Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Background to Skin

So what is skin? Skin is a marvelous garment. It's waterproof, strong, soft, pliable, and most important, self-repairing. Without “skin”, everything – our bones, muscles and organs would be hanging out all over the place! Skin protects and holds everything together. Skin acts like a very large container. It's the largest organ of our body.

Skin also functions as protective covering. Along with a layer of fat underneath, it insulates us against all kinds of bumps, wear and tear. It keeps germs and water out, and keeps your body's fluids and salts in. It also protects our bodies, helps keep our bodies at just the right temperature and, through nerve endings close to the surface of the skin, allows us to have the sense of touch.

Oils act as your body's natural water proofing agent as well as a protector against germs. On the one hand, they make your skin softer; but they can also give you acne. Your skin also contains glands which manufacture sweat.

Skin is much more “alive” than we could ever imagine. It's made of many thin sheets of layers of flat, stacked cells in which we find nerves, blood vessels, hair follicles, glands, and sensory receptors. As the cells in the skin age, older cells are constantly being pushed to the surface by new cells, which grow from below. As these older cells migrate to the top, they become wider and flatter. And, eventually, they end up sloughing off. In fact, every day hundreds of millions of dead skin cells fall from our bodies! In approximately a month's time, our body has made a whole new layer of skin cells!

As we progress through this series of articles, we will focus again on pigment in the skin, called melanin. This is what makes different skin colors. Less melanin in your skin cells makes your skin lighter, more makes it darker. Sitting in the sun can also cause the skin to manufacture more melanin. And the result is what we call a suntan! Although our skin protects us from the sun and the elements, it can suffer as a result.

As we age, our skin loses some of its collagen and elasticity. It is all these changes in our skin and its structure, combined with the damage from the environment, that over time causes age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and more.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cosmetic Trends For 2008

The ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) reports 10.2 Million Cosmetic Procedures in 2008. The Aesthetic Society, after collecting multi-specialty procedural statistics since 1997, says the overall number of cosmetic procedures has increased 162 % since the collection of the statistics first began. The most frequently performed nonsurgical procedure was Botox injections.

Top nonsurgical cosmetic procedures among men and women in 2008:

  • BOTOX - 2,464,123
  • Laser Hair Removal - 1,280,964
  • Hyaluronic Acid (including Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane/Restylane) - 1,262,848
  • Chemical Peel - 591,808
  • Laser Skin Resurfacing - 570,880
source: ASAPS press release

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Ladies of the world have historically had demand for longer, fuller and darker lashes which is why man invented mascara. But why rely on mascara when there is something that can make your natural lashes grow longer and fuller? Allergan, the makers of Botox cosmetic and Juvederm, have created the first FDA approved prescription product for hypotrichosis. What is hypotrichosis and what does it have to do with my lashes? As you may have guessed, hypotrichosis is a term that means inadequate or not enough lashes.

Latisse is as easy as putting on eyeliner and I can tell you from personal experience, that the application method is quite easy. The manufacturer's instructions advise daily application and results are not to be expected until after about six weeks of use, however, their before and after pictures will give you a good indicator of potential lash growth.

Prices will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, so I suggest you call around before turning in your prescription. Most doctor's offices will also charge you a visit or consultation fee, but you can visit Sona MedSpa for a complimentary consultation for your Latisse prescription and a suggested pharmacy list.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Myth no. 1: BOTOX ® is dangerous

BOTOX ® has been used since 1987…which means that its effects and side effects…and long term effects…are well known and documented. The use of BOTOX ® is still growing annually, with more than 2.8 million procedures currently being performed on a yearly basis. Studies over a 9 year period have shown no long-term negative effects through the repeated use of BOTOX ® among patients that received 30 injections over a nine year period.

Myth no.2: BOTOX ® will give me that “frozen face” look

Quite the opposite! BOTOX ® restores the balance in the facial muscles and creates that “relaxed” look. By injecting the right amount of BOTOX ®, you can reduce the fine lines and wrinkles and achieve that “soft” look.

Myth no. 3: BOTOX ® is poisonous!

The effects of BOTOX ® are temporary, as the body naturally eliminates the administered BOTOX ® over a 3 to 6 month period of time. Clearly, as with any medication, excessive amounts should be avoided.

Myth no.4: BOTOX ® treatments can cause my eye(s) to droop

Getting your BOTOX ® from an experienced medical professional is the key to minimizing this risk. Studies have shown the risk of this side effect to be less than 2%. As the effect of BOTOX ® is temporary, this effect will wear off in a few weeks, should it occur.

Myth no.5: “I am afraid the injections will be painful”

Here I tread carefully, as we all know that pain is a very personal experience! But to put this into perspective, your BOTOX ® treatment involves a few tiny injections that require no anesthesia. If this is your concern, talk to your clinician before the treatment. They can apply ice or a topical anesthetic, if this is required, although our experience has shown that this is rarely the case.