Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Like our face knees become wrinkly and loose due to a loss of collagen and elasticity. And knees bend,are weight-bearing and are always moving and stretching. They endure a lot of stress. "This along with aging, sun exposure and volume loss, can lead to loose skin around the knees", says Sugar Land, TX plastic surgeon Ankur Mehta, MD. Keep in mind sagginess may also be linked to a lack of hydration which is why it is paramount to stay moisturized and use sunscreen. According to Miami dermatologist Joely Kaufman, MD creating new collagen is key. One of the best ways to battle crepey skin is to apply topical that promote collagen and elastin growth, like retinol. Search out products that not only contain retinol, but products that have highly hydrating ingredients. "I like to alternate a retinol body lotion with a topical exfoliating lotion for problem areas", says Dr. Kaufman. "This helps skin by hydrating it, boosting collagen and exfoliating the stratum corneum, so the legs don't look like they have 'fish scales'".
Try Replenix Smoothing Body Lotion and Neostrata Lotion Plus 15 AHA.

Cheers, Miss Violet

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Out Damn Spots !

Probably one of the most common skin challenges and one of the most difficult to solve. The quicker you can tackle this issue the better. The older the brown spots the more Herculean it is to fade them and even the smallest amount of UV light can reactivate them. The objective is to squash melanin activity and put those pigmented cells to sleep. In lieu of immediately trying hydroquinone, which is quite controversial, try vitamin C, licorice extract, kojic acid or retinol. I like vitamin C in the AM and retain-A at night. Also exfoliate often, but gently with manual scrubs or exfoliating acids such as glycolic or salicylic. When utilized regularly exfoliant will lessen the appearance of dark spots by breaking the darker cells apart. A hint: take exfoliation easy during the summer when melanin cells are active, too much scrubbing and rubbing can actually trigger them. 
Pigmentation is not only stimulated by sun and over-exfoliating but also by heat. Those prone to brown spots need to keep skin cool, especially post-exercise. Not only is keeping on plenty of sunscreen or simply staying out of the sun, possibly hot yoga is not such a "hot" choice.  

Cheers, Miss Violet

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Can You or Should You Layer Sunscreens ?

Yes and Yes ! Layering SPF rich products is a double-check that you are applying a sufficient amount to protect and cover all your bases. Sun protections is paramount 365 days a year. It will protect fragile skin from aging, wrinkles, discoloration and most importantly skin cancer. A SPF of 30 or greater is necessary, must be applied last and must be lathered on. What genre of sunscreen you choose is your choice: sunscreen targeted for the beach, an anti-aging sunscreen, a moisturizing sunscreen, a foundation with a SPF etc. Just follow the guidelines of choosing one with a minimum SPF of 30 and apply enough of it, don't be stingy. 
Layering sunscreens is surprisingly facile, there are no steadfast rules. Dozens of studies show that whatever you can do to get more sunscreen on will mean you are better protected. FDA guidelines state that most do not apply enough product and most do not re-apply every 2 hours. The only hiccup is how much more protection you get from layering is not clear. Applying a primer with a SPF of 30, then applying a moisturizer sunscreen with a 45, followed by a foundation with 15 does not equal a SPF of 90, but it does equate to more sun protection. Sun damage will begin the very 1st minute you walk outside, application needs to be 20 minutes to all of your parts and pieces prior to exposure. 
What does a liberal application mean? Smooth on a visible layer, massage it in and if planning say a beach day, spread on another layer. Sunscreens break down via direct exposure to the sun and therefore have to be re-applied. And UVA rays of daylight are every: through car and office windows, even if just running to the car. 
What about applying makeup over sunscreen ? Love layering. Allow sunscreen to set prior to applying makeup, use light pressure and better yet find a makeup base with sunscreen. Not convinced that sunscreen must be an integral part of your daily routine, according to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation  "skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US with 3.6 million people diagnosed annually, and its on the rise. 1 in 3 Californians will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime. 95-100 % of skin cancer is curable if caught early and treated quickly.  So Block the blaze.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


