Tag Archives: skin

THE TRUTH ABOUT BBL

Truth-about-BBL-cover-photoAs we age, the active lifestyles we led in our youths (and continue to lead) begin to catch up with us. In our 30s and 40s we start seeing the damage caused by over exposure to the sun in our 20s. The secret to youthful, healthy skin is prevention; the earlier you start taking care of your skin and taking preventative measures, the better. Even something as simple as remembering to apply sunscreen daily can make a world of difference later on. Unfortunately, this is advice often scoffed at and taken with a grain of salt. However, if your days in the sun have already caught up with you, you’re not out of luck just yet because the solution to your problems may just be Broadband Light (BBL).

WHAT IS BBL?

Broadband Light, or BBL, is a light-based technology used for photorejuvenation of the skin on the face, body, and hands, to treat a number of skin conditions associated with aging and sun damage. Lasers emit lightwaves with a single wavelength, while non-laser photo devices, such as IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or BBL, use a spectrum of different wavelengths. BBL photorejuvenation uses the unique properties of light energy which allows the treatments to be personalized for your skin, to precisely treat fine wrinkles, sun/age spots, small facial veins, among several other skin applications. Treatments are tailored according to your skin’s condition to achieve the desired results.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

BBL works on the principle of selective photothermolysis, meaning that the light emitted precisely targets a structure or tissue using a specific wavelength, which is then selectively absorbed by the skin to treat the targeted area alone. For skin rejuvenation, heating and damaging the dermal tissue stimulates fibroblasts to repair and rebuild collagen.

Melanin, the pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes, is present in increased amounts in age spots, freckles, melasma, and port wine stains to name a few. The light emitted by BBL targets melanin and hemoglobin, which contributes to diffuse redness of the skin caused by small blood vessels near the surface. When cells containing a lot of melanin or hemoglobin are hit with the right type of light, they heat up and are destroyed within a few thousandths of a second.

Photorejuvenation can also be used to diminish the appearance of superficial pigmented scars. However, when BBL is included in a treatment plan including profractional lasers and dermal fillers, deeper, more pitter scars can be treated and significantly reduced.

BBL-during-treatment

During the treatment

BBL-shortly-after-treatment

Shortly after treatment

BBL-weeks-after-treatment

In the weeks after treatment

During the treatment, there is:

  • Destruction of benign superficial dilated or broken capillaries.
  • Destruction of excessive melanin accumulations produces an improvement in skin color.

After treatment, activation of fibroblasts, and stimulation of cytokine release results in increased production of collagen, elastin and glycosaminogylcans, yielding an improvement of skin tone, texture, and pore tightening.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

BBL enables you to restore and rejuvenate your appearance. It can make your face look smoother by removing sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and diffuse redness. Photorejuvenation can also improve your skin texture by reducing acne scarring when combined with a other laser treatment. Broadband Light can even be used to treat fine wrinkles on the face by stimulating the production of collagen for a tightening effect. Many women also praise BBL treatments for aiding in makeup application – when your skin is smoother, makeup can be applied smoother and easier.

WHAT AREAS CAN BE TREATED?

Any area of your body can be treated with Broadband Light. The most common areas are those most exposed to the damaging effects of sunlight. The most popular treatments are for the face, neck, back of the hands, and the chest.

WHAT CAN BBL TREAT?

BBL can be used to treat a number of skin conditions, some of them including:

HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED?

Depending on the severity of the targeted condition, anywhere from 2 to 5 treatments are recommended for optimal results, typically at four to eight week intervals.

IS IT PAINFUL?

As it is a pulsed light, some discomfort is to be expected. It is often described as a hot elastic band being flicked on the skin. However, any discomfort varies patient to patient, depending on their personal pain tolerance and depth of treatment. There is no need for a topical anesthetic; however some technician’s may choose to use one on more sensitive areas. A cold air blower is used, which provides substantial relief from discomfort.

IS THERE ANY DOWNTIME? WHAT ABOUT AFTERCARE?

BBL Photorejuvenation is a noninvasive procedure, compared to many other cosmetic procedures, so you can receive more comfortable and effective treatments with little to no downtime. You may be given some skincare products, such as sunscreen, and instructions on how to use them. You will be sensitive to ultraviolet light and advised that you must avoid direct sun exposure until you are fully healed. Fully cover your skin or use a good sunscreen (SPF30+).

Free Radicals and Skin Care

free-radicals-skin-care-antioxidants

When talking about healthy, vibrant looking skin, you may come across the buzzword, “free radicals” in beauty articles or over delightful conversations about the latest beauty trends. If you’re baffled by the word, don’t be because not all of us remember details from chemistry or biology in our education. In this article, we will help you understand why free radicals are a crucial issue in the health and beauty of one’s skin, so pay attention.

What are free radicals?

Let’s get back to the basics. We are all made of atoms, which make up cells – the basic unit of life. Our cells make tissues, and tissues make organs, and a collection of organs make up a human being.

In the case of free radicals, our concern is with the atoms that make our cells. An atom is made of a nucleus which consists of protons and neurons, and electrons which can be thought of as circling the nucleus like planets circle the sun.

These circling electrons of different atoms pair up to form bonds that hold atoms together in molecules, so take one of these electrons out, and things would go wonky!

Normally, the bonds don’t split and leave a molecule with an odd, unpaired electron, but when they do split, the resulting fragment is a very unstable “free radical”. It will react quickly with other compounds, trying to capture the needed electron to regain stability. When the attacked molecule loses its own electron (a process called “Oxidation”), it becomes a free radical too. This process will turn into a chain reaction causing oxidative damage and disruption of a living cell.

