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During our New York City beauty editor event where we introduced our new collection, Plant Profusion, the topic turned to necks. The neck seems to be on everyone’s mind, which is why Dr. G created Lifting Neck Cream for the new collection launching this Fall. This beautiful area of a woman’s body is often misunderstood and definitely neglected. Dr. G shares a few tips and ingredients to look for.

bd7193b0da51586e9b30592297d7c71bPhoto via The Transatlantic 

The décolletage which consists of the neck and chest has always been seen as provocative. From the 11th century up until the Victorian period, women did not show their necks let alone the chest area. Today the décolletage is flaunted and proud and can be the most sun damaged area of a woman’s body. Many women make the common mistake of only taking care of and treating their face, so we asked Dr. Goldfaden to shed some light on the topic. “The main complaints related to the neck and décolletage area are sagging skin, crepiness, discoloration, horizontal bands and wrinkles.” The sagging and crepiness is due to loss of collagen as well as aging. Discoloration may be present due to sun damage or hormones and can range from speckled darkness to redness and uneven tone.

Tips:

  • Do not use anti-aging face creams on the neck. The neck is more delicate than the face, has no pores and cannot absorb many of these ingredients.
  • When protecting or restoring the neck remember there are no pores, hair follicles or sweat glands on the neck. Therefore look for a neck cream with ingredients that target discoloration, tightness and cell turnover such as peptides, amino acids, lightening agents and certain acids.
  • Always apply the cream in an upward motion
  • Never pull, tug or rub the neck skin
  • Always wear an SPF or cover the neck area when outdoors
  • No one is too young to start protecting the neck area

Powerhouse ingredients to look for

Birds of paradise- brightening + reduces discoloration/ pigmentation

Glycolic acid- cellular turnover + exfoliation

Hexapeptide 10- amino acids that stimulate collagen rebuilding

Pink Grapefruit Oil- binds moisture on skin, plumps + increases volume to collagen layers

 

With the heated Summer sun now here, we wanted to understand the most common harmful effects from UVA/UVB rays, hyperpigmentation, so we sat down with Dr. Goldfaden to better understand hyperpigmentation, what causes it and how to treat it.

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Photo via Rodan & Fields 

Q: What is the cause of increased pigmentation and darkening of the skin, and what can I do for its prevention and management?

A: Dr. Goldfaden, MD: There are many possible causes of pigmentation disorders, which are marked by changes in melanin, the pigment in skin.

First, you should consult with your primary care physician or dermatologist to rule out the possibility of a systemic health disorder or a cancerous lesion that requires medical treatment. Your health care provider will conduct a physical examination, examining the location, distribution, color, and ap-pearance of the areas of increased pigmentation. Additionally, the practitioner will assess the history of the condition, which will help determine whether the disorder may be due to a developmentally programmed, congenital, or acquired cause.

Your practitioner will also evaluate whether external factors, such as medications, chemical exposure, or other environmental influences, could have contributed to the increased deposition of pigment in the skin. Furthermore, the practitioner will make note of any prior history of pigmentation disorder and its treatment.

The most common localized pigmentation disorder affecting the skin are ephelides, more commonly known as freckles. Ephelides appear as flat brown pigmentation in sun-exposed areas, usually on the face. They are much more common in fair-skinned individuals, and a propensity to have freckles is an inheritable condition. The degree of pigmentation in the skin changes according to the amount of ultraviolet light exposure, so that freckles usually darken in the summer and lighten in the winter.

Q: What are the causes? 

A: Dr. Goldfaden, MD

Pigmentation disorders such as melasma or chloasma arise from increased melanin in the lower layers of the skin and increased free melanin in the skin. The pigmentation is usually brown with a non-distinct border, and is usually found on the central facial areas such as the cheeks, moustache, and forehead areas. Melasma affects both men and women, though it is more frequent in women (up to 30% may be affected). Its incidence is much higher in Asian and darker-skinned individuals than in fair-skinned people. The causes are unknown, but probably include genetic predisposition, hormonal factors, pregnancy, and exposure to ultraviolet light.

Another very common skin disorder is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The underlying mechanism is unclear, but may involve inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. While the causes and clinical presentation of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can vary, they are usually secondary to a traumatic incident to the affected area of the skin. Sun exposure can worsen this condition.

