Tag Archives forCosmetic Procedures

The Complete Cool Sculpting Guide – Read Before you Buy

Are you interested in Cool Sculpting?

Are you wondering if it will work for your body?

Did you know that there are other non invasive weight loss therapies out there that may work as well?

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about Cool Sculpting including how it works, how effective it is at helping you with fat loss, common side effects and other alternatives to consider before you get this procedure

Let’s jump in: 


What is Cool Sculpting?

I’m sure at this point you’ve at least heard of Cool Sculpting. 

It’s marketed as a non surgical weight loss device which helps to cut down on fat. 

But how does it work and does it actually work?

Let’s start with the basics first:

Cool Sculpting is a non-invasive procedure which is designed to reduce fat cells and therefore is known as a “fat-reduction treatment”

Notice that the name states that it is NOT a weight loss therapy. 

It is a fat-reduction treatment. 

patient satisfaction survey after cool sculpting procedure

So what is the difference there?

Well, when we talk about having extra fat on our bodies we often think of people being overweight. 

So it makes sense that if we target fat cells and reduce them shouldn’t we lose weight?

In reality it doesn’t work that way. 

Cool sculpting does NOT help with weight loss but it may alter the cosmetic appearance and shrink the size of existing fat cells. 

So what it does is change how you look in the mirror but it does NOT change your weight. 

Another good thing that Cool Sculpting has going for it is the fact that it is FDA cleared. 

But what does that mean?

Being FDA cleared means that the FDA has allowed it to be used for certain purposes and it can claim that it can be used for that purpose. 

In the Medical World people can’t just make claims about products unless they actually do what they say they do. 

You can compare this to the cosmetic industry and the supplement industry. 

These industries can make claims that are not true and not supported by medical science, which makes it difficult to tell what works and what doesn’t. 

The rules are different for medical devices (which Cool Sculpting falls into) which means that Cool Sculpting needs to be proven to work through clinical studies. 

So this is a good thing if you are interested in Cool Sculpting but it doesn’t mean that other non-invasive therapies don’t work. 

The problem with getting FDA Cleared is that it costs a lot of money and time. 

So many products don’t go through the hassle of getting approved because it’s simply cheaper to sell their products and not go through the testing. 

We will discuss other options below, but for now let’s stay focused on Cool Sculpting…

Does Cool Sculpting Work?

And if it works, how does it work?

Cool Sculpting works by reducing the temperature of fat cells which causes direct damage to the cells and results in breakdown of your fat cells and therefore shrinkage. 

The official “mechanism of action” is apoptosis which means cell death (in this case it’s referring to fat cells). 

The idea is that your fat cells become damaged at a higher temperature than the surrounding skin. 

So scientists developed a machine which drops the temperature of the skin, dermis and epidermis but does not damage these structures in the process. 

But because fat cells are damaged at a different temperature they are damaged in the procedure and then shrink in size. 

So Cool Sculpting allows a way to reduce fat cells WITHOUT damaging other skin tissues and structures. 

Because this is different than other procedures (such as ultrasonic cavitation) results are not immediately apparent right after treatment. 

In order for your fat cells to actually shrink there must be an inflammatory component which comes in and cleans up the fat cells. 

This takes anywhere from 14-30 days and is the reason that results are often considered “delayed”. 

So right when you walk out of the treatment room you will NOT notice any difference. 

It can take up to 2-3 months for final results to be seen. 

Make sense? 

But the real question is this:

Does damaging fat cells actually work to reduce the size and appearance of fat tissues?

The answer is Yes, sort of, maybe. 

In order for cool sculpting to work you must be an “ideal candidate” which means that you fit certain criteria. 

In fact, Cool sculpting does not work on all areas of your body:

FDA approved locations for cool sculpting

In order for Cool Sculpting to work there must be sufficient amount of skin and fat, if there isn’t enough in the area then the procedure simply won’t work. 

If there is sufficient fat for the procedure to work clinical studies have shown that humans may expect up to a 20 to 25% reduction in the subcutaneous fat layer. 

This doesn’t mean you will see a 20-25% reduction in your measurements, but it does mean that most people do respond with changes to their appearance. 

You can’t take these percentages at face value because they don’t take into account extra skin, fat cells that are deeper in the body or around the organs. 

These studies also report that up to 73% of people who underwent the procedure were considered “satisfied” with the results

Another point worth mentioning is that 

How Much Does Cool Sculpting Cost & Is it Worth it? 

If you decide to get Cool Sculpting done how much can you expect to pay?

Unfortunately the procedure is quite expensive, especially when compared to the other body contouring options available. 

In order to get optimal results you will often need to purchase a “package program” which means that you will need to come back for several sessions. 

Results from 1 session are often not that great, so several sessions are often necessary to lose a significant amount of fat. 

The amount of sessions that you need will depend on the amount of fat that you have and the area you are looking to treat. 

For instance:

The abdomen will need more sessions than your upper arm area and so on. 

But on average you can expect to pay around $2,000 to $4,000 dollars or around $1,000 to $ $1,500 per area. 

The more areas you need treated (such as the abdomen, arms and butt area) may run up to $4,000 or more. 

A lot of the price varies and is based on the location where you live. 

