cosmetics

Brotox and the Rise of Men's Cosmetic Procedures

Once upon a time, as late as the 1990s, cosmetic procedures were solely the domain of female celebrities and/or seemingly ‘ostentatious’ men (here’s looking at you, Liberace).

As time has passed, the social stigma of Botox has decreased significantly, to the point where your suburban shopping centre probably houses a cosmetic clinic of some description.

As a result, guys are becoming increasingly aware of what’s going on with their faces, identifying what they don’t and do want to look like.

Taking control of one’s physicality is becoming increasingly popular for men – myself included. I’m a big believer that if you’re not 100% comfortable with a physical feature, regardless of your age or gender, you can change it. Personally, I take a preventative approach to Botox (or ‘Brotox’, as I like to call it).  A more natural, fresh and awake look is always in vogue.

So what are some common Brotox procedures happening at your local clinic?

The most common symptom male patients ask me to rectify is to stop looking tired. The second most common request is to avoid looking like their fathers’ as they age (!). The unifying factors these Brotoxers all have is a specific goal in mind, using Brotox as a first line of prevention.

If you’re thinking of having a little Brotox, I recommend you do your research across clinics and practitioners. Ask for several ‘before and after’ photos of previous clients, making sure you like the work of the doctor who has completed the work. After all, that’s the effect you will probably get!

Besides Brotox, many male patients are commonly seeking cosmetic dental work and hair transplants. Hair transplants, in particular, have come a LONG way over the past 15 years.

Then there’s a little procedure called….Scrotox. Yup, it is exactly what it sounds like!

Scrotox is injecting Botox into the male scrotum to create a larger, more relaxed shape of the testicles. Scrotox makes the skin of the scrotum bigger, so the testacles sit lower. Studies have shown that Scrotox can actually help increase male fertility. Needless to say, there is an ever-increasing number of men who are asking for this procedure.

In addition to Scrotox, many men seek cosmetic procedures to enlarge the penis by making it wider, longer, removing fat pads, making thicker testicles and creating smaller testicles.

It may sound like it only happens once in a blue moon, but these procedures are being performed regularly by teams of highly specialised medical professionals with consistently positive results.

Without past social stigmas affecting how men view their bodies, I believe it’s a wonderful thing that men are happy to discuss Brotox and indeed their aesthetic goals – genital or otherwise - with their doctors and can act accordingly, without fear of fudgement.

Free choice is a wonderful thing indeed!

Beautiful Body: Spotlight on Spots

Spots. Nobody likes ‘em; but everyone’s got ‘em.

Whether you get spots from the sun or as a birthmark, you need to know what to look out for, what not to worry about and what you should be talking with your GP about quicksmart.

Spots can take the form of sun sports, birthmarks and moles. Check your entire body every six months to make sure any pre-existing spots haven’t changed. Going back over these questionable areas will reassure your safety, as well as catch anything that may need to be looked over by your GP or dermatologist. To make things simple, use this acronym when going over any pre-existing spots to detect a possible melanoma:

  • A – Asymmetry – any spots that lack symmetry
  • B – Border – any spot with an irregular or spreading border over time
  • C – Color – any spot that is multi-colored e.g. black, blue, red, grey
  • D – Diameter – any spot that grows larger in size over time

The key to keeping yourself safe from harmful types of skin cancer is to regularly look over your body and take note of every spot you see. A good way to do this is with your smart phone. Take pictures of any spots that stand out and add a calendar alarms every few months to monitor the shape. As with all the best health practices, prevention is key!

Beautiful Body: How To Treat Rashes and Blemishes

Our skin is the body’s first form of contact with everything we come across throughout our day.

The occasional rash and blemish is unfortunately, somewhat inevitable. We're only human after all!

Here are some signs to look out for and what not to worry about, about along with home remedies to help the itch!

Olive Oil – Rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, olive oil helps healing those dry itchy rashes.

Baking Soda – For itchy, puss-oozing rashes, baking soda has a drying property, which will pull out liquid within the rashes to reduce recovery time. However, baking soda can further irritate the skin, so only do this for 3-5 minutes at a time - no more than three times a day.

Allergy Tablets – Most commonly used to treat those random hive break outs.

