Making a decision in my life has historically been a challenge. I think, rethink, and overthink again, weighing out every possible scenario before landing on an answer. Thank goodness for the guidance of Dr. Carls when it comes to choosing the right path for my facial care needs. With so many options out there, it’s best to have a medical expert walk you through it all.
After reading the handouts from my initial consultation with Christie, my thoughts had landed on either a microdermabrasion or gentle peel to start, followed up with some Intense Pulsed Light, or IPL, treatments for the larger brown spots. I was at the office today to review my thoughts with Dr. Carls and to see if my preconceived notions were on point. Upon arrival, I shared with him that I wasn’t looking for a big change, but rather baby steps to age gracefully. My sweet husband once told me that my smile lines are an indication of a life well lived, and they remind him of fond the memories we made together. Well, I certainly can’t argue with that. (Brownie points tipped the scale in his direction for that one). Dr. Carls shared a genuine little smirk at my story, and continued on to present me with a few minimally invasive treatments to keep those smile lines in check, and make sure the forehead crevasses don’t grow into grand canyons.
Dr. Carls then dove into a plethora of services, just so I had a well -rounded grasp of my options. Some of them I had no idea they even offered! Check here for a list of all services available at Lake Havasu CosMedics.
I appreciated that he started with an anatomy lesson of the skin so I could really understand how the subsequent treatment options would penetrate. Once we honed in on a few he thought would address my vanity—or as Dr. Carls put it “the top layer of skin that everyone can see”—w e got into specifics. My top aesthetic concern right now is creating an even tone and texture. As some of my previous blogs shared, I’ve been marked by the sun and melasma, causing dark spots and uneven coloring throughout my face. Dr Carls’ top choice to treat this was with a Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, Facial, which simply put, microneedles your own plasma into your face to stimulate healthy skin and collagen regrowth. Collagen is the groundwork of the skin, and PRP Facials help to tighten, smooth and improve skin tone. The before and after photos were extremely convincing; however, the price point per treatment was a bit over my budget.
Next up, which showed very promising results as well, was a VI Peel. The beauty of peeling is that it’s non-invasive, with very little downtime. Sure, you’re going to look like a shedding snake for a couple days, but it’s a small price to pay to strip off the dead skin and encourage new growth. Dr. Carls suggested that I follow up this peel with a luxurious facial to clean everything out and add on standard microneedling as a bonus. While this microneedling version doesn’t have the plasma added to it, any tiny damage created to the skin will signal a time for regrowth. Both of these services were more in my price range, coming in under $250 each, which was easier to swallow. I hope to get a couple treatments of each and see where we land. If needed, Dr. Carls suggested the IPL treatment to catch any stubborn spots that still hang on for dear life.
Sounds like a plan! I can’t wait to share my results with you. Stay tuned.
Remember the feeling of pure joy bubbling inside you on Christmas morning? The excitement of something new, accompanied by fast-paced butterflies signaling the unknown?
To feel that same exhilaration by walking into a skin care center caught me pleasantly by surprise. Arriving at Lake Havasu CosMedics for my consultation with Christie Viands Carls, BA, LT, instantly evoked a giddy feeling of rebirth. I had landed in this seat through a loving nudge from a friend. Ads might catch my attention, but personal referrals make me pull the trigger – and her glowing skin had proven to be all the convincing I needed to take my leap of faith.
Full disclosure. I’m a mid 30’s mom who worshiped the sun sans sunscreen (brown spots) and was struck by melasma (more brown spots) while I was pregnant with my son. I’ve tried every cream, serum, and smashed avocado face mask I could find to rid me of my cheetah’d appearance, all to no prevail. Thousands of dollars and minimal progress later…here I am.
They’ve made appointment booking seamless through the MindBODY App. Just search Lake Havasu CosMedics, LLC and you’re there. With my busy life and a young child who makes phone conversations challenging, this option was perfect for me. Christie confirmed my appointment by email, which instantly added a nice personal touch. She sent all the paperwork I needed to complete prior to my visit, so we were ready to hit the ground running when I arrived.
A chat with Christie is the first step in the process, as she provides the consultations, skin care regimen recommendations, and skin performance evaluations. She was warm and welcoming and instantly made me feel right at home. Every bone in her body radiated knowledge that was bursting from within her. Skin health and helping you to look and feel your best is undoubtedly a true passion she holds high. She listened intently to my concerns and wishes and helped to ease my apprehension by offering success stories of others in my position. I was giggling inside, thinking to myself that admitting there is a “problem” is the first step on the road to recovery. She wholeheartedly knew this, feeling it seep from my sometimes shaky words.
We started with imaging my face to measure spots, texture, wrinkles, pore size…all the fun stuff. The office uses a Visia Complexion Analysis Machine. It’s a mouthful, but it was quick and totally painless. The results gave us a baseline of current and underlying damage, followed by Christie’s breakdown into layman’s terms and suggested a course of action. The results from the scan are scientifically backed, giving us measurable data to work from. This imaging is included in all treatments and is ongoing free of charge to ensure expected results are being achieved. Cliche, but seeing is truly believing.
Fancy machines aside, what impressed me most was Christie’s focus on health. I’m a hippy at heart, and she spoke right to it as she hailed the powers of water, nutrition, vitamins and healing from the inside out. Sunscreen and protection were top on her list, prior to any commitment of treatments. Makes sense. Start protecting immediately to prevent further damage, or treatments will end up one step forward, two steps back. I appreciated Christie not being pushy about products, but rather maintaining a focus on a slow and safe process. I had been duped so many times in the past about miracle bottles; I knew anything of the sort would be a turn off for me. She sent me home with some simple samples to moisturize and protect, along with an extensive packet rounding up everything we discussed so I could further digest at home.
With just one question left, I inquired about makeup, knowing my road back to healthy skin would be long. “We do not sell makeup, just inexpensive, medical grade products designed to make you look fabulous without makeup,” Christie answered. Well, if that’s not a beacon of light, I’m not sure what is. Next up, I meet with the doctor. Stay tuned for my course of action.
