Oh Say Can You C 0

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Did you know that Vitamin C packs a powerful antioxidant punch for your skin? When applied topically in the form of L-ascorbic acid (the only form of Vitamin C that your skin can fully absorb) Vitamin C serum is accompanied by a bevy of beauty benefits.

Vitamin C serum can help to fight off those nasty free radicals that contribute to premature aging. It helps to tighten & brighten skin tone, lighten hyper-pigmentation and discoloration, and inhibit melanin production. This serum also restores moisture balance to the skin and boosts collagen synthesis which firms the skin and assists in the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles. Protection against both UVA and UVB rays are another benefit of this remarkable vitamin.

There are a number of topical Vitamin C products on the market. We love Obagi Professional-C Serum as it is proven to have superior absorption into the epidermis and dermis. Whichever product you end up choosing, make sure that the main ingredient is L-ascorbic acid so that your skin can actually absorb the product and soak up all of those beautiful benefits.

The Not So Sweet Side of Sugar 0

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 MmmmmmSUGAR! It seems to make life so sweet… or does it? We all know that though sugar may taste delicious, it can have a negative impact on our health. Sugar can increase cholesterol, contribute to diabetes, weaken eyesight, cause cardiovascular disease, contribute to osteoporosis, interfere with protein absorption, and fuel the growth of cancer, but did you know that it can also wreak havoc on your skin? When simple sugar molecules such as glucose, or fructose attach to fats and proteins rogue molecules begin to form. This process is known as glycation. Glycation causes the onset of wrinkles, can make your skin brittle and inflamed, and destroys both collagen and elastin.

How can you have your cake and eat it too? There is no need to cut out sugar completely. Sugar naturally occurs in many healthy foods such as fruit. There are also healthy and natural substitutes such as stevia. Honey and agave are other great substitutes as they have a lower glycemic index than sugar. Just remember to steer clear of those nasty chemical substitutes. They don’t come without a price and are accompanied by a whole new slew of health problems.

Another way to fight the glycation process is by upping your intake of antioxidants. Filling up on green tea, berries, and spinach are good ways to keep the nasty side effects of sugar at bay and help protect your skin.

Just remember… 

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The ABCs of UV Rays 1

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We have all heard about the many dangers of the sun’s rays, along with a few benefits (hello Vitamin D!)… but do you know the difference between UVA and UVB rays? Here’s the low down.

UVA rays are always present during daytime hours, even on a cloudy day. They have the ability to penetrate more deeply than UVB rays. Have you ever gotten a suntan through your car window? You can thank UVA rays for that.

The problem with UVA rays is that we can’t always see or feel them. This gives us a false sense of security. Anyone who has gotten the dreaded ski goggle tan knows that looks can be deceiving. It may be cold and cloudy out, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to use sun protection.

UVA rays damage cells deep beneath the surface of your skin. You may not always notice this damage right away; unfortunately, it may become more evident later on in life in the form of sunspots and wrinkles.

UVB rays are not as prevalent as UVA rays; however, they are quite powerful. These rays are more dominant during the summer months when the sun is shining. They are strongest at mid day, making it extra important to protect your skin during this time.

Sunscreens were originally formulated to protect against UVB rays, as these were originally thought to be the most damaging. Now in days most sunscreens are formulated to protect against both UVA an UVB rays. Just check the label for “UVA/UVB” or “broad spectrum” that way you know you are covered (literally). We love Skin Medica’s Daily Physical Defense SPF 30+. It is sheer, oil free, hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic [<– this means it won’t clog your pores]! This product is perfect for everyday use and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

For more information on the sun’s rays, potential sun damage, and sun safety please check out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website.

Oh Honey… How to Beat Those Allergy Blues 0

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People can be allergic to a number of things including food, medications, certain types of metals, animal dander and so forth, however, it is estimated that 36 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from seasonal allergies… are you one of them?

Allergies are actually nothing more than a misdirected immune response. When an allergen (in this case pollen) enters your body, your immune system is triggered and may go into overdrive. Histamine and other chemicals are then released into the body. This is what causes symptoms such as an itchy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, and congestion among many others.

So what can be done to win the battle against pesky pollen? Of course there are both over the counter and prescription medications that have proven very effective, though many may opt for a different route. If you are looking for a natural allergy remedy, look no further than your local health food store or farmers market.

Local honey is becoming an extremely popular alternative treatment for allergy sufferers everywhere. The school of though behind this is that the honey itself introduces small doses of these allergens in a weakened form (much like a vaccine). Honey contains pollen spores from a variety of plants in the area where the honey is cultivated. These small doses allow your body to get accostumed to these spores without triggering an immune response. This is called immunotherapy.  When eaten regularly, you may be able to gradually “vaccinate” yourself against these allergy offenders.

The key is that the honey must be local (think within the same county that you reside). This way your body will be introduced to the appropriate pollen spores. If you live in San Diego and are using a honey from the central coast, it will not have the same therapeutic effect.

Next time you or a loved one is suffering from allergies reach for the local honey. You (and your immune system) may be in for a sweet surprise.

The Eyes Have It 0

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If the eyes are the windows to the soul… how old is yours? It’s no secret that the first signs of aging are so often seen around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is extremely thin and delicate. It becomes even thinner and less plump as we age due to a loss of subcutaneous fat tissue and collagen. As it is in so many cases, the best medicine is prevention… proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and giving that area a little extra TLC, however, sometimes there is just no fighting the hands of time, or a pesky little thing called gravity.

There are a number of very effective treatments for the eye area, depending on your particular concern and the extent of the problem.

