Showing posts with label Botox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Botox. Show all posts

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beautynomics: Sagging Economy and Sagging Hips

cartoon of two women sitting at a table probably having lunch, and one woman says to a woman with no wrinkles, too much botox, Mavis

According to USA Today, 53 percent of plastic surgeons say business has slowed, gym memberships fell last year for the first time in more than a decade, and the Jenny Craig diet program is down by 30 to 40 percent since the first of the year.

Guess who's saving face? Botox!

Botox injections are the growth leader in the cosmetic industry.

This $12.4-billion-a-year business is thriving, while the health-related businesses (gym memberships and diet/nutrition programs) are slowing?

What's wrong with this picture?

cartoon of men at a board meeting saying, we need a fresh, young face on the board, simpksons, get botox injected

Source: USA Today: As Economy Softens, So Do We (July 9, 2008)

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Soapbox Saturday: Botox for the Resume

picture of Johnson Mandell, a woman, in a dark blazer, dark tee, jeans, sitting on a tree trunkIt's Saturday, and I'm on my soapbox again! Today's conniption fit comes from an article in the Wall Street Journal about a 49-year-old woman who took ten years off her resume and had youthful pictures taken in order to get a job. Are women over 40 required to have Botox in order to get a job?

At age 49, Lisa Johnson Mandell (woman shown in picture above) found her career "kind of sputtering." After 20-plus years as an entertainment broadcaster and film reviewer, she began to see jobs she applied for going to people she knew were younger. "I kept thinking, 'There has got to be someone out there who will value my experience,'" she says.

Her husband, Jim Mandell, president of a Hollywood voiceover agency, told her frankly, "People are rejecting you out of hand because you are too old."

The competition for jobs can seem age-biased in our youth-obsessed culture. Today's economic slump has hit just as legions of new college graduates reach the job market. Employers are eager to fill their offices with youthful energy and technological savvy, as well as the openness to new ideas that also makes 18- to 34-year-olds so tantalizing to advertisers. Our culture is so spellbound by youth that even some people in their early 40s think they've aged out of the fast lane and feel pressure to remove the years surgically.

But is employers' apparent preference for youth really about wrinkles? Or do companies simply want workers who keep pace with the times?

Many mature job candidates rest on their laurels and fail to create a modern image, says Maxine Martens, chief executive of the executive-recruitment agency Martens & Heads in New York. Looking young isn't the key: Attitude and knowledge of today's world are just as important. "It's your job to stay contemporary," she tells
candidates. Ms. Martens, who is 60, founded her company after being fired from a recruiting job at age 54. She sometimes sends candidates to her hairstylist for an updated style, but she also suggests they try new gigs as fearlessly as they did in the past.

Read the rest of the article.

Do you think younger women are more marketable? Do you need to shoot yourself up with Botox to compete with younger women? Who would have thought that experience would be a liability in today's market?

I will get you started.

I'm not going to blow a gasket over this, because women do have the power to market themselves. I believe wholeheartedly that we need to stay current with the times -- take computer classes to stay ahead of the curve -- and I also know, unfortunate as it may be, we are judged by how we dress and look.

Having said that, I recently felt the sting of what I like to call "young/cute" discrimination. I had been a court reporter for a quarter of a century and had an attorney ask, "Where is that young, cute court reporter from last week?"

What the attorney soon learned was that the inexperienced but young and cute court reporter couldn't write 250 words a minute or keep up with three attorneys talking at the same time, and eventually, my attorneys/clients requested my services.

In the end, experience trumps youth and cuteness...but the idea that an experienced woman would have to have Botox or lie on her resume still puts a bee in my bonnet!

Your turn. What are you buzzing about?

Source: Wall Street Journal: Botox For The Résumé: One Woman's Makeover

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Beautynomics: Is Consumer Vanity Outweighing Fear of a Recession

picture of a woman getting BotoxWe have not written a post recently about beautynomics, primarily because who wants to write about all that doom and gloom, but according to financial-istas (hot off the presses), it looks like Allergan --makers of Lumilash, Botox, Juvederm, Botox, and breast implants -- could have a good return on your investment. So you may want to add this to your stock portfolio investments, as well as your beauty portfolio.