Medical spas have seen explosive growth in the past few years as more and more Americans seek facilities which can provide certain cosmetic and therapeutic services in a spa atmosphere. Whether you require physical therapy or are looking to smooth wrinkles and beautify your skin without having to take significant time off from work, a medical spa could be of help to you. Here are some things to look for when choosing a medical spa.
Medical clinics have a feeling that can only be described as, well, clinical. They can feel sterile and uninviting at times. Medical spas, meanwhile, take the opposite approach. The best medical spas are extraordinarily relaxing and rejuvenating spaces, decorated in a way that make them feel like a sanctuary where people can depart from their daily woes. From the sounds and scents to little things like the feel of linens, every detail should be designed in a way that makes you feel comfortable and at ease as a patient.
Medical spas are typically affiliated with a fully licensed doctor or medical practice, just like a regular medical clinic. But different medical spas handle the doctor’s responsibilities in different ways, so you should find out about the doctor’s background and what role he or she plays at the spa. Regulations on medical spas differ from state to state, and most states don’t require a full-time doctor on site. If you’re going there for a full medical procedure, as opposed to a traditional spa treatment, you should pay close attention to who will perform the procedure and what their experience and training level is. In the unlikely event that a problem is encountered, it’s good to have fully trained medical staff on site to deal with it. And while they’re taking place in a spa-like environment, you should take them just as seriously as any medical procedure. It’s a good idea to check the doctor’s certifications. The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Dermatology have online databases that let patients look up information about board-certified doctors.
Most medical spas offer a range of treatments to help patients look their best. Botox injections, facial peels, dermal fillers, hair removal, microdermabrasion and leg vein procedures are performed by many medical spas. You’ll want to find out what procedures your spa performs and get a doctor’s recommendation for them before you start. A doctor should be able to give you a good idea of what kind of results to expect once the treatment is started, along with how often these treatments should be repeated. You should also ask about who will be performing the procedures and what their qualifications are. The doctor may perform some treatments personally, while others will be handled by another professional under the doctor’s supervision. Either way, you should ask about this and know who will be performing it up front. If you find a good medical spa, you’ll see exactly why they’re growing so quickly in popularity. They help you look and feel your best, all in the luxurious atmosphere of a high-end day spa.
Intense Pulsed Light™ (IPL) is a breakthrough in skin therapy used to correct many skin conditions without damaging the skin’s surface. IPL is a light therapy that differs from laser therapy because it emits multiple wavelengths into the skin to target below-the-surface pigments. IPL uses hundreds of wavelengths in each pulse, effectively reaching below the surface of the entire affected area.
This type of treatment is typically used to target age spots, brown spots, sun spots, rosacea, birthmarks, broken capillaries, and unwanted freckles.
Age/Brown Spots: Aging is typically accelerated by sun exposure and genetics over time. Age spots can prematurely make your skin look older, but with 4-6 IPL treatments, you can start to see long-lasting results. The spots may initially darken after treatment, but after a few days, they actually slough off (like wiping off coffee grounds) to reveal more youthful skin.
Rosacea: If you’ve ever suffered from the redness of rosacea, you know it can be devastating and life-changing. IPL treatments can lessen most types of rosacea, even the more severe kind characterized by visible blood vessels. IPL is a controlled injury to the blood vessels that trigger a bodily response to break down and remove the damaged tissue. Your body naturally starts reproducing new cells to replace the damaged ones, and your beautiful new skin begins to emerge.
Birthmarks: Most birthmarks are harmless and disappear before adulthood, but for persistent birthmarks, IPL treatment offers a solution to clear up the problem non-invasively.
Broken Capillaries: Yikes! Those little red lines that appear around your nose and cheeks? Those are broken capillaries, and they seem nearly impossible to correct. IPL delivers broadband light in pulse waves to break up broken capillaries without damaging the healthy veins. Say hello to youthful skin!
Freckles: Some freckles are cute. Excessive freckles can become a nuisance. Peels and bleaches have been popular methods of freckle reduction, but IPL delivers results without burned or peeling skin. IPL doesn’t damage healthy skin or require downtime for recovery. After just a few sessions, freckles begin to fade away naturally revealing your youthful skin.
This type of treatment is perfect for active patients who prefer little or no downtime. It is used to treat the face, neck, chest, and hands. IPL is a long-lasting treatment that brings back the youthfulness of your skin. IPL works best on fairer skin. Darker skin has more melanin and doesn’t respond as effectively to IPL. IPL feels like a flicking of a rubber band and can leave the skin sensitive for a few hours afterward, but the sensation is tolerable, but can also be lessened with a cooling gel. Winter is the perfect season to start treatments as you may want to stay out of the sun afterward. Call Lake Havasu Cosmedics for your free consultation today to find out if IPL is right for you!
I’m texting. I’m looking down at my phone, jabbing out a message about something mundane. “Please stop at the store and pick up coffee, babe.” “No, I didn’t see the paperwork for the class field trip. I’ll have to look for it.” “What are you getting Mom for her birthday?” All pretty innocuous things, but more often than not, if someone is with me, they ask, Who are you texting so angrily!? What? I’m not angry. This is my face! And then it hit me, those damn forehead wrinkles again.
Dysport to the Rescue
Since my mid 20’s, I’ve started growing a little canyon between my brows. It was barely noticeable at first, but over the years, it has turned into something of a Mariana Trench. I’m pretty expressive. Furrowing my brow and raising my eyebrows excitedly has become something of trademark, so when I started noticing those wrinkles staying long after my expression had faded, I took notice. I figured I’d just spend the next 40 years not smiling and doing my best Posh Spice impression (I heard she doesn’t smile so as to ward off wrinkles, is this true?). Luckily, I found Dysport. No longer must I channel my inner Victoria Beckham. I can be me! In my all wise-cracking, pun-making, excitable glory—but without the wrinkles, hooray!
