Anal Bleaching and…Love?

Anal bleaching and love: these are two terms that, together, most people would think are a joke. Well, it isn’t. If you are following my blog, you’d know by now that this is my niche service and I have been offering it for years. So, I have a clue or two as to the type of client that will call me requesting this service, and I can even tell you *when* they will call me to schedule an appointment.

The first thing that my non-industry (skincare/wellness) friends or acquaintances ask me when I tell them what I do is “why would anyone do that?”  I give them general answers, but the truth is that most people do it because of love.

We, as humans, have the innate NEED to love and be loved. Love looks differently to different people. The point is that we all seek out love. But what does anal bleaching have to do with love? Well, for most of us, love is expressed through our sexuality. Just like love looks differently to different people, so does sexuality. And when people have sex, there are certain body parts that are exposed in ways that can make a lot of people feel too exposed, vulnerable and self-conscious.

Most clients that come to me for Intimate Skin Bleaching (I prefer to use the term “Intimate Skin Bleaching” because it also includes the vaginal area and other areas the client might consider intimate or private) are women who have recently gotten divorced and are now back in the dating scene. Others have been single and celibate for years, and they’ve decided it’s time to become sexually active again. I’ve had clients who have met their new “lovers” in another country, and after a time having a long distance relationship, they’ve decided to get together and make the encounter “special” by making sure that their intimate parts look they way they think their partners will like. As you can see, these are all cases of people yearning to be accepted and loved.

Another characteristic of Intimate Skin Bleaching clients is the day when they call to schedule an appointment.  In my experience, most calls come in on a holiday; and it’s become sort of an inside joke between my boyfriend and I. Whenever my telephone rings on a holiday (and I don’t recognize the number), my boyfriend says “someone needs anal bleaching.”  And low and behold, he is correct. And let me clarify, although we make light of the situation, we have seriously discussed the possible reasons as to why this may be happening. And we have come up with the theory that perhaps people feel lonely on holidays, and that gives them time to ruminate and focus on what’s “wrong” with them, causing them to go beyond the physical and look further into their most intimate areas. This, dear reader, is not funny at all.

Low self-esteem is definitely the culprit of why people seek out Intimate Skin Bleaching services.  And while women (and some men) deal with self-esteem issues as they relate to their intimate body parts, there are, on the other side, a group of people who vilify those who offer such service or products.  I’ve been “attacked” by some of these people who tell me that I encourage low self-esteem.

I disagree. Firstly, I have come to understand the reasons why people seek me out – they want to be accepted and loved. I’ve learned this from my hundreds of conversations with clients about their lives and what they’re willing to share with me over the phone (voluntarily and without being prompted) as to why they “need” Intimate Skin Bleaching – the “acceptance and love” that we’ve been talking about.  Secondly, I have found out, through trial and error and research, those ingredients that are effective yet safe for the client’s health. Thirdly, because of my training as a Health Educator, I am able to provide proper counseling as to the risks of such treatment, including conversations about self-esteem. And lastly, I am empathetic and project, through my actions, that I do care about their physical as well as their emotional well-being, while also projecting a non-judgmental attitude. These last behaviors are what the client is also looking for as part of that “acceptance/love”: empathy, caring and non-judgment.

There are indeed unethical providers and product manufacturers out there. And yes, there are indeed commercials that perpetuate low self-esteem by exploiting the feelings of the characters through rejection simply because their skin is not “light enough”.  However, in a world full of people who are emotionally affected through these media images and messages, there are other qualified and properly-trained professionals who are able to provide Intimate Skin Bleaching services in a compassionate manner and discuss with clients the importance of self love.

WHAT ABOUT OUR HANDS???

When I met my boyfriend for the first time, and I told him my age, he couldn’t believe it.  One could be quick to point out that he might have been charming me; but when I asked him if this is something he told everyone he met, he immediately took my hands in his and said to me: “Look at your hands. These are the hands of a 20-year-old.  If you want to know a woman’s real age, just look at her hands.  And you just fooled me.”  Two years later, and he’s still amazed at how young my hands look.  Needless to say, I do facials for a living, so my hands have reaped all the benefits of my work!

MAKING HAND TREATMENTS AN INTEGRAL PART OF SKIN CARE

The hands are one of the most expressive parts of the body. Hands not only are the first part of the body to show the signs of aging, but very often age even faster than the face. 

