Dermatology

Review: Skin Tightening Without Surgery Thermage FLX- Five Months After

I had my first Thermage treatment for a loose neckline in 2009, as I was a long way away from any surgery.  Ouch!  The treatment was not only very painful, I saw no results.

So when Dr. Vic Narurkar , San Francisco dermatologist and Laser King asked if I’d like to try the new Thermage treatment for training purposes, I said yes.  For years, Thermage has been called “the gold standard” for skin tightening.

Thermage FLX  delivers radio-frequency energy deep below the surface of the skin were the collagen is produced. The energy heats and smooths out the existing  collagen and creates  new collagen. It also heats up the skin faster. FLX  is the newest version and a big game changer as it produces more predictable results.  The tips are 33% larger so larger treatment surface areas can be treated, allowing for faster treatment times.  A face and neck can be done under 60 minutes, making all the treatment areas more comfortable.  You will see immediate off the table results but optimal results are generally at the 3 to 6 month mark . Retreatment is done every 1 to 3 years.

I’m always a little skeptical about skin tightening devices. Patient selection is key, as not everyone will benefit.  Since my last Thermage in 2009, I’ve had a face and neck lift. However, my neck was never tight enough, so I was willing to give this a try.

I expected to get numbing cream before the treatment, even though I knew it could not hurt as much as the first time.  I was told that I did not need  numbing cream and that it would not hurt. My anxiety level went up 100%. However, I put my faith into Dr. Narurkar’s  skilled hands and trusted him.   Once we started the treatment, I was incredibly surprised to feel almost nothing.  I was dozing off. Amazing!

Dr. Narurkar used a setting of 2.5 to 3.5 on my face and 1.5 to 2 on submentum and 0.5 to 1 on my neck.  900 count tip.  About 4 to 6 passes per anatomic area.

 

 

Right after my treatment, my face had a nice glow and I could see it looked tighter.

It’s been five months since my treatments. I see a little lifting around my jaw line. My brows do look elevated. It’s hard to tell if there is any improvement in my neck, but I was not expecting much.

In conclusion, Thermage FLX is extremely comfortable. As results improve over time, you have to be patient. It’s not a quick fix.  Results take 3-6 months. The treatment is a great adjunct after a facelift. If I had a Thermage treatment soon after my facelift, my  facelift may have lasted longer than it did.  As I said, patient selection is important and you have to manage your expectations.   Combining Thermage FLX  with Botox and Fillers helps in maintaining a youthful appearance.   Keep in mind, if  you really need a facelift and have lots of loose, sagging skin you may not be happy with the results. Results are different with each person.  Before you decide, please seek the advise of a Board Certified Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon who has a lot of experience in treating patients of all age groups with Thermage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Avant Charcoal Age Defying Masque

Several months back. I was contacted by the Founder and Owner of Avant Skin Care, Jeanne Oberstar, to see if I would be interested in trying their Charcoal Exfloiating Age Defying Masque, in exchange for a review.  As I’m always trying new beauty products and Charcoal Masks are very popular, I agreed.

The packaging is clean and simple. It comes with a Thank you card and instructions. I was very happy to learn that this mask does not harden like many charcoal masks on the market that have been reported to rip off your skin.

All Avant products are made in Florida, USA which is a huge plus.

I contacted Jeanne to learn more about the mask and her company before I agreed to try it.

Jeanne told me that her inspiration for starting Avant Goods came from dealing with many side effects of thyroid disease.  She wanted to create a line of skin care products that were non-toxic, non-endrocine disrupting, and healing.

To differentiate Avant’s Charcoal Masque from other facial skin care masks on the market, Jeanne told me that it has contains botanical oils that heal and hydrate. The mask  detoxifies, exfoliates and is a crème consistency that does not harden like some of the other charcoal skin care masks on the market. The list of ingredients are quite extensive and are sourced from around the world. However, according to Jeanne if any of the ingredients are  readily available in the US they will try to source them domestically.  Avant’s main ingredients in their mask is Kaolin Clay and Bamboo Charcoal. The white  Kaolin Clay  base has many healing properties, including purifying and detoxifying the skin. Kaolin Clay has many potent antioxidants. It helps clearing up breakouts, exfoliates dead skin cells and soothes irritated skin.

The Bamboo Charcoal, known as the “Black Diamond” in Asia, contains 300 types of micro-organic minerals that draw out toxins to clear pores allowing them to breathe. Avant’s sources the Bamboo from South Korea.