How it Works
Surely you’ve heard of Botox, an injectable prepared from the botulin toxin that has been wildly popular for the last 20 years used in the treatment and prevention of wrinkles. Dysport is made from the same toxin, used for the same purposes, but slightly different. It is reconstituted differently and typically kicks in a little sooner. I saw results by day 3. Dysport is a neurotoxin that blocks muscular contractions, so injected into the forehead area, the muscles are unable to contract, giving your face a break from those wrinkles that tell nasty little lies about your age or make people wonder why you’re so darn angry all the time.
You may be thinking that a woman in her 30’s has no business getting injectables this soon, but I beg to differ! Dynamic wrinkles (those that come and go with expression) over time can become static wrinkles (those that stay long after you’ve moved the muscles). Dysport can work as a preventative measure to calm the facial muscles so the skin continues to grow smoothly. Over time, skin cells start to grow around the static wrinkles, and you are less likely to achieve the look you want. Starting early means your skin cells grow smoothly (instead of forming a pattern around wrinkles), so the results last longer. Have static wrinkles already? No problem! Dysport can help reduce the look of wrinkles and smooth out the skin.
Dysport injections are one of the easiest cosmetic procedures you can do with no downtime. I went on my lunch break for my first appointment, and it couldn’t have been easier. The injections took about 8 minutes, and that was it. I had a little redness at the injection sites, but it was totally back to normal before I made it back to my office. It lasts up to 6 months, but varies with each patient.
In a multinational study, 97% of Dysport users said they’d use Dysport again. Just check out my before and after.
Dysport is sold in units, and how much you get depends on the results you want to achieve. Lake Havasu Cosmedics is offering 25% off Dysport for the month of January 2019. A typical session might cost $300-$450, so in January, you’d pay just $225-$338. What a deal! Call today Call now to schedule: (928) 680-7356
Lake Havasu Cosmedics, 1720 Mesquite, Ste 201, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Here I am in Paris eating snails. Never did I ever think I would be also putting their secretion on my face.
But here I am. Putting snail slime on my face.
I recently had a VI Peel at Lake Havasu CosMedics, and to help speed recovery, Christie recommended Tensage Intensive Serum 40 ampoules, which I was able to get in office. She also offers them as an add-on to a microneedling, microdermabrasion, or PRP facial.
Growth Factors and Snail Slime
The Tensage Intensive Serum 40 contains a growth factor that promotes collagen synthesis. Collagen is an essential protein that helps our skin stay healthy by keeping it toned and supple. As we age, we make less collagen, so growth factors can help us synthesize more so we are able to stave off some of the effects of aging.
Snail mucin is the substance they leave in a trail behind them as they move. This substance helps protect their exposed underside from cuts and bacteria as they move. It also protects them against UV rays and contains a combination of elastin, proteins, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid—all popular ingredients in high-quality beauty products. Snail secretion has increasingly become a popular ingredient in skin products such as creams, masks, and serums. Snail mucin isn’t going to help deep lines, but it will aid in recovery from treatment and affect skin texture and quality. It may even help to fade dark spots and plump some creases.
What products should I pair with growth factors?
Always use a sunscreen. No matter what. Also, a regimen of antioxidants helps maximize the healing properties of growth factor products. The Tensage Intensive Serum 40 comes in a box of 10 and may be recommended in conjunction with an intense treatment. For me, I started using them a week after my face had completely finished peeling from my VI Peel. I used one ampoule per night for a week, and then once per week until they were gone.
I noticed an immediate change in the tightness of my skin. My skin texture had already improved from the VI Peel, but I felt an additional tightness and rejuvenation. Here’s how you use them. The ampoules containing the serum are a glass tube inside a plastic tube inside a stiff paper tube. With a firm grip on either end of the whole ampoule, break it like you are breaking a pencil. The inner glass tube breaks open and the serum is released into the plastic tube, and the swab on the end immediately starts soaking it up.
Squeeze a little to get the serum really flowing, and then swab on your face. I started by making a superhero mask first—around and in between my eyes. Then I targeted any dark spots and creases. When I couldn’t get any more on the swab, I squeezed the rest into my hands to make sure I was getting every last drop! I slathered the remainder on my neck and décolletage. It doesn’t have a strong odor and was dry in moments. Snail slime never felt so good.
A facial is typically an hour-long experience. It is designed to cleanse your skin and treat it for your specific problem areas, but it is also an hour of relaxation and rejuvenation. Let me tell you about my most recent facial with Debbie at Lake Havasu CosMedics. I hadn’t had a facial since my best friend got married in 2010 (Hi, E!), so I was a little unsure what to expect. The treatment room is the same where I received my VI Peel—it was dimly lit with soft music and a wonderful relaxing aura. Debbie left me alone to change into a wrap (undies only!) and to snuggle under the covers on the treatment table. I have to admit, I almost fell asleep I was THAT comfortable.
Debbie, a licensed esthetician, began by placing a headband around my face and a warm towel under my neck. A steamer began to moisturize my face, and she was able to adjust the level of steam for my comfort. The steam is important because it begins to soften the face and open pores for deep cleansing. After cleansing my face, she began extracting the milia on my forehead by using a lancet. This was mildly painful as she sliced through the first layer of skin to get the white bumps out, but the extraction process for my whole face only took 10 minutes. After extractions, she used a high-frequency wand with a small electrical current to kill bacteria since parts of my skin were open from the extractions. This was a little zap, nothing too uncomfortable.
Debbie then customized a few treatments for my skin type. She applied a mask, and while it was setting, I got a wonderful neck, shoulder, and chest massage. After the mask was an exfoliator, and while that set, I got a wonderful arm and hand massage. After rinsing and applying high-quality A-Cute Derm products such as the Glycolic Acid Ultra 10 lotion, which is a fast-acting treatment that stimulates the exfoliation cycle to produce everything healthy in your skin including collagen, fibril tissue, and hyaluronic acid.
So why get a regular facial (aside from the amazing pampering and obvious glowing skin)?
1. Your skincare routine will work better.
Dead skin and clogged pores do not readily absorb your skincare products. Even the highest quality products won’t be as effective if they aren’t making it deep into your skin. You must maintain the health of your skin to get the most from your products.
