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Caring for Winter Skin

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Can you believe winter weather is just around the corner?  Where did the summer go? The leaves are turning.  Soon the trees will be stripped bare, left only with their grey, withered bark to show. The vibrant, supple flowers of summer, left unprotected, will become wilted and drab. Lack of hydration and sudden changes in temperature can have this kind of effect on your skin if you do not take the proper measures to protect it.

As the seasons change, so do the needs of your skin. For most, colder weather can create dry, tight, flakey, blotchy, even irritated skin.  Let’s face it, nothing amplifies your little imperfections (lines, wrinkles, discoloration, aging) the way dehydrated winter skin can.

Think of your skin as your body’s “body guard.” The outer most layer of skin serves as a “barrier layer.” Its purpose is to protect the deeper layers.  This protective barrier locks in the needed hydration and skin nutrients to maintain healthy skin. Because winter is a dry season, retaining moisture can be a big challenge. If your barrier layer becomes dry and depleted, it becomes much more difficult to lock in moisture.

So what can you do to protect your skin this winter?

  1. Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or less.  Higher temperatures will dehydrate your skin.
  2. Avoid taking long, hot showers.
  3. Increase your water consumption, especially if you are taking meds for colds, flu, antibiotics etc. Remember that coffee, tea, pop and alcohol can also dehydrate the skin.
  4. CHANGE YOUR HOME CARE ROUTINE WITH THE CHANGE OF THE SEASON:

Talk with a trained Medical skincare specialist, cosmetic plastic surgeon, or dermatologist about how to most effectively change your home skincare routine.

Here are a few general skincare tips…

CLEANSER:

You may need to change you cleanser during the colder months if your skin is affected by wind and climate changes. Pay attention to how your skin feels after you wash it (before you apply your moisturizer). Does it feel tight or dry?  If so, you may find it beneficial to switch from your “warmer weather cleanser” to a gentle, creamy, hydrating cleanser to avoid further irritation of your skin.  The purpose of warmer weather cleansers is to remove excess sebum (oil) and impurities from your skin. If your skin becomes irritated, removing too much sebum from your skin will create further dryness and irritation.  In addition, use a buff puff with your cleanser to help remove dead skin cells.

EXFOLIANTS:

Winter skin tends to look dull.  To keep it glowing, use a daily exfoliant such as a 10% glycolic acid.

HYDRATE / MOISTURIZE (in layers):

Maintaining healthy, balanced skin during colder months often requires an increased level of hydration. By this, I am not indicating that you should just apply twice as much moisturizer to your skin. Moisturizer building is best done in layers.  First apply a moisture-enhancing serum, such a hyaluronic acid, squalene or ceramides to enhance your protective barrier function.  Then apply your regular day or night moisturizer next.   Moisturizers that nourish the skin and replenish are essential for maintaining a healthy moisture barrier.

SUN PROTECTION:

I can’t say enough about this topic.  SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK.  UVA rays are JUST as prevalent on bitter cold winter days. Remember that UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin then it’s more well known partner- in- crime – the UVB ray. UVB rays are at least courteous enough to most skin types to let you know when you have been over-exposed to the sun (red or tan skin, burning, blisters…). UVA rays are a bit more sneaky. Because UVA rays penetrate more deeply, they do not leave the same immediate superficial signs of over exposure.  Eventually and unexpectedly,  it pops and says “surprise – got cha”, in the form of brown spots, broken vessels, leathery, wrinkled, yellowed, damaged skin.  Oh, and let’s not forget the more than one million new “surprises” it dished out this year alone in the form of “skin cancer.”

Keep in mind that sun reflects off snow, water, glass… further increasing its harmful abilities. I recommend using a sun block that has these blufour forms of defense.

  1. A physical block agent such as micronized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide at 7% or higher with an SPF of 45 or higher.
  2. A chemical sunscreen
  3. Anti-oxidants
  4. Tinted sun block – (iron oxides)

For more information on choosing a sun block, check our blog archives for a very detailed description.  You may also schedule a FREE skin consultation appointment with me, (Roxanne- Skincare and Laser Specialist) in either our Savoy 0ffice 217-359-7508  (Champaign-Urbana area) or Bloomgton office 217-309-662-0436 for more information specific to your skin type and skin concerns.

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/skin-resurfacing.cfm

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/facials.cfm

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
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800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Interview with Skin & Laser Specialist, Roxanne – Question #3

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Question: Why do people come to the skin rejuvenation suite at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery?

3057Roxanne: “Most men and women, even teens simply want to become a better version of themselves.