Larger cities tend to charge more than smaller cities. 

Why the difference in the price?

The price is usually based on the provider offering the service, but you can sometimes find groupons and other ways to help reduce the total cost. 

The real expense to the medical spa offering the procedure is the consumable portions of the machine which they need to purchase after every use, and the prices of these consumables is controlled by the company that creates the Cool Sculpting machine. 

So until these consumables decrease in cost the total cost of Cool Sculpting is likely to remain where it is for a while. 

Determining if Cool Sculpting is worth it will largely depend on your individual circumstance. 

If you’ve exhausted all of your other options and you haven’t had any luck losing weight then Cool Sculpting may be the best option for you. 

In many cases, however, it may be smarter to spend less money on other therapies first and then use Cool Sculpting or other body contouring options as a last resort. 

Before & After Photos

I’m not going to include any before or after photos here, but I want to say one important thing when you look at these photos:

Before and after photos offered by Cool Sculpting (and other providers) often show the BEST CASE SCENARIO. 

If you notice they will always say something like “these results are not typical”. 

So even though the before and after pictures are real (probably), it doesn’t mean that your results will look the same. 

It’s often best to look for businesses that show you the “great” results as well as the “average” results, so be on the look out for both. 

It’s also worth pointing out that your results depend on the skill of the person using the device. 

So make sure that you find a location that has someone who is properly trained to use the device! 

Coolsculpting vs other Non-Invasive Fat Loss Procedures

It’s also important to know that Cool Sculpting isn’t the only option in town!

There are actually MANY other body contouring services that may work better than Cool Sculpting (depending on the individual). 

These other procedures are often cheaper than Cool Sculpting as well and may be a better option to at least explore. 

Other body contouring options include: 

  • Ultrasonic Cavitation – Ultrasonic cavitation is a therapy which uses ultrasound waves to damage fat cells (similar to cool sculpting) which results in fat shrinkage. Ultrasonic cavitation may be more painful than Cool Sculpting but it is quite effective as well. 
  • Radiofrequency – Radiofrequency is another tool that can reach the superficial layers of the fat and help shrink the skin. It’s often great when paired with other therapies such as Ultrasonic cavitation which, when put together, can help shrink the skin AND help reduce fat cells. 
  • Low level laser therapy – LLLT may help shrink fat cells but is probably not as effective as the other therapies listed here. The benefit to LLLT is that it is quite cheap when compared to other therapies. 
  • LED Therapy – LED lasers have mixed results when it comes to shrinking fat cells but this procedure is often quite cheap making it worth considering for some people. 
  •  Weight loss wraps – Weight loss wraps work by simply dehydrating the body (they don’t shrink or damage fat cells like other therapies) but they may be worthwhile if you are in a pinch and need to drop a few pounds for a vacation or something like that. 

Risks and Side Effects of doing Cool Sculpting

Is Cool Sculpting safe?

The long answer is that we don’t really know. 

The short answer is that it is generally well tolerated. 

The reason we don’t really know if it is safe long term is because it hasn’t been around that long. 

So even though the results may be good over the course of 5-10 years we have no idea what those results will look like 20 years down the road. 

It’s also worth pointing out that Cool Sculpting does indeed damage your fat cells and there is currently no evidence that they can grow back or regenerate. 

This is important to consider because what it means is that once fat cells are destroyed they will never grow back in the same spot. 

There is some concern that if you re-gain fat mass they may start to aggregate or form in other strange areas of your body – such as your upper arms or lower legs. 

So long term we aren’t really sure, but what about short term?

In turns out that short term treatment is usually well tolerated

There is very little to zero risk of developing scarring, ulceration or disfigurement to the skin itself. 

In addition only minor bruising is occasionally seem along with some pain during the procedure. 

There is a small risk of causing inflammation to the fat cells in your body, known as panniculitis, but this isn’t seen very often. 

So the short term side effects are minimal but we don’t have a lot of data about the long term consequences. 

The biggest thing to worry about is the potential for long term regrowth of fat cells and an abnormal distribution of fat cells in your body if you gain weight at a later time. 

Other Weight Loss Therapies

When considering Cool Sculpting the real question is this:

Should you take the risk and spend the money to get this procedure done instead of going another more safe route?

Perhaps another, and better, alternative to Cool Sculpting is using weight loss (and fat loss) medications and therapies which have been shown to work and do not cause serious side effects. 

What kind of therapies am I talking about?

  • MIC/B12 Injections – Fat burner injections can be used in combination with exercise routines and other therapies to help with weight loss. 
  • HCG – HCG is a hormone that can help improve your thyroid and help balance sex hormones. 
  • Thyroid hormones – Thyroid hormones such as Liothyronine and Cytomel can help increase metabolism and may help with weight loss. 
  • Weight loss MedicationsWeight loss medications such as Saxenda and newer medications such as Contrave may help treat obesity. 
  • Diets & Nutrition programs – You never want to go on a diet, but nutritional programs such as ketosis and whole 30 can help reduce inflammation and may help with weight loss. 
  • Exercise programs – It may be time to kick the old way of exercising (run of the mill cardio) and start high intensity interval training programs which help with weight loss more than other exercise modalities. 

