Category Archives: Skin Care

What to do about dark spots??

Having worked in the skin care industry for over 12 years there is one thing that plagues men and women about their skin, especially on their face: DARK SPOTS!  DARK SPOTS!!!!! People ask me all the time: How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?

Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation (the medical term) is a problem that can affect men and women of all ages, and can be very embarrassing and make people self conscious. It affects how we feel about the way we look.  And how we look affects our entire life.

I understand the difficulties of uneven skin tone and dark areas on your skin very well.  Not only do 95% of my clients come see me to correct uneven skin tone, but I also suffer from an uneven skin tone problem.  I am an olive complected Caucasian, and I have a skin condition called Melasma.

Melasma is a skin condition that affects women more than men, and is caused by our hormones, (great, one more thing to blame our hormones on).  It affects all skin tones (Caucasian, African American, Asian and Hispanic) people.  It can sometimes be easier to see on women with a lighter skin tone (skin tone 1-2) because of the contrast between their regular skin tone and the melasma.  The skin is usually “splotchy”.  The dark areas do not have even borders, and can even appear like “spatters” of dark spots on the face.  As if someone took a paintbrush and dipped in a darker skin tone and then spattered your face with the darker color.

Then there are the dreaded spots from acne.  Clients will call me and say they have “acne scarring”, or “Blemishes” or simply “dark spots” from acne.  These discolorations can occur on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and back.  Anywhere there has been an acne bump.  Acne causes redness and inflammation many times, and in skin of color inflammation or redness commonly leads to a dark spot.  The dark spots will be worse if you “pick” or “squeeze” your acne bumps.

acnemarks

So what can you do to clear up your skin???  Well, the first step is to prevention.  For melasma and sun damage that means 1) SPF 20 (at least) sunscreen on your face EVERY day that you are outside.  2) Try not to be in direct sunlight without covering your face with a hat, visor, umbrella, etc.  I wear a visor ALL summer long.  We went to the beach for our weekly vacation and my body was protected with sunscreen.  My face was protected with a big floppy hat.  I battle melasma all the time, so I protect my face from the sun as much as possible.  HATS and sunscreen are your best friends.

For acne the best prevention is an appointment with a dermatologist to get medication that will prevent you form continuing to get bumps.  I talk more about acne and treatments here.  Truly the key with acne is the proper medication to keep the bumps from coming in the first place.  Second, if you do get bumps, DO NOT PICK, SQUEEZE or otherwise mess with them.  That will help tremendously to avoid dark spots!

However, my FAVORITE products that I have had LOTS of success with (I use them myself and LOVE them),  are the Arbonne Genius pads, and the Cellular Renewal Mask. Now for complete transparency I am an Arbonne consultant, however, I have used lots and lots of products that were not made by Arbonne to help with my melasma, and these two worked better  than any others. I fact, I no longer have to get microdermabrasions to make my skin softer because these products keep my skin very soft and smooth as well.

These pads have worked WONDER for me!!

 

LOVE LOVE this mask!!

The reason I do this is because I have dealt with dark spots for years and have tried many many products.  I have done chemical peels, microdermabrasions, facials, etc etc etc. THESE are the ones that have worked the fastest for me, and I LOVE IT!!  I understand how dark spots affect your self esteem,  how it feels to be unhappy with your skin and have to use makeup even in the summer (which most women HATE), and I am a firm believer in these products because they have worked for me!

Before

 

6 months after

 

The bottom picture I DO have some makeup on, but it is ONLY mascara, eye liner and lipstick. NO face makeup!!

Now, I am NOT going to tell you that this has been a fast or easy process, but I will tell you that minimizing the dark spots on my face has made me much more comfortable going out without makeup, and when I DO use makeup it is MUCH less than I used to use.

Pictures tell the story and if you decide to use this product I advise you to take a before pic and after pic three weeks later to see the difference.  Yes, three weeks.  If anyone tells you something works faster than that don’t believe it. It takes time to remove dark spots.  The best prevention in the first place is: sunscreen, hats, and DON’T pick or squeeze your bumps.  If you have acne, see a dermatologist to get medicine to help prevent the acne from coming in the first place.

Please let me know if I can help.  This product worked for me and I know it can work for you too!

How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?

Having worked in the skin care industry for over 10 years there is one thing that plagues women about their skin, especially on their face: DARK SPOTS!  DARK SPOTS!!!!! People ask me all the time: How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?

Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation (the medical term) is a skin problem that can affect men and women of all ages, and can be very embarrassing and make people self conscious. It affects how we feel about the way we look.  And how we look affects our entire life.

I understand the difficulties of uneven skin tone and dark areas on your skin very well.  Not only do 95% of my clients come see me to correct uneven skin tone, but I also suffer from an uneven skin tone problem.  I am an olive complected Caucasian, and I have a skin condition called Melasma.

Melasma is a skin condition that affects women more than men, and is caused by our hormones, (great, one more thing to blame our hormones on).  It affects all skin tones (Caucasian, African American, Asian and Hispanic) people.  It can sometimes be easier to see on women with a lighter skin tone (skin tone 1-2) because of the contrast between their regular skin tone and the melasma.  The skin is usually “splotchy”.  The dark areas do not have even borders, and can even appear like “spatters” of dark spots on the face.  As if someone took a paintbrush and dipped in a darker skin tone and then spattered your face with the darker color.

Then there are the dreaded spots from acne.  Clients will call me and say they have “acne scarring”, or “Blemishes” or simply “dark spots” from acne.  These discolorations can occur on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and back.  Anywhere there has been an acne bump.  Acne causes redness and inflammation many times, and in skin of color inflammation or redness commonly leads to a dark spot.  The dark spots will be worse if you “pick” or “squeeze” your acne bumps.

acnemarks

So what can you do to clear up your skin???  Well, the first step is to prevention.  For melasma and sun damage that means 1) SPF 20 (at least) sunscreen on your face EVERY day that you are outside.  2) Try not to be in direct sunlight without covering your face with a hat, visor, umbrella, etc.  I wear a visor ALL summer long.  We went to the beach for our weekly vacation and my body was protected with sunscreen.  My face was protected with a big floppy hat.  I battle melasma all the time, so I protect my face from the sun as much as possible.  HATS and sunscreen are your best friends.

For acne the best prevention is an appointment with a dermatologist to get medication that will prevent you form continuing to get bumps.  I talk more about acne and treatments here.  Truly the key with acne is the proper medication to keep the bumps from coming in the first place.  Second, if you do get bumps, DO NOT PICK, SQUEEZE or otherwise mess with them.  That will help tremendously to avoid dark spots!

The next step is products.  There are prescriptions you can use to help with lightening dark spots.  Specifically the medication is “Hydroquinone”.  It has 4% hydroquinone which is a skin lightener in it, however it can be VERY expensive (most of the time at least $60.00 to sometimes over $100.00).  For comparison, a very nice over the counter product you can use to lighten dark spots is Ambi, or Porcelana fading cream.  They have 2% hydroquinone, so they are less potent than a prescription, but are more affordable.

Melasma on my forehead before Revelage

Melasma on my forehead before Revelage

Melasma on my forehead AFTER three weeks of Revelage

Melasma on my forehead AFTER three weeks of Revelage

However, my FAVORITE product that I have had LOTS of success with (I use it myself and LOVE it),  is Revelage Concentrated Age Spot minimizer.  It is marketed for “age spots”, but works GREAT on all discoloration. I have sold this product to clients, and every single one of them has seen improvement using it. (I use it and it works for me also) As a matter of fact, most of them say it works better than the prescription Hydroquinone.  It should be used two times daily (morning and night) and is botanically based which is why I love it so much.  It has ingredients in there that are botanical: nutmeg oil, ferula root extract, caffeine, and licorice root extract.  This product also has retinyl palmitate which is a form of Vitamin A and causes exfoliation which helps get dark spots off your face more quickly.This product works beautifully, smells great and is quite affordable.  (It is made by Arbonne, and must be purchased from an Arbonne rep.) It normally retails for $47.00 but I offer it to ANYONE for $38.00 which is a 20% discount, AND I will ship it to you for free (in the Cont US)!

 

Revelage spot minimizer

Revelage spot minimizer

The reason I do this is because I have dealt with dark spots for years and have tried many many products.  THIS is the one that has worked the fastest for me, and I GET IT!!  I understand how dark spots affect your self esteem,  how it feels to be unhappy with your skin and have to use makeup even in the summer (which most women HATE), and I am a firm believer in this product because it has worked for me!  See my pictures above.

Now, I am NOT going to tell you that this has been a fast or easy process, but I will tell you that minimizing the dark spots on my face has made me much more comfortable going out without makeup, and when I DO use makeup it is MUCH less than I used to use.

