Introducing Microcurrent Treatments!

I am excited to be bringing in a new piece of equipment to the studio: a microcurrent machine! Does younger-looking skin sound good to you? It definitely sounds good to me, and I can’t wait to get to work on your skin (and mine!).

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History

In the early 1800s, it was discovered that injured human tissue discharges electricity. Through experimentation it was learned that mild electrical currents can help in the treatment of wounds and bone fractures, healing them 250% to 350% faster than those not using microcurrent. Originally used to treat Bell’s Palsy, microcurrent caught on as a form of aesthetic treatment after it was noted that the skin of Bell’s Palsy patients appeared smoother and younger-looking following exposure to microcurrent.

How does it work?

Microcurrent is an electrical current very similar to that which your body generates on its own. It is so slight that it would take one million microcurrent machines to light a 40 watt light bulb! It cannot be felt while you are receiving the treatment.

Microcurrent promotes collagen and elastin production in your skin, and can dramatically increase the body's production of amino acids and ATP. ATP is a chemical essential to energy transfer between cells, and, along with amino acids, facilitates cell repair and promotes healthier cell production.

Clinical studies have shown that after twenty days of microcurrent treatment, collagen production increases by 14 percent, elastin increases by 48 percent, and blood circulation increases by 38 percent. 

Benefits of microcurrent treatments

Microcurrent delivers a variety of benefits to those who wish to maintain a more youthful-looking appearance. The results can vary by individual and skin type, are gradual, and will not happen overnight. Although microcurrent facial treatment has been known to produce an immediate but temporary rejuvenating effect, continued application will provide cumulative long-term, lasting results!

FAQ:

How many microcurrent sessions do I need?
A series of 12 sessions is recommended two times per week for optimum results. Monthly maintenance is recommended.

How soon will I see results from the microcurrent facial treatment?
The condition of your skin and your lifestyle both play an important part in determining results. Usually results are visible after the first session, and the treatment results are cumulative in effect.

How do I prepare for a treatment?
Prior to treatment, you must be properly hydrated to reap the full benefits. Drink 1 or 2 quarts of water 2-4 hours before the treatment, and make sure you’ve been getting enough water in general (chronic dehydration is surprisingly common!) so that your microcurrent treatment is effective. People with more muscle mass, especially athletes, need to drink more water than the average person. Coffee, caffeinated tea, and carbonated beverages don't count as water.

Who can receive microcurrent?
While most people stand to benefit from microcurrent treatments, there are a few contraindications. No microcurrent for you if

  • you are pregnant
  • you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder
  • you have a pacemaker or other electronic or metal device internally
  • you have a heart condition
  • you have active cancer

Starting in early March, you can schedule a single microcurrent-only session, add microcurrent to your facial, or, for the best results, schedule a series of treatments. Let’s do this!

Peel Series Coming to an End

I started this peel series on November 1, 2017. I began by using products that would prep my skin to get the most benefit from the series. See my earlier blog post for details on that.

The first peel that's performed is the lactic acid peel. Lactic acid is derived from sour milk and is an alpha hydroxy acid. This is a gentle peel for normal to dry skin with irregular pigmentation. Lactic acid peels help to remove germs, dead cells and toxins from the skin. Lactic acids leave the skin much smoother.

We begin this series of peels with lactic acid because it is so gentle and can be tolerated by even sensitive skin. Although lactic acid peels are gentler, they usually provide many of the same benefits as the other peels, but in a less intense version. Lactic is hydrating and combined with the arbutin and kojic acid it gives great results as a lightening peel. My skin tolerated it well.

Two weeks later I performed the glycolic acid peel on myself. Glycolic acid is commonly used treatment for winkles and acne. Its main function is cell renewal. It is an alpha hydroxy acid, derived from sugar cane, and is a fruit acid. It helps to remove the “glue” that holds the older, rougher, dryer skin on the surface, revealing fresher-looking skin. Glycolic acid is commonly used for normal/combination skin.

