I have a few eye products in my rotation and feel they all have passed the test of time.  I have been using several of them for a number of years.

My two favorite eye creams, which I have at all times, are:

Alastin Eye

Alastin™ Restorative Eye Treatment™

  • Tri-Hex Technology™ which is a group of peptides that help to stimulate elastin and collagen, minimizing fine lines and increasing skin turgor around the eye area.
  • strengthens skin which helps to minimize any sagging, especially of the upper eye lid.
  • reduces puffiness and dark circles
  • brightens and evens skin color
  • has a gel like consistency,  although it is a cream, I like using it as an AM eye cream because it wears well under eye make-up.


Neocutis Micro⋅Eyes Rejuvenating Balm

  • Utilizes MPC™ technology which is also a group of peptides which have anti-aging skin benefits.
  • minimizes fine lines, crepiness, puffiness and dark eye circles.
  • wild yam and moisturizing lipids fight dryness and textural issues.
  • THIS is a super hydrating eye cream if you have issues with dry skin in the eye area.  It is like butter! (in a good way)
  • I like this product at night, as it is hydrating enough that I prefer a lighter cream during the day under make-up.



Maybelline  Instant Age Rewind® Treatment Concealer

  • This very reasonably priced product has been on the market for a number of years and is available at your local grocery or drug store.  It is a product I use under my eyes everyday as part of my make-up routine.  It works just as well as any high end under eye concealer I have used and has the added benefit of having several peptides in its ingredient deck.  I prefer the brightener, which is a pinker shade and really brightens the undereye area.  The product is available in multiple shades for a variety of skin tones.  My feeling is if I am using an under eye concealer on a regular basis, why not have it have benefits for my skin!  I think I have been using this for 7+ years and occasionally try a higher end option, but go back to this tried and true product.



There are a few stand-out products from 2016!

Alastin Restorative Skin

The Alastin Restorative Skin Complex® has become a part of my daily routine.  I have found an improvement in the texture and tone of my skin using this product regularly.  The skin around my eyes (especially under my eyes) has firmed and there are fewer fine lines.  This product has peptides that help your skin grow collagen and elastin.  Restorative Skin Complex has been written up in numerous publications and has been recommended by multiple dermatologists and plastic surgeons.   It is worth every penny.


Skinceuticals C E Ferulic rotates in and out of my regime, and has for years.  There is unequivocal evidence that this product, loaded with antioxidants, helps neutralize UV and free radicals.  Used with sunscreen, your protection is improved significantly.  90 % of visible premature aging is caused by environmental free radicals.  Sunscreen alone is not enough.  Adding an antioxidant such as C E Ferulic or Phloretin CF gives the skin significantly improved protection.


Elta MD® UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 is always on my bathroom counter, in my purse and in my car.  With 9 % zinc oxide, the sun protection is superior to any chemical sunscreen.  The formula is not at all heavy, and with  hyaluronic acid , it is hydrating.   I love this sunscreen.


Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal B3 is also always in my rotation.  This product helps with hyperpigmentation and, with niacinamide, redness as well.  It has a smooth and hydrating feel without feeling heavy or greasy.  Great product.


Allergan Juvederm Voluma™ has become one of my favorite dermal fillers.  It is FDA approved for filling the midface, although I use if off-label in temples, tear troughs and lower face.  This filler is wonderful at restoring lost volume while looking very soft and natural.


And, as always, the tried and true merits of Botox® and Dysport® can not be disputed.   The preventative and corrective effects of both of these botulin products are proven in terms of efficacy and safety.  They are here to stay, and when in the right hands, can create a rested appearance.  We have all seen a “Botoxed” face, but that is not how it has to be.  There can be movement and expression  when the muscle activity is minimized rather than frozen.  A rested appearance is the ideal outcome.

Botox cropped


One more product I have enjoyed this year, and in previous years, The Vi Peel.  In a perfect scenario we would all have a peel every 3-4 months.  Peels help to lift damaged and dull skin, stimulates collagen, fades hyperpigmentation and clears stubborn breakouts.  I love my skin 10 days after the peel is applied.  The Vi Peel is strong enough to see a difference ,but not so strong that there are weeks of downtime.    Great glow!


All products and services mentioned are available here at TOC Medical Spa in Austin!

I hope your 2017 is off to a great start!  Here is to your health and happiness!


I posted on peels last fall and think I will follow it up with another post this fall!  Why?  Because this is the perfect time of year to do a peel, or, a series of peels.

