Glycation Effects on Our Skin

Glycation is a reaction that happens both inside and outside of our bodies. It is a process by which sugars (primarily fructose and glucose) bond with proteins and fats to form advanced glycation end-products, or A.G.E. These pro-inflammatory compounds can cause the all-important collagen and elastin in our skin to become weak and stiff, accelerating the visible signs of aging. Although a certain amount of sugar is necessary for healthy body function, it has been asserted that a low glycemic diet is a beneficial part of any anti-aging regimen.

Because these A.G.E. also induce a browning reaction (called a Maillard reaction, as it was discovered by chemist Louis-Camille Maillard in 1912), they are often added to many foods we consume to improve their color, taste and appearance. Unfortunately, this is clearly a sales and marketing benefit, not a health benefit. High levels of A.G.E. are being studied for their role in type II diabetes, ocular diseases and heart diseases.

Below is a list of some ingredients in our products that are found to help fight the visible skin aging that can be exacerbated by glycation:

  • Aminoguanidine (Nutrient Toner, A&C Synergy Serum®)
  • Arginine (Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Body Therapy, A&C Synergy Serum®, Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night)
  • Niacinamide (ReBalance, Rejuvenating Serum, Hydrating Serum, Pigment Bar®, Activator (Step 1 from the Oxygenating Trio))
  • Green Tea Extract, Flavonodis, Antocyans – different polyphenolics (these are found in a wide range of PCA SKIN products)

Myths/Truths About Chemical Peels

Myths/Truths About Chemical Peels

Source from: Smart Skin Solutions

When patients hear the words “chemical peel” they have many different thoughts as to what the actual outcome will be. Due to a lot of misinformation readily available on the internet and in the general media, chemical peeling can make people nervous. It is the clinician’s responsibility to explain treatment outcomes and why they may vary. Discussing patient expectations during the initial consultation to clear up any misconceptions surrounding chemical peels ensures a positive experience for both the patient and the clinician. Our philosophy incorporates a progressive, rather than aggressive, approach. This way, patients will experience little or no downtime following a peel, yet still achieve outstanding results. PCA SKIN’s peels are self-neutralizing, leaving patients with little to no downtime following treatment. myths and truths

1. Skin should “peel” after having a peel treatment – As clinicians, many of us have had the experience of treating a patient with a chemical peel, after which they come back to you and say, “Your treatment didn’t work because I didn’t peel.” Visible exfoliation doesn’t determine the efficacy of treatment. Generally, healthy skin has less visible exfoliation. Exfoliation often takes place at the cellular level and is not always apparent to the naked eye. Conversely, some patients’ skin is so impacted that it can take a few peels to loosen dead cells enough to allow them to shed. Typically, these patients will see little or no peeling initially, and then see sloughing after a few treatments. Using analogies that a patient can relate to can be an incredibly useful tool when explaining to a patient why they may not peel. For example, feeling drowsy after taking pain medication is a side effect, just as peeling is a side effect to a chemical peel; some people may feel drowsy when taking the medication and some may not, just as some may experience exfoliation from a peel and some may not – either way, the efficacy of the medication or peel is not contingent on the side effect.

2. My skin is too sensitive for a chemical peel – Sensitive skin is defined as a heightened intolerance to topical products or external factors. Sensitive Skin presents itself as red, irritated or scaly. PCA SKIN utilizes ingredient blends to combat sensitive skin presentations. Our philosophy follows the low-dose approach; meaning, inducing the least amount of trauma to the skin to achieve optimal results. Sensi Peel® is formulated primarily for extremely sensitive skin types. This multi-faceted treatment also provides calming and soothing properties and helps to clear follicle debris, making it an excellent choice for helping sensitive skin types. Hydrate: Therapeutic Oat Milk Mask was strategically formulated to soothe and hydrate impaired skin conditions of all kinds. Oat milk is also a potent antioxidant that effectively manages dry or sensitive skin conditions.

