 millimeters (larger than a pencil eraser)
- Other warning signs are redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, itching, or a scaly appearance

2. Cystic acne that may lead to scarring

3. Rash, skin infection or blister that is painful, itchy, bleeding, hot, swollen, occurs frequently or doesn’t go away

4. A wound that won’t heal

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Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist who can help if you have:

  1. A close relative who has had melanoma or a personal history of skin cancer
  2. Acne that does not go away despite good home care
  3. Atopic dermatitis / eczema — chronic itchy skin often associated with a rash
  4. Rosacea — chronic redness, swelling or skin eruptions
  5. Psoriasis — thick red skin with flaky scaly patches
  6. Herpes blisters
  7. Scars or birthmarks you are uncomfortable with
  8. Been considering a cosmetic procedure such as Botox, dermal fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Sculptra)
  9. Cosmetic laser treatments for enlarged blood vessels, brown spots and wrinkles
  10. Excess hair and are considering laser hair removal
  11. Hair thinning, hair falling out, or small patches of hair loss
  12. Leg veins that bother you and you would like removed

Click here to see my regional guide to excellent cosmetic dermatologists in the US.

Click here to see my in-depth guide to cosmetic areas.

Dr. Irwin

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Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
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Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – Acne Care & Treatments 101

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Acne Information and Treatments

Acne is something that affects almost everyone at some point in his or her life. Sometimes as a teenager and other times as an adult. The good news is that there are many treatments available to keep acne under control.

Some of the available treatments include acne cleansers and creams both by prescription and from the drugstore, oral antibiotics, oral contraceptives, spironolactone, Accutane, facials, peels, microdermabrasion, lasers, and photodynamic therapy.

What causes acne? It’s a chain of effects, usually starting with hormones, which stimulate our oil glands to produce more oil. This excess oil mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug. Then bacteria begin to grow causing inflammation. The oil, dead cells and bacteria then spill into the surrounding skin causing more irritation, swelling, pus, and sometimes larger cysts.

Different types of acne are blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps (papules), pustules and cysts (both micro and nodular). Because there are so many different types of acne, it is important to see a good dermatologist who will know how to tailor a treatment to your needs. For example, some medications fight the bacteria and some prevent plug formation. Other medications fight the inflammation or get rid of dead skin cells.

Read my more in depth article on acne: http://www.skintour.com/in-depth/acne

The main goal is to keep your acne under control with the right products, and to make sure you do not have the type of acne that causes scarring (usually the cystic type causes permanent scarring).

Here are some products I recommend if you have mild acne: http://www.skintour.com/oil-control-and-acne-care-products

If you have severe acne, I strongly suggest you see a dermatologist. Dermatologists are trained to treat severe acne, and they will help you to prevent scarring and clear up your skin. Here is a list of dermatologists I recommend in the US: http://www.skintour.com/trusted-experts/your-regional-guide-to-excellent-cosmetic-dermatologists

I also created an acne test which takes about 5 minutes to complete, and at the end you will see what I recommend for your acne profile: http://www.skintour.com/skin-care-tests

Quick tips for everyone dealing with acne:

  1. Be patient, it takes 8-12 weeks to see if a new acne medication is working.
  2. Apply creams/lotions in a thin layer over the entire area, not just on the lesions itself unless specifically labeled for spot treatment.
  3. Don’t pick! Picking can cause scarring.

Dr. Irwin

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Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
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Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – The Cause & Treatments For Dark Eye Circles, Puffy Eyes & Wrinkled Eyelid

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Under Eye Circles

Sometimes genetics, weight loss, or even lower-eyelid surgery that takes too much of the fat pad can give the appearance under the eyes of hollowness or gauntness, which most refer to as ‘under eye circles’.

Under eye circles can also be caused by excess pigment or superficial veins, or a combination of several of these factors.

The first thing to do is make sure you are getting enough sleep and enough fluids.  Being dehydrated and sleep-deprived will accentuate any hollowness under the eyes.

Only expert injectors should be working around your eye area if you decide that fillers are your best option for a hollow under eye area! Restylane and Juvederm are the most commonly used. And with all fillers, there is a risk of bruising, swelling, and lumpiness. Fat transfer is an option but expect a longer recovery time and possibly longer lasting or permanent lumpiness.

For dark pigment or visible blood vessels under the eye, consider fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing. More than one treatment may be needed. Healing time for back to work (but not “camera ready”) is 4-7 days. http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractionated-carbon-dioxide-laser

Juvederm/Restylane are the hyaluronic acids (a natural sugar). The cost is $450 to $600 per syringe and usually only 1 is needed. You will need maintenance treatments every 6-12 months. Experts only. Read more about fillers here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/injectibles-botox-fillers-sculptra/guide-to-fillers-restylane-and-juvederm-cosmoderm

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Sagging or Excess Skin

If the puffiness under the eye is due to excess skin or sagging, there are two things you may want to consider. If the problem is mild, try reducing your salt intake and increasing your water intake to 6-8 glasses a day. Also, stick to foods low on the glycemic scale (no white sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, white flour, etc.).

