Sunday, September 14, 2014

Emu Oil = Liquid Gold

This is a repost from December 2013
Full disclosure. I was sent a sampling of Country Divine Emu Oil products to write a post about. However this will never influence whether I like a product or not.

For a little over 10 years  now I have been using emu oil and can't say enough good things about it!  I think a little emu oil can fix just about anything.  I'm like the old guy in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  He believed Windex fixed everything.
Anyone remember the scene where he had his elbow in a bowl of Windex?  That's exactly how I feel about emu oil!  Have an abrasion?  Emu will heal it.  Itchy skin?  Emu will soothe it.  Dry, flaky skin?  Put some emu oil on it.  Sore muscles?  Emu to the rescue.  I think you get my point. 

So imagine my delight when I was approached by Country Divine to try out some of their emu products.  Country Divine's founders Katy and Paul Binford began raising emu's in 1992 in Tennessee.  At that time the couple was marketing emu oil for a friend who encouraged them to start their own business.  Since that time they have set industry standards for the refinement and production used by emu oil producers today.

What I love about this company is they have gone beyond just producing your standard emu oil and have taken it to a whole different level.  Their products include a joint and muscle cream, shampoo and conditioner, eye cream, antioxidant moisturizer, lip balm, a bar soap, hydrating body lotion, a cream formulated for aftercare for a tattoo or piercing, and emu oil supplements.  How cool is that?!  You can have soft, smooth skin from head to toe...inside and out!

Being a huge supplement taker myself, the emu supplements really intrigued me.  Emu oil is a good source of Omega 3, 6, and 9.  Not only can this little capsule helps lower your cholesterol, but it may provide relief from arthritis, PMS, as well as help with eczema and psoriasis.

Emu Oil is so similar to our own body oil, your skin will accept it better than a moisturizer.  It will never clog your pores.  Any skin type may use it.  For instance, I have oily skin but this is what I use twice a day for my moisturizer and it will not make my skin more oily.  Just a drop or two is all you need. 

Emu oil is one of the few substances that can penetrate all 7 layers of skin and reach muscle and joint cartridge.  This makes emu oil trans-dermal.  That means if you have a product you would like to drive deeper into your skin, add a half a drop of emu oil to it and it will help it penetrate more.  It is also used to help heal burn victims and heals the skin better than aloe vera and lavender oil.  As I said when I started this post, there is nothing I don't believe a little emu oil can't fix!

Have you ever tried emu oil for anything?

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Monday, September 1, 2014

Derma Roller: Trick Your Skin Into Producing Collagen & Elastin

One of the many benefits of being in the esthetic field is trying out new at home gadgets for the face and body.  If there is a new gizmo or doodad I want to give it a whirl!  Some never pan out as a consequence just gather dust in the bottom of my closet.  While a few of these wondrous inventions make the cut and become staples in my skin care regime.  This is the first post in a series of which I will share my finds with you.

In the past, I have shared some of the skin care products and treatments I use to fight the hands of time.  Chemical peels and Retin A (Trentinoin) are just two of the things that help to keep my skin looking young and healthy.  This Goddess is a high maintenance work in progress!

This first tool looks like a torture device, but I swear if you use it properly, you will love it!  It is a derma roller.  Also known as micro needling or collagen induction therapy.
The device itself can have 200-540 needle as there are several different models on the market.  By rolling it over the skin, it will create micro channels that are invisible to the naked eye.  These micro channels, then stimulate the body to do two things:

1) Stimulate the body's wound repair response and that, in turn, will trick make your body produce collagen and elastin.

2) Allow for better product penetration so the active ingredients in skin care can work better for the skin.

The benefits of derma rolling are:
* Reduce acne scars.
* Soften fine lines and wrinkles.
* Tighten the skin.
* Brighten the complexion.
* Diminish stretch marks.
             Something I need to mention here is, I have read a lot of reviews on micro needling.  Many of them from people who have only used it a week or two.  Your skin will not change in that short a time. Period.  You need to be using this for a minimum of 3 months to see actual changes.  The same theory applies to skin care.  It took a long time for your skin to get wrinkled, scarred, sun damaged, or whatever it is you are wanting to make look better about your skin.  So give it time and don't give up.  Your patients will pay off in the end! I also would not recommend anything higher than 1.0 mm on the face.  Longer needles are meant for a physician only use or to be used on the body.