The point is don’t think that you are out of options

But what if you’ve tried all of these and they haven’t worked?

In that case it may be worth sitting down and considering if Cool Sculpting (or other therapies) are right for you. 

It absolutely may be the case that getting Cool Sculpting is worth the peace of mind and the increase in self confidence that it may produce!

Just make sure that you exhaust and look at ALL options before you jump in. 

Final Thoughts

Cool Sculpting is a non invasive procedure that may help you to contour your body and reduce the shape and appearance of your fat. 

Before you get this procedure done make sure that you look at all non invasive alternatives and make sure that you have exhausted other, more safe, weight loss therapies!

For those who do decide to undergo Cool Sculpting you can take comfort in the fact that most people are very happy with their results and there are usually no immediate side effects. 

Before you get it done just realize we don’t know how people will respond to this therapy long term (the studies aren’t there yet) because it is a relatively new procedure. 

But now I want to hear from you:

Have you tried cool sculpting?

Did it work for you?

Are you considering getting it done?

What other procedures have you tried?

Leave your comments below! 

The Best Lip Plumper + How to Get Luscious Lips in Minutes

Are your lips dry, dull or chapped?

Maybe they look fine and you want to naturally improve their size? 

Either way this is the post for you…

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about lip plumpers including how they work, how to use them properly, which ones work the best, what side effects to look out for and other tips and tricks to enhance your lip volume.

Let’s jump in: 


How do Lip Plumpers Work?

I probably don’t need to tell you 

Your lips are a central and very important cosmetic feature on your face because from a scientific standpoint they stand out due to the changes in skin texture and color of the surrounding skin. 

Study after study has shown that the appearance of the lips is a very important factor for determining the aesthetic perception of the female face. 

With this in mind it’s easy to understand why you would want to spend some time trying to improve the cosmetic value of your lips! 

We also know that your lips tend to become more flat and more thin as you age (or as you damage your skin from photo-damage). 

This has lead many people (and even scientists) to start developing products designed to enhance the size and appearance of the lips. 

The end result is a product known as “lip plumpers”. 

These products help to improve the size of the lips, the texture and the softness. 

Basically they make your lips look bigger, more full, more plump and softer. 

But how do these products actually work? 

Because the skin of the lips is different from the surrounding tissues it is much more susceptible to damage – especially from the elements. 

Your lips therefore tend to dry out, become chapped and even lose their color or luster faster than other areas of your face. 

lip plumpers before and after photos

These small and subtle changes can actually be blunted or stopped by using certain ingredients or compounds. 

These compounds help to restore moisture directly to your lips which in turns help them retain their plumpness and color. 

Ingredients which have been shown in clinical studies to have this effect on your lips include niacin, emollients, hyaluronic acid, human growth factors, marine filling spheres and tripeptide growth factors

Basically any product that contains any (or all) of those ingredients WILL help to improve your lip volume. 

Cosmetic Lip Plumpers vs Injectable Lip Plumpers

When we talk about lip plumpers there are basically two categories to discuss. 

The first is the lip plumpers that are topical such as glosses, creams and gels (this article focuses mostly on these types). 

The second type of lip plumpers include the injectables which often contain hyaluronic acid

We won’t focus on the injectables much in this guide simply because they tend to be much more expensive than glosses and gels and they tend to carry with them risks that gels do not have. 

The average cost for lip injections ranges from about $500 to $2,000 per injection and even these injections do not last forever (your body eventually “eats” up the hyaluronic acid). 

In addition because they are injectables they carry with them a small risk of infection

Injectables are very nice, however, for those people who aren’t concerned about money or for those who have a hard time remembering to apply gels/creams and glosses on a daily basis (in order for lip plumpers to work you must be consistent!). 

Another added benefit to the injectables is that they provide almost IMMEDIATE results whereas the plumpers listed here may take several weeks to kick in completely. 

Regardless of which route you choose just make sure that you pick the route that you are most comfortable with. 

I’ve included a list of pros and cons of using lip plumpers and why they are my preferred route: 


  • Cheap (around $20 to $40 per product)
  • Non invasive
  • Well tolerated with few side effects
  • Easy to apply
  • More natural ingredients
  • More choices and options for products
  • No down time or swelling (compared to some injectables)


  • Must apply them daily (sometimes up to 3x per day) to see results
  • Results fade if you stop using the product (also true with other lip plumpers)
  • Some people may react with hives/rashes due to ingredients

The Best Lip Plumper Products

If you’re still ready to jump in then I’ve provided what I consider to be some of the best lip plumpers on the market based on their ingredient list and their reviews. 

Each of the lip plumpers listed below also include scientifically studied results which have been shown to work in most people. 

The key to choosing the right lip plumper is to find one that works for YOUR body and this may take some trial and error – so don’t be afraid to jump into one and give it a try for a few weeks. 

If it doesn’t work then changes are high that one of the others will. 

#1. Jane Iredale Just Kissed Lip Plumper

First on the list of high quality lip plumpers is the Just Kissed lip plumper by Jane Iredale. 

One of the reasons that this plumper is so effective is because it uses a lot of essential oils and natural products found primarily in plants. 

It also contains natural vitamins which help to naturally hydrate and give volume to the lips. 

