Monthly Archives: April 2016

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my birthday! I turned 32 years old today. The thirties are the best! All your friends are in different walks of life when you are in your thirties. Some have kids, some don’t. Some are single, some are married. Some are starting their first job and some have been with their current employer for over 10 years. You can be at so many stages in your thirties, be anything you want. As I drove home from Bentonville this weekend I reflected on my 32 years and my current life circumstances. What I want to change, what I love, what else I want to accomplish, what goals I want to work towards. I’m happy in my life but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows. I’ve got problems too, but nothing major. I actually think my problems are pretty “first world”. As a matter of fact, the problems I have are pretty great. And that, my friends, may be the key to a happy life; having great problems. So here are some of the problems I’ve accumulated over my past 32 years that you should have too.

Nina’s suggested life problems:

1. No matter how much time I spend cleaning my house it’s still a mess.

2. I eat organic but let my kid eat lucky charms for breakfast.

3. It’s never silent in my home (1 year old and 3 year old).

4. My kids can drive me insane (but they are healthy and happy).

5. I have too many friends and family to spend adequate time with everyone.

6. I’m loud, my kids are louder.

7. I’m still growing up.

8. I have so much to learn.

9. I have hormonal acne because I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for 4 years ( two of the best things ever).

10.  The older I get the harder it is to stay in shape (mentally, emotionally and PHYSICALLY).

The point is this: in order to enjoy all the greatest blessings in life, you must accept the negative side of all those things too. Don’t stress over these problems, know they are just the negative side to something great. Something in your life that makes you smile. Enjoy your family and friends, make memories and as the saying goes “don’t sweat the small stuff”. I hope you all find joy and happiness in life because it’s a short time we are given and it shouldn’t be wasted.

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” -Ralph Waldo Emmerson





Want Your Eyelids Refreshed?

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. If you believe this, then you agree that the eyelids are the window treatments that you see the soul through. Many people don’t come to me seeking treatment for around the eyes but after they are treated there, they absolutely love how refreshed, awake and youthful small tweaks to the eyelids have made them feel. There are lots of safe, effective treatments for the eyelids but beware this is a high risk area to treat and you should seek an expert healthcare provider when treating this area. I can’t tell you how many “botched” eyelids I’ve fixed (#humbrag). Here are my favorite options for treating lines, wrinkles, crepe paper like eyelid skin, dark circles and the dreaded “bags”.

  1. Blepharoplasty- This is a surgery where they repair or reconstruct the eyelid. We don’t perform this at JD but it is a good option for some people.
  2. Filler- I personally think this is the easiest way to “botch” the eyelids. It’s a high risk area to inject and can even cause blindness. I often times inject the midface to pull the skin under the eyes which looks natural and works wonders. warning: seek an expert, please!
  3. Botox- FDA has approved 24 units for “crows feet”. If your main focus is to enhance your smile with softening your “crows feet” then Botox is the way to go. Warning: Seek an expert. When injected incorrectly this could cause a “shelf” look to the cheek when smiling. FYI: This is my personal favorite location to have Botox injected. It opens my eyes and helps me look so refreshed compared to how tired I am with two kids under 3.
  4. Growth Factor- This is the precursor to collagen. It’s a hot ingredient right now and guess what?  You don’t have to pay all that money for a poorly studied procedure (cough, vampire facial, cough) to get the benefits of growth factor. It is an unstable molecule so you need a good researched skin care product to reap the benefits. My favorite is TNS recovery or TNS essential serum from SkinMedica. It works, it’s magic like breastmilk and it can’t be reproduced. It tells your collagen factory, which  starts slacking as you age, to make more collagen. The recovery I recommend for acne prone skin and the essential serum is good for everyone else, especially if you tend to be dry skinned because it has vitamin C which is excellent for moisturizing. Warning: You must get through two bottles before you decide if it works-it’s like losing weight, real results that last take time to achieve.
  5. HA5-The newest product to the SkinMedica family and most patients’ current fav addition. Imagine a cream that fairies make with the water from the fountain of youth on the beaches of Bali and then travel via Unicorn to have it packaged in a magical factory made of spring flowers where the employees let little newborn babies give each bottle a little giggle and snuggle. That’s the feeling I get and what I dream of as I apply HA5 to my face. It’s that good. It contains 5 hyaluronic acids that get you an immediate plumping but as you use it over time the vitis flower extract in it tells your skin to make more collagen resulting in reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, redness and irritation. Come get some, you can thank me later. Your eyelids will go from scratchy potato sack to silk curtains before you know it.
  6. Sunscreen- To prevent premature photoaging around the eyes you should apply at least a 30 SPF broad spectrum, waterproof sunscreen daily and reapply every 2 hours while outdoors. My favorite for antiaging is the Total Defense and Repair by SkinMedica because it repairs but it also has a tinted version that covers and protects against infrared rays too!
  7. Latisse-This is a prescription FDA approved and effective treatment for lengthening, darkening and thickening the lashes. If I use mine every night I can’t wear my glasses without my super lashes pushing them down my nose-yes I’m serious. There is no generic or alternative with the same ingredients. It’s very cost effective compared to eyelash extensions but it is also great to use with eyelash extensions. After I have injected and lasered my mom, she feels like Latisse is what really made her look/feel younger. You don’t realize how much losing your thick, dark, long lashes matures you.
  8. Sublative- This is thought of like some people may think of laser but it is not a true laser because it isn’t light. It is microneedling and radiofrequency. It breaks up the top layer of skin and makes you rebuild collagen. It tightens the skin helping fine lines, wrinkles, crepe paper like skin and sagging around the eyes. There is some downtime with this procedure but when you see the before and after pictures of some of our patients you won’t care what kind of labor you have to go through to have those babies!