I have been using my derma roller for a few months now and can report that my skin is brighter, softer, and has a smoother texture.  It also feels tighter to me. 
I started out using it once a week and slowly moved up to 5 days a week.  After I cleanse my skin in the evening, I will roll in small sections on my face.  4 times vertically and 4 times horizontally.  I always use light pressure. I am, on purpose, never aggressive with these treatments and I believe that is the key to making it work.  
It never takes more than 5-10 minutes to do and I am always pink when I am finished.  I then apply either a vitamin c serum or retin a (trentinoin).  By morning my face is no longer pink.

I always cleanse my derma roller in hot soapy water. I leave it in there for about 30 minutes or so.

I then spray it with alcohol and set it back in its holder to air dry.  You can also quickly dry it with a blow drier.

Any skin type and color may benefit from derma rolling.  I would caution against use if you are prone to keloid scars, diabetic, or pregnant.
This is one of the best videos I found on the interwebs on derma rolling.  She rolls more than I do, however, she uses a gentle pressure.

South African physician, Dr. Desmond Fernandes is one of the pioneers who discovered skin needling in the early 1990's.  He needles his skin everyday and is now in his 70's.  I want to be like Dr. Des!

When doing this treatment at home the skin should never:
* Bleed.
* Be sore or raw feeling.
* Have actually roller marks on your face.

You can have this procedure done by a doctor or esthetician in which case your skin would bleed.  However, you must remember they are using a longer needle in order to get down to the dermis.  They will also numb your skin first. Treatments will be done every 4-6 weeks.

So tell me: 
*Have you ever used a derma roller?
*Would you ever use a derma roller?
*What at home anti aging treatment do you swear by?

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pump up the volume....for the day?

There is a relatively new in office procedure being performed by some plastic surgeons.  It is quite controversial and, I will admit, this one has me scratching my head.  

It is a temporary breast enhancement.  The physician injects a saline solution directly into the breast and this will briefly expand them.  Results will last a short 24 hours and then {poof} just like Cinderella, your boobs go back to their normal state.

Saline solution is basically salt water. The solution gets reabsorbed into your body.  The cost is anywhere between $2500-$3500.

This procedure first started as a way for potential breast enhancement patients to determine how they would look if they chose to have implants.  Many doctors still offer this, but a few MD's began getting calls for this instant lift from women wanting a little more va va voom for a special occasion. Such as a wedding, vacation, party, even a ballroom dance!
Manhattan based plastic surgeon, Dr. Norman Rowe preparing to inject a patient's breast with saline.

So, I thought I would see what my dear readers have to say about this procedure.  Would you have it done?  Yay or nay?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I'm Baaaack!

Hello, my Beauties!!  I have missed you so!  I hope you are having as great a summer as I am!  It is going by waaaaaay too fast!  I have been crazy busy, but I am here to squash the rumor that I have been abducted by aliens and some sort of probe went on!
The Esthetic Goddess is a probe free zone!
Even though I work out year round I seem to step it up even more once warm weather hits so I haven't spent much time online.   I also seem to spend even more time in the summer in my kitchen playing Susie Homemaker!  Once winter hits I just want to hibernate under my electric blanket!  

The hubs and I have been remodeling our home for the past two years now and even though we have the major projects done, we still have some work to do.  Generally this means lots of dust and dirt inside the house in summer.
 However, approximately 6 weeks ago Steve suffered a sports related injury (ruptured achilles tendon) which he then had to have surgery to repair.  So everything has been put on the back burner for now.

The good news is he is healing exceptionally fast and will soon be ready for yet another sports related injury!  He seems to have a major one ever 2-3 years.

Although I have not had much of an online presence these past few weeks I was still answering questions through my email.  As a result, I thought it might be fun to answer some of the questions here.

Question: Do I really have to exfoliate my face?

Answer: Are you over the age of 13?  Do you have skin?

If your response was yes to either question above, then the answer is a resounding,  "Heck yeah you do!"  You can have up to 30 layers of dead skin on your face!  Simply cleansing your face cannot remove all the dirt, debris, and dry dead skin cells.  

By exfoliating once every 3 or 4 days you will:

*Reduce the occurrence of acne, blackheads, and clogged pores.

