Facial Muscles: Tight and Ropy or Relaxed and Soft by Deborah Tosline

1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1106 Front and Side Views of the Muscles of Facial Expressions By OpenStax [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Click on the blue/green text for links to articles.

Facial muscle tension is wrinkling your skin (and may be increasing anxiety). Heal thyself with compression.

Wrinkles and folds in facial muscles cause the overlying skin to wrinkle and fold as well. Smoothing tense muscles into a relaxed state provides a beautiful foundation for the overlying skin. Compression may be used to eliminate muscle tension to relax and smooth muscles allowing the overlying skin to appear smooth as well.

I regularly practice myofascial soft tissue release and trigger point therapy to relieve muscle tension or pain in body muscles. For me, it is a terrific, pain eliminating do-it-yourself soft tissue therapy.

Trigger point therapy is extremely beneficial and may be used as an effective practice to release muscle tension to promote muscle stretching and to reduce or eliminate pain. The premise is that when a muscle develops an injury: it stops contracting and lengthening properly, circulation decreases, and congested areas form where waste accumulates. These areas may feel like a small or large painful lump in the muscle, or the entire muscle may be tight and ropy. The congested area or trigger point causes the muscle to shorten and typically refers pain to other parts of the body and also pulls on and causes pain in nearby joints.

Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger Point Complex By Davidparmenter (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger point therapy uses compression on congested areas in the muscle. During compression, wastes are squeezed out allowing fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to flow into the area. This provides nourishment and supports normal muscle function. With consistent treatment, congested areas and the associated pain may be greatly reduced or eliminated. For me, trigger point therapy is effective. When a new pain arises, I treat it with trigger point therapy and it disappears. Magic do-it-yourself medicine.

Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Trigger-Point-myofascial By Muthu.G (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you hold tension in your forehead? I try not to, but I do. Further, I furrow my brows while reading, writing and when thinking J I noticed and felt the tightness in my forehead and eyebrow muscles and decided to try trigger point therapy. I used a 3-inch compression ball to compress my forehead trigger points. The treatment was a little painful but also a relief when the tight forehead muscles relaxed. After the treatment, my forehead muscle was smooth and the overlying skin was smooth as well.

I was curious about this technique and searched for articles on facial muscle compression. I found two interesting references. The Yamuna Ball is used to apply pressure to the face to stimulate bone health and enhance facial muscle stretching. An article by Dr. Jared Edward Reser titled “Compression for the Face: Composure, Aesthetics and Mental Health” discusses methods, Dr. Reser’s personal experience including before and after photos, and instructions on how to use compression to eliminate muscle tension, smooth facial muscles and even change one’s attitude for the better.

Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

Dr. Reser in 2010 before facial muscle compression

Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser in 2016 after practicing facial muscle compression.

Dr. Reser has determined that “wrinkles in the skin don’t come from using the muscles. Rather, wrinkles form over dormant muscles that have been strained repetitively.”

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Over time, habitual facial expressions result in depleted and fatigued facial muscles. Dr Reser states that “tense muscles around the orbits of the eyes contribute heavily to looking and feeling tired”; in addition he believes that habitual facial expressions and the associated muscle tension may actually cause a “psychological anchor” for a poor mood.

The bottom line is that tense facial muscles do not function properly, develop trigger points and scar tissue, and have reduced circulation resulting in muscle atrophy. Dr. Reser states that “compression and deep tissue massage are the only real ways to release facial muscle tension.”

Essentially compression of facial muscles would be completed across the entire face. Dr Reser recommends starting with target zones that identify facial muscles that are typically tight and result in muscle restrictions. 

Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

Dr Reser image showing eye muscles

Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Dr. Reser image showing eye compression

Botox may be used to release tension and relax facial muscles. However, Botox paralyzes the muscle, reduces circulation and the availability of nutrients, which inhibits muscle growth. With time the botox treated muscle has decreased tone and reduced biochemical activity and atrophies or shrinks. In comparison, muscle compression costs nothing and results in relaxed, well-nourished and plump muscles with better muscle function and range of use. Compression treatment is not instantaneous but with consistent daily practice over time, all facial muscle tension may be released.

Dr. Reser believes that relieving facial muscle tension may be the primary determination of attractiveness,  “…the extent of facial tension can probably be seen as a marker of status hierarchy that we wear on our faces. If your face, head, neck, and throat were completely free of muscular tension, you would likely be among the most beautiful people in the world.”

Dr. Reser recommends:

1.     Deep tissue compression to reduce facial muscle rigidity.

2.     Breathe diaphragmatically while firmly compressing tender muscles to help reverse muscle rigidity.

3.     Compress tight facial muscles for a few minutes a day until facial muscles are no longer sore, stiff or ropy.

4.     Trigger point therapy will reduce facial tension and promote stronger, more prominent facial muscles with increased range of motion.

Try to reduce muscle tension. Notice facial tension and practice wearing a serene relaxed facial expression and a slight smile as you move through your day. It will look nice and science shows that smiling makes you feel great, but that’s another article.

I have begun a daily facial muscle compression routine and look forward to reducing facial muscle tension and other potential changes.

