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Looking great, not done: Facial plastic surgeons report shift toward natural beauty

Looking great, not done: Facial plastic surgeons report shift toward natural beauty

(BPT) – Gone are the days of plumped-up puckers, ski-sloped noses, overfilled cheeks and wind-tunnel faces that were obviously “done.” Today, facial plastic surgery is about looking like the best version of yourself — refreshed, relaxed and natural.

Celebrities are driving this trend. Reality-star-turned-make-up-mogul Kylie Jenner recently announced that she had fillers dissolved from her signature pout, according to Allure, revealing natural, shapely lips. But this new trend is not just about reversing overly done procedures. It’s also about avoiding the over-done look in the first place.

As many as one-third of facial plastic surgeons report that the “fear of looking unnatural” is a top concern among cosmetic surgery patients today, according to the latest annual survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The good news is that subtle improvements are increasingly possible, due to advances in techniques and technologies perfected by specially trained facial plastic surgeons.

“The priority to look natural continues to gain popularity, especially as more treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, are available to patients,” says facial plastic surgeon and AAFPRS Board Member Dr. Patrick Byrne, director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins University.

Topping the list of facial plastic surgery procedures that restore natural beauty are eyelid lifts that rejuvenate tired-looking eyes. Facelifts have also come a long way. It’s no longer about pulling back tissue — instead, facial plastic surgeons lift and reposition underlying facial muscles to avoid a tight, pulled, wind tunnel look, and are able to minimize scarring and downtime in the process.

Even minimally invasive facial procedures such as neuromodulators and fillers are now injected in ways and amounts that create natural youthful-looking results and contours, avoiding a frozen or puffy look.

“When used correctly, injectables, such a BOTOX® Cosmetic and hyaluronic acid fillers, can deliver a very natural result. Patients should be careful to choose an experienced injector and a board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in the face, head and neck to ensure the most successful, natural-looking outcomes,” shares AAFPRS president and facial plastic surgeon Dr. William H. Truswell. “The result is not permanent and aging continues over time, as it does with any rejuvenation procedure.”

Pre-juvenation, or getting a head start on the aging process by stopping wrinkles and other signs of facial aging in their tracks, can forestall the need for more invasive facial plastic surgeries. In fact, more than half of AAFPRS members saw an increase in cosmetic procedures in those under age 30 last year.

Choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon is the best way to assure natural-looking results and avoid an overly done look or the need for reversal procedures. The AAFPRS is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery, and all 2,500 members are board certified by a specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Start your search for a facial plastic surgeon at

Pollution protection: 5 easy tips for combating the environment’s effects on skin

(BPT) – Properly taking care of your skin each day — and countering the possible effects of pollution — is quick, affordable and easy to do. So why do so many Americans forgo that step in their daily routines?

A recent survey by CeraVe found 48 percent of American adults often worry about their skin, yet 36 percent have no regular skincare routine. Only 36 percent regularly use cleanser, and 33 percent say they’re confused about how to choose effective products and methods.

Unfortunately, everyday pollution and UV rays can easily wreak havoc on your skin, so it’s essential to develop a proper skincare routine to combat these effects. In a given year, Americans are subject to some 83 million tons of pollution particles emitted into the air. Many Americans encounter those particles on their daily commutes, and because they can be 20 times smaller than your pores, they can infiltrate deep levels of your epidermis, leading to inflammation, dehydration and/or loss of elasticity.

Without a regular skincare routine, you’re also more apt to deal with dryness, irritation, acne, accelerated aging, hyperpigmentation, dullness and other unwanted attributes that can result from the air quality. That may be why six in 10 U.S. adults say they cope with as many as 10 “bad skin days” monthly.

“Forming good skincare habits is not complicated, and it can pay off significantly in terms of your health and appearance,” notes board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry. “It’s never too late to begin a daily skincare routine that offers the best possible protection against unhealthy elements in our environment.”

Consider adopting these five habits that will keep your skin glowing and protected from all that it encounters.

1) Use an effective sunscreen every day. Apply a product that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage so it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply it throughout the day as needed. Henry points to studies indicating pollution may worsen the effects of UV and increase the risk of skin cancer.

2) Wash twice daily with a quality cleanser. Choosing the right product is key. Henry recommends CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser or Foaming Facial Cleanser, which are gentle on skin and deeply cleanse to remove dirt, oil and residue that build up throughout the day, helping to counteract the harmful effects of pollution and leaving skin hydrated.