  • Avocado oil
  • Beeswax
  • Jojoba seed oil
  • Candelilla wax
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Shea butter
  • Ginger root oil
  • Lemon peel oil
  • Citrus peel oil
  • Camellia sinensis (Green tea) extract
  • Grape seed extract
  • Cranberry fruit extract
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
Average rating:

This lip plumper works great with an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. 

This will work in about 70-80% of people. 

The benefit to using this lip plumper is that it does NOT contain as many chemical compounds and inactive ingredients as other lip plumpers. 

It’s also a more natural approach to plumping the lips with many botanical (plant) based ingredients. 

just kissed lip plumperSee more reviews for Just Kissed Lip plumper here

#2. Grande LIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper

Grande lips works through a different mechanism when compared to other products because it contains a special ingredient known as sodium hyaluronate. 

Sodium hyaluronate is a form of hyaluronic acid which is used primarily to help hold moisture and bring hydration back to the skin. 

The sodium hyaluronate form is a special form which is much smaller and is better absorbed into the skin when compared to hyaluronic acid which means that it brings even more moisture to the area. 

In addition this product contains both caffeine and Niacin which help to bring in blood flow and provide a plumpness to the skin

You probably know about Niacin because if you take too much of it by mouth you may end up getting an extreme “flush”. 

So imagine this happening to your lips but in a much smaller scale! 

You’ve probably also experienced the rush you can get when consuming caffeine (both mentally and physically) so you can imagine this benefit on your lips as well. 

The combination of hydration, moisture and blood flow all work together to plump your lips when using this combination. 

  • Hyaluronic acid (In the Sodium hyaluronate which is a smaller version of hyaluronic acid which increases moisture absorption) 
  • Caffeine
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Volulip
  • Many other chemical compounds (Octyldodecanol, polybutene, silca dimethyl silylate, pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate, ethylhexyl palmitate, quaternium-90 bentonite, propylene carbonate, butylene glycol, saccharin, phenoxyethanol, hexylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate
Average rating:

Grande Lips has an average rating of 3.0 out of 5 stars. 

This doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or that it’s a bad product, instead it means that it is less likely to work for all people. 

It still works and works well (I’ve used it and it works for me!) but it seems that not everyone gets the same benefit. 

It may take some trial and error to determine which lip plumper works well for you. 

The good news is that lip plumpers (especially when compared to other cosmetic products) tend to be relatively cheap. 

So it may take an investment of $40-50 total to figure out which one works for you. 

One disadvantage to this lip plumper is that it does contain more chemical ingredients when compared to other products. 

If you tend to be very sensitive to chemical ingredients then it may be a better option to start with a more natural product like the one listed above. 

Grande lips hydrating lip plumperSee more reviews for Grande lips here

#3. Jouer Essential Lip Enhancer

Jouer essential lip enhancer is kind of a hybrid between the other two lip plumpers already listed here. 

This product helps to promote lip plumpness with hydrating and natural ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter and jojoba seed oil but it also contains a special ingredient known as Maxi-lip. 

Maxi-lip is designed to help promote the natural synthesis and creation of GAG’s or glycosaminoglycans. 

These are special compounds which help absorb and hold water. 

So the idea here is that these ingredients help your lips naturally retain water like the other products but in a slightly different way. 

Essential lip enhancer helps your body naturally produce its own Hylauronic acid as opposed to directly providing it. 

  • Maxi-Lip (Natural peptide chain which stimulates collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis) 
  • Shea butter
  • Jojoba seed oil
  • Beeswax
  • Castor seed oil
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Other chemical ingredients (Polybutene, hydrogenated polyisobutene, octyldodoecanol, polyethylene, ethylhexyl palmitate)
Average rating:

Jouer essential lip enhancer has an average rating of 4.1 stars out of 5.0. 

Like the other products listed here it tends to work well, but it really depends on the person. 

One thing worth pointing out is that this is more of a cream/conditioner than a lip gloss when compared to the other products. 

It also may need to be used 3x per day compared to twice per day with the other products. 

When it comes to plumping up your lips you HAVE to be consistent with the application of whichever product you decide to use. 

Jouer essential lip enhancerSee more reviews for Jouer essential lip enhancer here

Symptoms Associated with Lip Plumpers

Should you be concerned about using lip plumpers?

Does improving the size and look of your lips come at a cost?

It may surprise you to know that these products are surprisingly well tolerated!

That means that most people who use them do not experience any negative side effects. 

But, like anything, it really depends on the person. 

There have been some reports in scientific studies of patients presenting with what is known as contact urticaria when using these products.

Urticaria is a hives like reaction that occurs when the body comes into contact with certain chemicals or ingredients. 

The good news is that this reaction is not very common and the treatment is to stop using the product which will cure the problem rapidly. 

The only other negative side effect that you may experience is that you may not see your desired results!

This has less to do with the product and more to do with how you react to it. 

Just realize that as long as you aren’t putting anything INSIDE of your lips or your skin the risk of any negative side effect is very low. 

What are Lip Plumper Devices? 

What about lip plumping devices? How do these compare to lip plumping products?

