healthy full lipsThe coldness of the winter season can definitely take a toll on your skin’s moisture levels, and while you might be lotioning up adequately after every shower, what are you doing for your lips? Your lips are just as prone to dehydration and cracking—especially during the winter months—so it’s important to know how to care for them. Here are some tips to keeping your lips moisturized, full, and healthy during winter.

Moisturize your lips.

Moisturizing your lips is, of course, a natural first step, and it’s an important preventative measure to practice on a daily basis if you hope to maintain well moisturized lips all winter. Aim to moisturize your lips with a strong moisturizer every night. Here are some of the most popular types of moisturizers people use on their lips at night:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Rosebud salves
  • Conditioning lip treatments
  • Overnight lip balms

In addition to overnight moisturizing, you’ll want to carry around a stick or small tin of lip balm for adding a little moisture as needed throughout the day.

Exfoliate your lips a few times a week.

Your lips are delicate, so it is important to be sure that they are well moisturized before doing any sort of exfoliation. Use a special sugar scrub for lips a few times a week to eliminate any dry skin. Just be sure not to go overboard, as exfoliating too much can easily make your lips feel raw.

Drink plenty of water.

Beautiful, well moisturized skin starts on the inside, so it only makes sense that the same is true for lips. Keep a water bottle with you at work so that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

Use a humidifier.

If after trying all of these things you’re still seeing dry skin and lips, try using a humidifier in your room at night. This can help keep your skin and lips moisturized, especially if you live in a particularly dry climate.

Don’t lick your lips.

Licking your lips might seem to moisturize them in the short term, but it actually dries them out in the long term. Apply a good lip balm to your lips whenever you feel tempted to lick them.

Breathe through your nose.

Breathing through your mouth is another fast way to dry out your lips. Keep your nose clear so that you can breathe through your nose instead. (That’s another great reason to carry tissues with you all winter!)

Face maskI’m sure you have heard of the “chemical peel” that has been sweeping the nation.  A chemical peel can make your skin look younger without extensive surgery.  A skin care professional applies the chemicals to your clean face, and the chemicals cause the outer layer of skin to peel off.  This allows new skin to grow. Chemical peels are simple and effective in making your skin clear, smooth, and youthful.  While there are many different chemical peels with different formulas, they all have similar benefits for the skin.  Read on for seven reasons why you should get a chemical peel today.

Reduce Blotchy Patches

Chemical peels can reduce the blotchy patches on your skin that can make your skin appear dull and aged.  The procedure will remove the outer layer of skin to even out your face.  

Reduce Sun Damage

Damage from the sun can cause wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, and even cancer.  Chemical peels can remove the layer of skin that has been damaged by the sun to make the skin smooth once again.  You can also prevent sun damage by taking care of your skin every day.  

Manage Acne

Chemical peels can help reduce the bacteria that causes acne.  The chemicals also exfoliate the skin, helping your face become clear and acne-free.  You may need to go through a couple of treatments to get the desired results.  

Lighten the Skin

While lightening the skin isn’t normally the reason people get a chemical peel, it is a nice side effect.  If the chemical peel contains phenol acid – the chemical used to help treat deep wrinkles – your skin will also become lighter and healthier-looking after your treatment.  

Refine Fine Lines

Many people get chemical peels to reduce the wrinkles in their face.  Chemical peels do an effective job of reducing the fine lines and small wrinkles.  It can dramatically alter the appearance of your skin without requiring extensive procedures.  While chemical peels can do a lot for fine lines and small wrinkles, they cannot fix deep wrinkles or very saggy skin.  

Smooth Skin

The main function of a chemical peel is to remove the damaged outer layer of skin.  The layer underneath is smooth and fresh, and after your procedure, your face will be much smoother than before.  

Low Downtime

You don’t typically need much time to recover from a chemical peel.  You can achieve results in a few treatments with minimal recovery.  During that recovery time, you can go about your everyday business, just be cautious with sun exposure.  Your skin may also feel a little itchy and dry after the peel.  

FinancingIf you’re thinking about buying a car, getting a mortgage, going to school, saving for retirement, etc. there are some prescribed financing options.  However, when it comes to plastic surgery, companies aren’t advertising their “Cosmetic Surgery Loan” on the radio every day.  Nearly 10 million Americans undergo plastic surgery a year, spending over $12 billion.  Plastic surgery isn’t cheap — and insurance companies aren’t quick to foot the bill.  In fact, unless you are getting reconstructive surgery after an illness or accident, you probably will pay for your reconstructive surgery out of pocket.  