Aloe Vera - Best for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties on any minor skin irritation or a dry, scaly patch.

Cold Compression – The best way to treat inflammation, best used for those insect bites and poison ivy rashes.

Hydrocortisone Cream – The mother treatment of all types of rashes and blemishes. Most rashes are temporary; however any rash that does not improve or completely go away after at least 3-4 days, you should go see your GP and seek further advice.

Works Cited

Lampert, L. (n.d.). 8 Home Remedies for Rashes Your Skin Will Thank You For. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/natural-remedies-rashes/ Rodriguez, D. (2010, June 10).

Home Remedies for Red Skin (L. Marcellin MD, Ed.). Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/home-remedies-for-red-skin.aspx

Beautiful Body: Natural Skin Remedies

Some of the best ways to help maintain healthy skin around your entire body turn out to be some of the cheapest!

Some of the most common skin care-related problems are induced by stress and dehydration, so make sure you get your 3 litres a day in addition to taking the odd chill pill. In addition to increasing water intake and reducing stress levels, here are my top 3 tips to get scrubbin’ and #lovetheskinyourein.

Tip # 1 - Take salt baths or scrub with salts in the shower. This helps your body retain moisture, promotes cellular regeneration, detoxifies skin, and helps heal dry, scaling irritated skin such as eczema.

Tip # 2 - Improve your air quality. Adding a humidifier in the bedroom will help your skin throughout the night and can have you waking up with less breakouts.

Tip # 3 - Use a lotion at night with higher concentrations of Vitamin E. This will help protect and nourish the skin better than a moisturizer without Vitamin E, which is trending right now in the skin care industry as a powerful anti-oxidant and free radical fighter.

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Works Cited

Lampert, L. (n.d.). 8 Home Remedies for Rashes Your Skin Will Thank You For. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/natural-remedies-rashes/ Rodriguez, D. (2010, June 10).

Home Remedies for Red Skin (L. Marcellin MD, Ed.). Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/home-remedies-for-red-skin.aspx Loux, R. (2014, October 20).

9 Ways To Use Salt For Gorgeous Skin, Hair, Teeth and Nails . 1-1. doi:http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/salt-beauty-uses

Face Facts: Best Skin Care Regime For Day

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For most of us, our face is the first part of the bodies that other people see.

Taking proper care of the skin and maintaining a glowing, healthy appearance is high on the list for people of all ages and genders.

It can be confusing to navigate the highly-saturated skincare market, with so many brands, ingredients and products all battling for air time and endorsements. How do you know what your skin really needs amongst all noise?

I recommend all my patients to understand their skin type and only use products and certain active ingredients that are beneficial for that skin type.

Tip # 1 – Start your morning routine with a gentle cleanser that is packed with antioxidants such as green tea, cucumber, aloe vera, and vitamin B3. A proper cleanser containing these ingredients will act as an anti-inflammatory throughout your day, protecting your skin against free radicals, improving skin tone, moisturizing and boosting collagen production, which helps with those fine lines and wrinkles. Avoid harsh chemicals and exfoliates, as these can be a part of your nighttime routine, if required.

Tip # 2 - After cleansing, apply a serum that is right for your skin type. If your skin is acne prone, find a serum that is water based, as oil-based serums will increase bacteria within the pores, thus giving you more breakouts. Acne prone individuals should be using serums that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin El and salicylic acid, as these will expedite cell turnover rate and unclog pores. If you suffer from dry skin daily serums containing the main ingredients of Vitamin E, Niacinamide, and Hylaronic acid are best for you. Vitamin E helps protect the skin cells from being oxidized throughout the day from pollution in the air. Niacinamide helps improve the concentration of lipids in the skin, keeping them more elastic and giving you that nice plump look. Hylaronic acid holds onto water molecules throughout the day, keeping your skin nice and moist. For people with oily skin, find a serum that is water-based containing these 3 key ingredients: glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and citrus acids. These guys will decrease the amount of sebum production throughout your day, in addition to unclogging those deep pores decreasing the bacteria that brings breakouts prone with oily skin types. Be careful not to confuse ‘serums’ for ‘face-oils’, as they do different things and should be placed onto the skin at different times during your morning routine. Be sure to read your labels.

