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In a town where smooth, glowing skin is more prized than being number one at the box office, the pursuit of the Fountain Of Youth never subsides. If Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts are the faces of middle age, that quest is certainly paying off. And, given the holidays bring a dose of quintessential down time, it certainly ‘tis the season for a little fine-tuning. Here, the industry’s most revered rejuvenation experts weigh in on an arsenal of non- and minimally-invasive, anti-aging protocols making waves. Take that, gravity!
DefenAge 8-In-1 BioSerum
Retin-A, the reigning skincare topical, seems to have met its match in DefenAge ($220), a technology-driven anti-aging serum used to improve skin quality from the inside out. The proposed mechanism of action is that it works on Defensins, antimicrobial peptides, at the base of the hair follicles where follicular stem cells are located, and it redirects them to refreshing new skin, explains Beverly Hills-based cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Ben Talei. “I love giving this to patients to use every day along with the AuraSilk Essential Oil ($175) blend we developed for an added dose of restorative healing,” adds Talei. DefenAge has a lot of the same rejuvenating benefits of Retin-A, but in a milder form and without causing inflammation, and is lightweight, fragrance-free and easily absorbed, Talei reports seeing a “reduction in the appearance of pores and wrinkles and an increase in epidermal thickness after just six weeks of daily use.”
Augustinus Bader Cream
When a mastermind who holds over 200 patents achieves dramatic success in healing wounds of burn victims, something magical is afoot. Professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology at the University of Leipzig in Germany, Augustinus Bader applied that same technology to this powerhouse cream ($265) beloved by Victoria Beckham, Dakota Johnson, Demi Moore and Diane Kruger.
“After years of working in the field of conventional stem cell technology, I began to understand how the body would heal itself in vivo, in conditions of trauma and inflammation,” says Bader, who claims he is able to “activate and orchestrate the body’s stem cells.” His high-tech cream “boosts cell function and activates the body’s innate renewal processes,” via his TFC8 Complex, comprised of synthesized molecules, amino acids and vitamins. Silicone and fragrance-free, and available in a light or rich formulation, the cream promises to “improve the complexion dramatically, with frown lines and wrinkles significantly fading.“
37 Actives High Performance Anti Aging Cream by Dr. Macrene
A relentless researcher, New York-based dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, has made healthy skin her life’s work, so naturally her science-backed skincare line, 37 Actives, beloved by executives and celebrities including: Cassandra Grey, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Heather McQuarrie and Sienna Miller, is in a class of its own.
Macrene’s collection, including her High Performance Anti Aging Cream ($195) is paraben-free, phthalate-free, sulfate-free and human ingredient-free, not only provides 50 of the active ingredients she deems most effective, proven and published, she also received a patent for her delivery system allowing for maximum efficacy and visible results. Macrene says, “You can replace injectables and lasers with this line, and in a healthy, non-toxic way.”
Golden Cocktail Facial
Amidst a steady flow of new, amped-up power facials, Melissa Haloossim, the nurse practitioner behind Skin Thesis in West Hollywood who tends to the faces of Hollywood elite, has crafted a winner with her Golden Cocktail. The treatment stands out for its ability to tighten and smooth skin, with results lasting over a month.
Using a cylinder vial featuring gold-plated micro-needles (thinner than a human hair), Haloossim blends a custom cocktail of anti-aging delights including: Botox, fillers, stem cells, Vitamins B and C, that are penetrated perpendicularly into the skin via a gentle stamping motion. “We adjust the combination of ingredients to meet the specific needs of each patient,” she says. “This helps improve redness, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and minimizes pores.”
As far as pain, the treatment (ranging from $650-$1,000 depending on the ingredients selected) is quite tolerable and advance numbing isn’t typically needed. But, if a client simply prefers not to feel anything at all, a cream will be administered. “Clients leave here with plumped, glowing, hydrated skin and will continue to see improvements up to seven days,” Haloossim says.
“The use of light on skin is not a new technology, however, as LEDs have improved and become more efficient, so have LED based technologies,” says Mike Poling, president of Lightwave, and a 16-year innovator in the field.
Along with aging comes the breakdown of cells, loss of collagen and elastin and an increase in aches and pains. Lightwave Therapy claims to use the power of specific light particles to re-energize cells. “This increase in energy helps our cells function more like they did when we were younger with the immediate effects being a release of endorphins, a reduction in inflammation, and an increase in lymphatic system activity to help detoxify the body,” says Poling.
