Is Your Indulgence Safe?

What’s your favorite beauty indulgence? Getting a routine blowout, spray tan or how about a mani/pedi? While manicures and pedicures are a nice treat, they aren’t always as simple as you think. Chemicals used in a basic manicure, and especially in the application of artificial nails, can be harmful to your nails and the surrounding skin.
The most common issue is a contact reaction. This occurs much like contact with poison ivy and can cause a rash, irritation, redness or itching under the nail and on the fingers. If an allergy does exist it is likely to also appear on the face and neck due to secondary contact. Allergies can exist from many products, something as simple as the Top Coat can cause an allergic reaction.
Gel (or Shellac) Manicures are growing in popularity due to the lasting nature of the polish. Many women think they are better for their nails and a better deal for the money. Recently Dr. Chris Adigun, assistant professor of dermatology at The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine, released research claiming this new fad isn’t as safe as we think. While studies haven’t determined whether the harm comes form the actual gel chemicals or if it’s the exposure to acetone to remove the nails- experts suggest limiting how often you get gel manicures or shying away completely until more details are known. 

Being open with your manicurist is also important. If they are too rough or have cut you- make sure to tell them. One of the worst side effects of manicures and pedicures is infection. While standards have been raised for facilities germs do get through and you do not want them attaching to an open cut. If your salon feels untidy to you- leave- do not risk infection.

Generally, a reputable nail salon and technician conducting basic manicure is mostly safe. Just be aware and in the know, protect yourself. Indulging in artificial or gel nails, in a safe environment, is ok, but giving your nails time to replenish and breathe between sessions is also important.

6 Steps to Washing Your Face- the Right Way!

We are always telling patients and customers what products are best to use for their skin and needs, but what about how to use these products. Many patients go home with a new product and have no idea how to properly use it for the best results.
One of the simplest and most widely used products is face wash. It is easy to assume you know how to wash your face, you’ve been doing it your whole life, however you may be surprised to know there really is a correct, effective, way to wash.
We love these 6 steps to correct washing from our friend, Dr. Jessica Wu, Hollywood.
1.     Remove eye makeup. If you don’t, it will smear all over your face, work its way into your eyes, and ruin your towels. I use Lumene Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, available at drugstores. If you wear contacts, take them out first.
2.     Splash with lukewarm water. This will help your cleanser spread over your skin, so you won’t have to use as much. Avoid hot water, which can dry your skin and aggravate rosacea and redness.
3.     Use a liquid face wash. Many bar soaps contain sulfates and other strong detergents that make a lot of suds — great for removing grime from dirty hands and feet, but irritating on delicate facial skin. If your skin is dry or sensitive, use a creamy or milky cleanser, like Boscia Soothing Cleansing Cream or CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. For normal to oily skin, try a gel or foaming wash, like Olay Foaming Face Wash for Oily/Combination Skin, Orlane Purifying Gel Cleanser, or Clinique Wash Away Gel Cleanser (for very oily skin).
4.     For sensitive skin, massage cleanser onto skin with fingertips. For oily, acne-prone, or sun damaged skin, squeeze cleanser onto a facial sponge (like a konjac sponge) or cleansing cloth to help unclog pores and remove dead, dull skin flakes. (If you’re not familiar with them, check out my article on konjac face sponges next week.)
5.     Rinse with lukewarm water. Then pat dry with a soft towel; rubbing can redden your face and aggravate breakouts and rashes.
6.     If you use a skin-cleansing brush, rinse the brush, detach the head, and let it air-dry between uses. Many of my patients can only use their brush a few times a week, or else they break out in a rash.

Botox Parties: Behind the Fun

With the social acceptance and popularity of Botox there has been an increased number of ‘Botox Parties’ circulating around town and in the media. Before attending one of these events we want you to know all the facts.
What is a Botox party?
A Botox Party is a social event where Botox injections are given. The idea is that it’s secluded, comfortable and most often more reasonably priced. These parties began via the major Spas and have trickled down to in home private parties. Hollywood A-listers and the Who’s-Who’s began enlisting their private doctors for weekend getaways and spa weekends where groups received Botox Injections at reduced costs. Doctors were eager to participate due to the short shelf life of Botox and the bulk inventory many had- it seemed a win-win. However, those not able to enlist private doctors or rent medically equipped facilities need to be cautious of these parties.

The first thing you should consider is who is giving the injections. Make sure that a medically licensed and trained physician is the one injecting the Botox. Physicians train specifically in the use and application of Botox Cosmetic, and are the only ones who should be giving you treatments. It may appear (due much to the media) that Botox is easy to use and safe, but that is only the case when dealing with trained professionals.
The second thing to consider is safety precautions. While when done by a professional, Botox injections are relatively safe, there is always a chance of complications. Having Botox injections done in a home or non-medical facility increases the severity if a medical emergency were to occur.  For instance, if there is an allergic reaction a doctor is better equipped in office to quickly and safely treat that patient.
Also advice to keep in mind via the Mayo Clinic: Drinking alcohol before getting Botox injections — a likely possibility at a Botox party — can increase your tendency to bruise afterward. It could also prevent you from fully understanding the risks and benefits of Botox treatment.
In result, our best advice is to stick to a regular appointment with a doctor you trust for any injections or fillers. We promise you we will do our best to make you just as comfortable with us as you are at home, and you can always go have cocktails with the gang after treatment- wrinkle free!

Dry Scalp 101

This time of year we see many patients with concerns over a stubborn dry scalp. Winter can defiantly increase dandruff for those already prone and cause dandruff (or simpler, dry scalp) for those with typically normal scalps. Other triggers such as lack of nutrition, chronic diseases and stress can also increase or cause dandruff.
 A technical dry scalp is caused by soaps or detergents or dry weather. A dry scalp can be relieved much as you would relive dry skin- conditioners, oil treatments, and so forth. Most tend to blame dryness for their flaky itchy scalp, but on the contrary, the symptoms can also be those of seborrhea, which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast that feed on sebum (scalp oils). This causes actual dandruff which is characterized by more yellowish flakes, that are larger and harder to remove than dry scalp flakes. 
Psoriasis and Eczema also occur on the scalp, so be sure to see a dermatologist if your scalp becomes scabby, severely itchy or irritated or your conditions continue to worsen with over the counter treatments.
If you are suffering from dandruff try these over the counter products recommended by our friend in Dermatology, Dr Jessica Wu, of Hollywood, CA.

If your hair is oily and needs to be deep-cleaned, try Head & Shoulders Citrus Breeze, which has grapefruit oil and green tea extract to leave your hair smelling fresh.
For dandruff and damaged hair, try Head & Shoulders Damage Rescue, which contains vitamin E and dimethicone to coat and strengthen weak, brittle strands.
If itching is driving you crazy, try Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care, which contains eucalyptus to cool and soothe an itchy scalp. (Be careful when rinsing; this can sting if it gets in your eyes.)
If your dandruff is especially stubborn, try Head & Shoulders Clinical Strength, which contains 1 percent selenium sulfide to fight yeast and seborrhea.
Men should try Head & Shoulders Men, which comes in several versions, including Active Sport, with 1 percent zinc, and Hair Endurance (to restore volume to thinning hair).