Posts tagged ‘Wrinkles’

Retin-A: More questions and where to start?

The other day, Rachelle the fabulous author of Fashionably Foodie and contributor to the Posh Mama site asked a question about starting on Retin-A at the post, “All About Retinoids:  Considering Retin-A.”

so i turned the big 3-0 this summer and i am ready to do something. (guess i need to adopt marilyn’s “Start aging, and shut up!”
mantra still.)  i live in mexico and can buy retin a and renova over the counter. soooo- how do i use them?  like moisturizer, after cleansing?  instead of moisturizer or over it?  how much do i use?  and do you know if i use it while i’m nursing? (guess i could google it.) TIA!

hope your beans are delish~

First and foremost, the beans I made using the recipe that Rachelle posted on the Posh Mama site were delish, and my family totally stuffed themselves last night.  I served them with rice and homemade salsa, very yum!

Lucky you to get Retin-A OTC!  And I am not a Doctor, so I can give you some advice, but would strongly recommend you work with a licensed Dermatologist.  I have heard that the lowest concentration is where you should start (.025%) or possibly .05%, and you should research the topic of using retinoids while nursing.  I surmise that some will say okay, and some will say nay.  I tend to side with how young is your baby and how often do you nurse?  Retin-A is simply a concentrated form of Vitamin A and a minimal amount is absorbed into your bloodstream.

In the PM, after cleansing and allowing your skin to dry, dab a pea-sized amount around face (a little bit goes a long way and this is strong stuff)!  You can then proceed with your moisturizer.  You should only use this every other night until your skin adjusts to the retin-A (which will take a few weeks), then gradually build up to using it every night.  If you notice peeling or irritation, stop using Retin-A for a few days.

If you are using any creams or lotions containing peptides, specifically copper peptides, you will not want to use a retinoid, AHA, or vitamin C cream within 2 hours of use, or rotate using one every other day.  I am not a chemist either, but I have read that the copper peptides are not effective if combined with these acidic ingredients. 

And most importantly you will need to take particular precautions to protect your skin during the day while using Retin-A.  Wear a hat, use sunscreen, and avoiding going outside during the peak sun hours.

For treating acne, Retin A will take 6+ weeks of use to notice the benefits.  For treating wrinkles, Retin A will take 6+ months to see improvements, and will produce optimal results after a year of continual use.

Best wishes for some great skin and enjoy those 30’s, you are really in your prime!  Jen 🙂


September 5, 2008 at 7:29 am 7 comments

Mythbuster Beauty Review: Baby Quasar and Baby Blue

Warning! The photo rejuvenation devices I am about to review are expensive! You may be better off being blissfully unaware of these rather awesome devices. I give you this warning because once you read about what the Baby Quasar and Baby Blue Photo Light Devices can and do for your skin; you will covet them until you finally own them!

What are the devices: Photo Rejuvenation and Acne Clearing Devices

How they work: The Baby Quasar (or BabyQ, as it’s affectionately called) is designed to deliver four light wavelengths (that is amber, red and infrared). The Baby Blue delivers only blue light. This is a picture of the Baby Quasar. The Baby Blue looks exactly the same, but emits a blue light.

What the devices do:   By following a series of photo rejuvenation sessions for six weeks, the Baby Quasar can enhance the skin cells’ circulation, stimulating collagen production and healing. The Baby Blue emits a blue light that kills the p. acne bacteria. Used together, they can reduce the inflammation and redness associated with acne or sensitive skin. The red light causes the release of nitric oxide, which is essential for healing. These devices are meant to enhance and improve the effectiveness of your skincare serums and treatments. Light Therapy is best for individuals with sun damage, redness, broken blood vessels and brown discoloration, including freckles.

My experience:

I was told to start by using the Baby Blue device first followed by a Baby Quasar session for six weeks to achieve the maximum benefits. I used both devices every other day for six weeks and each session lasted for about 35 minutes.

