Lip Service

Dark Lip Problems
Hiding behind the dark lipstick shield? You are not alone, most females of our species do. The fancy art of lip camouflage is rooted deep in fairytale “Standards Of Beauty” - Rosy lips epitomize every princess and even prince’s charm and nebulous smackers are for-ever-and-a-day assigned to the fiends. Armed with lips the shade of pink petals every dame lives the dream with the confidence that “crimson lips” possess superpowers of attraction, their magical flutter can make people fall in love, and at marchen moments (as publicized by romance flicks) they can even make time roll in slow-mo. All this sounds ridiculous, but fact is fantasy and movies draw from as well as influence our lives more than we fathom. Dark lips on the opposite spectrum can tarnish your personal image and become an extant source of embarrassment, as they are usually associated with villain-ish image.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining and in the case of swart lips we have a flicker of hope too. First off take comfort in the knowledge you’re not alone. A great number of populace suffers with the case of activated melanocytes focused especially around the lip area.  Before you smack your lips in a hurry and go blaming your lip products let me highlight the fact that the circle of culprits is much broader. There are many factors that can cause your lips to go dark. The causes range from genetic to allergies, excessive smoking or caffeine intake, along with exposure to UV rays, hormonal imbalances and intake of certain medications. As, they say there are many ways to skin a cat there are many ways to lighten dark lips too.

Here are some simple remedies that can help in the mission: Treat & Lighten Dark Kissers.

How To Prevent Dark Lips

·      Say ‘NO’ To Smoking: Nicotine causes darkening of the lips and lip discoloration.
·      Drink Less Coffee: Excess consumption of tea and coffee can turn lips black in addition to staining your teeth. So, limit your caffeine intake, in order to avoid your lips from acquiring a darker hue.
·      Minimize Sun Exposure: there is an increased amount of melanin pigment in the lips. Ensure that you use lip products with SPF/UV protectors, if you are going to spend time outside.
·      Check Your Lipsticks: Prolonged and excessive use of lipsticks and lip cosmetics, especially lower-quality ones can also cause lip pigmentation.
·      Don’t Batter Your Lips: Licking the lips, so as to keep them wet dries them out, leading to darkening of the lips. Even the habit of biting or chewing lips should be avoided, as repeated injury can damage them.

Treatments For Dark Lips

Skin Modulation- Pyruvic Peel
A peel specially designed to treat the fragile lip skin can work wonders to revive the natural color back to your lips.

Needle To The Rescue - Anteis Esthetis Basic
The idea is not to inflate your lips bigger than your ego, but to deeply moisturize them, and pull in hydration at the time improving circulation in the fleshy parts. As a result, lips look rejuvenated and slightly flushed because of the glycerol aided improved blood circulation.

Laser Intervention
Lasers have shown great promise in erasing dark pigment from the skin. Fraxel, Thallium and Q-switched lasers are used in dermatology practices to break down pigment and regenerate the lip surface.

Some Home Remedies
Before the pharmaceutical giants took over the modern world, we have some grandma anecdotes passed on from generation to generation with promising results.

·      Turmeric Powder with Milk: A great way to lighten dark lips comes from India. There they mix raw turmeric powder and milk cream to achieve great results. You can also try mixing turmeric powder and gram’s flour to light your lips. Just keep in mind that gram’s flour dries out lips making it a poor option for those whose lips are already dry. If you do use this mix, be sure to use a heavy double cream designed to moisturize your lips after you remove the mix.
·      Honey, Almond Oil and Sugar: Another great remedy is to mix sugar, honey and a little bit of olive or almond oil. Apply this to your lips, massaging it in for few minutes. This exercise will remove dead cells and dry skin from your lips, and improve blood circulation.
·      Hydrate: Use lip balms containing beeswax or cocoa butter as these seal in the moisture of your lips. 


