Professional Micro Needling and Q&A with Dr. Theresa Pacheco

The search is over! I’ve been looking for a doctor I can trust for about a year to help with my pigmentation and get my skin back to where it was just a few years ago. Having a baby made it worse, I swear my skin aged 5 years from the melasma and hormone stuff that go along with pregnancy. Anyway, I’m almost 7 months post-delivery so I figured now is a good time to explore what my options are as far as a safe (I’m still nursing!) treatment to get my skin back on track.

My facialist Tjaden Lotito couldn’t say enough great things about Dr. Theresa Pacheco. She’s an M.D., professor of Dermatology, and researcher on all things related to aging and damaged skin at the University of Colorado Anchutz campus. She knows the skin and non-surgical treatments as well or better than anyone else you’ll find. I liked her right away, she’s down-to-earth and a wealth of knowledge who isn’t there to sell you on anything (they don’t offer packages and I didn’t see any product lines anywhere), just to educate you on what your options are and offer the least invase way to achieve what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for fluff, frills, and a water with cucumber in your glass sort of experience- this isn’t it as you can see by their website, they’re all about the medical side of skin. It’s exactly what I was hoping for.

Dr. Pacheco

Dr. Pacheco

I walked in to see Dr. Pacheco already knowing what I wanted: Fraxel. The ultimate in laser treatments. I’d researched it, I knew all about it, and wouldn’t accept anything else. Fire the thing up and start zapping, I’m ready to go! After a quick look at my skin she said she could do a laser treatment and loves what lasers do for the skin, but I also had other options. One being a combo laser treatment with levulinic acid that would basically give me new skin but has quite a bit of downtime. The other was medical micro needling (aka Derma Rolling!) Now you know I love me some derma rolling and have one at home that I use. The medical treatment isn’t the same as what you do at home though because her instrument has longer needles to create deeper channels in the skin which forces even more repair and better results. Basically, I go in and have a numbing cream put on my skin for about 20 minutes then she rolls the hell out of my skin poking a zillion little holes in it (yes, there is some bleeding) which tells my body to go and make new skin to heal that damage. By the time I leave, my skin will just be a bit red and swollen like a sunburn, and then over the next few weeks and even months I will see an improvement in overall skin quality especially pigment and even fine lines. I can keep up with the results by using great skincare with my at-home roller a few times a week. After seeing some before and after pictures that were pretty impressive, that’s what I ended up choosing. I’m so exited because the cost of this treatment is so much less than I expected to spend and we’re just doing one for now to see how it goes. It’s so important to see someone whose paycheck isn’t dependent upon selling you a service. If you’re in Colorado, this is where I recommend you go, otherwise check out similar doctors and clinics in your area.

A micro needle aka derma roller.

A micro needle aka derma roller.

She was also nice enough to answer a few questions I sent her way about treating different skin issues. Check out what she has to say, and click HERE to see her services and to make an appointment.

Q. What treatments do you recommend for pigmentation issues?

A. Medical therapy – Vitamin C but only if a proper concentration. Vitamin A’s but only formulated appropriately. Also, a light device/laser  depending on Fitzpatrick Skin Type and whether the pigment is epidermal or dermal to decide if certain light devices or lasers would work. Old fashioned chemical peels also work, but again they need to be properly formatted with the correct ph and free acid (this is my chemistry brain talking).

Sidenote: Right after I saw her I went and bought SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, a proven C serum that all doctors I’ve talked to rave about. Don’t skimp on C serums, many are just a waste of money.

C E Ferulic

Q. What are your favorite ingredients that make the biggest difference in the skin?

A. Vitamin A but only when it’s formulated appropriately.Vitamin C but only if formulated with another antioxidant and a proper concentration. There are many other products that have benefit but it really depends on what difference you want to make in regards to skin health.

