Archive for January, 2009

Chemical Peel For A Smoother Skin

 

Chemical peel involves the application to the skin of a chemical that causes a shedding of the surface skin layers. It speed up skin cell turnover when the new skin is formed.

It smoother the texture of facial skin by removing the dead layer of cells on the topmost layer of skin. It used to treat facial blemishes, very fine, superficial lines, hyperpigmentation spots, and smooth uneven or coarse texture. Pores become unclogged, skin is softer, and acne is improved.

Chemical peel comes in different strengths; very superficial, superficial, medium, and deep. The stronger the peel, obviously, the more profound the effect. The precise formula will be customized to each patient’s need.

Very superficial and superficial peels can definitely give your skin a certain glow and radiance. They can also even out hyperpigmentation.

Medium peels are quite effective for those with fine wrinkling and hyperpigmentation.

Deep peels are used for those with severe sun damage, with many cross-hatched lines and skin with a rough, leathery texture. They will stimulate collagen regeneration, with visible results. They can also provide a slight tightening effect.

Bear in mind there is a real risk for deep peels, especially the stronger ones tackling medium and deep layers of skin. If done improperly, the deeper the peel, the more white skin discolouration and red scarring would occur, especially in those with darker skin tones. However, the result is a severe response, with raw, wounded, oozing skin for two to three weeks, and pinkness for several months. 

You must look for a experienced dermatologist who knows what he or she is doing, because the burning can be severe and damage can be permanent if a strict protocol is not followed, as technique here is crucial. 

Depending on the type of peel, it may take a few hours or days. It is common to experience temporary flaking or scaling, redness and dryness of the skin. However, these will disappear as the skin adjusts to treatment.

Infection and scarring, while uncommon, are possible. You will need to use sunscreen for several months to protect the new skin layer.

Chemical peel cannot replace lost volume, treat deep wrinkles, prominent scars from past acne, severe discolouration and thread veins.

For superficial peel, it is recommended to go for four rounds of monthly treatments for optimal results. As for medium peel, once a year will be sufficient while deep peel will be strongly advised to go only once or twice in your lifetime.

Cost : $100 onwards depending on the treated area and peel strength

The pain factor varies : very superficial and superficial peel might feel a little tingling; deep peel hurts a lot hence sedation is a mandatory.

Best Review Eye Cream

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Cosmedicine Eye Specialist Essential Moisture Treatment

Product claims :

An ultra-rich, easily absorbed eye cream that helps restore moisture loss to the delicate eye area.

- Restores Moisture
- Contains Vitamins A, C, E, Bs & Green Tea

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Elizabeth Arden Prevage Eye Anti-Aging Moisturizing Treatment

Product claims : Exclusive eye treatment with I-seryl Complex and clinically proven Idebenone. This revolutionary antioxidant is a powerful skin revitalizer, proven to help prevent oxidation on the skin, a leading cause of the signs of skin aging.

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MD Skincare by
Dr. Dennis Gross Continuous Eye Hydrati
on

Product claims : Continuous Eye hydration advanced Technology provides essential moisture to the eye area without the use of heavy oils or waxes. This product was created to enhance the effects of the key ingredients while helping to prevent milia-causing residue and diminish the appearance of crow’s feet in the delicate eye area. Phospholipids provide immediate and long-term hydration. Caffeine and Cucumber Extract counteract puffiness that an occur from intense moisturization in the delicate eye area. This greaseless, lightweight formula absorbs quickly and also helps protect against free radicals with Ubiquinone and Vitamins C and E.

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Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Eye Cream

Product claims : Replenishes skin with line-plumping moisture while visibly reducing the look of deep under-eye wrinkles and dark circles. Smooth Deep Wrinkles with Retinol SA. The patented Sustained Action formula continuously renews the look of skin through- out the day helping smooth even the deepest wrinkles, plus safe ultra-moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid to help plump up the look of deep wrinkles from within. You’ll see noticeably younger-looking skin every day.

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N.V. Perricone Advanced Eye Area Therapy

Product claims : This all in one lotion helps prevent and correct every eye area concern: puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.

With continued use, the delicate skin around the eyes will appear more toned, firmed and bright. Skin will take on a more healthy and youthful appearance.

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ProActiv Solution Nourishing Eye Cream

Product claims : Helps hydrate and soothe the fragile skin around the delicate eye area with a special blend of anti-oxidants and skin brighteners like cucumber, chamomile, vitamin C and soy extract.

