Kybella is Coming Soon!

The new fat destroying injection, known as Kybella, is coming soon to Skin Renaissance! I am very excited to start using this newly FDA approved medication which is currently approved for the "double chin" area, AND we are hoping it will soon be available for other areas.

Kybella is a synthetic and safe version of a substance that naturally occurs in your body, called bile. Bile’s sole function is to break down fat. Like soap washes butter off your dinner plates, once Kybella is injected into the area, those particular fat cells die, and are unable to store or hold fat ever again!

The beauty of Kybella is that once the injection takes full effect, it not only kills the fat cells, but then tightens up the surrounding area so there is no loose hanging skin. This drug is so new we also don't know how many treatments each person will need. The average is 2-4 treatments spaced approximately 1 month apart. Exact treatment amounts and time intervals will vary for each person.

We should have Kybella available in about a month. Be sure to look for our upcoming Newsletters for the official announcement.

Not sure if Kybella is right for you? Call Christie and make an appointment for a free consultation with me. I will tell you if you are a candidate for Kybella and if you are, we will immediately add your name to our list to ensure you’re contacted when we get our shipment in the office.

We cannot wait to help our patients see the amazing results of this truly revolutionary product!

My Fraxel Experience

As you know by now, I am more than happy to test out whatever the latest technology Dr. Brown wants to offer to her patients. I am the consummate guinea pig. From fillers such as Voluma and Juvederm to laser type treatments such as Derma Pen and TruSculpt, I have tried them all. But I can honestly say, without a doubt (I’m not blowing smoke) ,the Fraxel treatment I had a month ago has shown the most significant difference in my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I love my fillers such as Voluma and Botox but they target a different area.

I actually had Fraxel done over 10 years ago when the technology wasn’t nearly as sophisticated. For those of you who tried it back then as well, you should have fond memories of a blue mask painted on your face to protect you from the laser intensity. And while the pain was minimal, the result was as well. And to top it off, I looked like a member of the Blue Man Group for at least a week (that stuff gets in between hard to reach crevices). I was told that I would definitely need a minimum of 3-5 treatments to see a difference. I wasn’t in a position to dole out that kind of money but was also disappointed that even after 1 treatment I didn’t see one iota of difference.

Flash forward to 2015. Fraxel has literally reinvented itself with updated laser technology. Gone are the days of Blue Man Group paint BUT, more importantly, I have never seen such a dramatic change in my skin after one treatment. I had pigmentation from years worth of sun worshipping and when I tell you that the pigmentation is gone…it’s really gone! Ask Christie, ask Aundrea and of course ask Dr. Brown. And there’s more! Some of the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and my mouth, significantly reduced. To give you a tangible example (aside from the before and after pictures below), I normally get Botox every 3 months (maybe 4) but I didn’t need it for over 5 months (yes, both crow’s feet and forehead) because of the effects of the Fraxel Laser treatment.

Last week I went in for some Voluma around my chin (because I had scheduled this appointment before the Fraxel treatment) and Dr. Brown took one look at my skin and said “your face is much fuller now (not swollen, but plumper) so she couldn’t see where I really needed the Voluma. How cool is that? When you read up on Fraxel, the research says it can take between 1-3 months (sometimes longer) for new collagen to form and plump up your skin. I am telling you, it took my skin about a month and I am still seeing improvements.

Can you tell I’m excited about Fraxel? I can’t tell you how great it is to skip wearing foundation and still look like I have even skin tone.

Fraxel really covers a full range of skin problems too. From pigmentation, wrinkles and fine lines to deep acne scarring, it really does it all (and literally from head to toe).

Don’t hesitate to book a consultation with Dr. Brown to see if Fraxel could benefit your skin. Trust me, it will not be a waste of your time and if you move forward and have the treatment, it will be one of the best investments you’ve ever made for yourself!

before and after Randi

Juvederm and Voluma: How are they Different?