Pictures tell the story and if you decide to use this product I advise you to take a before pic and an after pic three weeks later to see the difference.  Yes, three weeks.  If anyone tells you something works faster than that don’t believe it. It takes time to remove dark spots.  The best prevention in the first place is: sunscreen, hats, and DON’T pick or squeeze your bumps.  If you have acne, see a dermatologist to get medicine to help prevent the acne from coming in the first place.

Please let me know if I can help.  This product worked for me and I know it can work for you too!

 

 

Growing Old Gracefully….Take Care of Your Skin in the Sun……

When I was in my 20’s I always thought about being in my 30’s and 40’s and thought “that is SO old!!”.  I couldn’t really fathom what my life would/could be like at those ages, and to be honest I was truly living in the moment and not thinking about aging too much.

My brother Brian and I.  I was in my early 20's

My brother Brian and I. I was in my early 20’s

In my early 30’s I gave birth to two little boys and most of my 30’s was spent spent being married and raising these little boys.  Then the next thing I knew I was single, retired from the Navy and trying to figure out my next move. I have made MANY mistakes in my years, and some that I even wish I could have a re-do on, but one thing I have always been is resilient and I have ALWAYS had a Plan A, Plan B, and even a Plan C!

So before retirement I started looking for work, and landed a job with a Dermatologist in Hampton Roads within a month after my final Active Duty paycheck!

However, all of those years of sun worshiping at the beach, and working on flight decks, and having fun had taken its toll on my skin and I showed up with my melasma covered face, and in particular I had a melasma induced mustache I was NOT happy with.

While working for the dermatologist I learned about skin care, and started paying more attention to my skin.  I did not want to look like the little old ladies who are sun worshipers and have leather like skin. Too much sun is NOT our friend, and can make our skin leathery, not to mention give us skin cancer!!

NOT attractive...or healthy!!

NOT attractive…or healthy!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to be at the beach, the pool, or just outside.  In fact I often comment that I am “solar powered”, and need the sun to keep me happy.  However, I use my sunscreen and wear a hat to keep the sun off of my face!  The key to properly using sunscreen is to apply it 30 minutes before you go out into the sun, and reapply it every couple of hours.

I like to use a “sport” spray because you get great coverage and it isn’t sticky.  SPF 30-45 is fine.  SPF 30 blocks 97% of harmful rays, and SPF 50 blocks about 98%. To be honest anything above SPF 50 is  really about marketing, because you think you are giving your skin more protection, but in reality you aren’t.  Sometimes the higher SPF levels costs more, and we are conned into thinking we need a 70 for super light skin, or our kids.  Don’t fall for the hype.  SPF 50 is FINE! Another downside to SPF higher than 50 is that since we think we are protected “more” we tend to not reapply the sunscreen as often.  This is a mistake.  Reapply every couple of hours, and even more frequently if you are in the water or sweating!

So what is UVA and UVB anyway?  The easiest way to explain it is this:  UVA means aging, and UVB means burning.  UVB is the main rays that cause skin cancer, and UVA are the ones that make your skin look like leather. So you always want UVA and UVB protection in your sun screen.

Now for those of you who deal with Melasma, (which I do as well), the best protection for you in order to keep your skin even toned and not looking splotchy is to wear sunscreen and if you are going to be out in the sun wear a hat, or visor.  Whatever you can do to keep the sun off of your face is what you need to do.

Melasma can occur at any age to any skin tone and any gender, but it primarily affects women over the age of 35.  It can be more obvious in those people with lighter skin tone, but darker toned people can also suffer from melasma.  There are lots of treatments for melasma, but in my opinion (after working for a noted dermatologist for 9 years) I feel that the best treatments are chemical peels (we use a salicylic acid peel) and microdermabrasions.  I have heard many people talk about laser, but that is a very expensive option, and the darker your skin tone the less powerful the laser can be in order to avoid permanent damage.  So medium and darker toned people have to be VERY careful with lasers. I  wear a visor whenever I am in the sun, and give myself a microdermabrasion every 6 weeks or so in the winter and once a month in the summer.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and we need to remember that as an organ it needs proper care and nourishment.  Use your sunscreen, drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods.  All of these things contribute to healthy glowing skin.  If you are local to the Hampton Roads area, I give free consultations, and am HAPPY to see you in either our Hampton or Virginia Beach office  Quite often products and proper care can improve your skin, and you can avoid procedures, but those are available if you need them.

If you are NOT in the Hampton Roads area still feel free to make a comment if you have a question and I will do my best to answer or point you in teh right direction for ways to improve your skin, and help your skin “grow old gracefully”.