Both devices were easy to use. The warmth from the light felt good against my skin and there was no pain involved. I found the light therapy sessions very soothing, especially after using the Baby Quasar. I noticed that my blemishes seemed to heal more quickly and the number of my breakouts diminished while using both devices. I generally used the Blue Light as a spot treatment on areas where I tend to break out (nose, cheeks and chin), and the red Baby Quasar over the entire face.

I noticed that the Baby Quasar significantly helped diminish my skin’s redness. It was very soothing to my skin. Over the six weeks, I noticed more firmness and softened lines around my eyes, mouth and forehead. My pigmentation issues have improved and are less noticeable on my cheeks and chin. On my cheeks, I noticed some very dramatic improvements including some pigmentation spots fading and completely vanishing.  I have been trying to clear up some very deep small whiteheads on the apples of my cheeks for years, and while using the BabyQ and Baby Blue, these small whiteheads have slowly been surfacing and disappearing!   I have also noticed diminished pore size around my cheeks, chin and nose.

In short, I loved the Baby Quasar. You are going to love what these devices can do for your skin!

You will need to avoid shining the light directly into your eyes or around mucous membranes. I did get a few strange sores after exposing my nostrils to the light. Other than that, I noticed no other side effects or adverse issues while using the Baby Quasar and the Baby Blue devices.

Where do you purchase, and how much:

The price of these devices is very high. The Baby Quasar costs $449 plus $20 s&h at the Baby Quasar site. However, if you look at the cost of going to an esthetician or clinic for Photo Rejuvenation Therapy or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) a series of five treatments can cost between $1,000 – $2,000. To have a device that can be used at your convenience and indefinitely, you can see how these devices can be a deal. The Baby Quasar devices have a one year warranty from the manufacturer, and the company provides excellent customer support. You can also share the devices with other family and friends.

Special Discount Code: Baby Quasar is offering a promotional code, ‘mythbeauty’ that will give you an additional 10% discount off any Baby Quasar device.

Conclusion: The improvements are subtle and take time, but I have noticed some real benefits while using the Baby Blue and Baby Quasar. I highly recommend using the Baby Quasar.

[Here is picture I took today with a bit of makeup, (but really not that much), and no touch-ups! My skin isn’t perfect, but not bad for a 39 year old mother of five.]

If you are serious about getting the most out of your skincare, purchasing the Baby Quasar would be definitely a step in the right direction. BabyQ really rocks!

July 10, 2008 at 4:00 am 17 comments

“Truth or bare,” great skincare read at Megsmakeup

Times have been a-changing over at my favorite beauty webiste, including a new group of beauty reviewers.  Here is a great read for this week from Kate at

“July is always Skin Solutions month at Sephora.  It has really come to be one of my favorite animations over the years. Because as fun as makeup is – It’s important to take care of your canvas and there are some fabulous products that can make you look whiter, brighter, younger, more awake in just a couple steps –whether skincare or color or even fragrances! The mantra this month in our stores is “Truth or bare: Dare to bare your skin” and they’ve highlighted this little philosophy to go with it:

No more hiding your face behind oversized sunglasses or your legs in capri pants. We dare you to bare your skin (every last inch of it!) with solutions to your biggest bare-it-all beauty dilemmas–sun damage, short lashes, wrinkles, bikini lines, pale legs, no-makeup makeup; they’re all fair game here. So pick your beauty poison and peal off those layers to reveal skin that looks better in the buff. C’mon, we dare you.”

If you are looking for some new suggestions for some awesome skincare solutions take a walk on over to this post at Megs:   SKIN SECRETS! SATURDAYS AT SEPHORA! 

Two items that have caught my attention at Sephora are:

In Skincare, MD Skincare Skin Happens-Clear Up! Kit ($100 Value for $45)

Included are 15 applications of the Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, a 1.7 oz Powerful Sun Protection SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion, a 1.7 oz All-in-one Cleaning Form, a Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 15 sample, a 0.17 oz Correct & Perfect Spot Treatment deluxe sample, and a 0.5 oz All-Over Blemish Solution deluxe sample.

(This kit comes in three combinations:  Clear Up!, Calm Down!, and Even Out!)

