Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get rid of wrinkles without surgery

If you're thinking about getting a facelift, but aren't quite ready for the full surgery, there are alternatives.

The latest and greatest product is called Artefill, which is a combination of cow collagen and tiny plastic microspheres.

About a year ago, Dr. Mark Hamilton of Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery spoke with 24-Hour News 8 about the product.

"I really insist that they do the temporary filler first," said Dr. Hamilton.

Along with Dr. Hamilton, News 8 also checked with another plastic surgeon on Artefill. He was skeptical and wouldn't recommend it.  

But now one year later Dr. Hamilton is pointing to the latest five year study on the wrinkle filler and he said the news is even better. The microspheres, used to puff up the wrinkles are smoother, more regular. And less prone to cause a reaction.

"This is the version used in the U.S. And you can see they are much more uniform in shape and a lack of particles," said Dr. Hamilton.

These little spheres are injected under the skin. Older versions of Artefill were more irregular and you could find tiny particles in it. There was more of a chance of a reaction.

But Dr. Hamilton said his patients haven't had any problems and have been happy with their results.

But there's always the more radical technique, a face and neck lift.

Unlike a face lift, Artefill is done in a matter of minutes and is much less invasive. And Dr. Hamilton believes it's safe.

"It's really showing a great track record, still a good safety profile, when you compare it to the temporary fillers. I think it holds up very well. And the product is still there five years later, which confirms what we expected that it's a long term if not permanent change," said Dr. Hamilton.

Artefill has been used around the world for the past 20 years. But the product is made by different companies. Dr. Hamilton said the American product is the best.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beauty products

I'm not afraid to admit I'm as susceptible to beauty mistakes as the next person — or that there have been some pretty comical ones. At school, for example, a DIY home hair-mask recipe caused me inadvertantly to scramble an egg on my head (I didn't get the importance of rinsing with lukewarm water).

A couple of vigorous washes was all it took to correct, but had I had to live for weeks instead of hours with the sulphurous smell it left behind, I would really have rued the day I experimented with my beauty routine. And that is where more durable treatments can fall down. Regular readers may remember me writing about the Daniel Hersheson permanent blow-dry treatment a couple of months back. At the time, the thought of being able to wash and (immediately) wear my usually wavy/frizzy hair without having to smooth out various sections with the hairdryer convinced me to give it a whirl. For the first couple of weeks I was glad I had. I could merrily skip out of the shower, dress and move straight onto make-up without any tiresome blow-drying. My hair didn't exactly look blow-dried in that swingy way it should, but it was definitely less unruly.

I feel it only right, however, to give an update now that it has had a chance to settle. The fact is that, while the treatment contains conditioning clays, there's no denying the fact that it is a chemical process and, hence, not especially good for the hair. The frizz is still somewhat tamed, but my hair is now also permanently lank and unable to last more than a day without feeling coated in a tacky residue. I'm not alone in my disappointment. A colleague tried it and found that the only effect it had on her hair was to exacerbate her frizz, and some hairdressers I have consulted have seen clients who have tried the procedure and been similarly disappointed.

On the plus side, I've discovered some great reconditioning products — a dose of Kérastase Forcintense (£24; 0800 316 4400) after each wash and Real Base Conditioning Haircare Mist (£17; really help infuse moisture back in. And, as with a bad cut, it is only a matter of time before it grows out. Plus, the human guinea pig aspect of this job does require me to take the rough with the smooth — so hopefully you don't have to.

Lust of the week

YSL's new Rouge Volupté is a statement lipstick if ever there was one. The decadent gold casing gives it a jewel-like quality, and the handy mirror on the lid is proof that this is meant to be applied in public. The substance within this stylish outerwear? A luscious,glossy formula whose colours don't lose any of their clout for coming in a high-shine finish.

Aïcha Fofana wins beauty contest in Togo

APA-Lomé (Togo) Aicha Pamela FOFANA was on Saturday night crowned Togo's nicest girl in 2008 during a beauty contest held at the Conference centre of Lome.

This 18-year old girl, Aisha, is in her second year of business communication studies and measures 1.71m tall and 58kg.

She emerged the prettiest among 21 competitors. The 21-year old Sena Alovor, 1.7m and 56kg, came second and 22-year old Ablavi Randolph, 1.68m and 57kg, took the third position in the contest.

"I believed in my features; but there came a time when I was discouraged. I rallied confidence when I realised that my contenders started quivering, Aicha said after dedicated her victory to here mother who died three months ago.

Before she won the Miss crown, Aisha endured like all the other competitors, various events such as the gait, the plastic beauty, the traditional parade, and this year's interview on women leadership.

As soon as she was elected, Pamela embarked on development projects, exploiting her image to mobilise the support of the population. The Miss did not however reveal her area for action.

"I will discuss with the committee to select the topic which matches with our country's current issues", Aicha said.

Initiated in 1994 by the Committee Miss Togo, the beauty contest has become a real cultural and social pageant. Togo's bronze Olympics medallist, Benjamin Boukpeti, also attended that 14th edition.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Unleash your legs with our definitive six-week guide to the perfect pins

Warm weather and summer fashion make us want to bare our legs but do we dare? Anne McElvoy tests the hot new exercise machine on a quest to make hers look 10 years younger.

Really, I don't ask for much: just legs 10 years younger than I am. I divulge this fantasy to one sensible colleague and an academic friend, both of whom are apt to dismiss trivial aspirations as unworthy of educated females. "Ooh, yes," they chorus.

Women whose minds are supposed to be on higher things share secret fantasies of improved legs. also, the no-tights season now extends from May to September, even without the annual beach challenge, so something should be done.

"Power plates and some vein zapping," says a leggy adviser. "anything else will take you months." I don't have months. So it is off to Beauty Works West, the spa where lissom W11 dwellers come and go, lissomer by the day. A full leg consultation is ordered and, oh dear: are they really mine? I blame the babies.

Next door in Bodyworks West, head trainer Rebecca has her tape measure in hand and emails me a long explanation of how "vibration training" works.

"When a muscle is under tension and placed on a vibrating platform the tiny movements stimulate another proprioceptor called the Golgi tendon organ. It will react to protect the muscle by causing it to relax further, thus allowing a greater stretch." If you say so.


First up is Dr Sister, blue-vein and stretch-mark zapper to anyone who is anyone. "Don't you need your veins?" asked a (male) colleague (duh). Well, no actually, not the tiny blotchy ones that arrive on your 40th birthday and multiply like little mini-maps of Balkan states. The good French doctor armed with his miracle machines shouts "Kapow" when he hits a target.

It feels like having hot needles inserted under the skin for 10 to 15 minutes. "What does 'buggeration' mean?" enquiries Dr Sister. I choose Polish Patti for the red vein treatment, which is marginally less painful.

On to the Power Plate. It judders up and down at high speed, and then I run through all those squats and lunges under Rebecca's eagle eye. I hadn't realised that abdominal strength is so important to building up better muscle tone in the legs.

I have to "zip" my abdominals tight, control my breathing and "pin your tummy button to your spine", which is about as comfortable as it sounds. After each session, my legs feel pleasantly tight but without all the panting and sweating of a treadmill session.

Power plate

Power Plate: Favoured by the likes of Madonna the Plate has a vibrating platform that accelerates the effects of muscle training


Results! An inspection with a female friend (men don't really care) shows a small amount of new defined muscle down the outside leg and around the knee. I am halfway to being Gwyneth  -  just not quite as sleek.

In the second half of each session, we do a stint on the Cardio Wave (a smoother version of the step machine) and the swish pulleys and levers of the Kinesis circuit.

An exercise ball now and then adds extra excitement. It feels like blessed relief after being jiggled on the Power Plate.

Then I lie down and Rebecca does all the work, stretching out calves and hip muscles so that they get elongated.

Have invested in proper Sweaty Betty kit and proper shoes. This is going well.


Disaster. Thrice weekly sessions are killing my out-of-work life. I have to drive across London at weekends to fit in training and the novelty of standing on a shuddering machine is wearing off. And now my lower back is niggling (an existing weakness that pops up when I take to serious exercise).

Bodyworks introduces Mark, a nice antipodean physio whom I will see while training (the combination of a gym and physio is the most useful innovation in sporting london). We discuss the depilation question as I have a holiday looming.

Apparently there's a state-of-the-art laser hair removal which works wonders for dark hair. I am fair and use this as an excuse to avoid more lasers and opt for ye olde waxing. After what I've been through, a bit of mild hair-ripping feels quite pleasant.

