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For those of you who are not familiar with Liv on Labs, you’re in for such a treat. Liv on Labs is changing the game in the Vitamin world and we have been fans for a long time (all the Goldfaden MD team members use these!). We had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Kaili Carpenter, Executive Director, to learn more about her and her daily rituals. 

Kaili Carpenter, the Executive Director of LivOn Labs, was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. After finishing her undergrad at UGA, she worked in events management at two firms then established her own events business with a focus on continuing education in the medical field.

Kaili always helped with the family business, LivOn Labs, which was founded by her Uncle Les and Aunt Cindy Nachman in Las Vegas. She worked the LivOn booth at trade shows across the country for a few years explaining the science of LivOn products to attendees while continuously sampling product with the uninitiated.

An interest in exercise, health and wellness has been something Kaili has embraced since middle school. From horse back riding to competitive high school cheerleading, Kaili then evolved her interests into yoga, dance and Pilates. Currently Kaili keeps a regimen of exercise along with keeping her food intake healthy. She also has a specific interest in skin care, and skin health after years ago learning the key attributes of LivOn Vitamin C, B and Glutathione (I.e. some of our favorite Vitamins from their collection). 

What does good food mean to you?

Good food is whatever makes you feel good. For me, that’s feeding my body what it needs to run efficiently. You can’t put diesel fuel in an engine that requires gasoline and expect that engine to function. I feel my best when I’m eating real, whole foods: veggies, proteins, healthy fats, and lots of water.  

That being said, there is a place for a yellow cupcake with white buttercream icing on my “feel good food” scale. It’s many of my favorite childhood memories on a plate. It doesn’t fall in with veggies, proteins, or healthy fats, but when I occasionally indulge, I get that sugar-spike, giddy, nostalgic rush (almost always followed by a sugar crash — didn’t say I’d feel “good” for long). No guilt, though. That cupcake is a craving no avocado is going to sate. 

How do you start your mornings? 

First thing: I make my bed. It’s a quick, silent task that gets my brain and body slowly acclimated to the day. I am an ardent bed maker. Even in hotels. 

What’s your go-to am beverage? 

I have an AM beverage line up: Lots of water with a little bit of lemon, a shot of grapefruit juice with my Lypo-Spheric®supplements (VitaminC, Glutathione, and Acetyl L-Carnitine) then, a Fab Four Smoothie with Moon Juice Adaptogenic Protein. I met with holistic nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque (creator of the Fab 4 smoothies) at a goop function, and her smoothie approach reinvigorated my mornings. Also, you can’t beat Moon Juice protein powder.

What are your must use daily beauty products? 

I swear by the Goldfaden eyecream, De Mamiel’s Exhale Daily Hydrating Nectar, Dr. Nigma’s Crème No. 1 and Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum and lip balm. Between the dry air and intense sun in Vegas, these products have made a world of difference. There’s a theme here: Moisture.

How do you de-stress?

I take a cardio dance class three days a week. The instructor/studio owner is a professional choreographer and former Broadway performer. She’s always coming up with new dances to current songs. I have to leave any stress thoughts at the door of the studio; I need to be completely present if I’m going to get through her choreography!

Favorite mood-boosting meal? 

Avocado with a runny egg, hot sauce, and a side of sliced cucumber. 

What’s a dinner recipe you currently have on repeat? 

It’s summer, and it’s crazy hot here in Vegas. My recipes this time of year involve minimal heat in the kitchen. Lately, I’m making a quinoa /salad bowl combo. I make a large batch of quinoa to keep in the fridge to use throughout the week, chop up various veggies that look good at the moment, then combine. You can also add in some chicken, tuna, an egg, or whatever you have on hand. It’s the perfect no-cook dinner.  I found the recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Clean Platecookbook and was like, “Why didn’t I think of this meal earlier?”  Her miso ginger dressing is super simple and really makes the dish feel special. 

What is your daily mantra?

Pay attention to intention.

Meet uneven skin tone: Our skin cells contain melanocyte cells, a cell that produces melanin, a chemical that gives skin its color. Too much melanin leads to hyper pigmented skin – including freckles, darkening of the skin in patches, and age spots. Hyper pigmentation can occur from over sun exposure, trauma to the skin (i.e. laser treatments, peels, etc.) or as a side effect of certain drugs. While hyperpigmentation is not a serious medical condition, it is one of the most common skin conditions and arguably the most difficult to treat and correct. We had a chance to sit down with Dr. G to better understand the root cause of hyperpigmentation and what we can do to prevent and treat this skin condition.

What is hyper pigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is defined as any spot on your skin that’s dark enough to effectively stand out against the surrounding area. This phenomenon is usually the result of your skin’s efforts to protect itself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. It occurs when overexposure to sunlight causes the melanocytes in the deeper layers of your skin to produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment called melanin. These specialized cells known as melanosomes are picked up by your keratinocytes that are constantly migrating upwards toward your skin surface.

What causes hyper pigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when overexposure to sunlight causes the melanocytes in the deeper layers of your skin to produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment called melanin. These specialized cells known as melanosomes are picked up by your keratinocytes that are constantly migrating upwards toward your skin surface and cause the dark spots/areas. Hormones, birth control pills can also cause this and sunlight can increase the severity.

