It’s Not About Vanity!

I have a love/hate with the beauty industry. How much is too much obsession with aging?   As women, we tend to be high maintenance, especially as we age.  Of course,  I cannot speak for all women.  It takes a lot of work to keep yourself looking as good as you feel.  Interestingly, I’ve  meet many baby boomer women who say that they are content with the way they look, wrinkles and all.  I applaud those women who let their hair go grey, have never tried Botox, cleanse their face with soap, use little or no face-creams, go au natural without make-up, eat healthy, and feel great or so they say.  Are you really OK with the aging process? Do you vehemently oppose trying Botox or fillers because it is unnatural to alter nature, is it a fear of needles, on  principle or strictly economics?

Is is wrong to want to look refreshed on the outside?

We are lucky to live in world evolving  anti-aging technologies. The choices are many- from  anti-aging skin care, to non-invasive treatments to surgery.  Is there a fine line between looking natural and overdone?  I think so.  You can look totally natural with a little Botox to soften frown lines or crows feet or on the other hand you can look frozen and unnatural. Fillers can  plump up the loss of volume in our cheeks and temple area giving a more refreshed look. Or they can overdone.

I started getting Botox injections in my early 40’s before its FDA approval. My  deep furrows are now gone from my forehead and  I go less often for injections.  My kids tease me that one day I will be in a nursing home begging for Botox. 🙂   I like not having deep furrows and frown lines.  I like  appearing younger than I really am , and at the same time I am proud of my  age. I don’t want to look  like I am 20 years old. Yet, I want to look as good as I can.

It’s all  about maintenance- I color my grey, shape my brows, use good skin care products, have chemical peels, get manicures and pedicures,  take vitamins, watch what I eat, exercise ( though not as often as I should) get my Botox fix, and fillers when needed.  Is this too much?  Perhaps some people may think I am obsessed.

You feel as good as you look.. and you look as good as you feel.. Maintaining your looks takes work.. and what is wrong with that? It’s not about vanity- it ‘s about feeling good!!

As Coco Chanel said,


Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

I have a love/dislike with this industry.. hate is too harsh a word.  I love all the new medical technologies and innovations. New skin care products are continuously evolving with  different forms of stem cells, new raw materials, and exciting technologies to combat aging skin.

I love this industry… a true love/dislike with the world of beauty.
Beauty is both on the inside and the outside…. You may look beautiful on the outside, yet be truly ugly on the inside..There is no surgical fix for ugliness on the inside…

Can our obsessions about our looks and aging actually be unhealthy? Where do we draw the line? How much is too much?  When do we just let go, be healthy, happy, and embrace aging.  These questions haunt me at times..

I love seeing women  who stop coloring their hair. and go naturally grey.

I meet many women in their 50’s who look fabulous and have never tried Botox or fillers.  Would their features look softer with a little injection? Sure it would… yet  they are not ready or prefer not to do it.  Do I really believe that when they look in the mirror that they don’t see the lines or wrinkles or  that they really don’t care? No! I don’t.

It’s a personal choice.. I choose to get my Botox fix, my fillers, laser, and cosmetic surgery.


After Laser Resourfacing with Cutera’s Pearl Fusion

It has been 18 days since my Cutera Pearl Fusion laser resourfacing treatment of the decollete, neck and vertical lines around my mouth. Plus frown lines.

I’m using a mild facial cleanser, followed by a rich moisturizing cream. I was using a barrier repair lipid formulation which is rich and creamy.  I recently switched and am testing a new skincare cream with stem cells to see if it will speed up the healing process.  I have only begun using it, so I can not comment on this yet.

My chest is slightly pink now it looks like a I  have a mild sunburn. My sun lesions look much better and I think the texture is better. Though I really need to see my before pics to compare. It looks smoother, yet  I still have the vertical lines, which also seem less noticeable.

My peri-oral area and frown lines are  still pink too. I can cover it with light mineral make-up. I purchased Oxygenetix by Ceravitae as a foundation cover-up for $60.00. It was too dark, too thick-  I found it pasty. Not a fan.  I prefer to use my Colorscience corrector kit.  Works great and blends well.

My neck area after the Pearl is not pink.  I was very conservative with the neck because I did not want to have any problems.  The laser nurse, Jeff, used  the lowest setting of the Peral Fractionated system.  The neck skin is so thin that you can run the risk of scarring if you have an aggressive treatment. I would rather opt for another treatment in this area, than be aggressive.  I am not sure that I notice any difference here.  If there is it is only slight improvement in color, no improvement in texture yet.

My opinion at this point:

I am not wowed about Laser resourfacing with  Pearl Fusion yet!  I see slight improvement and know that over time collagen builds. I will have a much better sense by August, whether I think this is worth the money.

If you really want significant improvement Co2 laser is still probably the way to go.. however, there is a lot of downtime associated with this type of Laser resourfacing procedure.

The Pearl Fusion– is milder with quicker recovery time.

Here are my observations.

It has been 2 months since my Pearl Fusion treatment on my chest, neck and peri-oral area.  Is it worth it??

I am not going to give a definitive answer yet, however, these are my observations.

1. My chest area is still slightly bumpy, slightly pink and in the light you can still see the vertical lines from sleeping all these years on my side. It does look a little better and smoother.

2. Hardly any pink around my mouth area. I really do not see much difference  in the vertical lines above my lips.  The laser nurse was agressive in this area using both YAG and Ablative. I will discuss setting and depth in another blog post. I developed a very small hypotropic scar above my lip line, which I hope resolves. I am not sure why this happened- however,  according to one dermatologist, I apparently healed too quickly in this area. I also noticed that my lips looked flatter, consequently I felt like a little Juverderm was in order.

3. My initial reaction is that Co2 Lasers are more effective in building collagen and go deeper.  This seems to be the gold standard. Cutera (http://www.cutera.com) is the manufacturer of the Pearl Fusion and it is not a Co2 Laser.  There is much controversy in the laser resurfacing arena.

So far I am not impressed with Cutera’s Pearl Fusion.




Slight difference in pigmentation, red bumps gone. Texture shows little improvement. No improvement with vertical chest lines.

Neck: No improvement

Peri-oral area (around the mouth):

Persistant bump above the lip area. It is unclear exactly what this bump is. There have been mix-diagnosis from various dermatologists. It coud be a hypertropic scar. However, it is not conclusive. What I do know is that is developed after the laser treatment. The fine lines are around my mouth are slightly better. However, I had Juverderm injected in certain areas that appear deeper or more noticeable than before the treatment. The results of the Pearl Fusion do not appear to be uniform. Some areas are showing deeper vertical lines than other areas.

 My overall opinion is that one treatment of the Pearl Fusion is not enough if you have pigmentation and vertical lip lines. Was it worth the price?  At this time I would say no.