Our hands tell a story. Although they are often taken for granted, the hands reveal significant details. Women and men spend so much time and money today trying to “de-age” their faces, but according to Howard Sobel, MD, “The hands can reveal true age quicker than any of the fillers can plump up sagging skin. You need only to see all the pigmented spots on a woman’s hands that come from sun exposure to know that no matter how smooth the face, this person is way older than she claims to be.” And that’s exactly what my boyfriend said when we met the first time!

hands1

Why is this?  First of all, “there is very little fat on the backs of the hands, so when even a small amount of collagen or elastin fibers begins to break down — which is part of the normal aging process and partly from sun exposure — it’s going to have a noticeable impact on your hands,” says Gregory Buford, MD, a Denver plastic surgeon.  In addition to environmental damage, hands lose fat and connective tissue, and start to look thin and transparent over time. Veins also become more prominent and the skin becomes thinner and drier; a dead give-away to a person’s age.

Aging is no longer measured by crow’s feet and saggy jowls, but by the top part of the hands, where the skin is thinner and tends to wrinkle over time. And like any other part of the body, prevention is the key.  Wearing protective gloves when doing household chores is a must.  Let’s see…what else?

Your hands really need more moisture than any other part of our body because they are exposed to the elements more, all year-long, and we wash them frequently, which tends to cause a loss of the skin’s protective oil mantle.  While a moisturizer won’t reverse sun damage or create new collagen, it can leave skin looking plumper and more youthful. Some of the ingredients you need to look for are shea butter, macadamia nut oil, olive oil, vitamin E, cocoa butter and coconut oil. Since all moisturizers work more effectively when applied to skin that is slightly damp, use them after a shower or bath or after washing your hands.

What applies for the face and décolleté (chest area) might be even more important for the hands: sunscreen. The face is actually slightly more protected with makeup and face creams that contain sunscreen, whereas most people do not pay attention to their hands during their morning routine.  So coat your hands with a good sunscreen several times a day, especially when driving.  Look for long-lasting protection from UVA and UVB rays responsible for brown spots and wrinkling. I personally like to wear gloves when I drive.

Among the newest advances are creams containing growth factors, mostly derived from plants. These creams promote new collagen formation, and it’s not a bad idea to begin using these creams every night starting at around age 30.

DRY HAND HELPERS

There are many good hand creams on the market, but using an emollient sunscreen during the day provides double bang for your money.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to apply moisturizing sunscreen to the hands as part of an everyday routine, right after applying sunscreen on the face, just as you would brush your teeth and put on deodorant first thing in the morning.  Sunscreen needs to be applied 30 minutes before exposure for maximum protection. Ideally, applying sunscreen right after a shower and before morning coffee will give it time to absorb.

AGE SPOTS AND SUN SPOTS

Spots on the hands can appear as early as age 30, especially for those who live in a year-round sunny climate.  To treat lighter spots, a combination of prescription-strength hydroquinone and retinoid is the dermatological standard use during a three-month period. Hydroquinone blocks the production of tyrosinase, the enzyme needed to produce melanin, and the retinoid increases cell turnover to remove visible pigmentation. This protocol can be very irritating to the skin. CAUTION: Prolongued use of hydroquinone (over 8 weeks) causes ochronosis, a condition in which the skin becomes irritated, inflamed, reddened, thickened and more densely pigmented on the area affected. This type of chemical contact dermatitis is directly caused by hydroquinone and can sometimes begin or worsen due to sun exposure on the area. 

Light peels featuring both lactic and glycolic acids can be used by skin care professionals as an in-spa treatment to increase the exfoliation of visible pigmentation. To avoid ochronosis, many professional skin care brands now make a skin-lightening formulation using herbal and botanical lighteners, such as arbutin, bearberry and kojic acid. Used in combination with light peels, these formulations provide cumulative lightening results. Diligent follow-up is needed to maximize results; therefore, recommended home-care formulations are a must.

For stubborn spots, many lasers on the market can target sun damage. Hand revitalization units deliver pulses of high-energy LED, causing acceleration in the turnover of visible pigment. Dramatic results can be achieved, but sun spots will return without proper use of sunscreen.

PRONOUNCED HAND VEINS

As fat is lost, the veins in the hands become much more visible.  The fashion to be thin also exaggerates the prominence of veins.