According to Bernstein Research,

  • The most important development presented yesterday was the unveiling of the Lumilash program. Lumilash makes eyelashes longer, darker and fuller and has minimal side-effects (it did not, as we feared, cause a change in eye color). We expect strong uptake and peak sales approaching $500M. (Girl-Woman will be one of the first bloggers to be testing and reviewing Lumilash.)

  • The other key development was the announcement AGN is pushing forward the Juvederm with Lidocaine program where it now expects approval by YE09. This is a next generation dermal filler that could help AGN break the tie with MRX's Restylane – a largely equivalent product. Between Lumilash, Juvederm w/ Lidocaine and the Clinique products, Allergan is building a lead over other aesthetic companies, notably MRX -- Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. It is difficult to see aesthetic physicians being unhappy with AGN given the assortment of new products. (See Girl-Woman's comparison of Restylane and Juvederm). Additionally, according to my derm's office, there is a new kid on the block -- Radiesse. Radiesse is one of the longest-lasting dermal fillers available. Once it is injected, it actually stimulates the production of collagen. Girl-Woman will test Radiesse in the future and compare it to Juvederm and Restylane.
  • There is also solid mid term progress which may come to fruition around 2010. The FDA may consider reducing the number of cycles required in the Botox-OAB clinical trials. There were also no delays in follow on Lap-Band programs in adolescence and lower BMI patients.
Although Botox's reputation was in question when Italian scientists discovered that Botox goes to the brain and when the Food and Drug Administration linked the product to side effects that caused deaths in some children being treated for cerebral palsy, many have postulated that the large dose used to decrease the spasticity in the children was the cause for the deaths.

On the flip side, doctors are advising “There is no need for alarm because even though Botox is transported along the nerve fiber as far as the brainstem, it is biologically metabolized and broken down along the way and simply has no other place it can act other than where it got absorbed, at the nerve terminal."

The breast implant market is also dominated by Allergan, and some analysts believe that although the fears of a recession will slow the growth of the implant market, sales will continue to blossom.

Although this could be a good stock for your portfolio -- investment or beauty --if financial sacrifices have to be made, do you think luxury consumers will forgo Jimmy Choo shoes so that they can continue their $500 to a $1,000 Botox and Juvederm habit? How about the $7,000 price tag associated with breast implants?

Source: Bernstein Research, Alan Gal

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Beauty Product Review: Dr. Brandt Crease Release

picture of Dr. Brandt Crease Release

Has Dr. Brandt discovered an alternative to Botox with Crease Release with GABA? Does the beauty product relax the 11's and the parentheses on your face? Is spending $150 on this wrinkle cream a good return on your investment?

Is It Hype or Hope?

Dr. Brandt's Marketing Campaign:

"A celebrity favorite, this rapid wrinkle remover contains the unique, highly effective complex GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) a patented breakthrough that releases the skin's own muscle relaxers to calm and relax the skin by diminishing the appearance of tiny fine lines and wrinkles. This new formulation has more anti-aging ingredients including Dr. Brandt signature ingredients (white tea, green tea and grape seed extract) for a longer lasting effect. Apply small amount using fingers in a clockwise motion patting gently on expression lines. For best results, always apply as a first product after cleansing. Wait 2 minutes and follow up with lineless eye cream around eyes. Can be use am or pm benefits unique, patented GABA complex quickly removes wrinkles. Effects last 8 to 10 hours. Helps reduce expression lines. "

The Hype according to others:

"Dr Beilis, the pharmacist in charge of product development at Freeze 24/7, admitted to the New York Times that GABA really does little more than coagulate when it dries and then grip the skin in place. This is because GABA does not work alone to inhibit the nerves. It requires many other substances that are not present in the skin care products that use GABA as a key ingredient"

