Interview : Patti Pao, Founder of Restorsea
Patti boasts an illustrious beauty background, having launched over 400 products for lauded brands such as Avon, Elizabeth Arden, Guerlain and Peter Thomas Roth. She has been at the forefront of revolutionary product developments, having recognized the power of glycolic acid and acquiring the exclusive rights to commercialize it before most beauty insiders discovered its benefits.
A true pioneer in skincare, Patti recognized an unmet consumer need for gentler anti-aging products that deliver real results. She did so in an unlikely manner. Reluctantly participating in a hike through the pure fjords of western Norway, Patti landed herself on a tour of the country's largest salmon hatchery. She became transfixed by the hatchery workers' hands; while their faces betrayed their true ages, their hands looked much younger. Because the workers' hands were consistently submerged in water, Patti knew where to look for their secret.
It was hidden in the post-hatching water. All Restorsea products are anchored by its proprietary (20-year exclusive rights) and patented (34 issued) enzyme released by salmon fry during the hatching process.
Patti prides herself on developing the only medical grade skincare line formulated with non-toxic ingredients, and without parabens, phthalates, PEGs, sulfates, silicones or mineral oil, and has received accolades from influencers and celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmy Rossum, and Justine Bateman.
1) Could you tell us a bit more how you got started in the beauty industry?
I always wanted to be in this industry. I graduated from Harvard Business School in 1987. My job search was completely self-initiated and self-funded. I remember receiving 10 job offers all on my answering machine! I accepted a position with Avon Products in New York City in the product marketing group. I was fortunate to have been adopted by the R&D group. They introduced me to three of the greatest dermatologists of the 20th century: James Leyden MD who headed the Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania, Albert Kligman MD who was the “father of Vitamin A” and created Renova and Sheldon Pinnell MD who went on to found SkinCeuticals. These provided me with a huge knowledge base of skin and how to create products which help alleviate the symptoms of chronic skin conditions such as: hyperpigmentation, acne, rosacea and eczema.
2) How do you think Restorsea compares to other skincare lines in the market?
We have the exclusive rights to the best ingredient that I have seen in my 30+ year beauty career. This enzyme is unique in that it is the only molecule that cleaves only the dead skin cells. Why is this important? It is important because it provides continuous exfoliation without NO side effects. Every other exfoliating molecule works by either chemically or physically burning through layers of living and dead skin. This weakens the skin; thins it thereby causing irritated, flaky, and thinning skin that is sensitive to light. Our enzyme, Aquabeautine XL® sits at the top two layers of skin only digesting the dead skin cells. So the skin receives the benefits of exfoliation but remains healthy and intact.
Could you tell us more about Aquabeautine XL and how it works? How does it compare to other chemical exfoliants (AHA, BHAs etc)?
The Aquabeautine XL® enzyme is released by salmon-fry at the time of hatching. Unlike a chicken who can pecks its way out of its eggshell, the salmon-fry cannot. Instead, Mother Nature created the Aquabeautine XL® enzyme and designed it to dissolve only the eggshell membrane thereby creating an opening that the salmon-fry can swim out of unharmed. When exposed to human skin, the Aquabeautine XL® enzyme is very large. It can’t penetrate past the second layer of skin (the stratum lucidum). So it sits at the top two layers of skin and just digests the dead skin cells. It leaves the living cells completely untouched keeping the skin barrier intact. And it is self-regulating. When it has digested all of the the dead skin cells, it will unfold and turn itself off and refold when it is ready to digest the next set of dead skin cells. The result is smoother-looking, softer, more even in tone and texture, glowing skin.
The AHAs, BHAs, and retinols are small molecules. They work by either chemically or physically burning through layers of living and dead skin cells. This results in thinning the skin, disrupting the skin’s barrier function, causing irritation and creating skin that is sensitive to sunlight.
The Aquabeautine XL® is cruelty-free. No salmon-fry were harmed. After the hatching is completed, the salmon-fry are herded to their tanks, we gather the water, store it in a frozen state and harvest the enzyme from the thawed hatching water.
3) What’s your current skincare routine? Are you a fan of any in-office procedures?
I have always been a skin minimalist. I believe less is better. In the morning, I use the Reviving Cleanser, Rejuvenating Day Cream, Revitalizing Eye Cream, Repairing Neck and Decollatage treatment (because you must take care of your neck). Since moving to Houston, TX, I finish by applying SPF to face, neck hands, arms and legs…
Restorsea PRO enabled me to work with the Key Opinion Leaders in Dermatology and Surgery. In terms of injectable treatments, I believe that Botox is the greatest invention of the 21st Century. Better than the iPhone, Google and Amazon. Everyone gets a great result and there is no downtime. In terms of laser treatments, I am a big fan of the Clear and Brilliant laser. My skin is extremely reactive and prone to hyperpigmentation. The Clear and Brilliant is gentle and effective at reducing the appearance of my age spots.
4) Has the way you think about beauty changed during the pandemic? How so?
The pandemic was really good for prestige skincare. I attribute it to the fact that 1) we spent a lot of time looking at ourselves on ZOOM (and not liking what we were seeing and 2) consumers had more disposable income because they weren’t traveling or going to restaurants. Also, taking care of our skin gave us some control in a situation where we had little control over.
5) For someone who’s new to Restorsea, what’s the one product you’d want them to try?
I personally think that the Rejuvenating Day Cream is the best product I have created. My mom calls it the “Windex of Skincare.” However, our best selling products are our PRO Intensive Treatment 10X serum and our PRO Foaming Cleanser. I think it is because the PRO Intensive Treatment 10X is formulated with 10% of the Aquabeautine XL®. At this concentration, it is a safe and effective alternative to prescription retinols. The Aquabeautine XL® enzyme is suspended in the foam of the PRO Foaming Cleanser. So that even though it is on your skin for a few seconds, the enzyme has time to start cleaving the dead skin cells so that when you rinse, your pores stay open and clear.
6) You’ve been a pioneer in the beauty industry. Where would you like to see the beauty industry go from here?
I think that we all need to keeping searching for the next break though ingredient. I always loved science. I applied and was accepted to medical school at the time I was accepted to business school. I wanted to be a researcher and find new molecules. While I elected to not go to medical school, I discovered a new molecule, the Aquabeautine XL® enzyme at the age of 50.
7) What, in your opinion, is the best affordable beauty product or products? Why?
Elta MD sunscreen. For some reason, I have found that this is the best sunscreen for my skin. It is well priced, not greasy and doesn’t migrate all over the place. I have tried more expensive physician-dispensed sunscreen lines and find them to be really greasy and not aesthetically pleasing. I also migrate back to the Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46.
8) Lastly, what are your top tips for healthy skin?
Please take care of your skin starting in your teens. Skin is an organ. It has the ability to repair itself. Taking care of your skin to me means:
Investing in high quality skincare products. My first skincare line was Erno Lazlo. To this day, I still splash 30 times…
Stay inside as much as possible. I am fortunate that I have never been a big fan of nature…
Sleep 7 hours a night. I spent the first 50 years of my life sleeping 3-4 hours a night. I would wake up in the morning with red, blotchy skin. I created the Restoring Night Cream to address this issue. However, once I started sleeping more, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin.
Review : Supergoop Mattescreen SPF 40
What is it?
A broad-spectrum all mineral sunscreen with a translucent formula that creates a soft-focus matte finish.
Who is it for?
This works for all skin types but will work particularly well for those with oily/acne prone skin.
What’s in it?
Bisabolol Extract From Chamomile: helps soothe and calm the skin
Blue Skull Cap, Hydrangea, Resveratrol and Peptides: defend against free radical damage and provide a brightening effect
White Mulberry: a plant-powered antioxidant blend
Butterfly Bush Extract: provides UV, IR and blue light protection
Active: Titanium Dioxide 0.7%, Zinc Oxide 17%.
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Coco-Caprylate, Isododecane, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Polyglyceryl-3 Polyricinoleate, Dimethicone, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Water (Aqua), Isostearic Acid, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Propanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Bisabolol, Alumina, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Hydrangea Arborescens Root Extract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Polysorbate 20, Resveratrol, Scutellaria Lateriflora Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Pentapeptide-21
How to use?
Shake well for five to 10 seconds for an air-whipped texture, then apply as the last step in your skincare routine. Can be used alone or as a primer under makeup.
What to expect?
Light, matte finish with oil-control properties
Contains several anti-oxidants
Contains iron oxide (Visible Light protection)
This is a mineral primer/sunscreen SPF 40 with Zinc Oxide 17%, Titanium Dioxide 0.7% from Supergoop. It’s an ultra-light, tinted, weightless, non-whitening SPF that soothes the skin while it primes and creates a blurring matte finish. Our testers love that it feels abnormally weightless, works on all skin tones, and acts like a silky, mattifying primer for makeup-wearers.
The texture is mousse-like/slightly air whipped consistency. It’s a very siliconey slip on the skin, reminds me of Benefit’s Porefessional primer. It’s very smoothing and does go on matte. It makes a good base before putting makeup on. It takes very little time to dry down. It’s universal tint works on most skin types.
Supergoop’s known for creating game changing sunscreens and for good reason. The mousse like texture made using this sunscreen a joy. For anyone looking for a matte sunscreen, this one comes highly recommended.
Interview : Dr Macrene Alexiades , Dermatologist & Founder of Macrene Actives
Dr. Macrene in her new Hamptons office and MACRENE Actives store
Dr. Macrene Alexiades, who holds three Harvard degrees, BA in Biology, MD and PhD in Genetics; 25+ year research background, runs her Park Avenue private practice in dermatology and laser surgery, research clinic, organic farm, and a lab that formulates and manufactures her skincare line Macrene Actives. She is an artist and sculptor and uses skincare, injectables and devices to achieve a natural look in her patients.