Sclerotherapy, the same physician-administered treatment used to treat leg veins, can be used on the hands. A saline solution is most commonly used. It works by irritating the walls of the vein, causing them to collapse. Some stinging and burning is experienced, and hands will be bruised and swollen after the treatment. One to three sessions are needed, depending on the thickness of the vein. A more natural solution might be to keep the hands deeply hydrated so that the skin looks plumper.

LOOSE SKIN

As part of the aging process, not only does the face lose collagen and elastin, but all the skin on the body gets less tight. Choices for improving appearance range from laser treatments to fillers. Often, both treatments are used in combination for best results.  As I mentioned earlier, growth factor serums can be used early on to prevent these drastic measures.

NAILS

Pay attention to signs of fungus, yellowing or any dark spots on the nail, and resist covering up these symptoms with polish, because some can be a sign of health concerns. If you wear a lot of dark-colored polish, nails are often discolored, but this can also be a sign of diabetes, psoriasis or even liver damage that requires medical attention.  Breakage and ridges on the nail can be signs of poor nutrition, or just the lack of treating hands with the same respect as the face. Cuticles are dry in most people and can be addressed by an overnight application of vitamin E oil or any other type of oil mentioned earlier. 

MEDICAL TREATMENTS

There are now a myriad of hand treatments, like the “hand lift.” During the 5-10-minute procedure, which costs about $1,200, synthetic fillers like Radiesse, Juvéderm or Perlane are injected under the first layer of skin to plump it up, or a combination of fillers, intense pulsed light and CO2 laser resurfacing to remove sun spots (about $1,500) can also be performed. The effects typically last about a year.

Other techniques are the Fraxel laser to remove diffuse wrinkling or discoloration; Thermage for skin tightening; sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a solution directly into the vein to treat varicose veins; the Q-switched laser, which fires very rapid pulses and blasts away pigment spots, and injections of fat to plump up the hands.

Dermatologists also offer IPL lasers or a fractional resurfacing laser. These lasers emit a short pulse of intense red light, which absorbs the skin’s melanocytes—cells that produce the dark spots. The light breaks up the pigmentation into smaller particles that the body’s immune system can then remove.

As with any filler, potential complications exist, including infection, skin discoloration, nodule or granuloma formation, asymmetry and skin necrosis. But the most common reactions are local bruising and swelling.

hands2

AT BELLA DERMIS SKIN CARE LLC, WE HAVE YOUR HANDS COVERED!

Bella Dermis Paraffin Hand Treatment – $50
Exquisite treatment to treat the roughest of hands and to lighten/brighten skin tone, eliminate age spots, firm the skin and moisturize deeply.  Includes cleansing, deep exfoliation with acids, enzymes and a scrub, massage with brightening complex combined with argan and essential oils finishing with a paraffin deep hydrating mask.

Phyto-Endorphin Hand Cream – 4oz $68

Immerse your skin in luscious moisture with this revolutionary Phyto-Endorphin complex.  Extracted from Monk’s Pepper and known for its mood enhancing activity, this nano-emulsion system will provide a radiant glow – skin will soften and smooth while age spots diminish. Many moisturizing factors, potent antioxidants, and skin lighteners have been incorporated into this anti-aging hand cream to sooth and fortify the skin to counter the signs of aging. Watch hands transform and enliven as the active blend moistens and brightens while providing the utmost in antioxidant protection that limits tissue damage caused by internal and external aggressors.

Ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), C10-30 Cholesterol, Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Vitex Agnus Castus (Monk’s Pepper-Casticin) Extract, Lecithin, D-Alpha Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Peel Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice Powder, Citric Acid, Allantoin, among other fabulous ingredients!

Treat hands with respect and hold hands with loved ones as much as you can for the ultimate anti-aging experience.

And as a gift to you, I’d like to share this home recipe:

Apply this hand mask three times a week, before going to bed:

Mix one teaspoon yogurt and one teaspoon olive oil and rub onto your hands.

Wear plastic bags and keep your hands warm for about 10 minutes.

If it’s not too hot, you can wear above the plastic gloves wool mittens to keep your hands warm which will allow the skin to absorb the mask.

Wash your hands with lukewarm water and dry them well.

Apply phyto-endorphin hand cream.

ROSACEA, PMS…and NATIONALITY?