Juvéderm and Voluma are both from the Juvéderm family of products; meaning they are both natural hyaluronic acids made by Allergan, the company that also makes Botox. Voluma is thicker, more like a sticky jello, and Juvéderm is slightly thinner, more like pudding.

Voluma is designed to be placed right over the cheekbones to give lift, and re-inflate the fat pads that have gone south over time. So it's main purpose is to refill those sagging areas in the upper face, and provide a structure for the skin. That's why it's thickness is so important. It's really the only filler on the market that provides so much density.

Juvederm, by contrast, is much smoother. It's great for lips and the areas around the mouth that we like to keep very natural looking. It fills easily and evenly, giving a very unaffected look to the treated area.

Despite these basic guidelines, the Juvéderm products are flexible enough so that Dr. Brown can use either filler in both the upper and lower faces, depending on your needs.

Remember that all the Juvéderm products can be dissolved with an enzyme Dr. Brown keeps handy, just in case the results don't make you perfectly happy.

Click here to see some before and after photos, and how YOU might look with some Voluma or Juvéderm.

How Fillers Are Transforming Our Faces

One of the reasons our face looks older as we age is due to the loss of facial fullness and bone, as well as gradually decreasing tissue elasticity, and plain old gravity. The slow downward motion of supporting tissue and fullness makes us look older. Not a pretty sight for most of us. So, what's the answer? Add back that tissue support. We can't really add back the bone, and we can't stop gravity so we have to support what we have left. And here is where fillers come in. For the past year we have been using Juvéderm Voluma to add back that support, and it has revolutionized our ability to move the structure of the face back up where it belongs. So we are now lifting the face with long lasting fillers.

I recently had a second opportunity to train with Dr. Mauricio De Maio, the internationally recognized expert in filler injections. It was an amazing training and I'm anxious to share his new techniques with you. Some of Dr. De Maio's latest innovations involve unique ways to inject the lower face, specifically how to lift the corners of the mouth and make the entire lower third of the face/chin look younger and more attractive. As we age the chin gets more pointed, jowls emerge, and we move toward that unattractive "witchy chin.” There are new ways to smooth and support this area which contributes to a more youthful facial profile.

Please make an appointment to come in and talk to me about these revolutionary and ground breaking techniques in fillers, and how they might transform and compliment your own distinctive look.

Three is a Charm - PCA Peel #3

It's nice when the phrase Three is a Charm actually rings true in your life. Last week I had my THIRD PCA PEEL at Dr. Brown's and my skin keeps getting better and better. The results? Less pigmentation (so my skin looks more even) and more hydration.

What I didn't expect was a lesson in the different types of peels that go on our face. When Dr. Brown says she customizes every facial, she really does. I actually learned that our skin changes every 21 days. On the one hand that's a scary thought but then again, if by "change" it means we slough off old skin, then I'm all for that! The PCA Peel that Aundrea administered this time contained Salicylic Acid. Now normally I would have thought this would be strictly for acne prone patients; however, the Salicylic acid's main function is to actually increase the amount of moisture while eliminating sticky skin cells. By loosening up those sticky skin cells, the end result is shedding that old dull looking skin.

On day 2 (the day you get to wash the PCA Peel off), I was pleasantly surprised to find that while my skin felt tight, it did not feel dry. And on day 3 I was really shocked to find I wasn't peeling nearly as much as the previous 2 peels AND the fine lines above my lips appeared softer (hallelujah!).

If one of your New Year's resolution is to improve your skin, this is hands down one of the best ways to do it. Don't hesitate to call Dr. Brown's office (818.222-8232) and schedule a skin consultation. You won't regret it....more importantly, you deserve it!

The Second Peel is the Key

I know Dr. Brown wrote about the PCA Peels a few Newsletters ago and I was excited to give them a try but as always, I won’t write about anything that I haven’t experienced myself first hand. Writing this blog/testimonial gives me a chance to share what changes I have noticed so that if you’ve been hesitating to try these Peels, this should help in your decision making.