Lip plumping devices work by applying a suction cup like effect with a sustained pressure (and sometimes a vibratory component) which act to bring blood flow up to the surface of your lips and into the capillaries. 

Your capillaries represent the endpoint between your arteries and veins and that is where your body exchanges oxygen. 

The goal with these devices is to create a “swollen” or “plump” look in your lips that mimics what would occur if you had a bruise (without the discoloration!). 

The idea is that you can control the amount of stimulation to the area without causing any negative reaction or bruising discoloration. 

Most of the time they do work, but the benefits are VERY short lived. 

If you choose this route be prepared to use your lip plumping device somewhat frequently because the results only last a few hours to days. 

These devices may be good to use if you have a special event because they tend to work more quickly than topical products. 

It’s also worth pointing out that topical products do not last forever either, they typically last weeks to months and in order to maintain your results you must continue with the product. 

Other Tips to get Plump Lips

Is there anything else you can do to plump up your lips? 

There are some other tips that you can take advantage of that may help you to improve your results. 

Note though, that these things don’t necessarily plump your lips up by themselves but they can and should be done in addition to using a lip plumper!

The first thing you should do is HYDRATE.

By hydration I mean drinking plenty and plenty of water. 

The “chapped” look that some lips get may be due to dehydration and poor nutrition status!

You can fight this appearance by drinking plenty of water. 

Not only is water healthy for your body it is also amazing for your skin. 

Sometimes just drinking 8 glasses of water each day is enough to clear up the skin and plump it up. 

The second thing you should do is moisturize your lips with something like Vitamin E Oil. 

You’ll notice that some of the lip plumping products above (at least 2 of them) ALSO contain Vitamin E. 

But you can take it one step further by adding in high potency Vitamin E oil that you apply directly to your lips. 

High concentrations of Vitamin E can help to moisturize the skin, reduce inflammation and may protect the skin from aging

Using a Vitamin E oil like this one should do the trick

The last thing you’ll want to do is avoid damaging your lips Avoid excessive sunlight!

Excessive sunlight can damage the skin on your lips and may also create the chapped appearance that everyone wants to avoid. 

If you go out in the sun make sure to use a high quality sun block and make sure to use protection like a large brimmed hat! 

Final Thoughts

Lip plumper products are an easy and effective way to give you plump and soft lips. 

They can be used in combination with other facial products and they are VERY well tolerated. 

These products usually provide results in as little as a few weeks and most people who use them have at least some improvement (up to 80% of people). 

If you aren’t sure where to start then I usually recommend using a more natural and plant based formula which has fewer chemical ingredients. 

But now I want to hear from you:

What is your lip regimen?

Have you tried any of the plumpers on this list?

What has your experience been?

Leave a comment below! 

7 Reasons to Get a Spray Tan & 4 Downsides to Consider Before you Do

Are you interested in getting a spray tan but worried if it is safe or effective?

Maybe you’re just wondering which is better – a spray tan, a natural tan or a tan from a tanning bed. 

If so continue reading! 

We are going to discuss the differences between a spray tan and other tanning methods while also discussing the potential benefits and downsides of a spray tan. 


Spray Tan vs Tanning Bed

So what is a spray tan and how does it compare to other tanning methods?

A spray tan is really just the act of spraying a chemical mixture on your skin that temporarily “stains” the skin to a different shade or color

The coloring from the chemical stays on the outer layers of the skin and is removed as the skin sheds. 

The normal shedding cycle for the epidermis is around 40-60 days (depending on if you use tretinoin or not) so therefore spray tans can only last at the most that amount of time. 

Realistically they don’t last quite that long because other factors increase skin shedding such as bathing, exfoliating, cleansers and so on . 

So you can imagine that most spray tans probably last slightly less than that amount of time – in fact, the average length that a spray tan lasts is about 5-10 days

You can compare this method of tanning to other methods of tanning such as a “natural” tan from a tanning bed. 

In a tanning bed your body is being exposed to ultraviolet light from the lightbulbs in the bed. 

This ultraviolet light triggers the production of melanin which is the natural pigment in your skin

In response to this light your body produces more melanin which then confers that characteristic browning of the skin that everyone wants!

By the way, this is the same reaction that occurs when you exposure your skin to natural sun outside of a tanning bed!

The main difference is that we can’t exactly create the same ultraviolet light that the sun produces which is why prolonged exposure to certain types of tanning bed may cause long term skin damage. 

But now that you have an idea of how a spray tan works and why it’s different from other tanning methods we can talk about the specific reasons you may want to get a spray tan. 

7 Reasons to get a Spray Tan

Spray tanning has some potential benefits that are unique to this method of obtaining a tan. 

When determining if you should get a spray tan make sure to evaluate both the positives and the negatives of this particular method. 

Like anything which method you use largely depends on your preferences are your situation!

I personally like to use spray tans for certain special events, but I also prefer to get a natural tan (from natural sunlight) in between to keep up my tan. 

This is just my preference but each person may be different!

Let’s jump in to the benefits of getting a spray tan: 

#1. Fast and Efficient!

The first reason is that getting a spray tan is incredibly fast and efficient. 

You can schedule your time, walk in, and walk out with a tan that is optimized for your skin in less than 30 minutes. 

You can compare this to natural tans from natural light which may take weeks to months to create!