If you are following me on Facebook, you probably noticed that during the month of April (Rosacea Awareness Month), I posted several articles about rosacea, its causes, remedies, things to avoid, lifestyle changes, what it is, etc.  From all the reading I have done, and all the discussions about this condition with colleagues, at trainings, forums, etc,, I haven’t heard once that PMS might trigger a rosacea breakout.  Not until a client recently told me that she ONLY gets rosacea flareups when she is PMSing.  And 2 other clients mentioned that they had no idea they had rosacea because they were of “mixed race” – they thought it couldn’t happen to them. The thought of being of “mixed race” never crossed my mind.  I thought anyone could develop the condition.

Rosacea and PMSRosacea and PMS

So, I Googled it, and I found not even a handful of articles on the subject, and I would like to share what little information I found with you.

At first glance, it seems like this condition indeed has a genetic factor.  In a study performed in the USA, of those who said they had a relative with rosacea, most indicated it was an immediate family member: 30% mother, 35%  father, 28% sister and 24% brother. In some cases more than one family member was reported, and others stated that a grandparent had rosacea.

The survey also found that national ancestry also may be an indication of relative risk for rosacea. Rosacea has often been called the “Curse of the Celts,” because it is especially prevalent among the Irish.  However, those of German and English heritage seem to be highly prone to rosacea as well.

Other nationalities in which rosacea was present at a higher rate are Scandinavian, Scottish, French, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian, Hungarian and Czech.

So, being that my 2 “mixed” clients – as they call themselves – are descendants of one or 2 of the ethnicity or nationalities mentioned earlier, it makes sense that a darker complexion person would also suffer from rosacea.  As skincare professionals, we should never assume anything! And that’s that about rosacea and nationality 🙂

I’ve said many times before, most literature concentrates on the triggers that must be avoided if one suffers from this condition:

– spicy foods

– hot beverages

– stress

– hot baths

– strenuous exercise

– alcohol

– extreme hot or cold weather

– dehydration

– stimulants (coffee, cigarettes, sugar)

– sun exposure

– reactions to environmental factors

– menopause (minimal information)

But little is mentioned about the connection between rosacea and PMS or hormonal imbalance.

If you have a client who is experiencing an acne-like breakout on cheeks and nose around the time of their ovulation or when PMSing, and it goes away just as easily as it came, it might be rosacea.

The National Rosacea Society states that many women report more flushing episodes and an increased number of breakouts during menopause and during their menstrual period. Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, former president of the American Academy of Dermatology admits that “there is no research regarding hormones and their effect on rosacea. However, it has been widely observed that rosacea is often aggravated at menopause and sometimes during mid-cycle.” It has also been observed that rosacea is diagnosed 3 times as often in women, although it is more severe in men. The difference in the numbers of diagnosis could be that women worry more about their facial appearance than men and they seek treatment more often, while men’s severity of the condition might be due to the fact that they don’t seek medical treatment until it’s too late.

Menopausal women may develop rosacea due to hot flashes which, in turn, trigger flushing or redness. And interestingly enough, women who experience PMS – which causes emotional stress – can also develop stress-related rosacea. It seems to be that the stress-rosacea connection as it relates to PMS is a vicious cycle.

So, to tell you the truth, there wasn’t much out there related to rosacea and PMS, except from mere observation and number of diagnoses performed.  The only thing I can recommend is to avoid your triggers and take action to control your stress level.

There are other natural remedies that you can do to minimize or prevent rosacea breakouts in addition to everything we have talked about in earlier postings:

1) Botanical/herbal remedies such as Evening Primrose Oil, which is beneficial for many things such as PMS, menopausal symptoms and relieves pain and inflammation.

2) Acupuncture

3) Reflexology (which aids in balancing hormones)

4) GLA (gamma linoleic acid or omega-6 fat) is highly anti-inflammatory and works as well for rosacea as it does for eczema and other allergic skin reactions. It even relieves psoriasis and irritated, dry eyes. It’s excellent for PMS symptoms and hot flashes.

5) Yoga/meditation

6) Keep a diary of any flare ups so that you can identify what might be the trigger or cause.

If you are experiencing rosacea (sometimes mistaken for acne), it is VERY important that you get the correct diagnosis, the correct medications and the correct skin treatment for it.  Rhonda Allison (available through phone order, in person and soon through our website), offers several products to put this condition under control – guaranteed!

