New Year…New Skin

friends-315_2016_03A mom’s schedule can be complicated. Taking care of the kids, and the house, doctor appointments, sports practice, maybe a job too, all these can lead to having no time left for yourself. Sometimes you are just so tired at night that, you fall asleep with your makeup and clothes on. In the morning you don’t know how to get out of the house faster to take the kids to school and make it to work, and you barely have time to wash your face and put on whatever cream you find handy on the bathroom counter. But, there is no greater mistake than not washing your face and not removing your makeup at night. Sleeping with your makeup on will age your skin 7 times faster! And of course, no one wants that!

Because I know how busy moms can be, and because I also know a thing or two about skin care, I’ve decided to try to help you in the New Year. New Year, new skin resolution! That’s right! I’ve put together a very simple general skin regimen with some active ingredients, some being preventive some being corrective, and no matter how busy you are or what your skin type is, you can do it! Unless of course you have a special skin condition that you’re seeing a skin care therapist or a doctor for. Take a look!



  1. Always wash your face. You need a gentle cleanser for mornings. Something that won’t strip off and dry out your skin. A couple of cleansers that I love and are super accessible are: Toleriane Dermo Cleanser from La Roche Posay and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. After washing the skin, dab the skin dry and follow withIMG_34292. 5-6 drops of a very good Anti-oxidant complex. We hear this word a few times a day, so by now we know that anti-oxidant rich foods and products are working only in our benefit. More specifically, they help neutralize free radicals which occur in our skin due to sun damage, pollution, smoking (even passive smoking), alcohol, not enough rest, etc. Free radicals are the damaging factors responsible for collagen and elastin breakage, leading to premature aging of the skin. This is why a very good quality anti-oxidant product in a stable formulation is essential for preventing this kind of damage and premature aging. My favorite one for many years by far has been CE Ferulic- for drier skin types, and Phloretin CF– for oily skin types, both from Skin Ceuticals.IMG_34252. And a mineral sunscreen, applied religiously to your face, neck, chest and the back of your hands. This will protect your skin throughout the day from the damaging UVAs and UVBs, responsible for the aging of your skin as well as the increased risk of skin cancers. I recommend PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45 as well as Mineral Tinted Cream SPF 30 from MDSolarSciences.


  1. Remove all your makeup thoroughly. And only after that you start cleansing your face. At night you can use a more exfoliating cleanser, in order to remove a lot of the debris, oils and makeup accumulated throughout the day. My favorite cleanser for night time is Effaclar Creme Moussante Desincrustante from La Roche Posay. IMG_3428 (1)
  2. Every other night apply a Retinol/RetinA product on clean dry skin. This is your one corrective for night time. If you don’t have time for anything else, this is going to help regenerate your skin over night. I personally use medical grade RetinA or Tretinoin, but sometimes I also like to use the PCA Skin Retinol, which is one of the  best on the market. And it comes in a few versions, depending on your skin’s needs.IMG_34263. On the nights when I do not apply the Vitamin A product (#2), I like to use a Glycolic Acid Gel. My go to lately is Glicoisdin from the Spanish company ISDIN. Glycolic acid is known to help brighten and resurface sun damaged and aging skin, while it also helps increase your skin’s elasticity. This product in particular is also somewhat hydrating, having a very light weight gel consistency.

And this is all if your time does not permit you to do more. I promise you that if you follow these very simple steps every morning and night, your skin will change within a couple of months.

And no more excuses like “I don’t have time for me” or “I don’t have time for a skin care regimen”. You will wear your skin for the rest of your life, so help it look and feel its best!

                                                                                                                                      xoxo, Bianca


Myth vs. Reality (essential Collagen)

I hear all the time how my patients use collagen skin care products, erroneously thinking or hoping that they will improve the quality of their skin. Unfortunately as good as this sounds it’s not exactly true. Imagine how easy it would be for everyone to look young and for the skin to look plump just like baby skin, if collagen infused products would actually work.collagen2

While those products might have some collagen in them, they simply will not do anything good for the skin, besides at the most provide it with some hydration. It’s as simple as that. Imagine that you’d take a broken bone and on top of it you’d set another bone. Would the initial bone become stronger and it would get fixed only because it touched the new bone we set on top? No. The new bone would fall off eventually and it would be somewhere next to the broken bone.