The national average for popular surgeries are as follows:

  • Breast augmentation: $3,541-$3,860
  • Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery): $2,717
  • Breast Reduction: $3,294-$5637
  • Facelift: $6,881
  • Hair Transplant: $5,218
  • Liposuction: $2,803-$3,095
  • Rhinoplasty: $4,493
  • Tummy Tuck: $5,381

These are surgeon fees only.  Additional fees may incur from anesthesia, facility fees, implant costs, medical tests, etc.  If you are planning a cosmetic surgery in the near future, below are six different financing options.

Credit Cards

It is possible to pay for your plastic or cosmetic surgery by putting the procedure on a credit card.  It can also help you build up your credit if you make regular payments.  However, it can also tie up your credit and take a take a long time to repay.  If you have a high interest rate though, this may not be a good option.

Bank Loan

It may be a good option to work out a loan with your bank to pay for your cosmetic surgery.  Just make sure that you pay off the loan timely — or it will reflect poorly on your credit score.  However, some bank loans, especially for first time borrowers, can come with a high interest rate.  

Home Equity Loan

Another way to finance your cosmetic surgery is to take a loan against the equity of your home.  Your interest rate will reflect your mortgage rate.  This may be an extremely affordable option for some homeowners, but can get you in hot water if you ever are forced to sell your home.  You should probably use this option as a last resort.  

Savings

The best way to pay for your plastic or cosmetic surgery is to save up for it — and then pay in cash.  You won’t have to borrow, pay interest, or worry about whether or not you can afford it.  After the surgery, you won’t have to worry about paying it off.

Payment Plans

Some doctor’s offices will allow payment plans to finance your cosmetic surgery.  Usually, those payment plans do not include interest.  Most of the time though, doctors require you to pay up front for the procedure.  Quite often, the office will have prefered lenders that will give you better rates than other methods.  At Barr, we offer ZionsMed Teleloan Service and Lifestyle Lending.  

Loans from Family and Friends

If you cannot obtain a loan from a bank or use a credit card, you can ask your family or friends to help finance your surgery.  Typically, the terms of the loan are great, most friends won’t charge interest, and will be forgiving if you accidentally miss a payment.  However, this can harm your relationship if you never pay them back or pay them back too slowly.  

Gifts

Consider asking friends and family for money or gift cards instead of things that you may not want.  While it may be embarrassing to tell them that you are saving to undergo cosmetic surgery, you may be able to get enough money to pay for your procedure.  If you feel comfortable, you can set up crowdfunding to get donations for your surgery.  

 

dermal filler injectionThere are many facial fillers: Belotero, Juvéderm Voluma, Juvéderm XC, Restylane, Perlane, Restylane Silk, Radiesse, Sculptra, etc.  These fillers give patients the opportunity to combat the effects of aging without surgery.  They are injected into the face typically to correct wrinkles and scars, as well as enhance lips, noses and other features.  There are two types of fillers, natural and synthetic, and they each have their benefits and drawbacks.  The main difference (besides composition) is that synthetic fillers tend to last longer than natural ones.   

How Do They Work?

Dermal fillers are injected into the skin to plump and smooth out the skin. As we age, the epidermis (or the outer layer of skin) thins and it can no longer do its job (retain water and protect the skin).  Fillers reduce the effects of your aging on your epidermis and add substances under the layer to plump it out.  Some fillers also stimulate the collagen in the skin layers. It is different from Botox because Botox injects a chemical that stop the muscle movement, whereas fillers add substances under the skin to fill out the area.  

What Do You Use a Dermal Filler For?

Dermal fillers are most often used to correct fine lines and wrinkles like crow’s feet, nasolabial folds, frown lines, etc.  They can also be used to lift cheekbones, or augment cheeks to enhance the youthful shape.  Many people get dermal fillers to fill in the hollows under the eye area to prevent eyes from looking sunken.  Dermal fillers are also helpful to even out facial scars from acne, injury, or chicken pox.  A few other common procedures that people use dermal fillers for is to plump out lips, lower cheeks, and temples.

How Long Do They Last?

Most dermal fillers last about six months, and some can last up to two years (or longer!).  Of course, this depends on the type of filler that you get and how much you have injected.  Synthetic fillers typically last longer than their natural counterparts.  

What Are The Risks?

Immediate side effects can include redness or swelling, bruising, or an allergic reaction.  Most doctors will inject a small test before they do the entire procedure.  Inexperienced doctors can place too much filler in one location, and that can lead to lumping or discoloration.  Never try a DIY filler kit that you can purchase on the internet, as many are fake or contaminated and can lead to serious health problems.  Fillers are very safe if they are done by an experienced professional. Dr. Barr is the only board certified female plastic surgeon in Utah.  She is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). Contact us for a consultation to discuss your options when it comes to dermal fillers and decide which filler is best for you.  