More about rosacea that you should be aware of…

Rosacea has 4 stages and you don’t want to go through all of them:

Pre-Rosacea – The main symptom is frequent flushing that can affect the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. The skin can become so sensitive that the person can feel a burning sensation when cosmetics or creams are applied. The face may become swollen. Triggers are a strong factor, so avoid or minimize triggers. Don’t let it progress to the second stage.

Vascular Rosacea – Small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks swell and become visible, showing through the skin as small red lines.  The skin will feel warm and look puffy. The skin may become even more sensitive and the rosacea can be accompanied by oily skin and dandruff. Flushing and redness become persistent and then permanent. Seek treatment!

Inflammatory Rosacea – In addition to the redness, small, red bumps or bumps containing pus may appear and persist.  Nodules in the skin become painful and can spread across the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. In severe and rare cases, the oil glands or sebaceous glands in the nose, and sometimes the cheeks, become enlarged resulting in a build up of tissue on and around the nose and over a period of years the nose becomes red, enlarged and bulbous (seen mostly in men). At this stage, medications are very important and definitely use an anti-inflammatory.  Washing your face with soap and water is detrimental for your skin.  Consult your local aesthetician!

Ocular Rosacea –Is a serious condition that needs to be brought quickly under control as in severe cases, it could lead to the loss of vision. The symptoms are irritation in the eyes, light sensitivity, a decrease in visual ability and an obvious inflammation of the lids or conjunctivitis. At this stage, the person would need to see an ophthalmologist immediately.  The main problem with ocular rosacea is the possibility of a secondary infection.  A dry environment plus ocular rosacea provides a good breeding ground for bacteria including staphylococci.

At Bella Dermis Skin Care, we offer 3 protocols for the treatment of rosacea:

– Fruity-“A” Naturally Soothing Facial – $85

– Rosacea Peel – $90

– The 90-day Rosacea Challenge: 3 corrective facials, 3 peel treatments, 3 post-peel treatments and at home pre and post care products within a 3-months period – call for more information.

Engage with my social media for a cause

I am participating in a Social Media contest through the Tampa Bay Business Journal.  Social Madness is a local and national challenge that will spotlight the best social media programs.
The promotion will culminate in a national bracket challenge that will crown Social Madness champions in 3 categories with a $10,000 charitable donation made on our behalf to the charity of our choice.
Companies will be ranked based on a scoring algorithm that measures social engagement. The algorithm will gauge votes on bizjournals.com, as well as audience engagement on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ during the challenge.
I have chosen THE DEFENDER FOUNDATION as my charity. Visit the link to learn more about it.
I encourage you to engage in my social media: FB, Linkedin and Twitter because I want to win $10,000 for this organization. Will you join me?

Like my Facebook page here and share your comments.

Follow me on Twitter here

Follow me on Linkedin here

THANK YOU!

 

What is oil pulling anyway?

What is oil pulling anyway?.

The Myth of Cellulite Treatments

butt facial, fanny facial, buttocks facial, bum bum facial

Have you ever inquired about the cost and the length of a cellulite treatment? Have you ever considered or tried laser, cavitation, infrared, microcurrent, liposuction, body wraps, VelaShape, Endermologie, injections, creams, lotions, serums, etc, etc, etc, to treat your cellulite to no avail? Have you already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars and there is nothing to show for?  Yeah, me too! I too have been the “victim of deception.”  Since I like to keep abreast of the new technology, I do try these services to see if they are worth offering at Bella Dermis Skin Care LLC.  I recently received 11 cavitation treatments.  I also asked how long before I start noticing the difference.  I was told, by the very confident technician, that I would see results by the 6th treatment.  Not the 5th or the 7th but the 6th treatment.  There were no (visual) changes.  But you may wonder why do I offer Derriere CareTM in my skincare clinic when I know there is no cure for cellulite?  Just stay with me for a little longer.

First of all, what exactly is cellulite?  Cellulite is present in 80-90% of women – mostly in industrialized countries (due to more sedentary lifestyles).  It is rarely seen in men, but not completely non-existent.  About 10% of men have cellulite; they tend to have more estrogen in their system.  Changes in metabolism, yo-yo dieting, alteration of the connective tissue, hormonal and genetic factors, circulatory problems and inflammation, among others, are the main causes of cellulite.  Women who have a more sedentary lifestyle tend to have more cellulite because of the circulation/inflammation condition, although active and fit women can also display cellulite because it has a genetic and hormonal component. We cannot escape it!

