Who doesn’t want smoother-softer skin?

Do you get those annoying, tiny, little bumps or rough patches on the back of your arms or on your thighs? You may be suffering from Keratosis Pilaris. Not to worry, this condition is rather popular and harmless. Keratosis Pilaris is a buildup of keratin cells that blocks the hair follicle resulting in small acne like bumps. They tend to worsen when your skin is dry, under moisturized or needs more exfoliation.

Have no fear, it is easy to manage. Especially helpful are Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and Beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) products- they help dissolve the dead skins cells that contribute to these stubborn clogged pores.

Skin Speaks product of choice would be CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion, to help exfoliate, soften, and smooth those annoying bumps. With the power of hydroxy acids, CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion, dissolves built up skin cells and allows moisture to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin leaving your skin feeling wonderfully smooth and hydrated.
Stop in Skin Speaks today and pick up a bottle today for only $18!

Acne 101

Are you frustrated when you look in the mirror? Do you feel like you need to camouflage or hide your face? Do you avoid participating in social functions because you feel uncomfortable in your skin? Acne is one of the most common diseases we see in our clinic and we want to help. First, however, a little background into what is happening in your skin.

Acne affects a high percentage of our adolescent patients. During adolescence our body starts to develop and change in the way it begins to produce oil (or sebum) from our oil glands. Normally the skin sheds its dead skin cells and sloughs off. When the sebum is produced the dead skin cells stick and get trapped inside the pore. To add fuel to fire a common skin bacteria called P. Acnes gets trapped inside the pore and multplies, which causes inflammation and skin problems and results in cysts and nodules.

There are 5 types of acne lesions that are noted to develop. They are open and closed comedones, papules, pustules, cysts and nodules. Many patients find acne is not limited to the face but also the scalp, neck, back and chest. Furthermore, acne can sometimes painful and itchy. It does not just affect you physically, according to the American Academy of Dermatology there are studies that have proven acne can change your quality of life. These are some of the reported emotional side effects:

• Anxiety
• Depression
• Social withdrawal
• Decreased self-esteem
• Reduced self-confidence
• Poor body image
• Embarrassment
• Anger
• Preoccupied with thoughts about acne
• Frustration
• Higher rate of unemployment

At SkinSpeaks: Advancements in Dermatology we are here to take back control over your skin. We have many treatment options available to help you love the skin you’re in! Please call us to schedule an appointment today. Help is right around the corner!

Retinoids…Why all the buzz?

Retinoids…Why all the buzz?

The word is seen everywhere, from product bottles to television commercials broadcasting this as the latest fountain of youth. But what really is a retinoid, and more importantly, how would this product powerhouse benefit you?

A retinoid (topical Vitamin A) is a prescription form of the commonly used OTC retinol. A retinoid has the ability to help unplug pores, reduce skin discoloration, restore vibrancy to the complexion, balance oil production, and improve the appearance of fine wrinkles. Retinoid creams have also been proven to build collagen within the dermis, helping restore elasticity and further improve fine lines. If you think of a baby’s skin, full and plump with a dewy, fresh appearance, this is essentially the end goal of long term retinoid usage. Retinoids work by reducing the dull, outer layer of dead skin cells-called our statum corneum, and plumps the healthy, living layer of skin underneath, called our basal layer. With continued usage, baby soft skin can be yours!

Consultations are recommended to assist you in picking the perfect retinoid for your skin type. This product can range from mild to wild, and choosing the right one for you is very important! Our consultations are always complimentary and we would be happy to discuss this fountain of youth with you. Call Skin Speaks today to set up your free consultation (952) 435-6565.

My Journey into Cosmetic Skin Care

Working in the beauty industry, including various department stores for about 9 years, I was exposed to an array of skin care lines with endless promises to give me “amazing” skin with their “skin perfecting” creams.

Being someone who has struggled with their own skin issues since my mid -twenties, I was suckered into these promises spending anywhere from $5 on a moisturizer to nearly $200. Come to find nothing was working! At times I felt like my skin was getting worse. I became afraid of trying any skincare to the point where I chose, dare I say…. not wearing a daily moisturizer and sunscreen in fear that it would break me out.

I started working for a med/spa dermatology clinic and was introduced to medical grade skincare; I figured I’d give this skincare thing one last shot. Starting with basic suggestions from our medical estheticians, I started seeing dramatic improvements in my skin within less than a month. I can now proudly say I found something that really works and for the first time in several years I no longer feel insecure about my skin.