Exercise ball

Having a ball: Stretching supplements the hi-tech Plate workout

WEEK 4/5

Holiday. Rebecca sends texts telling me to do 50 sets of thigh-enhancing clams and squats every two days. I obey in week one and my friends make the right noises about good legs for the beach. Then I let it all go again and the slump is instant - heavy limbs and a general feeling of slovenliness.


Back on the chain gang. The veins are looking better and a dark area behind the knee is gone. Now I alternate between perky Rebecca - still enjoining me to "squeeze" and "zip" up my innards - and the physio, who is becoming a regular fixture.

Muscle definition is definitely better though - specially down the outside leg and (a bonus) around the midriff and bottom. I fret that I might end up with "cyclist's calves". So we add a round of extra stretches. Apparently half an hour of this a day is optimal. Have trouble putting up with it for five minutes.


Mission accomplished. Rebecca enthuses that my legs are "more toned, tight and stable". The improved gluts and abdominals are a definite plus. I would use Power Plates as part of a fitness regime, but with some gentler elements thrown in for variety.

Now realise that unless you are Marlene Dietrich, you can spend most of your free time maintaining your legs. Oddly, no leading modelling agency has yet been on the phone.

Are You Developing Wrinkles Due to Stress?

Stress is something that we all have to deal with, but too much of it can have dire effects on you. One way in which stress leaves its mark on us is in the form of wrinkles. They aren't only caused by getting older or the skin drying out. Stress takes a very big toll on your overall health, both physically and mentally. If you are developing wrinkles it is time to really take a close look at what you can do to reduce your stress level.

Some of us just handle daily stressors more than others. It can be simple things such as getting your work done or being stuck in traffic. Others have serious relationship concerns, financial strains, or a number of other things going on that are stressful. It is a very destructive thing that can completely destroy every aspect of your life if you let it. Your body will change too as toxins build up and your skin looks older.

As a person ages their hormones will change as well. Cortisol is a hormone that can result in weight gain as well as your skin aging. This is because the way in which your body is able to handle Cortisol changes as you get older. The hormone can remain in your body for very long periods of time when you get older. In the past it may have come and gone in very little time at all. This is also a core reason why adults get acne when they are stressed out.

While we do need to control the stress in our lives, it is virtually impossible to eliminate all of it. There are other things you can do though to stop those wrinkles from forming. Learn various breathing techniques that allow you to reach all the day down into your diaphragm and then to exhale. This will calm you down faster than you might believe. Practice such breathing techniques anywhere you go to reduce stress as it occurs.

Avoid large amounts of caffeine especially from coffee. This can cause your insulin levels to rise and more Cortisol to be produced. You should replace coffee with green tea because it is full of antioxidants that will help your skin fight the aging process. Make sure you drink plenty of water each day too. This way you can cleanse out toxins and you can stay well hydrated. Pay attention to how much sleep you get each night as well. The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount of it though.

So there you go.

Do your very best to conquer stress and you will also keep wrinkles at bay. There are many wonderful anti-aging products out there too that you can use to help you. They will not only get rid of current wrinkles but prevent others from appearing. Take good care of your skin and it will show. You will have delightful looking skin that is healthy and vibrant at any age.

Want the best wrinkle cream products that work? Then see these latest real life reviews by Stacey Williams of the anti aging creams including the Athena 7 minute lift serum for looking years younger and that gives results, including the best rated cellulite cream and cellulite treatment that works.

Beauty rules

There is a lot to take in when it comes to the world of beauty.

But there is even more coming out of your wallet.

The fountain of youth does not come cheap.

Each week there is a new product, a new 'must have', a new 'instant classic' coming on to the market and navigating the beauty counters can be a little like the Argonauts journey through the Sirens territory.

But beauty does not have to be expensive.

Everyone has products which work for them and if it ain't broke, then don't fix it, but there are times when the flesh is willing, but the wallet is weak.

And for that, you need to remember these time tested commandments to staying soft, supple and wrinkle free.

Sure, the snazzy packaging is seductive and there is a little bit of a rush which comes with slathering your skin in something that looks and smells so luxurious, but that doesn't always translate into giving you the best results.

People with sensitive skin should shy away from the heavily fragranced products which often populate these lines – you wouldn't spray perfume on your face, so why are you rubbing it in with your cleanser?

Cetaphil is still one of the most gentle and best cleansers around – and best of all it is under $10.

It doesn't look or smell particularly fantastic, but dermatologists have recommended it for years.

Don't be afraid to ask for a sample. When someone has taken the time to give you a run down on the product, smear it on you and tell you how great it is going to be for you there is pressure to reward them with a sale. This is their job.

If you think you might like the product, ask for a sample and try it out over a couple of days at home before committing to a sale. It gives you a chance to make sure the product suits your skin and will do what you want it to before you hand over hard earned money for something which will just sit in your cupboard gathering dust because it gave you a rash.

Naomi Campbell swears by Palmer's Cocoa Butter – and you can pick it up for a tidy $6 or so.

Sorbolene cream can be used to weigh down fly-away hair, moisturise your skin or even as a cleanser in the shower – and can be bought for under $5.

Several make-up artists and beauty editors still claim that Maybelline's Great Lash mascara is the best mascara they have ever used – and it's still only around $20.

Dry hands? Slather them in Vaseline just before bed, cover them in socks and head for the land of nod. The same can be done for feet and in a pinch, Vaseline can be used under the eyes when there is nothing left in the eye cream jar.

Toothpaste can be used to dry out pimples – dab a little on before going to bed. A crushed aspirin can also work wonders on blemishes and can also help remove the redness associated with them.

Dry Shampoo is great for in-between washes and can be found for about $8 – take it to the gym for a quick fix.

Brown sugar mixed with olive oil can be used as a body exfoliator in the shower.

Beat a couple of egg whites, add some honey, a squirt of lemon juice and if you are feeling adventurous some oats and voila! instant face mask.

Powered milk makes a great skin softener in the bath – just pour a cup or two in and sit back and channel Cleopatra.

Vinegar can be used to dry out spots on your back – just put in a spray bottle, add a little bit of water and blast those blemishes. Not for the face though – that is a little too harsh.

Baking Soda is one of the most effective exfoliators around. Add about a teaspoon to your cleanser (or even Cetaphil) and rub.

Do you need a toner? Do all your beauty steps need to be from the same brand? Do you really have oily skin? Or is it combination? Or is it only oily because you are using the wrong products and your skin is trying to compensate?

It does pay to have your skin assessed by a professional. If you don't or can't afford to buy their products, they can at least point you in the right direction.

Drink water. As much as you can handle.

Wear sunscreen. And don't forget your neck. There is no point in having a youthful face when the thing holding it up is spotty and wrinkled. In fact anywhere your skin is exposed, cover it in sunscreen. But make sure it is broad spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Chow down on some vitamin C – it is very good for your skin and also great at healing.

Eat well. Your skin will thank you.

If you're taking your magical pots and powders with you on a trip, keep it in its packaging to prevent breakage.

And sleep. There is no use in looking fabulous if your eyes are hanging out of your head.

Celebrity Makeup Artist Matin Reveals Backstage Beauty Secrets Used to Create the Be EcoChic(TM) Runway 'Look'