How is it formed?  The mechanical process of cellulite is related to fat, but is not fat per se.  Most people think that fat causes cellulite, plain and simple.  Others will say that cellulite is trapped toxins and excess water underneath the skin.  The fact is cellulite is a condition that affects the appearance of the skin in areas with underlying fat deposits (most noticeably on the buttocks and thighs), giving the skin a dimpled, lumpy appearance. In other words, fat cells are affected by cellulite and not the other way around!

When we are young, our connective tissue is supple and elastic, stretching and giving with the skin so that everything remains smooth. Then puberty hits, and hormones wreak havoc on the connective tissue, making it stiffer and less elastic. At the same time, there is fat relocalization (which gives us ladies our lovely shape) and fat cells tend to expand in certain areas pushing out on the skin.  As the bands of connective tissue contract and stiffen with age, they pull down on the skin even more. At the same time, increasing fat stores push outward in the surrounding areas. Put these two occurrences together, and the result is the infamous orange peel skin.  As we get older, the outer layer of skin weakens, thins, and loses elasticity. Gravity takes its toll, and the skin begins to sag.  Since the connective septae remain intact and often contracts and stiffens further as time goes on, the appearance of cellulite continues to worsen with age.

Another strong factor in the development of cellulite is yo-yo dieting. Repeated cycles of weight gain and weight loss further compromise skin elasticity, making cellulite more pronounced.

Why women and not men? It’s NOT fair!  There are a few theories:

1) Men have a thicker epidermis – the very top layer of the skin.  A thicker epidermis makes male skin more resilient to structural change and dimpling, which protects it from cellulite.  On the other hand, women have a thinner epidermis and three layers of fat in the areas that cellulite is more visible (knees, thighs, buttocks, stomach and tricep areas) which exposes it to lumpiness.

2) Male and female skin is fundamentally different. Female fat cells sit within large, side-by-side, separate compartments that form columns underneath the skin’s surface.  When female fat cells get bigger, the compartments overflow and have no choice but to expand vertically. At this point the fat pushes upwards, puts massive pressure on the skin’s surface, and eventually creates the bumps known as cellulite.  On the other hand, male skin follows a crisscrossed pattern. Male fat containers are smaller, and when they grow they tend to create one, big, solid blob of fat (if it even penetrates the thick epidermis). Although beer bellies are common, most guys won’t have cellulite.

3) Tight underwear and clothes constricts blood flow around the butt and thighs, which speeds up cellulite development.

So, why so many treatments in the market? Which one works? What can I do to get rid of my unwanted dimples?  Can your Derriere CareTM treatment help me? I know, I know! So many questions!

The truth is NOTHING will get rid of your cellulite. NOTHING.  Liposuction will not even improve the appearance of the skin because it gets rid of fat cells, not the already-damaged connective tissue.  Prohibitively expensive treatments like cavitation, VelaShape and Endermology – which are in the thousands of dollars – are not any better than more sensibly-priced aesthetic treatments.  They all HELP improve the appearance of cellulite, but in order to maintain the results, you need to continue receiving treatments for the rest of your life!

So, when people ask me “how many treatments before I start noticing a difference?”, I cannot give them a straight answer.  Every body is different.  As we already explored, the causes of cellulite are many and I don’t necessarily know a person’s particular cause.

When I developed (and trademarked) my Derriere CareTM service, I did so with another goal in mind: the improvement of the top layer of the epidermis, and as a side effect, the improvement of the connective tissue.  Derriere CareTM treats breakouts, blemishes, pigmentation, scarring, roughness, calluses or any epidermal imperfection.  I guess you can call it a “facial for the butt.”  In addition, I perform a lymphatic drainage massage with ampoules that help move things around underneath the skin.  This helps with the appearance of cellulite.  A cryogenic algae mask helps tighten the skin giving it a firmer feel and look.  Regular weekly sessions will DEFINITELY help REDUCE the appearance of cellulite.  How long will it take before you notice? No one can say.