Take good care of yourself.

 

Yes, Do-It-Yourself Advanced Skin Treatment Devices Work. The Science of Increasing Collagen by Deborah Tosline

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Initiating a biochemical healing cascade (BHC) in the skin results in rejuvenation and better skin health. The BHC strives to maintain balance in the little biome universe of us. The primary action is an old story with a relevant premise; when it comes to skin and health “Use it or lose it” is truth.

The body is efficient. When a body part is not needed, based on exertion, the body only minimally maintains that part.  For example, if muscles are not exercised, they atrophy (shrink); if lungs are not exerted, they have reduced capacity; if the brain is not challenged, it declines; and if skin is not stimulated, collagen production slows.

The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, is comprised mostly of a fibrous keratin protein that protects the body, the internal organs, and is the first line of defense against infection. All cells in the epidermis originate from its base. As new cells form, they push previously produced cells upward. As cells move toward the skin surface, they become flattened and die. Dead skin cells are shed, a process that slows with lack of stimulation. It typically takes new epidermis skin cells three to five weeks to move to the surface. The health of the epidermis is dependent on nutrients received from the layer below, the dermis.

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The primary function of the dermis is to nourish and support the epidermis. If the dermis is not stimulated, it’s blood vessels and general condition decline. The dermis is made up of three types of tissue; collagen which is the glue that connects body tissue, elastic tissue which gives skin its flexibility, and recticular fibers which support connective tissue.

Advanced skin care techniques increase collagen and elastin by creating micro-injuries in the dermis. A micro-injury initiates a BHC to repair the wound.

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Healing micro injuries involves three phases. The inflammation phase begins immediately as growth factors accumulate at the wound site. The proliferative phase involves a rapid increase in tissue formation that begins five days after inflammation and lasts about eight weeks. The tissue remodeling phase consists of biochemical processes that last from eight weeks to one year. Type III collagen is produced for about five to seven days and is subsequently converted to the stronger Type I collagen over a period of several months.

There are a variety of ways to stimulate the dermis and reap the benefits of the skin’s reparative nature. The following discussion describes a few of the many devices available that may be used at home.

Do not use advanced skin care treatments if there is a medical skin condition, the skin is irritated and/or inflamed, or there are open blisters, acne or sores. Address these issues first and ensure that your skin is in good health before using advanced skin care treatments described in this article.

Radiofrequency is used to tighten and lift sagging skin. It delivers electrical pulses and heat energy into the middle and lower levels of the skin and physically changes the skin’s molecular structure. Following radiofrequency treatments, the wound healing process results in the growth of new collagen and skin tissue that slowly tightens over time.

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Percutaneous collagen induction (PCI), dermarolling, and micro-needling all refer to a technique recently developed by Dr. Desmond Fernandez consisting of a device that presses small needles into the skin. PCI does not cause and reduces existing hyperpigmentation and is safe to use on dark skin. PCI needle lengths from 0.5 to 1.5 mm penetrate the epidermis and dermis. The resulting channels close up a few hours after needling. With time, PCI skin rejuvenation noticeably improves the appearance of the skin as increased collagen and elastin production promote thicker skin.

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Do-It-Yourself home laser devices for skin rejuvenation are an emerging market. Lasers produce a beam of concentrated light with high energies. These energies promote the production of cell biology energy and growth factors that result in the generation of new tissue. If you easily develop hyperpigmentation, precautions should be taken before using a laser device. Pretreat the skin for four weeks by applying actives that suppress melanin production.  

After an advanced skin care treatment, skin may be red and swollen and may result in pinpoint bleeding depending on the intensity of the treatment. This typically clears within 24 to 72 hours, or longer depending on the skin’s health. Results of advanced skin rejuvenation treatments are not immediate. It takes several months to a year to observe the full effects of the treatments on collagen and elastin production and skin tightening.

Advanced home skin care treatments may be used to increase collagen and elastin, thicken skin, and improve elasticity, however the results are dependent on general health and skin condition. The body’s healing system is dependent on a strong immune system. To optimize skin care treatment results consume whole, nutrient dense, unprocessed foods and drinks; reduce sugar intake; exercise daily; quiet the mind; reduce stress and sleep well.

My Experience

TriPollar Stop  - I used this device for the first time 9/23/17 and am impressed with its function! I liked the tangible feeling of the device heating up the skin. Treatment of the face and neck took about 20 minutes and was easy. I look forward to observing the results in about 6 months J

PCI – I have been a fan of PCI from about 2008. It was a secret of the internet at the time and the only way to use this technique was at home. Today, dermatologist offices and med-spa’s offer PCI treatments. I love short needle PCI for product penetration – only if using the purist products and the long needle PCI to stimulate the dermis, promote collagen production and reduce hyperpigmentation.

DIY Laser – I tried this for about 6 weeks, but it resulted in hyperpigmentation and I discontinued use of the device. I did not pretreat with a melatonin suppressing serum like Niacinimide/Glucosamine, which had I done so, may have reduced or eliminated the resulting hyperpigmentation. I subsequently eliminated the hyperpigmentation using a short needle PCI and Environ Vitamin A & C serum.

