This is the time of year when we tend to consider new beginnings and come up with resolutions for the upcoming year.   If you’re feeling like you look tired and could use a pick-me-up, consider revisiting your skin care routine, and consider aesthetic treatments to compliment your appearance.

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Make sure you are using a sunscreen with zinc or titanium EVERY DAY.  (Love Elta MD® SPF 40 Daily for normal/dry skin and Elta MD® SPF 36 Clear for normal/dry skin: both contain 9% zinc)
  • Incorporate an antioxidant on a daily basis as there is unequivocal  evidence that our skin benefits from this. (SkinCeuticals® CE Ferulic® is great for normal/dry skin, while SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF® is a good choice for normal/oily skin)
  • Add a Retinol or Retinoid to your routine because, again, there is unequivocal  evidence that it benefits our skin. (love Neocutis® Nouvelle+ which also contains a skin brightening complex)
  • If you are really noticing the effects of aging on your skin add a growth factor and use if for a full 3 months before you decide if you love it or hate it.  I recommend Neocutis Bioserum® or SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum®.
  • Drink plenty of water or uncaffeinated beverages every day as our skin thrives with hydration.  (try for an 8 oz serving every hour or every other hour)
  • Consider renewing your skin and thinning the stratum corneum (the non-living layer of cells on the surface)  which will brighten your complexion and fade hyperpigmentation.  (a series of peels such as the VI Peel®)

Most of us (at least based on my informal survey of those I know) have resolutions regarding our weight and diet  (year after year after year).  Be encouraged that eating well and incorporating the “good fats” and omegas in to our diet also has skin benefits.  Food is medicine, and our skin usually gives away whether we are feeding it with a healthy diet as opposed to a lot of junk food which increases inflammation and can ultimately break down collagen and elastin.

I hope 2016 is everything you want it to be and that you are successful with your resolutions!  Cheers!  Celebrate safely!

As always, the mentioned products are available at TOC Medical Spa 🙂





Long lashes have been coveted by women for a very long time.  Over the years false lash strips, various mascara formulations and lash extensions have been used to obtain length and fullness.

I am going to review two popular lash growth products, Latisse® and Revitalash®.  Both of these products use prostaglandins.   I have both professional and personal experience with each.

Essentially, Latisse® is a prescription strength product while Revitalash® is over the counter.  They both use prostaglandins to keep lashes in their active growth cycle for longer.  This phase of growth is called the anagen phase.  Keeping lashes in this phase of growth allows them to become thicker and longer.

Once upon a time numerous lash products used the prostaglandin Bimatoprost, a proven prostamide for lash growth.  Originally the lash growth was realized as a side effect from a topical glaucoma medication.  Ultimately, Allergen pharmaceuticals completed FDA regulated studies using Bimatoprost for lash growth and introduced Latisse®.  They also subsequently sued various other complanies who were using Bimatropost as they had acquired the patent for lash growth.  These companies were then required to reformulate their products without Bimatoprost.

Revitalash® uses a prostaglandin called, get ready for this, dechloro dihydroxy difluoro ethylclprostenolamide.  There are numerous plant based conditioners in the product as well to condition the lashes.  But the (insert really long name) is what makes your lashes longer and fuller by keeping the lashes in the anagen phase longer.

Which works?  They both do.  Latisse® has more dramatic results.  Both take up to 4 months to realize the full effect of the daily use of the product.  The efficacy of Latisse® is obviously a pro.  Latisse® can create dramatic lash length.   However, there are numerous patients who develop irritation with Latisse®, which is a con.  I have had numerous patients inquire about the changing of eye color which Latisse® had to disclose from their studies.  This is very unusual and unlikely.  I have never seen it or spoken to another provider who has seen eye color changes.  The irritation is the main complaint I have personally experienced and had patients complain of.  Another con of Latisse® is cost.  It is around $100 (depending on the pharmacy) for a 1-2 month supply.  Revitalash® is $150 and will last 4-5 months making it more cost effective.  I have had no complaints of irritation with Revitalash®.

Honestly, if lash growth is something you are interested in it is worth while to try both products and see which works best for you.

I realize there are numerous other lash products on the market that use various formulations of peptides and conditioners but the two I have discussed are the two that can actually keep your lashes in the active growth cycle longer.

Other products I researched were NeuLASH®, RapidLash®, Marini Lash™, Lashovée™ and Peter Thomas Roth Lashes To Die For™.  All of these are a combination of conditioners and peptides.  There are no prostaglandins in these products.  I do not doubt that by conditioning the lashes one would see improvement in lashes.  However, using a product with a prostaglandin will be more dramatic.






What to get for those who love skin care and make-up? Here are a few suggestions from one professional product junkie!

These mostly are “female” appropriate, sorry guys!

If you are stuck maybe these ideas will help 🙂

Under $30

  • Jane Iredale Puregloss™  Lip Gloss- A  long lasting gloss in 18 colors  with a pleasant berry flavor.   I love Soft Peach and Iced Mocha.  $24
  • Elta MD® UV Lip Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 31-This is a moisturizing lip sunscreen with transparent zinc oxide. It has a mint flavor that is pleasant and has antioxidants.  Great for cold sore sufferers.  (this would be a fantastic stocking stuffer)  $10
  • Elta MD® sunscreen- Everyone needs sunscreen and the Elta SPF 40 Daily with 9% micronized zinc is a house favorite here at TOC Medical Spa.   Appropriate for man or woman.  $26

Over $100

  • Clarisonic® Smart Profile facial cleansing brush- This is a great device.  I have used mine for the last 7 years and would replace it in a heartbeat if anything ever happened to it.  It has 3 settings or “strengths” and can be used in the shower.  There are a variety of brushes that can be changed as well.  I find mine keeps the flakes from my retinol/retinoid use at bay.  $265
  • Clarisonic® Mia facial cleansing brush-  A smaller version of the brush above.  This brush has one setting.  This is a more affordable version and does a good job.  $99
  • NuFace® Trinity Device- This is a device that comes with a microcurrent applicator to stimulate and tone the skin.  IT WORKS!  It requires regular use so there is a small time commitment. But when used consistently there is visible lifting and firming of the tissues.  The microcurrent attachment can be switched out for a infrared light device (sold separately) to treat fine lines and wrinkles.    $325
  • Tria® Age-Defying Laser-  The Tria® device is an at home FDA cleared laser clinically proven to treat multiple signs of aging on the entire face. This laser stimulates the bodies own natural repair process leading to collagen production.   When purchased through a physicians office it includes two effective antioxidant products from SkinCeuticals®, CE Ferulic and Resveratrol B E.  These work synergistically with the device.   This would be a VERY GENEROUS gift.  $629
  • Revitalash®- This is a product to help lashes grow thicker and longer.  It works!  Great alternative to Latisse®.   $150
  • Gift Certificate to your loved ones favorite spa!

Everything listed is available at TOC Medical Spa AND we are having an event, “Black Tuesday”, during which all products are 20% off! Services are also discounted 15% during the event.   Additionally, Gift Certificates worth $125 can be purchased for $100.   The event is Tuesday, December 15th.  Our phone # is 512-533-7317 if you are interested in taking advantage of these specials!

lip gloss