2. Professional extractions leave fewer marks.
Who doesn’t love to squeeze a white head or coax a black head from a clogged pore? But at-home picking causes more acne flare-ups (think bacteria!), facial scarring, and broken capillaries. Leave it to the professionals.
3. Personalized skin care
With a deep cleanse and an inspection under the magnifier, your esthetician can immediately apply the most helpful masks or peel as well as recommend the correct products for your skin type and condition. This might also change seasonally, so if you can’t make it for a monthly facial, at least try to get in seasonally. Regular visits will help you understand what’s going on with your skin and what to do about it.
4. Professional services you can’t get at home
From milia extractions to LED therapies and professional strength exfoliation, you will receive treatments administered by a licensed professional that you can’t do yourself at home. Over time, these professional treatments can diminish acne scars and reduce wrinkles and age spots.
5. At-home guidance
A facial is relaxing and rejuvenating, but it is also educational. A good esthetician will tell you where your problem areas are and recommend products and routines you can do at home. For example, I was able to choose and purchase medical grade products right then from Lake Havasu CosMedics. Not only did I get to take all my products home from the office, but I also received personalized instructions on which products to use in the morning and at night. I felt confident that my skincare routine was changing for the better. That night, I started my new skincare routine, and in the morning, I had a healthy glow and smoother skin.
I have struggled with melasma ever since my second pregnancy. Sometimes even referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma manifests itself as patches of discoloration (brown for me) on the skin. Mine is primarily on my cheeks, and it takes some concealer and a few layers of BB cream (my go to!) to really cover it. I religiously use a moisturizer with a broad spectrum sunscreen, but between the scorching Arizona sun and typical female hormones, it rears its ugly blotchy head anyway. I also have occasional breakouts, so I have minor spots and scarring from that.
Why a VI Peel?
I visited Lake Havasu Cosmedics and had a consultation with Christie Carls. I had never even thought of medically trying to rid myself of the melasma—I just thought I was stuck with it. Christie told me a VI Peel (or two or three) would really help clear it up.
A VI Peel (VI stands for Vitality Institute, the makers of the peel) doesn’t just burn off the top layer of skin, but rather addresses skin problems at the cellular level with the actions of many acids and vitamins. A VI Peel helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, shrinks pores, and builds collagen and elastin to tighten skin. It takes those dead layers of skin off so your products actually reach the skin it needs to reach rather than trying to penetrate layers of dead skin cells. And what I was most interested in—it begins to eliminate hyperpigmentation like melasma. What I didn’t expect was such a difference in skin texture. But more on that later.
Let’s get this out in the open. I am days away from my 36th birthday, and while I by no means think that is old, I definitely feel a shift in my hormones and my skin. My youngest is 5, so I’ve been dealing with the “mask of pregnancy” long after I was pregnant. I had my initial consultation with Christie, who talked about taking care of my skin from the inside out—nutrition, water, green tea, sleep. She took scans of my face using her VISIA machine, and my facial assessment definitely showed those brown spots and some wrinkles I didn’t know I had. Here’s My VISIA scan. Oh and I might as well point out that I had a significant acne spot on the side of my nose, so that may have skewed some of the reading.
After making my appointment, Lake Havasu Cosmedics emailed and called to confirm my appointment. I was able to print out intake forms and have them ready to go when I got there to streamline my appointment time since I was fitting it in on my lunch break.
Day 1: Treatment Day
I was in and out within 30 minutes. Here I am anxiously awaiting my appointment. Can you see my brown splotches on my cheeks? I smile so people look past it. Really.
The treatment room was softly lit, with lovely spa music playing. It was very inviting and instantly relaxing. I lay down on the treatment table, and Debbie secured my hair with a headband wrap and began to cleanse my skin. The cleansing felt really nice and gentle. Debbie gave me a handheld fan to soothe minor discomforts. While my face dried from the cleansing, she told me about the goodie bag of products I would be taking home and how to apply each product (more on that later!)
VI Peel Application
The application wasn’t terrible at all. The initial layer felt like a sunburn, but the fan helped. The smell was pungent, but not unbearable (and sticks with you until you wash this first peel off). After a minute, the burning sensation subsided as she layered on the solution. And that was it. It was easy, only mildly uncomfortable, and over in a jiffy. Honestly, I wanted to just lie there for another hour, but alas. Back to work.
The VI Peel comes with 4 take-home products.
3 post peel towelettes: used within the first 48 hours
2 packs of cleanser: use morning and night for 7 days
1 post peel protectant (anti-itch cream): applied 2-4 times per day starting day 2
1 broad spectrum sunscreen: applied 2-4 times per day starting day 2
1 care manual
I had my treatment Wednesday because both Christie and all my research reported that peeling usually begins a couple days after treatment. So I blocked off my weekend for optimal at-home peeling time. I didn’t want to go out and scare small children after all.
Four hours after my in-office treatment, I dutifully followed the directions–cleanse & apply the first towelette. It was mildly irritating, but very tolerable. I went about my day and used the post peel protectant whenever I felt itchiness coming on.
An hour before bedtime about 8:15, I cleansed and applied towelette #2. The ladies in the office and my extensive blog reading and YouTube watching told me I’d be itchy, and boy were they right! I could not fall asleep. I kept slathering on the post peel protectant (which is hydrocortisone), but no luck. I tried to fall asleep with an icepack on my face—it felt good, but I couldn’t get comfortable. Finally at 11:15, I washed it off, applied post peel protectant, and blissfully fell into a deep sleep. An interjection here: I found out later I could have used an antihistamine for the itching, like Zyrtec and Benadryl. Next time.
Day 2: Thursday
I woke up feeling great! No itching, no redness, no peeling. After a lukewarm shower, a little itchiness came back, but after a layer of post peel protectant and sunscreen, my skin was feeling totally normal. Day 2 is clearly the sweet spot. In the evening, I cleansed with the provided cleanser and applied the last towellette. No itching. Hooray!