1) What’s the biggest mistake women make with their skin?
One of the biggest mistakes is washing with hot water. This chronic use of hot water will result in redness and broken capillaries and ultimately make the pores larger. Another big mistake women make with their skin is to rub the skin excessively after washing. You should pat dry gently and try not to disrupt your skin barrier.
2) Lately, there’s been a lot of controversy around sunscreens. What are your thoughts on this? Do you prefer mineral or chemical ones and what are some of your favorites?
This is a major need in the industry and one to which I would like to devote attention in the coming year. Unfortunately the worlds best sunscreens with the highest SPF are toxic. They contain phthalates, oxybenzone and avobenzone and other unhealthy compounds. I will strive to create the worlds best and strongest SPF that is also the cleanest. Mineral sunscreens are my preference but they do not adhere adequately to the skin and they wipe away easily resulting in tanning in the sun damage. Chemical sunscreens work better but they are full of toxins.
3) Are there any drugstore products you’re a fan of or recommend to patients regularly?
Absolutely. I recommend Neutrogena sunscreen often. If you use the dry touch it’s the SPF 85 to 100 or you can use the baby face is SPF 50 if you prefer a mineral sunscreen. For body emollient I often recommend CeraVie or Aveeno.
4) As a world renowned laser specialist and board-certified dermatologist, what are some of the most cost-effective procedures you think are worth investing in?
I consider the twice daily application of MACRENE actives akin to brushing your teeth every day. I look at visiting me in the office like getting a deep cleaning at your dentist twice a year.
The procedure is worth investing in a driven by what your concerns are. If your concerns are mild sun damage and early wrinkles, I will often reach for IPL or Genesis.
If you have more severe wrinkling I may go for a fractional carbon dioxide or erbium laser.
If your problem is skin laxity, my favorites are radio frequency and sometimes ultrasound.
5) What are your future plans for the Macrene Actives line? Are there any new product launches we can look forward to?
As I mentioned above I am working on the worlds best sunscreen. I’m also working on a body product and other top-secret innovations that I hope to launch in the coming year. Thank you for your support. i’m also busy making extracts from my organic plants that I’ve grown on the farm to discover new plant active ingredients for the industry.
6) What key ingredients should we be looking for on skincare labels, and why?
Peptides, DNA repair, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, essential fatty acids. I covered my bases with that list.
7) We’re huge fans of the High Performance Lip Filler here at Complexion-Me! How exactly does the product work so well without causing any irritation or stinging?
It has hyaluronic acid filling spheres, so it actually gets into the lips. But it also has another 20 active ingredients, like ceramides, peptide, shea butter and spearmint oil. It heals and heals and smooths chapped lips while simultaneously filling and plumping for boosted color and injection-free plushness.
8) What inspired you to get into the world of skincare?
To trace back my roots in the clean beauty industry takes us back 40 years. When I was 12 years old, I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, which prompted me to work in a university lab with the aim of developing plant derived non-toxic modes of pest control to replace the chlorinated hydrocarbons used as pesticides that were poisoning us. I knew a lot about plants and insects and was aware that certain plants were natural insect repellents, hence the rationale of my research. After working on this for several years I ended up in the lab of my idol Dr Carol Williams as a Freshman at Harvard University. This was followed by five years in the Bogorad lab studying plant science at Harvard. This phase of my career with the Fulbright in bioengineering of agricultural crops my goal was to find natural variants to replace GMOs. By the time I headed to the MD PhD program at Harvard, I had already lived a lifetime of developing methods for clean beauty. After studying medicine I completed a PhD in molecular genetics looking at the development of humans from cells to the complete organism. I chose Dermatology because it allowed me an outlet for my artistic talents as well as the ability to continue to do research while being a full-time physician. Once I graduated in the year 2000, I am immediately commenced in discovering ingredients aimed at preventing and reversing the damage to skin that occurs due to time, sun exposure, genetics, and pollutants. By the early two thousands I was a consultant for L’Oreal Paris and worked in the industry both for formulation and to support their communications with the press. My relationship with L’Oreal has continued to this day where I transitioned as the dermatologist for Lancôme and conducted two studies on their jasmonates which have been published in peer reviewed scientific journal. In the midst of this work I launched my own brand 37 Actives in 2009 which I had started formally working on in 2007. My research work as a laser and cosmetic specialist over the past 20 years honed my craft so that I understood how to stimulate the skin to reduce wrinkles and clear up discoloration and to rejuvenate the skin. After a decade of adding an additional SKU per year, I finally had a full line and decided to re-launch and rebrand as MACRENE actives in 2020.
9) What’s your personal skincare routine?
When I rise, I shower and wash my face with lukewarm water period while it is still damp pat try and immediately apply my Macrene active moisturizer. I apply approximately a hazelnut size amount using my mother of pearl spatula. Next to apply my serum around the eyes to the forehead and especially jawline. My neck and décolletages applied next from the jawline all the way down the side and front of the neck, chest, and tops of hands. I apply a dab of my lip treatment to the upper and lower lip while the lip is still nude. I love to use my tinted moisturizer or concealer in my under eye area; because I’ve been using the cream active for so many years, I do not need makeup, but if I’m doing a photo shoot I use my TM all over the face to have a flawless finish. My TM covers as it treats and has been proven to reduce wrinkles brown spots and red discoloration so it improves your skin as it provides beautiful luminosity. In the evening I wash my face using a couple of pumps worth of the cleanser in my palms and I lather in my palms applying to damp skin on the face. I then repeat the above.
10) Is there a particular diet you recommend following to attain the best complexion?
I am a firm believer in the Mediterranean diet, which is high in seasonal fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fresh fish and fresh herbs. Many studies (epidemiologic, clinical and basic science) have shown that this diet is healthy for all organs, including the skin. I’ve translated this into the active ingredients such as resveratrol and watermelon extracts that I’ve put into the line.
11) You just relaunched your brand with a new name and a newly formulated serum. What made you decide to reformulate your line and come up with a serum?
The purpose of the rebrand was to take 37 actors to the next level and to be the leader and front runner and definer of clean beauty for the industry. MACRENE actives is the cleanest luxury, scientifically proven and clinically effective line which replaces cosmetic procedures with active ingredients. It was launched concurrent with my textbook, Alexiades’s Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery which is the Bible from my industry and defined the proper medical, cosmetic, and surgical treatment options for each and every condition to the skin. Since the relaunch, we’re growing and extracting from organic plants that I’ve identified and chosen. From this, I plan to have a fund of knowledge from the future for the industry. From these plants, I hope to spearhead a new genre of ingredients, where I can do anything I want with them—where I can accomplish anything from these plant-based ingredients. That’s my dream. We’re also launching a tinted moisturizer and concealer with plant-derived ingredients.
12) You created Macrene Actives with the main goal to make in-office procedures obsolete. Is this really possible and can you shed light on how this works?
Regular, twice daily use of potent topical cosmeceuticals, beginning in your 30s, could make the need for cosmetic procedures obsolete. The science behind MACRENE Actives is unprecedented and has raised the bar in skincare. For the first time in history, we conducted a post market study carried out by an outside lab who invented the antioxidant assays. They found that MACRENE Actives maintains 100% antioxidant activity as compared to 50% by the leading antioxidant on the market at 6 months after jar opening. The lab also showed that the total of the actives maintain virtually 100% levels 3 years after you open your jar (in a leading luxury competing cream, only preservative was left at 1 year!). You get an incredible value with MACRENE Actives because it encompasses 50 of the anti-aging ingredients that have the most science behind them from the very best source labs in the US in a single jar, saving you thousands of dollars and much time and effort in your day. It is also patented, 100% US made in glass (no plastic), fully recyclable, and includes plant-derivation and USDA certified organically grown actives in a paraben-free, fragrance-free and free of animal or human-derived ingredients or animal testing formulation.
Review : Restorsea PRO Eye Serum
What is it?
An eye serum.
Who is it for?
Works on all skin types but works exceptionally well for those prone to millia.
What’s in it?
In addition to Aquabeautine XL® (INCI:Hydrolyzed Roe) and Brown Algae also contains:
Caffeine helps reduce the appearance of puffiness
Stevia provides skin tightening effect
Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract anti-irritant
Platycodon Extract helps reduce inflammation
Water (Aqua/Eau), Lactobacillus Ferment, Glycerin, Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Hydrolyzed Roe, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Platycodon Grandiflorum Root Extract, Caffeine, Stevioside, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Alaria Esculenta Extract, Polyepsilon-Lysine, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Cocoyl Proline, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide
How to use?
Use am and pm. Using your ring finger, gently apply a small drop of product working from the right inner eye to the outer eye. Repeat for the left eye.
What to expect?
Reduction in dark circles and under eye puffiness. Visible decrease in fine lines after 8 weeks of use.
Works well below make-up
Instantly tightens under eye area
Can be layered with heavier eye creams if needed
Targets both dark circles and puffiness
It’s no secret I’ve been a huge fan of Restorsea from the very start.
The award-winning Restorsea PRO Firming Eye Serum takes a unique approach to reducing under-eye darkness, restoring elasticity to fine lines, and soothing puffiness. The Eye Serum is composed of Restorsea’s patented Vibransea Complex which offers a gentler alternative, but the same results, to other chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid and retinol. The Vibransea Complex uses the enzyme from salmon roe that only breaks down dead skin cells and leaves healthy skin cells intact. Caffeine stimulates the blood circulation below the eyes for a livelier appearance and other antioxidants improve the health of the delicate skin around the eyes.
The under eye area can be a difficult area to treat since it’s so thin and sensitive. This eye serum gently exfoliates the area leaving it hydrated and allowing you to look well-rested!
Acne is one of the most troublesome and common skin-care problems for people around the world—and emotionally one of the most embarrassing skin disorders to experience.