“Live Long & Skinny” Hormone — Irisin

Exercise hormone
Research has shown that calorie restriction in the past generations was a contributing factor to extend lifespan in mammals. Irisin (a newly identified hormone released from muscle after exercise) is thought to induce similar effects along with increasing thermo-genesis in adipose tissue causing browning of subcutaneous white/beige adipose tissue leading to caloric burning and some weight reduction.

body weight and life expectancy

Exercise has a definite effect on the body, scientists have been working on the theory; how exercise talks or communicates with the body for some time with the discovery of irisin we are getting some answers finally. This new hormone has been dubbed irisin, as a nod to the Greek messenger goddess Iris for its ability to send information to surrounding body tissue. Irisin is produced by muscle contractions, either by exercise or shivering. Once it's produced, it moves through the blood and turns white fat cells into brown ones. It is capable of reprogramming the body's fat cells to burn energy instead of storing it. This increases the metabolic rate and is thought to have potential anti-obesity effects.

Exciting New Life span prolonging Effects

James Brown, from Aston University United Kingdom, and colleagues enrolled 81 healthy men and women, ages 18 to 83 years with a mean body mass index (BMI) of between 20 and 30 kg/m2, in a study to assess whether a molecular link exists between circulating irisin levels and the length of telomeres (the endcaps of chromosomes which are thought to be a marker of aging). The team found that subjects with higher levels of Irisin also had longer telomeres.  Relative telomere length can be predicted by age and plasma irisin levels, with this deduction the study authors conclude that: "irisin may have a role in the modulation of both energy balance and the ageing process.”
Prolonges life by increasing telomer length

It’s exciting to find a natural substance connected to exercise that has such clear therapeutic potentials. Further research is ongoing to study the effects and side effects and possible use in weight loss, obesity and age related disease prevention or life prolonging supplementations. Even if the hormone proves safe for humans to take as a supplement, it won’t replace all the benefits of going to the gym, but it might help people fight obesity and remain more sensitive to glucose, thus fighting off diabetes or other age related diseases.


Skin And The City — The 8th JeddaDerm 2014


For those of us passionate about dermatology and aesthetics the pleasant month of March rolls in every year with a promise of a special treat The Annual International JeddaDerm Conference; a unique platform that invites dermatologists from across the globe to come together and celebrate the advances and excellence in the fields of derma-aesthetics. And all this scientific razzle-dazzle happens on our very own home ground Jeddah. Keeping up with the tradition this year, starting 3rd of March, pioneer dermatologists and honored scientific minds from the local as well as international institutes congregated under the oh-so-familiar roof of the Jeddah Hilton hotel. The exhibition and conference halls came alive with buzzing workshops and discussions about botox, hyaluronic acid and cutting edge treatment options in dermatology as well as antiaging medicine.

This year’s four-day conference was planned and executed with an astute vision to share the latest practices and innovations in the field of dermatology and aesthetic medicine. I am sure all the aesthetic enthusiasts who didn’t get a chance to attend are eager to know what’re the top of the line treatments and procedures that 2014 has to offer to beauty connoisseurs visiting cosmetic practices. Here are my condensed impressions and highlights:

Facial Rejuvenation Procedures:

Whether it’s toxin type A or B, Botox remains the uncontested king of the aesthetic world even in 2014. Though *Drum Roll* some competition is beginning to stir the market, it’s time you all got acquainted with Iovera an innovative and safe gizmo, incorporating “cold” (cryo) based science to relax the upper face wrinkles, as an alternative to injecting the toxin. This new technology has started to create quiet a buzz among cosmetic practitioners and this buzz from here onwards is only going to get louder and louder, as more and more toxin phobic clients will begin to ask for a touch of Frotox. Another exciting plus about Iovera is that it gives instant results unlike botox injections; where you have to wait for 2 weeks to see the wrinkles disappear. People who don’t appreciate the completely frozen look and prefer natural results, and those who don’t want to be stereotyped with the stigma of being botox addicts are the perfect candidates for an Iovera treatment.