Recommendation

There are a variety of advanced skin care methods available. Consistent, repetitive use with a reputable device will typically improve the skin’s condition. Select a device that fits your income, lifestyle, and preferences so that you will feel comfortable and truly integrate the device into your skin care routine. Results take time so take photos, be patient, live a healthy lifestyle and take good care of yourself.

 

Stimulate the Skin or Else - Use It or Lose It by Deborah Tosline

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For real, stimulate skin through exfoliation and massage or slowly lose the structure, elasticity, circulation, new cell production, and vibrancy of your skin.

The body is smart.  If there is no stimulation, representing a need, the body will slow new skin cell production and skin regeneration. To maintain circulation and rejuvenation at optimum levels, one must stimulate the skin.

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Benefits of skin scrubbing include:

·      Break down unwanted toxins and increase skin circulation reducing the appearance of cellulite by reducing toxic accumulations.

·      Exfoliate dead skin cells to encourage new cell production resulting in smoother and brighter skin. PS. It can also help reduce ingrown hairs and acne.

·      Improve vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Release toxins and discharge metabolic body wastes.

·      Rejuvenate the nervous system by stimulating skin nerve endings.

·      Smooth muscle tone and fat deposits.

·      Promote skin absorption of nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. 

Note - If there is a medical skin condition, the skin is irritated and/or inflamed, or there are open blisters or sores, do not scrub or dry brush the skin.  Address these issues first and ensure that the skin is in good health before using the skin care practices described in this article. If the skin is fragile use a slow approach.

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I’ve said it before; you don’t need to buy skin cleanser ever again. Skin care product manufacturers teach us through advertising what we “need” to buy. The truth is that many products have few benefits. Try replacing your current skin-cleansing product with the alternative skin cleansing method of using a microfiber cloth. I currently use a silk microfiber cloth every evening to scrub the heck out of my facial skin to remove make up, cleanse, and exfoliate. Consistent use of the microfiber cloth has made my facial skin stronger than ever. Exfoliating and agitating the skin is a must to encourage the body to produce new skin cells and promote regeneration.

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Let’s take this skin softening and rejuvenating practice to the body using dry brushing. When a brush is used wet, the brush is soft and not so stimulating to the skin. A dry brush used on dry skin is stimulating to the lymph system and to the skin structure removing metabolic waste and tightening the skin. Dry brushing begins at the body’s extremities with brush strokes that move towards the heart. After dry brushing, an oil of your choice is massaged into the skin before rinsing with warm water.

Dry brushing will cause a minor irritation and flush the skin; this sends a message to your body that it needs to generate new skin cells. Exfoliation will remove dead skin cells and unclog skin pores so that the skin may function optimally.  This will produce softer skin and increase penetration of high-quality nourishing oils applied to the skin. Stimulating and nourishing the skins natural biochemical processes promotes healthy and beautiful skin.

There are many ways to dry brush/dry scrub, here is one-way.

Scrubbing the back, even with a long handled brush can be challenging. The Salux is a Japanese scrubbing cloth. In Japan, “bathing is an art, a science, and a daily part of the lifestyle culture.” A Salux is a long narrow nylon cloth that makes it easy to scrub the entire backside and every little inch of the body. The cost ranges from $3 to $10.

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As terrific as the Salux is, I’m a natural girl and I like natural fibers.

I found a natural fiber scrubbing cloth made from the Sisal fiber of the Agave plant.  The Sisal scrubber has handles on either end of a long woven agave fiber cloth with a hand mitt to scrub smaller areas for $9.50 from eBay (I think that this is a great price for a great product. I have no affiliation to this seller :) just sharing information.) This fantastic skin scrubber makes it easy to exfoliate and stimulate the skin all over the body.

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Do not delay. Cleanse your face with a microfiber cloth every night. Dry brush or dry scrub your entire body front and backside, including the face, at least once a week.  Apply a high quality raw organic oil to the entire body like grape seed or avocado or coconut oil. Practice this routine for a month and let me know how it works for you. Get ready for softer smoother prettier skin that will keep you healthier too.

Take good care of yourself.

Sun Cover-Ups for Life. Health = Beauty by Deborah Tosline

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Hyperpigmentation, freckles, sun-spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin are signs that your largest organ could use more sun protection.

The skin protects us from micro-organisms, dangerous bacteria, and toxins; it regulates temperature; provides sensory information; and excretes wastes.

Oh yeah, and… clear, fresh, luminous skin is beautiful.

The most effective, inexpensive, simple skin care practice is to cover the skin during sun exposure using umbrellas and protective clothing including scarves, hats, gloves, sun sleeves and more.