Even a tanning bed with artificial lights will take weeks to obtain the right glow. 

This makes getting a spray tan optimal for people who either don’t want to spend the time to optimize their color or because they have a special event

Spray tans are great if you have a wedding, want to go on vacation or have some other special event in your life. 

You can get a perfect tan in 30 minutes that lasts for several weeks just in time for whatever event you have going on. 

#2. Save your skin

Another huge benefit is that spray tans may actually save your skin. 

You have to remember that the sun (and this includes both artificial light and light from the sun) cause slightly damage to the skin which then stimulates the melanin response

This process actually DAMAGES the skin!

What you may not realize is that this process results in something called photo-damage. 

And photo-damage is the #1 reason for aging skin among ALL people

This process is one of the reasons that you see dermatologists and medical aestheticians basically avoiding the sun at all times. 

They do this to try and save their skin. 

Photo-damage results in a reduction in collagen and elastin both of which are critical to maintaining the integrity and youth of your skin. 

Getting a spray tan can save your skin because you avoid the potential damage of the sun. 

This can be a double-edged sword, however, because some sunlight is important for vitamin D production (which we will discuss below). 

#3. Slimming Effect

Ever wonder why bodybuilders (both women and men) always get spray tans before competitions?

It’s because it highlights lean muscle, tends to hide fat tissue and actually makes you look slimmer! 

You probably intuitively know this, but maybe you didn’t realize it is a potential advantage to getting a spray tan. 

If you plan on going to the beach and need a “base tan” or have some sort of special event like a wedding then it may be in your best interest to look and feel great. 

Yes it is a fake tan, but you can boost your self confidence and help yourself look great and feel great in your own skin. 

This benefit isn’t unique to just spray tans, by the way, but the difference is that you can get this benefit with a spray tan within 30 minutes while it may take weeks to months to get it from other tanning methods. 

#4. Rapid Results

This benefit shouldn’t be overstated:

A spray tan can give you a near instant result in a short period of time. 

Compare the time it takes to get a tan with various different options: 

A spray tan = perfect tan in 30 minutes

A tanning bed = a good/perfect tan in 4-8 weeks

Natural light = a good/perfect tan in 8-12 weeks

The time it takes to get the tan doesn’t mean it’s the best option, but it should certainly be considered if you are in a pinch for time!

Imagine leaving on a vacation in 2 weeks, there’s just no way that you can get a tan in that amount of time with a tanning bed or with natural sunlight. 

#5. Tan all year long

This benefit is not unique to spray tans (you can get it with a tanning bed as well) but it is still beneficial. 

You can pretty much get a perfect tan any time of the year if you choose to get a spray tan. 

During certain months the sun is at an angle which effectively causes ultraviolet lights to bounce off of your skin and reduces the effectiveness of natural light. 

During other months out of the year the sun may be overcast or simply not come out (such as winter). 

This makes getting a tan by natural light really only an option during summer months (depending on where you live). 

If you live in somewhere like Hawaii this isn’t a problem, but if you live anywhere else then it is something to consider!

You can still take advantage of this with a tanning bed as well, but perhaps at the cost of your skin in the process. 

#6. More control over Color

Another advantage to getting a spray tan is that you have more control over the color and shade of your tan. 

Consider how you naturally get a tan using a tanning bed or natural sunlight:

The more tanning bed sessions (or sessions that you lay out) the deeper and deeper the shade and color of your tan gets

This progression of shading on your skin takes time and can be difficult to control. 

For instance:

If you miss a week then it’s like taking 2 steps forward but one step backwards. 

This means that if you want to control the shade using other tanning methods you really need to be consistent and stay on top of your schedule. 

You don’t have to worry about any of this if you are getting a spray tan because you can control the shade and color of the tanning solution BEFORE you even start. 

This means that you can basically “pick” your shade and you end up with the exact color and shade that you want within 30 minutes. 

#7. All Skin Types can Tan

You can also get a spray tan regardless of the type of your skin. 

The way you want to think about your skin type is through the lens of the Fitzpatrick skin scale which is what dermatologists use when considering skin. 

The Fitzpatrick skin scale is a way to determine how your body will respond to sunlight, how effectively you will tan and your risk of developing skin cancer later in life. 

You can see an example of all 6 skin types below: 

fitzpatrick skin scale and tanning ability

Notice skin types I and II on the Fitzpatrick scale. 

If you have these skin types there is VERY little chance that you will ever be able to tan with natural light or through a tanning bed. 

In fact, using these methods may even increase your risk of skin cancer because your body may not be able to respond and protect itself with sufficient melanin production. 

Those who have Fitzpatrick skin types I and II make great candidates for spray tanning because they really don’t have any other options

Other skin types can still get tans but their tans may not be as uniform and may not get exactly to their desired shade with sunlight or tanning beds. 

Your Fitzpatrick scale is therefore very important when you consider getting a spray tan or using other tanning options. 

4 Downsides of Getting a Spray Tan

While there are definitely some serious benefits to getting a spray tan, it’s not necessarily for everyone!

Before you get a spray tan make sure you understand the procedure including the downsides and potential negative aspects. 