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RoC Canada Retin-OL Multi-Correxion Multi-Corrective Eye Cream

Product claims : Effectively reduces wrinkles, dark circles and bags. This high-performance care combines Retinol and Multi-Vitamin-Ox-Complex for clinically pro- ven action on the multiple signs of aging in the eye contour area. Thanks to an exclusive formula, this gentle but highly effective eye cream over time visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and diminishes dark circles and bags, as well as signs of fatigue.

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Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Eye Contour Cream

Product claims : This powerful blend of the most technologically advanced ingredients is the latest addition to the Bio-Performance line. The multitasking formula helps treat and prevent fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and dark circles.

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SkinCeuticals Eye Cream Firming Treatment

Product claims : Combats puffiness, sagging skin and dark circles around the delicate eye area. Protects against environmental aggres- sors, supports collagen synthesis accelerates the skin’s ability to repair itself and enhances hydration.

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Review – Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion 2

 

Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion 2 for dry combination skin, is claimed as clinically formulated, allergy tested and 100% fragrance free. It is an alcohol-based toner that also contains witch hazel and peppermint.

Product claims

This softening water lotion was developed by Clinique’s dermatologists to rehydrate and renew dry to combination skins. Gently releases the hold of dulling surface flakes to smooth skin’s texture, optimize cell turnover. Creates an ideal state for moisturization. Quickly absorbed. Apply to cleansed skin with saturated cotton, avoiding eye area.

Contradiction

What contradict on this product is that, it is claimed to have allergy tested but it contains ingredients which are skin irritants.

Ingredients

Hamamelis virginiana, also known as witch hazel, can have potent antioxidant properties and can be an irritant. Mentha piperita (peppermint) leaf water, a counter-irritant, is used to induce local inflammation for the purpose of relieving inflammation in deeper or adjacent tissues. It works by substituting one kind of inflammation for another, which is never good for skin.

And although your skin may not show the signs of inflammation or doesn’t react in an irritated fashion, if you apply irritants to your skin the damage is still taking place and is ongoing, so it adds up over time. Chlorphenesin – alcohol used as a preservative in cosmetics, can be drying and irritating to skin. These ingredients have an irritating and sensitizing effects on skin.

Results

As this toner contains skin-irritant ingredients like alcohol, witch hazel and peppermint, I have experienced minor irritation on my skin occasionally. I like this toner as it is 100% fragrance free. But I have noticed it does dry up my skin after long use. It doesn’t really help to wipe off the dirt, residue completely.

Ratings 

Will I buy it again? …… I doubt so!

 

Sun Protection – Your First Step To Prevent Skin Aging

 

Sun exposure. The prime culprit of extrinsic aging 

Sunlight not only ages you, it can kill you, no matter what the color of your skin. Skin damage by the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun is one of the most important extrinsic causes of facial aging. The important point is that sun protection is the most important yet most often neglected anti-aging and cancer preventing treatment you can use.

Photo aging

Photo aging, a result of sun exposure, is a slow process. It may take several decades before it becomes fully noticeable. 

In fact, 90% of sun damage occurs by the age of 20s, only becoming visible in your early 30s and onwards. 

The degree of photo aging is mainly determined by your skin type and total lifetime sun exposure, and the degree of damage to different areas of the body is directly proportional to the amount of sunlight received.


Sun exposure gives you wrinkles. Sun exposure makes you look old.  

As you age, you can easily see the difference in skin that’s been exposed to sunlight for years (such as the skin on their faces, necks, arms, chests, and lower legs) and skin that’s been protected by clothing (such as the skin on their buttocks and torsos). The exposed skin is generally more wrinkled and discolored and less taut than the unexposed skin.

Sunlight-related aging signs include :

Accelerated wrinkling and sagging
Spider veins and thread veins
Sallowness and brown sunspots
Precancerous solar keratoses, skin cancers 

UV rays speed up the aging process because they promote the production of free radicals

Although there are many causes of free-radical damage to the skin, one of the most insidious is sunlight. What happens when the sun hits your skin is enough to make you shudder. First, as you stroll in the park on a bright, sunny day, the molecules in your skin absorb sunlight. Free radicals are activated. The sunlight also activates an enzyme that breaks down fats in skin cells. This fat breakdown produces a chemical called arachidonic acid, the precursor to molecules that can inflame the skin. And we now know that these inflammatory molecules accelerate the aging of skin.

