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healingways


Anti-Aging Skincare


Turn Back the Clock with New Treatments and Breakthroughs


by Linda Sechrist


With aging still a largely mysterious process, current seekers of perpetual youth and beauty are urging scientists to find ways to slow or even reverse it. New tools to fight lines, wrinkles and sagging skin excite the imagination.


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oday’s anti-aging toolbox is filled with promise. Tools range from at-home strengthening and refining creams to commercial treat- ment technologies such as cold laser, intense pulsed light (IPL), light-emit- ting diode (LED), microdermabrasion, photofacials, and skin tightening and rejuvenating ultrasound. Acupuncture facelifts make use of ancient Chinese techniques. Then there are the more invasive injectables, fillers and chemi- cal peels. How do we know what is best for us?


Whatever one’s chosen tools, Hema Sundaram, author of Face Value: The Truth about Beauty—and a Guilt-Free Guide to Finding It, believes that women at any age have every right to pursue the outward expression of their inner beauty. The Washington, D.C.-based medical doctor and board-certified derma- tologist, who specializes in cosmetic surgery, supports a woman’s freedom to choose, without embarrassment or


26 Hudson County NAHudson.com


criticism. She emphasizes the posi- tive effects of cosmetic procedures performed for the right reasons and notes, “Restoring the balance be- tween a woman’s inner and outer selves can transform her life.” An at-home anti-aging regimen aimed at retarding time’s telltales and enhancing beauty lays the foundation for an effective partnership with an esthetician or dermatologist. Per- formed consistently, do-it-yourself treatments can help to maintain cosmetic work performed by skincare professionals. Popular, non-invasive techniques are explained here. Many take it a step further with a medita- tion practice designed to develop and project inner, spiritual beauty. Gua Sha. This Chinese technique (pronounced GWA SHA) uses a small medicinal board to gently massage, manipulate and stimulate energy points along the face. The objective is to promote a normal flow of energy, or qi (pronounced KEE), and blood


circulation and to remove toxins. It also supports, lymph drainage. Gua sha activates inner vital- ity by stimulating both the superficial and deep muscles that control facial expression. Beauty benefits include a brighter complexion and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles, dark under-eye circles and puffy eyes. It also lifts sagging at the neck and jaw. Hypnox. This 25-minute guided hypnotherapeutic audio recording is touted as a natural alternative to the neurotoxin Botox. Instead of paralyz- ing targeted facial muscles, which inhibits natural facial expression, Hypnox targets and retrains the same muscles to stop habitual frowning, lip puckering and squinting. The process is said to promote overall relaxation, allowing wrinkles to fade away. Facercize. Muscle resistance


training helps tone and enliven the 30 muscles of the face to render more youthful-looking features. Muscle fibers literally smooth out, shorten and lift the attached skin on the face and neck. Enzyme Mask. A weekly exfoliat- ing fruit enzyme mask gently dis- solves dead surface cells and embed- ded impurities, while restoring hydra- tion. Adding an organic, fruit-based peel of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids supplies an ideal boost that can result in an even brighter complexion and firmer looking skin. Retinols. These naturally occur- ring forms of vitamin A are a gentler, over-the-counter version of retinoids. They likewise promote healthy cell renewal and collagen production. Gentle Microdermabrasion. At- home microdermabrasion kits work to reduce the visibility of pores and fine lines. Many come with battery-oper- ated brushes, aluminum-free scrubs, balancing toners and moisturizing serums; look for natural ingredients. Microcurrent Facial Sculpting. “Electrical stimulation forces facial muscles to do sit-ups,” says Charlene Handel, owner of Skin Fitness, Etc., in Carlsbad, California. Twenty years of experience with handheld commercial products have con- vinced this certified holistic estheti- cian that if the current can’t be felt, it isn’t doing the job.


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