Acne is a skin disorder that occurs when hair follicles (every pore on your face is actually part of a follicle) become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. That mixture of oil and cells allows the bacteria responsible for acne, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), to flourish inside the follicle instead of remaining on skin’s surface, where it normally resides without causing much trouble.
There are a few steps you can take to treat your acne. These include using a good skincare regime - keeping things simple and using light,oil-free products that don’t clog pores is recommended.
Here’s a clear regime(includes both AM & PM) to follow along with product recommendations.
Be gentle, don’t use cleansing brushes, sponges. Stick to using your bare hands and work the cleanser around your skin for a full minute.
Recommended Cleanser List
Zo Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser
Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
Dr Sam Bunting Flawless Cleanser
Avene Cleanance Gel
Paula’s Choice Skincare CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser
For killing acne-causing bacteria, benzoyl peroxide is considered the most effective topical treatment. Generally, benzoyl peroxide products come in concentrations of 2.5%, 5%, and 10%. I recommend going no higher than 5%, the 2.5% should work.
Apply directly to the spots.
Recommended Treatment Product List
Acne Org Treatment
Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel Lotion
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Action Acne Treatment
Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clearing Lotion
Moisturise (if needed)
Benzoyl peroxide will dry up your skin, so if you’re experiencing any dryness/irritation at all feel free to use a light moisturiser where you need it. There’s no need to moisturize the oily areas.
Recommended Moisturisers List
Sebamed Clear Gel
Sunscreens typically tend to clog pores and worsen acne. So choosing a sunscreen that is oil-free and has a light texture is key.
Recommended Sunscreen List
CōTZ FACE, for Natural Skin Tones, SPF 40
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen Cream SPF 50 Plus
Skinmedica Essential Defense Everyday Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 47
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
Before cleansing, remove all traces of sunscreen/makeup with a gentle make-up remover with cotton pads.
Recommended Makeup Remover List
Bioderma Sensibio H2O
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (Pink Cap only, the one with the blue cap contains oil and can worsen acne)
Follow up with the same cleanser you used in the morning.
Retinoids normalize our skin shedding which leads to decreased pore plugging. They also up regulate the natural enzymes in our skin that fight infection and decrease inflammation. They should only be used at night.
Recommended Retinoid List
Differin Gel (now available without a prescription)
Skinmedica’s Retinol range
Medik8 Retinol range
I recommend using the retinoids every second/third day depending on how sensitive your skin is. Eventually, you’d want to be using it every night. Also, you can layer with a moisturizer to prevent any irritation.
Please make sure you allow the routine to work, which means being consistent and following the routine diligently for at least 6-8 weeks. If you still don’t see a change, I’d recommend paying a dermatologist a visit. Prescription products like Retin-A as well as oral medication are great for those with acne that’s not responding to over the counter skincare products.
Review : Bleu De Chanel
When it comes to perfumes, women find it a lot easier to swim into the ocean of variety and pick whatever piques their interest. For men, the choosing is quite a bit of a struggle.
Breaking convention is not as easy because it comes at the cost of elegance and society is not nearly as accepting of men breaking stereotypes as women. Fashion and beauty means following trends rather than outshining them in most cases.
However, there is a fine line which can be toed; where men will find that they are tapping into something wholly unconventional and unique while at the same type exhibiting the aura of a product that is inherently familiar and somewhat conservative.
Today we are going to talk about the Bleu de Chanel and how it manages to successfully toe that line between individuality and conformity.
The aquatic has blended more into this hybrid than is considered prudent which means Chanel is willing to take risks. Now, they may not always pay off but at the very least you’re vying for something greater than the generic.
The base is naturally woody, with base notes comprised primarily of grapefruit and peppermint. The sweetness is pleasant yet restrained; they didn’t go overboard with it. The undertones of amber further add a surreal quality to the mixture.
In the background of the scent, you will still be able to detect that faint aroma of the smoky citrus flavor. However, those particular notes are not that readily apparent, elegantly camouflaged, adding to the flavor without drawing attention.
One the best things about the cologne is how long it lasts. Twelve hours after a mild spray you can still smell it quite strongly on your body.
It will serve you well, on any kind of occasion, formal or informal; work meetings, black-tie events, late night parties or a date. The scent is not so jarring that it becomes offensive, yet not so feeble either that it fails to impress. It manages to strike the perfect balance between the two worlds which makes it suitable for the gentlemen with very particular palates.
Like we said before, it’s very moderate in its approach. Elegance is a perfect balance of pizzazz and restraint and Blue de Chanel manages to adhere to that guideline perfectly. The outcome is a perfume that is fiercely classy.
There are undercurrents of notes such as grapefruit and pink pepper complimenting the major mint, citrus and mossy notes. The end result is something that reminds us heavily of a mid-summers eve, bursting with floral scents.
The floral flavor is mainly due to the patchouli, labdanum and the rich jasmine which gives it an incredibly natural feel.
There is an altogether foreign element present which can be attributed to the dry cedar, the gentle vetiver and the warmer sandalwood base which combine together beautifully to create an exotic flavor that is irresistible.
It’s not a stretch to imagine that combining so many notes is more than likely to end up a disaster, but Bleu de Chanel manages to pull it off with remarkable panache.
Eau De Parfum vs. Eau De Toilette
The Bleu de Chanel Eau De Parfum version exudes more of the oriental scent with the woodiness being slightly more pronounced. It is obviously more concentrated than the Bleu de Chanel Eau De Toilette. Once sprayed, it will last longer.
The Bleu de Chanel Eau De Toilette on the other hand feels fresher and doesn’t stick out as much; which makes it unobjectionable to wear at any occasion. This is suitable for the majority of men as it won’t make them stick out like a sore thumb. However, if you wish that the scent was stronger or more lasting, opt for the Bleu de Chanel Eau De Parfum. Yes, it is slightly more expensive but even a single spray will keep you smelling good for hours.
In contrast, the Chanel Platinum Egoiste had an overpowering smell that was sweet but sometimes so over the top that it became overwhelming. With Blue de Chanel, you won’t experience the same problem. While the smell lasts for more or less the same time, it remains consistent in density.
Chanel in retrospect
The perfume outlet of Chanel carries on the prestige of what we have come to expect from the notorious fashion house. Their products exude elegance, grace and beauty with occasional miss hits that they always manage to bounce back from.
The Parfumerie was founded by Pierre Werth in 1924. Throughout its history, there have been three major perfumers in Chanel dedicated to the task of crafting the perfumes; Ernest Beaux, followed by Henri Robert and ultimately our very own Jacques Polge.
Chanel has always been known to stay in the safe territory over the ages, releasing tried and tested products that wowed customers but in limited horizons. There wasn’t a lot of risk taking as they always stuck to the formulas that had delivered in the past and tweaked them a bit here and there.
With Bleu de Chanel, it seems they are finally ready to explore uncharted waters and wade out of their comfort zone.
Now, a lot of people feel that it does nothing to make them smell better. Well, the truth is, that every person is different. Some people’s skin soaks up the fragrance a lot quicker than others. It depends a lot on your body chemistry, your natural body scent and how it clashes with the scent of the fragrance.
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Review : Macrene Actives High Performance Face Serum
What is it?
An all in one serum that helps to reduce fine lines, even skin tone and firm skin.
Who is it for?
This works for all skin types.
Dr Macrene designed this for those with oily or acne-prone skin who want to fight skin aging.
What’s in it?
Palmitoyl hydroxproline peptides: help lift the skin of the face, significantly reducing wrinkles and crows' feet
Glucosamine, Ergothioneine, Arginine, Amino Acids: reduce hyperpigmentation
Green Tea Extract, Pomegranate Extract, Vitamins C and E: provide antioxidant protection, fighting environmental stressors and pollutants
Feverfew, Yerba Mate, Coffee Seed, Cocoa Seed Extracts, Bisabolol: reduce redness
Microalgae, Mushroom, Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon) Extract: reverse the damage that causes skin aging
Water, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate1,3, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables1,3, Glycerin1, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables1, Jojoba Esters1,3, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline1,3, Cetyl alcohol1, Sorbitan Stearate, Resveratrol1, Camellia sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract1,2,3, Chyrsanthemum parthenium (Feverfew) Extract1,2,3, Ilex paraguariensis (Yerba Mate) Leaf Extract1,2,3, Citrullus lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract1, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) Extract1,2,3, Coffea arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract1,2,3, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter1,2,3, Tremella fuciformis sporocarp (Silver Ear Mushroom) Extract1, Kappaphycus alvarezii (Red Algae) Extract1, Scenedesmus rubescens (Microalgae) Extract1, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol1, Bisabolol1, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Citrulline1, Sodium Lactate, Arginine1, Aspartic Acid1, PCA1, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine1, Proline1, Threonine1, Isoleucine1, Histidine1, Phenylalanine1, Sodium PCA1, Hydrogenated Lecithin1,3, Hydrogenated Phospatidylcholine1,3, Cholesterol1, Glyceryl Caprylate1, Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose Stearoxy Ether, Sodium Phytate1, Caprylhydroxyamic Acid1, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol1, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin1, Tocopheryl Acetate
How to use?
Use straight after cleansing on dry skin twice a day. You can apply other products (tretinoin, vitamin c serums etc) after.
What to expect?
Reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Reduction in crepiness and a visible lift especially in areas like the jawline / forehead.
Formulated by a renowned dermatologist
USDA Certified Organic Ingredients
Plant-Based, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Oil-free (won’t clog pores)
With three Harvard degrees, a booming dermatology practice, her own skincare research company, and too many honors and accolades to mention, Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD PhD FAAD knows how to achieve great skin. Dr. Macrene found her inspiration in patients and beauty editors who struggled to keep up with the countless new skin care ingredients being touted. She spent years in the lab developing a patent for a cream that would contain the world’s best anti-aging actives in just one pot. Launching with 37 active ingredients, her newly revamped line Macrene Actives is undeiably the very best in clean beauty. Her formulas contain over 50 lipoencapsulated actives to cover every skin care woe.