Day 3: Friday
I started peeling mildly midmorning. I periodically applied the post peel protectant and the sunscreen, and I wasn’t uncomfortable at all. Rubbing in the product helped to slough off the dead skin quite a bit. I didn’t take a picture, anticipating major peeling later.
Day 4: Saturday
I woke up with only slight peeling still. The big peel never came today. I kept moisturized and out of the sun. I did start noticing lightening of the melasma.
Day 5: Sunday
Today was more light shedding, softer skin, sun and heat sensitivity. I shopped, went out to eat, and didn’t scare any small children.
Day 6: Monday
After washing my face Monday morning, I noticed a significant shift in my skin texture. It was that mythical baby skin feeling. I also felt a tightening around my eyes. Even my husband claimed I was glowing.
Day 7: Tuesday
I have run out of the VI cleanser, so I just used a mild castile soap. I have also started using my own face products again, though I haven’t yet used my eye cream with retinol in it. I figured I’d give that another week. I can still feel the new skin when I go out in the sun, though it is not irritating any more. I have a tiny area along my hairline by my ear that is mildly shedding, but as long as I keep moisturizing and occasionally using Aquaphor (my go-to for all things skin dryness), it is not irritating. I definitely feel a new tightness, and when I applied my BB cream this morning for the first time in a week, it went on smoother and more evenly, and I used less product. By the evening, my neck was finally shedding, but I never had any major sheets of skin peeling off.
I really like the results. I think I would need one or two more peels to see the melasma disappear, but I love the baby soft feel and the tightness. I also really like that I use less product, and I know my expensive skin products are making it to the dermis.
Clients often visit a med spa, their dermatologist, or their doctor hoping for a quick fix to whatever skin issue ails them. In reality, long-lasting skin health starts daily at home. Diet and lifestyle choices go a long way to repairing complexion and maintaining youthful skin post-treatment. Skin treatment really starts by treating the whole body. If you are the kind of person who gets treatments but still routinely eats fast food or bakes in the sun, then you are throwing away your money on skin treatments. Here are 5 steps to long-lasting skin health.
You are what you eat. Want healthy skin? Eat healthy foods. Skin nourishment starts from the inside.
Protein: Consuming protein daily supports collagen, elastin, and other fibers that keep your skin looking firm and young. Eat chicken, fish, or Greek yogurt.
Fish: Many types are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that contribute to healthy cell membranes and can serve as an anti-inflammatory.
Anti-oxidant rich foods: Vitamin A (carrots & sweet potatoes), Vitamin C (citrus & broccoli), Vitamin E (nuts & olives)
Water: Dehydration causes our organs not to work efficiently, and one of the first signs of dehydration is weathered-looking skin. The ideal amount of water varies by weight and age, but the Mayo Clinic generally recommends 9 cups for women and 13 for men per day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Get in the habit of drinking water all throughout the day.
Sun exposure is the primary cause of premature aging. UVB rays cause accelerated aging and increased risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are strongest from 10am-2pm.
UVA radiation really accelerates the skin’s aging process by penetrating deep into the dermis and destroying your own natural collagen. Dryness, wrinkles, leathery skin, and discoloration? Thank UVA exposure for that. Daily, from dawn to dusk, each and every day of the year, you are at risk to UVA rays at 100% potency.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as PRO-TECT sunscreen from A-Cute Derm, one of the most comprehensive medical grade sunscreens on the market. It offers superb, consistent and high protection levels across 100% of the spectrum range.
This one is easier said than done for most people! But beauty sleep is real. University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center conducted a study that found that sleep quality impacts skin function and aging. Those who had a low quality of sleep or less sleep had increased signs of aging and slower recovery from environmental factors, such as UV exposure. Because stress can be a factor to poor sleep, it should also be avoided or lessened. Skin is the primary organ for sensing external stress, so it is only natural the skin responds to these stressors. Your body releases cortisol when it is under stress. Cortisol can break down collagen and compromise skin cells’ ability to hold water, leading to more age spots, sunken eyes, and wrinkles. Stress and sleep disturbances are often related, and can be treated together. Try a sticking to a nighttime routine of shutting off electronics an hour before bed, meditating, reading, or practicing yoga or tai chi. These relax the brain and signal it is time for bed, but they also have an added benefit of relaxing the facial muscles.
5. Get Moving
Increasing your blood flow through physical activity can bring about a nice healthy glow to the complexion. That blood flow carries new oxygen to the skin and helps to carry away waste and free radicals. Exercise also eases stress, which can reduce acne and eczema. It can be as simple as a daily walk or that yoga before bed.
Microneedling. That’s with the roller I can do at home that pricks my face in a million little places, right? Well, yes. And no. At-home microneedling is not the same as in-office microneedling.
“Microneedling that delivers significant, long-lasting results is a medical treatment,” says board-certified dermatologist Tina Alster, MD, FAAD, a professor of dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center. This means that medical microneedling should be done in a medical office if you want long-lasting, safe results and rejuvenation.
What is it?
Microneedling is sometimes referred to Collagen Induction Therapy because the purpose of treatment is to stimulate your face to generate new collagen and skin tissue. Your doctor will use a small pen-like tool to make lots of pin pricks on your skin, essentially causing lots of little wounds. These little injuries will cause your skin to make collagen-rich tissue in response. The results are firmer, smoother, more toned skin. Many people turn to microneedling to treat minor scarring from acne, but also to rejuvenate skin that has lost its luster due to aging.
Microneedle face and neck
Apply soothing lotion and sunscreen
Am I a Candidate for Microneedling?
Because microneedling isn’t invasive and there is no downtime, it is safe for most people. It isn’t recommended for people who have skin diseases like psoriasis or eczema. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or for people who have a history of deep scarring. For best results, you may need several treatments.
How safe is it?
Safety. Another reason you want to go to a doctor’s office for microneedling instead of choosing an at-home treatment. At home, you use the same roller that can gather bacteria and be difficult to wash and sanitize completely. You won’t experience the same depth of penetration at home, and this means the results won’t be as visible or last as long. Because of these deeper punctures, you will most likely experience some irritation and redness for a few days, but you are able to go right back to work afterwards if you choose. Bleeding, bruising, infection, and peeling are always risks with any skin treatment, but the risks are significantly decreased when treatment is performed by a licensed professional in a medical office.