During the summer months we accumulate more sun damage than during other times of the year.  Even those of us who wear sunscreen, like it is required by law, end up with a little sun.  (if we like to spend any time outdoors)   I wear sunscreen religiously but also have a big lab named Sophie who requires a certain amount of outdoor exercise every day.


She is worth every freckle!!!!!

If you feel that you are in a similar boat and have some visible sun spots even though you have tried to protect your skin, consider a peel.  Peels have a number of benefits.

  • Lift/fade hyperpigmentation/sun spots
  • Increase collagen by stimulating fibroblast activity
  • Minimize fine lines
  • Diminish the appearance of pore size
  • Improve the clarity, tone and texture of skin
  • Purify acneic skin by ridding of excessive skin build up and decreasing acne causing bacteria, p. acnes.

My favorite peel as a provider and a user is still the Vi Peel®.   I find this peel to be predictable and feel it gives superior results to other peels I have worked with/received.  The peeling process with this peel is enough that there is some social downtime.  Days 3-5 are particularly “ugly”  as you slough off the skin that has received a controlled burn.  You kind of feel like you leave a trail of DNA everywhere you go!   By day 7-10 skin looks refined, radiant and healthier.

For those of you who are familiar with peels, the Vi Peel® contains a combination of Phenol, TCA, Salicylic and Retinoic Acids.  It also contains Vitamin C  and a proprietary blend of minerals.  After the in office peel there are also three additional at home steps consisting of additional Retinoic Acid on individual pre-saturated pads.  The at home kit also has sunscreen and a moisturizing hydrocortisone cream to use while peeling.

Ultimately, this peel can really improve the appearance of skin with little down time.  Just a few days!


So, if you are ready to peel back the layers of skin that are making your skin look discolored and dull find a provider who can help you with a Vi Peel®!

We provide this service here at TOC Medical Spa 🙂

P.S.- If you suffer from cold sores make sure to utilize prophylactic antiviral therapy to minimize the risk of an outbreak from the peel.



A frequent complaint that I hear from clients is that they can not tolerate retinol/retinoid products.  I have a prior post going in to detail on these Vitamin A derivatives.  Irritation is a known side effect, but worth working through to receive the long term benefits of this proven ingredient. (stimulates collagen, minimizes wrinkles, reduces break-outs, sheds pre-cancerous skin lesions)

Because retinol/retinoids convert to retinoic acid in the skin, they do create irritation as they increase cellular turnover.  I find that the irritation subsides once an individual has acclimated to the product.  I frequently hear clients say they go on and off their retinol/retinoid because of the irritation, but then the benefits are so diminished.  So, here are some suggestions.

Whether it is an over the counter retinol or a prescriptive retinoid it is beneficial to gradually increase the use of the product.  This is a possible schedule to try:

  • Twice a week for two weeks
  • Three times a week for three weeks
  • Four times a week for four weeks
  • Every night as tolerated

It can also be helpful to start with a lower strength product and gradually increase the strength of the product as you get used to it.  This can mean starting with over the counter retinols and then going on to prescription strength retinoids.  With prescriptions there are numerous products available with a range of % of retinoid.  Perhaps starting on a lower % and then increasing the strength if you and your skin care provider think it would be beneficial.

The other factor that can be helpful is that many forms of retinol/retinoid are available in micro-sponge technology.  This is a technology in skin care where the active ingredients are slowly released in the skin.  I find this to be very helpful to clients who are sensitive and have difficulty tolerating vitamin A products.

Finally, one of the effects of retinol/retinoid products is suppression of sebum production (which is why it helps those with acne).  This can lead an individual with normal to normal/dry skin to really struggle with the drying effects of the product.  It is important to moisturize your skin to help alleviate this side effect.  Some individuals find it helpful to apply the retinol/retinoid on top of the moisturizer to minimize the dryness.  Additionally, as you start on a retinol/retinoid and experience areas that are particularly irritated an over the counter hydrocortisone cream can be used to minimize the irritation.

Ultimately, the benefits of using a retinol/retinoid are well documented and have been considered an important tool to use in skin care to help with the signs and symptoms of aging skin.  I encourage MOST of my clients to be on one of these products. (there are exceptions, such as an individual with Rosacea)

We carry several retinols at TOC Medical Spa.