Lady with a clay maskLast month, we discussed a couple of DIY beauty hacks that you should NEVER try (If you missed them, read the blog post here).  However, there are some DIY beauty hacks that have been tried and tested throughout the years that you should include in your skincare regimen.  Below are four wonderful DIY hacks that you should try today.

Clay

Clay and mud masks have been used since what seems like the beginning of time.  Most clay masks include bentonite clay, a clay composed of aged volcanic ash.  It has many detoxifying properties and helps cleanse the skin.  Make sure that you don’t allow the clay to come in contact with anything metal, as the clay creates a slight electrical charge when mixed with water, and the metal can make it less effective.  

Melaleuca Oil

Melaleuca oil, or tea tree oil, is oil from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree, a plant native to Australia.  Aborigines have used it for thousands of years to treat cuts and burns.  The oil is also incredible for your skin as a natural anticeptic.You should never ingest the oil, as it is toxic.  Dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, and use it to spot treat your acne.  You can also add a few drops to your favorite DIY mask or face wash to treat common skin problems.  

Honey

Honey has also been used for the skin for centuries.  It has antibacterial properties, and can create a protective barrier for wounds.  It is commonly used on diabetic sores.  Honey is also a natural preservative, so you can add it to other DIY products to lengthen their shelf life.  Honey can be used for acne, eye puffiness, to treat eczema, and can be added to face masks and exfoliating scrubs.  A very popular face mask includes honey and oats.  Add 3 tablespoons of ground oats to 1 tablespoon of water, and 2 tablespoon of honey.  Mix the ingredients, and apply on your face.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.  

Yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent product to add to any DIY face mask, face wash, or exfoliator. It is full of protein, calcium, vitamin D, lactic acid, and probiotics; all good things for your skin.  Yogurt can help moisturize your skin, prevent acne, relieve sunburn pain, among other things.  You can either use just yogurt or mix it with other ingredients like honey and rose to create a soothing face mask.  Just make sure to use plain, unflavored, organic yogurt so you aren’t adding preservatives and undesired chemicals to your skin.

 

woman have fun with a face maskEveryone has their at-home beauty remedy that they swear by.  Some of these remedies and hacks work, but some of them only work because the person believes they will work, an effect known as the placebo effect.  You should always be careful when you hear “magical” remedies on the internet and do your research before you put something on your face.  Your skin is your largest organ, and you need to take care of it.  Some substances are not only unhelpful, but can permanently damage your skin.  Make sure that the advice that you accept about your skincare regime comes from a licensed professional, and not your favorite blogger or youtuber.  Below are 4 popular home remedies that you should NEVER try.  

Nut Shell Exfoliator

There is a new exfoliation trend where you crush different nut shells such as pistachios, walnuts, and other nuts and mix them with olive oil to exfoliate your face.  You should never try this makeshift beauty hack.  Most of the time, you cannot grind your nuts fine enough to make an effective exfoliator, leaving large, sharp chunks of shell to scratch your face, damaging your skin and capillaries. Stick to your dermatologist recommended exfoliator for soft, healthy skin.  

Sugar Lemon Facial Scrub

Many people mix sugar with lemon juice to create a natural facial scrub.  It claims to help get rid of acne scars and leave the skin “soft and insanely smooth.”  While this sounds like a good idea, as sugar seems like a natural exfoliator, and lemon is full of vitamin C, both of these products should never be placed on your skin.  Sugar should never be used on the face, as it is very abrasive and can create tiny lacerations in the skin that can cause it to be irritated and even break out.  Lemon is another natural product that does not belong on the face. The pH of your skin needs to be at about 4 to 5, while lemon juice has a pH of 2.  The acid can permanently damage your skin, and since lemon juice is phototoxic, it can also cause chemical burns.  

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a base, and has a pH of 9, far from the 4 or 5 that your skin naturally has.  It will destroy the lipid layer of your face, allowing bacteria to infiltrate the skin cells, causing infections.  Baking soda also can dry out your skin.  It should never be used on the face, including the famous “toothpaste” hack (put toothpaste on a pimple to get rid of it).

Alcohol to Remove Blackheads

Another popular “natural” remedy is to use alcohol to cleanse the skin and get rid of blackheads.  You should not use alcohol in any of its forms – vodka, rubbing alcohol, or whisky – on your face.  Alcohol breaks down the skin’s barrier, leaving it vulnerable for other substances to enter. It also can burn your skin if you use too high of a concentration.