How long does the effect last?  As with ANY anti-cellulite treatment – regardless of what procedure is being used – the effects can last from a day to a week to months.  The more often you receive the treatment, the longer the results will last.  But you have to remember, the treatment must be ongoing if you want longer-lasting results.  Perseverance, patience, commitment, loyalty to the treatment, regular dieting (no yo-yo dieting), exercising, and a strong desire to improve the quality of your skin are all needed to improve your cellulite condition.

Why are cellulite treatments expensive if they don’t work? They can be expensive and they do work – you just don’t get to see any improvement in a short period of time.  Remember that it took years for the cellulite to show.  There is really no technology that can rid you of cellulite in only 12 treatments.  With this said, however, new technology is expensive with some machines costing over $30,000.00!!  High quality professional product lines are also very expensive.  Therefore, treatments are priced according to the cost of products and equipment.  The purpose of the machines is to provide a massage, with or without heat, and move things around easier than with the hands.   High quality products are better than their cheaper counterparts because their ingredients are from higher quality sources (the way an ingredient is processed can be more sophisticated than others, respecting the integrity of the ingredient, for example).  From my own personal experience both receiving and providing these types of services, I have seen structural changes in the skin from manual lymphatic drainage technique utilizing products which contain lipolysis-causing ingredients.

So what product is best for me?  I know! It’s like trying to pick the best cookie from a plate…

butt cookies

First you need to know how these creams work: by pulling fluids out of the spaces between cells and inducing lipolysis (fat-burning right under the epidermis).  They should also contain ingredients that boost circulation such as algae and caffeine, which, depending on how the massage is applied, can help eliminate toxins that become constricted in the connective tissue.  Here is a short list of anti-cellulite products that truly help, at various price ranges.  You can special order this product through Bella Dermis Skin Care.  Prices may change by manufacturer without prior notice.

– Circadia’s anti-cellulite cream has been rated the TOP product of the year two years in a row.  $36 – 8oz; $70 – 16oz

– Anesi – a professional line used at our center – has been known for decades to be a signature product line in skincare clinics for their body treatments.  Aminofirm (firming) $60 – 17oz; Lipoaminocel (anti-cellulite) $60 – 17oz

– Pharmagel Slender Shaper is also a great product to use but on the medium price range.  $40 – 8.5oz

– My favorite DIY at-home treatment is a coffee scrub.  Take your morning coffee grounds, mix them with olive oil, add essential oil of peppermint and scrub away in the shower.

BEWARE that purchasing high quality reputable products through unauthorized dealers on Amazon and others alike at a much cheaper price will NOT guarantee that you will be getting the actual product.  I have purchased reputable skincare products online and I can tell you with certainty that they are NOT the same product.  I have received products through Amazon that have been shipped from China (delivered by international DHL) because one can’t really tell where the vendor is from and the product is manufactured either in Europe or right here in the USA, so there is no reason for the product to be shipped from China.  Buy from your local authorized dealer only and help our local economy.

I am with you on this one! So why don’t you schedule your appointment for Derriere CareTM today? Receive 5% off this treatment when you schedule online.  Or receive 10%, 15% or 25% when you purchase a series of 6, 8 or 10 respectively.  Restrictions apply. Read our Terms and Conditions on our website http://www.belladermisskincare.com.butt sign

Pre-Cancerous Lesion – Why Me?

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Above: Actinic Keratosis under the eye area healing after freezing treatment

The story of how I became an Aesthetician began when I was a little girl.  I was fascinated by makeup and creams.  I would watch, in awe, infomercials about various creams that would make wrinkles and imperfections disappear in front of my eyes; or makeup that would cover port wine stain by just one light application.   Every year, I would ask Santa Claus to bring me REAL make up, not the Tinkerbell stuff my friends had.  From a very young age, I knew the difference between “cheap” (Tinkerbell brand for girls) and the “expensive” (real makeup) stuff.  I also knew I wanted to be a “beautician” – as it was called back then – and make people look beautiful and make them happy.  And, in my childhood imagination, I thought one could only become a “beautician” – the kind that would make these miracles happen – in France.  I studied French in high school and college and through the local Alliance Francaise because my goal was to study Aesthetics in France after finishing my college degree.

While in college, I developed acne – perhaps a late-blooming teen or stress – nonetheless a very stressful situation in and of itself.  Long story short, my treatment included Retin-A cream which required the daily use of sunblock.  From the age of 18 until today, I have been using sunblock every day of my life! That’s 26 years using sun protection.