Plain and simple! Fillers Are and Will remain the life and blood of any aesthetic practice. Being readily available, giving instant results, and almost next to nil side effects in expert-hands, are some of the advantages that make hyaluronic acid the first choice in any non-surgical facial rejuvenation/volumization treatment plan. The popularity and demand of hyaluronic acid has driven the market into serious competition frenzy. Now we are seeing a surge in new brands popping up from every nook and corner of the world, eager to be injected. It’s vital here that we take a step back and look at the situation objectively, as all Hyaluronic acids are not created equal: monophasic, homogeneous, visco-elastic, malleably plastic and Safe with very low content of BDDE (Butanedioldiglicidyl ether) are some of the features that distinguish crème de la crème from the run of the mill Wanna-be’s. ANTEIS Merz Modélis, Fortélis, Esthélis Soft Esthélis Basic, Mesolis and of course JUVÉDERM® range with lidocaine Volbella®, Voluma®, Ultra™ and Ultra Plus™ happen to be the aesthetic crowd and my personal favorites.

In non-hylaluronic choices RADIESSE® (Calcium Hydroxy Apetite ) and Ellansé (Polycaprolactone) have proven themselves to be safe, effective and longer lasting choices, hence they are equally popular with most aesthetic injectors.

Medical Rhinoplasty using fillers and botox to reshape the nose has become a very popular and well-accepted treatment, bringing self-esteem and joy to many surgery scared beauty suppliants.

Mini Facelifts using Threads have also become increasingly popular among people who are looking for contour revision and lifting, but with a minimal downtime. Using mini threads to achieve a facelift is a revolutionary anti-wrinkle and skin tightening technique that at first took Korea by storm for its safe, fast and effective results. Performed by over 2000 clinics in Korea, it later gained popularity in Japan and other parts of Asia. Now the over whelming success of mini threads in Asia is spreading over to Europe, USA as well as Middle East. The featured threads during this JeddaDerm were Silhouette Lift™ and AsyThread (PDO) from Mesotech.

Non-Surgical Face Lifting:

Utilizing the combination of different aesthetic techniques is the ultimate way we can change the shape and appearance of any aging or an unappealing face. We can address skin texture imperfections, wrinkles, volume loss or contour problems in a stepwise fashion over time to slowly transforming any face. If we Look at the yearly aesthetic procedures data and graphs published by aesthetics and plastic surgery societies during the last few years, it becomes apparent that the trends have visibly shifted from surgical to non-surgical. These days less and less number of people are willing to go under the knife, as multiple non-surgical yet effective choices are available to transform, tighten, tone, contour and lift any wrinkled sagging face to a youthful desirable visage and all this is being made possible without taking a leave of absence from daily social and work engagements.  

Antiaging Creams & Topicals:

Cosmecutical enriched with Growth Factors might be the future of antiaging and wound healing. These tiny peptide fragments along with other biologically active molecules are being incorporated into creams, lotions and gels to reverse effects of time, promote collagen and elastin synthesis as well as epidermal remodeling. Stay tuned as you are bound to hear more about these new-class of miracle unguents.

Body Contouring Procedures:

Keeping up with the non-surgical trends, when we look at current body contouring choices available in the market, radiofrequency, cryotherapy, and ultrasound based technologies are the only proven choices that deliver quantifiable results with enough scientific evidence supporting their claims. Some of the technologies featured during this year’s JeddaDerm included:
Liposonix from Solta technologies, is a high intensity focused ultrasound device that helps to melt away fat in your body. The treated fat tissue is later removed through the body's natural healing and elimination process, leaving you with a thinner, more contoured silhouette. No downtime fast results!

Accent from Alma Lasers, utilizes radiofrequency and ultrasound technologies to contour and lift body, face, and neck. I have a first hand experience using this machine for few years now and I tell you, “I am a satisfied customer”.

Obalon is the latest non-surgical and reversible way to expedite weight loss. It involves you swallowing a capsule attached to a tube, which is then inflated into a balloon. Once you have lost the desired weight the balloon is removed and you maintain your weight there onwards, by adopting a healthy lifestyle eating smartly and exercising regularly.

Lasers & Antiaging Technologies:

Fractional Lasers (Erbium-Glass, Thallium, Erbium-Yag and CO2) have proven themselves to be efficient and safe devices to treat scars, wrinkles and skin imperfections. In expert hands they deliver great results with very little down time and minimal side effects. Fractionated technology has changed the way skin rejuvenation and resurfacing is done, and Carbon Dioxide (10,000nm) fractionated lasers have become the new gold standard of skin resurfacing. ECO2 from Lutronics is my fractionated contraption of choice for treating acne scars and skin rejuvenation.

