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 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 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 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


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.  


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.


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 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.  


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.  


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.  


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.


Woman receiving BotoxEver wonder what the difference between Botox and Dysport is?  Both are botulinum toxin A, a protein that works by blocking signals from the nerves to the muscles, inhibiting contraction, allowing wrinkles to relax and soften.  While the two are very similar, there are a few differences to be aware of.

The Two Are Made by Different Companies

Botox is made by Allergan, a company that has been around since 1983, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland .  Dysport is made by Medicis, a company founded in 1988 in Scottsdale, Arizona, with headquarters currently in Bridgewater Township, NJ.   While Botox has been around in the United States for many years, Dysport has only been approved by the FDA since April 30th, 2009.  It was used in Europe for many years before that point.  

Dysport is a Smaller Sized Molecule

Dysport is about ⅓ the cost of Botox, but also about ⅓ the strength. Due to that, about three times as much Dysport is necessary to produce the same effect as Botox. Dysport is a smaller sized molecule than Botox and is more diluted than its competitor.  Also, because Dysport has less protein as a whole, less antibodies can develop in the body, potentially allowing clients that typically develop resistance to Botox to continue using the service longer.  

Dysport Has a Faster Onset than Botox

Dysport takes effect on the face as early as two to three days after treatments.  Botox, on the other hand takes about 5-7 days.  However, Dysport’s effects are sudden while Botox has a more subtle effect due to the time it takes to “kick in”.  Depending on what you are looking for, Dysport or Botox may be the better option. If you are concerned about which lasts longer, they both have an average lasting time of 4-6 months.

Botox Diffuses Less

Botox tends to be more precise on smaller areas, because it diffuses less.  Dysport’s effects, on the other hand,  spread out more, giving it a slight advantage in larger areas.  Due to this, Dysport may require less needle pricks than Botox to cover the same area.   However, under the skilled hands of an esthetician either drug can be used effectively in any area.  

In conclusion Dysport and Botox are very similar, and the differences mostly affect the esthetician rather than the consumer.  As you consider which drug to use, make sure to discuss the pros and cons with your cosmetic surgery specialist. The most important thing when considering using Botox or Dysport is to ensure that you are safely in the hands of a skilled professional.


face wrinklesWrinkles generally have a variety of causes, from natural breakdown and weakening of collagen during aging, to repeated movements and expressions, to distortion of the skin during sleep, to sun damage. Yet each wrinkle on the body will have its own unique causes as well, depending on where it is located. Here is a brief overview of the different types of wrinkles you’ll find on the face—and what causes them in addition to general wrinkle causes.

Forehead lines

These are the pesky horizontal lines that span across the width of your forehead. For many they are the first wrinkles to appear on the face. In addition to factors such as genetics and sun damage, forehead lines are caused by repeated raising of the eyebrows, be it due to stress, surprise, or skepticism.

Frown lines

Frown lines are the smaller vertical lines that appear between the eyebrows and almost seem to line up with the bridge of the nose. These, of course, are caused by repeated frowning, as well as repeated squinting, concentrating, crying, and being angry.

Crow’s feet

These are the ever-famous wrinkles that crop up at the corners of the eyes. In addition to more general wrinkle-causing factors, crow’s feet are caused by repeated squinting and smiling (of the type that includes the eyes). Some believe that sleeping on your side can be a cause as well.

Tear troughs

Tear troughs are the deep wrinkles below the eyes that give the eyes a pronounced “baggy” appearance. Tear troughs can actually be hereditary, or they can be caused by a lack of volume in the skin in that area. The structure of the face—and the relationship between eyelid fat and cheek fat—can be a major factor as well.

Bunny lines

These are the small, crinkly looking wrinkles on the sides of the nose that are caused by hyperactivity of nasalis muscles when laughing or smiling.

Nasolabial folds

These are the vertical wrinkles that run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth. These are caused largely by the natural movement of cheek tissue downward as we get older.

Lip lines

Lip lines are the small vertical lines often crop up above the upper lip, and less severely below the lower lip as well. Repeated movements of the lips such as pursing the lips, whistling, or smoking are primary causes.

Marionette lines (jowls)

These are the vertical wrinkles that span downward from the corners of the mouth toward the chin, sometimes giving the face a marionette-like appearance. Genetics and facial structure play a large role in determining whether or not a person develops these wrinkles.

tan skinSummer is a time when people tend to show more skin, and sometimes a sun-kissed tan is just when a person needs to feel confident in summer clothing and swimsuits. But is it possible to achieve this look without causing skin damage? Here is what you need to know about tanning and getting a tan look the safe way.