NEW YORK, Sept 05, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Neutrogena(R) Cosmetics Science Expert Matin Maulawizada unveiled his first eco-inspired "look" at the global launch of Be EcoChic(TM), a star-studded event that kicked-off New York Fashion Week last night. Debuting new products such as Neutrogena(R) Cosmetics Nourishing Eye Liner, Nourishing Eye Quad and MoistureShine Lipstick and the latest Neutrogena(R) Skincare products such as Neutrogena(R) Lift & Strengthen Intensive Facial Concentrate, Matin created the "look" worn by models and celebrities, including Neutrogena(R) spokespeople Malin Akerman and Susie Castillo, during the first-ever Be EcoChic(TM) runway show. The Be EcoChic(TM) "look" is now available to the public at
"For the Be EcoChic(TM) fashion show, I created a radiant 'look,' starting with healthy skin to bring out the natural beauty of the models and celebrities. Using Neutrogena(R) Cosmetics, I designed a soft, smoky eye and nude lips, accented with a soft gloss that keeps them playful and feminine," said celebrity makeup artist Matin. "My inspiration for the 'look' is the eco-minded woman who still wants to be chic, much like the premise of the Be EcoChic(TM) campaign. After all, you can be fashionable and environmentally conscious," added Matin.
"The Neutrogena(R) heritage of clean and gentle extends not only to the products we offer consumers but to our business practices as well -- from solar panel systems to a reduction in packaging materials," said Pericles Stamatiades, Company Group Chairman, Beauty, Johnson & Johnson. "Our participation in Be EcoChic(TM) is an example of our commitment to encourage smart choices that not only help preserve the world we live in but also help others learn what they can do to 'be' eco chic."
The foundation for beautiful makeup begins with beautiful skin and Neutrogena(R) has a solution for skincare worries including tired eyes, general loss of elasticity and breakouts. The Neutrogena(R) Ageless Restoratives(TM) Energy Renewal Energizing Eye Cream targets the delicate eye area to restore radiance and vibrancy. For overall noticeably-strengthened, healthier and younger-looking skin, the Neutrogena(R) Lift & Strengthen Intensive Facial Concentrate works deep within the surface to minimize visible signs of collagen loss. The Neutrogena(R) Rapid Clear(TM) Fight & Fade Gel has a unique two-in-one formulation which reduces breakouts and fades the look of post-acne marks for clearer, more even-toned skin fast.
"As an actress, my skin undergoes a tremendous amount of stress which is why it is important for me to use products that are good for my complexion," said actress Malin Akerman whose participation in the show also affirms her commitment to the environment. "By using Neutrogena(R) Cosmetics I am confident that I'm taking care of my skin while also looking my best."
To see Matin's "look," get more information on the Neutrogena(R) Cosmetics and Skincare products used at Be EcoChic(TM) and get step-by-step instructions to create your "look" at home, visit
About Neutrogena(R)
A worldwide leader in premium, dermatologist-recommended skin, hair and cosmetics products, Neutrogena(R) has been providing consumers with health and beauty improvements for over 40 years. The Company manufactures and markets a line of premium priced skin and hair care products that are distributed in more than 70 countries. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Neutrogena(R) is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, world's most comprehensive and broadly based health care products company.
About Matin:
Matin Maulawizada, a native of Afghanistan with a master's degree in Molecular Biology, was first introduced to the beauty business by a college roommate and began doing makeup part time. After working as a research scientist for a couple of years, he realized that he missed creating works of art on all types of faces. Since making the transition from scientist to makeup artist, Matin has worked with an ever-expanding list of the most beautiful faces in the entertainment industry. He has been featured in the beauty pages of leading fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Allure and his work has graced the covers of Elle, Amaan, Marie Claire and Nylon.
About Malin Akerman:
Akerman relocated to the U.S. from Canada in 2001 to pursue her love of acting. Since 2001, she has quickly been building her film career. This spring, Akerman appeared in the romantic comedy 27 DRESSES. Prior to that, she landed the lead role in THE HEARTBREAK KID directed by the Farrelly Brothers, co-starring Ben Stiller, and starred in the Screen Gems comedy THE BROTHERS SOLOMON directed by Bob Odenkirk. On the small screen, Akerman impressed critics and audiences alike with her portrayal of "Juna Millken" in the HBO series THE COMEBACK. She also had a memorable recurring role in the third season of ENTOURAGE. Akerman has just completed work as one of the title characters in WATCHMEN for 300 Director, Zack Snyder. The film co-stars Billy Cruddup, Carla Gugino and Patrick Wilson and is due out in March 2009.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum

How is your epidermis doing today? Does it feel as fresh and vibrant as the rest of you? Your skin is the largest (and most delicate) of your organs, and it is just as important to keep that organ healthy and rejuvenated ...

How is your epidermis doing today? Does it feel as fresh and vibrant as the rest of you? Your skin is the largest (and most delicate) of your organs, and it is just as important to keep that organ healthy and rejuvenated as it is the heart or lungs. Unfortunately the skin tends to showcase its wear and tear with

spotlights, and also long before your heart stops beating like a frisky twenty year old.

At CollageneLife Intl, we do not believe that anyone should just accept the lines and wrinkles as a part of life. Throw a rally or a tantrum; whichever would be the best way to get the attention of the Dermatology Gods. Who says you have to look old just because you are not eighteen years old anymore? We think that you deserve to look and feel your absolute best. It is for this reason that CollageneLife developed the highly successful and sought after Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum gel.

Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum was created based on the science of how our bodies function. We at CollageneLife wanted to find a way to improve and even stop the cause of your skin's flaccid appearance, not just smooth out the affects of collagen loss and aging. Our Platinum gel does just that - it absorbs into your skin's tissue and gets to work on a deeper cellular level. The results are lasting and will leave you very satisfied.

The beauty of Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum is that it is not solely intended to stave off wrinkles and lines. We are very glad that our formula is so effective against the aging process, but there are many other uses for the Platinum serum. We recommend using it for normal skin irritations, melanoderma (darkening of skin), after being in the sun, to treat skin eczema, and after any deep cleansing treatments and/or facial skin peel.

And even more surprising was the discovery that Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum can be used in the genital region to rejuvenate and tighten skin cells. Many pre and postmenopausal women have found the Platinum gel to be most helpful for maintaining a proper balance of nourishment to the vaginal skin cells. Natural Collagen Q5-26 Platinum is a truly amazing and versatile serum to be used allover maintenance of your skin.

Amazing Changes from Wrinkle Creams

It's a world full of Baby Boomers and others still older who are fighting a war against the effects of time on human flesh. Many seniors now are active, healthy people who would rather look like they feel instead of appearing worn and tired and just plain old. Because of this, the demand for anti aging skin care has never been greater.

A great many seniors these days are very active, healthy people who would love to look as good and as vital as they feel. No one wants to live an active lifestyle while looking tired and weathered and just plain old, so doing something active to improve looks and tip the balance to youthfulness is pressing. Surgery an

d invasive procedures can really help, but a nonsurgical approach is what more people would prefer

The idea of a wrinkle cream has been around for generations, but until pretty recently the effects of wrinkle creams were mostly on the wallet and not on the face. All sorts of snake oil was sold to supposedly eliminate wrinkles and make skin as new and fresh as an infant, but little of it worked and some was harmful. Some of it might actually have contained real snake oil, and many bizarre ingredients were used.

Currently we do know the effects of wrinkle creams can be real and make a nice improvement, if the right ingredients are included and if they are used correctly. To work, a wrinkle treatment has to be based on the biology and physiology of aging. As people grow older, their skin does change structurally. Sun can damage the skin and time itself means less water and weaker protein support.

Wrinkle treatments that work will protect against sun damage by screening out harmful rays, so look for that except for night creams. They will always have one or more effective moisturizing ingredients and will tell you to apply them when the skin is moist. The best will have some kind of amino acids or specific protein molecules or peptides that can soak into skin and add support.

Other effective creams and lotions will have antioxidants, certain vitamins and disguising ingredients to help with prevention, correction and repairs. Even something as simple as a reflective mineral can make wrinkles that are already there much less obvious or noticeable.

While no wrinkle treatment other than surgery, or invasive filler injections, can completely erase every facial crease and fold, good cosmetics can certainly help. The effects of wrinkle creams are real and even astonishing if you pick the right ones.

Get help with making a choice from your beauty operator. They learn about skin care in school, not just hair. You can also find a wealth of facts and myths about wrinkle products online as well as many reviews, articles and clinical reports. Check out popular fashion, style and beauty print magazines as well.

Jen Hopkins has worked in the anti-wrinkle cream industry for years. He maintains websites about anti aging skin care and wrinkle treatment. If you want to contact him, you can use the contact for at one of his sites.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Now, A Pillow That Can Wipe Out Wrinkles

Forget splashing thousands on anti-wrinkle creams or Botox injections, for a group of researchers has developed a pillow that can iron out the ugly looking lines.

What's more, the 'magical' pillow can wipe out crow's feet.

Boffins have developed a copper oxide pillow case, with tests showing those who used it for four weeks had fewer lines and wrinkles than those using conventional bedding.

Clinical trials, supervised by a dermatologist, were carried out on 57 volunteers for four weeks, with the volunteers either given an anti-wrinkle pillow, which feels no different for normal fabric, or a similar conventional pillow.

By the end of the trial, those sleeping on the copper pillows were statistically more likely to have less wrinkles.

Jeffrey Gabbay, the owner of the Cupron company, which used its expertise in making copper medical dressings to develop the pillow case, said: "The surgeon doing our wound-healing trial remarked how an increase in collagen was helping to heal wounds."