UVB rays penetrate the epidermis, are blocked by clouds and are at their strongest from about 10 AM to 3 PM. UVA rays penetrate the dermis, degrade collagen synthesis, are not blocked by clouds and are strong from dawn to dusk. If you are in the southwest, sun protection is a year round must. I began covering up in the mid-1980’s. Working as a geologist/hydrogeologist, I spent long hours in the Arizona sun. My instinct was to cover up. I purchased silk clothing, scarves and cotton gloves from the second hand store and covered up every time I worked in the sun. I wore a tank top covered by a long sleeve silk shirt and silk pants. I would wet the shirt and scarves during hot weather to stay cool. This practice protected my skin from direct sunlight, scrapes, and dirt. I began to cover up at home while doing yard work and ultimately began covering up during any outdoor activity. I wear a physical sunblock 365 days a year to reduce exposure from reflected light. Apply sunscreen to the backs of the hands, neck, chest, arms and other areas to reduce exposure.

In case you are wondering, despite decades of using sun screen and skin cover ups, my vitamin D levels are quite high.

One way to greatly reduce sun exposure is to cover up while driving to protect the hands, arms, chest, neck and face, that are often exposed to direct sunlight.

Using a scarf for sun protection.

Using a scarf for sun protection.

It is easy to keep a pair of sun gloves, sleeves, and scarves readily available in the car for use every time you drive. Currently, most sun gloves and sleeves are available in beige. Boring, but I’ve worn them anyways every car trip. I recently sewed a pair of colorful sun sleeves that are much more fun to wear!

Sun sleeve.

Sun sleeve.

Self made "designer" sun sleeve :)

Self made "designer" sun sleeve :)

You can purchase protective clothing with UVA/UVB ratings or wear clothing with a tightly woven cloth. The tighter the knit or weave, the smaller the holes and the less UV that can pass through. Open weave fabrics provide much less protection. A shirt with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50 allows just 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach your skin. This would provide excellent sun protection, in contrast to a thin white cotton T-shirt, with a UPF of about 5, that allows passage of 1/5th of the sun’s UV. Australian studies show that lycra and elastane fabrics have UPFs of 50 or higher, followed by nylon and polyester. Read additional sun protection tips here.

Full length bathing suit.

Full length bathing suit.

A few tips: During warm weather wear a tightly woven long sleeved linen shirt.  Note that tightly stretched fabrics provide less protection. Sun protective garments should cover a large amount of skin. Use large brimmed hats with a scarf to protect the sides of your face. Seek shade. Bring your own shade, carry an umbrella.

Sun gloves.

Sun gloves.

Remember, sun-protective clothing doesn’t have to be boring: it can be light and bright and fashionable and fun. And when chosen and used correctly, it’s the best form of sun protection you can find.

After the sun goes down, strip off those sun cover ups and enjoy the health and beauty of pampered skin.

Facial Exercises – Do They Work? Of Course They Do. By Deborah Tosline, June 4, 2017

By Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator (Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator (Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Facial Exercises (FE). Do em?

Proponents hold them in high regard (as they should) for lifting and firming facial tone. Opponents blame them for stretching and degrading facial tone. Some doctors promote them and others admonish them.

What is true? Logic.

Exercise the body = strengthen muscles. Stop exercise = lose muscle tone. You can see it. The same thing happens with the face. Eating and talking do not strengthen facial muscles. Instead, the facial muscles are worked unequally, resulting in facial lines.

Muscles in the body connect bone to bone. Facial muscles connect bone to muscle and/or skin. When facial muscles sag, the overlying skin sags too. When facial muscles are firm the overlying skin is supported.

There are about 57 muscles in the face and neck depending on how you count.

Here’s the thing. Facial muscles are itsy bitsy teeny weeny. Once they atrophy or shrink, due to lack of use, they will require consistent exercise before they will be large enough for you to feel and begin to see a difference. The longer one waits to begin FE, the longer it takes to rebuild the teeny tiny muscles. When facial muscles are atrophied, it may require several seasons to see results. But hey, that is better than the alternative, which includes further muscle atrophy and sagging skin.

Plastic surgery fixes lax muscles only temporarily. Without exercise, those pulled taught muscles will continue to shrink and sag. No cream will firm skin that overlies sagging muscles.

The only option? A few simple FE integrated into a holistic wellness routine.

Why would FE NOT work?

Muscles cannot build and the body cannot regenerate properly under a poor quality lifestyle including:

·      processed foods

·      sodas and fruit juice

·      lack of nutrition

·      inflammatory diet

·      lack of cardio exercise

·      lack of flexibility

·      exposure to synthetic chemicals

·      sun exposure

·      negative attitude/perspective

FE will build muscles under a holistically healthy lifestyle including:

·      whole, nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods

·      organic foods whenever possible

·      alkaline based diet

·      daily walking

·      daily/weekly stretching

·      weekly strengthening

·      avoidance of synthetic chemicals

·      mindfulness meditative practice

·      weekly sauna to remove toxins

·      lymphatic dry brushing

·      think and act with kindness

What are you waiting for? There are many FE programs available. Most are isometric exercises. Resistance facial training works a contracted muscle against the weight of the fingers to promote muscle growth.

I’ve used FlexEffect Facial Building developed by Deborah Crowley from about 2002.

By the way, a contracted muscle increases circulation 10 times, resulting in fantastic looking skin.

For healthful beautiful skin, it’s time to embrace facial exercise.

Oh gosh, not a fan of selfies. March 2, 2017 Posting this selfie to show effects of facial exercise. If I did them more often muscles would be stronger. 58 years.