The crusade for firm, smooth and uniform skin doesn't stop at the neck. While my legs aren't bad, my arms are more of a testimony of decades of SPF renouncement. My legs, most notably my knees are starting to witness a crease and wrinkle here and there. Then at hot yoga, the comparison of my knees ( though not bad ) to the twenty something in tree pose to my left made me ruminate, what if I were to treat my body more like I treat my face ? 
The puckering , creases , freckles, dark spots and some actinic keratosis are the results of age and sun-damage. And unfortunately "the skin on the body is more resistant to firming than the skin on the face", says Manhattan derm Dennis Gross, MD. Gross who utilizes a combo of laser therapy and in-office peels says, " there's nothing great yet for laxity on the body, as far as devices go. There's a real demand for it, but no company has really cracked the code and brought anything to market." So what if one vowed to not neglect our 4 precious stems, but keep them out of the sun and treat them with attentive TLC as one treats their face ? Dr. Gross does recommend searching for body products with the same active and anti-aging ingredients in skin care, since " you're seeing the exact same changes on the body-loss of collagen and natural hyaluronic acid as you do on the face...". Dermatologists recommend mixing retinol with body moisturizer and applying that before bed. Or try regular use of a high percentage of alpha hydroxy acid on the entire body. 
Regular exfoliation is key as well: manual and chemical, " especially in summertime ", says Gross, " when the body reacts to ultraviolet light by creating more dead skin as a barrier." The same at home peels kits may be used on arms and legs. And for the ultimate ready for the beach bod try a pre-shower dry brush buff. Which according to Los Angeles dermatologist Annie Chiu, " will increase circulation and temporarily plumps the skin for an even less dimply appearance." So newly committed to care for my gams like I do my face I tried Replenix Retinol Pads on my arms followed by 
                Repenix's All-Trans-Retinol Smoothing Body Lotion on my whole body before bed. In the morning I gave myself a good dry brush, smoothed Nectifirm on my thighs ( and my stomach for posterity sake ) followed by a slathering of sunscreen-everywhere. I swear as I headed down to pick up my son from Junior Guards camp at the beach my thighs looked smoother in my almost too short shorts and my arms brighter. 

Monday, June 12, 2017


If skin is red because of acne, a sunburn, rosacea or something else, getting the red out can be problematic. There have been considerable improvements in skin-care and in-office treatments, but can chronically red skin be fixed ?
Inflammation and redness from say sunburn, windburn, acne, keratosis pilaris or eczema that create microbreaks are often situational and treatable. Try anti-redness creams that contain calming ingredients like white tea, licorice, borage seed oil or evening primrose oil. Look for a product with "anti-redness" in the name. " For long-term relief, in-office laser and light-based treatments can help," says Nashville, TN, dermatologist Michael Gold, MD. "With today's advanced pulse-dye lasers and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), getting rid of these types of redness is fairly easy, but you may need more than one treatment to see results."
But if redness is caused by rosacea, there is unfortunately no cure. More than 14 million people in the United States suffer from rosacea. Triggers for rosacea may be provoked by caffeine, stress, spicy foods or extreme change in temperatures, but the resulting redness can be managed. "While rosacea is a chronic condition, some forms of rosacea (papular/pustular), can be controlled (but not eliminated) with oral medication such as a tetracycline derivative," says Houston dermatologist Suneel Chilukuri, MD. "However, if medication is not continued or treatments are not maintained, the pamphlets and pustules, as well as accompanying redness, will recur rapidly." Topical treatments such as ReBalance, Anti Redness Serum or Clearskin by Physician's Choice of Arizona are specifically targeted for rosacea and are safe to use daily. And last but not least daily use of sunscreen is paramount.