Scarlet is another miracle of technology incorporating radiofrequency mechanics to promote skin tightening. It delivers heat under the skin through a bunch of needles piercing through the skin. The skin gets tightened from underneath without any surface side effects, allowing you to return to your daily life immediately post procedure with no redness, discoloration, or swelling.

Hair removal for darker skin types with Diode Laser coupled with radiofrequency-in-motion technology came very well recommended during this years laser talks. But of course Alexandrite and Nd-Yag Lasers are here to stay as well.

Iovera or Frotox as some like to call it, incorporating temporary cold induced Wallerian degeneration of nerves to soften the forehead wrinkles in my opinion is the biggest innovation of 2014. I am currently recruiting people who are interested in trying this new technology first hand. If you want brag rights, “I am one of the pioneers who experienced Frotox in Jeddah”; come and see me at Al Tababah Clinic.

That my lovelies pretty much covers the: who, what, when and the best of the best of aesthetic treatment options presently available in our cosmo-sphere, that JeddaDerm reinforced, refreshed and ingeminated for our aesthetic awareness.

One last truism though, JeddaDerm with it’s eighth congregation this year has earned its rightful merit as a bonafied belvedere for derma meetings and exchanges, where major league scientists love to get together and share their knowledge and work experiences, setting bar of evolution towards evidence-based medicine. This yearly scholastic tradition of celebrating local and international derma-aesthetic excellence is a truly sparkling jewel in the cap of Jeddah’s scientific circles. I congratulate the founding fathers of JeddaDerm Dr. Ali A. Al-Raddadi, Dr. Mohammad Qari, Dr. Sameer Zimmo, and Dr. Magdi R. Abdulghani on yet another spectacular success.

Take care and love the skin you live in!


Botox Competition Is Heating Up — Meet Neubelle

Neubelle alternate to Botox
Botox utilizes type A or B toxin to block the release of neurotransmission between nerves and targeted muscles, a few days post injection the muscles are temporarily paralyzed and wrinkles are erased for 3-5 months. Neubelle is one of the newer treatments, that aims at providing effects similar to Botox, but by utilizing a completely different mechanism of action. Neubelle works by utilizing radiofrequency to create a small thermal injury almost the size of a grain of rice, which serves as a roadblock for the nerve to conduct to the muscle.

A Treatment With Neubelle

The treatment begins by the prepping the skin with numbing injections. Next, a doctor stimulates the muscle that needs to be treated with a TENS device in order to target specific injection placement sites on the temples. The TENS device helps to pinpoint the treatment sites by giving the muscle a mild electric shock, the muscle contraction points are marked as injection sites. A tiny probe is then injected under the skin to create a small thermal injury around the nerve pathway to deactivate its motor action. Neubelle's teeny probe can single out a specific nerve, allowing a doctor to really focus on the exact nerve that you want to block, for wrinkle smoothing customization. 

Although Neubelle uses an alternative path to gain Botox-like results, one thing remains the same — it requires needles and may cause some uncomfortable pain too, so needle-phobes, do not rejoice.

Who are the ideal candidates for Neubelle treatment? —People who don’t want a toxin injected into their bodies and those, who are looking for a longer lasing treatment than botox. It could also be a solution for the Botox resistant cases, as after years of use, the neurotoxin doesn't take well for some anymore.  

Another thing to consider — Unlike Botox, Neubelle can only be used to tame the forehead horizontal lines and partial frown lines. Currently crows feet; the wrinkles around the eyes cannot be treated with this technology. One session costs way higher than the going rate for Botox—depending on where you are in the world, the cost of one treatment can run anywhere around $3,000. But some are saying that price could be well worth it, as the results are immediate, and should last at least eight months up to last a year or longer — in some cases, up to two years wrinkle reduction is possible.

Million-dollar question, that the aesthetic industry would love to know the answer to at this stage is — how many of you would be willing to give this new technology a go?