Just 20-30 minutes inside the company’s ENVY Light Capsule ($150-$300 per session), available at Gina Mari Skincare in Beverly Hills allows the entire face and body to be treated. “The capsule helps the body absorb light and turn it into energy, which stimulates the natural processes of building new proteins and rejuvenating cells,” says Poling. “When you lay on this bed for 30 minutes you feel like you’ve slept for hours.” Johnny Fontana who has worked with NFL players and trains Zac Efron, even built a Recovery Room featuring light therapy at Vitru, his 4,000 square feet private training facility in Hollywood. “After a workout, it’s the perfect way to start the recovery process on a cellular level,” he says.
Micro Color Infusion
Also referred to as semi-permanent makeup and micro blading, this technique promises to refresh by adding a pop of color to eyes, lips and brows.
Lucy Hart of Lucy Hart Ink ($900 including touch-ups) is an artist who has been delivering fuss-free, natural eyebrows for over 15 years. The first 1-1.5-hour session (including 30 minutes of an advance numbing cream since there is some tolerable discomfort), involves Hart’s blending of a personalized mix of colors based on the client’s skin tone to administer via a very fine blade.
With deft, tiny movements, Hart creates what she refers to as a “simulated hair stroke.” Expect to leave with dark, bold, in your face brows, but know that this is temporary. Yes, natural, covet-worthy brows will emerge soon enough, so a bit of patience is necessary along with a touch-up appointment. Post-care requires avoiding water for a couple of weeks, so you’ll need to get crafty in the shower or simply draw a relaxing bath for the first week, and applying moisturizing balm followed by daily sunscreen.
Hart also creates a come hither power-pucker with her full lip pigmentation. Since the mouth is more sensitive than the brow area, there can be a bit more discomfort, so advance numbing is essential. “I start with detailed measurements of your lips and design a natural, alluring shape,” she says. Always leaning on the conservative side, Hart goes easy during the first appointment since a follow up appointment is required. “My work gives clients the perfect touch of youthful rejuvenation,” Hart adds. “And, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Stanford educated, Dr. Tess Mauricio of M Beauty Clinic in Beverly Hills is a pioneer of a growing new field in medicine and anti-aging called regenerative aesthetics. “Utilizing patient’s own growth factors from a combination of their fat stem cells and platelet rich plasma, the treatment helps activate our natural abilities to heal and repair,” she says.
Mauricio performs the 2-4 hour ALMI (Autologous Lipocyte Micronized Injection, from $3,500) procedure by harvesting fat from patients under local anesthesia using a 20-60cc syringe with a small cannula. After being processed into micronized ALMI fat, rich in stem cells and regenerative properties, Mauricio injects it into the skin with a needle similar in size to those used for fillers. The process includes the use of the patient’s Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for growth factors, and addresses volume loss, wrinkles and even hair loss and osteoarthritis.
“The benefits of ALMI fat and stem cell transfer are natural volumization and improvement in sagging and wrinkles,” says Mauricio. The ALMI can be injected deep in the dermis, under the eyes, temples and even lips. “The advantage of using ALMI over injectable fillers is that patients are also receiving their own stem cells with this treatment,” she adds. “And, stem cells can help the skin look younger, more glowing and improve tone and texture.”
The treatment is said to be tolerable with very little downtime. “Patients look quite normal immediately after ALMI,” she adds. There can be some redness, bruising and swelling, but Mauricio says “it’s usually coverable with makeup.”
Building Collagen Naturally
We’ve all heard about the power of collagen. Every other beauty product on the market, whether $15 or $550, seems to tout the ability of “building collagen.” So, what exactly is this holy grail of anti-aging? “Collagen is our main structural protein and is essential for building strong, taught skin,” says Dana Remedios, Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Flora. the wellness / herbal remedy line that counts James and Suzy Cameron and Emma Stone as fans. “Different varieties of collagen make up about 70 percent of our skin and connective tissues including hair, nails, bones, eyes and teeth.” Encouraging healthy collagen production from the inside contributes to wow-worthy skin, and Remedios shares the easy recipe via a few Flora supplements and foods to incorporate into your diet: a winning (and affordable!) combination of Silica ($20) for connective tendons and joints, Amino acids found in various meat and plant protein sources, Vitamin C, which protects from UV light damage, and OPCs ($31), which are “20 times as powerful as Vitamin C in its antioxidant role.”
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