No women over 50 I know want the words “droopy,” “saggy,” or “wrinkly” to describe them, myself included. So when I was one of five lucky recipients of a Restylane facial aesthetic treatment at the recent Bloggers at Midlife conference (B@M), I shouted out with confidence and glee, “huh? What’s that?”
I had never pondered getting any facial cosmetic procedures, so was unfamiliar with the range of options. My approach thus far to retain good skin tone has been to drink lots of water and exercise regularly, both considered effective. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but it sounded deluxe. And free (thanks to Restylane; its parent company, Galderma; Dr. Aspacio, and Dr. Annie Chiu. Consider this the official disclosure).
Are you like me when it comes to aging actively — pretty game to try new things? Let’s hope you are not like me in one regard: being clueless what a facial rejuvenation or facial filler treatment is. I had never heard of Restylane or Galderma. Hint – it’s not botox or cosmetic surgery.
One thing I did know as I raised my metaphorical midlife hand to take advantage of this valuable prize, is that skin is the body’s largest organ. And my skin had seen better “organ-ized” days. (Cracking myself up with that pun). So long undefined cheeks and wrinkles around my mouth; good-bye laugh lines. I hope and trust….
I was directed to a back corner of the conference room where a team of dermatology pros, led by Dr. Aspacio, MD, FAAD of Summerlin Dermatology in Las Vegas and Dr. Annie Chiu in the Los Angeles area awaited me … with:
But I had seen no blood, heard no screams or gasps from the other four winners, nor noticed anyone rendered comatose. Always good signs, right?
Yes, I was off on an aesthetic facial journey with a golden ticket, no return. However, I did catch the part early on about “smoothed out lines, more vital skin, contoured cheeks” and looking waaaaay younger than my twin sister. (I might be making up that last part.) In short, I was totally relaxed. These people seemed to know what they were doing. I knew our B@M conference organizers had selected their sponsors carefully. A cadre of other attendees said I was “lucky” and wished they’d been chosen.
Yes, for someone who usually over-researches details, I was going in calm and clueless. Here’s what I didn’t know:
Turns out it means having an absolutely adorable woman prep me by applying numbing cream to my face. No pain, no tingling, no slurred speech, no mouth that suddenly drooped, no drooling. Basically it felt like a mini-facial massage.
Needles are involved. Aha! Ergo the numbing cream. The focus of the Restylane Lyft is on the cheeks and smile lines, officially known as nasolabial folds. Those needles are filled with hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally produced by the body.The point is to plump up the area so it’s smooth. Dr Aspacio squirted safe, liquidy stuff into my face, checking constantly how I was feeling. Honestly, I felt very little except curiosity. From start to end took about half an hour.What exactly is a facial filler procedure. I didn't know exactly but I did it anyway. Hint: Not… Click To Tweet
I did figure out that it’s not cosmetic surgery, not muscle inhibiting, not something requiring bed rest or hiding away, not Botox. But what am I to call it? When people say to me, “what have you done, you look so refreshed and young? Alexandra must be your older sister, not twin,” I wanted to be able to give a nice, concise, accurate answer. My subsequent digging around online reveals the following descriptors:
If you decide to try this procedure, google any of the above terms to find WHO and what you want. Or just search “Restylane” and you’ll be good to go.
Dayum, but I got lucky here. Apparently the injector can make all the difference. In my case, I had a specially trained medical doctor. Turns out Dr. Aspacio is one of the top of the top notchers. In fact, Dr Chiu was there specifically to learn more from him. If you get a less qualified person you can end up with imbalances right to left. Or fakey looking, overfilled cheeks. Or other side effects that would make you wish you’d found Dr. Aspacio. Didn’t hurt that he was cute. What I most appreciated, though were his communication skills. He kept a calm running commentary about what he was doing, where and why. His assistants held my hand and closely monitored my reactions. The doctor and staff genuinely seemed to care how I was feeling. Who doesn’t like being the center of kind attention?
For the record, the whole procedure was fairly quick, practically painless, and non-anxiety producing. My heart rate didn’t even enter the cardio zone. Nor did I need to squeeze the squishy thing (see why I like to know the correct name for something? Kinda floundering otherwise).
Ha aha ahahah. Here’s where ignorance probably was bliss and that’s never been one of my life mottos or beliefs. If I’d focused on the possible side effects, I might have tensed up. The consent form mentions a few possibilities such as:
Here’s what side effects I experienced, both that day and thereafter:
Well, except looking smoother and refreshed. The second dermatology doctor who was observing handed me an ice pack “just in case.” I never needed it. I’m telling you, these people were really good at what they do! Pick the right doctor — and I do suggest going to a board certified doctor who specializes in this — and you will have both a good experience and results you’re happy with.
I was so wrapped up in how nice everyone was and that I’d won a $1000 gift, that I TOTALLY forgot to ask this question. Not until I returned home from the conference and had a member of my “Forever Fit” exercise class ask me about the duration did it dawn on me that I had no idea. (Yes, I shared my experience with my class as they commented that I looked really good. Gotta love those observant older adults!)