When you are outside, exposed to the sun :

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat. You must protect the ears, as well as the face.
  • Wear UV protecting wrap-around sunglasses or sun-protective clothing.
  • Stay out of the sun during the peak hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • The most beneficial sunscreens are broad spectrum. This means they offer protection against UVA and UVB rays, which are both detrimental to skin.
  • You need at least an SPF of 30, whether you’re playing golf or walking to the store. Doubling the dose of a product with an SPF of 15 will not give you the protection of a 30.  
  • Apply an even coating of sun block using 30 grams or one ounce for the whole body and at least one teaspoon of sunscreen to the face.
  • Apply at least 20 – 30 minutes before going into the sun. The active ingredients need that time to become active.
  • Reapply sun block regularly every two hours, at minimum. It degrades in sunshine and heat and stops working.
  • Be certain to cover the area around your eyes, nose, lips and ears, the parts of your face that get the most sun, but are often missed.
  • Apply sun block even on cloudy days. 80% of UV rays are transmitted on a cloudy day.

The absolute easiest and least expensive way to prevent photo-aging is to use a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday and apply it properly.

Vitamin A – The Collagen Booster & Wrinkle Fighter

 

Vitamin A – what it does?

Studies have shown that vitamin A stimulates the production of new skin cells and inhibit the body’s natural enzymes that break down collagen.

It is believe vitamin A may prevent premature wrinkling and bumpy skin. Vitamin A deficiencies can result in rough, dry and scaly skin.

Vitamin A combines four wrinkle fighter in one. It’s an exfoliating agent, because it increases cell turnover. It helps to build collagen. It protects the fibers from damage by blocking the action of collagen-digesting enzymes. And it is an antioxidant that combats free radicals. 

Vitamin A — improves skin elasticity, promotes a more even texture, and promotes new cell growth.

One of the major beauty breakthroughs is the use of vitamin A derivatives to increase collagen production. Vitamin A is one of a family of natural and synthetic products that are incorporated into both prescription and non-prescription anti-aging creams known as retinoids. These agents are highly effective at skin rejuvenation, for example Retin-A and Tazarotene gels and creams. 

How does vitamin A combat or reduce skin aging?

Tretinoin or Retin A creams improve the outer layers of the skin by increasing the production of more normal-looking cells. By increasing cell production, they shed blotchy, dark pigment from the skin and also increase collagen formation in the dermis, both directly and as a result of increased outer skin layer production. The result is a brighter, healthier-looking and more supple skin with fewer fine lines and blotchy dark patches and a more resilient feel.


Other forms of vitamin A

Retin-A has been more recently formulated in ointments or ‘moisturising creams’ that were supposed to reduce the drying effects of Retin-A. One of these is called Retinova or Renova. One problem is that it is too ‘greasy’ for some people and leads to whiteheads and acne. This problem is known as ‘comedogenis’ or acnegenesis’. It is also a problem with some of the more greasy cosmetics, makeups and sunscreens. Look for the words ‘non-acnegenic’ or ‘non-comedogenic’ on the packaging.

Retinols are available as over-the-counter products, no prescription necessary. Although their effectiveness is a matter of controversy among dermatologists, these compounds, once applied, are converted in your skin to retinoesters and small quantities of tretinoin or Retin A. Furthermore, it does all this to rejuvenate the skin with far fewer side effects than tretinoin. Although retinol appears to be most active in the epidermis, where the skin cells are developing, research has also shown that it does penetrate as far as the dermis.

Retinyl palmitate is simply a kinder, gentler form of vitamin A. It’s not as active as retinol, buy many people with sensitive or very dry skin who can’t use retinol-containing products find they tolerate retinyl palmitate quite well. It’s believed that retinyl palmitate is converted to retinol in the skin and eventually the retinol becomes retinoic acid. 

The side-effect with vitamin A

If you choose to incorporate stronger versions like Renova, Retin-A and Tazarotene into your regimen, start out with the mildest version possible and gradually work your way up to a stronger one, if necessary. Because Retin-A and Renova are more potent than Retinol, their non-prescription counterpart, they can cause irritation and increased sensitivity to other active ingredients and to the sun. Still, they can yield beneficial results. Wearing an SPF 30 will help prevent further damage and worsening of any damage your already have.

If you find that retinoids are irritating to the point that they are preventing you from using your other anti-aging remedies, try either using your retinoid cream less frequently, like every other day instead of on a daily basis, or try a milder, more moisturizing version, or trading back down to retinol, the non-prescription strength. It’s better to combat the aging process from all angles with a varitety of different ingredients (antioxidants, exfoliating acids, vitamin C etc) instead of relying on a single ingredient that tackles only one aspect. 

