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Archive for the ‘Skincare’ Category

Holy Peptide!


Explaining Two Common Peptides

Peptides are composed of different combinations of amino acid chains

Five or ten years ago, the use of peptides was all the buzz and any product that contained one seemed worth a try. It was the next big thing since alpha-hydroxy acids and then antioxidants. By now in 2013, there are hundred if not thousands of different peptide-based skin care products available. You can choose from a $2.99 bottle of cream advertised on Amazon as an “Antioxidant-Peptide Complex” or a pair of “Private Reserve” neuorpeptide serums retailing at Nordstrom for $475. How to choose?

We will stick to the basics and discuss two “workhorse” peptides that have appeared in many different formulations for over five years. Matrixyl (different from Matrixyl-3000) is a tradename for the palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 anti-aging ingredient. In short, it helps your skin build collagen so it diminishes wrinkles and improves elasticity. In fact a 2013 study by researchers at University of Reading concluded it has potential to nearly double the amount of collagen you produce and also stimulate your own hyaluronic acid production. Cosmetic studies for products which include the peptide report that people see improvements in wrinkle reduction and hydration. This ingredient seems to be very beneficial without sideeffects and suitable for any skin type – so the only question being how much are you willing to pay to get a higher percentage of this particular peptide in your product!

Argireline (the trademark name for Acetyl Hexapeptide-8) is a peptide that is also in widespread use in skincare. Its advertised as a sort of “topical Botox”. The theory is that it prevents key neurotransmitters from firing – and this lockdown prevents muscles from contracting to product deep wrinkles – like those between the eyebrows. It stormed onto the scene (along with a host of other peptides) in Peter Thomas Roth’s much-loved Un-Wrinkle product, and its extremely common in peptide-based eye treatments like and instant-results products for fine lines and wrinkles. One of the reasons peptides are popular is that we consider them safe adjuncts to your routine and they avoid sideeffects. However, if you look for information about Argireline online, you can find “the good and the bad” when it comes to reviews. Many people profess infatuation with an intstant tightening while others report long-term sagging. This short article on smartskincare.com provides a great synopsis of what we know about the peptide to-date, and maybe some reasons to use it cautiously.

Stay tuned for another installment of “Holy Peptide!” discussing common peptides again soon!

Oxygen Treatments and Healing Skin


Oxygen facials have come a long way since Madonna made them famous as the Red Carpet must-have treatment

Oxygen is central to life, health, and beauty. The element has been a mainstay of skin care for ages – whether it is being harnessed in Benzoyl Peroxide formulation to target p. acne bacteria or carried internally to nourish cells by stimulating the skin via massage, peels, or exfoliants. Healthy skin depends on it.

Oxygen machines harness these benefits and multiply them exponentially. The machines concentrate oxygen in the air to very high levels, and then push it deep into the skin. This nourishes the tissue immensely. Vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – or even light peeling chemicals – are added into the pressurized air flow to deliver powerful stuff into active layers of the skin.

Oxygen facial treatments boast instant plumping and stimulating effects, because they fill the skin “to max capacicty” with healthy hydrators and antioxidants. Their real power is in accelerating the road to new, healthy skin. This makes them a perfect finish to dermaplanes, microdermabrasions and peels – guaratneeing fast, flawless healing.

Why Do You Cleanse your Face?


There is a basic formula to choosing the right cleanser

Taking care of your skin is very complicated these days. “Basic” care includes juggling complicated home regimens and frequent visits to a specialist. Do you ever get so confused that you don’t even know where to begin?

At our practice, we are finding many people aren’t even sure how to cleanse anymore – the very first step!

Let’s break it down. Cleansers are used to

    1) take off makeup
    2) lightly exfoliate surface dead skin cells
    3) remove excessive buildup of dirt, oil, sweat
    4) remove bacteria.

Depending on your lifestyle some or all may apply, but everybody will benefit by cleansing at least once a day in the evening.

1) If you use a cleanser to remove makeup, choose an oil or cream. These cut through makeup. Dry skin will be soothed by the texture. If you have oily skin or larger pores, finish with a balanced toner or gel cleanser to guarantee residue won’t remain on the skin to clog later.

NeutraCleanse gently cuts through makeup and dirt in seconds

2) Nowadays there are designated exfoliants (from surface to aggressive) appropriate for every skin type to use. Exfoliation achieved by cleaning is simply a side benefit.

3) If you’ve cleaned a kitchen, you probably know that “oil cleans oil”. For this reason, many people like to use oil-based cleansers to clean the skin of grease and dirt. Modern surfactants in gels and foams also do the job, though maybe not as quickly. Either is suitable, but finish with a toner for oily skin with larger pores.