Cheers, Miss Violet

Friday, May 26, 2017


Protein is crucial to most biological processes and amino acids are the building blocks. An immense amount of our cells, muscles and tissue are made up of these mighty particles. They also aid in the storage and transport of nutrients and are an essential element in repairing tissue in our muscles, bone, hair and SKIN. Not only do they play a crucial role in healing wounds, they remove waste deposits. " A large portion of our epidermal cells is made of protein," says Beverly Hills, CA dermatologist Rhonda Rand, MD. "Collagen is the main protein of the skin, and keratin is the fibrous protein that forms the main structure of hair and nails. Produced mainly by our liver, amino acids aid in collagen production and healing. The skin renews itself and constantly heals itself from all the damage it incurs, so it always needs new building blocks, aka amino acids, to continually repair itself," says Dr. Rand." "Amino acids are critical for both healthy skin and a healthy body," says Greenbrae, CA plastic surgeon Kimberly Henry, MD. "They promote collagen production, fat burning, a healthy pH balance, increase hydration, reduce the effects of aging and keep the hair and nails healthy," says Henry. Because amino acids diminish with age, its important to keep feeding our bodies daily. A lack of essential amino acids results in a decrease in collagen production, the skin's ability to retain water, an increase in body fat, rough and dehydrated skin, a slower rate of healing, a dull complexion, loss of skin elasticity, digestive problems and low energy. Our bodies make plenty of amino acids, 20 if you're counting, but essential amino acids must be obtained through foods or supplements. "Your body does not have a protein reserve like it does for fat or carbohydrates so ideally you need to make sure you get these essential amino acids on a daily basis," says Toni McKinnon, director of science information at USANA Health Science. You can do this by consuming meats, nuts, beans, lentils and dairy products. 

So does putting amino acids on our skin help ? "They absolutely do," says NY dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, MD. "Amino acids are very small molecules and can be easily delivered into skin. Because they are so tiny, they are easy to produce." Applying amino acids topically is a very potent means of providing our bodies with them for the purpose of beauty. "With food products, you won't get the maximum concentration of the important amino acids skin needs. But with topical products, the doses are more effective and there is a targeted supply of the specific amino acids that work to create collagen," says Gross. So....maybe a little bit of egg on our face isn't so bad after all. Or better yet head to shopspaViolet.

Cheers, Miss Violet

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Are Your Bases Covered?

1. Are you using enough ? The protocol for sunscreen application is 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin, most of us are not using enough. "People who apply SPF 30 are usually getting the efficacy of a 10 or 15," says Steven Q. Wang, the director of dermatology surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. "Most people apply one milligram-instead of the recommended two milligrams-per square centimeter of skin, so they're getting about half of the SPF value on the label." Try applying several thin layers of broad-spectrum sunscreen, like UV Pure Broad Spectrum SPF 47 by EltaMD.
2. Slap it on then you're done ? No way ! Most sunscreens work for maybe 2 hours. If you are inside for most of the day your morning "slap" should work. Going outside to grab a coffee or lunch ? You will need to re-apply.
3. Sunscreens are only found in a tube. Nope, try sun-protective clothing. Add a large and floppy hat and protective clothing to your sunscreen routine.
4. Sunglasses ? Yes. Aside from protecting your eyes ( eyes can become sunburned ), there will be a lot less squinting. Not good for those "character" lines around eyes and on the forehead.
5. Cover all of your bases. There are spots everyone misses. Remember to cover brows, hairline and that hard to reach spot in the middle of your back. Not double jointed, ask for help. And apply 30 minutes before heading out, give your sunscreen time to penetrate.
6. Read the ingredients. Only 4 protect against UVA1 rays, which causes aging and DNA mutations that can lead to skin cancer. The most effective, avobenzone is not stable in sunlight unless paired with octocrylene. If a physical block is more your taste zinc oxide is the best option. Try Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreens to "cover" all of your "bases".
7. Sunscreen only at the beach ? Even 5 minutes outside without sunscreen is bad. The sun immediately activates a reaction that damages DNA in unprotected skin cells and will continue long after back inside. Apply whether running errands or whether it is cloudy.
8. Umbrellas will do the job. No Mam. 78% of participants sitting under an umbrella without sunscreen burned. Use both.
9. Make it easy. Find a sunscreen with a broad spectrum, hydration, tint and anti-aging ingredients like Intellishade by Revision Skincare. And stick the tube by your toothbrush so you don't forget to apply.
Cheers, Miss Violet