#1. Potential Lack of Vitamin D 

The first downside is that by avoiding sunlight and ultraviolet light you risk getting vitamin D deficient. 

Vitamin D is a seriously important vitamin that helps balance your mood, control your immune system and much more. 

Low vitamin D has been linked to developing autoimmune diseases and other diseases states so it’s an important factor to consider. 

I’ve seen the argument that Vitamin D shouldn’t even be considered in getting a spray tan because most people get sufficient Vitamin D from foods sources. 

This is technically true but it actually doesn’t help. 

The Vitamin D that you get from foods is in the form of Vitamin D2 and in order for Vitamin D2 to become active and useful in the body you must activate it to Vitamin D3 through sunlight

So even if you do consume Vitamin D2 in food then you still NEED the ultraviolet light from the sun. 

But it’s also worth considering that you can take Vitamin D3 in supplement form and by mouth, but it’s probably not as good as getting your Vitamin D directly from the sun. 

The bottom line is that if you avoid the sunlight in favor of getting repeated spray tans then you may increase your risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency. 

#2. Potential Stains

Another potential issue is the real risk of staining your clothes while getting a spray tan. 

This isn’t a deal breaker though, especially since you can actively avoid this issue by being cautious – but it is still worth considering. 

Just remember:

The spray tan chemicals are designed to STAIN your skin, so they will stain clothing or other things they come into contact with. 

The reason that the chemicals are shed from your skin is simply because your skin sheds over time, but this obviously doesn’t happen with your clothes. 

So be careful when you get a spray tan to avoid getting it on your clothes or personal items! 

#3. Requires Frequent Visits

Another downside is that while spray tans work absolutely great, they don’t last very long. 

This means that you’ll need to spend both time and time with some regularity if you want to keep up your results. 

Natural spray tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last longer than the tan you get from a spray tan. 

This isn’t a huge deal if you only occasionally get a spray tan, but it can become an issue if you try to keep up your tan exclusively through this method. 

You can count on your spray tan looking really good for about 5 to 10 days, but after that point it will start to fade rapidly from your skin. 

Natural sun tans and tans from tanning beds tend to last weeks to months (though they do fade over time). 

#4. Up Close and Personal

Another factor to consider is that you will be up close and personal with someone in order to get your spray tan. 

This means that you will be in a 1 on 1 setting and exposed in order to get your tan!

Compare this to a tanning bed in which you are alone in the bed by yourself while you get your tan. 

This means that getting a spray tan is not necessarily a “relaxing” experience. 

It probably isn’t an issue if you are outgoing or don’t mind that sort of thing, but if you have a shy or reserved personality make sure to consider it! 

Are Spray Tans Safe? 

Because you are putting chemicals on your skin it’s natural to ask if the procedure is safe. 

The answer is that the vast majority of the time most people won’t experience any bad side effects from getting a spray tan. 

Some people may react to ingredients or chemicals in the spray tan mixture, but these people are those who tend to react to EVERYTHING and are very sensitive to medications, supplements and so on. 

While this is a rare reaction it’s often worth considering. 

Another way to fight this reaction is to simply use organic based ingredients which are less likely to cause any real problems but still provide your body with a nice tan. 

Natural ingredients such as turmeric can stain your skin various colors and may actually be HEALTHY for your skin

I personally recommend that if you do choose to get a spray tan that you stick to organic materials because not only is it healthier but you will reduce your risk of a negative reaction to the ingredients. 

Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body

Your skin naturally serves as a barrier to prevent unwanted things from entering your bloodstream but the skin can’t keep everything out. 

If you put any chemical or ingredient on your skin just realize that SOME of that product will be absorbed into your bloodstream (though probably not a lot). 

This method of absorption is known as transdermal absorption and it should be considered before you put anything on your skin. 

Tips to Make your Spray Tan more Effective

If you do decide to get a spray tan you can take several steps to help improve the quality and longevity of your results. 

There are some things that your artist may not tell you but that may help your tan last longer. 

These tips are based on the science behind how the tan is applied to your skin and I’ll go into detail on each one below: 

  • Exfoliate BEFORE you get your spray tan – The idea here is to reduce the chance that your body will exfoliate after your tan. Remember that the way the spray tan works is by applying a stain directly to your skin, but also remember that it fades because your skin sheds. If you can reduce the chance that your skin will exfoliate early then it should increase the length of time that the tan lasts. 
  • AFTER your spray tan avoid wiping your skin – The logic here is that the ingredients are just on the superficial or upper layer of your skin. If do a wiping motion to dry off your skin with a towel after your tan you risk increasing exfoliation and also expelling the stain from your skin quicker. You can avoid this by simply patting yourself dry after a shower or a quick pool dip instead of wiping your body clean. 
  • AFTER your spray tan apply lotion daily – After you get your spray tan you will want to make sure that you apply lotion to your skin each day. Remember that you will exfoliate faster with dry skin because it tends to flake off. If you moisturize 

By following these tips you can increase the length of time that your results last. 