See if there are allergies that are making your eyes irritated or causing you to tear up, or rub the tissue around your eye a lot. Some times puffy skin is due to an allergy.

Second, if the sagging skin is mild to moderate, an Eyelid Thermage or two will tighten that skin and help reduce the sagging. As with hooding or sagging on the upper eyelid, this is most effective when the problem is mild to moderate. If you have a lot of sagging, you’ll need surgery to correct it. Read more about Eyelid Thermage treatments here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-eyelid-thermage

Third, quite remarkable results can be seen for tightening eyelid skin with a fractionated CO2 laser. One to three treatments are needed over 3-6 months. Sometimes called the “Madonna Lift,” it offers an alternative for some patients to eyelid surgery. http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractionated-carbon-dioxide-laser

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Skin is Crinkly or Crepey

Many people are bothered by tiny fine lines on the upper eyelids that make the skin look like crepe paper or give it a crinkly look. If the problem is mild or moderate, then eyelid Fraxel is a good option to reduce the fine lines. Fraxel makes a special, tiny, FDA approved tip just for the eyelid area. Generally you’ll need 2-3 for the best results.

If there is mild sagging coupled with the crepiness, then the combination of 1-2 Eyelid Thermage treatments to tighten the skin a little with the Fraxel eyelid treatments to reduce the crepiness will give you an even better result. Or as an alternative, the fractionated CO2 laser which both tightens eyelid skin and helps with crepiness. In general, Fraxel or a combination of Thermage and Fraxel are more appropriate for women in their 30 or early 40s with the fractionated CO2 for women over 40.

Laser treatments on the eyelid are higher risk so make sure you see an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon for work around the eye area. Read more about Fractional lasers for the eye area here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractional-lasers

Dr Irwin

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Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
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Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – Comparing Wrinkle Products

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Wrinkles are a common problem to nearly all middle-aged men and woman. Anti-aging, wrinkle creams, and repair products go by several names and come in a number of different categories. I have handpicked my favorites from a number of different product lines to help you sort through all of the confusing hype. Here are the ones that I recommend:

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Retinols or Vitamin A cousins

1. Retinol Complex by SkinMedica – $53 US
This retinol also has vitamin E in a light base that will not clog pores and is still compatible with moisturizers and sunscreens. Retinols are another type of repair cream that have science behind them. They build collagen and normalize sun damaged keratinocytes (skin cells). And if this product irritates your skin a little, try applying your moisturizer first, then wait 10-20 minutes, then apply this.

2. La Roche Posay Biomedic Retinol 30 and 60 - $54 US & $57 US
Another very good over-the counter retinol, also compatible with moisturizers and sunscreens. This product actually contains three forms of retinol plus vitamin E in a light base that will not clog pores and is still compatible with moisturizers and sunscreens. Start with the 30 and work up to the 60 if you tolerate it well. Wait 60-90 days for results. And if this product irritates your skin a little, try applying your moisturizer first, then wait 10-20 minutes, then apply this.

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Antioxidants, peptides, alpha hydroxy creams

1. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic – $142 US
C E Ferulic is an antioxidant combination that delivers protection against photoaging – neutralizing free radicals, helping build collagen, and providing antioxidant protection. More protection means more youthful looking skin and better defense against sun damage. 15% pure L-ascorbic acid and 1% alpha tocopherol, the addition of ferulic acid (a plant based antioxidant) doubles the synergism. Similar to the Phloretin CF.

2. SkinCeuticals Serum 10 or 20 AOX+ (Vitamin C) – $84 US & $116 US
Good basic Vitamin C serums. Use under your sunscreen. 20% is more effective but try the 10% first if your skin is sensitive at all. If your skin in thicker or on the normal to oily side, the 20% concentration may be fine for you. Some of the SkinCeuticals serums can be a little tacky under makeup. You can use it at night if that bothers you.

3. SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF – $152 US
One of the best antioxidant serums on the market in my opinion. Contains Vitamin C 10% with 2% phloretin and .5% ferrulic acid which together are more effective than either individually. Not irritating but may be too much for the very sensitive. Potent and best with normal to oily skin. Wash, let skin dry for a minute or two, apply and use sunscreen on top. If you need a moisturizer, use it over the serum. And it’s good for melasma and brown spots.