What you can find it —  Yellow, green and oranges vegetables and dark colored fruits, such as carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, spinach. Egg yolks, liver, fish oils and dairy products.

Vitamin A and its derivatives can cause birth defects, and excessive doses can cause increased pressure on your brain. Therefore, vitamin A should not be used by women who are pregnant and dosages higher than those recommended should be avoided. 

Review – The Body Shop Olive Body Scrub

 

The Body Shop Olive Body Scrub for normal to dry skin, is my essential weekly body exfoliant. I first bought this product out of curiosity, due to my understanding that this product is made from organic olive oil from Italy.

Company profile

The Body Shop is known to against animal testing on cosmetic products and ingredients. They do not test their products or ingredients on animals. 

Product claims

Reveal brighter, smoother skin with exfoliating crushed walnut shells and crushed olive stones in a creamy body scrub.

Ingredients

Its key and beneficial ingredient, Community Trade olive oil, is a good antioxidant and moisturizing ingredient which helps to condition skin. It contains sunflower oil, carrot oil and root extract that moisturizes and softens skin.

The Body Shop Olive Body Scrub also contains many antioxidant ingredients like beta carotene, daucus carota and tocopherol, also known as vitamin E. These antioxidants provide significant antioxidant protection against ultraviolet radiation which induced oxidative damage.

This product do contains some skin-irritant ingredients like benzyl alcohol, linalool and fragrance. 

Texture

Creamy, grainy with crushed walnut shell abrasion

Results

I love the scent, it’s very soothing. My body feels soft, moisture and smooth.

Ratings 

Will I buy it again? …… Maybe!

 

11 Ways To Treat Dark Eye Circles

 

Have you been troubling with dark eye circles and desperately finding ways to treat them? Do you need to use an under-eye concealer most of the time?

Before you spend hundreds of dollars on expensive eye care, let me share with you on what are the common causes for having dark eye circles and their possible ways to treat them.

Under-eye circles are special conditions and do treat them with care.

 

1. The darkness of the circle may due from a shadow cast by the eye bag.

Do a test : Try push on one of the bags and see if the darkness disappear. If yes, it means that the darkness of the circle is not inherent to the skin.

Possible treatment : If your eye bags is very prominent, you may consider to surgically remove the solid fat pad.

 

2. The thinning skin around the eye area becomes more and more thinner and transparent over time.

Possible treatment : Building up the thickness of the skin could help to lessen the transparency. Using a eye cream with vitamin C and vitamin A to jump-start collagen content and thicken the skin around the eye areas.

 

3. Due to the fragility of blood vessels.

Possible treatment : Apply with vitamin K, it may heal the broken capillaries to prevent them from leaking blood into the under-eye region, although the effect will probably be very modest at best.

 

4. Deposits of dark pigment cells from chronic inflammation.

Possible treatment : A fading cream that breaks down dark pigment discoloration will help most. Make sure the fading cream is non-irritating, otherwise it can make the problem worse. Bleaching agents like kojic and ascorbic acids are said to lighten dark pigments and green tea extract can soothe redness and inflammation.

 

5. The lack of fat under the skin that make it less transparent and may create a hollowed-out look in under-eye area.

Possible treatment : This is the harder problem to solve, you may use a botanical skin faders or get a professional doctor to inject fillers. The second option will be the last resort, do make sure the doctor is experienced in this area.

6. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking too much caffeine and over-indulging in alcohol.

Possible treatment : Needless to say, quit all the bad habits and start a healthy diet and lifestyle. Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine can cause the capillaries to leak iron and blood cells into the under-eye area, giving it a dark appearance.

 

7. Not sleeping enough.

Possible treatment : Getting enough sleep is very important and essential for a good-looking skin.

 

8. Nose or sinuses are inflamed and congested, fluid accumulates under the eyes in the fat pads.

Possible treatment : You may need to see an ENA specialist for sinus condition. You may also treat it with products which contain caffeine and cucumber extract that temporarily tighten the skin and liberate trapped fluid.

 

9. Result of hyperpigmentation, areas of the skin that are permanently darker than the rest of the face due to sun damage and hormonal fluctuations.

Possible treatment : The solution is to get an eye cream which contained skin thickening ascorbic acid plus kojic acid, another lightening agent.

 

10. Bad circulation.

Possible treatment : Go for some tapping eye massage twice a day to improve circulation.

 

11. Heredity allergies and lack of vitamins.

Possible treatment : Daily dose of vitamin, calcium and magnesium, allergy meds and eat less salt.