Female acne suffererDuring your years as a pimply-faced teenager, you had hope that it was just a phase.  Everyone told you that it would go away as you got older.  And it did, well, kinda.  Sometimes, you find the oh-so-frustrating zit creep onto the perfect porcelain surface of your skin, and sometimes, you break out worse than you ever did when you were a teenager.  Some people don’t even get acne until they start college.  Just like when you were in high school, these breakouts occur at the most inconvenient times: when you have to give a presentation at work, when your mother-in-law comes to visit, or right before your best friend’s wedding.  Nearly 70% of adults experience adult acne by the time they are 50, and women are more likely than men to have an outbreak.  What causes adult acne, and what can be done to get rid of it?

Causes of Adult Acne

Stress

The number one cause of adult acne is stress.  Stress causes your body to release the hormone cortisol, that causes your body to produce more oil that will clog your pores.  This is why you tend to break out during stressful situations, like weddings, presentations, or stressful family visits.  

Hormones

Hormonal changes are also one of the leading causes of adult acne.  Women are especially prone to breakouts as their hormones fluctuate.  You may experience flare-ups around your period, during pregnancy, as a result of menopause, and if you start or stop taking birth control pills.  

Improper Diet

A diet that is full of fats, oil, carbs, dairy, and chocolate can cause breakouts.  If your body has a spike in blood sugar, it can trigger your skin’s inflammatory response and cause a breakout.  There have also been links between dairy and adult acne, especially if the products come from hormone-fed cows.

How to Fight Adult Acne

Wash Your Face

Every morning and every night, make sure to wash your face with a good cleanser to prevent break-outs.  Washing your face will remove oils and dirt that can become trapped in your pores that can cause acne.

De-Stress

Take the time to slow down.  Stress can cause other health problems besides acne such as heart attacks and ulcers.

Use Benzyl Peroxide

Benzyl Peroxide causes the skin to dry and peel, and reduces the amount of acne-causing bacteria.  

Eat a Healthy Diet

Carefully monitor your eating habits to eat less starches, sugars, and fats.  Eat organic dairy products and consume less chocolate.  

Man Having Botox Treatment At Beauty ClinicTypically when we think of Botox, we think of using the drug to diminish wrinkles, creating a flawless, youthful look.   But did you know that Botox was first used in the medical field to treat strabismus, (a condition where the eyes do not look at the same point, typically causing crossed eyes)?  Botox was first used for medical purposes in 1977 was approved by the FDA in 1989 to treat strabismus and blepharospasm (uncontrollable eye blinking), but it was not approved by the FDA as a wrinkle reducer until 2002.  Today, Botox is still used to treat numerous non-cosmetic disorders, from excessive sweating to migraines. Below are some of the most common medical uses for Botox.

Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating.  Many people turn to Botox when topical methods prove unsuccessful. Botox is injected just under the skin to block chemical signals from the nerves in the area that stimulate sweat glands.  As a result, the sweat glands do not produce sweat. Treatments are necessary every six to seven months.

Chronic Migraines

Botox has been proven to reduce chronic migraines in adults.  The drug is injected in seven areas along the nose, temples, forehead, back of the head, neck and upper back.  Although medical professionals do not know exactly why, the symptoms and amount of migraines are reduced due to the Botox injections.  Patients require treatment every six months to a year.

Muscle Spasms

Botox is used to treat a wide variety of muscle spasms and contractions, as it blocks the nerves from communicating with the muscles.  It was first approved by the FDA to treat strabismus and blepharospasm, or uncontrollable blinking.  It also is used to treat spasticity in the upper limbs, or contracted muscles in the elbows, wrists and hands that inhibit movement.  Another type of muscle contractions it treats is Spasmodic torticollis, also known as cervical dystonia (CD).  CD can cause your head to involuntarily and painfully twist or turn to one side, or tilt forward or backward uncontrollably.  Most patients need treatments every 4 months to a year.

Urinary Incontinence

Sometimes the brain and the bladder do not communicate properly, causing leakage, accidents, sudden urges to use the restroom, and frequent urination.  Botox is injected into the muscles in the bladder, stopping the involuntary contractions that cause the urinary problems.  The injections have reduced, and in some cases, stopped the urinary incontinence entirely. Injections must be given every four to nine months.  

60 year old spa woman- head and shouldersMany carnival “Guess My Age” booths use the condition of a person’s neck to properly guess their age.  Because most people neglect their neck during their daily skin care routine, their neck ages faster than the rest of their face, revealing their true age.   Sun spots and wrinkles (both vertical and horizontal) begin to line the neck as you age.  If you properly take care of your neck, you can combat wrinkling skin and look and feel more youthful.  it is important to understand the causes and treatment for neck wrinkles in order to properly prevent and treat them.