  • They may have a special occasion coming up like a wedding, vacation or new job.
  • They may want to learn more about how CO2 Micro-Fractional laser resurfacing can improve their lines, wrinkles, texture and brown spots to give them a fresher, more youthful look.3182014 101
  • Some are seeking one of our signature facials or microdermabrasion to relief stress and brighten their appearance while others are working on self-improvement with chemical peels, hair reduction or vein therapy.“
  • In January of this year, to support the services that the skin rejuvenation suite offers, Dr. Castillo introduced his medical-grade skincare line https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/skincare-products.cfm   [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Message’ type=’textarea’/][/contact-form]
  • The new skincare line has been a huge success and the results speak for themselves! This has brought a new sector of patients to us who are simply tired of being disappointed by empty promises made by over-the-counter skincare product lines. Trial sizes are available for most of the products so patients can try them out before purchasing a full size product. It is a nice benefit for the patient and they come back so excited, bursting with compliments about the skincare products they tried. As I always say, “you don’t need a cabinet full of skincare products, just the right products and knowledge to know the difference!”Microdermabrasion ScrubIMG_2054

Lush Simplicity Kit

Interview with Skincare & Laser Specialist, Roxanne – Question #2

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Question: What makes patients so loyal to Dr. Castillo’s  skin rejuvenation suite?

Roxanne: Dr. Castillo’s Skin Rejuvenation Suite at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center is a place of peace, pampering, privacy and professional, progressive treatment options.”

  • “As the Skincare and Laser Specialist there, I get truly excited at the opportunity to help patients reach their skin rejuvenation goals and I think that shows through to our patients. Helping people look and feel their best is energizing and that energy is contagious! We have interesting, appreciative patients from all walks of life and again that energy just creates an atmosphere people want to be a part of.
  • “Going to a fully accredited surgical facility headed by a triple-board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon with a stellar reputation and more than 30 years experience with skin rejuvenation rather than going to a salon or spa gives our patients peace of mind.”
  • DSC_0574“I think the thing you will notice right away is our emphasis on patient education. I spend a great deal of time with each patient during a consultation to make sure that they have a clear understanding of the skin rejuvenation procedure(s) or products they are considering. I believe there is nothing more important during that time than making sure they understand all the facts so they can make an informed decision that is right for them. “
  • “Our focus in on quality, not quantity. It is important that our patients do not feel rushed through their experience in the skin rejuvenation suite and that they know what to expect each step of the way. Because we only offer the most proven-effective treatments, rather than every new fad that pops up, our patients see consistent results that they can count on. It allows our patients to recommend Dr. Castillo’s skin rejuvenation suite  at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center to their friends and family with confidence and assurance.”

 

Interview with Skincare & Laser Specialist, Roxanne – Question #1

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Question: How has the skin rejuvenation suite at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center sustained its success over the past 25 years?

Roxanne: “We are fortunate enough that the Skin Rejuvenation Suite has a wonderful, well- respected, word-of-mouth reputation I would imagine is due to many factors:”

  • 1. “Our focus at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center has always been about providing the best possible experience for each patient, every time. The nature of our services allows us to make deep connections with our patients as we guide them through their journey both surgically and non-surgically.”
  • 2. “We are a state-of-the art, accredited facility with a physician / plastic surgeon who has over 30 years experiencCosmetic Plastic Surgery 9/11/12e in this field and as a staff, we all benefit from working under his direction. Dr. Castillo has created a well-oiled, professional, educated team of caring individuals, simply making us good at what we do, whether it is plastic surgery, Botox or skin rejuvenation. “
  • 3. “We do not work on commission. This means it’s a relaxed environment not only for the staff but for our patients as well. If there is a service that a patient is interested in, we tell them about it but our patients are never pressured to do anything. I believe this is yet another reason why patients refer others to us. Who would want to refer a friend to an office that is willing to pressure their friend into anything?” You will never find that kind of mentality or leadership here.
  • 4. “We are not interested in offering every new fad that comes along. We are interested ONLY in offering our patients the highest-quality skin rejuvenation and skincare product regimens that offer real improvements. Essentially, we are all results oriented perfectionists here and we want what our patients want; the best results possible!”

 

 

 

 

MEDICAL CREDIT – ARE YOUR RESOURCES PROTECTED?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

          A medical credit card (dedicated solely to health purchases) can be a handy item in our wallets.   Like most existing lines of credit, it allows us to obtain the services we want, when we want them, and separates an inconvenient outlay of cash into smaller payments made over time.  Unlike procedure-specific (one time) medical financing, once this line of credit has been established, as the debt is repaid, the line of credit is available to you for reuse according to your needs and desires.