The Avant Masque contains:

(98.5% Naturally Derived / 70% Organic) Ingredients: Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Glyceryl Stearate, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Octyl Palmitate, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Kaolin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa Butter), Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Stearate, Organic Beeswax, Pumice, Charcoal Powder (Bamboo Charcoal Powder), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Purified Smectite Clay, Citrus Limon (Lemon Essential Oil), Eucalyptus Globulous (Eucalyptus Essential Oil), Organic Syzysium Aromaticum (Clove), Eugenia Caryophyllata (Clove Essential Oil-active, nosmell), Organic Juniperus Communis (Juniper), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Organic Capsicum Annuum var. Aannuum (Cayenne), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Calophyllum Tacamahaca (Tamanu Oil), Spirulina Maxima (Spirulina), Macrocystis Pyrifera (Kelp), Organic Borago Officinalis (Borage Oil), Organic Linum Usitatissimum (Flax Seed Oil), Organic Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose Oil), Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hip Oil), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Organic Arnica Montana (Arnica), Organic Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Grapeseed Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia Nut Oil), Sodium Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelagonium Gravoleons (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinalis (Dandelion Extract).

I’ve been using the Avant Charcoal Masque several times a month. Upon opening the jar, the mask looks grey and very creamy. I like to have a home spa day on the weekends and use the mask as one of  my skin care routines. I used a mask brush and coated my skin avoiding the area directly under my eyes. It was easy and fun to apply. The instructions say to rub it into the skin. But, I prefered to apply it with a brush first. I will try it next time on my neck and chest.  I’d actually love to coat my entire body, but I’d use up the jar and it would make a mess in my bathroom. The instructions say to keep it on for 10-20 minutes, I kept it on for 40 minutes with no adverse reactions.  It washed off easily, but since it the mask is dark grey I made sure I rinsed it all off using a dark-colored wash cloth to gently remove it. My skin felt soft and had a nice pink glow afterwards.

I have not had any break-outs or irritation from the product and my skin tends to be sensitive to new skin care products. The price point is good at $27.99 for a 4 oz jar. The jar should last quite some time, if covered tightly and kept away from moisture.  As with any skin care products, it should be discarded after 2 years.  Please check with your plastic surgeon or dermatologist if you plan on using this product after any cosmetic procedures.

Given the quality, ingredients and price point, it’s a good buy.  I’d give it a try!!

Click her to purchase  Avant Products. 

Disclaimer: The featured product in this post was provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission for purchases made through this link.

2015 Aesthetic Trends: The Year of Tighten, Lift, Sculpt

It’s that time of year again when many magazines and bloggers write articles on what was hot in fashion and beauty for 2015 and some predictions for 2016.

For my end of year episode on The NipTuck Talk Show, I recently asked several medical experts in Plastic Surgery and Dermatology to weigh in on what the hottest trends were in 2015 and what we can expect in 2016.  Non-surgical treatments won in all the categories.

Cellulite Treatment and Killing Underarm Sweat and Oder

Cellfina is the first and only FDA approved device for long-term treatment of Cellulite!  We have seen results lasting over 3 years with no end in sight!  It is easy with no down time, local anesthesia and minimal discomfort.

Mirday, a permanent, non-invasive solution to eliminate underarm sweat is another technology that created a lot of buzz. “Throw away your deodorant. Miradry is a safe and easy way to stop underarm smell and sweat! ”  The other technology that remains popular for skin tightening is Ultherapy.  “Ultherapy lifts and tightens the face, neck, brow, and chest.  It’s the only device with FDA approval for non-surgical lifting and tightening of the face and neck.  In 2016 Cellfina will surge ahead of all cellulite treatments.  Miradry treatments will gain in popularity.  Ultherapy will dominate all non surgical treatments for lifting and tightening of the face, neck, forehead and chest.” –Dr. Grant Stevens, Clinical Professor of Surgery, USC School of Medicine, division of Plastic Surgery, Director of the Marina-USC Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship, Medical Director of Marina Plastic Surgery Associates, Marina Del Ray, CA

Skin Tightening, Body Sculpting  and Vaginal Tightening 

“In 2015, energy-based contouring devices stormed the aesthetic marketplace with CoolSculpting and ThermiRF .  They were strong game-changers in the world of non-surgical body sculpting, offering treatments with little downtime.  ThermiRF, in particular, proved itself in not only the neck area but also in the knees, the arms, and in other previously challenging body areas before which we had very few options.  For those patients wanting improvement in their sexual function following children or the aging process, the ThermiVA procedure showed women how to tighten, brighten, and dramatically improve the appearance and function of their vaginas.  2016 should be an even more exciting year as those of us who use these devices push the boundaries and learn how to harness the power of energy-based body sculpting and take it to a new level. ”  –Dr. Gregory Buford, Medical Director of  Beauty By Buford, Denver Colorado.

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