4) We all have bacteria on our skin – we would be in trouble without it! Still we need to clean the dirt and excess oil that bacteria thrives on to keep things in balance. Any type of cleanser will achieve this (see the last paragraph). People suffering from certain types of acne have a higher concentration of acne-specific bacteria deep in their pores. They can use any type of cleanser to remove the dirt, sweat and oil to keep surface bacteria in balance. Then it is best to use a targeted treatment product that delivers anti-bacterial and exfoliating ingredients far down in the pore where that specific bacteria proliferate.

How to Fight Cellulite


Endermologie is a non-invasive cellulite treatment

Endermologie is the only FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment for cellulite. Though the technology is always advancing, the method is based on classic principles – rollers and suction maneuvers are used to offer deep massage and stretching to connective fibers and tissue in problem areas. The increased circulation expels excess water and toxins and transports healthy blood and oxygen to the stagnated area.

The 35-minute biweekly sessions are invigorating for the client. One feels tension melt as the machine’s rollers lift, stretch, and mobilize the tissue and skin. The calm and refreshed feeling is only a side benefit to the real achievement – significant reduction of cellulite, a sculpted look, and tighter skin.

Benefits are often visible after only a few sessions, but typically 12-20 sessions are recommended to achieve desired results. Patient participation is key to the process – and lifestyle changes required for the program can lead to years of improved health. Eating healthy, ample hydration and light exercise are all paramount to great results with the treatment process.

Whether its for beauty, health, or both – endermologie is a favorite procedure among patients of all ages and demographics. Schedule a consult with Brandy at The Beverly Hills Institute and take the first step towards your goals!

Not all Vitamin C is Created Equal


A great vitamin C product brightens dramatically

Well, we’re not sure if that goes for the stuff in nature, but when it comes to anti-aging skincare ingredients – it’s the truth!

L-ascorbic acid is the scientific name for the molecule we call Vitamin C. It is abundant in fruits and vegetables and great for its antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. It is also essential to the collagen-building process in the skin. It allows you to get the plumping and firming benefits from all the microdermabrasions, peels, and at-home exfoliants that stimulate the collagen rebuild effect. Feed the skin l-ascorbic acid, and watch the years melt away.

Great… so why haven’t Beverly Hills women started adding bricks of ascorbic acid to their swimming pools?

Well, there’s one complication – pure vitamin C is not stable in oxygen or water. As it oxidizes it takes on a yellow and eventually orange color.

That’s bad news. Why? For one thing, because you’ve probably spent a lot of money on Vitamin C skin serums at the drug store, the department store, the health food store, even the spa. The “vitamin C” in them most likely did nothing for your skin. It probably wasn’t even vitamin C anymore – it had oxidized.

Fleming-Mayer Vitamin C and Antioxidant Serum

The good news? It is possible to stabilize Vitamin C so it can still offer the collagen-building benefits we want. Vitamin C Ester is a fat-soluble form of that l-ascorbic molecule. It is stable and it penetrates into the layer of the skin where collagen-building actually happens. It is a truly amazing Vitamin C ingredient for anti-aging.

Two others forms of Vitamin C worth mentioning hit the mark too. Ascorbyl palmitate is a widely used in skin care. It is not so effective at collagen-building but it does provide great antioxidant benefit to your skin and to other ingredients in the product. Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is also very stable, and can offer collagen-rebuilding with a nice shelf life. A few other Vitamin C forms can improve the skin too – but be wary.

What’s most important is to buy a clear or white formula packaged in an air-tight and opaque packaging. As always, be sure to ask for independent clinical data to make sure that the product you purchase can back up its claims and truly give beautiful results!


How do I stop aging?


We are always asked, “What can I do to not age?” While stopping the signs of aging from appearing completely is impossible, there are steps that each one of us can take to reduce the signs of aging and maintain a healthy appearance. Signs of aging appear due to a number of environmental causes including gravity and direct sun exposure. While we can’t control the effects that gravity may have on the face, sun damage can be prevented and can have a profound effect on the overall appearance of the skin and face.

The photo below from the New England Journal of Medicine shows a trucker who worked for 26 years. Spending a great deal of time in his truck, he assumed he would be sheltered from direct sunlight and chose not to protect his skin from UV rays. As you can see in the photo below, the side of his face that has been left dramatically sun damaged is the side that faced an open driver’s side window. This is an excellent demonstration of a simple task that we can all do to reduce the visible signs of aging. Protecting our skin from harmful UV rays can have a profound effect on the facial appearance and should not be ignored.

While there are plastic surgery procedures and less-invasive skin treatments that can work to correct the damage that has been done over the past 26 years, a bottle of sunscreen in the cab of his truck would have solved this problem early on. By spending a little money on preventative measures early on, this truck driver could have prevented spending much more on plastic surgery to repair the damage done.