I would encourage you all to come see us at Johnson Dermatology and let us consult what the best option for you is to beautify and enhance the window treatments for the windows to the soul. Dani is our cosmetic coordinator who loves talking procedures with you and we also have a great skin care product team to discuss products with you anytime.

“Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child” -Ron Wild

Hope your weekend was perfect, xoxo, Nina

Basic Isn’t Always Basic

Someone once said that you can’t give advanced knowledge to someone who is basic, even if the knowledge is basic to you. It makes sense. We all have different expertise, knowledge on different topics. If I try to talk to my husband about healthcare he often gets irritated with my medical terminology skills. 10-4 is my most advanced radio lingo but he can have a full conversation with his cop friends in nothing but numbers. One question that I get asked a lot about products is “how do I use it?” which seems self explanatory to me. But something so basic can actually be very complicated. How much do you use? In what order do you use it? Wash first or after? Leave it on indefinetely or wash it off? Where can I put it? Where shouldn’t I put it? Skincare product application can actually be trickier than I give credit. So here are my tips for skin care product application.

  1. Always apply sunscreen as your LAST product in the mornings. Otherwise the order is usually flexible. At Johnson Dermatology we try to write down what order to use products if it makes a difference.
  2. Put product on the back of your hand before applying it to your face. This allows control of consistency of the product before going to your face and it keeps your hands’ skin taken care of too. If you pump the product into the palm of your hand then some of the product is wasted on the tough, thick palm skin. The back of the hand can really age a person. You want your hands protected with sunscreen and reversing the damage with retinol or other specialty products. Some products separate in the packaging. Squirting onto the back of your hand and then mixing with one finger there allows you to get rid of any dry clumps and mixing any separation that may have occured in the bottle.
  3. One pump is enough. If you are using a product that comes in a pump (retinol, TNS, lytera or HA5 for example) then one pump is a sufficient quantity. If you are using a product that comes in a jar (like redness relief calmplex) then use one pea size drop amount for entire face. This is a general rule, sometimes there are variations but this is a good starting point at least.
  4. Apply evenly to face. My favorite technique is to get the initial pea size drop of the product on the back of the hand and make sure it is mixed evenly and remove any clumps from drying. Next, take one finger from the opposite hand and put an even amount on each cheek, forehead, chin and nose. Then you can rub it all over your face for an even distribution. If you have some product left on your hands rub down the neck and decollete. Lastly, rub the back of your hands together so no product is wasted.
  5. Wash your face prior to applying product. This simply gets off any dirt or product that could block your skincare products from penetrating the skin like you want. I don’t recommend cleansing more than twice a day.

What tips do you have for applying skin care products? Would you like to see a video on our youtube page of me applying my regimen? Do you have any questions? I love hearing from you guys! I always take your suggestions to heart. Hope your weekend was magical!

“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.” -Terry Pratchett

XOXO, Nina