As my college graduation neared, I discovered that an Aesthetics academy was actually very close to my home and upon my graduation, I signed up for a 1,100 hours Aesthetics program in my home island of Puerto Rico.   I didn’t have to go to France after all… And besides learning that I had been a good girl all along by using sunblock on a daily basis, I also learned how to properly take care of my skin.

Fast forward 20 years later.  Twenty years observing, analyzing, studying, touching, working with the skin, I can’t count the times I have referred people to dermatologists and other specialists to get treatment for what I have “diagnosed” unmistakably – from PCOS to skin cancer and everything in between.  I never thought the day would come where I would actually “diagnose” myself.

Being an aesthetician, I keep a magnifying mirror in my bathroom which I use on a regular (ahem, obsessive) basis.  On this particular day, I felt a little bump which I thought was a comedone (a black head or under skin congestion) and began picking on it.  Nothing came out.  I decided to leave it alone and wait for it to come out on its own; however, I began noticing that it was pink, looked like an open sore, didn’t hurt and wasn’t healing.  Two months later, I noticed a dark freckle next to this lesion and the general area dramatically darkened, and then it hit me like a soccer ball on my face! SKIN CANCER!!!! I referred myself to a dermatologist who said casually, as if it was just a simple pimple, “oh yeah, that’s actinic keratosis.”   I understood clearly the medical lingo. Luckily it wasn’t skin cancer, but to me, it was something almost equally as bad: actinic keratosis or in layman’s term, a pre-cancerous lesion.

Why me? I exfoliate. I use high-end clinical-grade treatment creams and lotions. Most importantly, I use SPF 100!!! Every day!!!! Where did I go wrong?

Then something, again, hit me like a ball on my face: the location of the lesion.  It is right under the eye area where the edge of my sunglasses touches the skin.  Then I began remembering the dozens of faces I have seen throughout the years where they displayed similar lesions or freckle-looking darkened skin – right under the eye area.  This observation has caused me to come up with a theory and I invite all Aestheticians to pay closer attention to this: eye wear, be it prescription glasses or sunglasses, may very well increase the intensity of UV rays and cause discoloration and pre-cancerous/cancerous lesions.  So I did a little research.

Perhaps it’s time to re-think sun care and sunglasses.  According to a study performed in the UK, the use of sunglasses can actually increase the risk of skin cancer!  “The glasses reduce the amount of ultra-violet light reaching key areas of the eye, tricking the brain into believing less harmful rays have penetrated the body.  The result, doctors believe, is that the body produces less of a natural substance it needs to defend itself against harmful ultraviolet light.” You can read more about this study here:

Sunglasses are important in preventing cataract, eye cancer and macular degeneration, among other diseases.  But it may increase the chances of acquiring skin cancer.  Sunblock is not enough, considering that the protective effects of a sunblock or sunscreen is not an accurate measure of protection because it varies per person, time of day and the type of protection being used.  In other words, if it takes 10 minutes of sun exposure for a person to burn, by using a sunblock with an SPF 15, the same person will burn after 150 minutes.    There are also different kinds of rays that affect our skin and health. Sunblock and sunscreens are not the same and the ingredients used in them are not the same either.  You can read more about this here, here  and here.

So what can we do?  When outside, use a cap or umbrella to cover yourself from the extremely damaging UV rays.  While driving, use white gloves to keep your hands from becoming freckle-y.  If you are using short sleeves or sleeveless shirt while driving, buy a cheap long sleeve shirt and wear it backwards just so that you can cover your arms.  I would even go as far as using a white cloth or scarf to cover my face, or over my head covering the sides of the face,while driving.  Why white? Because white repels sun rays, hence UV rays, and keeps you cooler. Stay out of the sun during peak hours (usually 10am to 2pm) and use broad spectrum sunblock containing titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide which repels UV rays.  Read the labels! Just because a product says it contains sunscreen doesn’t mean it contains effective ingredients.  And last but not least, perhaps we will need to reconsider our use of sunglasses…

At Bella Dermis Skin Care LLC we offer services to treat and re-texture sun damaged skin such as dark pigmentation and photo-aging.  Visit my website for more information and call today to make your appointment.  Allow me to help you make your skin beautiful during the summer months and always.