  • Neocutis Nouvelle- A 0.6% retinol which also contains skin brightening ingredients.
  • SkinMedical Retinol- Both a 0.5% and 1% retinol also contains antioxidants and anti-irritants.

If you are not currently utilizing this star product I would reconsider.  Discuss with your skin care provider what would be a good starting point for you.



Alastin Restorative Skin

This blog is highlighting the benefits of the Alastin™ Restorative Skin Complex™, which I have been using since the beginning of March, and love.

This is the product I have been using every morning before my sunscreen.  (still using my Elta® SPF 40 Daily every day!!)  This complex has, patent pending,  TriHex Technology™,  a blend of peptides,  which I reviewed in a previous post.  These peptides help your cells to communicate and create new collagen and elastin (and the company has skin biopsies demonstrating the growth of elastin).  The ability of this product to help with your skins elastin production makes it unique, as historically skin companies have not been successful at this.   The collagen and elastin restore the skins strength and turgor/firmness.  Additionally, the complex contains antioxidants which help protect the skin and minimize melanin production (brown spots).  These antioxidants include Niacinamide, (which is high in the ingredient deck) Ascorbyl Palmitate  (a very stable form of Vitamin C) and Tocopherol (Vitamin E).  There are also ingredients which help to activate adipocyte (fat cells) production and inhibit adipocyte destruction, helping to maintain youthful volume.  The complex also contains hydrating ingredients,   such as Ceramides, an olive fruit extract and an extract from mushrooms which is very hydrating. (Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp extract)

As with all Alastin™ products, Restorative Skin Complex™ is paraben free, gluten free and cruelty free.

I will include the ingredient deck for those who are interested 🙂

Restorative Skin Complex Ingredient Deck



The skin care market is saturated and there are many duplicate products, or  lines, that are offering the same basic active ingredients, but in different packaging.  There are numerous lines that I consider high quality skin care with therapeutic percentages of active ingredients. (ingredients that help with biological activity in the skin)  There are almost too many to choose from!  However,  once in a while something new comes along that is innovative and worth looking in to.

Alastin Skincare™ is one of those lines.  They have created a line of products to help prepare the skin for procedures, recover post treatment and then to maintain the results.  The products contain their, patent pending, Tri Hex Technology™ .  This is a combination of peptides (small proteins) which direct and signal the cells in the dermis to generate new collagen and elastin.  The peptides in the TriHex Technology™ also help to cue the cleaning out of the ECM, (extra cellular matrix) which makes up 70% of our skin.  Once the ECM is purged of debris the cells can perform better at what they do.   Collagen and elastin are made in the dermis where the ECM is the largest component of the dermal layer.  Alastin ™ is one of the few lines proven to significantly increase elastin.  Collagen production has been successful with multiple topicals and modalities in skin care but elastin has been more difficult to regenerate.  This elevates the Alastin™ line in my eyes.

Elastin is what gives our skin that “snap back” (elasticity)  when we pinch it.  As we age and pinch our skin it is more likely to remain tented before it retracts, due to the diminishing elastin in our tissues.  The fact that the TriHex Technology™ has been successful in regenerating elastin is exciting.


(this is a slide of skin biopsies demonstrating the generation of elastin)

The line also contains actives which help with oxidative stress, glycation and inflammation.    Additionally, there are ingredients which are adipocyte activators that help to support the fatty layer in our skin assisting with youthful volume.

The line was originally created for a niche in the skin care market for pre and post procedure.  The first product with TriHex Technology™ was Skin Nectar™.      It was created to condition the skin to tolerate a procedure better and heal faster afterwards.    However, the line has evolved, and includes numerous products with TriHex Technology™.

  • Alastin Skin Nectar™
  • Restorative Skin Complex™
  • Restorative Eye Treatment™
  • Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer™

Additionally the line contains a retinol product, Renewal Retinol .5™.  As with all retinols, this product increases cellular turnover and  boosts collagen production resulting in diminished lines and wrinkles and improved skin tone.  This retinol is combined with anti-irritants, antioxidants and a potent hydrator to help minimize the side effects a retinol or retinoid can create.  Tremella fuciformis sporocarp extract is from a type of mushroom.  This extract has 20% more glucuronic acid than hyaluronic acid, giving it superior moisturizing properties (400 times as moisturizing as HA).  This helps minimize the dryness that can accompany the use of retinol.

We have started carrying a selection of these products at TOC Medical Spa and I plan to do additional blogs on individual products with more detail over the coming month.