Here is my quick break down of what makes medical skincare superior to products that can be purchased over-the-counter at the grocery, pharmacy or department store.

Pharmaceutical grade products are only available through doctor offices. The reason for this is because these products are developed through clinical research with amounts of active ingredients that are much higher than what over-the-counter products are legally able to contain. These clinical ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin (the Dermis to be exact) which equals better results! In conclusion medical grade products are worth investing in. They are higher in quality, safer, and proven to work.

So, whether you are interested in correcting; hyperpigmentation, melasma, fine lines & wrinkles, hydration, sun spots and much more. Skin Speaks provides FREE skin care consultations with one of our experienced medical estheticians that will help customize a skin care regimen that works for you and your needs.

The Truth About Acne

June is Acne Awareness Month.

Here are a few tips on managing this common skin concern.

• Wash your face with luke warm water twice a day using a gentle cleanser. Perspiration can make acne worse, so wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.

• Gently pat dry your skin. Avoid scrubbing or using anything abrasive, this can cause acne to flare.

• Don’t pick or poke! If you pick, pop or squeeze your skin, it will take longer to clear and may increase scarring. Make a conscious effort not to touch your face throughout the day.

• Gently exfoliate once a week. A Clarisonic brush is ideal!

• Avoid excess exposure to sunlight and don’t use tanning beds. Tanning damages your skin. In addition, most medications given for acne can make you more sun sensitive.

• Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoid processed foods such as cakes, pastries and white bread.

• Drink more water and avoid sugary drinks.

Consult with your dermatologist if your acne makes you shy or embarrassed, products you have tried haven’t worked, or acne is leaving scars or darkening of the skin.

With same day appointments available at most locations, Skin Speaks medical providers can quickly help you identify the best treatment options for your specific skin.

Raisin vs Grape

So many times, clients ask about the little fine lines around their lips and are annoyed that their lipstick bleeds and many times wondering why and when this happened.

So, why the RAISIN vs the GRAPE? Well, I often times find myself referring to this analogy. In our youthful years I like to think of our lips as full, soft and smooth, or what I refer to as the GRAPE.

It makes perfect sense….. As we chronologically age, our lips lose volume, the border is less defined, and soon after the annoying little lip lines are there. That’s right! Our lips are behaving like a RAISIN!

By delicately infusing a small amount of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) filler such as JuveDerm Ultra Plus XC or Restylane-L is the key to re-hydrate the RAISIN. Adding back volume and hydration will provide support that will uplift the corners of the mouth resulting in more youthful lips that look naturally fuller with a subtle pout.

SPF Basics

How much do you know about your SPF?

What does SPF stand for?

•Sun protection factor- which is determined by comparing the length of time it takes skin to burn with sunscreen protection to the length of time unprotected skin to burn.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

•UVA rays- are long wave solar rays that penetrate the skin more deeply; this is considered the chief culprit when it comes to the “photo aging” of skin such as wrinkling and leathering of the skin. These are also the rays that can penetrate clouds and glass, so they are at equal intensity; all hours of the day; year around.
UVA rays are what contribute to tanning of the skin whether you are tanning outdoors or indoors. Over time tanning causes cumulative damage to the skin. Having exposure to UVA rays cause an injury to the skin’s DNA and in turn darkens the skin to prevent any further DNA damage.

•UVB rays- are short wave solar rays that penetrate the epidermis, the superficial layers of the skin. These are the rays that cause sunburn, and play a key role in the development of skin cancer. The intensity of UVB rays varies by season, but is the strongest between the hours of 10AM and 4PM.
What is the difference between Sunblock and Sunscreen?
Sunblock (Physical): reflects the sun’s rays, so they never reach your skin. They are made up of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are very effective when it comes to protecting your skin against UVA and UVB rays. Sunblocks often appear white on the skin, so sunscreens are favored because they appear to be less visible.

Sunscreens (Chemical): contain benzophenones, cinnamates, and salicylates; which also protect against UVA and UVB rays by absorbing these harmful rays before they reach the skin, but these ingredients break down after a few hours of sun exposure. So you would have to remember to reapply throughout the day.

•If your sunscreen states that it is “broad spectrum”, that means that you are protected from both UVA and UVB radiation.