"We wondered if it might work on fixing wrinkles and lines on the face. So we had some copper woven pillows made up and noticed that over a few days of lying on a cooper pillow lines on the face started to soften," Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

He added: "It has been the most fantastic discover. The fabric has an impact on all lines but is best at ironing out the finer lines."

The researchers believe moisture from the skin releases copper ions from the pillowcases, which stimulate the production of collagen below the surface of the skin.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Popular images give wrong impressions of body hair

Q: My daughter has only recently started shaving her legs and now thinks she should shave all of her body hair. I find this very upsetting! Is this normal? What should I do?

A: Esthetic ideals of the right amount of body hair for both males and females vary across cultures and from generation to generation. Some religions even set standards for how body hair should be worn or maintained.

Your daughter's assumptions about hair removal are normal. Current popular culture images give the impression that females don't have body hair at all. Magazine articles teach our daughters that a bikini wax is essential beauty maintenance and endorsements for particular methods of hair removal are offered up in the guise of dishy celebrity "secrets."

Barely there

A generation ago, only leg hair or hair that peeked outside a bathing suit was trimmed, waxed or shaved. Today, some women remove all traces of pubic hair or leave a small amount. There is no hygienic reason to do so; in fact there are health risks such as cuts, blisters, rashes, and infections if appropriate hygiene standards are not met. Some forms of hair removal are painful and intrusive and there is often uncomfortable itching with regrowth.

I suggest you share your feelings on the subject with your daughter and what factors you have considered in making your own choices.

Discuss all the options for when she is an older teenager: from living au naturel to various forms of hair removal with consideration for safety, cost, upkeep, privacy, and discomfort.

You could research together how to avoid health risks. In the meantime, a pair of board shorts or a "boy short" swimsuit may offer a solution for added privacy as her body changes through puberty. Honest information and genuine solutions to her appearance related worries will help boost her self-esteem.

Lisa Naylor has worked as a counsellor and health educator with girls and women for the past 15 years in both Winnipeg and Toronto. Lisa is a co-creator of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund girls-only activities.

Where are Madonna's wrinkles?

The case for Madonna as an original style leader never really bore close inspection. What she has mostly been is someone who identifies popular emerging trends and hijacks them.

So it's probably no surprise that, at 50, she's chosen the path of so many celebrities and opted for a taut little face that's almost completely devoid of wrinkles. No crows' feet to suggest that she may have laughed once or twice. No frown lines to hint that any degree of thinking, feeling or evolving has occurred behind that forehead in the past five decades. But it is disappointing, because if Madonna really were the ground-breaker of her own mythology, surely she could have been the one to transmit an interesting image of what 50 could be to a generation of women who have come to fear ageing as one of the greatest evils of our time.

No one's suggesting that she should have let herself go, or even entirely let nature take its course. Heaven forbid. I'm all for whatever scientific intervention those lovely boffins in white coats come up with, so long as it doesn't result in the tight hazelnut with its unconvincing pointy cheekbones and chin that seem to comprise the McFace that we've all come to recognise in women of a certain age.

And there's another thing about ageless ageing: it really isn't ageless. In fact, any woman whose face doesn't move is a woman well past her teenage years. Why the aspiration to look ageless anyway? Isn't that what shop dummies are?

Kalium sole distributor for Nimue

Kalium Group of Companies said it will promote Nimue's revolutionary Microneedling Treatment in the Middle East as an exclusive distributor.

Kalium is one of the leading distributors of advanced medical equipment, skin care products and aesthetic devices in the Middle East.

The product, unveiled for the first time at the Gulf Beauty Exhibition 2008 in Dubai from May 18 to 20, is a new generation derma cosmeceutical skin care range with innovative and result-oriented skin treatment and delivery systems.

A specialised rejuvenation treatment, the Nimue Microneedling Treatment procedure can be used to treat a wide range of skin conditions including sun damaged skin, lines and wrinkles, uneven texture, superficial acne scarring and also to restore volume, elasticity, tightness and plumpness.

The treatment uses almost a minimally invasive 1mm microneedle roller to stimulate collagen induction and serves as a delivery device to increase penetration of active skin care ingredients.

Restoration of volume and plumpness of the skin, reduced pore size and improved skin texture, softening of lines and wrinkles and improvement in elasticity and improvement of superficial scars are some of the treatment benefits that is designed to achieve almost long-lasting skin rejuvenation.

The procedure is the brainchild of Dr A Parsons, who supervises the Nimue product development team. He serves on the Board of the International Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and ranks amongst the top Cosmetic Research Scientists in the world.

'Nimue is a company that has a proven track record for creative, innovative products that produce great results,' said Nazih Khattar, the managing director of Kalium Group of Companies.

'The response to the Nimue pavilion at Gulf Beauty Exhibition 2008, especially the unique Micro Needling Treatment, shows that they have struck a chord with the people of the region and we are very happy to be their exclusive distributors,' he added.

The Microneedling Treatment and other high quality Nimue products like cleansing gels, conditioners, exfoliating enzymes, the Nimue day and night fader and the eye serum are exclusively distributed in the Middle East by Kalium Group of Companies.

Innovative Skin Care For The Anti-Aging Rebel In You

Could you imagine being a fly on Aphrodite's wall the morning she found her first gray hair and wrinkle? Hades hath no fury like a like an unhappy diva deity. Or maybe the love goddess never had to deal with the same maladies as her mortal devotees. After all, she was divine; her secret anti-aging weapon was immortality. If we could all be so lucky. The pursuit of beautiful skin and a youthful appearance has been going on before any of those fickle Greek deities set up shop on Mount Olympus.

One popular legend states that sultry Egyptian queen Cleopatra would bathe in mules' milk in order to maintain those enchanting features. Yummy. Unless she had a wagon full of Oreos next to her tub, that just sounds like a waste of some really good milk. But you have to give Cleo props for her innovative skin care ideas. Another fun anti-aging fairy tale involves a little place in China known as Shangri-La, which held the secrets and potions for eternal life and eternal youth. Before you jump on that bandwagon though, picture yourself at eighteen; would you really want to be that way forever?

History is full of men and women who seemed willing to go to every length (and then some) to find anti-aging secrets and innovative skin care treatments. Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon risked his reputation and his life to find the legendary and very mythical Fountain of Youth. He trekked through swamps galore in marshy Florida (obviously before J. Lo moved to Miami) and apparently only discovered angry Indians, malaria, and poisoned arrows. None of which was a very good combination for Ponce.

CollageneLife has been a leader in developing innovative skin care products that include a very special anti-aging formula which works to treat both the cause and the effect of wrinkles on your face and neck. Those who say that there is a science to innovative skin care and preventing signs of aging were not just attempting to sound smart; all cells have fibroblasts…think of it as the framework that holds everything in place. When these bad boys start to buckle and go down within your collagen cells, the outward manifestation are lines and wrinkles.

This very amazing anti-aging gel from the Natural Collagen innovative skin care line is all about rolling up sleeves and applying some elbow grease; Natural Collagen Q5-26 comes in three ground breaking formulas that are each specifically engineered for different types of collagen in your body. Unlike other products on the market, CollageneLife Intl. does not have a "one size fits all" mentality. You and your body all have different needs; there is a company and a product that understands that.

The cajoling between science, beauty, and medicine is not as futile as some would think; these collaborations have led to some rather exciting break-throughs in anti-aging studies that do not necessarily require surgery or swimming in donkey milk. And the world heaves a collective sigh of relief.

CollageneLife has everything you need to bring out the deeply beautiful you. Find out more about the science of Natural Collagen, as well as our other remarkable products by visiting and taking a few minutes to read the information and testimonials for yourself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tanushree’s cosmetic wonder

NOTHING SEEMS to be going right for former Miss India turned actress Tanushree Dutta after the entire Nana Patekar fiasco! Bad luck seems to be following her everywhere.

More recently the director of her forthcoming film Saas Bahu Aur Sensex has allegedly called Tanushree "difficult, arrogant and moody."

A source close to Shona Urvashi reveals, "Tanushree was difficult to handle and would continuously throw tantrums and misbehave with the other cast and crew. In fact, at times Shona Urvashi would get so fed up with her because she would take more than 20 retakes for a scene whereas the other actress Masumeh Makhija, Shona's sister, would do it in just one shot."

Buzz is that Tanushree completely disassociated herself after shooting for the film concluded and kept cancelling her dubbing dates for the film.