Dangers of tanning

Sun damage, next to smoking, is one of the leading causes of premature skin aging. Many wrongfully define “sun damage” as sunburn, but the truth is that even tanning that doesn’t evolve into sunburn is damaging to the skin. In fact, skin tanning is the body’s response to damaged DNA in the skin cells—the skin darkens in order to prevent further damage to the skin cells. So, a tan is really just evidence that skin damage has already occurred in the skin. While getting a “base tan” or tanning indoors might sound like a good idea in theory, these methods for getting a sun-kissed glow will not prove healthy for your skin.

Popular options: the good and the bad

So what are your options, then, for getting a safe, tanned look? First, it would be effective to know what isn’t good for your skin or body.

Indoor tanning

Indoor tanning beds are thought to be safer than outdoor sunlight by some, but in reality, the artificial UV rays produced by tanning beds can be even stronger than the natural UV rays coming from the sun. Indoor tanning beds are not a safe tanning option.

Tanning pills

What about tanning pills? They may not involve exposure to sunlight, but they can give the skin an orange hue over time, and the dyes involved can actually damage your liver. Moreover, these pills are not FDA-approved, and some have even experienced side effects such as nausea, cramping, diarrhea, severe itching, and welts when using these pills.

Spray tans

The chemicals in salon-style spray tans are not monitored by the FDA, either, and they could cause damage when ingested by the nose or mouth.

Self tanner

Self-tanning lotions that you apply to the skin from a bottle are your best bet if you want a just-walked-off-the-beach look. This method for sunless tanning involves a chemical called dihydroxyacetone (DHA) that dyes the outermost skin cells on the body, which means that the tan will only last as long as those outer skin cells remain. Studies have shown that when used correctly, DHA is considered safe. Just keep in mind that sunless tan lotions are not a substitute for sunscreen. Even if you are enjoying a lotion-produced sun-kissed glow, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen before heading outdoors.

summer skinWith summer weather comes and entirely new set of challenges and hazards for your skin, which means that you’ll have to prepare your skin accordingly. Here are some tried-and-true methods for preparing skin for summer weather.

Switch out your skin care products

Because of the climate changes that occur as seasons change, it’s very likely that what worked for your skin during the winter months could leave you feeling oily or greasy as summer humidity sets in. This means that it’s time to switch out what you used during colder months for new products that will work well with the warmer weather. Consider swapping out your facial cleanser and moisturizer for new products that contain lighter ingredients like squalane and glycerin. These ingredients will offer a more breathable barrier for your skin. This applies to any beauty products that you are applying to the face as well.

Control the oil

You’ll also need to prepare your skin for the warmer weather by establishing a skin care regimen that will fight excess oil production. The oil glands on your skin’s surface tend to be more active when it’s warmer, and this can leave your face feeling more oily during the summertime. Some methods for controlling oily facial skin include using water-based skin care products, using an oil-absorbing clay mask on a regular basis, and opting for skin creams and sunscreens that promote a matte finish.


Regular exfoliation is important for removing dead skin cells and revealing smooth, glowing skin, especially during the summer when you’ll be spending more time in a swimsuit and warm weather clothing. Most experts recommend exfoliating about twice a week. There are multiple methods for exfoliation, including sugar or salt scrubs, dry brushes or exfoliating gloves, cleansers with exfoliating ingredients, and electric facial brushes like the Clarisonic Skin Brush. Keep in mind that different skin types respond differently to various exfoliation methods, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you and your skin. Whatever method you decide on, be sure to protect your newly exfoliated skin with sunscreen, and never exfoliate sunburned skin.

Wear adequate sun protection

No summer skin care list would be complete without emphasizing the protective and anti-aging benefits of sunscreen. You should be wearing sun protection year-round, but this is especially important to remember during the summer as you spend more time under the sun. In addition to sunscreens, you can also wear shady hats and UV protective clothing and swimwear. Keep in mind that your skin is prone to sun damage even when it isn’t being directly exposed to sunlight—while driving or on an overcast day, for example.

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 relationships with our patients so that they trust us to educate and treat them. Together we will create treatment plans customized to make our patients feel vibrant and attractive. When it comes to cosmetic surgery, Dr. Barr's philosophy is that health, wellness and appearance are all a part of the same equation.