5 Skin Cancer Facts that will surprise you

1.The risk of developing melanoma doubles in those who have had five or more sunburns.

2.Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults age 25-29. It is the 2nd most common form of cancer in teenagers. About 75% of these melanomas are attributed to tanning bed use.

3.Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Those who survive melanoma are about nine times as likely as the general population to develop a new melanoma.

4.Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; there are more skin cancers diagnosed every year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined!

5.One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Of those who live to be at least 65 years old, 40%-50% of them will have developed at least 1 skin cancer.

The easiest and most effective way to prevent skin cancer is; by using sun protection that includes a combination of daily use of sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater), wearing protective clothing such as hats, and making an effort to seek shade when possible while enjoying the outdoors.

* BONUS FACT: Daily use of sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing skin cancers by 40%-50%.

Skin cancer facts obtained from the Skin Cancer foundation – www.skincancer.org

The Battle of the Blackhead…

At one point in our lives, we have all experienced the dreaded blackheads. For some of us it is a day to day struggle. A blackhead forms when dead skin cells and oil gang up and create a “plug” that clogs the pore and the surface remains open. The best method to tackle these bad boys is to break up the plug. Many products claim to banish blackheads, but what really works? Start by trying these tried and true tips and you’ll be on the road to smoother, clearer skin!

•Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid dives deep into the pores to break up any mischief that the cells and oil can cause. It is oil soluble, which means that it can easily blend with other oils, such as skin’s sebum (oil), making for easy access into the pores. Once inside, salicylic acid continues mingling with the oil and begins to separate the oil and dead skin cells, essentially unclogging the pore and ridding the blackhead.

•Benzoyl Peroxide and Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Ingredients that promote quick cell turnover, like benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc….), can also help prevent blackheads. They remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin before they have a chance to clog our pores.

•Try the Clarisonic: Exfoliation is the key! What better way to work in gentle, daily exfoliation of your skin than with the Clarisonic brush? The sonic frequency moves the soft brush back and forth at more than 300 times per second, thoroughly clearing pores and cleansing and exfoliating the skin’s surface.

•Retinoids: Topical retinoid products work by activating the skin receptors that lead to an increase of collagen production and faster growth of skin cells. This in turn will speed up the rate that skin debris is shed, preventing it from binding with the skin oil and blocking the follicle. These two factors accelerate skin renewal and the natural reduction of pesky blackheads.

•Look for “non-comedogenic.” Many products’ efficacy simply depends on each person’s skin type and how the products are formulated. However, your best bet is to only buy products with a “non-comedogenic” claim. That means that the product has been tested and proven to not increase the number of “comedones” (fancy word for blackheads and whiteheads).

Can CoolSculpting really remove fat permanetly?

The answer is yes it can! When we gain weight our fat cells expand and when we lose weight our fat cells shrink. We are all genetically predisposed with different problem areas. For some it’s the stomach, others the love handles…you name it, we all have our dreaded areas.

For the sake of simple numbers let’s say you have 1000 fat cells in your belly. When you gain weight all 1000 fat cells are expanding, always making your problem area your biggest problem. It might seem like when you gain weight it all goes there!

That’s our genetic pot of luck. When we’re born our fat cells are all distributed differently, some having more in the tummy, some having more in the hiney….we all got different “luck.” And without reducing the number or fat cells in those lucky areas- when we gain weight, those areas will always be the first to show it.

But what if there was a non-surgical way to reduce the number of fat cells in that particular area? What if instead of 1000 fat cells in the tummy, it was reduced to 500 fat cells? So even if you did gain weight, it wouldn’t all seem to show up in that same doggone area! 

Good news, there is a way and it’s called Coolsculpting. And its true- it doesn’t require needles, surgery or downtime.

It’s a new revolutionary way of permanently reducing the number of fat cells through cryolypolsis. That’s a fancy way of saying reducing fat through freezing the fat cells. Two brilliant Harvard scientists discovered that fat dies at a warmer temperature than skin, therefore, fat can be reduced to a temperature that will eliminate it, without getting too cold where it could harm the skin.

Coolsculpting really does permanently remove the number of fat cells in the treated area. Forever making those problem areas, less of a problem. This doesn’t mean new problem areas either, even if you did gain weight….it would happen more evenly.

Schedule your free consultation today to learn if Coolsculpting is right for you! 952.435.6565