*Make your pores appear smaller.
*Improve your skin texture and tone.
*Help your skincare absorb better, therefore it will work harder for you.

So quit your bellyaching and don't be a "step skipper" as they say on Seinfeld.
 It will only take you a few extra minutes to exfoliate your face.  Additionally the benefits are so worth it and your skin will thank you for it!  Seriously, it will!  You simply can't hear it when there's 30 layers of dead skin cells piled on top of it!  If you would like to learn more about what kind of exfoliator you should be using read this.

Question: My make-up and/or moisturizer already contains an SPF.  Do I really need to apply a separate SPF?

Answer: You bet your sweet epidermis you have to apply a separate SPF!

 I am not a fan of products that claim to do several things in one and here is why.  In order to receive proper protection from the sun you need to apply a nickel size dollop to your face.  So, that means you would need to apply about 7 layers of make-up!  Who does that?!  And if you are applying 7 layers of make-up on your face, you better be exfoliating it!  Also when products have several ingredients in them, you are not getting the full percentage of what one active ingredient can do for your skin.  I don't know about you, but I want the most out of every product I use on my face!  So in a nutshell, don't be a "step skipper"!

Never leave home without applying an SPF of 30.  Whether the sun is shining or it is cloudy and raining, apply that sunscreen!  It is the easiest way to protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer.  The UVB rays are the burning rays and are outdoors when the sun is out and about.  UVA rays are out ALL THE TIME!  No matter what the weather is.  UVA rays are the aging rays.  We hate them!  They steal our collagen and elastin.  Aging us faster than bad chili through a dog!  

For the best protection for your skin choose a physical sunscreen containing Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide.  To read more about choosing the right sunscreen refer to this post.

If you have a question or concern about your skin please don't hesitate to contact me and I may use it in a future post!

So tell me:

* What have you been up to this summer?

* Have you ever had a sports related injury?

* Are you a "step skipper"?!

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Friday, June 27, 2014

Plastic Surgeries That Make You Go Hmmmmm

You all know I am all for taking care of wrinkles and sagging skin before things get too out of control.  I'm the Esthetic Goddess for a reason! Plus, I'll be the first to have a nip, tuck, or tweak done, and then I will share with you what procedures I had done.  

However, there are some really bizarre plastic surgery procedures out there that even I would not do and would leave me scratching my head.  I thought I'd share some of them with you, as you may not have heard of these procedures before. Maybe after reading this you'll want one of them! 

Beard Transplant
Now, I am not a dude so this one is a total mystery to me.  As women, we spend a lot of time and money removing hair from various parts of our body.  
For the beard transplant, surgeons harvest the hair from the back of the scalp and implant hair buds in the beard/mustache area.

Palm Line Alterations
Life not going the way you planned?  Forget working hard to change your life! With a few cuts here and there you can get the lines on your palms altered. 
 Take that fortune tellers!  Maybe you could even lengthen your life line!

Ear Lobe Lift
I can't tell you how many times a day a client comes in to me worried about her sagging earlobes.  Thank goodness she can forget about filling the wrinkles on her face with Juvederm, and instead inject the serum into her earlobes!  Sure, she will still have a face full of wrinkles, but her earrings will be hanging on some youthful looking lobes!

Eye Implants

Don't like the color of your eyes?  No problem!  You can now surgically change the color!  I think I will wait till they come out with a leopard print version of this procedure.  Then I'm going for it!

Voice Lift
This one gives a whole new meaning to "high talker"!  They simply slice your throat open, insert an implant, inject fillers into your vocal chords, then sew you back up.  What could possibly go wrong here?!

Now if you are tired of spending mula on plastic surgery for yourself, how about spending some on your pet?  Don't think your pet needs it?  Not so fast!  If you had you male pet neutered, isn't he missing something important?
 Yup!  He is missing his dangly bits and is probably real self-conscious of it too! 

 Thank goodness that can be rectified with Neuticles!  Solid silicone implants for his jingle bells.

And look, they come in different sizes too!  They can fit them for dogs, cats, monkeys, bulls, or just about any animal you can think of.  Isn't science and technology wonderful?!