3) Send linens through the laundry. Ideally, towels and washcloths should be washed in hot water after one use, and pillowcases should be washed or changed multiple times per week. While this may seem nearly impossible, frequently changing or washing pillowcases will help to keep dirt, oil and dead skin cells from building up and seeping into skin night after night.

4) Eat an optimal diet. Henry suggests eating a diet rich in antioxidants, which may help protect skin, pointing to foods such as carrots, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, berries, beans, peas, lentils, salmon and nuts. Conversely, diets high in processed or refined sugars or other carbohydrates and unhealthy fats may promote skin aging.

5) Get moving. Ever notice how your skin glows after a good workout? Physical activity promotes circulation, which carries oxygen and nutrients that nourish skin cells. Increased blood flow also helps whisk away waste products like free radicals from your cells. Further, exercise can reduce stress that may adversely affect your skin.

Taking a few minutes each day to care for your skin is well worth your while, especially when it comes to combating the effects of pollutants encountered daily. Visit to find dermatologist-recommended skincare products suitable for your skin’s needs.

Boomer bonanza: 5 ways to stay in style on a fixed income

(BPT) – As American baby boomers begin to exit their careers and opt for more leisurely lifestyles, some 10,000 are expected to retire every day through 2029.

While many are scaling back their incomes in retirement, however, most have no intention of becoming out-of-touch with modern trends and innovations. Fortunately, keeping up-to-date and attuned to fashion doesn’t have to cost big bucks.

“We boomers have every bit as much to offer as the millennials or the Gen-X’s or the Gen-Y’s,” writes Forrest Brakeman in the Huffington Post. “Hell, we invented the world as they know it. But to bridge the generation gap, or chasm, we need to stay relevant.”

The following suggestions can help you stay current as you age, even when you’re dealing with a conservative budget.

* Shop secondhand. If you’ve never shopped in thrift and consignment stores, you may be surprised at the up-to-date clothes, shoes and accessories that are often available at very attractive price points. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the possibility of scoring big on recently released goods, some with the tags still attached. And forget about any stigma; you’ll be shopping among people of all ages, from all walks of life.

* Consider vision insurance. Now that eyewear is such a fashion statement, eyeglass styles tend to change fairly frequently. Fortunately, when investing in the comprehensive coverage offered by VSP Individual Vision Plans, you can regularly replace your glasses without dating yourself by wearing outdated frames. Regular eye exams are also covered at prices well below walk-in rates; the average VSP customer saves more than $200 annually on eye care expenses. And VSP offers the largest network of independent eye doctors in the nation.

* Scout out daily deals. Online coupon sources such as Groupon and LivingSocial frequently offer excellent bargains on personal services such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages and skin treatments so you can look relaxed and well-groomed — without breaking the bank.

* Rent for special occasions. These days, many high-end luxury products are available for short-term rental. Instead of paying full price for glamorous formalwear, jewelry or upscale sports cars, rent them out to enjoy to the max when you have a special event to attend — or when you simply want to treat yourself.

* Buy online. If you’re not already well-versed in online shopping, now is a good time to learn the ropes. Resist paying full retail in stores until you check sites like Amazon, Etsy, eBay or Overstock to see if you can find your merchandise of choice at lower prices. Often, it’s ridiculously inexpensive (or free) to have such goods delivered straight to your doorstep, or to the doorstep of a loved one. You can also use tools like PriceGrabber to compare online prices on your behalf, then peruse the additional retailer coupons frequently available on sites such as RetailMeNot or

In short, there’s no need to deny your sense of fashion just because you’re entering the so-called golden years. Form your strategy now for finding the best deals on the trending fashion that keeps life fun — and keeps you from falling into a style rut.

Classic cardigan? 5 tips for caring for your vintage wardrobe

(BPT) – As environmentally aware Americans join the movement to reduce, reuse and recycle, many are turning to the past to find unique, well-made vintage pieces to complement their wardrobes.

The hunt for great vintage wear has become so popular that we’re spending some $4 billion annually on such fun finds, reports the Huffington Post.

“For many it offers individuality, affordability, and that feel-good moment of rescuing an item from the landfill and reducing the environmental footprint,” writes Kate Black in that article. “This also makes it the retail unicorn, that rare occasion when a single store can appeal to stylish fashionistas, value-conscious consumers and passionate environmentalists.”

