Min's Beauty Equipment: September 2013

Sunday 29 September 2013

Reversing the Signs of Ageing

The Signs of Ageing

From top left clockwise: a child, a young adult, a person in her
early sixties, a person in her early seventies. Yes, the person at
the bottom right of this image is younger then the person at the
bottom left. The lady at the bottom left stayed clear of the sun
for most of her life
As we age our delicate skin starts to change its texture (pores become larger), wrinkles appear, then skin starts to crease, fold, and then sag. Some of us will go through these stages faster, others slower, but the steps are inevitable.

The face is the first thing that starts to age, the rest of the body catches up later.

How to Delay the Ageing Process?

Your teens and early twenties

Treat acne or do nothing

The ideal approach is to start looking after yourself early. When you are very young there is little you need to do, unless you suffer from acne or other skin disorder. In the case of acne you may want to experiment with various products to see if they can help you in getting rid of the spots. Sometimes doing nothing may be the answer; various cleansing products strip your skin off good bacteria as well as bad, thus, damaging the skin's protective barrier, the result of which is skin that is less able to defend itself; acne is exacerbated. You can read about it in more detail in the article How to Get Rid of Acne.

Apply sun cream

There is no need to preach about smoking, alcohol consumption and eating habits; we all know that it affects our skin. However, sun damage is something we should care about the most. Applying a bit of sun cream is not a lot of effort, but it can do wonders for your skin in the long term. Sun exposure is responsible for deep wrinkles that we may get as we age. People who stay away from the sun for most of their lives get only fine lines.

Moisturisers are not necessary

Moisturisers are not necessary; skin is able to moisturise itself, if it is not, it is only because the skin lost this ability due to the frequent use of face cream. These products will not stop you from ageing; they may make your skin look better, which is a temporary effect. Click the link to read more about how moisturisers work.

Exfoliation is not necessary

Exfoliation is also not necessary as it only works on the top layer of the skin. This layer mainly consists of dead cells, which are eventually shed anyway. If your skin is clogged with dirt then exfoliation may help remove this debris; however, it will not help in your attempts to fight ageing. Exfoliation does make skin look fresher and better, but the effect is nothing more than cosmetic. Also, if you do exfoliate, care should be taken not to overdo it; over-pampering may well leave your skin dry and sensitive.

Late twenties and early thirties 

Moisturisers are mainly cosmetics

Once you start seeing the first signs of ageing, say at around 30, you may want to rev up your skincare regimen. I do not mean start buying Estee Lauder face cream instead of Nivea (which is what I have done). No long term results came from that; new lines kept appearing even though very expensive products were used. The reason for this is that moisturisers plump the skin to make it look better, but they do not penetrate into the deeper layers to affect collagen and elastin production. Any effect one gets is cosmetic. Serums are not much different, unless they have the active ingredient listed within the first five products on the ingredients list. All products are listed in order of prevalence. Even then there is no guarantee.

Active ingredients

Vitamin A, or retinoids, should be your
first choice in fighting ageing
Vitamin A. This should be your first choice in fighting ageing. This vitamin comes in the form of retinoids, that can be obtained either on prescription or over the counter. The over the counter version of retinoid is called retinol, which is a weaker version of the vitamin A derivative. Although retinol containing products make only appearance based claims, it is argued that the creams containing this ingredient are able to even out some fine lines. Retin A or Renova are prescription only. Retin A is approved by FDA for treatment of acne and Renova is the only product approved for reducing sun damage. Nevertheless, both Retin A and Renova are prescribed by dermatologists for treatment of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, freckles, age spots, rough skin texture, uneven tone and visible pores. These prescription only drugs have been tested multiple times and their effectiveness has been established. So, if you are serious about making yourself more youthful, pay a visit to a dermatologist.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, has been established to have some outstanding effect on our skin, i.e., it increases collagen production and it is a proven antioxidant. The problem is that delivery into the skin is very tricky, so even if the product contains vitamin C in high proportions, it is not guaranteed to be effective.

Vitamin E. Due to its antioxidant activity, vitamin E protects skin cells from UV damage, pollution and other sources that produce cell-damaging free radicals.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) in low concentrations (5-10%) as found in most over the counter products promote exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin giving it a smoother texture. The result is more beautiful skin but the benefit is not long lasting. Concentration of 10-50% provide more pronounced effect, but even then the results are not lasting either. Even stronger concentrations are used in chemical peels.