3. All peels must be neutralized – Straight alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peels, such as glycolic and lactic acid, require neutralization with either water or a weak base like sodium bicarbonate. Unfortunately, the neutralization process can free hydrogen and, therefore, reactivate the acid and increase the heat sensation and discomfort in the skin. This increases the potential for negative outcomes and side effects. However, peels such as the Jessner’s and trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peels, and retinol treatments do not require neutralization. The water and lipid content in the skin leads to self-neutralization of the aforementioned acids. PCA SKIN combines AHA acids with TCA or Jessner’s peels, along with ingredients like retinol, salicylic acid, antioxidants and calming and soothing agents in bases that provide excellent delivery systems. The synergy of these ingredients is such that the peels are self-neutralizing, allowing for maximum effectiveness with little or no downtime.

4. It’s fine to hit the gym after having a peel – The epidermis is comprised of several layers and when a chemical peel is applied, even if it’s very superficial, it can cause a separation of these layers. Any activity that induces heat and sweating, either from a work out, an athletic activity or sitting in the sauna, can cause water to become trapped between the epidermal layers. This may result in blistering and, depending on the severity of the blistering, lead to an uneven skin tone. Another reason to stay cool following a peel is that internal heat can also lead to uneven skin tone. PCA SKIN recommends remaining cool for 48 hours post-peel to avoid any heat-related complications post-treatment.

5. Acetone is best to prep skin for peels – Skin must be clean and degreased to maximize penetration of chemical peel solutions. While acetone is often used because it is a strong and biocompatible solvent, it is not ideal for pre-peel prep. Acetone not only removes excess sebum that hinders peel penetration, but it also over-strips skin of essential cholesterol and lipids. This can leave skin overly dry post-procedure and last for weeks following treatment, causing undue discomfort for patients. The lactic and citric acid base of Smoothing Toner provides an astringent that gently and effectively removes any remaining sebum and debris post-cleansing, without drying out skin.

6. My patient can expect the same outcome each time they receive a peel – The amount of visible exfoliation depends on current skin conditions, combined with atmospheric conditions like humidity, which may cause flakes to adhere to the skin more so than in dry climates. Further, there may be a lot of visible exfoliation after the first treatment and less for the second, but this does not mean the first treatment worked better than the second. Moreover, someone who has previously had peel treatments may not have as much visible exfoliation as someone who has never or rarely gets treatments, as these patients will have more build-up. Everyone has a different tolerance for peels and that tolerance tends to grow with every treatment.

7. Peels are not indicated for drier skin types – A well-formulated chemical peel minimizes the amount of impacted skin cells lying on the surface of the skin while delivering hydrating, firming, strengthening and brightening ingredients into the skin. Once the skin is free of the dull surface layer, any products applied topically will penetrate better, leaving skin healthy and hydrated. PCA SKIN’s elegantly blended peels offer options for all Fitzpatrick types and skin conditions.

8. Frequency of treatments is not important – Regular in-office treatments are critical to maintaining optimal skin health. We recommend basing frequency of treatment on the condition. Uneven skin tone may be treated every three weeks and acne (all types) may be treated every two weeks. Sensitive skin may be treated every four weeks, while aging skin may be treated every three weeks.

9. A daily care regimen and sunscreen only matter if I have problem skin or I’m out in the sun all day – Along with receiving regular treatments from a clinician; a patient’s daily care regimen is just as important to maintaining skin health. Patients must manage their own skin at least twice a day; that’s 60 times in any given month vs. a single monthly treatment from a clinician. Therefore, one professional treatment won’t be beneficial if the patient is not doing his or her own part on a daily basis to maintain the health of their skin. Further, using a broad spectrum sunscreen is especially important post-peel as the procedure sensitizes skin to the sun. Remember, peels work at the cellular level and are still working long after you’ve had the treatment. Thus, it’s important to incorporate sun protection into your daily care regimen.