"I talked to a commercial chemist who's company makes products for Dr. Brandt, Perricone and many others, and he told me GABA has about 1/400th the muscle relaxing ability as Botox. But if you are young(ish), and don't have a lot of expression lines, I think GABA products are worth checking out. "

According to Paula Begoun, "Crease Release with GABA Complex is a basic emollient moisturizer that claims to rapidly reduce wrinkles with gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA cannot and does not work as Dr. Brandt claims, and this moisturizer irritates skin because it contains the allergenic fragrance component eugenol. Eugenol is a standard substance used to test for skin allergies, and has a deleterious effect on skin's immune cells"

There are claims that GABA stimulates the anterior pituitary, leading to higher levels of Human Growth Hormone. This is why GABA is taken as a supplement by body builders. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine how a cream is going to make its way from your crows' feet to the anterior pituitary, but if you remember my post on Brain Freeze, how Botox can leak into your brain, one could imagine GABA finding its way to the pituitary gland, but here's the rest of the story.

The Science Class: What is GABA? GABA- Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is a powerful amino acid that is produced naturally in the body. GABA is classified as a neurotransmitter, helping nerve impulses cross the brain synapses. As a neurotransmitter inhibitor, GABA appears to lower the excitatory level of the muscle cells by numbing and relaxing them, which contract to cause a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Is Dr. Brandt and his marketing team trying to dupe the consumer? We women do not like to be duped! GABA needs other substances for it to prevent nerves from being triggered and causing muscles to relax. Believe me, with all the muscle twitching I do, if this caused my muscles to relax, I would slather my whole body in this product.

a picture of a woman with wrinklesThe Experiment: For two weeks, I applied Dr. Brandt Crease Release to my crow's feet (what a ghastly decription), my wrinkles, and my crinkles around my eyes. For one week, I applied it to The Hubster's crinkles. (He became very interested in the cream when I told him the tiny jar was worth $150 of Botox-alternative.)

The Results: After each application of Crease Release, there was a cooling and tightening sensation -- sensation, mind you -- around my eyes for about 40 minutes. The cream also left behind a white, chalky residue. My fine lines and winkles were not diminished one iota. I was ready to toss the jar in the trash. Then The Hubster shouted one morning -- he is deaf in one ear so he shouts a lot --"Beckie, I think the face cream really works." Well, that certainly piqued my interest.

The Conclusion: After analyzing his face, we came to the conclusion that the other ingredients contained in the product -- white tea, green tea, and grapeseed extract -- softened his fine lines but did not diminish them. The Husbster is not the metrosexual type and has never thought of applying a beauty product to his etched but lovely face, so when he did apply Dr. Brandt Crease Release with GABA to his crinkles, it successfully diffused and softened his skin.

Brains on Beauty: Sorry to tell you, girls, Botox is still the only way to relax your facial muscles. Of course, the jury is still out on the side effects of Botox, mainly the leakage to the brain (see the pros and the cons). At $150 a jar, the return on your investment is very poor. To soften the fine lines on your face, like it did The Hubster's face, you can find a cream containing white tea, green tea, and grapeseed extract at a better price point than Dr. Brandt Crease Release with GABA.

Keep smiling,

(Sources: Don't Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me, 7th Edition, by Paula Begoun, Molecular Immunology, March 2007, ePublication; and Biological Chemistry, September 2006, pages 1201-1207).")

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Botox and the Brain

Everyone's talking about Botox leaking into the brain (see brain freeze). We thought you would be interested in William A. Brennan, MD, the only board certified Neurosurgeon in California who also has specialized training in cosmetic surgery.

Recent alarm surrounds Italian reports that Botox is dangerous because it goes to the brain 3 days after injection (1); expert neurosurgeon and cosmetic surgeon, William A. Brennan MD, states otherwise. “It is understood that Botox will be taken up into the nerve terminal because it resides in the same area as neurotransmitters,” he says. “However there is no need for alarm because even though Botox is transported along the nerve fiber as far as the brainstem, it is biologically metabolized and broken down along the way and simply has no other place it can act other than where it got absorbed, at the nerve terminal.”