Visit a dermatologist for a guaranteed result

An important thing to understand is that if you want something more than just a cosmetic effect you need to go to a dermatologist for a prescription drug. Over the counter creams, lotions and potions may have some anti-ageing effect, but there is no guarantee. A brand new term was invented by marketeers called cosmeceuticals, in an attempt to give impression that some cosmetics have drug-like qualities. Whilst this may be true, however, nothing has been officially tested and so no guarantees can be made. If the product has ingredients in quantities known to make a difference to skin's deeper layers, thus affecting the product's ability to give anti-ageing effect, such product has to be declared as drug.

Beauty therapies to try out

In your early thirties it may be worth trying superficial chemical peels, derma rollers, micro-dermabrasion, LED light therapy, ultrasound therapy, mesotherapy.

Mid thirties to all the way through your forties

Beauty therapies list

This is the time to start employing some beauty therapies, devices and other means to make a greater difference. As there are so many techniques and therapies available, it is impractical to write about them in this article, therefore, they will be named for your guidance; further information can be found online if required.

Start with the mildest products and therapies at the beginning of the list, then work all the way through the list and start all over again:
  • over the counter creams
  • prescription drugs
  • superficial chemical peels
  • derma rollers
  • LED light therapy
  • micro-dermabrasion
  • ultrasound therapy
  • mesotherapy
  • medium peels
  • laser treatment for skin rejuvenation
  • collagen fillers
  • botox injections
  • hyaluronic acid fillers
  • fat transplantation.

Since I have not reached the final age bracket yet, I will leave the discussion of more advanced enhancements for later.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser's Help in Weight Loss Plus a Funny Story

Today I would like to talk about my experience with weight loss pills - Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser. Also, I would like share a funny story that I witnessed with respect to the same products.

What is Hoodia?

Hoodia is a plant originating in South Africa. It is claimed to work as a bulking agent which suppresses appetite by giving a false feeling of satiation.

Fat Metaboliser's effectiveness

Fat Metaboliser increases body's metabolism which means that the body generates more heat or energy. In turn, this causes the person to burn more calories and then more fat.

Did Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser work for me?

I have no problems in keeping my weight off now, but in the past some efforts had to be made to stay slim. Hoodia did not make me feel full, so the whole bottle that I had bought from Holland and Barrett for approximately £40 at a time was sitting on my shelf collecting dust. To be honest, it probably gave me the opposite effect - I would feel particularly hungry after taking Hoodia. The reason for this may have been the fact that the more I ate the hungrier I felt. Expanding my stomach instead of shrinking did no good for me.

After my failed experiment with Hoodia, Fat Metaboliser appeared on my shelf. Its effect is completely different - it made me feel like I'd drunk five cups of strong coffee. I felt a bit shaky after taking the pills, so I left them for the extreme cases at work; when feeling particularly tired I would take half a pill and it would pick me up for the rest of the day.

As far a weight loss is concerned none of the above worked - Hoodia was a complete waste of money, Fat Metaboliser was a great alternative for strong coffee.

A funny story with weight loss pills

Now the story. The names have been invented, but the story is true. I was still living in a shared house with a few more people. The pills - Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser (let's call them FM for now) - had been given away to my housemate, called Chris, who was also looking for ways to speed up his weight loss. Chris took the FM to work for the same magic ability to keep him awake. Hoodia remained untouched.

One evening Chris had some friends around. Everyone but my housemate was planning to go to a pub for a few pints, but Rob was getting a bit tired. Chris was very quick to offer his magic pills that would instantly pick him up at work. FM were not around, but Hoodia was handy. Just to make sure that the pills did the trick Rob double dropped them.

The next day when I inquired about the boys' get together, Chris told me that he had given Hoodia to keep his friend awake before going to the pub. I could not stop laughing - Hoodia does not keep you awake - it bulks up the stomach! Chris flushed, then joined me in with laughs as it was his fault that Rob was feeling nauseous the whole night!

Sunday 8 September 2013

Fight Cold With Your Beauty

The summer is over and cold winter days will be creeping in soon. Our bodies will run down and we will start catching a cold or other virus. Is there anything we can do to help ourselves? Not sure about men, but ladies can - be beautiful!

