Tag Archives: Treatment

Methylene Blue Q & A

Woman at lab

The constant search for the next major ingredient in skincare leads people to search through countless plants and chemical compounds in the hopes of finding something that can help a particular goal. Most of the time this tends to lead to a lot of “miracle” compounds turning up each year. Different people champion these ingredients depending on their exact origin. The most common compounds to surface tend to be plant-based products that are given often excessive claims from people dedicated to “natural” skincare that forget that the chemicals used in skincare were often already derived from plants. Sometimes things are different though and a chemical compound becomes the new ingredient to beat in skincare. Currently, that is methylene blue. This chemical compound is well known to doctors and may have a future in skincare if one study is to be believed. With that in mind, it seems fitting to take a detailed look at methylene blue and see what we actually know about the compound when we separate it from the current hype.

What Is It?
Methylene blue is a comparatively inoffensive chemical that has been used by doctors for various conditions over the years. Currently, it is primarily used in the treatment of the condition methemoglobinemia. This condition is caused by issues with red blood cells being able to provide enough oxygen to tissues throughout the body. It can have a pronounced effect on the body up to an including changes in skin coloration. Methylene blue helps counteract this problem via injection. The compound has also seen use in helping to treat conditions such as urinary tract infections and cyanide poisoning over the course of its use. Despite being formulated in 1876, the compound has shown no signs of ceasing to be of use to humanity and with the potential applications in skincare it may gain an all new purpose as well.

How Is It Used In Skincare?
It isn’t at the moment. The current popularity of the compound is based on a single study that investigated the potential applications of methylene blue in skincare. They tested the compound of the 3D constructed model of human skin created from cultured cells sample from various people. This model is generally considered highly accurate and a good first step towards actual human trials. The researchers noted that methylene blue is a potent antioxidant and tested simulated topical application of the compound on the skin. The treated models immediately began to show distinct improvements. Many of the cells began to look and act as if they were younger than they actually were. This provides a promising lead on potential applications for methylene blue in the future, but the information is also so new that few, if any, companies are likely to have included in products yet. However, in the future, the compound may be an important component in anti-aging products.

Smiling woman

How Promising Is It?
We did observe that this offers a promising lead on potential future treatments, but it serves us all to have a realistic view of what this means. A single study is not enough to reasonably shift the approach of an industry. The study was peer reviewed and, as a result, the results have been replicated some already. Further replication will likely be required before the compound’s potential is fully accepted. Additionally, it needs to go to genuine human trials before we know the overall effects remain accurate. That and that alone will begin to make products using the compound begin to show up reliably. That too will only happen once the industry has had time to test the effectiveness of various mixtures of the compound in different products to figure out how best to make use of methylene blue’s potential. We are quite some time away from seeing the compound in regular use and its promise could be derailed at any point along the way.

Like all compounds with promise, we must look at methylene blue with a careful eye. It is always easy to see promise in something, but it is far harder for that promise to survive the necessary testing and rigorous examinations to prove it is a worthwhile investment. It may take time, but we could genuinely see methylene blue products in the future. The compound is perfectly safe when used properly and its addition to skincare would surely improve the industry if its promise survives. All we can do now is wait.

Common Causes of Eye Inflammation and Irritation

Woman rubbing eye

There are plenty of common health problems that can bother us all. The cold is one of the most famous ones simply because it seems like there’s no way to truly escape it. After all, all our efforts just seem to delay when we start coughing and sneezing and that’s if we’re lucky. Similarly, sunburn, the sniffles, and all these little problems are just part of the human experience. The little annoyances are things that we can all share with one another. Our eyes getting irritated or inflamed are another one of these shared experiences. It can also end up being one of the most annoying and frustrating ones as well. After all, it tends to be a little painful thanks to the sensitivity of the eye and fixing the problem can end up being troublesome for those of us fond of makeup. It does help to be aware of some of the common causes of this sort of thing though as you can then take steps to protect your eyes. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

Debris
This is the only most of us end up leaping to whenever we see our eyes looking a little red or feeling one in pain. The idea that something must be in one’s eye makes intuitive sense and is a good first step to address. “Debris” encompasses a lot of potential culprits though. Stray eyelashes, particulate matter, and anything else you can think of that might blow into and affect the eye tends to fall into this category. The general idea is simply foreign matter touching the sensitive surface of the eye. You can generally figure this one out relatively easily with large debris. It tends to be visible and able to be removed if you’re careful. You can also flush your eyes with water to help clear them our as well. This is typically your best option when you’re dealing with finer dust and particles that you can’t actually “pick” out of your eyes. Irritation in this case tends to radiate out from the spot where the debris got caught too. As a result, this problem is easy to solve.