Maybe you’ve been considering a procedure with Dr. Castillo, such as facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation or liposuction; or perhaps you’ve been waiting for the “sun season” to end and want to schedule the laser resurfacing skin rejuvenation that you’ve dreamed of.  Sometimes patients request financing options or want to take advantage of an interest-free credit offer.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD, investigated all the revolving medical credit card possibilities before choosing Care Credit as the only dedicated-medical-use card that we process.  Of prime consideration in this decision was the level of financial security for our patients built into their system.  How secure is your Care Credit purchase at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, you ask?  Extremely secure, we answer!

You’ve probably become accustomed to the cavalier acceptance of credit/debit cards and bank checks that has become commonplace.  Have you wondered why your bank check is given back to you at the time of purchase from some larger merchants?  It’s because using a check at these establishments is similar to utilizing a debit card.  The tendered amount is electronically confirmed as available at the register, and deducted from your account at the time of purchase.  The advent of immediate electronic fund transfers has all but made ID checking obsolete.  This may protect the merchant during the exchange, but how does it protect you?  When was the last time a cashier asked you for identification when you handed over your bank check or credit card for payment?  In my personal experience, it’s been rare for a very long time and that’s not a good thing.   I make it a point to say “thank you” when a cashier takes the time to look at my credit card signature or ask for additional ID.

When it comes to personal finances, purchasing convenience (although important) is not my first concern.  What is most important to me is:

 

  1. Security
  2. More Security
  3. ADDITIONAL SECURITY

Did you know that every Care Credit transaction must be done in person by an authorized cardholder and requires two additional forms of identification to be presented at the time of purchase?  Did you know that the person processing the transaction has to record the IDs utilized during this step and that the cardholder has to acknowledge via signature that this additional security step has been taken.  This process is required for each and every transaction, regardless of how familiar the cardholder is to the processor.

For these reasons, if done correctly, you should never experience over-the-phone Care Credit transactions and you should never hear “that’s okay, your information is on file.”

I know that this may sound inconvenient to some in our fast-paced, “I want it yesterday” society, but when it comes to personal finances, security trumps convenience every time – our patient’s investment in themselves both deserves and demands our protection of their financial resources.

So, when you call in a mail order and are told that we no longer have access to the credit card number you utilized yesterday, or you see me glance at the front and back of your card before processing payment, please understand that your security is our prime concern.

 

 

 

Wrinkled Or Not, Here I Come

Friday, April 19th, 2013

 

Wrinkled was never  what I dreamed of becoming when I grew up; a zoo keeper, a talk show host or entrepreneur,  sure, but I checked carefully and wrinkled has NEVER appeared on my list, not even once!

We had some new staff photos taken recently at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center.  When we got them back I was startled to see a slightly older version of me in the photos.  I was forced to acknowledge that I too am slowly creeping up on a time in life when minor changes in my facial structure are beginning to occur.  When I look closely in the mirror, I can now see a hint of my mom looking back at me.  I know there will come a time when decisions will have to be made.  Will I decide to age gracefully or choose to defy it with a facelift.  Let’s see.  I better check my list one more time just to be sure.  Nope, still the word “wrinkled” does not appear.  Defy it is then.

How does one do that you ask?  Well it is easier if you have stayed out of sun, but for most of us that is not the case.  So that leaves protect and repair.  Both my parents were diagnoses with skin cancer while I was in my mid to late twenties, so really just a few years ago. ; -)  Hey… there is no judgment here ok.  This is my blog. Besides, like I always say “if age is just a number than I would prefer to keep mine unlisted.”

Watching the anguish my mother endured when the tip of her nose had to be removed, leaving it disfigured and later when my dad who had a large cancerous lesion in the center of his forehead, I realized the true dangers of the sun. Protection is a must when abstinence isn’t possible.  (from the sun!)

At that point, I began a daily regimen of sunscreen and swore off tanning.  That alone has bought me some time.  I am faithful to my medical skincare regimen.  I don’t jump around trying the latest and greatest infomercial product.  That’s a tough one for most of us – advertising can be so convincing.  I stick with medical grade skincare products only, never anything over-the-counter.  That’s not to say that there aren’t good OTC products out there, it is just that I value my time and money more than that and refuse to spend time and money hunting for something that “might” do the trick when I can go straight to medical grade skincare and feel confident that my investment will pay off.