The same way it works with collagen. Collagen is a large molecule, which does not have the ability to penetrate into the skin or stick to the already existing collagen, so eventually it would be washed off and your skin would not be or feel any better.

In order to look younger and for the skin to look more plump and elastic, collagen (essential binding protein in your skin, joints, muscles and bones) growth has to be stimulated. The cells responsible for collagen growth and synthesis are called  fibroblast cells and they are found deep in the dermis (layer of the skin), which is impossible to reach with any creams ever invented.collagen

Some key ingredients and procedures that will help stimulate and synthesize your natural collagen are: Retinol and RetinA, Vitamin C, Growth Factors which have to be in a very concentrated number in your skin care product in order to work, Red Light Therapy, Chemical peels indirectly to some degree, Microneedling, ultrasound devices such as Ultherapy and Thermage and last but not least Radio Frequency also called RF. While some of these procedures are resurfacing for the skin, they also help stimulate indirectly our collagen and elastin by stimulating the skin’s cell turnover and also by forcing the skin to heal, after creating some intentional micro wounds.

I hope this helps you understand a little better the collagen myth and will help you make better decisions when it comes to choosing your skin care products and in office procedures.collagen3

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5 Best Natural Cold Remedies

After being sick as a dog and in bed for about 5 days straight, and had the time and the necessity to read about different cold/flu remedies, I have decided to write down for you 5 of the most effective ones.

They might come in handy when you least expect it. I haven’t gotten my flu vaccine in about 4 years and I haven’t gotten sick ever since. At least not this sick. A little head ache or some sneezing happen once in a while, but nothing as severe as now. Here it is what I have tried and loved.


propolis-tincture-65-extract-30ml-1. Propolis Tincture. Propolis is being used as a remedy for various types of health conditions, and it is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It is considered a good preventative treatment for upcoming colds and flues, as an immune system booster, relief for inflamed tonsils and sore throats. For other amazing benefits of the Propolis Tincture you can read here.

One way to administer it is a couple of times a day on a sugar cube or a tea spoon of honey.

2. Bee polen. It is a holistic remedy with numerous health benefits which comes from the pollen that collects on the bees’ bodies. It contains vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and protein. Generally herbalists would recommend bee pollen  to reduce side effects of chemotherapy, to improve allergies, to alleviate asthma and stomach problems. BeePollen_665

While feeling extremely weak, I tried this as well. And I will continue using it. You can take one tea spoon of bee pollen every morning for general health, or you can try it mixed with honey every few hours while sick.


3. Cinnamon. Besides being an amazing flavorful spice, it is known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. When you have a common or severe cold, mix a couple of spoons of honey with 1 tea spoon of cinnamon. Some say to take this mixture one time/day for 3 days, some say take it 2-3 times per day for 3 days. I took it 2-3 times/day and I felt good. This mixture will cure most chronic coughs, colds and it will also clear the sinuses. To read more about cinnamon’s health benefits go here.

4. Lemons! Lemons have a very rich vitamin C content which is essential for bone health and also for the skin and blood vessels health. Of course Vitamin C is one of the power house antioxidants which helps to eliminate free radicals. Lemon

The beneficial properties of the lemon: cleanses, nourishes,  and refreshes the entire body. Also exfoliates and softens the skin.

Mix 5-6 spoons of honey with one thinly sliced lemon and eat every day while sick or when you feel coming up with a cold.

lemons and honeylemons and honey 1


If you happen to touch lemon and go out in the sun, the skin can get discolored where it previously got in contact with the lemon juice.

Also, you should not abuse lemon consumption because it can cause heartburn or slight tiredness, considering their cleansing properties.

5. Last but not least, drink lots of hot liquids! They will relieve congestion, will help soothe inflamed membranes that line your throat and nose, and they’ll prevent you from getting dehydrated. Here I am referring generally to teas. My favorite ones for colds are: Chamomile Tea and Ginger Lemon Honey Tea.