I did have some flaking after this peel. About a week later my skin was flaky, but not uncomfortable at all and the flaking was hardly visible.

At the next two week interval, I performed one layer of the TCA peel. This is the big guns! 

TCA stands for Trichloroacetic acid. These peels are usually used for pigment problems, more severe blemishes than can be handled by AHA peels, and wrinkles. The results are usually more dramatic than with an AHA peel but these require a slightly longer recovery period than AHA peels. The TCA peel that I use is a 10% TCA suitable for all skin types (except sensitive or rosacea skin) with irregular pigmentation.  It's perfect for hyperpigmentation and melasma. I had a small amount of flaking with this peel but nothing very noticable.

Normally I would have done another TCA peel after four weeks, but I knew that I would be in Mexico and didn't want to risk having peeling skin in the tropical sun. So, after being away for eight days and being delayed by weather for another three, I finally got to do the strongest peel. I did four layers of the TCA almost a week ago. My skin is tight on the surface and has started to flake just the tiniest bit on my chin and at my temples. 

Update on 2/6/18

So after several days of flaking, I had another look at my skin. The main spot I was working on is still there but a bit lighter. My overall pigmentation spots are improved, So, it's back to the peels for me. On 2/4 I did two layers of chemical peel that is a different combinations of chemicals. This peel is one that I typically use for acne but can also be used for pigmentation/anti-aging. This time I did a spot treatment. If this doesn't get the job done, I have one more trick up my sleeve.

Stay tuned!

Update 5/22/18

I've tried another modality to lighten my dark spot and it has helped but I'm still not all the way there. While I was at a trade show, I attended a class on a device called the Super Frecator. This device uses a high frequency electrical current to cauterize, dehydrate and dessicate skin growths. The skin is never penetrated but a small spark is created very near the skin's surface. I had a bunch of other little spots removed too. Numbing cream was used on most but not all of the spots and the procedure was very fast and tolerable. A scab instantly develops and within a week or two falls off to reveal healthy skin cells. I suspect that my hyper-pigmented damage is down at the stem cell level and continues to reproduce pigmented skin cells which is why I haven't been able to completely lift it.

 

 

 

 

Time to Peel

It's Winter time! With the overcast, short days, it's the perfect time to begin a peel series. Protecting the skin from the sun during this process is a must, and it's much easier to do that this time of year.

Why do chemical peels? It's an opportunity to work on scarring, sun damage and fine lines. Peels speed up the process of cellular renewal by flaking or peeling of the skin, forcing the new, fresh skin to be revealed. The newly regenerated skin is smoother, softer, brighter, and less wrinkled than the old skin cells. It is extremely important to take care of this new skin by using the right healing products, as well as daily SPF moisturizer. 

When doing a series of progressive peels you may only experience microscopic flaking or no flaking at all following each treatment. As we go along with slightly stronger peels you may experience slight flaking to peeling of the skin for 3-7 days after treatment. If you do not experience flaking or peeling, this doesn't mean the peel was ineffective. The ingredients and delivery agents still worked. Please know that flaking or peeling of the skin is only a side effect of a peel.

If you have never received a peel or resurfacing treatment before or do not follow a good home care regimen, you will be more susceptible to experience visual exfoliation, whereas someone who has regular treatments and has a professional home care regimen will have healthier skin and not as much visual exfoliation. I require that I have total control over your skin while going through the peel series so that you don't accidently use a product that will impede your results.

I'll be putting my skin through a peel series and I started off on November first using these products only. These are my go-to products, but I am often trying out new products to be sure I'm bringing the best products into the studio. Plus, new products! I want to try them all! But for now I will refrain.