Sidenote: I’m using Vivant Exfol-A serum at night. An excellent vitamin A formulation that’s really concentrated and doesn’t make my skin red or flakey like Retin A does. I also use it with my derma roller so it has even better penetration.

vivant

Q. What about treatments for acne?

A. Medical therapy , alpha hydroxyl acids, Vitamin A, and anti-inflammatory agents. Light device/laser, but there is no laser/light device approved for acne treatment and covered by insurance. FDA device approval is very different than FDA pharmaceutical approval. The ‘heat dispersion’ from the devices control active acne lesions (red pustules, cysts, but not black heads and white heads). The no!no!™ skin device was the 1st device on the market that used ‘heat’ to control active acne lesions. Old fashioned chemical peels work, but again they need to be properly formatted with the correct ph and free acid (this is my chemistry brain talking again!)

Sidenote: I reviewed the no!no! years ago when it first came out and I love it for hair removal, I didn’t know I could be using it on my face?! Glycolic acid is awesome and Glytone tells you exactly how much Glycolic (aka Alpha Hydroxyl Acid) you’re getting in each product. I’m using their cleanser and moisturizer.

glytone

I’m hoping to schedule a treatment for next week where I’ll take pictures (maybe a video?) of the treatment and post it along with some before and after pics as the weeks progress. If you have any questions about micro needling or any other skin treatment, leave them in the comment section and I’ll get them answered for you!

Sephora’s Holiday Gift Sets Are Here!

It’s that time of year again! Stock up on fragrances, glosses, nail polishes, and eyeliners for way less than you’d normally pay. Break them apart for stocking stuffers, or give yourself a little something. Below is Tarte’s 5 gloss set sold for just $36 a $105 value. Click HERE to see all the gift sets Sephora has to offer.

tarte

Makeup I Use & Jane Iredale’s Latest

What you see below is the makeup I packed for our California trip (brushes and skincare not included obvs). All were things I bought (save for the CARGO bronzer and theBalm shadow) in spite of there being plenty of makeup scattered around my office sent by companies wanting me to review it all. I do have a Japonesque case filled with makeup that I love using when time allows and there’s a reason to doll up, but most days I edit down and use at least one or two things from this pile.

Bronzer: CARGO
Mineral Foundation: Jane Iredale in Warm Silk
Laura Mercier: Eyeliner for Tightline
White Eye Pencil: Jane Iredale
Lip Gloss: Jane Iredale in Soft Peach (my all time fav shade)
Lipstick: Aveda Oyster Pink (limited)
Cheek Color: Jane Iredale Parfait
Single Eye Shadow: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
Shadow trio: Smashbox Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in ‘Filter’
Foundation: Boscia BB Cream
Concealer: Miracle Skin Transformer Treat & Conceal
Not Pictured: Mascara CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion (the purple tube)


Click to enlarge

I use the Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup over the BB Cream for a little more coverage. In a hurry, I just brush on the Iredale powder solo.

Speaking JI- their new Smooth Affair primer is amazing. It’s a light weight nourishing formula with good-for-the-skin ingredients and antioxidants that really help makeup stay put. I’ve even used it a few times in place of a morning moisturizer when my skin isn’t feeling dry because it’s the perfect amount of hydration and it makes my skin look and feel great. She also introduced a mineral BB Cream that will soon replace the Boscia I’ve been using once it runs out. It has tons of coverage and a beautiful finish. I like it better than the Boscia because of the natural ingredients and it comes in darker shade selections rather than just one ‘universal’ shade that really isn’t.


Smooth Affair Primer


Glow Time BB Cream

BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance Chair, the Only Baby Chair You’ll Need.

As you can imagine, we have a lot of swings, bouncey seats, and jumparoos around here. Harper has more places to sit in this house than I do. I wish we would’ve known ahead of time that the only chair we really needed was the Babysitter Balance from BabyBjorn.

