Out, damned spot! out, I say! ~ Lady McBeth
What are those Damned Brown Spots Anyway?
Brown spots are flat, oval areas of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin – hence called ‘spots’ – and they are typically tan, brown or black. While brown spots develop most often in people with light to fair complexions, those with darker skin can also experience small areas of increased pigmentation.
What Causes Brown Spots?
Prolonged and repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the most frequent cause of brown spots in those that are genetically predisposed. UV light causes brown spots because the skin reacts by increasing melanin production in a localized area; increased melanin production is also how you get a tan to help protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays, but with a tan the distribution of pigment is even. Moreover, because it is UV light rather than the entire spectrum of sunlight that causes brown spots, commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to their development.
While UV light is the most common cause, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from skin injury, certain skin diseases, and certain medications that sensitize the skin to the sun can also cause brown spots.
The development of brown spots usually happens gradually over time. Because of their gradual development, they are sometimes called ‘age spots,’
Where do Brown Spots Occur?
In the case of UV exposure, brown spots usually occur on those parts of the skin that have had the most sun exposure, e.g., on the back of the hands, the top of the feet, on the face, or on the shoulders and upper back.
How Can I Get Rid of Brown Spots?
Before using a laser or IPL to get rid of a brown spot, see your doctor first to make sure the spot is not pre-cancerous or cancerous.
You’ll especially want to see your doctor if you notice that a brown spot has any one or more of these characteristics:
- It is darkly pigmented
- It is rapidly increasing in size
- It is greater than 5mm
- It has an irregular border
- It has an unusual combination of colors
- It is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding
If your doctor tells you it is safe to remove a brown spot, if you only have 1-2 spots, liquid nitrogen is quite effective. Sometimes, however, more than one treatment may be needed to fully remove a spot and repeated treatment with liquid nitrogen can cause blotchy pigmentation over time.
IPL, on the other hand, is equally effective in removing many brown spots at once while also maintaining skin tone; in fact, the goal of IPL treatments is to make your skin more evenly colored by decreasing the irregular brownish and reddish areas that have developed as a result of aging and sun damage. In addition, IPL also brightens the skin and gives it a more youthful glow.
It should be noted, however, that the effectiveness of IPL in removing brown spots depends somewhat on your skin tone; while IPL can be adjusted to your skin tone, if your skin is too dark, your best bet is to use a Yag or Q-switched Yag laser.
Being a natural beauty means doing basic things like getting enough rest and eating nutritious foods. This can do wonders to enhance your overall mood and lead to a more rejuvenated appearance.
We came up some spa-related beauty tips that will let your natural beauty shine and help you feel better too!
Read on for 5 ways to easily enhance your natural beauty (and share it with the world)!
How to be a Natural Beauty
Facial massage: loosen up tight facial muscles every night before bed.
Most spa facials will incorporate a facial massage into its treatment. Why? Because the massage draws nutrients into the face to prevent signs of aging and gives your face a healthy vibrant tone. A facial massage further increases circulation, oxygenates, and detoxes the skin tissues.
It’s best to massage your face at night when applying moisturizer. Simply incorporate a light massage into your moisturizing routine. As an added bonus, the massage will help relax you before bedtime so you (and your smile muscles) will be rested and ready for the next day!
Loosen up tired “facial-expression” muscles that are hard at working during the day with this simple facial massage.
Open your eyes: open up the look of your eyes with a Japanese eyelash perm treatment or Eyelash Extensions. Both can open up and revive the look of your face anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks! The effect gradually lessens as your lashes naturally grow and fall out.
A Japanese eyelash perm is a temporary way to give your lashes a luscious curl sans an eyelash curler! The treatment is safe and painless and you leave the spa looking bright eyed!
You can choose the tightness of the curl (the tighter the curl the more “glamorous” it will appear).
Eyelash extensions work in much the same way but without the chemical treatment of an eyelash perm. Fake lashes are individually applied to each of your natural lashes to make your lashes look naturally longer, fuller, and darker. So say goodbye to mascara!
Keep lips hydrated and smooth for a youthful smile: exfoliate lips with a sugar scrub to get rid of dead skin on and around the lips. Then be sure to keep them moisturized to protect the new skin with a lip balm throughout the day.
Lips are an important feature of your face as it frames your smile. Exfoliation simply means removing the top layer of skin which is mostly consists of dead skin cells. When this top layer is removed a new layer that soft and even is revealed. Slough off dry skin with a gentle scrub, if the scrub is too harsh you could strip valuable natural oils from the skin causing more damage than good.
Sleep with a humidifier in your bedroom. This will keep your lips and skin hydrated throughout the night.
Get youthful looking lips by exfoliating them daily for a youthful smile.
Kiss those Lip Lines Goodbye!
Optimize your cleansing routine: Find a facial cleanser that works best for your skin type (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin).
Finding the right cleanser may take some trial and error but it’s just as important as washing your face. For example, if you have sensitive skin you’ll want to stick to a gentle cleanser with naturally moisturizing components like aloe vera, otherwise cleansers with certain chemicals will cause inflammation and strip skin of natural oils. It’s better to do a little research by asking your esthetician for advice or trying out samples. Choose the best cleanser that works with your skin’s chemistry and wash away dirt and debris without any unsightly side effects. And always remember to moisturize your face immediately after cleansing to rehydrate skin!
Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated and looking healthy throughout the day. If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will start to look dry and flaky. Dry skin is less resilient and more prone to premature aging. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will help flush toxins from your body and, overtime, will give you youthful glowing skin.