Getting Started with Lake Havasu Cosmedics
Call Lake Havasu Cosmedics at (928) 680-7356 today for a free consultation. Christie is willing to spend time with any potential client for a consultation at no cost. In addition to in office education, follow up consultations are very much a part of Lake Havasu Cosmedics’ culture. They believe in treating the whole patient and measuring results. Microneedling treatments start at $150.
Meet Pro-C, six antioxidant-rich facial products from A-Cute Derm. Light, refreshing, calming, protecting, and rejuvenating—Pro-C improves skin tone and softness. It helps fight UV damage and leaves your skin with a remarkably healthy glow. Healthy skin thrives off of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for our skin’s overall well-being. It is the stabilizing component to keep Collagen and Fibril tissues healthy (i.e. plumped, unwrinkled, youthful-looking skin). Environmental stress caused by ultraviolet radiation (tanning beds and the sun) is the main cause of the destruction of Vitamin C in the skin.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are chemicals that fight oxidization on your skin cells. Oxidation damages your skin cells and the genetic material inside them. Oxidation occurs from the molecules called free radicals that are a byproduct when we process food, sunlight, and toxins like smoke, pollution, and alcohol. We mostly get our antioxidants from plant-based foods, but our body can produce some too. Different antioxidants work differently—some stop free radicals from forming, and some break them down so they are harmless.
Vitamin C is particularly important because it can help protect the skin from sun damage and skin cancer. It can also reverse some discoloration and wrinkles that come with aging. Let’s meet the Pro-C family from A-Cute Derm—Available from Lake Havasu Cosmedics!
PRO-C Elite Serum W/ Ferulic+
PRO-C® Elite Serum with Ferulic+ is your defense against accelerated extrinsic skin aging. By destroying oxidative predators, it prevents new damage as it helps repair existing damage. Ferulic Acid is a key component in this superior antioxidant. It is a naturally recurring substance with proven medical benefits and it has been found to keep vitamin C stable for up to two years.
PRO-C Antioxidant Cleansing Gel
A light and refreshing natural botanical cleansing gel in a multi-fruit base enhanced with the powerful free radical scavenger Green Tea Extract and the essential Vitamin C. Calms the skin with soothing Aloe Vera Gel and Kola Nut extract. Leaves the skin feeling silky smooth for hours.
PRO-C Lightening Crème
Skin Lightening Crème is an extremely effective bleaching formulation that goes deep into the skin to get to the root of the discoloration deep in the dermis The unique blend of ingredients removes dead cells to improve penetration into the skin while improving tone, texture, and discoloration. Includes Hydroquinone, Bearberry Extract and Kojic Acid in an elegant crème base that works well with makeup.
PRO-C Moisture Max + Amino Acid
A super moisturizing system that controls the appearance of crow’s feet and surface wrinkles while adding nutrients to dry and environmentally damaged skin. Made from L-Serine, an amino acid, along with critical nutrients and vitamins to sustain healthy skin.
PRO-C Lipid Recovery Serum SC
This is a unique system that rebuilds your skin’s protective barrier (the Stratum Corneum) quickly. Developed specifically to help those who lose this function when undergoing deep chemical peels, Microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Delivery system has excellent penetration of Vitamins A, three forms of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and five critical lipids necessary to the rebuilding process and to maintain barrier function while stopping transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
PRO-C Vita Hydrator Mask
A rich moisturizing treatment mask packed with Vitamins A, C & E and skin softeners. Excellent on dry, mature skin. Designed specifically for damaged skin caused by U V exposure from the sun, tanning beds and environmental factors. Use for sensitive to normal skin types.
Walking into Lake Havasu Cosmedics is like showing up to a good friend’s house on a lovely afternoon for a glass of wine and great conversation. Except at Lake Havasu Cosmedics, you leave with healthier skin and first-rate medical grade skincare products.
Located at 1720 Mesquite #201, Dr. Carls and Christie Viands Carls have created a beautiful and comfortable space that really is all about a quality, caring experience for their clients. Having been in Lake Havasu City for 35 years, Dr. Carls started in family practice but opened Lake Havasu Cosmedics in 2014. They specialize in all-natural treatments, fat transfer injections, collagen stimulators, wrinkle and texture treatments, body contouring, skin rejuvenation, hair restoration, and eyelash treatments. If it has to do with your skin, they’ve got a treatment for you. They even work with the Cancer Society to provide information to their counselors for patients experiencing skin difficulties as a result of chemotherapy.
Measurable Results with Little or No Downtime
Christie starts by using a VISIA machine to analyze their clients’ complexion, looking for UV damage, sun spots, redness, bacteria, wrinkles, texture, pores, and brown spots. With this data, they are better able to treat a patient and track a patient’s results in a data-driven way. Christie explains that before and after photos are sometimes misleading, but VISIA analysis makes the progress easy to see and track. Christie explains, “We get measurable results with little or no downtime.”
More Natural Treatments
Lake Havasu Cosmedics prides themselves on educating clients and helping them to make the best decisions. They aren’t trying to sell a bunch of fillers or skin care treatments that are expensive but ineffective in the short-term. They spend time educating each client and “looking at the whole health of the individual.” Christie explains that many of their treatments use organic material from the actual patient, so there is not a risk of allergic reaction, and the treatments are more natural. Christie is also a licensed dealer of A-Cute Derm medical grade skincare products, which she sells to clients as well as to other licensed professionals.
Schedule a Visit Today
They hold a monthly open house every third Friday of the month from 4-6—you must call to reserve a spot. You can expect to talk with not only the doctor and Christie, but also clients who have experienced the treatments themselves. Christie also schedules consultations via the MindBody app. Check out www.LakeHavasuCosmedics.com for information about their treatments and facilities. Visit www.LakeHavasuCosmedics.net for Christie’s blog, online store, and client testimonials. Follow them on Facebook too!