What Causes Neck Wrinkles?

The most common cause for wrinkles is gravity.  As we age, the fat and tissue underneath the skin begins to deteriorate, causing the top layer of skin to sag.  Excessive exposure to the sun without the proper sunblock is the second most common cause for neck wrinkles.  Other causes are: not moisturizing the skin, smoking, tanning booths, improper diet and even smart phones.  Bending your neck to look at the screen of a smartphone creates a condition called “tech neck,” a deep crease just above the collarbone.  Bending the neck just 15 degrees puts 27 pounds of pressure on the neck, and at the typical 45 degrees that most people use to look at their phones, 49 pounds of pressure is put on the neck.  

Prevention

The best treatment is always prevention.  To prevent neck wrinkles, use the same skin care techniques that you use on your face, including cleansing, moisturizing and toning.  Use anti-aging cream or wrinkle cream on your neck as well as your face.  Avoid over exposure to the sun by wearing protective clothing and hats when outside.  Refrain from visiting tanning beds, as the UV light is very harmful to the skin not only increasing wrinkles but sunspots as well.  Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.  

Treatment

Neck wrinkles can be treated by anti-aging creams with alpha-hydroxy acid to help protect the skin.  Eating a healthy diet will help the skin have the antioxidants that it needs to delay the aging process.  Make sure to get adequate sleep at night so that your body can rejuvenate, helping the skin stay healthy and youthful despite aging.  Plastic surgery and laser therapy is available to help restore the tight, youthful look.  Neck lifts are a common procedure, as are neck liposuction, and implants.

CleopatraWe live in an age obsessed with beauty; from spray tans and eyelash extensions to Botox and laser hair removal.  We are not the first era to try unique ways to to fit the standards of beauty. Throughout history, many methods have been used, some quite dangerous.  Below are some of the most fascinating and strange beauty techniques through the ages.

Urine

In ancient Rome, urine was used in face masks to create a natural-looking glow as well as make skin soft and smooth.  It was also used as a tooth whitener.  It was so effective in whitening teeth and preventing cavities that it was used in many mouthwashes until the 18th century.

Crocodile Excrement

Apparently, urine was not the only waste product used in beauty.  In Greece and Egypt, women would purchase tubs of crocodile excrement and use it as a face mask.  Cleopatra even included it in the book she wrote about beauty.

Guanine

Guanine, a compound found in nightingale feces, has been used since ancient times by Japanese Geishas and in Kabuki theatre to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin.  The excrement was turned into a powder and then rubbed all over the face, creating a porcelain look when removed.  Many high-end day spas in Japan will still use this  technique today to soften and brighten skin.

Clay

Porcelain white skin was a beauty trend for thousands of years.  During the Golden Age of Spain, women would eat clay in attempts to whiten their complexion.  It did the trick, but also caused other problems such as anemia and chlorosis.

Arsenic

During the renaissance, women would create a mixture of quicklime and arsenic to remove hair.  They would boil the concoction and pour it onto their legs, wiping it off just before the skin started to peel off.  Naturally this caused all sorts of problems such as irritations, burns and arsenic poisoning.  

Tapeworm

At the turn of the 20th century, a new diet pill was introduced.  Women would swallow tapeworms in the form of a pill – allowing the parasites to grow to maturity inside the intestines and consume the food that the women would eat.  It did effectively work as a weight loss program, however, it also caused diarrhoea, vomiting, eye problems, epilepsy and dementia.  

Vacuum Helmets

In the 1940’s, vacuum helmets were introduced as a way to improve your complexion.  Often called “Glamour Bonnets” the helmets would reduce air pressure around a woman’s head, apparently stimulating blood circulation.  

Slapping Treatments

In Thailand, you can pay about $350 to receive a face slapping massage from a licensed professional.  The slapping supposedly tightens facial fat and rids the face of wrinkles. The procedure also works on breasts and bottoms to shape those areas.

 

Salt Lake City, Utah Based Face and Neck Specialist

As a specialist in Utah cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery, facelift surgery, neck lift surgery, Botox, Utah rhinoplasty (nose jobs), Utah hair restoration, and a variety of other facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Lucy Barr's main goal is to build and maintain enduring, trusting, attentive relationships with our patients utilizing an educational approach. With the intention of making our patients feel vibrant and attractive, we will work as a team to create customized treatment plans, ensuring the best possible outcome from our products and services. When it comes to cosmetic surgery, Dr. Barr's philosophy is that health, wellness and appearance are all a part of the same equation.

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