A good friend with 3 kids sent it over as a gift when Harper was born. I’d never seen one before so I didn’t fully understand its magic, but when she told me it made taking a shower and doing things around the house possible, I knew it would get some good use. Because of it’s fuss-free design, it’s good for her to interact with us while fidgeting with a toy or nothing at all. It’s not a ‘bouncy’ chair per se, but the design does allow for movement when she moves kicks and wiggles but nothing too wild. I think most note worthy for us is how it helped us BIG TIME with her reflux which was terrible from birth up until very recently. When we sat her in the chair post-feedings we could tell a big difference in her spitting up, so we made it a regular habit to hold her up for a while after eating  then put her in the chair to let her meal settle a little bit more.

And speaking of spit up, the durable fabric that makes up the chair is so easy to clean. Its simple frame is a metal loop that you pull the fabric off of when you want to toss it in the washer. We’ve been able to get everything out of it too so it’s stain and spot-free.

Another huge (but unintended) plus is how Harper has retained her rounded head which we get remarks about all the time. I think it’s because she’s resting her head on the chair’s soft fabric and not a hard surface.

We put it in there so much that we joke about how she’ll never learn to crawl or walk and how we’d have to carry her to college. I’m so glad that it can grow with Harper and be used until she’s 30 pounds because she loves it so much. Click HERE to check it out on their site and to find which stores near you carry it. And click HERE to see Harper sitting in the chair in her ‘say mom’ video.

Teaching Baby Harper How to Say Mom

Plain and simple this was one of my favorite mommy moments so far, I’m glad I grabbed my Flip! She’s 6 months next week and really picking up on the repeating thing. Her expressions and smiles as she follows me through it all just breaks my heart. She’s so perfect.

Nude Skincare

I’ve been a fan of NUDE Skincare since they first came on the scene a few years ago, but now they’ve really stepped up their game with a new look and a new collection of 11 probiotic and omega-rich cleansers, treatment oils, and creams. I’ve been able to try out most of the new offerings and what I found was ultra concentrated, safe, effective skincare that delivers as promised.

Highlights for me include:

The beautifully delicate ProGenius Treatment Oil is rich in omegas, vitamins, and plant and flower oils, my skin gobbled up just a few drops which gave the right amount of hydration and left my skin really soft and luminous. Use it solo on combo skin or if you don’t like the weight of heavy creams, or layer it under your moisturizer for extra thirsty skin. I used it recently on a client with ultra dry skin by mixing it into her foundation with amazing results, she said her skin had never looked so pretty. She was so overjoyed in fact (and so sweet) that I gave her my bottle right out of my kit.

For years I’ve used various oils as a pre-cleanse to loosen both eye and face makeup to reduce the amount of scrubbing to my skin, so I’m well versed in what makes one particularly good. Perfect Cleansing Oil replaced my beloved Shu Uemura face oil because it felt lighter, I use much less, and it just works better. There isn’t any sort of oily residue left behind and it doesn’t burn my eyes either. I work one pump into my skin before mixing in my cleanser (which is optional since it’s made to be used solo), it makes a huge difference especially with dissolving stubborn mascara.

Which leads me to their cleanser. There are two cleansing options within the line, one is the oil and the other is Purify Cleansing Wash. It’s a fantastic, great-for-all cleanser with a unique feel- neither a gel nor a cream- but soft and pillowy without any foam or fuss. It cleans without stripping and leaves skin feeling balanced and great. I’m not in love with the scent, but it isn’t a deal breaker for me either.

And now for the big show; every line is only as good as their moisturizer and Cellular Renewal is great. Omegas, probiotics, vitamins and all their best stuff provide what feels like pure nutrition on the skin. The smallest amount goes a long way and since it’s without SPF, it works for day and night. I often let my (very picky) husband try moisturizers out because he doesn’t like things that are heavily scented, too heavy, greasy, or fussy. Luckily this is none of those so he’ll actually use it nightly and has even said it’s something he’d buy again which is a little insane actually since he isn’t a ‘products sort of guy.’ Great science and results aside, it makes skin just feel better and not slathered in anything.

Check out NUDE skincare at Sephora.