This innovative formula is inspired by over two decades of Dr Macrene’s experience with lasers and injectable fillers. Packed with over 50 clinically efficacious plant-derived ingredients, many of which are grown on Dr. Macrene’s organic farm, the clean formula harnesses watermelon extract to counteract DNA damage, pomegranate and green tea for superior antioxidant protection, feverfew, yerba mate and coffee seed to help diminish redness, and amino acids to reduce brown spots.
Designed to replace your moisturiser, serum and eye cream this supercharged formula truly does it all. This particular serum features the powerful active ingredients found in the original Macrene Actives cream formula: peptides, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants specifically chosen for their ability to repair wrinkles, brown spots, redness, and sun damage while providing skin with powerful antioxidants, collagen boosters, and barrier fortifiers. Dr. Alexiades originally designed the lightweight, non-acneic serum formula for her oilier skinned, acne prone patients and the humid summers in New York — but we love the fact that you can also layer it underneath any cream or oil for super firming action.
This serum and most potent anti-aging ingredients at high enough levels to produce truly visible results — without causing any breakouts or irritation. And it’s unique, patented delivery system means those active ingredients get exactly where they need to go. Once opened, it stays fresh and potent longer than just about any other antioxidant-rich product on the market. I recommend storing this in the fridge to preserve the quality.
Proven to lift and tighten crepiness while reducing blotches and evening skin tone, this serum repairs your skin's barrier while assisting in DNA restoration. Use it on freshly cleanse skin for the most power-packed regimen you can get.
This is the perfect serum for anyone who wants an all-in-one product that tackles various skin concerns.
Interview : Dr Heather Woolery-Lloyd, Dermatologist and Founder of Specific Beauty
Dr Heather Woolery-Lloyd is a board-certified dermatologist and a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She completed her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and later earned her medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her training in dermatology at the University of Miami where she also served as chief resident.
Dr. Woolery-Lloyd is an internationally recognized dermatology and wellness expert. She has lectured at national and international conferences on anti-aging strategies in skincare and wellness. She is the creator of Specific Beauty, a skincare line specifically designed to treat hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.
1) Tell us more about what made you create the Specific Beauty line.
I created Specific Beauty because I felt there was a void in the market. I needed effective formulas that worked to treat dark spots and uneven skin tone, and at the time there was nothing available. I designed Specific Beauty to be a simple regimen because, as a dermatologist, I know regimens are most effective. Each step was formulated with the unique needs of women of color in mind to achieve the best results.
2) You’re a world renowned expert in treating pigment disorders. Could you shed some light on the intricacies of treating pigment issues experienced by skin of color?
I work at a university so I often see more challenging cases of hyperpigmentation. For most women of color, hyperpigmentation is caused by acne. In skin of color, any inflammation in the skin can turn on the melanocytes that make pigment and leave a dark spot behind. Another common cause of hyperpigmentation is melasma. Melasma presents as dark patches on the cheeks/forehead/upper lip. It is often caused by hormonal changes (pregnancy and birth control pills) and is made worse by sun exposure. Uneven skin tone from aging is one more cause of hyperpigmentation.
Rare causes of hyperpigmentation include reactions to medications and immune disorders.
3) You always look so polished! What is your daily skincare routine?
Cleanse with Specific Beauty Purifying Cleanser then apply Specific Beauty Active Brightening Day Moisture SPF30
Cleanse with Specific Beauty Purifying Cleanser, then use Specific Beauty Dark Spot Corrector Pads, and then apply Specific Beauty Replenishing Moisture Complex
4) A lot of attention has been drawn to potential safety issues [i.e., ochronosis] with hydroquinone, particularly for patients of darker skin tones. Has this been an issue for you in your practice?
This has not been an issue in my practice. I often use prescription hydroquinone to treat melasma. Hydroquinone is extremely effective and is designed for short term use. After a short course of 4-6 weeks, I switch to a hydroquinone-free product for maintenance.
5) The Specific Beauty Intensive Brightening Serum is essentially a hydroquinone-free alternative to Tri-Luma/Compounded HQ creams. When formulating, how did you go about deciding the ingredients in the serum?
I chose licorice root extract to replace the hydroquinone as it is a highly effective ingredient to achieve an even skin tone. It works directly on the enzyme that is required to produce pigment n the skin.I chose ginger root extract to replace the topical cortisone due to its anti-inflammatory effectsFinally, I chose retinol to replace the prescription retinoid.
6) Is there a difference between treatments for melasma, dark spots from acne scars, and sunspots? And, what is the biggest misconception about these conditions?
The treatments are similar but the key difference is in how long the treatment lasts. When treating dark spots from acne, treating the acne is just as important. This is crucial because when the acne clears new dark spots are not formed.Melasma is more challenging because it is a chronic condition so I use hydroquinone for a short period of time and then maintain with a hydroquinone-free treatment. I try to limit hydroquinone use to a few times a year.
7) What are some game changers on the market when it comes to treating pigment disorders?
The addition of iron oxide to sunscreens is a new change. Iron oxides protect against visible light. The only issue is that these sunscreens are tinted so they need to be matched the skin color which can be challenging in darker skin types. Microneedling is a new treatment for melasma and has shown excellent results in published papers.
8) You’re passionate about wellness, too. What’s a wellness trend are you really into right now?
I am most excited about the emphasis on wellness in general. Our health is our greatest asset and COVID 19 has taught us how fragile we can be.
9) For skin of color, are there any safe laser/ energy based options for skin rejuvenation? Do you prefer peels over laser?
Energy devices for fat and body contouring are safe in all skin types. Laser hair removal continues to be safe. The NdYAG is the safest laser for hair removal in darker skin types. Microneedling as mentioned above has been effective in treating melasma. I use peels most often in my practice when treating hyperpigmentation with an in-office procedure.
10) If you weren’t a dermatologist, what would you be doing?
I would be an entrepreneur full time. I love the problem solving involved in entrepreneurship.
Review : MDNA The Rose Mist
What is it?
An ultra-luxurious fine mist toner that powerfully hydrates to help keep the complexion looking vibrant, dewy and revitalized.
Who is it for?
Anyone looking for a facial toner/mist. This works on all skin types.
What’s in it?
Montecatini Thermal Water (HOLY WATER): An exclusive blend of mineral-rich, skin-balancing thermal waters sourced from the legendary town of Montecatini, Italy to nourish, hydrate and help deliver a healthy, radiant look. Blessed by nature and prized through the centuries for its restorative powers.
Rose Essence: A proprietary blend of soothing essential oils from wild roses and Damask roses to help diminish the look of fatigue.
Ribose: An oxygenating sugar molecule that helps visibly energize tired skin.
Spirulina Extract: A blue-green marine algae rich in antioxidants, proteins and essential amino acids to help protect skin from the visible effects of free radicals.
WATER (AQUA), PENTYLENE GLYCOL, ALPHA-GLUCAN OLIGOSACCHARIDE, RIBOSE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SPIRULINA PLATENSIS EXTRACT, PHENOXYETHANOL, FRAGRANCE
How to use?
Use as a facial toner, makeup refresher, hydrating hair mist or soothing aftershave. Store in the fridge for extra refreshment.
Hold the bottle six inches away, eyes closed. Mist onto a cleansed face and gently press into the skin using the palms of your hands. Repeat as desired
What to expect?
Complexion is left hydrated, luminous and cared for.
Travel friendly packing
Contains a blend of ingredients to tone and enhance the skin
Pairs well with other skincare products
Won’t leave skin feeling greasy
Lightly hydrates and calms skin
MDNA is a collaboration between two powerhouse names – Madonna and MTG, a Japanese beauty company that’s known for product innovation and technical expertise. (It is the brand that makes ReFa facial rollers.)
Their Rose Mist was the first product I’ve tried from the range and I’m very impressed. It’s oil-free meaning even those with acne prone skin can safely use this. It’s lightly scented and instantly cools and refreshes skin.
Powered by naturally mineral-rich Montecatini Thermal Water (HOLY WATER), THE ROSE MIST soothes the skin, relaxes the mind and locks in vital hydration. The delicate scent of this rose water facial mist evokes a rose garden in bloom. Spritz for an enhanced glow – and a calming sensation – anytime, anywhere.
A precious blend of Damask and wild roses helps visibly soften and calm while ribose provides a look of energized radiance. Antioxidant-rich marine extracts help protect from the visible effects of environmental damage, leaving the complexion hydrated, luminous and cared for.
This can be used as a setting spray, facial mist to refresh skin during the day or even to cool down skin during workouts. In fact, Madonna’s added that The Rose Mist, is her ultimate desert island item, explaining, ‘I hate feeling dehydrated and I’m travelling all the time, so I always keep it in my bag.’
If you’re curious to try something from the range, I recommend starting with their mist first. It’s easily worked into your routine and really does offer a one of a kind experience!
Review : Glutaredox Supplement
What is it?
GLUTAREDOX® is a groundbreaking supplement which comes in buccal, particular tablets produced following the ORO-FS Release (Fast/Slow Release) technology, a patented formulation containing a high concentration of Reduced Glutathione certified from Setria, Vitamin C, Selenium and L-cysteine.
Package size: Box containing 30 buccal tablets in strips
Who is it for?
Anyone who is looking for glutathione supplementation and especially for those with pigment condition / looking to brighten the skin.
This can also support for hepatic detox function during or after pharmacological polytherapy or during seasonal changing to detox liver and body and to boost the immune system thanks to its antioxidant properties.
What’s in it?
