Skincare and Wrinkles: Do It Yourself Dermatology

Microdermabrasions, wrinkle fillers, collagen boosters, oh my! Scientific technology is everywhere and it is seeping into beauty arsenals everywhere. In 2004 it was the year of the “oxygenating creams” that increased radiance and oxygen circulation for a more youthful appearance.

Beth Schmidt is the Director of Sales Education at the H20+ corporate office in Chicago. “This year, it’s all about firming, evening out skin-tone and reducing discoloration using ingredients like peptides, antioxidants and collagen boosters to mimic cosmetic procedures,” she says.

2005 is the year of DIY dermatology. With the help of skincare specialists and estheticians, a trip to the local department store or skincare boutique can offer a range of serums, creams, gels and scrubs, designed to combat a myriad of conditions without making a trip to Dr. Dermatologist.

This trend has been inspired by the increasing cosmetic surgery trend. According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), The top five surgical cosmetic procedures in 2004 were: liposuction (478,251, up 24 percent from 2003); breast augmentation (334,052, up 19 percent); eyelid surgery (290,343, up 8 percent); rhinoplasty (166,187, down 4 percent); and facelift (157,061, up 25 percent). For those unwilling to seek cures in needle form, there are many great options on the market today.

Department Store Dermatology

At Nordstrom’s Elemis counters, customers can get a computerized analysis of six different skin conditions using Visia technology. Canfield Imaging System, the makers of Visia, describes the machine’s capabilities. “Visia measures the six key areas of complexion health which demonstrate actual skin conditions for spots (pigmentation), pores, wrinkles, evenness, porphyrins [bacteria], and UV spots/photo-damage.”

According to Elemis esthetician Justyna Leniartek, “The Visia maps out a small section on the left side of the face to use as a sample, because that is where the most UV damage occurs, when driving.”

All the customer needs to do is stick their face into the spherical chamber, close their eyes and wait for the flash. The entire process is quick and painless, at least until you get the printout results.

“This tool is helpful for the customer to address concerns that they may not have considered before,” Leniartek says.
Many women who frequent tanning beds, come in for the scan and are shocked by the amount of UV damage. “I had a 30-year-old woman break down and cry because there were so many UV spots under her skin,” she says. “From that day on, she quit tanning and started using a daily SPF.”

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. The Visia technology allows customers to recognize skin problems and address them as needed.

Counter Collagen Fillers

In addition to high-tech diagnostic tools, Elemis carries targeted aroma-pure skincare that can address the problems discovered in the Visia scan. Their most popular product, the Pro-Collagen Wrinkle Smooth Pen, 1.8 ML for $158, features Indian Mulberry that relaxes the skin, Montmorillonite to plump the skin and Malachite to increase collagen and elastin to firm and fill wrinkles.

“When applied directly to your hand, you can almost immediately see fine lines diminish and plump,” Leniartek says.
Sandra Palos is a skincare consultant at the Lancome counter. “There are so many products on the market that mimic the results of Botox, laser resurfacing, and collagen injections,” she says.

The newest product from Lancome is the High Resolution Serum with Collaser-48. Lancome says the serum was inspired by professional laser therapy and has been shown to increase natural collagen production.

At $60 a pop for one fluid ounce, it packs quite a punch. The 48 is in reference to the amount of time it takes to see noticeable results. In two days, lines will begin plumping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

“67 percent of women noticed firmer skin in one week.” Palos says. “Most skincare results take at least a month to six weeks.” Yves Saint Laurent’s newest product, Temps Majeur Serum, is a perfect example of how bigger does not always mean better. Their formula is ultra-concentrated at 20 ML per vial, which retails for $280.

Troy Young is a counter manager for YSL. “The Temp Majeur Serum is a skin regenerator that re-texturizes the skin leaving it firmer, stronger and brighter everyday,” he says. “Though expensive, you can’t put a price on fabulous results.”

Evolving Eye Creams

Eyes creams used to promise nothing more than diminished dark circles and reduced puffiness. Now, creams are comparable to getting an eye lift without the threading. According to Joanna Vavouliotis, a skincare expert at Nars, “Our eye cream is top notch because it delivers the results of cosmetic surgery, without the surgery.” The cream boasts improved skin resiliency while creating the perception of fewer lines using light diffusing technology.

Eye creams can also prevent new lines from forming. Gina Lucania, a color specialist at MAC cosmetics, swears by Dr Brandt’s Crease Release, $150 per oz. “It contains a GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid) complex that quickly smoothes over my crows feet,” she says. “I was going to get Botox eventually, but now I don’t need it.”

Beth Schmidts’ favorite new eye cream is H20’s Sea Results Eye Mender. Using a patented Sea Mineral Complex in combination with Marine Micropatch Technology and Sepilift formulas, the cream minimizes the depth of surface lines and dermal creases. “It gets rid of my dark circles, wrinkles and puffiness,” she says. “In the past I used four different eye creams to get comparable results.”

Miracle Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasions are particularly popular with the fast approaching winter/holiday season. With frigid temperatures and holiday stressors, facial skin can take a beating. Using an at home microdermabrasion system, weary skin can regain clarity, evenness and improved tone.

Lancome recently launched their two-step Resurface-C Microdermabrasion kit that includes a polishing cream and accompanying serum for $85.

“The scrub uses 20 percent professional-grade Aluminum Oxide Crystals and the Radiance Renewing Serum features 5 percent pure vitamin C,” Palos says. “I’ve had microdermabrasions in the past and the results are similar and less expensive.”

Quality results do not need to cost a fortune either. Though Lucania has no problem dropping over a hundred dollars for wrinkle cream, she remains faithful to a certain MAC product. “MAC is widely considered a color-line, so few people acknowledge our skincare products, but I love our Microfine Refinisher,” she says. “It’s cream-based with micro-fine crystals that exfoliate and leave skin soft and glowing.” Quality results for only $22.

While the DIY dermatology trend is saturating the skincare market, a new trend is already in development. “The industry is looking to work symbiotically with physician services to produce dermatologist-endorsed product lines,” according to Schmidt.

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