“The newsflash from Italy was no surprise to those in neuroscience, because results indicated what we already knew,” states Brennan.

Botox works cosmetically by weakening and reducing activity of select facial muscles by blocking the nerve impulse at the nerve/muscle junction. The transfer of Botox outside of its’ injection site is “caused by its’ attachment to the nerve/muscle junction area, a place busy with activity including uptake and release of neurotransmitters,” explains Brennan.

Additionally Botox “has been used medically for almost two decades in the management of strabismus and movement disorders. In more recent years, it’s been used in the treatments associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain and spinal cord injury.”

(2) Botox been FDA approved for medical use since 1989, and for cosmetic use since 2002.

(3) The bottom line: Botox is still the same medication it has always been and will continue to be useful for cosmetic and medical purposes in the future.

With this brains on beauty report by Dr. Brennan, does it change your opinion?

(1) Begley, Sharon. A New Reason to Frown. NEWSWEEK.
(2) Morrissey M.D., Melinda M. Use of BOTOX in Management of the Brain Injured Patient. SOUTH SHORE NEUROLOGIC ASSOCIATES, P.C.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Cosmetic Procedure Review: Restylane Vs. Juvederm

I started using fillers a few years ago for my nasolabial folds (the creases running from the bottom of my nose to the corners of my mouth). My first foray into the facial rejuvenation world was Restylane. For the price, it was worth plumping my laugh lines -- ha ha. When I divided it out, $75 a month wasn't a bad investment to edit the parentheses ( ) from my face. At my last appointment, my derm recommended Juvéderm instead of Restylane because she thought it would last longer, and it has lasted longer -- a whole year. Doing the math, $50 a month and one visit a year to the dermatologist is not a bad price to pay to erase wrinkles.

Juvéderm and Restylane are both injectable physician-administered gels. A fine needle is used to augment or fill the wrinkles of the skin. Both products contain a hyaluronic acid gel that closely resembles the body's own hyaluronic acid. Young skin is smooth and elastic and contains a large amount of hyaluronic acids, but as we grow older, the ability of the skin to produce hyaluronic acid and collagen decreases resulting in the skin becoming drier, thinner, and less able to restore itself, creating wrinkles and folds.

It is not an uncommon side effect to have a some swelling and bruising after an injection, and my pale skin has not escaped the unsightly briusing after past injections. Concealer becomes my best friend for about a week after the procedure. So in prep for my Juvéderm treatment, I tested a new topical beauty product for my dermatologist. I applied PREVedem ($37) to my face every day for two weeks prior to my appointment. Both the dermatologist and I were very hopeful PREVedem would prevent my skin from bruising.

"PREVedem Skin Conditioning Serum: A skin-strengthening serum for use before cosmetic procedures. When undergoing filler injections, laser treatments, or cosmetic surgery, PREVedem helps to reduce the red or purple appearance of skin when used for at least two weeks before treatment."

I reluctantly went to my dermatologist's office right before I left for Florida for my Juvederm injections, fearing that I would have the bruising while on vacation. You will not believe this , girls, but she decided that I didn't need an injection, that the Restylane/Juvederm fillers were continuing to plump out my nasolabial folds, as well as plumping up my collagen production. That's a pretty good return on my investment. When I return from Florida, she suggested that I have another Fraxel treatment instead. I will keep you posted.

Unfortunately, I didn't didn't write a blog when I had my first Restylane injection. Otherwise, I would have posted a before-and-after picture. So that I can share my progress -- or blunders --with you in the future, I am keeping a photolog of my face. As far as PREVedem goes, I can't report whether it would have reduced bruising, but it contained a plethora of antioxidants, which is always brains on beauty.

As you know, I never went the Botox route, but I would love to know how you women feel about Botox and its inherent risks (leakage to the brain), as well as your feelings on Restylane or Juvederm. Do you think scientists will discover that injectables will travel to the brain stem, too?