This oxidative damage causes biological organisms to age. The free radicals turn the oils of our skin rancid which in turn damages the collagen in the skin. Collagen is the protein in fibers that serve as the structural support of our skin, so free radical damage will contribute to skin laxity. Free radicals can also damage cellular DNA, causing skin cancer.

So, what generates free radicals? Anything that will knock electrons out of orbit, such as ionizing radiation (x-rays and ultraviolet light), or various environmental toxins which themselves may contain free radicals that may react with our tissues (cigarette smoke and herbicides are an example). However, some free radicals arise normally during metabolism. and sometimes the body’s immune system’s cells purposefully create them to neutralize viruses and bacteria

How do you combat free radicals?

Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, protect against the destructive effects of free radicals. They neutralize them by donating one of their own electrons, ending the “attacking” reaction. Now, you may be asking yourself, “well, if they gave up an electron, aren’t they a free radical too?” The answer is “No”. Anti-oxidants don’t become free radicals because they have electrons to spare, so they don’t need to steal from their neighbors. They act as lifeguards, helping other cells by donating a life-preserving electron. They ultimately help prevent cell and tissue damage that could otherwise lead to disease.

Nutritional Tips to Create Collagen-Rich Skin

perfect-skin

Healthy skin not only feels great, it looks radiant. Adding certain nutrients to our diet can go a long way to improve your complexion. These much needed foods will help produce collagen, an important protein that keeps your skin healthy and glowing. Click the next page to see what foods you should be adding to your diet.

Beauty & Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

beauty-health-benefits-dark-chocolate

Dark chocolate has recently been discovered to have a number of health benefits. Although it is still high in fat, a small amount once in a while can provide you with beauty and health rewards while you indulge. The bad news is that only dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content can deliver these benefits. And remember, keep portion control in mind, 2 to 3 ounces a week is all you need to reap the health benefits.

1. Great for Your Heart

Everybody loves chocolate. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids due to their high cocoa content which is why improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.

2. Combats Strest

Coca helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin and fewer wrinkles.

3. Controls Blood Sugar levels

The flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.

4. Good for you Skin

Antioxidants in chocolate help your skin protect itself from UV damage (fewer wrinkles), fight free radicals (less sun spots, skin cancer) and increase blood flow (glowing skin). So eating dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of ageing.

5. Great for your Teeth

Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel.

6. Supplies Vitamins and Minerals

Dark chocolate contains a number of flavonoids and minerals that can support your health. Dark chocolate contains some of the following vitamins and minerals in high concentrations:

  • Potassium and Copper –prevents stroke and heart problems
  • Magnesium –helps prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
  • Iron- iron deficiency anemia

For more details, please refer to the review papers below:

J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Feb;103(2):215-23.
Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health.
Steinberg FM, Bearden MM, Keen CL.

Abstract
This paper offers a review of current scientific research regarding the potential cardiovascular health benefits of flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate. Recent reports indicate that the main flavonoids found in cocoa, flavan-3-ols and their oligomeric derivatives, procyanidins, have a variety of beneficial actions, including antioxidant protection and modulation of vascular homeostasis. These findings are supported by similar research on other flavonoid-rich foods. Other constituents in cocoa and chocolate that may also influence cardiovascular health are briefly reviewed. The lipid content of chocolate is relatively high; however, one third of the lipid in cocoa butter is composed of the fat stearic acid, which exerts a neutral cholesterolemic response in humans. Cocoa and chocolate contribute to trace mineral intake, which is necessary for optimum functioning of all biologic systems and for vascular tone. Thus, multiple components in chocolate, particularly flavonoids, can contribute to the complex interplay of nutrition and health. Applications of this knowledge include recommendations by health professionals to encourage individuals to consume a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts.


J Nutr. 2008 Apr;138(4):725-31.
Daily consumption of a dark chocolate containing flavanols and added sterol esters affects cardiovascular risk factors in a normotensive population with elevated cholesterol.
Allen RR, Carson L, Kwik-Uribe C, Evans EM, Erdman JW Jr.

Abstract
Previous studies with plant sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF) provide support for their dietary use in maintaining cardiovascular health. This double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study evaluated the efficacy of daily consumption of a cocoa flavanol-containing dark chocolate bar with added PS on serum lipids, blood pressure, and other circulating cardiovascular health markers in a population with elevated serum cholesterol. We recruited 49 adults (32 women, 17 men) with serum total cholesterol concentrations of 5.20-7.28 mmol/L and blood pressure of < or = 159/99 mm Hg. Following a 2-wk lead-in utilizing the AHA style diet, participants were randomized into 2 groups and instructed to consume 2 cocoa flavanol-containing dark chocolate bars per day with (1.1 g sterol esters per bar) or without PS. Each 419-kJ bar was nutrient-matched and contained approximately 180 mg CF. Participants consumed 1 bar 2 times per day for 4 wk then switched to the other bar for an additional 4 wk. Serum lipids and other cardiovascular markers were measured at baseline and after 4 and 8 wk. Blood pressure was measured every 2 wk. Regular consumption of the PS-containing chocolate bar resulted in reductions of 2.0 and 5.3% in serum total and LDL cholesterol (P < 0.05), respectively. Consumption of CF also reduced systolic blood pressure at 8 wk (-5.8 mm Hg; P < 0.05). Results indicate that regular consumption of chocolate bars containing PS and CF as part of a low-fat diet may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure.