(This post is sponsored by Restylane®. However, the thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Ahhhh, skin. Our largest organ is often our most unforgiving one. It tells a visual story of our health and vitality without us ever uttering a word. Are we well rested? Well hydrated? Do we moisturize and stay out of the sun? Are we regularly caring for our face and bodies? Skin reveals not only our present behavior, but also of those sins of the past.
While I consider myself well-versed in the skincare and health department, there comes a time in every girl’s life when she needs to pull in the big guns: the professional dermatologist.
I’ve been on the hunt for a skin care professional in the Plano area for a few reasons. Chiefly, all those years of sun exposure from growing up on the coast have me nervous. There have been some skin cancer scares in my immediate family and those years growing up in sunny Carolina haunt me. I need a focused dermatologist in my squad to ensure I’m ahead of the game when it comes to cancer detection and prevention. Next, I absolutely need to step up my facial skin care game. Moisturizers are nice and facials are lovely, but perhaps not addressing deeper skin care issues. Thus, the quest has lead me to explore the myriad benefits of lasers, micro needling, PRP and other cool new anti-aging technologies available and those more advanced skin care products you can only get at the doctor's office (hello, prescription retinol!). And with that, to locate a trusted professional in my area offering with advanced expertise in their use.
Ask the universe and the universe will answer, right? This was the case when Galderma reached out to invite me to meet Elizabeth B. Houshmand M.D. One look at her bio and I knew this was a woman with the expertise I was craving.
She’s not only a dermatologist, she is double-board certified and a globally recognized authority on cosmetic skin treatments and dermatologic study. As luck would have it, one of her offices was just a few miles from the entrance of my neighborhood. When given the opportunity for a consultation and service with this esteemed pro, yes was the obvious answer. How quickly could I see her was my only question.
Fast forward to my appointment: I was happily seated in her sunny office awaiting my initial consultation. And in she walked... The beautiful Dr. Houshmand has such a calm and commanding presence, it was clear I was in great hands. When you're in the presence of a bonafide expert, it's best to let them lead the way. Thus was my mindset as we began our appointment.
Recognizing her depth of knowledge and global perspective on beauty, it was important to let Dr. Houshmand lead the way on determining which treatment or treatments would be most beneficial.
I'd love to offer an interesting note here: what I consider to be my skin "issues" were not what she noticed. Again, I feel this outsider perspective is important to grasp. When we look in the mirror we obsess over the tiniest of issues (Is that a new crinkle? are my cheeks too puffy? too flat? are my pores too large?). It's helpful to regularly see a dermatologist who can offer an objective viewpoint on your skin over time. This is new, that is not, that's hormonal, you're dehydrated, this is all a natural process of the body etc. Sometimes we can't truly "see" the message our largest organ is revealing about our self-care.
After carefully considering my concerns & opinions as she examined my facial skin she came up with a very simple goal: restore the bounce to my cheeks that I miss & and “wake up” the skin with a little stimulation. For reference, I have always had a bit of a “baby face” with fuller cheeks and more rounded cheekbones. For me, bad side sleeper habits & perhaps too much hot yoga may have subtly deflated those prominent cheeks. I doubt anyone else would have noticed, but I definitely noticed a change in their typically rounded shape.
But how would she go about it? What method would she choose? Dr. Houshmand employs the use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), derma rollers, micro needling, a wide range of laser treatments, injectables, microdermabrasion, oxygen treatments, chemical peels surgery and a wide range of other very cool skin care technologies and cosmetic approaches.
Blessed with an outsider's perspective on my visage, she opted for a very subtle enhancement for my cheeks using hyaluronic acid. The idea was to balance out my features and add back that coveted fullness that those Korean beauty treatments all promise. Seems I was a bit dehydrated and could use the loving and marvelous benefits of a hyaluronic acid treatment to rehydrate and enhance the skin and help restore that natural look we all love. She selected a product Restylane® Lyft, specifically designed to add fullness to the cheeks and midface area. It seemed those pretty plump supermodel cheeks I adore are on everyone's mind these days. Restylane ® Lyft with Lidocaine is indicated for implantation into the deep dermis to superficial subcutis for the correction of moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles, such as nasolabial folds, and for subcutaneous to supraperiosteal implantation for cheek augmentation and correction of age-related midface contour deficiencies in patients over the age of 21.
By the end of my Restylane® Lyft treatment my cheeks had a hint of fullness. Please read the Important Safety Information at the end of my blog. Here’s how it went down:
- Time: It took all of about 3 minutes total for the Restylane® Lyft treatment itself. Treatment times may vary. In-office time was about an hour or so to chat, discuss my skin, fill out paperwork and evaluate options for my unique skin.
- Procedure: Using a thin needle, the hyaluronic acid is placed into the proper areas of the skin.
- Pain: For me, very little. The most common adverse events after initial treatment include bruising, redness, swelling, pain, headache, tenderness, and itching.
- Results: It took a day or so to see the outcome. Once the hyaluronic acid had worked its effect, I noticed a very subtle fullness in the cheeks. True to her word, Dr. Houshmand delivered incredibly natural results that would have friends asking if you just returned from a getaway versus asking if you’d had anything done.
- Subtlety: This one absolutely depends upon you and your practitioner. My fullness was slight enough that no one noticed a thing. Dr. Houshmand clearly has an artisan approach, resulting in a more natural look rather than a dramatic result. For me this was exactly what I hoped for and precisely why she has a loyal following.
If Hyaluronic Acid sounds familiar, it should. It's in all of your favorite moisturizers and serums and is widely lauded for its unmatched hydrating ability. (You'll also recall my raving about it in many, many, many of my favorite skin care product reviews here). Why is it awesome? It adds fullness to the skin, resulting in increased smoothness and softness. Sounds great, right? Note that this substance is already present throughout your body. It is found in our connective tissue and is contributes to the elasticity of our skin. So even natural beauty product lovers can rally behind this wonder product. I definitely value it in the beauty products on my vanity.
Dr. Houshmand’s next suggestion? Ramp up my skin care. Leverage the hydrating power of topically applied hyaluronic acid with a daily serum containing this magical compound and add in a daily moisturizer with growth factors to my repertoire. Her most important tip? Continue my obsessive use of sunscreen. Prevention is the best cure. I may also want to consider coming in for a gentle laser treatment to lighten some discoloration appearing on my skin (it’s that sun again, you see!). Nothing invasive. Nothing crazy. Just get started on a simple routine of high-performance products & the occasional treatment to combat the normal stress of life and fight aging gently.
What I most appreciated is that there’s no cookie cutter approach to beauty. Dr. Houshmand is attentive, intelligent and able to see your skin and overall health from a different viewpoint. She isn't on autopilot as she examines your skin. She asks questions. She listens. She's looking at your bone structure, your skin health and your overall appearance to identify where your skin could use a little love and what steps you may want to consider next. Leveraging her expertise and perspective, she’ll guide you in what she recommends and advise you on what approaches she feels will give you the natural results and skin quality improving benefits you hope to achieve.
Will I return? Yes. In fact, I’ve already been in a few times for a follow-up and to chat about the aforementioned skin care products & laser treatments. Time to take my skin maintenance to new levels with more advanced non-invasive techniques. Next I’ll begin addressing body skin concerns (hello, new freckles!) and dive deeper into the magical world of medical spa facials as we continue working to improve the health and radiance of my skin.
I also have a special treat for you, readers… an interview with the esteemed Dr. Houshmand herself. Enjoy!
Dr. Houshmand, your academic & professional achievements are nothing short of impressive. What prompted you to pursue the field of dermatology?
Dermatology is an exciting field where I am able to see patients of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and diverse medical conditions. It also combines my love of science and the latest technologies. This allows me to stay on the forefront of new laser technologies.
You place a key emphasis on the connection between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and experiencing physical beauty. I could not agree more. Could you offer readers your thoughts on the wellness/beauty connection?
There is nothing more beautiful than healthy skin. Skin wellness is really a combination of a good diet, exercise,and skin care.
Your worldwide speaking opportunities position you as an educator in your field. What dermatology topics are you and your peers most passionate about in 2016?
I think hair loss and its prevention is a really important topic as well as noninvasive combination procedures such as: Microneedling, Radiofrequency and injectables (like neurotoxins and fillers) performed as preventive treatments rather than corrective.
This jet set travel schedule gives you a lovely perspective on American beauty standards compared to the world at large. The media will have you believe we are youth-obsessed. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you perceive global beauty standards as compared to those here at home.
Every culture has their own unique standards of beauty. It is respecting those cultural and ethnic differences and what is considered beautiful that allows me to have a global perspective. I have seen firsthand in many countries around the world, both males and females want to look their best at every age.
French beauty. We as a culture are fascinated by French women's ability to appear as though they’ve taken no effort at all to look ageless and fabulous. What are our Parisian sisters doing to age so gracefully?
Parisians view skin care as a necessity not a luxury. At an early age they take meticulous care of their skin, they use sunscreen daily, they maintain a healthy diet, and keep their skin well hydrated. French woman embrace their beauty.
I love that you stay on the cutting edge of the field of cosmetic skin treatments and dermatologic study. What up and coming treatments are you excited to see become widely available to your clients? Non-invasive combination therapies: such as microneedling with infusions.
Back to that globetrotter lifestyle. Those long-distance flights are notorious for drying out our skin. What are your go-to secrets for looking refreshed when you land in your destination city?
When I fly overseas, I do not wear any makeup on my flights. I do use Avene thermal spring water spray and plenty of hydrating moisturizer. I also use a hand cream and aquaphor for my lips so I do not get dried out.
When I get to my hotel, I immediately start to walk and enjoy the city I am visiting. The best stories are told on the pages of a passport and nothing helps you get over jet leg like walking in a new city!
And finally… the fun questions!
Favorite Paris hotel?
Four Season Hotel George V
Last app your downloaded?
What’s on your workout playlist?
Anything you can dance to
Current favorite workout?
Your typical Starbucks order?
Your ideal vacation destination?
Italy: from Rome to Florence to Milan love all the history, culture, and ambience.
If you are in Dallas, Dr. Houshmand sees patients at two smartly located offices. One is in Plano at the intersection of the tollway & Parker Road at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery. The other in Uptown. I cannot rave about the lovely and intelligent Dr. Houshmand enough. She is well worth visiting if you have concerns (and you should) about being sun-smart and addressing your anti-aging program in a proactive way. Love your body, love yourself and by all means take the best care of your skin as possible. It may just save your life!
As part of the Galderma’s "What’s Her Secret?" Promotion, I was given one free treatment from Dr. Houshmand. To learn more about Restylane® Lyft and find a specialist in your area, visit www.RestylaneLyft.com.