Skin tips for the traveler

This weekend I traveled to Denver for a dermatology conference. My travel reminded me of the importance of taking extra special care of your skin while traveling.

Traveling can be very hard on the skin, different climates, dry airplane air and a disruption to your normal routine. Some tips on keeping your skin glowing during travel:

1. Hydrate. Drink lots of water (skip the soda, alcohol and coffee) while on the airplane. I admit to breaking the “no coffee” rule at times, but I always have water with it.  Also hydrate your skin. Bring a moisturizer on the plane with you and apply it every couple of hours. This includes the lips and hands. If your skin is very dry aquaphor or vaseline can work for all three locations!

2. Tailor your skin care to the climate. If you are going to Denver you will need a heavier moisturizer and it is best to leave any retinols or exfoliants at home. In tropical locations you’ll need lighter products, but again take a break from anti-aging products because they often increase sensitivity to the sun.

3. Bring sunscreen. Again- bring sunscreen. It is best to bring a brand that you have tried before. Your skin may be more prone to irritation while teaveling and a new sunscreen may make this worse.

4.  Be aware of medications that may make you sensitive to the sun. Many oral (blood pressure, antibiotics, ibuprofen) and topical (acne) medications can increase sensitivity to the sun. If you can stop the medications (such as acne topicals), do so prior to your trip. If you can’t, remember that medications can increase sun sensitivity so much that sunscreen might not be enough- you will need a hat and may even need to avoid the sun.

5. Try to maintain a regular sleeping and eating schedule. The skin is the largest organ of the body and reflects changes in sleep and nutrition (like a salty meal) very quickly.  Enjoy the vacation, but practice moderation if you can. I often try to eat lighter and healthier (with less salt) for breakfast and lunch and then relax a bit at dinner.

6. Bring your skin medications with you. If you have any skin condition ( this includes jock it/ringworm/athletes foot), bring your medications with you! All skin conditions have a tendency to flare when our routines change, be prepared with your medications. I forgot this rule for my trip and didn’t bring my eczema or rosacea medications- and of course they flared up! I learned my lesson.

I hope this post gave you a few tips for keeping your skin glowing on your next trip. Bon voyage! Send me a postcard!


What’s the scoop on Botox?

Botox is probably the easiest way to reverse signs of aging. Botox is a specific brand of botulinum toxin A. There are other cosmetic brands of the toxin- Dysport and Xeomin. All of the products work the same way, they create a temporary paralysis of specific muscles which results in relaxation of wrinkles. By relaxing the muscles, there is also a prevention of deep lines and wrinkles.

Botox is one of the most common and easiest cosmetic procedures performed. It is delivered into the skin through tiny injections. The effect takes about 5-10 days to be seen, but after this time you will notice softening or even disappearance of lines and wrinkles.

Botox is mostly used for lines on the forehead, between the eyes (frown lines)  and around the eyes (smile lines). It can be used in small amounts around the mouth.  Botox is also used in the medical setting for headaches and other neurological and muscular disorders.

Is it safe? Yes. As long as an FDA approved product is used in the appropriate location and amount, serious side effects are rare and almost never seen with cosmetic Botox. Possible side effects include bleeding or bruising (usually minimal in the hands of a good injector), headache or asymmetry.  Your injector should alway go over the possible side effects and make the drug insert available to you prior to injection. They should also let you know what product is being used and how much is being injected.

Who should not have Botox? If you have a history of neuromuscular disease (including, but not limited to, myasthenia gravis or Guillan Barre) , are breastfeeding or pregnant you should not get Botox. Botox is a medical drug, so make sure your injector knows your medical history.

How much does it cost? This depends on the area treated. Typical costs range from $300 to $600. This also varies by region of the country.

How long does it last? The effects of Botox are temporary- which is a good thing if you don’t like your results! In general the effects last 2-6 months. If you continue to have injections, some people find they need less product and it lasts longer, however- some people need more because they recruit other muscles.

Can it be reversed? Unfortunately no. If you don’t like the appearance it will need to wear off. However, often a suboptimal appearance can often be fixed with strategic placement of a few units. Always call your injector if you are concerned or unhappy. A good injector will want to know.

When do people start getting botox? Women of all ages get Botox, some starting in their twenties and early thirties.  It is more difficult (and sometimes impossible) to reverse deep lines, so starting early can be of benefit.

Hopefully this post has de-mystified Botox a bit. It is an easy and quick way to brighten your appearance!