  • Green Tea Cleanser: a gentle foaming cleanser to get the job done.
  • Glycolic Cleanser: breaks down oil and encourages cellular turnover.
  • Retinol 2% Exfoliating Scrub/Mask: retinol encourages the breakup of blackheads and clogged pores, jojoba beads gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while kojic lightens age spots and blemishes left from scars.
  • Glycolic and Retinol Pads: these pads break up surface oil to refine pores and reveal fresh, healthy skin. Kojic and arbutin lighten sun spots and scars left from blemishes.
  • Acai Berry Moisturizer: antioxidants protect from environmental damage while relieving the surface signs of aging. Co-Q10 stimulates collagen to minimize fine lines.
  • Sheer Protection SPF30: a light, sheer-feeling sunblock that provides both UVA and UVB protection for all skin types. 13.5% zinc oxide; all natural, no chemicals.
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    With my series of peels I'll be working on some sun damaged spots. I've been working on this spot on my left cheek for quite some time and so far I haven't been able to completely lift it. The left side of the face is a common area for excessive sun damage for those of us who drive, as the harmful UVA rays penetrate through the windoes of our cars. This is why it's important to use sun protection every day. I've always parted my hair on this side which also gave me more sun exposure. Unfortunately, I haven't always practiced what I preach when it comes to sun protection. I spent the summers of my youth at the beach, and then, even as I got older, would only protect my skin if I was going to be out all day. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong. And I've got the sun damage to prove it.

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    "But my skin gets better with sun!"

    Have you experienced this? Have you noticed that your skin clears up when you get some sun? Well, don't be fooled.  Here's what's really happening.

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    Sun exposure suppresses the immune system, which decreases the inflammatory response to acne and reduces redness. If you have skin that tans in the sun, you might also notice less redness due to your skin’s increase in pigment. But while sunbathing might seem like a good short-term fix for acne, it can make your breakouts much worse in the long run, as well as causing far more dangerous problems such as skin cancer. UVA rays are not the tanning rays, but we are exposed to them whenever the sun is shining. They can penetrate glass, so we are always vulnerable to them, even in winter. They reach deep into your skin to break down the collagen and elastin and prevent skin from producing more. UVB rays are the tanning rays; they don't penetrate as deeply into the skin, but they are more responsible for cancers. The result of exposure to both of these types of rays is that your skin loses structure and begins to show typical signs of aging; brown spots, leathery skin texture, wrinkles, and even the appearance of larger pores. Over time the walls of your pores lose elasticity and sag, appearing larger as a result.

    Getting a sunburn or suntan also dries out the skin. If you have oily skin and you dry it out too much, the skin’s response is to make more oil. The skin is always trying to maintain its natural barrier and stay in balance.

    So, what to do?

    Every day, apply sunscreen to the face, neck, ears, and the back of the hands. These are the areas that get the most sun exposure. Try keeping a hand cream with SPF in your car as a reminder to protect your hands, and a powdered sunscreen in your bag to re-apply during the day or to get your ears and scalp if you know you'll be in the sun for any length of time.

    Conventional sunscreens can be heavy and oily, irritating acne-prone skin, but there are many acne-safe products on the market now. I carry several different types of acne-safe sun protection products. Check them out the next time you come in! And remember to keep your skin protected all year long.

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    Product Spotlight: Viktoria DeAnn

    Are you looking for products whose efficacy only increases over time? Incorporating peptides into your routine is the cutting edge of skincare.

    We know that if you want to really change the skin, you have to be able to get down to where the skin production begins, and that's the dermis. Moisturizers are important for maintaining the outer layers of skin and helping with the appearance of the outer layer but they can't actually treat the living layers of skin. Working with the epidermis and the dermis (deeper layers of the skin) allows for an internal reestablishment of the healthy cell cycle. As these supporting layers of the skin peak towards their natural operating function, the effects can be seen in the outer layers.

    As skin ages, it loses the message to replenish itself at the proper rate. Dead cells on the surface (stratum corneum) accumulate and become thicker, reducing moisture, nourishment, and protection from within and producing rough and unhealthy skin. This is why it's important to exfoliate more as we age. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun increase pigmentation and damage to skin cells, resulting in age spots and freckles. Collagen and elastin, which is the structure that holds the skin together, starts to break down causing it to lose its firmness and resilience.