Review – Lancome Galat©is Clart© Gentle Clarifying and Cleansing Fluid Face and Eyes

Lancome Galat©is Clart© Gentle Clarifying and Cleansing Fluid Face and Eyes, a milk cleanser for normal to combination skin, is the first Lancome product I have tested.

I came across this product through an air stewardess friend of mine. In fact, this is the first proper cleanser I have used for my daily regimen. What I like about this product is the lightweight non-oily texture which doesn’t feel sticky or oily after cleansing.

Product claims

A water-light lotion for fast, thorough cleansing that removes even the most stubborn makeup. Foundation, blush, mascara and lipstick all dissolve and disappear on contact! Leaves skin feeling clean and fresh, soft and supple. It’s extremely gentle formula can even be used to remove eye makeup.

Lancome Galat©is Clart© Gentle Clarifying and Cleansing Fluid Face and Eyes helps to achieve a perfectly clean skin with ananas sativus pineapple and carica papaya fruit extracts which help to break down the connecting layers between skin cells to exfoliate skin.

Ingredients

It contains mineral oil, paraffinum liquidum, a natural ingredient derived from the earth and that once it becomes mineral original petroleum, considered the safest, most non-irritating moisturizing ingredients ever found. It rarely causes allergic reactions and it cannot become a solid and clog pores. 

But this product contains some potent skin irritant ingredients like engenol (a clove oil), linalool (a fragrant component of lavender and coriander), benzyl alcohol (a organic compound which used as humectants that help deliver ingredients into skin) and propylene glycol (fragrance) that may be harmful to the skin.

Texture

Lightweight non-oily milk lotion, it doesn’t make my skin feels oily after cleansing.

Results

It helps to thoroughly cleanse away foundation, blush, lipstick and dirt. My skin is fresh and clean without feeling dry or tight. It doesn’t clog my pores. As it is gentle to the skin, it doesn’t cleanse away waterproof mascara and some eye makeup easily.

Ratings  

Will I buy it again? …… Most likely!

 

Review – NIKS Intensive Firming Eye Cream

 

This brand, named NIKS, reverse spell out as ‘SKINS’, is introduced by my elder brother and is well known for its acne treatments. 

Marketing claims

NIKS Intensive Firming Eye Cream, one of the NIKS product I have tested, is marketed as a smooth and gentle cream designed for intensive wrinkle relief and use on sensitive eye area. This advanced eye cream helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes to provide a healthy and youthful appearance. 

Product claims

To help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on sensitive eye area.

Ingredients

NIKS Intensive Firming Eye Cream contains some potent antioxidant ingredients like tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a stable-form vitamin C, that moisturizes and stimulates the production of collagen. Red wine and white tea extracts possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that helps to fight free radicals. Rosa centifolia, also known as rose hip oil, is a good emollient oil that has antioxidant properties.

One of the key ingredient, acetyl hexapeptide, as known as argireline, is claimed to inhibit lines caused by muscle movement, tackles dynamic wrinkles and lines.

It also contains some skin-irritant ingredients like zinc PCA, sandalwood extract and phenoxyethanol.

My personal point of view

Though this product contains a handful of active ingredients, its effectiveness will very much depend on the ingredient percentage and the packaging. If the correct ingredient is used but the quantity is inadequate in the product, you won’t be seeing much improvement when using it. As this product is packaged in a jar, the active ingredients will be ineffective within a short period of time after the container is opened.

Texture

Creamy and is not easily penetrate to the skin.

Results 

Very little visible improvement on fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area.

Ratings

Will I buy it again? …… Unlikely!

 

Niks – Midpoint Orchard (6238 0398), Tampines Street 81 (6783 9038)

Titan Facelift

 

Titan is a non-invasive broad-wavelength-based infrared-emitting device made by Cutera. It emits infrared radiation to systematically cover the treatment area three times over and cools the upper layers of the skin while heating up the dermis to contract the collagen fibers.

Titan stimulates collagen from under the skin, leaving the face more contoured, improve skin elasticity and giving you a visible tightening of lax skin. This will give the best effect on fine wrinkles and sagging, especially on skin tightening. It’s mainly treated for the entire face and neck, and can also show good results for lifting the breasts, saggy abdominal skin, and saggy knee skin.

The radiation goes six to seven times deeper than normal lasers and can contract collagen immediately while continuing to stimulate new collagen synthesis for months. You may not able to see immediate results. For best results, there should be at least three to four treatments, spaced a month apart, and then once or twice every year for maintenance. Results can last up to two years.

No downtime or pain medication is required.

Cost : $1500 – $2500 per session depending on the treated area