Oh gosh, not a fan of selfies. March 2, 2017 Posting this selfie to show effects of facial exercise. If I did them more often muscles would be stronger. 58 years.

Product Review! Environ’s Youth EssentiA C-Quence; A, C and E oil; and derma-lac lotion by Deborah Tosline

I recently had the opportunity to test a variety of Environ Skin Care products. @EnvironUSA and I had followed each on Twitter and when they asked if I would try their products I was elated!

I must admit that I had researched Environ in the past and had concluded that Dr. Des Fernandes is a genius and one of the best dermatologists in the world based on Environ company practices and many before and after photos. Good un-retouched photos don't lie and personal experience has further shown that Dr. Des has got it going on. I am a big dermaroller fan too but that is another story.

It’s true, I have a personal bias for Environ and @EnvironUSA was not aware of this. Despite my bias, for all of us, I put my conscientious (earth) scientist objective perspective hat on during my trial use.

Youth EssentiA C-Quence

Environ literature describes the Youth EssentiA range as consisting of a complete skin care program with premium ingredients blended using a scientifically advanced synergetic combination of vitamins, antioxidants and peptides including:

·      Retinyl Palmitate and Retinyl Propionate to normalize and perfect the skin;

·      Vitamins C, E, Green Tea, Lycopene, Lutein, Rosemary Leaf Extract, and BHT to protect and smooth the skin;

·      Matrixyl ®3000, Dermaxyl®, Argireline®, Leuphasyl®, and SYN®AKE to reduce wrinkles, build and repair the skin; and

·      Butylene Glycol, Sorbital, Sodium Lactate, Hydrolozed Jojoba Esters to smooth and plump the skin.

Environ skin care product formulations are:

·      non-fragranced,

·      non-comodogenic,

·      hypoallergenic, and

·      colorant free.

Environ products:

·      are not tested on animals;

·      use the highest quality pharmaceutical grade ingredients tested for effectiveness, safety, and purity by independent laboratories;

·      use packaging designed to prevent light, air and bacteria from degrading the formulations;

·      use clinical tests to verify therapeutic concentrations of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, biopeptides and growth factors to ensure effective results.

During my six week trial I used:

·      Youth EssentiA C-Quence Vita-Peptide Eye Gel

·      Youth EssentiA C-Quence Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1 - face

·      Youth EssentiA C-Quence Antioxidant Defense Crème - face

·      A, C and E oil -  face and body

·      derma-lac lotion - body 

Youth EssentiA Vita-Peptide Eye Gel, C-Quence Serum 1 and C-Quence Antioxidant Defense Crème

I’ve practiced what I call advanced Do-It-Yourself (DIY) skin care for decades including routine use of 1% Retin-A most nights while sometimes alternating with glycolic acid lotion and most mornings using vitamin C and Niacinimide/Glucosamine serums. I have (very) untanned olive skin that is quite tolerant of most strong skin care products.

The Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1 product that I tested is the first of four levels of strength. I was not sure if I would notice improvements using the lowest level although this is an optimum concentration to begin with to prevent skin irritation.

As a part of the test, I stopped using my personal skin care routine for about six weeks while I used the Youth EssentiA range exclusively. I continued using an infrared light for 10-minutes mornings and nights on most days (I love it).

I used one pump of the eye gel and applied it to both eyes morning and night and it lasted about six weeks. It glides on easily, absorbs quickly, moisturizes well and felt good on. I followed this by one or two pumps of Serum 1 morning and night, depending on how dry my skin was, on my face and the front and back of my neck. A little bit of serum remains. The serum application also glides and absorbs quite beautifully. Afterwards, I applied one pump of the Defense Crème in all the same places. After six weeks, some of the Crème remains and I may get another week of use from it. The Crème spreads well when applied after the serum. After the applications, I place a couple of drops of water on my fingers and rub the residual cream on my décolletage and arms to maximize use of these high quality products.

I loved using the Youth EssentiA C-Quence products, which made my skin look bright and fresh (= youthful). These products contain a wide range of active ingredients at effective concentrations yet the formulations did not cause my skin to become irritated or flakey. The range is simple to use and would easily replace and improve on my current personal skin care routine because of its ease of use and the large variety of active ingredients contained in the range. While using these products, my skin looked plumped and vibrant. I received several compliments including one from a potential suitor who stated that he hoped that I did not mind dating an older man, he is 54 and when I told him that I am 58, he initially said that he did not believe me. Was it good genes, the healthy lifestyle, or Environ?

A, C and E oil and derma-lac lotion

I’ve rarely applied body lotion throughout my life. I do not like mainstream lotions with their unnecessary synthetic chemicals and perfumes and I don’t like how my skin feels when I apply them. However, I have enjoyed applying body oils and I use them regularly. Natural body oils are terrifically healthy when used for skin care although there can be drawbacks, for example some body oils require special care during application to protect fabrics and oils are challenging to carry in an overnight bag.

Wouldn’t it be nice if mainstream body lotions contained active ingredients at concentrations that improve skin quality like vitamins A and C which are scientifically proven to promote cell turnover and collagen production? These ingredients are often used in facial skin care and less so in body care products.