Allergies
Pollen can technically fall under debris, in some cases, but most of the time it is going to be a less direct effect. Allergies a problem for almost everyone. If there’s a sufficient concentration of pollen in the air, it doesn’t matter if you “don’t have any allergies” as you’ll likely still be feeling it. Allergies affect us in varying ways with various kinds of irritation and inflammation to the eyes being relatively common. The level of irritation and inflammation is going to vary depending on the severity of the allergy though. Most of the time you’ll likely just experience a little redness and itchiness, but sometimes it can become a full reaction. You can end up with swollen and watery eyes on top of all that. The good news is, as with debris, this problem is relatively easily solved by taking an antihistamine or using antihistamine eye drops. These will generally soothe the problem away and let you return to going about your business.

Infection
We generally don’t think much about eye infections until the words “pink eye” come in up conversation. Those words alone are enough to strike fear into the hearts of parents and office workers alike. There are plenty of other kinds of eye infection though. Most of these come from accidental exposure to an unwelcome bacteria. The exact symptoms tend to vary, but they tend to result in redness and irritation as with most things that bother your eyes. Infections are resistant to most other treatments though and end up requiring you to go to your doctor. You can also expect symptoms to progress. That’s why we strongly urge you to always take the time to make sure to make the appointment with your doctor if irritation in an eye is not going away as it could lead to permanent damage of the eye if you’re not careful. Fortunately, these infections tend to be difficult to spread if they aren’t pink eye. Following whatever treatment your doctor prescribes and doing you best not to touch your eyes will help you recover from this sort of problem.

Inflamed and irritated eyes are pain, yes, but the most common issues are relatively easy to treat. They simply require you to address them appropriately. Medication, antihistamines, or even just washing out your eyes can be all it takes to ease irritation and inflammation. Just try to figure out what’s causing the problem and approach it properly. You should be able to get back to seeing just fine without any nagging irritations easily enough.

Not Ready For Botox? No Problem!

Woman thinking

Botox is, for many, one of those beauty inventions that is almost beyond reproach. It lets us tame stubborn wrinkles that seem unable to be stopped all while ensuring lasting progress is made. Admittedly, the treatment has garnered a particular reputation for needing to be done correctly to ensure a natural look. There’s also the small matter that improperly administering it can also lead to paralysis issues in the face and jaw. This sort of baggage is why not everyone is always keen on reaching straight towards Botox treatments when they have stubborn wrinkles. The good news is that you have plenty of options even if you’re not ready to try Botox injections or similar treatments. We’ve put a few together in a short list as well as explanations of how they can provide you with similar results. This should help you make an informed decision about your cosmetic goals.

Retinol, Retinoids, And Your Face
There are few words are common in skincare these days as retinol. The compound is a particular form of vitamin A with its relatives, the retinoids, in turn being derivatives of it. All of them are useful when it comes to skincare for a number of reasons. One of the most important things they can do is actually encourage the overall cell turnover rate where they’re applied. This is important as maintaining a good cell turnover rate actually helps to overall minimize how readily wrinkles appear by denying them extra aid in formation. Some studies also imply that retinol can actually support the production of collagen in the skin as well. This structural protein is the entire reason why your skin is comparatively firm in youth. Gradual collagen depletion across life tends to be what causes wrinkles to form over time as habitual damage becomes permanent where skins folds regularly. This makes regularly using retinol and similar compounds incredibly useful when it comes to smoothing and minimizing all forms of wrinkles.