Here is the recipe for this all mighty Ginger Lemon Honey Tea:

Hot ginger tea– Boil water

– Shred 1/2 or 1 ginger root and pour into a bigger cup or thermos

– Squize one lemon in the same cup/thermos.

-Add 1-2 tea spoon of honey.

-Pour the boiled water over these ingredients, cover it up and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Use a strainer to pour the liquid in a tea cup.

Enjoy! And get better sooner than you normally would 😉

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Antioxidants in Skin Care

SKCCFR-2SKCPhloretinGel-2   SKCCER-2

Dear friends who are avid in your pursuit to keep your skin in check, I am addressing this article to YOU.

You know that behind all the makeup and nice clothes you need to have a perfect working body and a healthy skin. Or at least strive for that, as nothing in this world is perfect.

So let’s make it simple for you to get on the road of achieving a “perfect canvas”. We know that the skin is one of the fewest organs in our bodies which has the ability to regenerate. That means that it goes through a continuous shedding process and new baby skin cells grow all the time.  

But that’s not the only function of the skin. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies. It protects the inside organs from pathogens, it regulates the temperature of the body, it also controls the evaporation of the fluids. And these are just a few of the important roles the skin plays for us.

Antioxidants are some of the most important ingredients in skin care. They are nutrients such as vitamins, enzymes and minerals, which help our bodies to break down the free radicals and to slow down the oxidation process. We know that the darkest colored fruits and veggies are the richest in antioxidants. And it is great to eat as many of those as we can on a daily basis. Also it is recommended to take an antioxidant complex orally, each day.

But how do we know which ones to choose to use topically on our skin? Because there are so many brands out there, it can be really difficult and confusing to make a good choice.

Antioxidants in skin care are substances extracted from different fruits and vegetables, which have the role of neutralizing free radicals which our bodies produce constantly. There are two reasons for which the body produces free radicals. And these reasons sometimes are hard to control. There are extrinsic factors like smoking, sun exposure, polution, and alcohol just to name a few and intrinsic factors which in a word, if you want, make us “oxidate” from inside out. Those are aging and stress unfortunately.

So in order to protect the skin, and the main ingredients in our skin, the collagen and elastin (responsible for keeping our skin looking young, plumped up and elastic), we need some very good quality antioxidants in our skin care.

The most important ones are Vitamins A, C, E, Beta Carotene, Idebenone, Coenzyme Q10, Zinc and Copper.

Now how do we choose them, in order to make sure these vitamins will penetrate, stay and do the work for us, as opposed to us just applying them and then washing them off and throwing money on the window.

First we need to make sure that those antioxidants are in a stable form, they are in an ideal concentration and that they penetrate into the Stratum Corneum of our skin, where the oxidation begins.

So reputable companies and universities have studied all these things for us, to make it easier and also to help us rest assured that our antioxidants, when used in the correct form and chosen carefully will work.

Here I am gathering a few criteria you should look for:

FACTS for MAX efficacy:

  • You need to make sure that your serum comes in a dark or opaque bottle. As light speeds up the oxidation process of your Vit C.
  • When Vit C is accompanied by Vit E and/or Ferulic Acid (powerful antioxidant as well), will be stable for longer and also absorbed better.
  • Jar packaging is not the best for an antioxidant product, as it exposes the product to air and fingertips, which will make the antioxidants waste faster.
  • Use an antioxidant complex serum as opposed to a powder which could be mixed in your skin care products. The powder generally is less absorbed into the skin, especially when it is mixed with a moisturizer, which is viscous.


Vit C can be irritating for the skin if used in high concentrations. You need to find the right product with the right formulation, which works for you and will not give you irritation or erithema.

My personal favorites:

CE Ferulic from Skin Ceuticals for a dry, aging, sensitive and even combination skin.

Phloretin CF from Skin Ceuticals for a more oily, acne prone skin, or for someone who tends to get oily in the T Zone in the first part of the day.