Apparently the results can last anywhere from six months to a year. The Restylane website has more details and stats if you are considering going for it. Only you will know whether an investment of $500-1000 to achieve younger looking skin for up to a year is worth it. I definitely noticed a positive difference right away. Check out my before and after pictures.
Now do you know why I had laugh lines? From cracking myself up. Often. For Decades.
All I know is that when I came home from the B@M conference, my husband said “good to see you. You look great. Where’s my wife?” True Story.
ACTION: Get another firsthand account from one of the other winners, Elaine Ambrose. She’s pretty darn funny as she hunts for her cheekbones.
Also look, point, and laugh at our related post on wanting to be perky, not saggy. But only if you want to perk up and look better.
If you want even more on aging actively and attractively, read these two posts as well:
Head shot Photo Credits: Lisa Lehman of Studio Jewel, courtesy of #Feedblitz
By Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
And we found wellness galore! Originally known as “Temescal Sulphur Springs” (“temescal” is the Aztec word for “sweat lodge”), the spa was first advertised in 1860 to those who desired the health and recreational benefits of the medicinal waters.
So there we were, over 150 years later, clad in our swimsuits, robes and sunscreen, deciding which of 19 pools to go in first. From our concierge (yup, great service at the spa), we learned there is a recommended order for a few of the pools, so these are listed in the order that we used them.
Aqua class in the lap pool: A combination of cardio (for the heart, and calorie burn) and muscle toning, our instructor (and long-time friend) Meg Root made this class fun for everyone. From a 17-year-old to an 84-year-old; from total beginners to fitness professionals, this aqua class is accessible.
Saline Pool: A natural antiseptic, salt water helps with a variety of skin conditions, reduces acid levels after a workout (think of lactic acid buildup), and oxygenates the cells.
Mineral Baths: These are the geothermal mineral waters that come directly from the earth at Glen Ivy, and are what made it famous back in the days of the California Gold Rush. At 104°, the waters are known to soothe aching joints and muscles.
Club Mud: This pool is pretty fun and funny. You grab red clay (Silica Dioxide, Aluminum, Iron, Calcium Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Oxide, & Titanium Oxide) and rub it all over yourself, then sit in a heated “cave” while it dries. The clay softens your skin, draws out impurities and exfoliates dead skin cells. It can also stain a light swimsuit, so don’t wear your brand new white one-piece.
Hot Pool & Cold Plunge: You’re encouraged to go in the hot pool for a few minutes, then do a 30-second dip in the VERY cold plunge for up to 10 cycles, but I did a half-body 10 second plunge in the 55°-65°F cold, followed by a 5 minute “recovery” in the hot. My legs were tingly. Athletes use this type of therapy to shorten muscle recovery time after intense workouts, but it’s good for anyone who wants to increase blood flow to the muscles. I increased my blood flow by jumping OUT of the cold plunge quickly. See the expression on my face?
The Grotto: First of all, you know it’s going to be quite the experience when you enter an elevator to descend below-ground! Once there, the staff members paint your body with copious amounts of green body moisturizer (aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil and other ingredients including eucalyptus). From there, you go into a warm cave room and let the lotion soak into your skin. You then move into the shower room, which has shower “pods” that spray warm water from above and the side. If you can drag yourself away from that, the final room is a cool, misting area where you can have tea and apples. After removing impurities in the saline and mud pools, the grotto is where you go to moisturize.
Somehow in our busy schedule of relaxing, we managed to eat lunch and go in most of the pools, though the Roman bath, sauna, and steam room will have to wait for next time. If you are near Southern California at any time, we hope you’ll check out Glen Ivy Hot Springs. Repeatedly lauded as one of the best day spas, it’s hard to believe we didn’t know of its existence until a few years ago. But we know now!!!!
May your 2014 be full of wellness, health, family and friends. And if you want a list of 44 benefits to Steam Bathing, click this link from our friends at Mr. Steam.
Relax while you follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Doing so won’t help you exfoliate, but it will help you gain knowledge & support!
Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Alexandra: A 2012 survey on beauty by BOOMbox Network found that we midlifers are concerned about crow’s feet, lip lines & creases, forehead wrinkles, dark creases around the eyes, skin texture, aging spots, facial wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, acne, and uneven skin. Whew, that is an extensive and somewhat frightening list! Guess we aren’t the only ones who spend time staring at the mirror, just looking for something to worry about. And here we thought our worries ended once our kids left the teen “my parents are here to ruin my life” years!
The BOOMbox survey also found that baby boomer women want accurate, credible information about skin care products. Not surprisingly, we trust our friends, family and bloggers for information about quality, effective products more than other sources.