10. Peels are safe for patients with vitiligo – Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), resulting in areas of depigmented skin. Because its presentation is on the skin, it makes sense that patients would think that chemical peels would help to “even out” skin tone. This, however, is untrue. Because this is an autoimmune disorder, treating it topically with a chemical peel will have little to no effect. While chemical peels are not the recommended course of action, there are other prescription medications and therapies available.

The Most Anticipated Hair Trends For Spring 2013

The Most Anticipated Hair Trends For Spring 2013

Source: Best Hair Trends for Spring 2013 – Harper’s BAZAAR
Photo Credit: Imaxtree


Tying The Knot
Simple and striking are two ways to describe the tightly wound knots seen on the runway. As hairstylist Guido explained of his low chignon at Ralph Lauren, “It’s a very chic, put-together style…This look goes along with what I typically think we create in New York in that it’s very American and wearable…” To master your twist, blow-dry hair straight, create a clean center part if wanted, and secure hair into a firm ponytail at the nape, spritzing with shine mist. From there, you can wrap the tail into any number of looks—a loop with the ends pointing up or tucked under, a round ballet bun, or the classic double knot—sealed with a shot of anti-frizz spray.


Making The Braid
There’s something endlessly appealing about a braid, especially when it was shown so many ways this season. Things got super intricate at Marchesa and Hervé Léger, where plaits crisscrossed the head or formed an equestrian harness across the back. The look was refreshingly simple at Balmain, with a single, slightly messy weave tied with an elastic (easy enough to do without a mirror) and at The Row, where hair was twisted back in two sections, mimicking a braided-like effect.


The New Low Pony
The modern ponytail was defined by two factors: it was positioned low, hovering just at or below the nape, and ironed straight, which beautifully emphasized the length of the tail. From there, variations came into play. At Michael Kors and Elie Saab, a wide hair band held strands in place while at Etro a black ribbon provided an elegant touch. Over at Akris, strands were pulled forward to form a round silhouette that framed the face, and at Elie Saab locks were subtly tucked behind the ears. As for which style you think is most chic, take your pick.


So Slick
Remember the “wet hair” trend from last spring? It’s back but worn in a less drenched-from-the-ocean way. At Carolina Herrera, Loewe and Rodarte, hair was slicked down into graphic center and side parts around the crown. At Nina Ricci, dewy strands were raked into a shiny French twist while at Thakoon and Alberta Ferretti, glossy “goddess” waves abounded.


Rock n’ Roll Waves
Hairstylists took inspiration from nineties grunge backstage, giving hair a tousled effect that suggested the hair wasn’t really “done” at all, but left loose and flowing with a natural bend. In reality, creating the look does require some effort. At Versace, hair pro Guido applied volumizing foam to damp hair and rough-dried with his fingers, scrunching up the ends before twisting strands into a bun and misting with aerosol hair powder for texture. After hair had set, he released the bun and sprayed with more powder for a “cool-girl” look that was sexy and “uncomplicated.”

Topping It Off
Hair accessories have been dominating—and often stealing—the show for the third season running. This time around, there were sporty neon bands slipped on the head (Fendi), brass sculpted branches worn like a crown (Balenciaga), oversized fabric flowers tucked into ponytails (Rochas), pretty pearls draped down the nape (Chanel) and impossibly chic beekeeper-inspired headpieces (Alexander McQueen). Not feeling quite that bold? Look to the gorgeous printed scarves tied around the head (Dolce & Gabbana, Marc by Marc), which give your off-duty look a chic spin.


Undone Updos
At shows like Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Chloé and more, it looked as if the models might have left the hair stations a bit too early—with strands only semi-fastened in place. Turns out, the effect was entirely intentional. So whether you’re pinning your hair up into a twist, pulling it into a bun, or wrapping into a ponytail, there’s something to be said for not making things too tidy. A little casual coolness goes a long way this season.