Wearing makeup makes us feel good about ourselves, but there is more to it than just beauty. Apart from psychological effect that make-up has on our mood, it has been proven that the pleasure of using cosmetics has physiological effect on our well-being.

Emotion of seeing oneself suddenly becoming more beautiful after application of makeup can be so positive that it activates body's immune system and actually increases the concentration of antibodies.

Cosmetics can benefit mind and body, not only skin, so make sure you look good, feel good and you will beat that virus.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Treat Your Cellulite With Guinot Technispa

Today I would like to talk about cellulite and share my experience about using Guinot Technispa triactive anti cellulite treatment in an attempt to get rid of the lumps on my skin.

What is cellulite? Its causes

Mild cellulite on the leg
Mild cellulite on the leg

To put it simple, it is the skin that looks like an orange peel.

Problems with blood circulation hamper removal of fluids which build up under the skin. Fat starts to accumulate into lumps under the skin resulting in bumpy appearance.

The fat cells are lined up perpendicular to the skin surface in women as opposed to the fat cells being lined up in parallel to the skin surface in men. This is why women get cellulite and men don't. Also, a thicker layer of fat in women may be to blame for the bumpy appearance.

Cellulite treatment

Cellulite gets worse with age. It can be treated in early stages. Once it reaches the last stage the damage is irreversible. 

Treatments for cellulite range from physiotherapeutic to topical and oral. One of the physiotherapeutic treatments is lymph drainage which stimulates blood circulation and increases removal of the extra fluid in the tissues. This will also prevent further development of the bumpy appearance.  These treatments are often combined with the topical cosmetic product.

How does Guinot Technispa triactive equipment work?

Guinot Technispa works in three ways: vacuum suction physically breaks down the accumulating fat. The ionisation effect helps topical slimming serum gel penetrate through the skin. Muscle stimulation facilitates fat burning.

My experience using Guinot Technispa

Guinot Technispa triactive anti-cellulite equipment
Guinot Technispa equipment
I went to Sugihara beauty salon in Lithuania 6 years ago to have a mesotherapy treatment on my stretch marks. As my stretch marks were old and white as opposed to pink to indicate that they have been recently acquired, the therapist recommended that I go for a session with Guinot Technispa. The treatment helps with blood circulation which in turn increases effectiveness of mesotherapy treatment. Old white stretch marks are difficult to treat, so I followed the recommendation. After the treatment I felt like after a massive gym session, my clothes felt looser and muscles were sore. I was very impressed. I only had one session but I have wanted to go back since. This summer I went to Lithuania again and decided to have the same treatment. The therapist looked at me and said that given that I was slim she would not use the slimming gel and would skip the slimming part of the treatment. The treatment worked well but it did not seem to be as effective as before. I felt a lot more toned up, cellulite nearly disappeared, but I did not feel like I had lost a dress size. In summary, it is definitely worth having this treatment done, but make sure you put your foot down and do not get any parts of the therapy skipped. The effectiveness I believe depends a lot on the therapist.

The anti-cellulite treatment with Guinot Technispa is fairly pleasant. It is not a relaxing massage as some marketeers say, but the discomfort is mild. I felt electric current passing through my body and vacuum suction, a little bit of cold from the gel being rubbed into my body and nothing more.

To make a huge difference to your body shape and skin around 10 sessions are recommended, but I saw positive effect just after one.

It is a perfect treatment for someone who wants to see immediate results, especially useful before a beach holiday. 

I paid 190 litas (approximately £47) for one session of a full body therapy. It costs £52 to £55 per session in London. Discounts available for multiple sessions. Strange enough there is not a lot of salons that offer this in my opinion very effective treatment in London.

Update to the article on 23 September 2014

I have been once again to have a Guinot Technispa treatment. This time it was here, in London. It was a one hour session. I enjoyed the treatment, but I didn't see any immediate drastic result after one session. Also, it left my skin with blood blisters that lasted a few days, nothing scary or horrible, but I would rather not have them before going on a beach. I wanted to warn about this, because someone who wants a quick body fix before their holiday should know not to leave the treatment for the last few days before going away due to blood blisters.

Another important point I wanted to make is that I asked the therapist why I didn't see such a drastic result after the second time of using Guinot Technispa. The beauty expert asked me if my body had retained a lot of water which was removed during the session giving the illusion of an immediate weight loss. Well, I did really lose weight, but it was water rather than fat. I believe that this is exactly what happened.