Ingredients : Reduced Glutathione (250mg), L-Cysteine (50mg), Vitamin C (40mg), Selenium (55mcg)
How to use?
Take 1 tablet a day to dissolve slowly under the tongue 1 tablet a day to slowly dissolve under the tongue. Suitable for long treatments. 2-3 months’ cycles to be repeated every 2-3 months.
What to expect?
Improved liver function, brighter skin and a visible reduction in pigmentation and dark spots. Increase in energy levels.
Brighter skin with potent, patented formulation of reduced Glutathione, Vitamin C, Selenium, and L-Cysteine 100% absorption rate with Oro-FS-Release technology, 50 % of Glutathione absorption after 10 minutes and 70% 30 minutes after taking the tablet.
Provides rich antioxidant and anti-aging properties for hair and skin health
Maximizes body performance and regulates cell renewal
Counteracts the activity of free radicals and slows down cellular degenerative processes GMP - FSC and stability data available - Study on the finished product
Manufactured in Italy
Glutathione, being a strong antioxidant with additional anti-melanogenic properties, has recently become the most popular “systemic skin lightening molecule.”
The recent hype surrounding the anti-melanogenic properties of glutathione has resulted in physicians frequently administering it as a “wonder” drug for skin lightening and treatment of hyperpigmentation, especially in ethnic populations with darker skin tones. Globally, physicians have started administering IV drips of glutathione, a powerhouse antioxidant naturally found in our bodies. This has been shown to lighten the skin by deactivating the enzyme tyrosinase, which helps produce melanin.
I’ve been on the lookout for an alternative to IV Glutathione Drips but most Glutathione supplements available are ineffective. In fact, taking glutathione by mouth does not appear to be an effective way to get it into your body. It is known that glutathione is broken down by enzymes in the stomach and above all in the bowel, with poor availability for the rest of the body.
I recently found out about Glutaredox which has gotten rave reviews especially in Asia, where there’s a huge focus on skin brightening, that Glutaredox is a groundbreaking supplement that gives the same effect of a glutathione injection in a simple sublingual tablet. Its patented formulation of a high concentration of reduced Glutathione, Vitamin C, Selenium and L-Cysteine along with its Oro-FS-Release technology assures a 100% absorption rate which makes it superior compared to others. The exclusive patented and advanced Oro-Fast Slow-Release™ technology allows a time-released absorption:
FAST orobuccal for reduced Glutathione
SLOW enteric for the other components (Selenium,Vitamin C).
We’ve tested this for 4 months and can say that this really does visibly brighten the skin. If you’re battling pigment issues, or just want a daily supplement for detox purposes, this one comes highly recommended!
For availability, please contact:
Lesmo - Italy
Review : Cosmelan Professional Treatment
What is it?
A professional in-office treatment for melasma/pigmentation.
Who is it for?
This is specifically helpful for those with battling melasma and pigment issues which includes dark spots from acne.
What’s in it?
This mask contains Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Phytic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Arbutin, and Titanium Dioxide.
Their maintenance cream contains the same ingredients to further lighten and eradicate pigmentation.
Cosmelan has 2 versions. A HQ-free version and the Cosmelan MD which contains hydroquinone.
How is this performed?
Cosmelan Peel is a two-step process that begins at the clinic. First, your skin has to be cleansed and professionally degreased by our doctor before the treatment. Once the skin has been prepped, a thick layer of the Cosmelan 1 peel is applied. This mask has to stay on for a specified time ranging from 6 to 10 hours, depending on your skin type and level of pigmentation.The rest of the treatment process is carried out at home. After the specified time, the mask is removed with water and a gentle cleanser. Right after that, the mesoestetic® Hydra-Vital Factor K cream is applied over the treated area to restore the skin’s moisture and protect new skin growth.
The second step of the Cosmelan Peel treatment involves the continuous use of the Cosmelan 2 cream to maintain the results obtained from the in-clinic treatment. Daily application of the Cosmelan 2 cream will prevent new spots from appearing and reduce pigmentation. Your provider will advise you on the application techniques to ensure the best results.
What to expect?
After application of the peel, patients will experience side effects like redness and flaking. Peeling starts about two to three days post-treatment, during which the skin may feel tight and itchy. Application of the mesoestetic® Hydra-Vital Factor K cream will help soothe the skin.As it is a non-invasive treatment and no anaesthesia is required, the safety margin of this treatment is high.
Most if not all of the peeling will be complete by the first week.
Has been used for decades by skin experts worldwide
Safe for most skin types
Can be used on areas like chest, back as well
Cost-effective compared to options like lasers
The Cosmelan Depigmentation Peel is a unique, multi-ingredient chemical treatment designed to reduce areas of skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Melanin is responsible for creating the skin tone, as well as splotchy areas of darker tissue. The Cosmelan Peel decreases the skin’s natural melanin production by inhibiting certain enzymes, providing an even complexion.A Cosmelan Peel can be used to improve the look of facial skin, the abdomen, legs/hands, and the breast/nipple area. Dull skin, dry areas, dark spots, blemishes, and acne scars can be significantly reduced with the peel. Discoloration due to Melasma (Brown to gray patches over the bridge of the nose, cheeks, chin, and elsewhere on the face and body; often the result of hormonal changes) and Cholasma (similar to Melasma; referred to as the Mask of Pregnancy) can be minimized with the Cosmelan Peel. In addition, the peel balances the skin’s oil production to improve acne.
Overall, this really is a one of a kind peel that contains proven skin lighteners to help fade unwanted pigmentation. For someone battling pigment/melasma, this is a great procedure to begin with prior to moving onto lasers.
Review : PCA Pigment Bar
What is it?
A cleansing bar formulated to provide an even skin tone on the face and body.
Who is it for?
Ideal for anyone looking to address discolorations on the full body, including the face and scalp
What’s in it?
Azelaic acid - helps promote a clear complexion and an even skin tone.
Kojic acid - helps promote an even skin tone.
Niacinamide - a form of the B vitamin that hydrates and promotes a clear, even complexion.
Full ingredient list:
Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Kernel Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbitol, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Calcium Ascorbate, Glucosamine HCl, Maltose, Niacinamide, Sodium Lactate, Tannic Acid, Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil
How to use?
Moisten the enclosed sponge and create a foaming lather. Cleanse the affected area, allowing the lather to remain on the skin for approximately two minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
It’s totally optional to use the sponge, I used my hands and it worked great.
What to expect?
Brighter, more even skin and a visible reduction in pigmentation and dark spots.
Contains proven skin brightening ingredients
Wash off lowers the risk of irritation
Can be combined with other brighteners
Rinses off cleanly
Very economical (will last over 6 months)
Can be used on both the face and body
PCA Skin is a brand I’ve been wanting to try for quite some time now. They’re typically sold at doctor’s offices but can also be purchased online.
PCA Skin Pigment Bar is the cleansing companion in PCA's pigment control program, designed to enhance and maintain the complexion-refining results produced by its sister products. Exfoliating kojic, azelaic and tannic acids control breakouts and diminish hyperpigmentation while cleansing the skin of dirt and debris. Aloe vera, witch hazel and rosewood extracts calm inflammation for a glowing complexion.
Kojic Acid is an ingredient that has become one of my fave brightening ingredients because it works well but doesn’t cause light spots unlike hydroquinone. It can also be safely used long-term. This bar also combines Azelaic Acid which has both anti-acne and anti-pigment benefits!
This cleansing bar contains lots of excellent ingredients for correcting hyperpigmentation. The brilliant idea of this format (container and its sponge) makes efficient usage. It’s gentle enough so that you can safely use this twice a day without any irritation.
Pigmentation on the body can be hard to treat since it wouldn’t be economical to use expensive brightening serums on such a large surface area. This bar makes treating pigmentation on the body a total breeze.
Cleansing with this bar left my face and neck smooth, glowing and prepped for my brightening treatments. For anyone with pigment issues, this can be a great adjunct to your current brightening treatments!
Best Multitasking Facial Sunscreen : Neocutis JOURNÉE Revitalizing Day Cream SPF 30
What is it?
A powerful day cream that provides four benefits in one: skin revitalization, anti-oxidant care, broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection and lasting hydration.
Who is it for?
For all skin types.
What’s in it?
Growth factors (anti-aging)
Octinoxate 7.5% and Zinc Oxide 7.3% (UVA/UVB broad-spectrum sun protection)
Sodium Hyaluronate (hydrating)
Vitamins C and E and Melanin (synergistic anti-oxidant care)
Active: Octinoxate 7.5%, Zinc Oxide 7.3%.
Inactive: Water, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-14 Olefin), Hexyldecanol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Silica, Cutaneous Lysate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Squalane, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate / Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Steareth-21, Melanin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 60, Triethoxycaprylysilane, Disodium Edta, Xanthan Gum, Styrene / Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben
How to use?
Apply in the morning and/or evening to the face, neck and décolleté, or as directed by your skincare professional.
I recommend 2-3 pumps for the face & neck.
What to expect?
Brighter, more even skin and a visible reduction in redness and wrinkling.
Stable and won’t degrade unlike other vitamin c products
Pairs well with other skincare products (No pilling)
Founded in 2003, the Neocutis line helps to speed the healing of cuts and burns while eliminating the process that leads to scarring. Their products also give skin the proper environment to diminish and prevent the visible signs of aging. They harness the power of two ingredients that help maintain skin’s healthy, youthful appearance: Processed Skin Proteins, which are rich in growth factors, antioxidants, collagen and other essential nutrients, along with peptide-rich Micro Protein Complex.
More than just a sunscreen, NEOCUTIS Bio-Restorative Day Cream SPF 30 has so much to offer! The silky-smooth moisturizer is meant to be worn as a skin protectant applied in the morning for daily broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection, hydration and antioxidant shield. The multifunctional cream consists of NEOCUTIS’s PSP (Processed Skin Cell Proteins’), hyaluronic acid, polyphenols and antioxidants that smooth and repair skin issues such as discoloration and fine lines and wrinkles. Stabilized vitamin C and E illuminize lack-luster skin and create a radiant appearance.