Woman applying retinol

Exfoliation Expertise
Many of the best options you have as an option other than Botox involve making a commitment to using specific products. Retinol, as we discussed before, is one of these, but another is ensuring that you’re remembering to exfoliate with a good chemical exfoliation compound. The biggest names in this category are the hydroxy acids. You’re more commonly going to run into the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and citric acid than you are their older relative salicylic acid, one of the only beta hydroxy acids the skincare industry uses. These acids are all approved for use on the skin in specific concentrations. They help by dissolving dirt, grime, and layers of built up dead skin cells that can deepen wrinkles. Regularly exfoliating with these products goes a long way towards helping keep wrinkles to a minimum while applying them by lightly massaging the skin can cause blood flow that in turn supports collagen production. Notably, over-the-counter products take time to have a clear effect, but a supervised chemical peel can get you faster results in exchange for needing more aftercare.

A More Permanent Fix
Interestingly enough, there are a number of comparatively minor surgical alternatives to Botox that can permanently achieve many of the same results. Some of them focus on breaking up underlying issues by breaking accidental attachments between the surface skin and other structures deeper in the skin while others literally cut away the problem. The latter is perhaps the closest to the actual effects of Botox. These procedures work by removing the connection between muscles in the forehead of some of the muscles themselves to prevent the wrinkling from constant movement and bunching of the skin. The result is the same in that it allows the skin to repair the area over time and smooth out the lines to the point that they can potentially vanish. It is worth noting that as these are surgical alternatives that there is a risk of there being a minor scar involved, but much of the time the incisions involved are so small that proper care will make them practically invisible with time.

Most of us are so used to Botox being a standard beauty procedure that we don’t pause to consider alternatives. Good care goes a long way towards helping minimize wrinkles all over the face, but sometimes you need to go that extra step and have a procedure done. Your best course of action is almost always to talk to your dermatologist or cosmetic professional about your desires. They will be able to point you towards potential treatments that meet your criteria even if one of them is “Not Botox”.

How to Treat Blemishes After Age 50

Woman smiling at beach

Skin conditions are something that follow us our entirely lives. Yes, our teenage years are frequently when they are at their worst thanks to acne, but there’s no escaping other issues over the course of our lives. Acne remains a regular problem for some of us while other factors can lead to yet other forms of blemishes forming on our skin over time. Trying to manage all these condition is ultimately what takes so much of our skincare time. It doesn’t really slow down as we age either. In many ways, menopause and other events in our later lives cause even more chances of blemishes turning up one way or another. How do we try to prevent and treat these problems? It seems almost futile when we’ll spend so much of our lives trying to keep our skin healthy with it never seeming to pay off while only getting a little harder each year to keep our skin healthy. While it may take a little more effort to keep your skin happy and healthy at 50 and above, you can do it and we’ve got tips on how.

Check Your Products
We need to keep in mind that our skin becomes increasingly sensitive as we age. That makes using a large amount of products ill-advised. Each one becomes a potential problem as our skin decides it will react differently with the passage of time. There are very few universal rules to help guide us in a way that avoids problems. Fortunately, one of them is useful at every age and bears emphasis: look for non-comedogenic products. These products are specially formulated to help ensure that they don’t get caught in your pores or otherwise contribute to further build-up. Check to make sure that all of your products have this label. If they don’t, then try to find products that do. This will help minimize the potential for issues and allow any existing issues to be more easily treated by ceasing to support a skin environment that nurtures blemishes. More direct treatment is sometimes necessary to keep things under control though.

Oil Control Is Your Friend
Skincare is confusing sometimes. Depending on who you are, your skin can end up fluctuating a lot over the course of your life. This becomes a particular problem when we start to approach menopause. Estrogen has a profound impact on skin health and losing a large supply of it contributes a great deal to a sometime sudden shift that can make blemishes particularly pronounced. Many people begin to experience a sudden increase in blemishes as their skin becomes that much more oily. Estrogen actually constricts pores to minimize the amount of your natural oils that can creep through to the surface. Once that begins to taper off, you can expect an accompanying increase in oil and the potential for problems. We recommend looking into gentle astringent products to help minimize the problems associated with this. They will provide light oil control that reduces the ability for blemishes to form while also letting your body and other products directly treat blemishes themselves.