While there is no doubt that the aging process cannot be stopped, certain small steps can be taken at a young age to ensure that the signs of aging will be much less visible over time. Knowing what causes the signs of aging to appear, and controlling what you can control is the best way to ensure a more youthful appearance later in life.

The Eyes Have It – Caring for This Very Delicate Skin


Careful treatment around the eye area gives beautiful results

Reversing age and sun damage in the eye area requires good habits and a little help from the experts. This skin is some of the most delicate on the body.

It is completely unable to withstand facial products, polishes, and full-strength tretinoin creams that we use at home to keep the rest of our skin fresh and beautiful. On the other hand, it shows the effects of age and environmental stress faster than any other part of our face!

Here is a five step regimen to restore youth to the eye area.


  1. Schedule light treatments for the eyes every 3 months as part of your in-office skin care routine. An esthetician with specific training in chemical peels and eye area treatment can choose the right treatment or home care to improve the area incrementally.
  2. Remove milia, but never by yourself. See an esthetician or dermatologist about removing milia (small, pearly bumps) that are commonly seen around the perioribital area. These usually do not resolve without extraction by a trained professional.
  3. Be healthy. Sleeplessness, fatigue, heavy salt intake, sugar intake, allergies, and stress make an indelible mark on this ultra thin skin.
  4. Love your eye products. Be sure to include a treatment product daily for the eyes. A retinol product designed specifically for this area is best for sun-damaged skin. A vitamin C treatment is great to protect and address less advanced concerns. Pair with a great eye cream in the AM.
  5. Love your sunglasses! Protecting the area from UV radiation is crucial. On sunny days this also prevents squinting which is a major cause of crow’s feet.

Some eye area concerns won’t be addressed well with these measures. Bags under the eye area can be signs of fatty deposits that will not resolve with light treatments or skin care changes. Deep wrinkles will not be entirely smoothed out without botox and/or a deeper chemical peel.

Still, improvement will be seen around anyone’s eyes with this regimen. These steps are the basics to keeping this important area of the face healthy!


Skin Care & Chemical Peels for the Body


Don't limit flawless skin to the face

Picture this: the angelic complexion of youth, beautiful makeup, perfectly coifed hair, short-sleeved tank or top paired with smart trousers or a skirt. A lovely sight, until a close-up inspection reveals a mottled, crepey chest and advanced signs of sun damage on the arms or legs! All the care taken on our face and dress is for nought when we don’t care for our bodies too.

Luckily there are solutions for treating these signs of sun damage and photoaging.

The basics are understood by most. Moisturize your skin every day on the way out of the shower and apply SPF on any limb or part revealed during daylight – rain or shine. If that means buying an extra sunblock to keep in your car and handbag, just reassure yourself that protection is well worth the expense – and it’s cheaper than trying to reverse problems later.

Body peels are performed by physicians and skin care professionals every day. Undertaking a series of these will truly transform the health and look of your skin. They reverse hyperpigmentation and mottled tone, hydrate, and tighten.

They are generally spaced at 6-8 week intervals. Body peels are similar in many ways to facial peels; often the same deck of ingredients like TCA and glycolic are instrumental. They are different in the way that they heal, however. The “peel and heal” cycle stretches much longer – which means that it can take a week or more before visible sideeffects become apparent and then another couple weeks until they subside. Sideeffects like dryness and peeling are less dramatic than they are after facial peels. In fact, it’s easy to forget that a very active treatment has left the skin more delicate and photosensitive for the recovery period. Have diligence in treating the skin gently and in using moisturizer and SPF.

The care does pay off. The results of a series of even three or four body peels can be life-changing. Mottled forearms can be restored to beautiful shades of caramel, golden, and milky white by TCA treatments. Dry, ashy skin can be awakened and quenched with Lactic and glycolic treatments. Crepey texture can turn bouncy. Put in the care and soon you’ll find that your own beautiful skin is your favorite new accessory.


Using Tretinoin (Retin-A) for Stretch Marks


Most women know that using rich, moisturizing ingredients like shea and cocoa butter on the belly is a must during pregnancy. They keep the skin moist and softened to help prevent stretch marks from developing during weight gain. What may be news to many people is that tretinoin (commonly known by brand name “Retin-A”) can improve stretch marks that have already formed on the body. Studies indicate that using .1% tretinoin daily within 6 months of their appearance can cause a significant reduction in both the length and width of stretch marks.

In the case of pregnancy-induced stretch marks, consult a physician first. Tretinoin is not appropriate for women that are breastfeeding or pregnant. For those mothers who are not a candidate for using tretinoin, despair not! Stretch marks become much less noticeable in the months after giving birth.

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