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Q: What is the treatment protocol?

A: Dr. Goldfaden, MD

There is no true curative therapy for melasma. Affected individuals should avoid ultraviolet light exposure and drugs containing hormones, such as oral contraceptives and conventional hormone replacement therapy agents. Skin-bleaching agents are extremely helpful in lightening melasma and maintaining skin-lightening improvements.

Topical therapies in combination with sunscreens can be quite beneficial.

Exfoliation: For enhanced results, these products should be used in conjunction with exfoliation. Regular exfoliation (chemical or physical) removes the dead surface skin cells and allows the treatment ingredients to penetrate deeper and more effectively into the skin, providing enhanced overall results.

Treatment: Many all-natural, topical skin-lightening agents have been found to be quite beneficial in lightening hyperpigmented areas of the skin. These include alpha arbutin, as well as kojic acid, which comes from berries. Topical applications of natural, fruit-derived alpha-hydroxy acids, including glycolic acid, have been extremely beneficial in combination with the aforementioned naturally derived bleaching agents.

Sun Protection: Once your physician has ruled out conditions necessitating medical treatment, you may be able to minimize areas of hyperpigment-ation using a well-rounded approach that includes avoiding ultraviolet radiation from the sun, using an effective sunscreen throughout the day to stay protected and keep additional hyper pigmentation from forming.

We all know that adopting a healthy diet and skincare regimen is essential for youthful, glowing and a hydrated complexion, but practicing good habits on a daily basis, away from our diet and regimen is essential to keeping our skin breakout-free and youthful-looking. Highlighted below are some of the top leading daily causes of bad skin habits.

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Photo via HealthMix 

Talking on the Phone: All those minutes spent talking on the phone (and built up bacteria) attaches to your skin and can lead to breakouts on the chin and jawline. Make sure to keep antibacterial wipes with you and clean your phone frequently. Or better yet, use a hands-free ear piece when speaking on the phone.

Dehydration: Not drinking enough water (recommended 8 full glasses per day) can lead to build up within your body as your toxins have a harder time flushing out your lymph system. Dehydration also accentuates the wrinkles in your skin (think of a raisin), so make sure to stay hydrated to keep that youthful and glowing complexion.

Hot Showers: We know that this feels so good sometimes (especially in the colder months) but hot water actually strips away all the essential oils and much-needed skin hydration at the top layers of the skin which can lead to extreme dryness, flaky and cracked skin. Turn the temperature down and limit your shower use to avoid extreme dryness.

Sleep: Making sure that you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep not only helps to keep you looking fresh and vibrant (goodbye dark circles), but it also encourages proper replenishment and rehydration of the skin; it’s like one big machine moving things out and keeping nutrients in.

Too Much Salt: Consuming too much sodium in your diet can literally suck your skin dry of all the hydrating nutrients and much-needed oils not to mention it can lead to health problems. Cut back your sodium intake and make sure your using a hydrating moisturizer or oil to replenish all hydration back into your skin.

Exercise: Are you getting enough? Regular exercise (30 min per day), increases your bodies blood flow, encourages the flushing of toxins and prevents fat build up all leading to that youthful glow and positive mood-boosting results.

*Tip: try walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking home from work instead of opting for a taxi.

Glasses: Oil and bacteria get built up on the rim of your glasses which can lead to clogged pores and blackheads on the brim of your nose. Make sure to keep a cleaning wipe with you and swipe your glasses daily to prevent breakouts.

Alcohol: We all love to celebrate from time to time, but drinking too much alcohol leads to glycation breakdown in your skins collagen – think sagging, wrinkled and dehydrated looking skin. Make sure to drink one glass of water for each alcoholic drink to outweigh the harmful sugar build up in your adult beverage.

Makeup: Try and avoid the daily heavy makeup as it leads to clogged pores and your skin can’t breath properly. It’s best to practice at least one day per week of makeup-free skin to allow for proper oxygen flow to your skin cells.

Cleansing/Exfoliation: Falling asleep at night without properly washing your skin is one of the leading causes of breakouts and dull, lackluster looking skin. Make sure to double cleanse and exfoliate regularly (2-3 times per week) to ensure that you are going to bed with a squeaky clean complexion.