The different types of hyperpigmentation:

  • Age spots or sun spots (sun damage)
  • Melasma : caused by pregnancy, hormones and some birth control pills. Usually appears on the upper cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and nose. In severe cases during pregnancy melasma can appear as a mask, which is why it is sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”.
  • Post-inflammatory hyper pigmentationis usually temporary and can be caused by inflammatory acne, a severe burn or injury to the skin. While anyone can suffer from this, it is more common in dark skin types
  • Scarring : The difference between acne scars and hyperpigmentationcan be very difficult to differentiate. Acne scars can appear dark and be Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which should go away (as it is temporary). However, if exposed to the sun then this may become long-term hyperpigmentation. General rule of thumb, if the acne mark or lesion is still visible after 6-12 months then it is considered a scar

Is there a difference between hyperpigmentation, sunspots and freckles?

All fall under the umbrella of Hyperpigmentation. Sun exposure has a lot to do with the darkness and severity. If you have freckles and have sun exposure the melanin will be activated and the freckle will be darker.

Who is prone to hyperpigmentation, such as different races or skin tones?

Darker skin types are more prone. All skin generally has the same amount of melanosomes, the difference in lighter skin and darker skin is the size. Darker skin has larger melanosomes (what contains/distributes the melanin) hence more susceptible to hyperpigmentation.

How to prevent hyperpigmentation?

Wear an SPF at all times when exposed to the sun. Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them. Wearing sun protective clothing, long sleeves and a hat is also preventative.

How to treat and reduce the signs of hyperpigmentation?

Exfoliation can help the appearance as it removes dead, dry, dark skin cells fort he surface of the skin. Using proper actives to protect against sun damage and treat sun damage and dark spots. In office micro-dermabrasion treatments and laser treatments are beneficial as well.

What are the most effective ingredients people with hyperpigmentation should look for in daily skincare products?

Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid/Lactic, Alpha Arbutin, and Kojic Acid.

Is there a difference between sun spots and hyper pigmentation?

Sun spots/sun damage is hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is defined as any spot on your skin that’s dark enough to effectively stand out against the surrounding area. This phenomenon is usually the result of your skin’s efforts to protect itself from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. It occurs when overexposure to sunlight causes the melanocytes in the deeper layers of your skin to produce cells that contain a skin-darkening pigment called melanin. These specialized cells known as melanosomes are picked up by your keratinocytes that are constantly migrating upwards toward your skin surface. The different types of hyperpigmentation are sun spots (sun damage), melasma (hormonally triggered), scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Do the best treatments for pigmentation on your face differ to those for your body?

Facial skin is more delicate than the body and therefore. Treatment for the body and face could be the same in some instances. Although the facial skin is more delicate, there are wonderful topical treatments as well as in-office procedures (microdermabrasion, peels and lasers). Rules to follow on the face and body areWear an SPF at all times, exfoliation (can help the appearance as it removes dead, dry, dark skin cells fort he surface of the skin), use of proper actives (Vitamin C) to protect against sun damage/dark spots.

Is there a part of the body/face that’s more prone to pigmentation?

The face is extremely prone to hyperpigmentation and particularly melasma. Melasma is caused by hormones, birth control pills, pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause. Exposure to sunlight makes melisma darker and more difficult to get rid of.  Facial skin is delicate and needs to be protected properly. The neck and chest areas are also prone to hyperpigmentation as they’re not always properly protected and also very delicate. Always wear SPF and tops that cover the chest area when in sunlight.

Dr. G is a pioneer in the beauty and wellness community, who practices what he preaches. We sat down to ask him about the most crucial vitamin for the body and the skin. The answer may surprise you as its been around forever.

We talk about this time and time again – the importance of both internal and external health is what leads to optimal skin health because our skin is our largest organ (60% of our body). That being said, Dr. Goldfaden recommends ingesting Vitamin C through foods or supplements and also applying Vitamin C  for optimal health and exterior glow – arguably the most important Vitamin for glowing + radiant skin.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals, supports the immune system and helps make collagen in the body. Vitamin C has also been shown to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol), ward off heart disease and absorb iron in the body. However, tricky humanslack the ability to produce their own vitamin C. Oral supplementation is important for optimum health, 65-90mg per day should do the trick. Don’t take too much as it can interfere with the absorption of other crucial vitamins and upset the digestive system. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is also beneficial, like red peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, kale and fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut) all rank super high in Vitamin C.

Why is ingesting Vitamin C not enough?

Just eating foods high in Vitamin C is not necessarily going to deliver all the incredible benefits to the skin. Due to the fact that the absorption of vitamin C is drastically limited by active transport mechanisms in your intestines, very little of what you eat or take orally ever makes it to your skin cells. Essentially, the only effective method for replenishing the vitamin C in your skin is to go straight to the source and apply it topically. In fact, it’s been shown that applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Another advantage to applying vitamin C topically is the fact that once it s absorbed into your skin, it can’t be washed or rubbed off. Significant amounts of it continue to remain active in your skin for up to three days.

What role does Vitamin C play in our body?

The ability of Vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes that break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients. Vitamin C is not only essential for collagen production and maintenance, it’s also a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your the skin.

His challenge to us this fall, is to up our diets with foods high in Vitamin C as well as apply a daily serum containing Vitamin C. Our Brightening Elixir serum was created for this purposes. Loaded with 10% Vitamin C (gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin), Vitamin B3 + B5, Ferulic acid and Vitamin E, this serum will keep you even, glowing and healthy all year long.