In Makeup, Korres Mediterranean Sun Color Collection Kit ($62 Value for $35)

The kit includes a Illuminating Bronzing Powder (0.39 oz), a Deep Colour Mascara in Black (0.30 oz), and a Cherry Full Colour Lip Gloss in Fuchsia (0.20 oz ), in a reusable makeup bag.

June 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

FGW: A Frownie Find

Not ready for Botox? Me neither…

The first time I heard about Botox, it was being used to treat excessive underarm perspiration. I guess some celebrities got it done before major red carpet appearances to avoid deodorant marks. Originally used to treat painful muscle spasms and even strabismus (crossed eyes), it soon became commonly used to treat wrinkles on the forehead and around eyes. It works by weakening and paralyzing the muscles into which it is injected.

There are many downsides to Botox, not the least of which is the price. A quick search online reveals costs from $300 to $1200, with an average of about $500. I don’t know about you, but $500 every six months is more than I have to spend. I’d rather spend that $1000 on makeup and fun stuff. Botox has the ability to spread from the site of injection, and you can find many anecdotal incidents online of people who have become sick following their Botox injection. Over time, Botox injections can leave skin with a waxy look. Just look at the difference in Nicole Kidman between a year ago and now, when she no longer receives Botox injections due to pregnancy. You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t agree that she looks much more radiant and natural in her present state. I could never understand why someone would want to put themselves through the pain and possible complications of injecting botulinum toxin into their face. I mean, isn’t avoiding botulism one of our goals in life?

Then I noticed “the crevasse”. Located firmly between my brows, and deeply entrenched, it makes me look as though I am constantly scowling. I’m not really a grump, I just squint a lot, particularly in the morning when I’ve just woken up. All that squinting over the years has left me with a noticeable crease, and I hate it. I’ve tried a variety of treatments and serums, but even though I’ve seen a difference nothing has seemed to really decrease the depth of that one little line. That line that tells me I’m really a grown up, the one that makes me look like an angry, unhappy woman.

Anyone remember the saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?  Well, what if you could counteract those repetitive motions that create some of your more irritating wrinkles? What if there was an easy to use product that was inexpensive, effective, and didn’t require a needle or doctor visit? Wouldn’t you just love to know about such a thing? Hey, you ask and I answer my friends. I live to serve…

Who would’ve thought that something as simple as unbleached paper and adhesive could be crafted into something as effective as Frownies? That’s right, Frownies. Just as the name implies, they’re made to fight those persistent frown lines on your forehead and around your mouth and eyes. According to the packaging, “Frownies patches are the safe, natural way to dramatically reduce or eliminate expression lines and creases by relaxing and retraining facial muscles while you sleep”. Simply moisten the back with water or Frownies Rose Water Hydrator Spray and apply to problem areas. I put mine on right before I go to bed, though you can wear them during the day if you’d like. The thing is, you’ve got to keep them on for at least 3 hours, so unless you want to walk around with a patch of paper on your face getting weird looks from strangers -which is totally cool if you like that sort of thing- all those hours spent sleeping could be put to good use. One minor caveat, you can’t use any creams, lotions, etc. on your face or the adhesive won’t stick. Your face has to be fresh and squeaky clean, so if you use a specialized treatment, be prepared to move it from your evening routine to the morning. Your regular night cream can be applied around the patches so you’re not completely ditching your care regimen.

Blah blah blah, I’m sure taking my sweet time getting to the info you really care about aren’t I? What you really want to know is do they work?  For me the answer is a definite yes. After about a month’s worth of consistent use I have been really happy with the results.  It takes very little time to figure out the placement, especially since the instructions in the box offer helpful tips.  My crevasse has faded to almost nothing.  The only time it becomes noticeable is towards the evening, when a whole day of squinting and pondering starts to catch up with me.  Friends have even noticed and that feels really good, let me tell you. With regular Frownies use and a good pair of sunglasses to reduce my squinting during the day I have seen more improvement that I ever did with all the serums and treatments I’ve tried combined. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is my favorite find of the year yet.  And I haven’t even told you the best part yet. The cost of this marvelous find?  How does $20 plus free shipping and handling (in the contintental US) sound to you?  That’s right, 144 patches (I use 2 at a time) for only 20 bucks.