Reportedly, Shona Urvashi has got Tanushree's voice in the film dubbed and Tanushree is now worried if her director has chopped some of her scenes as well! A source close to Tanushree reveals, "Tanushree is the only popularly known face in Saas Bahu Aur Sensex. The film also has Shona's younger sister Masumeh and so naturally Shona Urvashi doesn't want Tanushree's performance to overshadow her sisters!"

When we got in touch with Tanushree the actress was extremely vocal in expressing her displeasure with Shona Urvashi. She said, "Working with her Shona was a nightmare, and I don't even want to recall that experience. I know that she has been gossiping about me and calling me names but I don't care. This is her second film and she needs a lot of publicity but this isn't the way to go about it."

Recalling her terrible experience while shooting for this film Tanushree reveals, "She would harass me without a reason. She's accusing me of giving too many takes but the truth is she'd make me repeat the same lines over and over again for hours. She wouldn't even allow me to retreat to my van in between shots. I shot continuously for 15-hours and when I'd reach my vanity van the lights and air conditioning in it would be switched off!" But Tanushree stresses, "The film has a fantastic script so I continued taking the harassment. But it was the worst experience of my career!"

However, director Shona Urvashi refuses to comment on the issue and nor does her sister Masumeh.

Controversies seem to be following Tanushree everywhere. Recently the actress appeared looking different at a promotional event for her film sparking off rumours that she had undergone some form of cosmetic surgery. An extremely well placed source in the industry reveals, "Tanushree has definitely undergone cosmetic surgery and this piece of advice was given to her by Koena! Koena is Tanushree's advisor in Bollywood, both of them are the thickest of friends and Koena has been advising Tanushree on everything from what films to sign to what outfit to wear!"

Koena admitted to having done jobs on her face and spoke of the bad job that was done on her nose. In fact people said that she looked more attractive before she had all this done. Koena even admitted she had to go into hiding just after the nose job because it looked so obvious. One can only wait and see if Tanushree's altered look can help her career or will it also go down the drain like good friend Koena's? Maybe she should work on making friends in the industry and stop upsetting filmmakers.

Said an inside source, "Tanushree is a very fine person. She just does not have tact and has many preconceived notions about certain things. So basically she is very misunderstood."

Nurses can give Botox injections

Botox is booming, here and abroad.

And thanks to a ruling by the Ohio Board of Nursing, the wrinkle-smoothing toxin is likely to help some Ohio medical practices improve their own lines -- their bottom lines.

Last week, Allergan Inc., the pharmaceutical company that makes Botox, said its second-quarter profit rose 6.9 percent, well above analysts' estimates, largely because of robust sales of the facial treatment overseas. Overall, Botox sales jumped 13 percent, to $315.5 million.

A survey by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery suggests that the use of Botox and dermal fillers is up in the United States, too, in spite of -- or perhaps because of -- the sagging economy and rising unemployment. In a news release detailing the findings, the organization speculated that "baby boomers may be looking to put their best face forward on the interview circuit."

In Ohio, Botox sales could get an additional boost from the recent determination that nurses can give Botox injections, provided that they first undergo special training.

The financial advantage is obvious: By assigning the duty to nurses, medical practices that offer Botox can treat -- and bill -- more patients. And because health-insurance plans typically don't cover elective cosmetic procedures, practices can deal directly with patients and charge, for the most part, whatever the market will bear.

In 2006, the most recent year for which data are available, physicians across the country charged an average of $492 for a Botox injection, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Because Botox is a poison, some states explicitly forbid anyone other than a licensed physician to administer the drug.

Before the nursing board ruled on the matter last month, however, Ohio's nurses were operating in uncharted territory. Some were giving Botox shots -- and even determining doses. Others thought the procedure was beyond the scope of practice for nurses and therefore could be performed only by a physician.

"There was no specific prohibition," said Lisa Emrich, manager of the board's nursing practice, education and administrative unit. "It was becoming evident that physicians wanted nurses to do this, and there were no specific guidelines."

The board's decision came in response to a request by Dr. Fernando Colon, a board-certified plastic surgeon and associate medical director of the Skin Center Medical Spa in Gahanna.

Colon argued that allowing nurses to do the procedure would enable him and his colleagues to serve patients more effectively and efficiently.

"A well-trained nurse can continue to repeat this treatment, while I'm at the office doing other things," he said. "In a well-supervised environment, I think it is safe for a nurse to administer these Botox injections."

Colon's request, submitted last year, sparked months of discussion, much of it focusing on potential complications.

"What happens in a bad outcome?" board member Eric Yoon, a nurse practitioner from Springboro, asked at one hearing. "Just call 911?"

Ultimately, the board agreed with Colon but said nurses first must complete a "preceptorship," a period of practical experience and training supervised by a physician, Emrich said.

The board also determined that Botox can't be administered in homes, beauty salons or shopping malls, she said.

Still, some Ohio physicians aren't happy with the decision.

Dr. Michael Sullivan, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Columbus and former director of facial, plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Ohio State University Medical Center, had testified that Botox injections should be left to experienced plastic surgeons or dermatologists.

In unqualified hands, Sullivan said, the drug can cause a number of problems, including muscle weakness, drooping and bruising.

"We're going to hear of more and more complications and potentially deaths, because more and more physicians want to get out of insurance medicine and look at Botox and fillers and some of these quick procedures as a way to create a lucrative practice," he said.

In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that Botox had been linked "to adverse reactions, including respiratory failure and death, following treatment of a variety of conditions using a wide range of doses." The most serious side effects stemmed from the "off-label" use of Botox to treat limb spasms in children with cerebral palsy, the agency said.

Last month, more than a dozen people filed a lawsuit against Allergan in California, where the company is headquartered. The plaintiffs contend that Botox injured them or killed their relatives and that Allergan failed to warn them of potential dangers.

Allergan said Botox has been used safely by millions of people.

Weight loss surgery escalates in WA

A new study has revealed an explosion in weight loss surgery procedures in Western Australia over the past two decades.

The study by the University of Western Australia's School of Population Health is published in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.

It found there were 20 times more bariatric procedures, such as gastric banding, performed in 2004 than in 1988.

Sixty-four-year-old Pamela Vigers was an acute diabetic who weighed 116 kilograms. She lost 40kg after surgery and says it has changed her life.

"I don't take insulin or any type of diabetic medication, the diabetes is totally under control because I can exercise now," she said.

Researchers say while the study focussed on WA, the increase is indicative of a national trend.

The study's co-author Fiona Smith says much of the rise can be attributed to the worsening obesity problem.

"Certainly we found that some of the rise in the surgery can be attributed to the increasing population prevalence of obesity," she said.

"There are other likely factors though - things like increasing publicity and awareness of the surgery."

Ms Smith says the research also found the surgery is safe.

"There was relatively few complications recorded and very little difference in survival outcomes between the bariatric surgery patients and the general population," she said.

Australian Medical Association national president Rosanna Capolingua says the surgery has improved over the past two decades.

"Certainly there have been improvements in this sort of surgery over that period of time," she said.

"Laparoscopic surgery is now available. It is safer, it is a more realistic option."

But Ms Capolingua says surgery should only be used as a last resort.

"It is an appropriate treatment after other methods of weight loss have failed and in certain groups, [for example] patients with a BMI over 35."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Make-up guru Barbara Daly, creator of Make-up by Barbara Daly, available at Tesco:

If you are short on time, but need to freshen up your make-up before going out, cleanse your face and touch up with concealer. Blend a creamy mousse blusher over the apples of your cheeks and a little into the sockets of your eyes as well as on to your temples for an instant glow. You can smooth a little blusher over your lips too and top with gloss for a pretty, co-ordinated look. Finish off with a light dusting of face powder to set the look.

Make your eyes look more wide-awake by using lash-curlers and by painting a tiny triangle of highlighter onto the inner corners of your eyes. Try Make-up by Barbara Daly Glow-Up (£6, Tesco), a luminous, multi-reflective highlighter.

Model with perfect make-up

A good foundation like MAC's Studio FIx provides an ideal base from which to create a fast, flawless look

Celebrity make-up artist Cassie Lomas:

Start with a flawless base -  MAC's Studio Fix (£19, is an all-in-one foundation and powder base which provides good coverage and is really quick to apply, with a brush, sponge or powder puff. It creates a matte, velvety finish.