So let’s be really clear. The PCA Peel is NOT A FACIAL! Aundrea and I were discussing this last time I came in for my 2nd Peel (a series of 5 peels is what Dr. Brown recommends). I say this not to deter you but rather help you set realistic expectations. The difference between this treatment and a facial is that you actually see long lasting results! C’mon, who hasn’t enjoyed a great spa day, where the esthetician massages your face, your neck, your shoulders and you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed with that “facial glow” about you. So how long does that last? For me, not even 24hrs. And then within a week or so, my skin looks exactly the same as it did before.

So while the PCA Peel may not feel relaxing (you feel a stinging sensation but it’s totally tolerable and goes away quickly), and Aundrea may not be rubbing your toes during the session, I promise you that after the second peel you are going to LOVE YOUR SKIN!

Let me back up. When I came in for my first peel, Aundrea examined my skin and then broke the bad news that I have pigmentation all over my face (thank you high school days of worshipping the sun) and my skin was also very dry (yay! more good news). But I love the confidence Aundrea has in the PCA products because she gave me hope that this treatment process was definitely going to improve my skin texture and appearance.

After the first peel, my skin looked and felt really good. And then the shedding began. It’s called a Peel for a reason…..but it only lasts a few days and your new skin appears. My skin looked a tad bit lighter (e.g. more even) so I was satisfied with the results. But let me tell you it’s the SECOND PEEL that blew my mind. I now know what Dr. Brown means by brighter skin and yes, more even skin tone. I’m not one to wear make up very often but now that my skin looks more even (less sun spots!) I really like to show it off.

I can’t even imagine how great my skin will look after the 5th peel but clearly there’s a method to this madness and I’m definitely on board with it.

So again, for those of you hesitating to try the 5 PEEL PACKAGE, don’t wait! You will not be disappointed. And then you can be part of the Peel Junkie club like me (okay so I may not put that on my resume).

As always, don’t hesitate to call Christie with any questions and I look forward to you joining the club!

Your Face is Like a House

Imagine that your face is a house. When you are born it's perfect, as if it were just built. All the walls are strong, the paint is smooth, the floors are shiny, and the roof is tight and never lets in a drop of rain. Then years pass and the sun beats down on it day after day, the rain pours onto the roof, winters come, and slowly there are changes. But you are busy living inside this house and you barely notice the changes. Still, the roof leaks a little, the paint begins to crack and peel, and the walls slump a bit. Maybe the front door hangs a little crooked and a window breaks during a storm--some rain comes in and starts to rot the floor.

If your house goes on like this for many years and you don't notice the problems and repaint the walls, fix the roof, or replace the windows, eventually the house is going to look worn down. But you've been busy inside that house. You've had kids, done important jobs, made a life. And one day when you're a little less busy you take a look at your house and you see there's allot of work to do. And if you try to just paint the outside and ignore the leaking roof and sagging beams, it won't do the job. You’ll need to support the inside structure or the house will continue to collapse.

Imagine again that this house is your face. After many years of taking our faces for granted, we suddenly notice that things are sagging. This is a common problem. We often go to the doctor and ask for some Botox, maybe in the frown lines, which can be helpful. But this is a little like painting the house and ignoring the sagging roof. Fillers are usually more helpful than Botox because they do actually replace what we have lost: the supporting structures beneath the skin. Fillers are designed to prop up the skin just as a buttress supports a roof. Imagine filler as the supporting beams of the house. Used properly, it actually can lift the structure back up.

At Skin Renaissance we look at your face as a whole, as a house that reflects your identity. First we attempt to support the skin by replacing the deep structures that have faded over time with fillers. Then we add Botox to smooth the surfaces, and perhaps follow that with a chemical peel to seal the cracks. Then your renovation will be complete and you can effortlessly face the many and complex elements of your life.