Before & After
What I love about this product is how it’s incredibly light-weight, and didn’t cause any piling. For anyone who hates layering a ton of serums and creams, this product is made for you mainly because it’s a one and done product. In addition to providing broad-spectrum sun protection, this Neocutis sunscreen also helps with anti-aging and improving tone, texture and overall skin health.
While this is a pricey product, you truly get what you’re paying for. Growth factors are an expensive ingredient to include and the Neocutis line is one that has many studies and trials to prove the efficacy of their products. There really isn’t a growth factor and sunscreen product like this on the market, so if you want a multi-tasking sunscreen product, this one comes highly recommended!
Interview : Dr Patricia Wexler, Dermatologist
For years, Dr. Patricia Wexler, the acclaimed dermatological surgeon featured in New York Magazine‘s “Best Doctors” issues, has been an industry leader. She has refined and reshaped the faces and bodies of over 15,000 individuals who rely on her cutting-edge expertise, and honest, straight-forward approach. An innovator and artist, Dr. Wexler was one of the first dermatologists to use Botox®. She pioneered tumescent liposuction and fat transplantation, and is instantly evaluating the latest in fillers, lasers, and body sculpting techniques.
Known for her attention to body symmetry, and her dedication to meeting patients’ personal goals with only the most natural results, she has a loyal following of patients including royalty, A-list celebrities, fashion designers, musicians, and artists.
1) Did you always want to be a dermatologist?
Yes, I have always wanted to become a doctor. I first went into internal medicine and infectious diseases at Mount Sinai, and I was actually the first in my group of young doctors to study HIV and HIV related blood transfusions in 1980. There is a connection between infectious diseases and dermatology because you can use and examine the skin to diagnose, so when the head of dermatology asked me if I was interested in the field, I said yes.
2) Do you find that, as a dermatologist, you get to focus on your favourite things?
Yes, when I studied my under-graduate work at NYU, I majored in science and minored in art history and I feel like there’s a connection between art, contouring and sculpting with cosmetic dermatology. This is one of the reasons why I fell in love with cosmetic dermatology, I am able to sculpt and contour patients to help them achieve the look they’ve always wanted. Joining this field gave me the opportunity to visit and shadow doctors around the country, learning the latest cutting-edge technology and procedures, and making them my own.
3) What is your typical day-to-day like at your practice?
I typically arrive at the office around 8:30am alongside my husband and colleagues. I like to settle in when I get there, by eating my breakfast and reading the newspaper before the first patient arrives. I schedule my patients between 30 minutes and one hour, so no one is ever waiting. We have a large office with multiple exam rooms which works well for our staff. While one patient is numbing, I can check in on the next. We close every day from 12:30pm-2:00pm so the office can have lunch together. I think it’s important to have a break during the day and be able to connect with one another and if lunch ends early, we can have group meetings to discuss office policies or new procedures.
4) During this pandemic, what are your top tips for keeping skin in check?
One of the biggest skin concerns and complaints during this pandemic that I have received is maskne; I have seen a lot of patients coming into the office with breakouts from wearing a mask all day. I have been recommending using a gentle cleanser before and after wearing a mask to thoroughly cleanse the skin. After cleansing, I recommend moisturizing with a rich barrier repair cream that has ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides, which can serve as a barrier between your face and mask, protecting the pores. Using a salicylic acid or clay mask can be helpful for active breakouts and if it is pustular or cystic consulting a dermatologist may be necessary. Most importantly, make sure your masks are changed frequently and kept clean.
5) Dr. Wexler, please share your current skincare routine. Are there any prescription products you’re a fan of?
I currently use the My Clarins Re-Move Micellar Cleansing Milk, followed by my Patricia Wexler MD Cream Cleanser and finish with a The Ordinary 2% salicylic acid lotion once to twice a day. I use SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator both in the morning and evening, and at night I finish my routine with Alastin Regenerating Skin Nectar.
6) What are some of the in-office treatments you get on a frequent basis?
One of my favorite treatments is the Aerolase Neo, which is a short pulse laser treatment that decreases redness and pigmentation in the skin and increases collagen rejuvenation with no downtime at all. It is great during this time of year, when the sun and heat tend to increase rosacea, pigmentation and photodamage. Another one of my favorite treatments is Ultherapy, which is focal, high intensity ultrasound which tightens the neck, jawline and face giving a non-surgical face lift with virtually no downtime and is only necessary to do every 2-3 years. Until recently I have not done filler, but I recently had a thread lift which as an alternative, gave me the appearance of life and filling to my nasolabial folds and cheeks. Which I needed because of my lack of cooking ability during the pandemic.
7) What are some in-office procedures you’d never offer to patients?
I would never give them a non-FDA approved product. I would never offer a patient a procedure that they are asking for that feels inappropriate, such as filler that would be excessive for their face. For example, people who come in with dysmorphic body image, who already have filler and ask for more, or ask for a toxin when I feel it could cause an appearance that could look unnatural or laser on skin that’s too dark and could cause an adverse reaction, or liposuction when their skin has too much laxity and could cause damage. I would try to offer alternative measures and give them an appearance of improvement, but not actually what they are asking for.
8) What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I think the most challenging part of the job is making sure all of my patients are happy, healthy and safe. We work extremely hard on making sure each patient looks and feels amazing after their procedures. We work together on finding a solution to their problems.
9) What do you think is the secret to flawless skin?
There are multiple steps to flawless skin. I would say never go to bed with makeup on, even if you’re using makeup remover pads. And definitely use broad spectrum SPF at all times, 365 days a year! Sitting by a window is giving you sun damage, I can’t emphasize enough how important sun protection is. If you are going outside, I recommend wearing a hat with a large brim and wearing polarized sunglasses. I’ve had four patients, all women with light eyes, with melanoma of the retina, and you can’t dismiss macular regeneration. If you are inside and at your screen all day, I recommend using glasses to block and protect yourself from blue light damage.
It is also important to avoid environmental damage, avoid tobacco and smoking and excessive alcohol use can cause long-term damage to the skin. I always recommend drinking plenty of fluids and using antioxidants topically. And after all of that, I hope you have a great Summer!
10) Lastly, is there any chance you’ll bring your skincare line back?
We are working to bring back the skincare line, hopefully we will have good news in the near future.
Review : Macrene Actives High Performance Lip Filler
What is it?
A lip treatment that helps hydrate and plump lips.
Who is it for?
Anyone who wants to have plumper and healthier lips!
What’s in it?
It’s formulated with 20 anti-aging actives including Hyaluronic Acid and peptides.
Full Ingredients List: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil1, Squalane1,2, Camellia japonica (Camelia) Seed Oil1, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables1,2, Ethylhexyl Palmitate1, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride1, Echium plantagineum Seed Oil1, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter1,2, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline1,3, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide NG1, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil1, Mentha arvensis (Peppermint) Leaf Oil1, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Extract1, Solidago virgaurea (Goldenrod) Extract1, Cnidium monnieri Fruit Extract1, Sesamum indicum Seed Extract1, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) Butter Unsaponifiables1,2, Tocopherol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol1,3, Octyldodecyl Oleate1,3, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate1,3
1Plant-Derived 2USDA-Certified Organic 3Third Party-Certified
How to use?
Smooth onto lips right after cleansing. Any lipstick/gloss should go on after.
I recommend twice daily applications for best results.
What to expect?
Visibly plumped and moisturised lips. Reduction in lines and improvement in the color of lips.
Contains several proven ingredients
Contains oils for extra moisture
Free from parabens, sulfates and pthalates
It’s no secret that I’ve never been a huge fan of lip plumping products. The ingredient lists of lip plumpers usually contain cinnamon oil, capsaicin, ginger, mint, hyaluronic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, wintergreen, retinol, etc. Some of these components are known to fatten our lips by irritating them, while others cause a little puffiness as well as flush by boosting the flow of blood through them.
Macrene Actives is a toxic-free plant based skincare line formulated by Dr. Macrene Alexiades. She’s received her three degrees from Harvard University: a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Genetics from Harvard University. And, she was a Fulbright Scholar with a research award year in Europe!
When I read about a lip filler treatment formulated by a board certified dermatologist that was an alternative to lip fillers, I knew I had to try it for myself. This topical lip treatment noticeably plumps and conditions, while combating fine lines and wrinkles. Packed with a multitude of active and natural ingredients, it can be worn under or over your favorite lipstick to gradually and naturally fill and soften your pout.
The lip filler treatment goes on as a light oil with a minty scent. It’s easily absorbed and instantly providing moisture. If needed, you can layer something like Aquaphor ontop at night! This needs to be used 2-3 times a day for good results.
This lip product was a total dream to use. A small amount went a long way and it didn’t cause any irritation or stinging. Within 2 weeks, I noticed plumper lips that had a visible difference in the plushness. My previously lined lips looked healthy and pouty. For anyone who wants plumper lips without resorting to fillers, this products comes highly recommended!
Review : Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector
What is it?
A novel pigment corrector that is hydroquinone free.
Who is it for?
Anyone looking to treat melasma, dark spots, pigmentation and post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation.
This is a hydroquinone-free option making it safe for long-term use.
What’s in it?
The main ingredient in this is 5% Cysteamine.
Aqua, Paraf num Liquidum, Cysteamine HCL, Niacinamide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Lecithin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl Myristate, Cetyl Alcohol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Octyldodecanol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Parfum, Xanthan Gum, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Tocopherol, Cera Alba, BHT, Tetra Sodium EDTA, Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, Linalool, Geraniol
How to use?