4. SkinCeuticals C + AHA – $130 US
Good antioxidant for acne prone and oily skin because it contains 15% Vitamin C plus 10% alpha hydroxy (glycolic and lactic) which help to keep skin exfoliated and pores unclogged. In a serum which is not oily. Not for sensitive skin. Use after washing but let skin dry first. Sunscreen in the morning over it.

5. Topix Replenix Cream or Gel – $47.95 & $54 US
This is a powerful antioxidant containing 90% polyphenol extracts of green tea. It is gentle and good for all but the most sensitive skin. Many of our patients who find the serums with Vitamin C too irritating, can use this product without problems. This cream version is best for normal to dry skin. Use the Gel if you are oily or have acne prone skin. Good for easily irritated, sensitive skin.

6. NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion or Cream 10 AHA – $27 & $32 US
This light, nongreasy lotion helps keep the skin smooth and to reverse sun damage by building collagen and speeding natural exfoliation. Use a small amount over entire face. Good choice for teens to early 30s. Budget saver. This lotion is better than the Ultra Smoothing Cream if your skin is quite oily and acne prone. Use the cream if you have dry skin.

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Cell growth factors

1. SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum - $237.50 US
I have to confess I love this product. I wish I could bathe in it, but it’s too expensive. It’s the first “double pump” product I’ve seen that works well. You press the plunger and it dispenses your cell growth factor serum (TNS Recovery — the reddish one) AND your antioxidant and peptide mix at the same time. All in just the right amount. There are 7 different antioxidants so it’s hard to compare it with other antioxidant serums (7 is not always better than 1). Has some weak plant based skin lighteners. The effects of the two products together are good and it’s efficient to use. Expensive but worth it, in my opinion.

2. SkinMedical TNS Recovery Complex – $155
SkinMedica pioneered the use of cell growth factors (these are like fertilizers for your skin) with this TNS Recovery Complex. Rest assured, the current version has a better fragrance than the original. No product is a quick fix, so you need to give this 3 to 6 months to see results.

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New products, such as anti-glycation creams

1. SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter – $150 US
A new group in the anti-aging arsenal. You’ll see more of these in the coming months and years. A good idea but I think the jury is still out as to how effective these are in the skin of real women rather than a petri dish. A.G.E. Interrupter is formulated to improve the crepey appearance of mature skin caused by intrinsic aging processes such as glycation. This goes well under Renova at night or you could use it over TNS recovery, for example, in the morning in place of a moisturizer with sunscreen over that. Glycation occurs when excess glucose molecules stick to collagen and elastin fibers, eventually binding them together and leading to the formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (A.G.E.). Glycated collagen and elastin fibers lose the ability to function normally, and the body cannot break them down and replace them, which may contribute to wrinkling of the skin. This is particularly true in diabetics. It is formulated with 4% blueberry extract, 30% proxylane, and 0.2% phytosphingosine to help prevent the glycation process in mature skin. Expensive but may be worth it.

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Visit http://www.skintour.com/anti-aging-and-wrinkle-repair to read more or buy any of the products mentioned above. You can also take my Skin Care Test to see which products I recommend for your unique skin profile: http://www.skintour.com/skin-care-tests and watch this video for how to properly apply skin care products: http://www.skintour.com/video-demos/skin-care-product-application-demonstration

And most importantly, don’t forget that sun exposure is the number 1 reason for signs of aging in the skin, including wrinkles. So make sure to use a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen every single day!

Dr Irwin

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Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
Click here to ask a question now!

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Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

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Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – Botox/Filler Injectable Treatments 101

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Do you feel like you looks tired all of the time? Or you don’t look as youthful on the outside as you feel on the inside? I’m sure many of you have heard about using Botox and Fillers to get rid of some of your lines and folds, but would like to learn more.

So here is goes, my fillers and botox 101:

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BOTOX

BOTOX is an injectable liquid used to treat frown lines, squint and smile lines, nasal crunch lines, and horizontal forehead wrinkles. It works by relaxing the underlying muscles, and therefore the lines become less deep. Botox can also be used to lift the eyebrows a little and help to fix a smile that shows too much gum on the upper teeth. When injected into a small facial muscle, it doesn’t travel anywhere else in the body, so is considered very safe. It gradually wears off naturally over a 3-6 month period.

The injections themselves only take a few minutes, and use a very small needle (like an acupuncture needle) so there is not really any pain. It may take a few days for the Botox to ‘kick-in’ before you start seeing the results. There is one other form of Botox that is currently FDA-approved in the United States called Dysport.

If you go to an inexperienced injector, you could end up with the ‘frozen look’ we all dread. So don’t go for cheap ‘Botox specials’ as they could be cheap for a reason! And beware of those ‘Botox parties’ held in offices or homes.

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