Frownies are used by actresses like Rene Russo and Danica McKellar, and have even been mentioned in O Magazine.  The original Frownies came about in 1889, and the line has since grown to include cleansing, hydrating, and treatment products.  It’s a simple system, but not all their products are low cost.  The Immune Perfect wrinkle cream will set you back $100, with the Face Lift in a Bag kit also at $100. As for the Frownies themselves, you have the choice of forehead and between the eyes or corners of the eyes and mouth. The concept remains the same for both styles, but the shape varies slightly. For only $20, what have you got to lose?  Except maybe some of those lines you hate. And there’s no botulism involved!!


June 10, 2008 at 11:53 pm 7 comments

While you were sleeping: Beauty tips to take to bed

I recently read an article at called Overnight Beauty.”  I wanted to point out and discuss a few of the tips they suggested.  Overall it is a great read with very good information.  Note the concealer product that is recommended.  YES, our very favorite theBalm Anti-Aging Concealer!

Zap Zits  (Spot Treatments):

“Pimples may disappear like magic if, before retiring, you treat them with a product containing an antibacterial ingredient (bacteria can cause acne) and a sebum controller like zinc, says Kansas City, Missouri, dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D., associate clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. (Try Bio Jouvance Clarifying Iris Extract or Repêchage Hydra Refine Pore Perfecting Serum.)”

I have become a big fan of a prescription benzoyl peroxide/ antibiotic cream called Benzaclin.  I use it as a spot treatment, or on areas where my skin is prone to break outs (around my nose and chin).  I store it in my refrigerator and it will last for at least a year.  You can also read about other suggestions for spot treatments at this post.  My beauty blogging friend Christine at Temptalia recently wrote a great review about the Zeno Acne Clearning Device.

Moisturize Your Undereye Area:

“Hate the taut feeling of too-dry skin but find soothing eye gels too greasy? Dab on TheBalm Time Balm.  A concealer created to be worn day or night, it manages to feel superlight while delivering a slew of hydrators, including beeswax, soybean oil, and panthenol.”


I am not sure if I would personally wear this product at night time, but for a daytime concealer theBalm’s Anti-Aging concealer really rocks!   Another very luxurious and my personal favorite eye serum is Caudalie’s Anti-ageing Serum Eyes and Lips, full of antioxidants and soothing for the eye and lip areas.  This eye and lip serum penetrates my skin without feeling greasy or heavy, a great skincare investment.  J’adore les Caudalie!   Kate wouldn’t you agree?

March 27, 2008 at 9:05 am 2 comments

The Balm: timeBalm Anti-Aging Concealer

Have you ever heard of a concealer that you can wear to bed?  I always thought that bedtime was when you were supposed to take off your makeup?

Not this concealer, baby! It covers and it treats your skin at the same time!  As you know, I have been in pursuit of outstanding cosmetics my entire adult life. The older I get, the more challenging my skin has become, especially that delicate and challenging place under my eyes! I believe that fate has led me to The Balm. Do not forget those two words. You will thank yourself and me later. I purchased The Balm’s timeBalm anti-aging concealer after a little bird (Desert Doll at Megsmakeup) suggested I give it a try.

The Balm’s timeBalm anti-aging concealer is:

Formulated with vitamins A, C and E, soybean oil, panthenol, linoleic acid and phospholipids to fight wrinkles while you sleep so you wake up looking fabulous!

This concealer blends in flawlessly and covers dark circles well. I love how it feels so smooth and silky, and doesn’t accentuate my fine lines. This is one of the few concealers I have tried that I can actually not tell I am wearing makeup. You really could wear it to bed!The Balm’s cosmetics are available online at several beauty websites. You can also purchase it directly through their website at: Marissa Shipman is the CEO and Founder of The Balm. She has an amazing story on how the company started and what inspired her to create her own cosmetic line.