Consider Retinol
We typically associate retinoids with anti-aging products. This makes perfect sense given the primary uses fall neatly into the territory of supporting the skin in such a way that helps to minimize the signs of aging. Many of these same qualities are useful for helping to prevent and minimize blemish formation. Retinol and its relatives are all derivatives of vitamin A that help to turn up the overall cell turnover rate of your skin. This is important as it helps to minimize the impact of anything that gets caught up in the skin as well as clearly away issues quicker. The other beneficial aspect is that they can potentially support the formation of collagen in the skin. Collagen is one of the primary structural proteins in your skin and necessary to repair damage. This makes it crucial to minimizing the effects of blemishes on the skin. We advise being mindful about using retinol directly on any blemish though as the compound can be a little harsh on the skin when you first start using it.

The big takeaway from all of this is that blemish fighting in your 50s and beyond is mostly about prevention like it is at every age before. You can do a lot to simply minimize your chances with good skincare. Blemishes that turn up should heal themselves fairly quickly providing you’re able to make the effort. Just be mindful of how your skin reacts to care to ensure that you’re minimizing problems. Talk to your doctor if any blemishes are particularly stubborn as they may require specialized treatment.

The Lifting Massage

Woman getting a face massage

Massage take a wide variety of forms that make it hard to keep up with all the ones available at a given time. There are shorthands for the various categories that we can all recognize relatively easily though. A Swedish massage in any given spa will use particular techniques while and a stone massage will use a different technique. It at least gives you a decent idea of what to expect. A lifting massage, fortunately, has a name that gives you a rough idea of what to expect when looking for one. The goal of these is generally to firm and improve the overall health of the skin. Location varies depending on the spa, but many of them uses particular extracts to add further benefits to the skin.

What To Expect
In most cases, this kind of facial massage involve light to moderate work on the face that involves stretching and massaging problem areas in such a way to smooth out wrinkles and improve circulation. Circulation in particular plays a key role in the potential benefits of a lifting massage. Circulation in the skin helps the skin to maintain itself by encouraging the natural healing processes of the skin. Our skin degrades as we age with less of an ability to maintain the amount of moisture in it as well as decreasing ability to replace collagen, a structural protein. Improved circulation is helpful for the latter as the blood flow can slightly boost decreased collagen production and allow the skin to full areas back in like fine lines and reduce the severity of major wrinkles. The physical working of the face is only part of such massages though.

A Dash of Oil
Many spas utilize various oil preparations to help boost and revitalize the skin during both facial and standard massages. These generally vary depending on the massage, but facial massages tend to be increasingly utilizing forms of caviar extract oil. Names often vary even if benefits don’t. Caviar is a surprisingly skin healthy food due to its highly complex collection of nutrients. Anyone living a healthy lifestyle is probably more likely to think of caviar as part of finger food at a large gathering or a garnish for a particularly complex dish. In truth, skin care companies have been and continue to utilize extracts in skin care products. The nutrients include various skin healthy ones in addition to the extracts often being highly moisturizing. Facial massages utilizing it can help further improve the skin’s health by these means.

How Do I Know I’m Getting This Massage?
This isn’t as difficult as you might assume depending on where you live. Some places explicitly refer to these as facelift massages or anti-aging massages. It makes sense given the long term use of such treatments can revitalize the skin to the point there are noticeable benefits. The name shouldn’t lead to the expectation of immediate results though. Like most skin care treatments, this kind of massage will take multiple treatments to have a noticeable effect and relies on you taking good care of your skin before treatments. Additionally, this won’t make up for poor lifestyle habits like drinking, smoking, or an unhealthy diet. No treatment can make up for treating your body badly. Skin health is directly tied to your overall health and you have to treat yourself right to expect good results from skin care.

A lifting massage isn’t quite as a surgical lift, but it can still improve the overall definition of your features if you’re willing to put the time into utilizing the massage at the interval suggested by a professional. They are non-invasive and help support skin health in a few ways to help ensure that you get the most from such treatments. Skincare may still be intimately tied to your overall health, but spoiling yourself occasionally certainly won’t hurt your skin.