Glycation Sounds Complicated…What Is It?

As I was deciding about what to write today, I thought of glycation. And yes, while we are in the Holiday Season, and having written about ways to enjoy the holidays without worrying too much about those carbs, today I write about the other side of the coin: Glycation…(too much sugar)

 

Glycation usually happens when excess sugar causes covalent bonding between a sugar molecule and a protein or lipid molecule, but without the controlling action of an enzyme so that these protein molecules cross-link with sugar molecules resulting in new sugar proteins. Because our bodies do not recognize these new molecules, antibodies are created causing inflammation in the skin. Glycation is many times the result of lifestyle (drinking, smoking, sun exposure), and health choices.

Selection of food high in sugar, copy space

When you see very wrinkled and lax skin, it usually is a result of a structural breakdown. Too much glycation may affect the type of collagen you can build and as a consequence affect your skin’s resistance to wrinkling.

So what can we do, aside from eating properly and making the right diet choices?  There are some supplements, such as alpha lipoic acid and some derivatives of vitamin B6, and vitamin B1 that can help. Anti inflammatory ingredients and hydrating ingredients on your skin are a must, such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea, and jojoba oil. Treatments should aim at reducing inflammation. A series of treatments may be better than a single deep one. Hydration facials, enzymes and certain cream based peels could be appropriate.

For more information, contact us at info@medaestheticsmiami.com/ Our promise is more than beauty.

Planning on Indulging During the Holidays?

Yes, it’s okay! As the holidays approach, we get lots of advice on how to survive the season. With all the commitments and events, many of us are not only subject to the stress of running from one place to the next, but we are tempted by delicious food, alcohol, and desserts (of all of the above, the latter is my main weakness).

While most of the advice centers around “get some sleep, avoid the flours and sugars and eat your veggies; this is not necessarily realistic. Depriving ourselves in this season of sharing is not enticing and ends up costing us some fun. While I can’t just suggest that you forget your diet or not take care of yourself, I do believe that spending time with friends and family is there to be cherished for many reasons, which are obvious. And while it could cost us that glow, there are things we can do in the meantime while being in the flow.

For example, if you want to drink alcohol, then make sure you compensate by drinking at least an equal amount of water or hydrating yourself in other ways. If you like sweets, most Thanksgiving dinner tables have dark chocolates and fruits that can be added to the equation, so that you still land on your feet. In my experience, vegetables and fruits have such a positive effect on our body that they can help us balance those unhealthy meals. Maybe you can eat healthier in the morning and day, so you can counteract the night attacks. Of course there are products that you can buy, such as antioxidants, but that is beyond our topic today.

Chemotherapy and Our Skin

Given that we recently celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to discuss the impact of chemotherapy on our skin. As you all probably know, skin that has been affected by chemotherapy needs special treatment and care. The reason behind the extra care is that although skin cells die and shed at a fast pace; when we undergo chemotherapy cells die at an accelerated pace to the point that cells can not be shed equally fast. As a result, skin becomes dry, dehydrated and hyper keratinized. Furthermore, the skin’s sebum can not reach the outer layers of the skin and protect it from bacterial infections. Several skin toxicities can occur including, photosensitivity, acne like reactions, and extra dry skin.

cancer cell made in 3d software

However, thanks to developments in the field, we now have alternatives for oncology clients. For example, plant-based and natural oils provide excellent relief to the skin. These can act with antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Another point to ponder is the use of products that have a Ph similar to the skin’s natural acidic Ph of 5.5. An acidic Ph will prevent dryness and consequential acidic dermatitis. These are two examples of the many other ones we could discuss.

As always, for more information feel free to contact Med Aesthetics Miami with your questions. Our promise is “More than Beauty”…

Are Medical Grade Cosmeceuticals a Marketing Trick?

Many times when I design treatment plans for my clients, I can notice their hesitation to purchase skin care products. As a result, I end up not offering them because trusting the process is key to outstanding results. Yet I feel this is a mistake, since using the right product could enhance treatment plans. There is no substitute for a well planned home care routine. I need to emphasize this, since 50% of the results can be attributed to what you do outside of the office. A skin care program is not complete without it. In my case, I thoroughly research brands, their ingredients and production process, before recommending them. These are key issues that determine the quality of the cosmeceutical.

 

So what is a medical grade product or cosmeceutical? Medical grade products should not contain ingredients with systemic effects (e.g., hormones); the main ingredient should be capable of penetrating into the skin barrier and permeating into the epidermis; the process should have been clinically proven; and the main pharmaceutical should stabilize the skin condition. In other words, these products can act deep in the dermis and are free of counterproductive additives, with no adverse effects. For example, fragrance and allergenic preservatives should not be part of the mix. Non-degradable emulsifiers not compatible with the skin can cause neurodermatitis; and high concentrations of mineral oils and silicons may impede the natural regeneration of the skin.