We all know that staying hydrated is important for overall good health, but for healthy skin it’s a must. Skin, like any other bodily organ, is made up of cells which are made up of water. Without this primary component, cells just wouldn’t be able to function optimally.
In addition to hydrating from the inside out, replenish lost moisture by applying a moisturizer within 2 minutes of showering or bathing. During this short window of time, the skin remains porous allowing for better absorption.
For optimal absorption, use a hydrating serum that contains hyalauronic acid before applying moisturizer. Hyalauronic acid attracts and holds water making your skin look plump and firm.
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Three of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Guidice, Dina Manzo, and Amber Marchese recently visited Shizuka new york Day Spa to sample The Geisha Facial®!
If you ask around, you’ll hear that lasers are “the gold standard” for both hair removal and for treating skin disorders, such as rosacea; however, this “goal standard” reputation really only holds in a few specific cases.
For example, for hair removal, the diode laser at 810nm is extremely effective for any hair color or type; however, unless you have very light or blond hair, IPL is just as effective.
What’s The Difference Between Laser VS. IPL?
A laser produces an intense beam of light composed of one wavelength that targets a specific body structure, e.g., a hair follicle or a red blood cell; IPL (short for ‘intense pulsed light’), on the other hand, rather than producing a sustained beam of light, produces a series of intense short flashes. Unlike a laser, IPL light is composed of many wavelengths, but to target a specific body structure, technicians use filters to narrow the focus of the light.
The main overall advantage of IPL over lasers is efficiency in treating different skin problems: the pulsed light allows for an accumulation of energy (heat) on the target under the surface of the skin while letting the surface of the skin cool and recover between pulses; this, coupled with the use of filters, allows for rapid shifting of frequencies to treat different conditions.
Additionally, IPL can treat a larger area than a laser which results in less treatment time for large areas of rosacea.
So for Rosacea & Veins, Which is Better, IPL or Laser?
You’re far more likely to experience significant treatment outcomes depending on the quality of equipment used and the skill level and experience of the technician than you are on whether or not you use laser or IPL; in fact, controlling for the quality of equipment and the experience level of the technician, major studies have found either no or little difference in treatment outcomes or a small advantage of laser in special cases.
For example, a 2007 study reported in the Annals of Plastic Surgery found no difference between intense pulsed light versus a long-pulse pulsed dye laser in the treatment of facial skin rejuvenation (Ann Plast Surg. 2007 Nov;59(5):479-83); it did find, however, that laser was superior to IPL in the treatment of lentigines. Other studies have found an IPL advantage over pulsed-dye laser in the treatment of facial acne and port-wine stain.
In short, in the right hands, in most cases, both technologies produce excellent results.
What About Bruising After Treatment?
To be on the safe side, you should probably expect some bruising after IPL treatment for rosacea. However, you can reduce the possibility of bruising by not taking blood thinners, like aspirin, Advil or Aleve within a week of your treatment.
Because we see bruising on some clients after IPL treatment for rosacea, we do not recommend IPL (both hair & photo facial) for our clients during summer.
What About Downtime After Treatment?
While there is very little, if any, downtime after treatment, if you work on camera, especially given today’s high definition cameras, you may have a wait a day or so before you become camera ready; however, if you don’t work on camera, you can apply makeup after treatment and then go right back into your normal routine.
As summer’s sweltering temperatures may make you want to move to cooler shores, you can at least keep your skin glowing throughout the heat wave. Here are some top tips on how to get glowing skin all summer long.
Summer Facial Care Tips: How to Get Glowing Skin all Summer Long
It’s easy to underplay the importance of facials in the summer: why get a facial when I’ll just be slathering sunscreen on it a moment after, you might ask? The skin really takes a beating in the summer and while we protect it with sun screens and blocks, those can easily clog pores and lead to acne. To offset the effect of summertime skincare, facials reset skin by clearing out pores of buildup from sunscreen and makeup that builds up over time. Get a facial at least once during the summer season and one right before autumn begins. This will reset the skin by giving it a deep cleansing while de-stressing the skin.
Related blog post: An Anti-Aging Facial that’s also an Immunity Booster
During the summer be on guard against free radicals that damage skin and cause pre-mature aging. While protecting your skin from the sunlight is of utmost importance, consider adding free radical damage prevention to your summertime skin care routine. It’s just as important to build up skin defenses against free radicals. Stock up on antioxidants and vitamin C serum to keep the skin protected against fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and uneven complexion. These anti-inflammatories also help ward off excess redness (inflammation).
Related blog post: Preserve your Youthful Glow with Vitamin C Power Gel
Even if you’re not acne prone, it’s best to practice keeping skin as oil-free as possible to reduce shine and to prevent against future breakouts. Wash your face as much as possible after sweating (and be sure to reapply sunscreen). Sweating releases the body’s toxins out through the pores and if sweat sits on your face for long it can become a breeding ground for bacteria leading to acne, inflammation, and clogged pores. You can also carry oil blotting sheets, or keep a towel or small rag on hand.
Related blog post: Product Highlight: SHIZUKA new york Clay Cleanser
Most people aren’t aware that going in and out of air conditioned environments and into the scorching sun can severely dehydrate the skin. Dehydrated skin can start to itch and flake leading to other concerns relating to premature aging. Stay hydrated to keep your skin fortified with moisture from the inside out. Drink plenty of water and eat fruits and vegetables and anything else with high water content, like green tea.
Related blog post: Refreshing Spa Water Recipes
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