Confidence Beyond the Skin – Holiday Makeovers

This is a special holiday edition of my newsletter/blog! As you know, my goal is to write an article around the first of every month highlighting a new topic. I made an exception for this edition and I am writing 2 articles this month! This time of year, I am frequently asked about the benefits of minor cosmetic procedures because people want to look their best for their upcoming holiday parties. Whether you have a small office party, a large family reunion, or a fundraising galla to attend, everyone wants to look their best for the season!

Some cosmetic procedures require a series of treatments, or a significant amount of recovery time. Since we are only a few weeks away from the holidays, I will highlight a few procedures that have very little recovery.

Wrinkles and lines on the upper face and forehead area can be treated easily with either Botox or Dysport injections. These agents work by relaxing the muscles under the skin that pull to create lines. It is not particularly painful to receive these types of injections because they are administered with a tiny needle. They can cause temporary bruising. It takes about one week before you will look rested and refreshed, so if you want to minimize frown lines for the holidays, act soon!

Laugh and smile lines that shadow around the mouth can be treated very easily using Hyaluronic acid injectable agents like Juvederm and Restylane. These do not require skin testing ahead of time and show immediate results! Be careful! These injectable agents can cause bruising; so , just in case give yourself a week before the big party just in case!

To help avoid the bruising after an injectable procedures, check with your medical provider to make sure it is safe to minimize your intake of anti-inflammatory medications (i.e. Motrin, Aspirin, etc), fish oil, Vitamin E, and wine.  These types of medications will thin your blood slightly and increase the risk of bruising.

Microdermabrasion is a gentle procedure that  exfoliates the skin and minimizes the  appearance of fine lines and pores. This painless procedure will help the skin look and feel great without any down time or risk of bruising!

For that extra pampering, you can make a spa appointment to help you feel truly relaxed and refreshed! Some facials will hydrate your skin and make it appear smoother and more supple. Make sure you go to a reputable aesthetician especially if you have acne prone skin. Facials can flare up acne when they are too aggressive. If you are in L.A., Lauri at Solas in Santa Monica is great!

For a quick, at-home fix, try one of the new exfoliation brush systems such as Clarisonic or Olay. After you  exfoliate the dead skin, you can apply a little sunless tanner or bronzer. This will help minimize that pasty pallor some of us get this time of year.. A few drops of sunless tanner will go a long way to give you that “I just returned from Hawaii and am totally relaxed look”. Don’t forget to shape the arch of your eyebrows and put light shadow just under the brow. This will reflect light and draw attention to your eyes!

If you live in LA or have watched any reality TV lately, you have seen some scary outcomes from cosmetic procedures. We have all seen the frozen faced newscaster or the soap opera star showing off her new duck lips! This is surely not the look you want. It is important to start slow and ease into any procedure to ensure you get the result you are looking for.. You want to ensure that you will look naturally refreshed and not artificial!

I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits.  However, I am a clinical trainer for both Medicis (Dysport/Restylane) and Allergan (Botox/Juvederm).

For my fellow tech-y followers, I have started daily tweets on Twitter! To stay up to date on the latest, you can follow me @kaseydamatopac . For those Facebook fanatics out there, I have also created a FB fan page! Go ahead and “like” the page to stay up to date on the latest in skin care! http://www.facebook.com/KaseyDrapeauDamato

I am off to Maine this week to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I wish everyone a happy, healthy Turkey Day!

Confidence Beyond the Skin – Avoiding Holiday Stress Breakouts!

Seasons are changing,  kids are back into the  school routine, and the holidays are rapidly approaching! What do these three things have in common? STRESS!

This time of year is common for teenagers to have more frequent facial acne breakouts since they are mostly  indoors with less  exposure to the sun than they had during the summer months. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light  has some anti-inflammatory effects on acne, so teens usually experience less acne in summer than during the school year.  Not to mention,  studying for that dreaded calculus test or writing a 10 page history report, which are sure ways to increase stress hormones and lead to inflammation in the skin.

For those of us who are beyond high school and only have nightmares about walking into chemistry class unprepared, we still have the stress of the upcoming holidays to disrupt our hormones and lead to those annoying acne breakouts.  I have been plagued my whole life with stress breakouts and boy are they annoying!

The question remains, short of running away on a vacation to Hawaii, what can we do about our stress acne?

Here are some basic tips:

1. Do NOT wash with a harsh scrub or pick at any pimples! These activities will only irritate and inflame your skin and can lead to scarring!

2. Make sure to use oil free, non comedogenic makeups and moisturizers! I really like Neutrogena Skin Clearing makeup and Clinique Acne Solutions makeup

3.  Use a gentle cleanser like the new Neutrogena Naturals for oily skin or Cereve for  dry or sensitive skin

4. Try an over the counter treatment with  Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide has some antibiotic benefits as well as anti-inflammatory benefits.  One example is Neutrogena On the Spot treatment or Clean and Clear Acne Control kit.

5. Remember, if you are an athlete , it is important to shower off, or splash your face with water  immediately after sweating.

6. Many people don’t realize how much oil is in hair conditioner. If you are breaking out along hairline or on your back, be careful to wash your hair off to the side or switch conditioners altogether.

7. There are a variety of prescription products that can be helpful. Retinoids such as Retin-A micro can help unclog pores and also reduce shiny, oily looking skin. Topical and Oral Antibiotic treatments can help reduce inflammation, and some Birth Control pills can help women who have breakouts during pre-menstrual time or menstrual time.

8. Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the influence  of diet  on acne. One of the most interesting concepts that is being investigated is whether dairy products increase inflammatory acne because of the hormones that are in those foods. It might be worth conducting a personal experiment if you have stubborn acne and go for a month limiting your dairy intake.  Be sure to take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you cut dairy completely out of your diet.

9. A new product called No-No is gaining popularity. I have not used it myself, but I have a new friend, Grace Gold, who is an expert beauty  blogger from  NY, and she believes that it really works! Here she is discussing it on the Today Show!

10. Lastly….RELAX and REDUCE YOUR STRESS!! Find an activity you enjoy…Yoga, dancing, reading, anything that will relieve some of that predictable  seasonal stress! 

Let’s all make an early new years resolution to find better ways to relieve our stress and take better care of ourselves and our skin! If we start now, we will all begin 2012 with bright glowing skin and feeling great!

I have been asked if I receive any financial incentive to mention products in my newsletter/blog and the answer is no. I only comment on products that I have used myself or that I recommend to patients because they have unique benefits.

For my fellow tech-y followers, I have started daily tweets on Twitter! To stay up to date on the latest, you can follow me @kaseydamatopac . For those Facebook fanatics out there, I have also created a FB fan page! Go ahead and “like” the page to stay up to date on the latest in skin care! http://www.facebook.com/KaseyDrapeauDamato

May the color changes of the season lead to the creation of  many happy memories for you!