Hi guys, I am so completely excited to introduce you to a friend of mine, Mike Clague, above, an aesthetic nurse in Australia. Mike is a maestro of injectables, having worked in the medical aesthetic industry for nearly 10 years. With the bulk of his time spent at Allergan (the makers of Botox and Juvederm), Mike is devoted to helping women look their best through non-invasive procedures and skin care education. And now he is sharing his secrets about skin care with us!
You simply must read his ebook, 7 Steps to Radiant Skin, $7.99, which is available for both iPad and Kindle. It is packed with need-to-know tips for beautiful skin.
“The whole reason I wrote it was to empower women to make great choices about skin care,” Mike told me. “There is a lot of fluff out there, and every day when treating my patients with Botox and fillers, I would discuss skin care. I was amazed to find that nobody really understands medical skin care,” he added.
Mike breaks it down intelligently in easy-to-understand language and basic terms. His book is a quick read written in a lively tone, plus, in between his day job of injecting the ‘beautiful people,’ he just wrote an additional chapter on peptides, and I am the first person to read it! So of course I am thrilled to be able to share it all with you!
Step 1: Educate Yourself: Knowledge is Power
The first step according to Mike, is forgetting everything you’ve been told by the media and understanding that true skin changes can only occur with products that use high percentages of active ingredients.
Active ingredients will change the skin; passive ingredients like those found in a regular moisturizer, on the other hand, simply condition the skin temporarily. Additionally, Mike warns against products that are guilty of “angel dusting,” also known as “sprinkling.” This is an industry term for when skin care companies use just enough of an active ingredient to be able to make product claims, but not enough to make any significant changes in the skin. So to make things even easier for us, Mike also recommends real products that really work. Don’t waste another cent on ineffective skin care!
Step 2: Vitamin A, The Real Miracle Cream
By now everyone has likely heard of Retin-A, retinoids, or retinoic acid, which is commonly prescribed for acneic patients. In one of history’s great medical flukes, retinoic acid was also discovered to work wonders for aging and wrinkled skin by penetrating the dermis to increase the number of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in cell regeneration and the building of collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin contribute to the skin’s plump resiliency and rosy youthful glow.
Mike warns the reader to look for retinoic acid or tretinoin, not simply vitamin A, for effective results. Your retinoic acid product should be applied at night time.
Step 3: Sunscreen: Sun Exposure is Aging You Right Now
Sunscreen is a vital tool against extrinsic aging, and if you don’t know that by now, Mike is here to set the record straight. Even incidental exposure contributes to aging your skin. Ten minutes here, a walk to the care there…it all really adds up. And Mike recommends sunscreen during overcast days, all year ‘round, because UV rays are still out and about, even when it’s not sunny.
As with any other skincare product, you must become educated and familiarize yourself with sunscreen ingredients, Mike cautions. Learn to read the labels. Many sunscreens simply do not offer broad spectrum coverage, and that is where zinc oxide comes in as a physical barrier to block UV rays and free radicals. Look for a high percentage of zinc in the active ingredients and remember that physical barrier sunscreens are considered safer because they do not include the harmful ingredients that are linked to chemical sunscreens.
Step 4: Vitamin C: An Orange A Day Keeps the Pigment Away
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a natural antioxidant that topically protects the skin against free radicals while it stimulates collagen. You will want to use high concentrations in your products–at least 10%–applied on clean dry skin in the morning after you cleanse your face. Follow with a sunscreen and top with mineral makeup.
Step 5: Lightening Up: Lightening Serums and Creams
Wrinkles are an obvious sign of aging, but pigment issues can add years to your appearance, and most people don’t realize that. Mike recommends a lightening serum for those afflicted with brown spots.
Also known as “tyrosinase inhibitors” (tyrosine is an amino acid in the body that creates melanin), lightening serums work to brighten the complexion and eliminate pigment.
“Skin lightening is a process and not a one-time event,” Mike writes. He also warns against harsh bleaching agents such as hydroquinone, which is cytotoxic and can cause cellular death when the nucleus of the cell becomes mutated! This is an important message for those with pigment concerns.
Step 6: Human Growth Factors, Simplified
Once used specifically for wound healing, growth factors promote healthy skin cell growth and stimulate the formation of collagen. Many doctors use growth factors to help heal the skin after a laser procedure. Nowadays, “human growth factors are one of those ingredients that women should be putting on their skin at the very least weekly, if not daily,” Mike says. “It is one of those skin care products that we don’t hear a lot about,” Mike explains, “but can take years off of your face and neck.”
Another in this series of collagen-building products, “this is one of those products that genuinely will reduce the aging process of the skin.”
Mike says you can expect diminishing of wrinkles and rough patches in just two months of use, if not sooner. Anyone can use products with human growth factors, although it is especially recommended for women over the age of 30, when collagen in the skin begins to lose its integrity.
Step 7: Peptides: Performance Enhancing Drugs…For Your Face
Peptides are a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to anti-aging. They’re small chain amino acids–the building blocks that create protein–and basically, they signal changes in the skin with regard to collagen stimulation, wound healing and improved blood circulation, all of which contribute to youthful skin.
“Peptides are being added to many cosmeceutical products now, but be aware that the raw substances are expensive,” Mike explains, “so a cheap product is very unlikely to yield results.” Great point.
Mike then defines the four major peptides–Collagen-stimulating, healing peptides, peptides which promote circulation and lastly, wrinkle relaxers–and reveals specific ingredients to look for when shopping peptide products. Best of all he provides brands at the end of each chapter so you know your skin investments will pay off!
In his final chapter, Putting It All Together, Mike explains in easy-to-understand terms what order you should apply the products and gives practical tips for the regimes. Because he actually reveals product names and brands, this guide is invaluable to the smart consumer! I deem it a must for every woman! Not enough exclamation points in this article!!!