To achieve instant glamour for eyes, use a cream shadow, such as RMK'S cream shadow, and apply with the wand across the eyelids. Then apply one coat of Bourjois' Volume Clubbing mascara (£7.95), which has a double-sided brush, just one sweep of the wand gives lashes instant fullness and volume.

And for lips, try Bourjois' new Rouge Hi Tech liquid lip tints (£7.25), they are easy to apply for instant colour and I also use them as a blusher, by dabbing a little into the apples of the cheeks for a fresh look.


Use a natural colour eye shadow for th base and apply a soft brown shadow on the upper lid

Celebrated Italian make-up artist Mario de Luigi, who has his own range of products, available exclusively on QVC:

Use a natural colour eye shadow (beige or cream) for the base - apply to the whole lid. Then with a soft brown shadow, line the contour of the upper eyelid, very close to the lashes and blend into the corner, use a sponge applicator or your fingertips.

The best way to apply mascara is by putting a mirror flat on the table and look downwards. Pull your eyelid up from the centre and when your eyelashes look like a flat fan, you can get right to the roots with your mascara wand and make them stronger and fuller.

Define eyebrows using a very pointed, neutral colour pencil. You can fill in where they are sparse. Eyebrows are very important as they give your eyes a frame. This will make your eyes look more intense. It's simple, but easy and effective.

Make-up Artist Anna Thompson:

Use your lipstick as a blusher. With so many lovely pink and coral shades around at the moment, it gives a lovely, fresh, summery look. If you're in a rush, try using a primer, such as Estee Lauder's Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher (£34, when doing your make up for a night out. It makes the skin feel perfectly smooth and makes applying foundation much quicker.


Cheap tricks: Vaseline gives a glowing shimmer to lips and cheekbones

Top hair and make-up expert Cinta Martello:

My favourite product is Vaseline (99p, Boots). It moisturises lips and enhances cheekbones - simply blend it into a peachy powder and apply to cheekbones for a fresh, glowing shimmer.

Dior AIRFLASH spray foundation (£29.50, 0207 216 0216) gives you a photographically flawless finish in under five seconds. Simply hold 10 inches away from your face and spray in a zigzag motion.

It provides full coverage that feels weightless on the skin. There is no need for blending, simply sweep over cheeks with a golden bronzer and you have the perfect base in under a minute. Invest in a multi-tasking product. Multiples, made legendary by Nars, are available from all good make-up brands. These double-up as lipstick, brow highlighter, eye gloss and cheek shimmer, so will also save space in your make-up bag. Try Nars Copacabana (£27,

Alan Pan, celebrity make-up artist:

Save the time and hassle by refreshing your foundation using Estee Lauder Spotlight Skin Tone Perfector (£23,

It's a sheer highlighting lotion that puts the freshness back into your skin that a hard day's work takes away. Using a foundation brush, dab Spotlight on to cheekbones, the forehead and down the centre of the nose.

It can also be applied to your décolletage for a sexy evening look. The best way to make your lipstick last the day is to do it the old- fashioned way. Apply lip liner over the entire lip and then apply lipstick.

Blot gently with tissue, then apply a little bit of loose powder on top. Always carry a few essentials in your bag for quick top-ups throughout the evening - blotting sheets, a great concealer and your favourite lipstick will see you through the night.

Don't brood over your fat belly!

Troubled with the fat accumulating in your lower belly and thighs? Well, then here's a reason to rejoice a little— the fat in these areas of your body is rich in stem cells, which hold great scientific potential.

This first of its kind study sought to examine whether fat tissues from different areas of the body vary in stem cell concentration.

The researchers found that fat removed from the lower abdomen and inner thigh through liposuction was found to be an excellent source of stem cells, with higher stem cell concentrations than other areas of the body.

"Adult stem cells, derived from our own tissues, hold strong promise for improved clinical therapies," said J. Peter Rubin, MD, a member of the ASPS Fat Grafting Task Force who is involved in pre-clinical trial work on stem cells taken from fat.

He added: "The potential for healing and repairing injury or disease through stem cells, including conditions like breast cancer and reconstruction, heart failure, spinal injuries, diabetes and Parkinson's disease are incredible. We may be able to more permanently and naturally get rid of pesky wrinkles or augment breasts with stem cell enriched fat in the future as well. Knowing more about the biology of stem cells will be of great value when we are ready for clinical trials in this country."

The study was conducted on 23 female patients having liposuction in at least four different body areas, who agreed to have their fat isolated for adult stem cells and analyzed to determine stem cell concentrations. The body areas that were liposuctioned were: lower abdomen, upper abdomen, inner knee, inner thigh, flank and hips.

The results indicated a significant difference in stem cell concentrations in different areas of the body. A major finding was that the concentration of stem cells was greatest in the lower abdomen and inner thighs. In fact, stem cell concentration in the lower abdomen was five times greater than in the upper abdomen.

"The value of stem cells harvested through fat is the ready and ample supply available. Using stem cells will some day have very practical applications to the specialty of plastic surgery. That we may be able to generate new tissue or bone that can be used in many of the reconstructive and cosmetic procedures we do every day is a tremendous," said ASPS President Richard D'Amico, MD.

Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have not yet developed a specific function. Not only are they capable of self renewal, stem cells can divide and produce others that become specialized cells. Scientists and doctors theorize that stem cells will be able to repair or replace damaged or diseased cells.

Liposuction Expert On What’s New, What’s Old & What Works

As a physician and surgeon, one of my main responsibilities is to honestly guide, educate, advise and protect my patients. As liposuction surgery is the only major cosmetic surgery I perform and I have done this procedure for 14 years for thousands of patients, I have a lot of opinions and insight into the nuances of consistently achieving a great result and making my patient happy. I have spent years fine tuning my approach and have a particular philosophy on what constitutes a good candidate for liposuction. It is so much more than sucking out or melting as much fat as possible. Despite what a patient may want or the mistaken goal of a surgeon, this approach will commonly lead to a poor result.

One of the most important points I want to emphasize is the importance of choosing the honesty, integrity, artistry, eyes, hands, skills and good judgment of the surgeon over the machine. The machine is only a paint brush in the artist's hands. Despite interesting technology and aggressive marketing hype, it will not guarantee a great result in a trusting patient. A concerning trend I have seen in the last few years with the introduction of some of this interesting technology is the mistaken tendency of the patient to choose or ask for the machine instead of spending time to find the right surgeon. Unfortunately, companies, the media and sometimes even doctors themselves contribute to this when there is competition for dollars. Like I say on my radio show (and you are doing so by reading this article), please do your homework and spend time educating yourself. Do not be impulsive, continue to learn and hopefully the truth will come to guide you to a great result.

Presently in the United States, liposuction is still the most common cosmetic surgery. It also has one of the highest revision rates approaching 25% in some studies. It is much more difficult than most patients and even many naïve surgeons realize to consistently get a beautiful result. There are many reasons for this as we will start to see. I feel it is extremely important to "get it right" the first time. Every aspect of this procedure from clear honest communication with the patient, to complete evaluation, to meticulous technique should be directed toward this end. If a patient is not a candidate, e.g. they are simply overweight, maybe out of shape but not disproportionate, then I may have no role in their improvement and honestly tell them they are not a candidate for liposuction.

Unfortunately, approximately 30% of my surgeries are revision liposuction where I am using techniques to improve a bad or less than optimum result by another physician or possibly non-physician. In my evaluation of this patient, I can always tell why a bad result has occurred. A bad result occurs for two reasons: either poor evaluation (including poor communication) or poor technique. The surgeon may have been too conservative, been too aggressive (too common), been uneven in his contouring, poorly blended areas, placed his incision points in strategically poor locations or thrown a patient out of balance and proper proportion. And once again, unfortunately no new technologically advanced machine can or ever will prevent any of these problems. Like a perfect haircut or a beautiful sculpture, it goes back to the skills and artistry of the person doing it.

With liposculpture surgery, as with any procedure, a great result begins with a complete honest evaluation as to who is a good candidate. Simply stated, liposuction is all about targeting areas of genetic disproportion and balancing a body. It has virtually nothing to do with being overweight, underweight or normal weight. It is about focusing on stubborn areas that can't be taken care of with diet or exercise. This is one reason why it is so important to be fully evaluated from your neck to your ankles by someone with a good eye and ability to determine where you are out of balance if at all. It is a mistake to perform liposuction on someone who is simply overweight or out of shape but not disproportionate. Once again, unfortunately this does not uncommonly occur and the result will be a person thrown out of proportion. This is why we hear of cases of people who had lipo and the fat "went" to other area. The surgeon created disproportion. In addition, make sure that the person who is evaluating you for surgery is actually the surgeon and not somebody else. I have heard of patients who met their surgeon for liposuction in the operating room for the first time. Be wary of places that seem like factories and do not truly care about comprehensive individualized care.

