What are all these brown spots?

Freckles can be really cute when you are young, then as we get older we start to wonder what are all these brown spot that appear. They start to change by growing in numbers, looking like patches, and some even have a rough texture to them. This is nothing other than the lovely process of aging! Luckily there are plenty of options to reducing the appearance of these brown spots, we just have to know what kind they are exactly in order to remove them. Read below to figure out what may lie beneath the surface of your skin.

Decoding Your Spots

Freckles:

These are the cute little spots that you have most likely had since you were a kid. Sometimes when you are in the sun they can show up more prominently, and other times in the winter months they can vanish. Freckles are harmless, and sometimes pretty and just add a little character when kept under control. If you don’t like your freckles you can use skin lightening products (including the ingredients hydroquinone or kojic acid), have them removed with IPL (intense pulsed light therapy), get chemical peels, and avoid the sun at all costs. If you like your freckles, then embrace them!

                   *Photo shows real results before and after BBL treatment to remove freckles and sun damage.

Age Spots:

Age spots (aka solar lentigo) are nasty little things, yet they are inevitable for all of us. They are harmless small/medium patches of dark skin cells (melanin) that have been triggered by UV rays from the sun. This is also known as sun damage. Sometimes these brown spots can have irregular borders, and are usually flat surfaced. These kind of brown spots are most common for people in their 40’s and up, but can definitely start to show on younger people who have had a lot previous of sun exposure. To get rid of them will take a little more work, and a little more patience. Keep in mind how long it has taken to create them, so you need to be realistic when trying to make them disappear. This best treatment for age spots are going to be lasers (including IPL, BBL, and Hybrid Pro-fractionated lasers aka Halo), chemical peels, and the tried and true skin care line Obagi Nu-Derm System.

Melasma:

Have you noticed large tan patches of skin on your face that resemble a mask? Sometimes the patches even take on the appearance of a tan mustache, or large brown circular shapes on the cheeks and forehead. If this is you, I have bad news…this will be a tough, long road to get rid of it. Melasma is a pigment disorder that is triggered by hormonal fluctuations and exacerbated by sun, heat, and UV light. Once you have melasma, you will always have it. The proper steps can be taken to reduce the appearance and keep it under control. These steps include calming the production of melanin (the color) in your skin with inhibitors such as hydroquinone, tretinoin, and kojic acid. Your dermatologist can prescribe these to you catered to your skin type. On a side note, there are certain treatments that will be off-limits to you, including lasers, waxing, and any heat producing therapies. Daily use of a broad spectrum SPF of 50 or higher is critical, and should be appropriately re-applied throughout the day. Pregnancy and birth control pills are also triggers, and are usually the culprit as to why it got there in the first place.

                                       *Photo shows results from Obagi for improving the appearance of melasma.

Seborrheic keratosis:

Also known as SK’s, these can appear very similar to moles or warts. They are raised, round skin growths that show up as we age. They are most common in people over 40, but some can get them even in their 30’s. SK’s often scare people into thinking that they have a cancerous mole, but are really just impersonators and are harmless and ugly. The sun may play a factor as to why they appear, and they can also be hereditary. They are easy to remove usually by a biopsy or can be frozen or burned off by your dermatologist. You should have all of your moles checked yearly by a dermatologist to be sure that you aren’t self-diagnosing and SK as something more serious.

What do all of these have in common?

One main factor: the sun. Please remember to wear a daily SPF 30 or higher and reapply as needed! Also, they should be diagnosed by a dermatologist and checked yearly. Better safe than sorry!

 

Welcome Back!

Welcome to my new and improved blog about skincare and beauty! It’s been a little while since I’ve done a post for you, and I’m so excited to re-launch my new blog. It’s unbelievable how much my career has changed since my last post and I need to catch you up on what been going on! Heres what I’ve been up to.

It’s been a little over year since my (now husband!) and I made the big move to Chicago, IL, coming from the dirty south. What a rollercoaster ride it has been trying to adjust to a new way of living and trying to plan my wedding at the same time. At the same time I managed to land my dream job at a beautiful cosmetic dermatology office! So, yeah, theres been quite a lot happening in my life over the past year! Im ready to share the honest, the good, the bad, and everything in between about this new life as an esthetician in the Windy City.

There is a huge difference in working in a spa, and working in a medical office. I’m so happy to finally be doing treatments that give huge results. There’s a lot to be said for a relaxing facial that includes the massage and all of the smell good stuff…but that gets boring after a while! I wanted to see major changes in the kind of results I was seeing with my patients and I just wasn’t getting that with a signature facial. The types of treatments that I am doing now include Hydrafacials, dermaplaning, microneedling, stronger chemical peels, Coolsculpting, sweat reduction procedures, laser hair removal instead of waxing, and laser treatments for the face as well. One of the best parts of doing these kinds of treatments are taking the before and after photos, and hearing the patients say that these treatments have been life changing for them. That’s the kind of satisfaction I was looking for all along.

So thank you for keeping up with my blog over the past few years. There’s so much more to share with you about beauty and skincare than I ever realized. This won’t be boring! Stay tuned for more!

Why the pH of Your Cosmetics Matter

If you have ever heard any commercial on TV for a skin care product, then you have heard of “pH” before. So many advertisements claim “restore pH”, or “pH balanced” on their brands. What does that really mean, though? Im going to take you back to high school science class on this blog post…but you may want to LISTEN UP if you love your skin at all!

Back to the Basics:

The pH (potential hydrogen) of a substance is its degree of acidity or alkalinity, and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. Acids or substances that have a pH below 7.0, and Alkalis have a pH above 7.0. So, the higher the pH number, the greater the alkalinity. NEUTRAL on the scale is a 7.0 as well. Every number change on the scale represents a tenfold change, and is 10 times different than the number before or after. As a point of reference, your skin and hair are approximately a 5.0 on the pH scale. This happens in the acid mantle, which is where your sweat and oil are purposely produced to create a safe barrier for the skin, protecting it from outside elements.

pH-scale

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Mastering the Art of Light – gloMinerals Contour Kit

contour kit glo minerals

Believe it or not, facial contouring is actually pretty easy! That’s of course if you have the right tools. Have you ever tried to sculpt cheek bones, or highlight around your eyes? If so, then you have done contouring before. When you have the right products, the effort is minimal! I am so happy to tell you about the new Contour Kit from gloMinerals! I have been anticipating the arrival of this kit for some time now. Well, I have tried it and I’m in love!

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Lip Obsession

For the most part, I have been pretty open about my obsession with full lips. Aside from it being the newest beauty trend, I have always thought that voluptuous lips are beautiful. They represent youth and health, and they are downright sexy. Its also no secret that I myself, have thin granny lips, and I’m not proud of it.

I have taken every measure possible to plump my pout. Some quite painful, and others just didn’t budge my volume. The most drastic change was from an injection (Belotero) at a local medi-spa, and it seemed to work beautifully…for about a month. Would I take such a drastic measure again? Probably. It was a little painful, very little recovery time from swelling, but next time I would certainly try another brand of filler. I liked that no one really noticed, because it was very natural looking. Yet, I didn’t feel like it was worth the expense. I expected it to last much longer than it did. I should also mention that everyone’s body processes fillers at a different rate, some lasts longer than others due to how it metabolizes within your body. It is a very safe solution, made of hyaluronic acid and numbing solution. It feels very soft and natural. This is not the ideal filler if you are looking to achieve the duck face! That’s a good thing though.

Looking a little haggard here after the injections. Little redness, no bruising, and a little swollen.
Looking haggard here after the injections. Little redness, no bruising, and a little swollen.

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