Environ’s A, C and E oil is a beautiful oil that delivers premium antioxidants at optimum concentrations in a non-irritating formulation that feels like luxury and works like hard labor to increase cell turnover. Continuous use of this product over time is sure to gently coax exfoliation and promote collagen production for fresh and bright body skin. This is just one step in Environ’s body skin beautification process.

After applying the A, C and E oil, I applied the derma-lac lotion, which has the consistency of a light oil, is easily applied and absorbs quickly. The gentle lactic acid ingredient promotes exfoliation of dead skin cells leading to skin cell turnover and collagen production.  After using the derma-lac lotion, it’s easy to feel a difference in the body skin texture and to visibly see improved skin quality. Note that this is a fragranced product and is advertised as such by Environ on their website. I am sensitive to and avoid using products with fragrances. I did use this product for the trial and can say that it did not aggravate my senses. Considering my aversion towards fragrances I enjoyed this product. However, I adore the benefits of essential oils and prefer them in my skin care products. Environ typically uses essential oils in their products so I am surprised and curious why they chose to use a fragrance in this product.

With my life-long love affair with body oil, Environ’s A, C and E oil and the derma-lac lotion fit my preferences and lifestyle. I really loved using these oils. I can feel and see the difference in the quality of my body skin, which has begun to lose some elasticity and would benefit from a little extra care.

Notes

I did my best to type up the Environ product ingredients in the following table. Some ingredients used by Environ are listed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) as a moderate hazard including Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, a common sunscreen ingredient. Propylparaben is used in the Vita-Peptide Eye Gel and is listed by EWG as a high hazard on their website with a “Fair” amount of supporting science. Fragrance (perfume) is used in the derma-lac lotion. Check ingredients on the EWG website. Environ states on their website that “to protect the integrity and quality of the new serum formulations, the antioxidant, Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and the UV absorber, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnimate, have been added.” I do have questions about Environ’s ingredient changes. Fortunately, Environ provides a wide selection of products and ingredients.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Environ’s products contain a multitude of beneficial active ingredients at concentrations that positively and effectively impact the skin’s biology with long-term use. Environ is devoted to providing pure, safe and effective skin care products and is simply one of the best skin care lines available. Quality does result in higher costs, especially in skin care. If you are going to invest your hard earned resources on a high quality skin care product, don’t waste your money with unproven yet pricey options that contain small concentrations of active ingredients. Instead, spend wisely. I recommend this line if you want to truly receive value and achieve noticeable results. Reconcile your skin care philosophies with the wide range of Environ products to select a product that suits your needs. Environ produces some of the highest quality products in the world.

Ingredient Lists by Product Name

Increase Collagen, Reduce Wrinkles, Reduce Pain and Detox with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) by Deborah Tosline

Want better skin (and so much more!)? You might want (and need) LED treatments. You can make it happen on a low budget, using hand held devises, or during a visit to a red light spa! Why?

Astronauts who tended gardens grown using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) during space missions healed faster than normal. NASA investigations showed that LED treatments shorten healing time by 40%, increase cell growth 150% to 200%, stimulate wound healing/tissue regeneration and quintuple (yes that’s FIVE times) the growth of fibroblasts and muscle cells in tissue culture!

Different LED wavelengths are used for different types of skin treatments. Blue (407 to 420 nm) and red (633 to 660 nm) are used to treat acne; red and yellow (588 nm) are used as anti-aging treatments to increase collagen production. Red and near infrared (600 to 1,000 nm) penetrate skin and muscle and promote skin healing, fibroblast proliferation, synthesis of collagen and accelerated tissue repair.

The National Institute of Health found that although results were gradual, there was a 25% to 50% improvement in skin roughness and tightness in all study participants after 6 months of treatment.

What are you waiting for? LED promotes skin rejuvenation and has anti-aging benefits. If beautiful skin and faster healing are not enough, infrared light therapy heals muscle injuries, relieves pain and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temporary relief of aching joints and muscle pain, increased blood circulation and relaxed muscles. 

Did I mention that infrared light may be used to detox the body?

near-infrared-sauna-benefits-2.jpg

There are several ways to take advantage of LED technology for skin.

1.    Find a nearby red / infrared light spa with unlimited use of LED machines for a monthly fee. I visited a spa and used a LED machine once. I loved it, but they never provided the light wavelength specifications for the machine. The cost was $39 to $59/month. 

2.    Purchase a LED skin care devise for home use for $ to $$$, most cover a small area. I own a small red-infrared hand held devise. I love it and would like to cover a larger area. 

3.    Build a Do-It-Yourself LED home spa. I have space at home to make a LED spa and I purchased lights to do so.

There are instructions and photos on the Internet to customize your own DIY LED spa.

For now, I am experimenting on the most basic level. I purchased this RubyLux infrared light that operates at 850 nm for $22. I installed the light in a porcelain base, clamp on light fixture. The bulb gets hot and can burn so use protective covers and take precautions during use.

I purchased this Super Ultrathin Red LED Grow Light Panel with a wavelength of 660nm for $22 per panel.