Cyspera should be applied every night OR morning and then washed off. This should be applied on unwashed skin! And yes, it can penetrate through your light makeup and skincare.
Do not wash skin before application.
Do not wash your face before application. If necessary to wash, wait one hour before application of Cyspera on a dry and rested skin. I personally applied this every morning.
Apply Cyspera for 15-20 minutes
Once a day as part of your morning/ evening routine, apply a thin layer of Cyspera to the full face. Leave on for 15 minutes only. I recommend working up to 20 minutes after 2 months.
After 15 mins, cleanse your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser and water. Gently pat your face dry.
Apply a moisturising cream or lotion.
What to expect?
A visible decrease in pigmentation and drastic results at the 12 week mark.
First & only skin pigment corrector containing cysteamine as ingredient
Intensive — clinically proven. Set to replace hydroquinone as the new standard for hyperpigmentation concerns
Safe — hydroquinone-free, retinoic acid free, kojic acid free, corticosteroid-free
Works on all skin tones
Won’t bleach normal toned skin
Safe to use all year round
Won’t cause additional photosensitvity
Readily available online (Prescription not required)
Can be combined with other actives
Short contact therapy can be labour intensive
Previously, the most common skin-depigmenting agent for the treatment of melasma and pigmentation had been hydroquinone. However, with growing fears over hydroquinone’s link to ochronsis when applied topically as well as carcinogenicity in animal studies, restrictions have been applied to its use in almost all worldwide markets. This has left dermatologists and patients seeking a new alternative.
While I still feel hydroquinone is a safe option to consider when used under the supervision of a board certified dermatologist, it can’t be used long term which is why I typically prefer HQ-free options.
This can be easily combined with hydroquinone free options like azelaic acid and tranexamic acid.
Cysteamine has been shown by researchers in laboratory studies to have significant de-pigmenting activity, but it has never been formulated into a cream due to its very unpleasant sulphur odour. Thankfully, Scientis has managed to develop a stabilized form with significantly reduced odour.
Clinical studies (links below) have shown Cyspera to be superior to traditional depigmenting creams such as Hydroquinone in treating melasma. It is also safer and gentler on human skin due to the fact that it is naturally occurring in human skin cells, and does not have carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential in long-term use.
In fact, Cyspera’s been shown to treat recalcitrant melasma resistant to Kligman’s formula.
Cysteamine is a natural molecule with an excellent safety profile and known antimutagenic, antimelanoma, and anticarcinogenic effects. Considering the high efficacy of cysteamine cream, it’s definitely my favourite topical option for treating stubborn pigmentation.
While the short contact therapy can be labour intensive, it also means there’s a much lower risk of the topical inflaming the skin and causing pigmentation.
Kasraee B. “Deodorized cysteamine* as a depigmenting agent for the treatment of melasma.”Pigment Cell Melanoma Research. 2017;30:e27–e137
Farshi S. et al. “Efficacy of Cysteamine Cream in the treatment of melasma.”Journal of Dermatological Treatment July 2017
Mansouri P. et al. “Evaluation of the efficacy of cysteamine 5% cream in the treatment of epidermal melasma: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.”British Journal of Dermatology (2015) 173, pp 209-217
Hsu C. et al. “Cysteamine cream as a new skin depigmenting product.”Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2013) 68:4-1 AB189
For more info or to purchase Cyspera Cream : cyspera.com
For UK : https://www.aestheticsource.com/pages/find-a-clinic
Review : Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant
What is it?
An alcohol and aluminium free deodorant.
Who is it for?
Anyone - the product is unisex.
If you’re dealing with excessive sweating, I’d recommend using an anti-antiperspirant instead.
What’s in it?
eucalyptus extract provides antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
citronellyl methylcrotonate help control odor
Ingredients: Propylene Glycol, Purified Water (Aqua Purificata), Sodium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Extract, Citronellyl Methylcrotonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glyco
How to use?
Apply to dry underarms after your morning shower.
What to expect?
The stick glides well and doesn’t leave a white residue. The scent is also light and doesn’t clash with any fragrance you’re wearing.
Alcohol and aluminium free
Doesn’t stain clothing
Light neutral scent
Lasts a long time
Travel friendly packaging
Well tolerated by those with sensitive skin
This long-lasting formula relies on refreshing eucalyptus extract and citronellyl to zap odors and moisturize skin for up to 24 hours.
I love how this deodorant smells fresh, light and neutral enough to not complete with any perfume/cologne and also be unisex. It dries quickly and doesn’t leave pesky marks on clothing. It should last 4 months or more making it an affordable luxury product.
Since this is a deodorant this isn’t going to prevent you from sweating but simply help in killing the odor causing bacteria. If you’re worried about sweating, use a clinical strength antiperspirant at night and use this in the morning!
Overall, this is the best natural deodorant I’ve tried to date and comes highly recommended!
Dr Seemal R. Desai on Cyspera
Dr. Seemal R. Desai is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, and a Board Certified Dermatologist. He graduated with honors from Emory University. He received his medical training at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and received his Doctor of Medicine degree with Magna Cum Laude with honors. He’s also an expert at treating skin of color and pigment disorders, and is the Immediate Past President of the Skin of Color Society. He also serves on the AAD Board of Directors, and is Past President of the Texas Dermatological Society.
1) Could you tell a little more on Cyspera and the main ingredient in it?
This is a very interesting product in my opinion, the active ingredient is cysteamine. This is an amino acid derivative of the naturally occurring amino acids cysteamine in the body.
2) What’s the typical patient you recommend Cyspera to? Are there any contraindications for using Cyspera?
In my practice, I am recommending this product as a non-hydroquinone-based option for skin lightening. This has been especially helpful for patients who don’t want to be on prescription-based therapy and want to try an alternative. It is also helpful for patients with sensitive skin and who want to take a more tailored approach to their hyperpigmentation and specifically melasma. In my practice, this product has been extremely well tolerated. The only contraindications for me have been if the patient is allergic to any component of the product. Otherwise, this has been a very successful Incorporation into my treatment regimen.
3) What skincare products (other than sunscreen) do you recommend pairing with Cyspera? Should it be used in the AM/PM?
Patients with hyperpigmentation require a combination approach that takes into account both their pigmentation process, aesthetic goals for their skin overall, and any other important components of their medical history. I often time combine cyspera both with topical antioxidants such as topical vitamin C, photoprotection with sunscreen, and sometimes even with prescription therapy that may be on or off label. For example a patient could use a prescription based product in the morning and then use the Cyspera at night. The most important thing and of paramount importance in any form of hyperpigmentation is photo-protection using broad spectrum sunscreens minimum SPF 30 or higher. In general, I typically have patients use the Cyspera in the evening.
4) Azelaic acid (Finacea) is used a ton for pigmentation and acne. Can this be safely used with Cyspera?
I can speak to this from personal experience, that I have combined these two options together. For example, the azelaic acid is used in the morning whereas the Cyspera is used at night. There have not been any direct studies on the combination use of this. It’s important to remember that many prescription products for hyperpigmentation are considered off label so it’s based on your clinical judgment and counselling the patient for their best treatment outcomes. I have found this to be effective in my patients. I do like using azelaic acid for hyperpigmentation and for acne.
5) Should anyone leave Cyspera on their face for longer than 15 minutes?
I recommend my patients to 15 minutes of treatment to avoid irritation and to create a consistent pattern of application. There are some colleagues of mine who do this for longer in areas of more stubborn pigmentation, however I find the 15 minutes is quite effective and allows for a consistent pattern of results.
6) Can Cyspera be safely used in conjunction with hydroquinone based topicals like Tri-Luma or with Tretinoin/Retinol?
For some of my patients with more stubborn hyperpigmentation, I have used hydroquinone and retinol-based therapy in a prescription compounded formulation and I typically have patients do that in the evening. In that case, I would have them use the cyspera in the morning. I do not have patients use a prescription and something like Cyspera at the same time as I think they can be irritating. Even in these patients photo protection is of paramount importance and I often even combine topical antioxidants like vitamin C.
7) Tranexamic acid has been the latest buzzword in the skincare world. Could you tell us how it works both topically and orally?
This is indeed a buzz word and an exciting option for patients with melasma. It’s important to note that this is an off label use of tranexamic acid. This works in essence as an anti-inflammatory because it blocks the production of prostaglandins and a record on an acid metabolites which ultimately up regulate tyrosinase enzyme activity. If you up regulate the enzyme activity you make or pigment. So the tranexamic acid through multiple complex mechanism steps actually stops the production of pigment via down regulation of tyrosinase enzyme activity.
There are oral formulations available as well as cosmeceutical‘s in topical formulation. Topical formulation could also be compounded for some patients.
In the topical form it’s typically a 3% concentration that works best in my opinion. There are a variety of publications that have been published on this and I would encourage readers to take a look at those. More studies are needed but it is indeed a promising option for recalcitrant pigment patients.
8) Lastly, do you have any advice for someone dealing with stubborn melasma that’s resistant to topical treatment?
The most important thing that I think as a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in pigmentation of the skin of color is that I offer my patients hope. Many of my patients have been to multiple other physicians have tried many treatments and are really frustrated with their condition. I tell my patients that melasma is not something that gets cured, but I can help them control the disease process as best as we can using combination treatment modality. I also encourage more research funding for pigment in skin diseases and skin of color. We do perform clinical trials and try to enrol patients in these type of studies. There are newer combination approaches both prescription and nonprescription like cysteamine that are available now and give our patients increase optimism for treatment outcomes.
Best Antioxidant Serum : Skinbetter Alto Defense Serum
What is it?
A potent anti-oxidant serum.
Who is it for?
For all skin types, including acne-prone / oily or those with rosacea.
What’s in it?
Combines Vitamin C and E + 17 additional antioxidant ingredients designed to provide a new level of comprehensive and dynamic defense against free radicals.