With regard to my own approach to liposculpture, I strongly feel that local anesthesia is the gold standard and offers many advantages over general anesthesia for liposuction specifically. This is called "tumescent" liposuction which was developed by a dermatologic surgeon. I like to call this pure tumescent liposuction to differentiate it from other types where they maybe combining it with general anesthesia. Tumescent liposuction has essentially three major benefits. To begin with, studies show it is far safer, especially if compared to liposuction done with other procedures under general anesthesia. The second benefit is easier recovery. The tumescent fluid which is infiltrated into the fat helps hydrodissect (separate with water) and allows much more pure fat removal with decreased bleeding. This results in far less bruising and generally much faster recovery with less post operative discomfort. I only trust myself to do all the local anesthesia as there certainly is an art to infiltration so that the patient feels as little as possible. However, the greatest advantage of local anesthesia is that I have a patient that can always be positioned optimally, so that I can meticulously sculpt without ever jabbing the muscle or poking the skin. This allows me to stay only in the fat layer where I only belong. Jabbing the muscle (which could never be tolerated with a conscious patient) significantly increases bleeding, bruising and postoperative pain. On the other hand, jabbing, poking or tenting the skin with the cannula at the wrong angle is one of the main causes of indentations and irregularities (as we will soon discuss).

With regard to my technique of sculpting, it begins with a good eye for the contour, balance and proper proportions for the male and especially the female body. Each body has its own differences, nuances and limitations. Good surgical technique also encompasses excellent judgment for not only where to target but also how aggressive to be. There must always be respect for skin tone as well as knowing how to deal with looser flabby tissue (flab is the term I use which is loose skin and muscle. Many people confuse flab with fat.)

Where I have learned to place my incisions in each part of the body I approach is extremely important. The goal is not only to place few incisions in places that hide well, but to strategically place them to be able to completely and evenly approach each area without jabbing the muscle or skin. My incisions are small nicks in the skin between two-three millimeters in length. I feel that not suturing the sites allows faster recovery by drainage of fluid postoperatively.

With regard to how I sculpt, this is a little more difficult to convey in words. The fat is embedded in a fairly dense connective tissue framework so it certainly is not just sucking fat out. One must tunnel very precisely in the fat and this is why liposculpture is truly a more accurate name then liposuction. I always start deep in the fat with small round cannulas to debulk the deeper layers of fat. I almost always approach an area from two or more directions and crisscross my tunnels. As I move up in the fat layer, I progressively go to even smaller cannulas and finish in the superficial fat layer with a flat tipped small cannula I had designed for myself many years ago to make sure my surface is smooth. It is how I approach this superficial fat and how aggressive I choose to be with regard to rasping the dermis from underneath that controls how much skin tightening I choose to achieve. Liposculpting is a very tactile procedure and this is one of the main reasons why I do not prefer laser assisted liposuction or ultrasonic liposuction as I lose the "feelings" or vibrations which convey to me exactly where I am and how much I am bringing an area down. Remember, the goal is not to always be aggressive and just suck all the fat out. This is a very amateur approach and bad results will commonly occur. For a more detailed description of how I approach each particular area of the body, please consult my website in the section entitled "area by area."

Now, with regard to alternative liposuction procedures, I will group them into internal and external modalities. With regard to the internal modalities, I will begin with mesotherapy (also known as lipozap or lipodissolve) as it will be the quickest to dismiss. One of the deceitful marketing tools is that mesotherapy many times is advertised as being better than liposuction. I find this not only inaccurate but insulting. Mesotherapy is the multiple injections of a nonstandardized solution of phosphatidylcholine into the fat. Now, I am not saying that it won't ever dissolve fat because it might. But remember when I said that the fat is embedded in a dense connective tissue framework? Well, how do you control the dispersal of the fluid and trust you are going to dissolve everything evenly? Remember how particular I was in how I sculpted each area of the body? There is so much more involved to great liposculpting then just dissolving fat. And, not that this is the most important thing, but mesotherapy is not FDA approved, is not supported by any of the major cosmetic surgery societies and furthermore, no one that I know who specializes in body sculpting has chosen to incorporate it in their practice.

Laser assisted liposuction (eg. Smart lipo, cool lipo) and ultrasonic liposuction (eg. Vaser) are newer quite popular alternatives to more traditional forms of liposuction. The argument here goes that they melt fat and tighten skin, whereas traditional liposuction either does not tighten skin or makes your skin looser. Very alluring, but it's not that simple or truly accurate. I sometimes call this liposeduction vs. liposuction. There are many surgeons that have embraced these newer machines. Personally, I do not trust simply melting fat and feel I can get as much tightening as I choose by how I deal with the area just under the skin. I prefer this because it gives me more of a feel. With regard to the laser sealing blood vessels, remember that with properly done tumescent anesthesia one gets very little bleeding due to the hydrostatic pressure and epinephrine vasoconstruction. One well done study in a major peer reviewed journal (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Sept. 2006) failed to demonstrate any clinical advantages of laser assisted lipoplasty.

However, I feel the bigger danger with many of the newer aggressively marketed machines is that they encourage the potential patient to search for the machine and forget that what is more important is the mind, hands, heart and eyes of the man (or woman) behind it. Since I do a lot of revision work to improve poorly done liposuction, I would have to say that in the past two years I have seen some of the worst disasters result from both laser assisted and ultrasonic liposuction. Once again, I don't blame the machine but the judgment and skills of the person behind it. I am also aware that the media plays a large role in hyping up whatever is new.

Finally, with regard to many of the newer machines that are targeting either cellulite or tightening of the skin, I feel this is an interesting area as long as it is not too closely compared to well done liposculpture. There are some promising results with regard to this area. Velashape was the first FDA approved machine for cellulite and the temporary reduction of circumference (yes, temporary). There are other machines also used for cellulite. While this is a very intriguing area, I have not yet chosen to incorporate it in my practice as I am not yet sure it really works long term and is worth the cost of the procedures. There are also several skin tightening machines that are used on the body such as Titan, Thermage, which uses radiofrequency, and Affirm. Recently Thermage came out with a deep penetrating tip that penetrates over 4 mm and generates an inflammatory response in the superficial fat layer to generate tissue tightening and shrinkage. I am in the process of forming my opinion as I am starting to use this deep tissue tightening tip to further tighten skin on the body. But I have to admit that it is quite expensive and at least in my hands and eyes, the verdict is still out. But I will keep you posted.

In closing, I hope the insights and opinions I have shared help to guide you in the right direction.

Lying awake for liposuction

Those desiring to fine tune their bodies with liposuction but leery of being knocked out from general anesthesia have an ideal alternative - stay awake.

Claudia Estes of Jackson had no problem with the idea.

"I was more afraid of the general anesthesia," Estes said. "I've had liposuction two or three times over the last five years with no problems."

Estes decided to have the procedure to eliminate the infamous "muffin top" - the fold of fat around the mid-section that spills over the top of tight-fitting waistbands. "When the jeans became lower cut, I wanted to do something so I could keep up with the fashion trends," she said.

Very pleased with her results, Estes said, "This was pretty much instant gratification."

Traditionally, liposuction has been done with a patient asleep under general anesthesia. But now a patient can be fully awake with only a local anesthetic to numb the procedure area. Known as tumescent liposuction, this method involves injection of a large amount of saline solution, which contains additional anesthetic and epinephrine, directly into the areas where excessive fat deposits are to be removed.

"I perform liposuction from three to eight times every week," said Dr. Shelby Brantley, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with The Plastic Surgical Center of Mississippi in Flowood.

Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction is the removal of excess fat deposits to improve the contours and proportions of the body. Thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen are the most common areas for fat removal. Fat deposits also can be removed from the arms, back, chest, cheeks, chin or neck.

"We make a small incision in the skin and insert a small tube connected to a vacuum type machine to remove the fat deposits," Brantley said.

Staying awake can have major benefits. "When the patient is awake, he or she can move into different positions to help me see where exactly we need to remove fat deposits and achieve ideal results," Brantley said. "That way there is a better opportunity for symmetry."