To date, I hung a couple of clamp light fixtures with infrared bulbs in my bathroom. I turn them on while I brush my teeth. I stack the red-light panels in the bathroom or hold them like a book in front of my face and neck for 10 minutes. Both lights feel great. I'll be designing a more permanent hanging system in the near future. Let's check my skin results in 6 months :)

Take good care of yourself, xo Deborah

Tugging on Eye Skin? How Some DIY’ers Make Eye Skin Firm by Deborah Tosline

There is a dramatic difference between some Do-It-Yourself skincare practices and standard skin care regarding how to handle eye and neck skin.

Urban myth, physicians, estheticians, mothers, friends and magazines warn us to handle the eye and neck skin delicately and I completely disagree.

I take care to protect eye and neck skin from sun exposure.

Beyond that, I use my hands to tug, pinch, pull and roll the skin around the eyes with gusto and vigorously scrub eye and neck skin with a microdermabrasion cloth. It feels terrific and enhances skin quality.

It all began when I integrated facial exercise into my normal exercise lifestyle and started practicing FlexEffect (FE) in 2002 at the age of 43. FE builds muscle with resistance training by using the hands to hold the facial muscles in place while the muscle is contracted. In addition, FE teaches strong massage techniques that include pinching the eyelid skin between the fingers and rolling, rolling, rolling the skin in an intense massage which feels terrific and, with time, promotes stronger and firmer skin.

It makes sense that facial muscles benefit from targeted exercise and that unused muscles atrophy. It’s disappointing, but eating, talking and normal facial expressions only partially use facial muscles resulting in imbalances and lines that form in the overlying skin.

I don’t differentiate my skin care products and I use the same products on eye and neck skin as I do on my face including advanced DIY skin care techniques. For me, treating eye and neck skin in the same manner as I treat facial skin has resulted in increased firmness and elasticity.

My results are anecdotal; I am reporting my personal experience. Check my photo, taken 10/17/16 at age 57 and review Deborah Crowley’s (founder of FE) lifelong photos. Decide for yourself.  

To me, it just makes sense that if the skin is stimulated, biologic processes will strengthen the skin to handle the force.

You may want to reconsider how you handle your eye and neck skin.

To toughen up your facial skin find a set of facial exercises and massage programs that fit your finances and lifestyle. Start slow and build your facial exercise/massage intensity to promote muscle strength and skin processes.

Strengthening facial skin and muscles is an important part of a beauty regimen.

Take good care of yourself. Deborah

 

Safety in Skin and Personal Care Products

The Ladies' home journal (1948) By Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945 [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ladies' home journal (1948) By Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945 [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Gosh I wish it were not so, but the products that are readily available to us by mainstream retail have questionable benefits and potential health risks, despite the pricy options.

The safest skin and personal care products that we can use contain organic and nutrient dense ingredients and do not contain questionable preservatives, fragrances and synthetic ingredients.

Personal Care Products including moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, polishes, makeup, shampoos, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants are not tested for safety or regulated by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Under law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives. In general, a manufacturer may use any ingredient and is responsible for ensuring that the ingredient and the finished cosmetics are safe.

Are manufacturers providing effective products and ensuring our safety?

The Huffington Post reported: “Most cosmetics and personal care products on store shelves today contain five major categories of toxic ingredients. These are: frank carcinogens (cancer causing); precursors of or “hidden” carcinogens; endocrine or hormonally disruptive; penetration enhancers; and allergens.”

Yikes… and further…

“Our skin is highly permeable. Less than one-tenth of an inch thick, skin is a porous membrane that is highly sensitive to toxic chemicals. What we put on our skin affects our health just as much as, if not more than, what we put in our mouths. Some toxic ingredients illegally remain unlabeled. Of particular concern are hormonal phthalates, and synthetic “aroma boosters” which strongly intensify organic fragrances.”

With news reports of potentially unsafe products and many unknown causes of disease it just makes sense to suspect that our health is tied to everything we consume and use.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. “An EWG analysis of government and industry sources shows that at least 146 cosmetic ingredients may contain harmful impurities linked to cancer and other serious health impacts, including 3 of the top 20 most commonly used cosmetic ingredients. Our analysis of ingredients in 7,500 personal care products shows that because some of these ingredients are used so widely, the vast majority of products on the market have the potential to be contaminated with impurities. None of these impurities are regulated by the federal government.”

Don’t despair! Our skin and personal care product future is bright! Today, there are more healthy options available than ever And you can give yourself Do-It-Yourself skin and self care that will be better than any mainstream retail products. So, it’s time to eliminate mainstream retail ingredients and products and find organic skincare or, like me, you can DIY and use premium ingredients, at the lowest cost, to achieve maximum effectiveness. No joke. Giving oneself DIY premium simple or advanced skin care feels like a Canyon Ranch healthy self care lifestyle. Health = Beauty (and so much more) 

Take good care of yourself.

Deborah Tosline

Want a Better or Lesser Brain for You and Your Children? By Deborah Tosline

By Images are generated by Life Science Databases(LSDB). [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Images are generated by Life Science Databases(LSDB). [CC BY-SA 2.1 jp (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.1/jp/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Do you want to intentionally lack brain capacity or function for yourself or your children?