Marissa realized that there were a few simple products she needed to help her feel glam all the time. Then she decided that if she needed them, other women probably did too.So she went to Amazon, bought 11 books on how to make makeup and started mixing in her kitchen. “I went crazy. I had a web site designed, got incorporated, worked out a budget, and hired a chemist.” And the rest is history! Well, not yet but with her great ingredients, gorgeous colors and fabulous scents, Marissa is certainly making makeup history.

Like my British friend Anita Grant, Marissa discovered a need for something and made it work! Oh these stories thrill me to no end! Power to women entrepreneurs everywhere!

October 17, 2007 at 2:31 pm 2 comments

Saturday Facial with Dr. Perricone

This past Saturday, I reserved a spot at my local Nordstrom for a complimentary facial. An enthusiastic Counter Manager for the NV Perricone MD Line and Master Aesthetician named ReAnna met me for my appointment. She first asked if I would like to try a supercharged drink made from their Super Berry Powder with Acai. It was just a small cup, and reminiscent of raspberry Kool-aid, but promises to deliver a healthy boost of antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. All of which are supposedly very beneficial to the skin.

ReAnna has worked for the NV Perricone MD line for the past two years. She used a number of Perricone products during the facial. After cleansing, she applied the Perricone Hydrating Mask, infused with Olive Oil Polyphenols. I am sure ReAnna explained more about the product, but it felt so wonderful that I don’t remember what she said. I later read that Olive Oil Polyphenols are beneficial to our bodies in many ways, and those include protection and replenishment of our skin.

My favorite product during the facial was the “Hand and Body Lipid Replenishment Crème with Phosphatidyl-E,” which ReAnna massaged into my bare arms and hands. Afterwards my arms and hands felt soft and supple, not greasy. It is a luxurious product, but the $85.00 price tag is a bit steep for a measly 3 oz. tube! Price is definitely a concern with the NV Perricone MD line.

The NV Perricone MD products are high in quality. They have some very effective skincare treatments and formulas. Dr. Perricone discusses in his books the benefits of using DMAE, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Neuropeptides, Antioxidants, Vitamin C Ester, Olive Oil Polyphenols, etc.

I am overjoyed that I decided to splurge for one of their newest products, NV Perricone MD’s Ceramic Skin Smoother. ReAnna politely corrected me when I referred to it as simply a “primer.” It is applied onto the skin like a primer, but is considered a “finishing serum treatment.”

Out of several skin primers out there, Ceramic Skin Smoother really offers something unique. Not only does it prime the skin by smoothing and filling in the fine lines, it shrinks your pores. There are a few pores on my nose that have been large and bothersome for many years. They disappear when I use Ceramic Skin! And, the more you use it, the better your results are. Its performance went way beyond my expectations. I would love to swim in it!

Here’s the ingredient list from Perricone’s site on what makes Ceramic Skin Smoother so effective:

  • Microspheres– The finest grade micro-ceramic beads that act like a filler to correct the appearance of fine lines and enlarged pores and create a smooth surface
  • Fullerenes – Nanotechnology vitamin B60 – A potent antioxidant that helps to reduce the appearance of skin discolorations, redness and surface stress
  • Xylotol– acts as a humidifier to draw moisture from the air
  • Beta Glucans – Binds this moisture to the skin to sustain a firm, hydrated appearance throughout the day
  • DMAE – Helps the skin look and feel more firm
  • WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMIN E – TPGS: Smoothes and nourishes the surface of the skin

If you want to try the Ceramic Skin Smoother, visit your local Nordstrom, Sephora, or other high-end department stores and BEG the consultants at the Perricone counter like I did.

ReAnna generously gave me an additional free 7-day sample of the Ceramic Skin Smoother and the Face Firming Activator, which I am giving to my Mother-in-Law. She is a natural beauty and I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about these!

You really will want to sample Ceramic Skin Smoother before you buy it to see how it works on your skin and to decide if the product is worth the $75.00 price tag. Ouch! A little bit goes a long way, so you should be able to get about 3 months of good use out of it (and scrape every last bit out with a Q-tip).

September 25, 2007 at 1:34 pm 1 comment

Recent Posts

natural organic skin care line
BQ 160x600 Banner


Mythbuster Beauty on Instagram