Another benefit is cost savings. Without the use of general anesthesia, the cost of an anesthesiologist can be avoided along with the costs of post-surgical monitoring.

"Typically, the procedure will run from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the number of body parts or areas being done," Brantley said.

Plastic surgery has lost much of the stigma once associated with the practice. Guilty pleasure television programs, like the cable series Nip/Tuck and Entertainment Tonight's latest report detailing which celebrities have had work done, have broadened public thinking about plastic surgery.

Women aren't the only ones having the procedure. Brantley said he's seeing a gradual increase of men having liposuction. "Men want to look as good as they can, too," he said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports liposuction is second only to breast augmentation in popularity among patients seeking plastic surgery. Roughly 300,000 Americans have liposuction each year.

Dorothy Baker of Indianola made a life-changing transformation last year. She lost more than 60 pounds and feels like a new woman. Diet and exercise had a lot to do with her makeover, but she also got a little extra help from her plastic surgeon.

"I'd already started to lose a lot of weight and I wanted everything to match," Baker said. In addition to a tummy tuck and breast reduction, Baker had liposuction to contour her waistline. "Within a month, I could see the transformation," she said.

Baker wasn't quite comfortable with the idea of being awake during her liposuction procedure so she went the traditional route of general anesthesia.

Baker and Estes noted similarly short recovery times with only mild discomfort and pain. "I had the procedure done on Friday and was back at work Monday morning," Baker said.

Estes drove herself home after her liposuction and was back to work the next day. She did, however, wear a compression garment for three weeks.

Dr. Stephen Davidson, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon also with The Plastic Surgical Center, noted that, while many people aren't aware liposuction can be done while awake, the technique has been around for more than a decade.

"We've been doing tumescent liposuction for years," Davidson said. "It's ideal for patients who only want one or two areas of the body done and who have smaller volumes of fat to be removed."

Davidson also noted liposuction is not a cure for obesity or the answer to major weight loss. "Liposuction takes areas that are out of proportion and puts them back in proportion with the rest of the body." Generally, patients should be within 25 to 30 pounds of their ideal weight.

There are risks whether you choose general or local anesthesia for the procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, uneven skin contours and rippling or loose skin may be evident after liposuction. And there is always a risk of fat or blood clots and infection with either method. Swelling and fluid retention are normal and usually subside within a few weeks.

Most importantly, Brantley and Davidson stressed the importance of seeking a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform liposuction.

"Interview the doctor. Find out how many times a week he does the procedure," Brantley said. "Ask to see before-and-after photos of his work."

Davidson said, "Talk to people who've had the procedure done. What were their results?"

Baker has referred a number of friends and colleagues for the procedure. "I'll tell anyone that if you can look this good and feel this good about yourself, go for it."

Latest Plastic Surgery Trend: Thin Shoulders Like Madonna & Keira Knightly

There is truly no body part today that is spared from plastic surgery and the shoulders are the latest area that some women may be looking to enhance.  Celebrities like Madonna and Keira Knightly have apparently set a new beauty standard for slender shoulders that some women are hoping to attain by going under the knife.

Some surgeons in New York are reporting a rise in women getting liposuction in their shoulders to vaccum out fat and achieve more defined shoulders.  The procedure seems to be a standard liposuction, where small incisions are placed in the natural creases and shadows of the shoulder area.  The surgeon then aspirates the fat out with a curved suction cannula (wand).  There are some surgeons who use laser-assisted liposuction like Smartlipo or Vaser to melt the fat and then suck it out.

Keira Knightly, Liposuction, Shoulders

"Many of my patients are now requesting shoulders like Madonna and Keira Knightley," said Dr. Douglas Steinbrech to the Daily Mail. The New York-based plastic surgeon said that the procedure costs between $4,000-$10,000, is relatively pain free and patients can return to work within a few days.

"I often perform the operation on a Thursday or Friday and they recover all weekend with anti-inflammatories and painkillers and go back to work on Monday," he said.

But not everyone believes that shoulder liposuction is going to be a growing trend or that it should be, as the shoulders are not typically an area that has accumulations of fat as other body areas.  If someone really has a lot of fat around the shoulders, they probably need to lose weight instead of thinking about liposuction in the area.

Beverly Hills, CA-based liposuction expert Dr. David Amron, who only performs liposuction at his practice, told Make Me Heal that he has never seen a candidate for shoulder liposuction in the thousands of evaluations.

"I do lipo on almost every area of the body and even many areas most people don't," said Dr. Amron.  "But the shoulders themselves are an area I have never seen that needs to be done".

"I strongly feel that if someone has fat shoulders then it typically is a musculoskeletal issue of larger muscles and bones and maybe that they need to lose weight.  Remember, lipo targets genetic disproportion of fat."

"I am not saying I wouldn't, but I have never seen a candidate for this area in thousands and thousands of evaluations."

"When I do lipo on the arms and upper back, which is quite common, the shoulders have a more defined look.  But I would not be marketing this as shoulder liposuction to have the look of an actress."

It appears that liposuction on the shoulders should really a last resort solution, as a patient is best advised to lose the weight first before considering a surgical option.  Moreover, if someone is going to get liposuction on the shoulders, one would think that they probably would need it in other areas as well to get a consistent toned look in the entire body.  But if you have the dough, and exercise and diet alone can't help you rid of that final pesky fat pocket on your shoulder, maybe shoulder liposuction may be right for you.

'I wanted to look good in my clothes'

Jamie Wishart, a 42-year-old property consultant from London, is one of a growing number of men in the UK choosing to have cosmetic surgery.

After a serious accident in his teens, Jamie's weight ballooned to over 18 stone (114kg) as he was dependent on steroids and unable to exercise.

After managing to reach 16 stone (102kg) through healthy diet and exercise, he was left with unsightly excess skin around his abdomen.

Jamie said: "I felt awful, in particular meeting clients.

"I always thought my suits didn't look right on me and it really affected my self-confidence.

"I have rolls of lose skin around my middle area and I decided to do something about it."

Research into options

Jamie carried out some research and decided that a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) and liposuction would be one way to get rid of the excess skin on his stomach.

Dr Jag Chana, Consultant Plastic Surgeon on male tummy tucks

He chose Dr Jag Chana, a consultant plastic surgeon at Spire Bushey Hospital in Hertfordshire.

According to latest figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. (BAAPS) more and more men are opting to have cosmetic surgery.

In 2007 the number of men choosing to have tummy tucks, a procedure most often associated with women, rose by 61% - although the total figure, of 90, is still relatively small.

Liposuction for men also increased by 18% to 582. It is now the second most popular form of cosmetic surgery for men, after rhinoplasty (nose jobs).

After a lengthy consultation, it was decided that - with a body mass index of 30 - it was safe for Jamie to undergo the five-hour combined procedure, costing £7,000.

Many not suitable

Dr Chana said many of the patients he sees in his clinic are actually not suitable to be operated on.

He stressed the decision to have liposuction or a tummy tuck was not a weight loss option.

Many people who approach him have a beer belly, which means they must first try to lose weight through diet and exercise, as the procedure is not designed to deal with a bloated physique.

Jamie's stomach before and after surgery.
I can't contemplate ever having my old body back
Jamie Wishart
Instead, it is designed for those who have had some success reducing their weight, but as a consequence find themselves with folds of excess skin.

"This is not a lunchtime nip and tuck," said Dr Chana.

"Tummy tucks and liposuction are invasive procedures. Possible risks are scarring, loss of sensation and infection to the area, but these are rare.

"Patients can normally return to work after two weeks but exercise and lifting must be avoided for at least six weeks as an abdominal corset needs to be worn to support the area."

Experts advise finding a registered surgeon that has been recommended rather than finding consultants on the internet.

They predict that this area will continue to flourish in the coming years as more and more men begin to care about their appearance.

Dr Chana said there had been a 40% increase in the amount of men having operations at his practice last year - and with more and more enquiries and interest from men he is convinced this area will continue to boom.

Following his operation, Jamie said life at 14-and-a-half stone (92kg) is very different for him today.

"I can't contemplate ever having my old body back.

"Now I get out of bed and jump into a suit and that is important to me.

"I'm sure if most blokes were honest, we all want to look good and if you can afford to take advantage of things on the market such as cosmetic surgery, why not?

"The best thing for me - and people may laugh at this - is when I get up in the morning and do my belt up, my stomach no longer hangs over the edge. I think, 'Yes, I look good and this has all been worth it'."