The dominant mainstream culture consists of highly processed food, high sugar consumption, sedentary lifestyles, low-level emotional states and poor stress management.

This lifestyle is so wide spread that it is accepted and considered normal. Yet study after study shows that the brain is negatively impacted by each and every one of these lifestyle habits.

These en masse tendencies are promoted by consumerism and profit combined with psychological marketing and development of products that appeal to our simplest tendencies and addictions.

High sugar and processed carbohydrate consumption keep the body in a state of inflammation leading to oxidative stress, damage by free radicals and worse, a decrease in brain volume and structure. Is mainstream eating worthy of dementia? We now know that Alzheimer’s is not poor luck and that there is a link between diet and dementia. Unfortunately, we do not fully understand the negative impact of the processed foods that we consume today. 

But wait, you can further degrade the brain. Don’t feel like walking miles, doing movement? Science shows that inactivity remodels the brain and that a sedentary lifestyle reduces brain neurons.

Another habit associated with brain degradation, is a lack of stress management. Do you allow yourself to live in a heightened state of stress or are your children under stress? Stress produces cortisol which causes a reduction in brain connections that are associated with learning and memory.

Let’s be strong together and function at the top of our ability. Shun the mainstream lifestyle. Ignore the naysayers (whose brains are shrinking). Let’s grow big brains in our children.

Choose the path of holistic or complete health. Eat whole organic food with lots of greens, move-move-move most days, and learn how to practice mindfulness to reduce stress. Its never too late too change! Just 24-weeks of physical activity has been shown to result in a 1,800 percent improvement of memory, language ability, attention and more. 

Let’s create a new mainstream.

http://www.seniorlivingresidences.com/ageright/2012/09/26/the-american-diet-dementia/

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/how-inactivity-changes-the-brain/?_r=0

http://www.drgourmet.com/column/dr/2016/052316.shtml#.V7p5R7zSrww

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201212/the-brain-drain-inactivy

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201402/chronic-stress-can-damage-brain-structure-and-connectivity

Move, any and every way you can :) by Deborah Tosline

Take a walk, stretch and strengthen at home watching youtube, take a class, join a gym, take a hike, errands on the bike, move any way and every way you can.

I was compelled to walk daily while pregnant with my daughter at 29. I don't know why, but I followed my gut instinct. When it got too hot, I biked and when I became too large, I swam. I began swimming laps for the first time in my life while pregnant and swam 1 mile, 3 times per week until I delivered. And, I never stopped. I pushed my daughter in a stroller until she graduated to a bicycle and eventually joined me walking. 

I began working out 1 hour a day, six days a week in 1989 and continue today at 57. Walking makes me feel great and clears my head. When I am tired, I do it anyways and tell myself to just go slow, which rarely happens once I get going. I speed walk, hike, bike, yoga, swim, use machines at the gym or at home. I don't really care how I do it. Rain or shine, dark or light, inside or out I move.

As if the primary benefit, feeling great, is not enough, additional benefits are too numerous to elaborate on. You can bet its great for your skin.

Through the years, I felt that it was the increased circulation that felt good and why not. The human body has between 650 to 840 muscles, depending on who is counting and even more depending on whats counted. With 100,000 kilometers (62,137 miles) [What!?!] of blood vessels to transport an average of 5 liters (6 quarts) of blood as its pumped through the body delivering oxygen and nutrients it seems that movement is mandatory to keep everything lubricated and flowing.

So, do yourself a favor and move, take the kids with you. I love family exercise. Now, my daughter is 27. It makes me feel good to know that she integrates exercise into her busy schedule. And, exercising together is one of our favorite things to do, as well as finding another great Thrift Store and taking a spa day :)

Take good care of yourself xo Deborah

https://www.reference.com/science/many-muscles-human-body-2be4e12e8148c638, 8/17/16

http://interestingthings.info/facts/16-human-body-facts-heart-lungs-blood-vessels-and-senses.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2263/

Healing and Self-Care

Hi!

It's been more than a year since I published Skin Remodeling DIY and I am grateful to be part of a growing community of folks who are interested in skin care, personal health, social well-being, and environmental care. When we invest is these areas of life, we promote holistic health in all regards. 

Health, in all its forms, is beautiful.

Visualize the skin of a baby, child, or young adult. The skin of youth is velvety soft, smooth, clear and even toned. One way to maintain youthful skin is to keep it fresh looking. Good health provides a great foundation, basic skin care practices provide minimum maintenance and advanced skin care methods can result in radiant skin.

Stay tuned and join me in practicing and striving towards nourishing self-care, loving kindness, environmental compassion, social empathy (and skin care) to nurture ourselves and all. 

Quick tip: stress produces cortisol which degrades collagen. To counteract stress, set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and try to maintain a blank mind (no thoughts) until the timer goes off. Focus on your breathing, a beautiful image, or a meaningful word. This is an excellent way to reduce the impacts of stress.  

Take good care of yourself and others, Deborah