1720 Mesquite #201
Blog and Product Info: www.LakeHavasuCosmedics.net
Putting your best face forward is not just about looking better, it’s about being healthier and feeling better. Here’s what our happy customers are saying…
Friendly, Knowledgeable, Comforting
Where to start! The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Adrian is a sweetheart, Debbie is absolutely incredible (microdermabrasion, peel and facial). Love her. Christie really knows her business. The skin care product line she has is number 1. I’m sure I’ll use it the rest of my life. Thank you so much for everything and your friendship. I’ve had several procedures with Dr. Carls (some of which were a bit uncomfortable), but he always made me laugh. He has a great way of putting you at ease. Thank you all for everything!
Natural-Looking and Innovative
Super results! Lake Havasu CosMedics is highly recommended for your skin care and pro-aging needs including a high-grade line of skin care and topical products as well as procedures. Dr. Carls, Christie Viands, Debbie, and the office staff are always professional and meticulous in their care. Dr. Carls develops a plan for you that is realistic, attainable, and affordable, and they ensure that the treatments and outcomes look natural. The explanations are thorough so there are no surprises, and the aftercare/follow up is excellent. Looking forward to the innovative treatments in the next year!
I have never had such amazing results in skin care EVER!. Christie Viands Carls is really an amazing professional who knows her craft!! Dr. Carls, what an artist and perfectionist who really cares how you look and feel!! Debbie is a dream, what a relaxing touch!! All are so talented and knowledgeable! Havasu CosMedics products are the best I have ever used, why?…because the results I had from the regimen they have customized for my specific needs are way beyond my expectations, and without spending a fortune! Go figure! Affordable professional skin care products and services that ACTUALLY produce real results! I am a very happy client who has been in the professional world of beauty for over 38 years. I can buy most spa/skin care products at cost myself, but nothing has come close to being under the professional skincare guidance of Havasu CosMedics…Nothing! I invite you all to see and feel the difference, if not waste your time and money elsewhere. I’m staying with what works!! Thank you Havasu CosMedics Team!
My results are amazing. I have had almost all of the procedures and I am amazed at how different my skin looks. The products are wonderful too. I was about to have to have some surgical procedures done and now I realize that I can wait hopefully for another 10 years. I am thrilled with Lake Havasu Cosmedics LLC. I am 66 years old and I am so happy that I may be able to hold off on surgery indefinitely. Thank you, Christie Viands and Dr. Carls. You are amazing. My skin looks better than it did when I was much younger. You are so knowledgeable and so personable. I could never thank you enough for all that you have done for me.
I appreciate the expert skills and the professional manner in which Dr. Carls & Christie operate their business. Christi your loving & compassionate spirit is the perfect compliment to the procedures done by DR. Carls. Dr. Carl’s is very patient and has taken whatever time necessary to explain the procedures I have done. They’ve always presented the facts with no “false promises”. I appreciate that and therefore trust their recommendations. They’ve stood behind their work and always followed up by checking on my well being and progress. I am very excited about the Sculptra and have seen great results.
–Judy Steadman Overberg
Absolutely the most compassionate and professional team one could ever ask for. This office is dedicated to finding solutions that are suitable for you. They have earned my highest praise.
Debbie does the best facial I’ve ever had. I do a lot of traveling, and when I have time, I get a facial. Nothing compares to her time, care, and skills!
–Jody Barr Oliver
No Pressure, No Rush
These people were so very nice. They work with you to understand your goals and to get you there without selling your firstborn. I really liked them and their kindness. No pressure and no rush.
Comfort of Friends
Not only did I receive excellent services, I made some new friends. Everyone at Havasu Cosmedics makes you feel so comfortable.
Skincare and anti-aging consultations, education, and recommendations
All-natural anti-aging procedures
Traditional fillers and neuromodulators (Botox)
Male and female rejuvenation
Platelet-rich plasma therapies
Fat transfer (for hair growth, facial rejuvenation, hands, and sexual rejuvenation)
Collagen stimulators for long-lasting restoration of volume and reversal of skin damage
2. That’s a huge list! What can you do for me if I wanted something more natural or if I had allergic reactions to treatments in the past?
Many of our treatments use organic material from the actual patient, so there is not a risk of allergic reaction, and the treatments are more natural.
3. What sets you apart from your competition?
Clients deal directly with us, the owners—Dr. Jeff Carls and Christie Carls. We have a true interest in our client’s well-being as a person. We truly want to do the right thing for them. Integrity, service, and quality set us apart.
4. Whatis your favorite part of your business?
We love serving our clients and watching their progress!
5. Progress is important. How exactly do you measure a client’s progress?
One way we measure progress is by using a VISIA machine to analyze complexion, looking for UV damage, sun spots, redness, bacteria, wrinkles, texture, pores, and brown spots. With this data, we are better able to treat a patient and track a patient’s results in a data-driven way. Before and after photos are sometimes misleading, but VISIA analysis makes the progress easy to see and track.
6. How many employees do you have?
Zero. It’s just us and a few contractors and other professionals who assist us virtually. This allows us to stay small and intimate—we really get to know each client and can form relationships.
7. To what do you attribute your success?
Hard work, a passion for excellence, and a true concern for our clients.
8. Do you or your business give back to the community?
Absolutely! To name a few, Havasu Health Foundation, the Cancer Society, Parrot Heads, Havasu Football, Calvary Christian Academy, Women’s Network Exchange Association, Havasu Realtor Charity Events, and the Humane Society, as well as Sailing Angels—an organization I belonged to and volunteered with in Houston. It helps Am Vets, Wounded Warriors, children with disabilities, and children with terminal illnesses as well as last wishes.
9. When can I come in?
We are open 7 days a week by appointment. Normal business hours are Tuesday through Thursday 10-6 and Friday 10-4. We work many evenings and weekends and have hours by appointment with the doctor during the week on an as needed basis.