Kymberly: I also trust myself to read labels and to research things I want to learn more about. In so doing, I found some Fun Fit Facts about skin that may interest you. For one, your skin renews itself every 28 days. Isn’t that good news if you decide to embark on a new skin care regimen!? And where is your skin thickest? Thinnest? You have to skim the skinny in this Skin Infographic to find out.
Did you know we host a radio show? If you are committed to improving your skin as you head into midlife, listen to Beauty author and Make-Up artist to the stars, Michelle Phillips. Click to hear our radio interview of her on Being Beautiful Inside and Out. While there, scurry through our trove of episodes to discover clever, motivating, illuminating answers to many of your active aging questions.
Then enter a giveaway we and Theraderm are offering. In fact, Theraderm is generously offering two prizes. But first, a word from my sister.
Alexandra: Theraderm sent me the Cleansing Wash, Fruit Acid Exfoliant, OPC Reparative Gel, Peptide Hydrator, Platinum Protection Sunscreen, Enlighten Skin Brightener, Peptide Repair Eye Creme and the Anti-Aging Lip Complex to try, based on my requests. So far my favorites are the sunscreen, skin brightener and lip complex because I feel like I can see discernible results (no burning and soft lips). Unlike some other skin care products I’ve tried, I’m also happy to say that none of these have given me acne.
Right after I started using the products Theraderm sent me, I walked into my exercise class and was asked by one of my students what I had done to myself to look so young. I almost had to argue with my student to convince her I hadn’t had any work done to my face. I can’t say the skin care products were the cause; I can only say what happened.
I like that the sunscreen is paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores), yet I do wonder about some of the ingredients, as I don’t recognize many of them. I do recognize urea, which sounds like it might be from urine (it is), yet it’s an organic compound that’s been effective for skin hydration for thousands of years. But I digress….
Two lucky readers can win the Theraderm Skin Renewal System with Peptide Hydrator (value: $140.50)
Cleansing Wash (4oz)
Fruit Acid Exfoliant (2oz)
OPC Reparative Gel (1oz)
Peptide Hydrator (1.7oz)
Gentle Action Application Pads (100ct)
Unbuffered Lactic Acid
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs)
Patented soluble Keratin Peptides
Kymberly: Sad news for our non-US friends. The Theraderm giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. The two winners will be selected September 23, 2013 because we want to wrap up this silky smooth giveaway before we head to FitSocial to speak and learn. Enter below.Apply liberally, then rinse and go!
Really want to clean up? Then:
A) subscribe to ourYouTube channel and blog.
C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email email@example.com.
Less than 6 hours of sleep can contribute to weight gain. According to researcher Dr. Michael Sivak, an extra hour of sleep each night can help you drop 14 pounds per year. Part of that is the 147 fewer calories you’ll take in during that hour you’re now asleep, and part of that is the relationship between the hormones leptin and ghrelin. More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night, and the authors of a 15-year study found these two to be correlated.
Want to improve your memory, learning and creativity? Get 8-9 hours of sleep! A 2010 Harvard study discovered that those whose naps were long enough to enter REM sleep did 40% better on a test of creativity than nappers who didn’t get any REM sleep and non-nappers. That REM sleep gave the brain time and the ability to work creatively on various test problems. Further info on this is in our post “Sleep Your Way to a Better Brain & Body.”
I looked through some research Technogel has on their site regarding non-rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and foam versus gel mattresses, and learned something about the differences between light and deep sleep when it comes to muscle repair, memory, appetite suppressing/ increasing hormones, and concentration. It would seem skin and mattress temperature, plus bed comfort can assist or inhibit the quality of your sleep. It’s been extremely warm lately, so I know exactly how poorly I sleep when I’m hot!
Less than two months ago, researchers from University Hospital Case Medical Center presented their evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between lack of sleep and aging skin. They found that “poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.” Poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of fine lines, uneven pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced elasticity, while good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors such as sunburn, redness, and inflammation.
Technogel Sleep Experience Center
I know I’d like to be fit, smart and youthful looking, so I packed up my dreams and desires, and drove to Los Angeles to practice just one letter of the alphabet (zzzzz, in case I stumped you) at the experience center, thanks to an invitation from the director, Doriana. Just me for the whole night, plus the Technogel pillow and mattress of my choice.
As I already own one of their pillows, I knew that the gel “soft-solid” material inside their bedding is the result of a collaboration with the Italian company and Dr. Scholl’s, so I expected to sleep comfortably. The center is on a side street near the Beverly Center that was actually kind of noisy, so I was somewhat concerned about sleeping through till morning (I‘m a very light sleeper). Of course, maybe Technogel chose that location on purpose, to prove you can sleep through almost anything…
I went to bed around 10 pm, which is 2 hours sooner than normal, and slept all the way through till 8 am. That made me happy. Probably smarter, younger and more radiant too! Before leaving, I poked the decorations they had in the room, as they were all made with the gel. Masks, cats, the chair cover…Does that make me a tactile person or just curious?
Hey, wake up and and subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference …or dream. Call (805) 403-4338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.