I was recently telling a girlfriend that I am considering having full face laser resurfacing in the fall.  She responded “For what?  You don’t have a wrinkle on your face.”  Which of course isn’t quite accurate and to which I responded “yes, and I’d like to keep it that way.”  I explained to her that I am a firm believer in preventative (early) maintenance for multiple reasons.  First, addressing aging earlier rather than later gives me the opportunity to enjoy my results for as long as possible.  Why wait until “I am bad enough or old enough, or wrinkly enough to justify making improvements.” The only thing that will accomplish is that my self-esteem will take a hit.  I have always believed in taking care of myself with exercise, healthy food choices, and a clean lifestyle.  I want to enjoy the rewards of my efforts.  What if you just found out your home had a few termites, would you wait until the foundation was ready to collapse before something about it? Of course not, so why should our bodies be any different?

I believe early maintenance is beneficial because I think it provides more privacy.  The more there is to repair, the more dramatic the change can be.  Friends and family are less likely to suspect cosmetic surgery and more likely to assume that I am more well rested or that my new hair cut just took 10 years off my appearance.   Well… unless you write a cosmetic surgery and skin rejuvenation blog and tell the whole world about your anti-aging game plan… that does tend to cause some suspicion.

 

So will I have a facelift?  Well if the little things I do along the way; medical grade skincare, exfoliation treatments, Botox Cosmetic, laser resurfacing aren’t enough to keep the peace within myself, then, yes, I would consider a facelift when the time is right.  I would choose a traditional facelift method.  I am not interested in entertaining the idea of something like the Lifestyle Lift.  I have witnessed too many patients who have come to our office because they had the Lifestyle Lift somewhere else and it didn’t turn out as they hoped.  Then they need additional surgery (a proper facelift)  to correct it, something we never see with traditional facelift surgeries by Dr. Castillo.

Yours Truly,

Roxanne Hammond

Anti-Aging With Grace

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Hammond, Skin care & Laser Specialist

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center

The Pregnancy Mask

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

ASK OUR EXPERTS:

Q:  I developed Melasma on my upper lip while I was pregnant.  It’s been months and it is still there.  What can I do?

Over-production of melanin is also stimulated by UV radiation which makes it a complex issue that is difficult to treat, because your body has already kicked melanin production into over-drive and that is compounded further by recurring stimulation from UV rays. Sometimes Melasma will go away after pregnancy or lighten enough to cover the discoloration with cosmetics but unfortunately it often returns with additional pregnancies, hormonal changes and sun exposure.  The good news is there are treatment options that offer hope.

It is important for you to understand that sun is your ENEMY and it will remain your greatest nemeses. Melasma is a chronic condition.  There is no magic cream that will guarantee to banish it forever. I find that Melasma is one of the most difficult skin issues that we treat at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Rejuvenation and Laser Institute.  It is frustrating for both myself and my patients.  Therefore, I want to express the importance having realistic expectation before you decide if or which treatment option is right for you.

There are a few things you can try to improve your Melasma.  The first and most important one is simply applying medical-grade physical sunscreen with either micronized Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide every day, 365 days a year, without fail. You can get this from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon like Dr. Castillo. Avoid trying to sneak by with just the SPF of 15 that is in your make-up or moisturizer, it won’t cut it.  Because even the best sunscreen cannot block all UV radiation, other protection should also be used such as a wide-brimmed hat or umbrella. There is no such thing as “water-proof” sunscreen, only “water-resistant” sunscreen so if you are sweating or swimming you will need to re-apply every 80 minutes.

Prescription Bleaching creams, which I prefer to call “lightening” creams can also be helpful. They are used initially on only a short term basis but can be repeated in the future as a form of maintenance. You must be very faithful to your sunscreen regimen with using lightening agents.

If changing your oral contraception or hormonal therapy is not an option, and you haven’t gotten the type of improvement you desire then it may be time to consider more aggressive treatment options.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery we find the most success using CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing in combination with a lightening agent, medical grade sunscreen and sun avoidance. Other treatment options may include series of medical grade peels or IPL treatments.  Again, sun is your ENEMY.  It can very rapidly undo any successful treatment with sun exposure.

 

Yours Truly,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D. FACS
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

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800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

Bridal Fair

Friday, September 11th, 2009

If you or someone you know is getting married, you won’t want to miss out on Champaign’s very own Vow Magazine / News-Gazette Bridal Fair.  Admittance is free so grab some friends and spend the afternoon with us. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Restoration and Laser Institute will be hosting a booth in the main vendor room.  We will be raffling off great prizes every hour and a grand prize (Liquid Smile Teeth Whitening System!!) at 4 PM.  Stop by our booth to and REGISTER TO WIN. We will be offering exclusive event promotions so don’t miss out!

The Bridal Fair will be held from noon-4 PM at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil Street, Champaign, IL. 61824 on Sunday, September 13, 2009

  • Fashion Show
  • Hair Show
  • Refreshments
  • Prizes
  • Lots of Fun

Hope to see you there!