10. I’d be a little nervous to try something new. How can I find out more?
We hold a monthly open house every third Friday of the month from 4-6—you must call to reserve a spot. You can expect to talk with not only the doctor and me, but also with clients who have experienced the treatments themselves. I also schedule consultations via the MindBody app.
Check out their website for information about their treatments and facilities. Visit Christie’s page for her blog, online store, and client testimonials. Follow them on Facebook too!
It’s no secret the summer sun is hot, and one of the best ways to beat the heat is heading to the beach or out on the boat. But what are you risking? Sun exposure (any time of the year!) causes premature aging, wrinkles, skin spots, and cancer.
MYTHS about Sun Exposure
There is no such thing as a good tan.
Not all sunscreens are created equal.
A higher SPF does not necessarily protect your skin better.
You don’t have to have a sunburn to increase your risk of skin cancer.
90% of all wrinkles, age spots, and discoloration are due to sun and tanning bed exposure.
Know your UV Rays
UVB creates the burn—this is what most sunscreens protect against. If your skin is getting pink or red, you are getting radiation from the sun. That “great tan” is actually UVB damage. UVB rays cause accelerated aging and increased risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are strongest from 10am-2pm.
UVA causes long-term damage. This radiation really accelerates the skin’s aging process by penetrating deep into the dermis and destroying your own natural collagen. Dryness, wrinkles, leathery skin, and discoloration? Thank UVA exposure for that. Daily, from dawn to dusk, each and every day of the year, you are at risk to UVA rays at 100% potency.
UVC is deadly to plant and animal life. Our ozone layer protects us, but it is the type of radiation from artificial light, such as tanning beds.
Skin Cancer Fast Facts
Using sunscreen does not guarantee protection from skin cancers, nor does sunscreen turn back time—but it sure can help. According to the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), data does show daily use of sunscreen does slow skin aging and reduce cancer risk.
No skin type is void from potential skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.
Skin cancers can appear at any time. They can lie dormant in the dermis for years and even appear on areas that rarely get sun exposure.
Scientists and doctors are seeing more skin damage in younger skin. What is going on?
You are not getting the protection you think you are getting.
5 Sunscreen Must-Haves
Look for UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection. Make sure at least three active chemical ingredients are listed on the label with a combined minimum strength of SPF 15.
Waterproof is better than water-resistant. But don’t be fooled. Waterproof will last at least 80 minutes, but that rainbow film you see floating on the water? That might just be waterproof sunscreen, so reapply for safety’s sake. Water-resistant is just that—resistant. It will stay on the skin for 40 minutes, but reapply when you get out of the water. For best results, look for rub-proof, which is more likely to stand up to the toweling test.
Comfort is important. A sunscreen should be mild on the skin, especially around the eyes and lips. No burning, no tingling, no running. It should be so comfortable that once you rub it in, you no longer even notice it is on your skin.
A sunscreen should be greaseless. Some sunscreens do not dry quickly and become sticky to the touch. This means the product is clogging your pores, increasing the skin’s temperature, affecting the natural cooling process of the skin.
Don’t forget the lips, ears, nose, and feet. These are the areas most prone to skin cancer.
The difference between SPF 15 and SPF 100 is only 4% added protection on the UVB spectrum.
The FDA considers all sunscreens SPF 15 and above to be in the same category: Ultra Protection.
The Experts Weigh In
Want to look younger and stay healthier? Use the best sunscreen. A-Cute Derm offers one of the most comprehensive medical grade sunscreens on the market. PRO-TECT sunscreen is designed to moisturize the skin and protect from moisture loss and over-exposure to UVA / UVB / UVC radiation. It outperforms high SPF sunscreens that you can buy in the grocery store. It is fragrance-free, parabens-free, waterproof, rub-proof, and PABA-free. It offers superb, consistent and high protection levels across 100% of the spectrum range.
Hyperpigmentation is a common challenge in the treatment room, but how exactly does a spot or demarcation form?
There are a variety of factors that contribute such as:
A breakdown of the process may help shed some light on the issue.
Melanin at Work
Approximately one out of every eight cells is a melanocyte. The cells produce melanin – an action that occurs in the granular layer. This is a natural and necessary process, as pigments provide skin color and a unique defense system against UV radiation.
The pigmentation process resembles that of an assembly line. Issues occur when this assembly line overproduces or slows. When there is the potential for damage, the pigmentation process goes through the following:
1. A trigger (such as UV exposure) sends a signal to melanocyte-stimulating hormones that the skin is in need of protection. This activates the enzyme tyrosine.
2. After tyrosine is signaled, the melanocyte cell receives a message to produce pigmentation (melanin). The melanocytes make melanin, bundling them into melanosomes.
3. These melanosomes are then dispersed upward through the granular layer via dendrites to keratino¬cytes, where they form melanin caps, which reduce DNA damage caused by UV exposure.
Common triggers may include
Aggressive skin care products
Acne (in the form of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
In healthy conditions, the pigmentation produced in response to potential damage will eventually diffuse or fade on its own, but in some cases, a permanent discoloration may occur.
As the skin ages the pigmentation cycle is less controlled. DNA damage to the skin cells may result in the steady distribution of melanin. As excess melanin is produced, and disbursement is interrupted, hyperpig¬mentation forms. This creates deposits of color that stay indefinitely unless treated.
Skin Care to the Rescue
Fortunately, there are a number of ingredients that help support the skin and control hyperpig¬mentation. These include:
• Hydroquinone has tyrosine abilities. Since it is typically more stable and less sensitizing than HQ, it is a great alternative for those with sensitiv¬ities. It can only be used for a specific period of time, then must be discontinued.
• Kojic acid. Derived from fermentation of rice and some Japanese mushrooms. It works to effectively inhibit melanin synthesis.
• Glycolic acid. This alpha hydroxy acid has natural brightening abilities, works to smooth skin and improves texture.
In addition to corrective and skin-building ingredients, supporting the skin’s overall health will also be essential in properly controlling pigmentation. It’s when DNA damage occurs, that pigmentation becomes an issue. Regular exfoliation, nourishment and protection with our once a day sun protection will help keep pigmentation issues at bay.
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