Aqua/Water, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Ethylhexyl Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Chlorogenic Acids, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Lauryl Lactate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ergothioneine, Benzylidene Dimethoxydimethylindanone, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Carnosine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Theobroma Cacao Seed Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Buddleja Officinalis Flower Extract, Coffea Arabica Leaf Cell Extract, Crocus Sativus Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Superoxide Dismutase, Ubiquinone, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Sea Whip Extract, Bisabolol, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Phytosphingosine, Jojoba Esters, Sodium PCA, Pentylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Lecithin, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Dicetyl Phosphate, Propanediol Dicaprylate/Caprate, Polyglycerin-3, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Diisostearyl Malate, Xanthan Gum, Steareth-2, Acacia Senegal Gum, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dextran, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol.
How to use?
Apply both AM and PM to face and neck.
I personally use 1-2 pumps per application. This goes right after cleansing and before your moisturiser and SPF.
What to expect?
Brighter, more even skin and a visible reduction in redness.
Stable and won’t degrade unlike other vitamin c products
Pairs well with other skincare products (No pilling)
While sunscreen can help on the UV front — if you’re actually wearing it in a sufficient amount and reapplying it regularly — antioxidants are crucial for neutralizing all other threats (think infrared A, visible light, ozone, particulate air pollution, and second-hand tobacco smoke)
The Alto Defense Serum is a fantastic and important step in anyone’s skin care routine. It contains 19 exciting antioxidants, including Camellia Sinensis leaf extract, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (grape seed extract), Cacao seed extract, and even Coffea Arabica Leaf Cell Extract (coffee extract). It also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
In the past when I used antioxidant serums, they typically contained oils and other comedogenic ingredients that always lead to breakouts. Thankfully, this serum is water light and absorbs instantly and is my favourite of the many others that I have tried. For oily skin types, you can rely on this to provide light moisture too.
While many Vitamin C serums have potential to irritate and worsen redness, this one actually takes down the redness while protecting your skin and offering it a second layer of defence. One of my top tips is to preload on antioxidants especially prior to intense sun exposure / summer beach vacations.
This is the most stable Vitamin C formulations in the market and comes highly recommended for anyone looking for an anti-oxidant serum to incorporate in their routine.
Interview : Dr Will Kirby, Dermatologist
Dr Will Kirby is a board-certified dermatologist and the Chief Medical Officer for the nation's leading aesthetic dermatology group, LaserAway.
1) Who/what inspired you to become a dermatologist?
From a very early age I was attracted to science because, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had a lifelong love affair with nature. But I was a late bloomer in the field of medicine and didn’t become a dermatologist until later in life. See, I wanted a career that allowed me to work with my hands as well as my brain and it took me a while for me to realize that specialization in dermatology would allow me to be both technical and cerebral. To wit, I’ve always incorporated artistry into everything I’ve ever done so I’m very fortunate that my life journey has led me to the field of aesthetic dermatology specifically. But there is a misconception that when someone is considered an expert in his or her field, their rise was preceded by a bolt of inspiration but that is just not always the case; While some passions are erupt spontaneously through an inspirational moment, others just evolve slowly and grow over time…and the latter was certainly true for me.
2) Laseraway is the biggest aesthetic dermatology group in the nation. Could you tell us what someone who visits a Laseraway clinic can expect?
You don’t became the nation’s leader in aesthetic dermatology by accident. We take a tremendous amount of pride in customer service and offer only the highest quality, cutting-edge technology. With 13 board certified dermatologists and more than 450 allied health care professionals, our medical acumen is unparalleled and when you add in a commitment to patient safety, you having the winning recipe for the highest level of patient satisfaction. To answer the question, from the time a patient enters a LaserAway clinic until the time they leave, they can expect the absolute best care in the aesthetic dermatology industry.
3) Tell us a bit about the selection process when you’re thinking about offering a particular procedure at your clinics?
It is important to note that aesthetic dermatology is a nuanced business and that with injectable aesthetic treatment and energy-based device procedure hyperbole is ubiquitous while quality, reproduceable results are rare. As such, our vetting process is detailed and thorough. That said, we leave no stone unturned meaning we try absolutely everything but LaserAway never offers fad treatments, trendy procedures, or jumps on the bandwagon. Any patient visiting us rests assured that they are getting gold-standard treatments from the best injectables and devices available.
4) Your skin looks amazing! Could you walk us through your skincare routine?
I detect no lies - my Skin does look amazing and I fully acknowledge that fact! LOL. But you, or anyone else reading this interview, can have amazing skin too! There isn’t some sort of special potion that I have that's unavailable to the population! I just use good quality products very, very consistently and I supplement them with energy-based device treatments at LaserAway!
So allow me to lay out my simple skincare routine:
In the evening I wash my face with a gentle wash and warm water. It really doesn’t matter what wash you choose and anyone who tell you differently is misleading you. Washes just simply don’t matter much as they aren’t in contact with your skin long.
After letting my face air dry or after drying it with a hair dryer on the cool setting I apply a pearl sized amount of My Hero. It's a retinol serum that increases surface cell turnover. See, human adult skin cell turn over takes, on average, one to two months to completely replenish itself and retinols speed this process up but I still remind everyone that you have to use retinol products for a minimum of eight weeks before you start seeing a result. If you are consistent then your skin will eventually look smoother, softer, and more supple with the use of a nightly retinol.
Each morning I gently cleanse my skin with either cleansing wipe or again with a wash.
I then apply a sun protection product with a minimum of an SPF 30 rating. If I’m going to the beach then I use an outdoor product like a SunScreen Stick from SkinBetter but if I’m just going to work I use something like Alastin HydraTint.
And now please allow me please loudly emphasize two points:
A) Most people use way too many products! So, If you haven’t used a product that you in own in the past six months them you should discard it! Only purchase products you need and love and don’t purchase every single thing you see!
B) You can spend a lot of money on good products or a small amount of money on good products! So, don’t think you have to break the bank to get the right products in your bathroom!
5) You’ve recently launched your very own line of skincare. What made you formulate your own range and how does it differ to what’s currently available in the market?
Like many dermatology practices, we used to curate products from a variety of different skincare companies and offer them for sale to our patients. But that was a source of extreme frustration for us because while we really, really liked many of the products, we simply didn't love any of them for our patient population. See, we listened to our patients: We recognized that they were our best advocates and that their number one priority when selecting products to purchase and take home was the ability to maintain their excellent in-clinic treatments results longer. As the leading aesthetic dermatology group we eventually acknowledged that we needed to carve out the time and money to create a skincare line that was formulated with the goal of complementing our in-clinic services. And thus, after many years of patient focus groups, skincare research and laborious testing, LaserAway Beauty was born! So, to answer to more concisely answer your question, there are many, many great skincare products available in the market but laserAway Beauty Products the single best choice for patients already receiving energy-based device delivered aesthetic dermatology treatments… and that's the differentiator in this saturated skincare market!
6) What are some of the in-office treatments you get on a frequent basis?
I am the least hypocritical dermatologist you’ll ever meet! See, I practice what I preach and in the interest of full transparency, I get an IPL (intense puled light) treatment every six months and I typically get a Clear + Brilliant every two months and alternate with a Fire & Ice Laser Facial every two months as well.
7) What kind of patients do you turn away, if any?
The bane of any aesthetic dermatology practice is the patient with unrealistic expectations. Any reasonable person recognizes improving skin fitness it takes time, energy, emotion, and a commitment. But we live in a society of instant gratification and the truth is that some patients aren’t going to be satisfied because they want impossible results. When we realize someone isn’t going to be a good fit we provide them with appropriate education and polity, but quickly, turn them away.
8) In regards to the future of dermatology, what are you most excited about?
If you ask me to predict the future, I’ll politely ask you to review the past. See, the word ‘doctor’ is derived from the Latin word ‘docēre’ which means “to teach”. So, while I am a board certified dermatologist, I’m more importantly a teacher and my job is to educate. Mentoring is a time-honoured tradition that many in the field of aesthetic dermatology seem to have forgotten but I strongly suspect that the future of dermatology will see a return to the placing a premium on education and that's why I train not only dermatology residents, but registered nurses, physicians assistants, and nurse practitioners. To get more granular, I’m of course predicting that our field will continue to evolve from a technical standpoint but I also strongly believe that we’ll also see a return to mentorship so future clinicians will have a well-balanced, more individualized aesthetic educational foundation upon which they can grow personally and professionally.
9) For someone who’s on a budget, what are your tips for great skin?
If you were trying to improve your athletic fitness level, you wouldn't start off by buying the most expensive athletic shoes, immediately running a marathon, and then expect to wake up the day after with the perfect body. Well, the same analogy applies to skin fitness. See, improving your skin or maintaining already great skin doesn't have to be expensive but it does take a commitment and patience. I always implement a hierarchal approach utilizing the least expensive and most effective options coupled with education and encouragement. We know that UV exposure is awful for your skin so start by immediately committing to strict sun avoidance on the face via a wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses, and a daily SPF product. At night simply start using a retinol product. It really is that simple. Start with those two easy, inexpensive concepts and then slowly educate yourself and expand to more exotic offerings from there!
10) Can you leave us with some words of wisdom? What else should we know?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t bow down to my teammates. While our clinicians are the best in the business, our legal, human resources, service/tech, marketing, patient outreach, sales, and executive teams all kick ass too. LaserAway makes this look real, real easy but our company is the amalgamation of the best individuals in the dermatology industry and you will not find a group of more intelligent, ethical, hardworking, dynamic individuals. Life is too short to work with people you don’t love and I’m of the strong opinion that the main reason that LaserAway is supremely successful is because of our corporate culture! I jump out of bed every morning excited to see what Team LaserAway will accomplish!
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