Tip # 3 - Protecting your face from the Sun’s harmful UV rays throughout the day with a sunscreen moisturizer. Look for a product that says “moisturizing” sun protection and has a SPF of 35 or greater - this way, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. A face sunscreen is ideal; normal sunscreen used for the body is completely different and can cause irritation to the sensitive skin on our faces.

Works Cited

Neill, U. S. (2012). Skin care in the Ageing Female: myths and truths. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 122(2), 473–477. http://doi.org/10.1172/JCI61978 Skin care for acne-prone skin. (july 28, 2016).Skin care for acne-prone skin. Retrieved March 12, 2071, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072392/.

Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-Endocrinology,4(3), 308–319. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22804

Face Facts: Best Skin Care Regime For Night

As your day comes to an end, a good nighttime skincare routine is key in keeping a healthy-looking appearance.

Getting your skin ready for bedtime is almost like getting it prepped in the morning - except you’ll need to add a few additional steps…

Tip # 1 -  Cleanse your face – again. Take off the make up, dirt and other pollutants that have attached themselves to your skin throughout the day. Find an exfoliating scrub that has a high percentage of glycolic acid - and if you can - find one with polylactic biodegradable beads, as these will work away the upper most layers of the skin, thus exposing a new layer underneath that will have all night to mature for tomorrow.

Tip # 2 -  After exfoliating, apply a heavy-duty serum that is dependent on your skin type. You can use the same serum you use during your morning routine, but a serum containing collagen-reproducing peptides are best suited for nighttime care across skin types. After the serum has absorbed, follow with a nighttime moisturizing cream that is heavier and denser in consistency compared with your morning sunscreen.

Tip # 3 - Most importantly, when it comes to applying skincare products to the face, using proper amounts are vital in overall care. The skin on your the face is the most sensitive of all the body, with regards to applying products. Using too much can cause the skin to become irritated and break out. Using too little will show no results. Everyone has different skin types, so finding that proper balance between products and letting your skin do its own thing is key. It takes time, but be patient once you have found that perfect routine that your face agrees with – it’s smooth sailing from there!

Works Cited

Neill, U. S. (2012). Skin care in the ageing female: myths and truths. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 122(2), 473–477. http://doi.org/10.1172/JCI61978

Skin care for acne-prone skin. (july 28, 2016). Skin care for acne-prone skin. Retrieved March 12, 2071, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072392/. Ganceviciene, R., Liakou, A. I., Theodoridis, A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermato-Endocrinology,4(3), 308–319. http://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22804

Face Facts: Laser Skin Treatment (& Which One Is Right For You)

If you’ve struggled with problem skin conditions – anything from fine lines and wrinkles, sunspots, acne scars and large pore size - laser skin treatment could be a good option to consider.

If you have hyperpigmentation, unwanted sunspots/freckles, or even an old tattoo you now regret getting (although it seemed like a good idea after that 3am kebab), laser resurfacing is most certainly for you!

Anyone can benefit from laser resurfacing techniques; however, the people that benefit most from procedures are generally older than 30. In younger individuals, acne can be treated using lasers, but this is only a temporary effect as people experience on-going hormonal changes. It’s best to let your skin calm down with time and use a laser resurfacing technique at a later stage in life to treat acne scars.

How does it work? Get that image of James Bond strapped to the table with the imminently approaching red laser out of your mind’s eye! Lasers used by a qualified beauty therapist concentrate a vast amount of energy at a fixed point on the face, removing layers of skin and letting new layers rejuvenate in those problematic areas. 

Here’s an in-depth look at 3 different types of laser skin treatments on the market, what they’re used to treat and how they work.


CO2

If you’re looking for a laser that will drastically improve acne scars, uneven skin tone, fine lines & wrinkles, then a CO2 fractional laser is the perfect option for you. CO2 lasers work by generating heat in little columns and damaging old layers of skin, which in turn cause the skin to re-generate. You should expect to take some downtime after completing this procedure - anywhere from 1-2 weeks for a proper heal - but the rewards are permanent. Once rejuvenation is complete, if there are still remaining difficult acne scars, these can be touched up with filler for a flawless look. 
    