Until next time!  Have a beautiful skin day!  
Your Esthetic Goddess,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Treating Acne Scars

Acne scarring is probably one of the most common issues I see clients for on a regular basis.  There are several different kinds and of course even more ways to treat acne scars.  No need to fret as the Esthetic Goddess is here to give you the low down on how you can rid your complexion of those imperfections.
The most common and luckily the easiest to treat is post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.  Post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation is the red or brown spots that are left over as acne is healing up.  On it's own this type of scarring can take 6-12 months to resolve itself.  In the words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't Nobody got time for that!" 
However what we do have time for is the autotune remix of Sweet Brown!  I'll wait right here whilst you watch and sing along!  It's totally worth it and you will sing it for the rest of the day!

Alrighty then!  Back to post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.  
Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation
There are a few ways to heal these spots up quicker than a few months.  Using a product with a 4% Hydroquinine in it 2 x's a day.  Hydroquinine is a bleaching ingredient that will help lighten up the scarring.  This is a prescription product that you get from your dermatologist and it is worth it!  There are products sold over the counter with 2% hydroquinine in them.  In my experience they are ineffective and a waste of your time and money. 

Another great option is the Intense Pulse Light Laser, treatments to help zap the spots and heal them up quickly.  I wrote a post about how IPL removes freckles and sun damage a few months ago.  I like to use IPL to improve and rejuvenate the complexion, which will facilitate in jump starting the healing process.

Retin A (Trentinoin) and chemical peels will also help restore the skin too.

Ice pick, rolling, and boxcar acne scarring is harder to treat and may need more invasive treatments but they can indeed be treated.
 Ice pick scars can be corrected with a surgical procedure called Punch Excision.  A special tool is used to excise the scar and then the skin edges are sutured together.  A week later stitches are removed.

Punch Excision with Skin Graft Replacement is also an option.  With this method the scar is excised with the punch tool.  Instead of stitching up the skin the gap is filled with a skin graft, usually taken from behind the ear.  After healing the skin may not match, but can be lessened with laser treatments.

Boxcar scars may be treated with Punch Elevation.  The same tool as mentioned above is used to elevate and the reattached.  This will diminish the depth of the scar.

Rolling scars can be treated with a method called Subcutaneous Incision.  A surgical probe is used to separate the skin and the scar tissue.  This will raise the skin and, over time, flatten out the surface of the skin.

Injectable fillers can sometimes be used as well as some laser treatments.  The important thing is to make sure you go to a physician who specializes in treating acne scarring so you get the best outcome for yourself and your skin.  

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Eyelash Growth Serums Work Their Magic

Back in February I wrote a post on my "freakishly long" eyelashes and the eyelash serum I use.

I started using eyelash conditioners about 9 years ago.  They are in my opinion simply magical!  Incredibly easy to use. Everyone sees results when using them and they not only make your lashes grow, but losing eyelashes becomes a thing of the past!  That's magic in my book!

There is also a bunch of great serums out there to choose from.  Who doesn't love having choices?!

While I think we can all agree here that these serums are magical there is a definite method to how they work their magic.

So how do eyelash growth serums work?  Basically there is 3 phases of hair growth. 

*The Anagen Stage (The active growing phase.)

*The Catagen Stage (The transitional phase between resting or shedding.)

*The Telogen Stage (The resting or shedding phase.)

 The anagen stage is the growing stage.  Hair is typically in this stage for 2-6 years.  Then comes the catagen stage.  The catagen stage is in between the growing and shedding phase. usually lasting 1-2 weeks.  It is during this time that the deeper parts of the hair follicles start to collapse.  The telogen stage is the last phase and is known as the resting or shedding phase.  It generally last 5-6 months and at the end of this stage the older hairs will fall out and new ones will begin to grow. 

So basically what eyelash growth serums do  stimulates the resting hair into the anagen stage using peptides, vitamins, and minerals thus producing fuller, longer lashes.

Most people can use these products without any side effects, but as with everything there are always a small percent that is an exception to the rule.  A very few people have reported redness and stinging if product gets into eyes.  Most irritation goes away after a few days of use.  I have never experienced any side effects. 

If you wear contacts it is perfectly safe for you to use. However if you have any hesitation about using a lash enhancer always contact your physician first.

So tell me....

Have you ever used an eyelash serum?

What product do you consider magical?

Till next time.  Have a beautiful skin day!  Your Esthetic Goddess,  Susie