    Peptides allow the skin’s cellular function and skin renewal cycle to become optimized and renewed. These renewed skin cells make their way from the dermis up to the epidermis, smoothing the skin's surface. Renewal of the stratum corneum also helps reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation and freckles, while healthy collagen and elastin promote firm, youthful skin.

    I will be incorporating these amazing peptides into all of my facials, but the best results are obtained by continuing with homecare. The beauty of peptides is that you can start with just one or if you want more dramatic results you can layer as many as you like. Retail products will be available in the studio only, not online. Look for them the next time you come in. This lift kit has everything you need to get started and includes pepti-lift, pepti-tone, eye serum, and rejuvenator. Purchased separately the cost of these products would be $230, but purchased as a kit the cost is just $190.

    Remember to ask for a sample kit when you're in for your next appointment!

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    New Year, new space, new beginnings!

     I can’t wait to share the all-new Melt Body and Skin studio with you. Opening in January, the space—right in the center of Chatham, with ample free parking, and just steps away from some of the area’s top restaurants and shops—will be a serene, restful getaway designed with you, my best customers, in mind. 

    Are you ready for some construction shots?

     Wall going up to make the new treatment room.

    Wall going up to make the new treatment room.

     Wall up and painted.

    Wall up and painted.

     Walls painted, Lighting in.

    Walls painted, Lighting in.

    In a couple of weeks, I’ll be announcing the dates of  Melt Body and Skin’s Open House in January. Bring a friend, tour the new space, take advantage of some great offers and enter to win some exceptional prizes! Until then, I’ll still be taking appointments at Deb’s Shear Perfection in New Lebanon through December 28. You can book online through my website to make an appointment. I’m also carrying gift cards that you can arrange to purchase now that can be used going forward in Chatham. Just give me a call or text at 518 929 5600 and I can get that set up for you.

    Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

    Laura

     

     

    Beta Testing a new product!

    I use Se-Brazil waxing products and have learned from one of the best teachers; Stephanie Laynes; founder of Se-Brazil. When Stephanie developed a new product and was looking for beta testers I jumped at the chance. Especially when the product focused on solving an issue that I have and I see many others having too. Da da da dummmm-the dreaded ingrown hairs. 

    My old, dry leg before using any product.

    Exfoliation is really key in managing this skin condition, and yes, it is a condition of the skin that largely brings about this problem. When there are excess dead skin cells laying on the surface of the skin the hair has a hard time pushing through to the surface. It gets trapped and continues to grow,  forming a little bump. People with coarse or curly hair can also be plagued by ingrowns. In some people, the ingrowns become infected which can be painful and can even lead to scarring. We don't want that! No way.

    So, back to exfoliation. Some people use a mitt or a loofah which are good exfoliators but think about it. These items are used in the shower. A place where it's warm and wet. Do you see where I'm going with this? That's right; the perfect environment for nasties to grow. And if you are the type who is prone to the infected type of ingrowns; head for the hills! Unless you're committed to laundering and drying your mitt or loofah between uses this really isn't a good choice.

    That's why I'm excited about these little bars. The purple one has a rough texture which is perfect for dry, rough skin (hello my legs). I couldn't feel the physical exfoliation with the brown bar but it might be just the thing for a more delicate area. I used both bars every night for a week and wow! What a difference. Lots of dead skin cells were removed and free little hairs left in their place. The next time I sugar my legs I know I will get a much better result.

    Se-Brazil Ingrown Bars. My new best friends.

    The purple bar contains Lavender/Shea Butter/Oatmeal and the brown one Lavender/Shea Butter/Brown Sugar and both have a base of Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Rosemary Extract, and Vitamin E Extract. I'm going to continue to experiment using the bars separately now to see if there is a difference in their performance on my problem areas. 

    Thanks Stephanie for another great product. I'm really looking forward to sharing these products with my clients.