YAG

For those who have unwanted sun damage (melasma), large pore size, excess sebum production, fine lines and wrinkles - but who aren’t able to take time out after treatment - a YAG laser treatment could be right for you. The results are immediate and the laser works by stimulating collagen reproduction and cellular turnover rate, improving skin clarity. However, with this skin resurfacing treatment, results are not permanent and maintenance is required – approximately every 3-4 months, depending on age and skin type. 

IPL

An IPL is not a laser – in fact, it is an ‘Intense Pulse Light’. This light is best described as a camera flash, but much more intense in energy. Your beauty therapist will flash a light of a specific wavelength that filters out lower wavelengths, which is used primarily to treat hyper-pigmentation, unwanted thread veins and sun damage. In some cases, IPL is also known to reduce hair growth (but not always), so be careful getting this type of treatment on the face if you like your facial hair. 

Works Cited
    
Arora, P., Sarkar, R., Garg, V. K., & Arya, L. (2012). Lasers for Treatment of Melasma and Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 5(2), 93–103. http://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.99436

Goldberg, D. J. (2012). Current Trends in Intense Pulsed Light. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 5(6), 45–53. 

Ramsdell, W. M. (2012). Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser Resurfacing.Seminars in Plastic Surgery, 26(3), 125–130. http://doi.org/10.1055/s-0032-1329414
 

Cosmetic Procedures: A Philosophy

It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The same could be said about aesthetics and cosmetics.

Having been in the industry for a while now, I find it interesting that both my patients and acquaintances are scared they may leave the clinic looking like an otherworldly creature.  Two common statements I'm often told are “I just want to look natural” - or more commonly - “I don’t want to look like [insert celebrity name]”. 

My response is this: the capability and aesthetic sensibility of the practitioner is the most important factor for a patient when considering a cosmetic procedure.

The key to any kind of cosmetic procedure (and for the most part, many aspects of life) is to find a practitioner you think fits the desired mould.  Cosmetic practitioners look like what they think is attractive and normal - so they will, if you go to them, continue in the same vein with your procedure.  Anti-wrinkle treatments and fillers are brilliant products when used correctly by a skilled practitioner; however, they are often used incorrectly with somewhat jarring results. Do your research and ask to see photos of their past work.

In my opinion, a holistic approach to cosmetic procedures is needed to ensure the best, long-term and sustainable results for each patient. My job is not to change my patient’s appearance; but to help them look refreshed, revived and less tired, so as to further enhance their natural beauty. Indeed, I find my role as a mix between technician, confidant and sounding board.  I am often advising my patients to use less products. 

Patients should be educated by their doctors from the beginning of their journey, in order to think clearly about the changes they would like to see - and ultimately, have their expectations met. 

My advice to you when searching for a cosmetic physician is to make sure you like their aesthetic, are confident in their skills and don’t jump around to different clinics.  Find someone you trust - and stick with them.

Dramatic change is possible, but almost never needed.

To Exfoliate or Not to Exfoliate?

The Ancient Egyptians and Greeks knew it.

‘Aapri’-loving 70s babes knew it.

And the millions of coffee-scrubbing beauty bloggers know it.

Exfoliation is key to getting flawless skin.

Read on to get the low down on saying buh-bye to dull, dry skin.

 

TIP #1: LESS IS MORE

Less is more when it comes to how often you scrub. Limit your use of exfoliators to once a week or less. Any more and the skin is not given a chance to regenerate.

TIP #2: GET A CHEMICAL PEEL

Chemical peels aid your skin’s cell renewal process. The process is not a ‘peel’ in the most literal sense of the word; rather, the ingredients dissolve the intracellular cement between dead skin cells. Although the effect is not immediately visible, in the long term, you’ll certainly have brighter, healthier skin.

TIP #3: AHAs: YOUR SKIN'S NEW BFF

Try a gentle cream that contains urea or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), a proven natural exfoliant derived from fruits such as oranges and lemons. Check the label to make sure the AHA concentration label is 10% or less.

TIP #4: BEAT THE HEAT

In dryer months, your skin is more irritation-prone. Decrease your once a week exfoliation session to once every 2 weeks.

TIP #5: PROTECT WHAT YOU GOT

I can’t stress the importance of wearing sunscreen! If you have exfoliated too often in the past, the protective layer of the skin is more prone to sun damage. Make sure you put back in what you take away and protect the skin your in.