Have a great weekend,

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Botox Gives New Meaning To The Words "Brain Freeze"

Yes, Botox gives new meaning to the words "brain freeze." When Botox is injected into a face muscle, it blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The "frozen" muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften. Can this wrinkle drug also cause paralysis of the muscles in the brain and cause brain freeze?

Sadly, for anti-wrinkle enthusiasts, according to the Journal of Neuroscience last week, just as a Botox injection can block signals from nerves to muscles in the face, this "natural poison" has been found in a study to have leaked from the whiskers of rats into their brain stems. Botox was in the news a few weeks prior to the Journal's report, when the FDA was investigating reports of Botox-related deaths.

Brains on Science: On the flip side, "Botox has been used for more than 25 years with very few complications, unless you overdose. ... I don't think fear is warranted," said neuroscientist Christopher von Bartheld. "The toxin's ability to spread might have an upside, allowing doctors to treat brain-based disorders such as epilepsy. "

Brains on Beauty: There will be two things I won't do this year: Grow whiskers and get Botox injections.

Because wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox, just by the sheer luck of gravity, I have not tried Botox before. What do you girls and women think about this? Would you still contemplate getting Botox if you thought you might get "brain freeze"?


FDA's safety review
Journal of Neuroscience

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Better Than Botox? Beauty Product Review of AlphaDerma CE

picture of AlphaDerm CE

When you receive a product to review that is advertised as "Better than Botox," it really makes you sit up and take notice.

"A surgical injection of Botox® is designed to paralyze facial muscles to prevent them from contracting. AlphaDerma CE is formulated with 10% Acetyl Hexapeptide 3 (AH3), also known as Argireline. Argireline is the only ingredient in cosmetics today that offers the same results as Botox® without needles or the risk of damage to the skin or facial muscles. Argireline blocks the nerve signals that control the contraction of facial muscles. This produces a significant reduction in both the depth and size of wrinkles and fine lines."

When I first applied the product, I thought I had found a painless topical alternative to Botox (although I don't use Botox.), but the sceptic in me knew it was too good to be true. The next morning, sans makeup, I took a picture of my face without AlphaDerma CE, and then after applying AlphaDerma CE, I took another picture. (Only if you say, "pretty please" will I post the pictures here. A closeup picture is not my friend anymore.)

On a positive note, I found that AlphaDerma CE has a tightening effect which is beneficial, but if you want the Botox effect, you need to pay to play. As you can see below, AlphaDerma CE is a cocktail of eight anti-aging ingredients. Like most peptide potions, the formula is costly, too: $129 from Janson Beckett.

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid, the most potent antioxidant on the market today, helps repair aged skin while preventing future damage.

  • VITAMIN C ESTER (ascorbyl palmitate) boosts protective antioxidant action and helps repair past damage by aiding new collagen production.

  • DMAE often called “facelift in a jar”, helps Firm and Tighten the skin.

  • ELASTIN is the main ingredient in the skin that allows it to stretch without leaving stretch marks. AlphaDerma CE contains 100% rare, costly, freeze-dried powdered ELASTIN concentrate – which has almost 100% amino acid content. This makes our ELASTIN 10x more potent than any other standard ELASTIN products used in the U.S. or abroad.

  • COLLAGEN is an integral part of the support structure of the skin. The addition of our collagen to the formulation fills in unwanted fine lines and wrinkles. Our special delivery system allows the collagen to be absorbed into the lower levels of the epidermis - which is the "birth" layer of new cells. Our collagen is hydrolyzed collagen, which is a form of collagen that is broken into smaller molecules, allowing it to be more easily absorbed into the epidermis."

Before testing AlphaDerma CE, I had been using Prevage MD for about six months. Prevage MD’s key ingredient is Idebenone, which according to my dermatologist is the most powerful topical antioxidant available on the market today.

It is also interesting to note that Allergan, the pharmaceutical company which makes and markets Prevage MD, is also the maker of Botox. Once again, I have not found a topical alternative to Botox, but maybe Allergan is getting closer to finding youth in a bottle.

Have a great Monday,


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