Building a distinctive, one-of-a-kind vintage wardrobe can be fun and easy once you learn a few guidelines for finding and caring for your collection. LG Electronics and luxury vintage clothing purveyor What Goes Around Comes Around recently partnered to bring the LG LaundROO Lounge and Vintage Clothing Swap to Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee. Festival-goers were invited to peruse 3,000 pieces of vintage gear and exchanged their own clothes for a new look. The swapped pieces were then washed in LG washers and dryers onsite and put back into the closet for another attendee to choose. If LG and What Goes Around Comes Around can handle the danced-in duds of 60,000 festival-goers, they can definitely help you take care of your vintage finds! Co-founder and chief creative officer at What Goes Around Comes Around, Gerard Maione, shares these tips to best maintain your vintage and hard-to-care-for pieces so you can keep festival style season going all year round:

1. Aim for versatility with fabrics such as cashmere and silk that can be easily layered to work well through every season. Look for well-cut pieces that can transition from day to night with simple shifts in accessories.

2. Choose quality over quantity. Whether you’re opting for vintage or new clothing, pieces featuring high-quality fabrics and construction will stand the test of time — as long as they’re well treated.

3. Read and carefully follow cleaning recommendations, ensuring that you’re using appropriately gentle wash cycle or steam options. Making that process easier than ever is the LG TWINWash washing machine with SideKick pedestal washer, dryer and LG Styler offered by LG Electronics, a package Maione calls “the ultimate laundry room.” Its ultra-convenient design features a front loader stacked onto a pull-out wash compartment, allowing you to simultaneously run one cycle for your heavier items and one for your specialty items such as delicate vintage pieces.

4. Narrow wire hangers can create wrinkles, bumps and bulges in aged, delicate fabrics. Instead, choose wider and/or padded hanger styles that better distribute the weight of each garment. Vintage fashionistas often prefer heavy-duty wooden hangers, while others swear by the velvet-covered varieties that keep silky fabrics from slipping off. For pants and skirts, seek out specially designed hangers that ward off unnecessary creases.

5. Care for your treasured vintage items between wearings by folding sweaters onto shelves or in drawers, storing handbags and shoes in dust bags, then freshening items up between cleanings. The LG Styler steam clothing care system makes it effortless, using chemical-free steam-based cycles that can handle anything from sanitizing and removing allergens to eliminating odors and reducing wrinkles.

Vintage clothing can be a unique, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient means to add flair to your wardrobe. Know how to care for your vintage pieces so you will continue to enjoy the past far into the future.

Maintaining a healthy pH balance ‘down there’: 3 common triggers for elevated vaginal pH and why it matters

(BPT) – Many women do not realize the vagina is an ecosystem that requires a balanced environment to remain healthy; and events like menstruation, sex, and hormonal changes can throw off that balance. The result can be odor and discomfort, according to Lauren Streicher, M.D., Medical Director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause and Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University. Many women never have the benefit of a frank, open discussion about vaginal health and the importance of maintaining a healthy pH balance “down there.” Healthy pH and beneficial lactobacillus are the keys to reducing the risk of vaginal issues. pH refers to the vagina’s acidity level. A vaginal pH of 3.5 – 4.5 indicates that the vagina is populated by good bacteria (lactobacilli) without overgrowth of the bad bacteria that can cause odor and irritation and an elevated pH means that the healthy flora of the vagina may struggle to survive, while harmful bacteria thrive.

Yet women experience many of the triggers for elevated pH on a regular basis:

1. Period – The pH of blood is 7.4, which is much more alkaline than normal vaginal pH (3.5 – 4.5) which can lead to elevated vaginal pH.

2. Sex – Semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8 and can increase vaginal pH.

3. Hormones – Pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can cause hormone changes that alter vaginal pH.

As Dr. Streicher points out in her blog, When Your Vagina’s in a pHunk, to eliminate vaginal odor and relieve discomfort, women should know that often the cause is unbalanced vaginal pH. RepHresh Vaginal Gel, available without a prescription, is specifically designed to bond to the vaginal walls and provide long-lasting support to maintain healthy vaginal pH and eliminate odor.

By learning how to maintain a healthy pH, women can maintain vaginal health and help avoid any issues that could stem from elevated pH.

Additionally, RepHresh Pro-B contains the strains of probiotics that specifically designed to promote vaginal health to balance yeast and bacteria every day. Pro-B contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1™ and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14™, two clinically documented probiotic lactobacilli specifically optimized for vaginal health as opposed to a probiotic or yogurt that supports immunity or digestion.

Taking control of pH means taking control of the natural vaginal environment, putting an end to unpleasant odor, discomfort and itching.