Kinetin (N6-furfuryladenine) plant hormone molecule. Promotes cell division in plants. Used in skin care and cosmetics for supposed anti-aging properties. Atoms are represented as spheres with conventional color coding: hydrogen (white), carbon (grey), nitrogen (blue), oxygen (red).

As can be concluded from the paragraph above, not every skin care product can be classified as a cosmeceutical, given the expensive production process behind the proper formulation. For more information, call us at 305-356-7402 Med Aesthetics Miami… and remember “our promise is more than beauty”.

Getting Your Skin Ready for the Fall

So now that fall is almost here, many clients want to get their skin ready for the holidays. While there are many quick fixes that can be done, fall is the season that gets you ready for the grand finale. The season to let go like leaves that fall off a tree. The season to start looking at the year that went by, yet begin to stare at the year that lies ahead.

When it comes to skin, we may need to change our skin care routine. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Perhaps use products richer and creamier that maintain the moisture, since now the air is dryer. Also, we may want to consider switching from lotion to cream, moisturizing your lips, exfoliating with oil-based scrubs, and applying a hand cream. If we are concerned about spots and hyperpigmentation and wanted to undergo deep skin-resurfacing treatments or deep peels; now it’s easier to plan since the long hours at the beach are gone. If we want to look good for the holidays, we can start those baby steps and figure out a treatment plan for the next three months. However, regardless of what your goal is, please remember to always wear sunscreen.

If you have any questions, as always, you know where to find us…info@medaestheticsmiami.com.

Lessson Hurricane Irma

When I first learned about Hurricane Irma, and having grown up in an island in the Caribbean, I was not too worried. In fact, the only reason I decided to leave Miami was to make sure my family remained calm. That night I struggled to find water, food, and gasoline. A sense of anxiety rushed through my veins as I later evacuated the city at midnight, since I had left behind a window that would not lock, coupled by the general anxiety that was going around in the city, and by being a head of household with all the responsibility in my shoulders. The next day, after calling many times, no one in my building would have an answer regarding the window. I tried the realtor, to no avail. Finally, I called my handyman who reassured me that he would get the job done and so he showed up and did as promised. With a sense of relief I continued my journey, to find out that I had two flat tires. I felt I was the main actress in a soap opera. After calling AAA, they assured me that someone had done it on purpose because NO ONE gets two flat tires (of course I have had two flat tires before) at the same time. After searching in my destination, there was only one tire shop open and it closed in forty five minutes- I was thirty minutes away. Luckily, we got there in time. The mechanic actually found a nail in the tires and was able to fix them. What a sense of relief. Now, I was ready for Irma and could relax.

 

As I reminisce on this last adventure, I had to compare it to life and how we reach our goals. If we focus on the obstacles, we never get there. If we focus on the rewards instead, we gain the endurance to stay put and navigate the waters. At the end, I was able to focus on the positive, which was quality time locked up in a room with my family and dogs, the fact that we were out of the storm’s path, and, last but not least, the possibility of having a full night’s sleep.

Big waves in a sunny storm. Portuguese north coast.

If we extrapolate to wellness and skincare, we can also apply the same principles. Just like I had to contain myself to not eat that cookie while having cabin fever, to not get that extra padding in the belly; in the same way making the right choices in terms of putting on the appropriate sunscreen and moisturizers on the face and body, eating the required nutrients for the skin, exercising, not smoking, and most importantly taking little steps towards our goals while we remain focused; make the big difference. As I mentioned in my first blog, there are many legs to a stool and each are important and part of the larger picture and path to reach our wellness goals.

Alternatives and Complements to Peels

While peels are a great tool in the care of your skin, some times these are not the preferred treatment of choice. For example, many clients of mine who have rosacea would benefit more from a treatment that reduces inflammation, as opposed to causing it. Other times, my clients need just a nourishing treatment to replenish those nutrients to the skin.  These are just two examples, but many other scenarios are possible.

I particularly have found extremely beneficial oxygen and enzyme treatments. In my case, when I refer to oxygen, I don’t refer to oxygen as a gas, but rather as a product you apply to your skin. However, this innocent “product” has germicidal, and vasoconstriction properties, which decreases erythema resulting in tighter and brighter skin. The germicidal effect can be very effective in the case of acne; and the vasoconstriction, in the case of redness and rosacea. The end result is skin that is able to function better.

 

beautiful woman applying cosmetic cream

Enzyme treatments are also a great alternative for calming the skin, nourishing the skin, and more. They can remove keratin buildup, they can be anti-inflammatory and have vasoconstrictor properties, while brightening and clarifying. There are many varieties each with a purpose of their own. They could be used alone or in combination with other treatments.

These are just more options to consider in your skin care routine.  However, always remember that these options should be part of a plan, not isolated treatments. If you have any questions, or for additional information, please contact Med Aesthetics Miami at info@medaestheticsmiami.com