If dryness, dark circles, and thinning of the skin around the eyes is your main concern, regular use of an eye cream may prove beneficial. We love SkinMedica’s TNS Eye Repair. It contains growth factors that help to hydrate the skin and increase firmness. It also helps reduce the appearance of dark cirles. It’s no wonder it was voted the best luxury eye cream by ABC News in 2012.

Are crow’s feet your issue? Botox may be a nice option for you. Botox can minimize the muscle contractions that cause the skin around the eyes to bunch up and thus crow’s feet to form. Botox is a wonderful preventive measure that you can take in the fight against wrinkles and expression lines around the eyes and elsewhere. Want to brush up on your Botox knowledge? Check out our previous post on the benefits of Botox.

If droopiness, puffiness, loose or sagging skin around the eye area is your issue an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, may be something to consider. An upper blepharoplasty (upper lids only), lower blepharoplasty (lower lids only), or quad blepharoplasty (both upper and lower lids) are wonderful options depending on the area of concern. Visit our website to see incredible pre and post-procedure photos. To learn more abut this procedure please visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website. This contains up to date, accurate, and reliable information.

Cheers to Glowing Skin… 0

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We have all heard about the benefits of drinking wine… a lowered risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers,colon cancer and much much more… but a glass a day for glowing skin? I’ll drink to that. Wine, particularly red, is chock-full of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols which help to soak up and flush out damaging free radicals. Flavonoids actually help protect the skin from sun damage while resveratrol provides numerous anti-aging benefits. Research at Harvard has proven resveratrol’s role in increasing production of SIRT1 which in turn speeds up cells’ energy production. This improves circulation and aids in skin repair and regeneration. Wine has also been proven to reduce stress, which is linked to a number of skin conditions included acne, rosacea, and psoriasis.

Not a fan of wine? Not to worry. There are a number of antioxidant rich foods including dark chocolate, pomegranate, blueberries, and cherries. It seems that grape juice would be a healthy alternative, however, it is stripped of the skin and seeds (these are the parts of the grape that contain these wonderful, anti-aging properties). It’s also full of sugar! 8 oz of wine contains 1 gram of sugar while 8 oz of grape juice contains 38 grams. Sugar can be very detrimental to your skin for a number of reasons (stay tuned for our upcoming post on sugar… the good, the bad, and the ugly).

Remember, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. The American Heart Association recommends one to two four ounce glasses of wine a day. More than this may have the opposite effect on your health and appearance.

All About Arnica 0

Arnica Montana

Many of you have probably heard of Arnica Montana, in fact, it is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies throughout the world… but what exactly is it? Arnica Montana is a perennial that grows throughout northern and central Europe as well as Siberia. It is more commonly known as the mountain daisy. St. Hildergard, a 12th century nun, once wrote about the healing properties of this little plant. It has been growing in popularity since the 16th century. Arnica can now be found in almost every health food store as well as many people’s medicine cabinets.

Why is Arnica so popular? It is a natural pain reliever, soothes aches and pains such as sore muscles, relieves stiffness, and reduces bruising. Arnica can be taken internally or used as an ointment. Though Arnica is toxic at full strength, it is completely safe when diluted homeopathically. We recommend Arnica Montana to our patients to relieve post-procedure pain, bruising, and swelling. In fact, Arnica can be taken before elective procedures and injections as a preventive measure.

To learn more about Arnica Montana, including vendors in your area, visit Boiron’s website.

Oxygenetix 0

oxygenetixSummer heat can bring on a variety of skin problems including dry skin, acne from an increase in oil production, and worsened rosacea from excessive heat. One of the keys to keeping your skin healthy is letting it breathe. Unfortunately, the makeup we use to cover up, even out, and make our skin look flawless can contribute to these conditions by causing a barrier, thus trapping sweat, dirt, and oil beneath our skin.

Luckily, you needn’t sacrifice beautiful looking skin for truly healthy skin. Oxygenetix is a full coverage, non-comedogenic, oil free, hypoallergenic, organic, and truly breathable foundation. Not only does Oxygenetix allow your skin to breathe, it actually drives oxygen into your skin’s cells using a breakthrough oxygen complex known as Ceravitae. Ceravitae is infused with oxygen, meaning it proliferates collagen production in the skin.

This foundation was formulated by doctors for post-procedural care. This product is actually beneficial to both patients recovering from cosmetic surgery and burn victims. It has been shown to speed up recovery time and minimize scaring. If you are looking for a foundation with unparalleled benefits, Oxygenetix may be the perfect fit. For more information and incredible before and after pictures please visit their official site.

Break a Sweat for Beautiful Skin! 0

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We all know that exercise is beneficial to one’s health; cardiovascular health, pulmonary health, and overall health. What you may not know is that exercise is extremely beneficial to your skin’s health! Exercise promotes healthy circulation and increases blood flow. Your blood caries oxygen and vital nutrients to your body’s cells, including your skin cells.

Yoga has proven especially beneficial for boosting oxygen levels and reducing stress and inflammation, both of which have negative effects on your skin. Exercise can also aid in carrying away waste products such as free radicals from your skin’s cells. All of this is very nourishing to the skin.

Another benefit of exercise is the effect it has on the body’s collagen production. Collagen is the main component of our body’s connective tissue and makes up approximately 25% – 35% of our bodies. Collagen cushions your joints and helps them to move smoothly. Collagen helps to hold your muscles in place and connect your tendons, bones, ligaments, cartilage, etc. Keeping collagen levels high is one of the keys to arthritis prevention. Collagen also helps your skin retain a subtle appearance and that youthful glow.

Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can boost your health in countless ways; so get out there and get moving. Walk, run, ride, dance, stretch… find something you love and stick with it. Your body (and your skin) will thank you!

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