In addition to these tips you will also want to consider some more general tips before you get your spray tan: 

  • CONSIDER what you wear (or don’t wear) during your spray tan – You will want to consider what to wear (or not) when you go into get your tan. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to go naked into their spray tan! Going naked reduces tan lines and gives a perfect even tan throughout the entire skin. If you don’t want to go naked that’s not a problem either, just make sure that you wear an OLD swim suit that you don’t mind getting stained. 
  • PROTECT your nails during the spray tan – Just like your skin your nails and nail beds can get stained by the ingredients of the spray tan. You can avoid this by simply putting a coat of nail polish on your nails before the procedure. Most spray tan locations will wipe off your nails but you can also come in prepared. 
  • PROTECT the palms of your hands and soles of your feet – When you get your spray tan you want to make sure that your tan looks as natural as possible! That means avoid getting a “tan” on places that shouldn’t normally be tanned. This is most obvious on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. You can avoid getting “tanned” in these places by placing barrier cream on those locations before the procedure. Most spray tan locations will automatically provide this for you, but just make sure you consider it before going in!

If you follow these tips you will be ready to get your spray tan! 

Back to you

If after reading all of this you decide to get a spray tan you are still in good company! 

In my experience those who do the best with spray tans are those who get them for special events and for situational circumstances. 

When it comes to keeping a nice glow all year round you are probably best off by using natural sunlight (if it’s available to you) and minimizing your time in the sun to prevent long term photo-damage. 

Now I want to hear from you:

Are you thinking about getting a spray tan?

Are you concerned about the ingredients or how it works?

Leave your comments below! 

15 Must Have Items in Your Microblading Kit

This is our list of must haves in your microblading kit – learn more about which items made the list and which didn’t in this guide.

The items in your microblading kit can either help you create impressive and beautiful brows or potentially hinder your performance. 

Finding high quality ingredients is therefore a must if you want to build a successful business:


What you Need in your Microblading Kit

Chances are high that if you’ve undergone traditional microblading training that you were given some sort of practice kit to help get you started. 

Changes are also high that that kit may not have all of the things that you will ultimately need!

Some of the items necessary to provide superior microblading results can be expensive. 

When trainers are creating their kits they may have a tendency not to include some of the higher quality items. 

That means you need to learn which items are high quality on your own! 

That’s where this guide steps in. 

But first let’s talk about price:

How much will a microblading kit run me?

You can most likely purchase an ENTIRE microblading kit plus practice materials for right around $500

In that price I am also including a massage bed, an overhead light and a ring light to help with your before and after pictures. 

If you already have those items because you’ve been doing other cosmetic procedures then the price will most likely drop down to $200 to $300 depending on how much inventory you purchase.

In most cases I recommend that you start your inventory with enough supplies to last for at LEAST 30 clients. 

This is sort of the number that you should expect to be doing as you get started and 30 represents a solid number which is required to hone your microblading skills. 

It’s also a great starting point to help build your microblading business

All-in-One Microblading Kit vs Individual Items

What about those all in on kits? Do they work?

I’m sure by now you’ve also seen some already put together microblading kits that are for sale. 

These kits can be a useful tool when starting out, but I don’t think that they contain all of the supplies that you will eventually need. 

Another downfall to these kits is that they don’t really give you the opportunity to try out new products to see what fits your style the best. 

Like anything in life you will most likely find that you are attracted to certain products because of the way that they look or how they feel while you are using them. 

If you purchase a microblading kit that is already put together then you are using the preferences of that particular microblader. 

This isn’t necessarily a problem, but you will most likely want to expand out and try new products over time. 

In addition these kits don’t often come with what I consider to be some microblading necessities that you need whenever you are performing a procedure on another person. 

These basics include sterile gloves, face masks, biohazard bags and so on. 

These basic items you will need no matter what, so if you have to buy those individually then why get a kit that doesn’t contain them to begin with?

Microblading Equipment for your Microblading Kit

Through trial and error we’ve come up with a list of 15 items that should be in every single microblading kit. 

Please note that you might find you like certain items that are not on this list but at least consider that you need supplies in every single category. 

When relevant we’ve included our favorite brands that provide great results.

#1. Microblading Blades

First on the list is microblading blades!

If you’ve ever used low quality blades you know the importance of finding the right blade. 

Some blades seem to have a consistent drag which can cause you to work harder and potentially lead to mistakes while microblading. 

Using a high quality blade will cut back on these mistakes and help you get better results. 

If you’re serious about microblading you’ll need 3 sets of blades: #7, #12 and #14. 

Are these blades kinda pricey?

Yes, but they are definitely worth it. 

It may seem counter intuitive but if you can improve your results then you can increase the price that you charge which will more than make up for an increase in overhead. 

You can find our picks below: 

Learn more about #7 blades hereLearn more about #12 blades hereLearn more about #14 blades here

#2. Numbing Cream

Zensa numbing cream for microblading

Next on the list (and ultra important) is numbing cream!

This cream is a necessity if you want to provide your clients with comfort during the procedure

Some artists choose to not use numbing cream probably because they don’t realize that it’s available without a prescription from your Doctor. 

You don’t have to do this. 

You can find high quality numbing cream on the internet which is perfectly legitimate. 

When using numbing cream make sure you find something with at least 5% lidocaine. 

If you can get numbing cream from a doctor such as BLT which includes both lidocaine and tetracaine then you should, but if you don’t have that option available then at least get lidocaine. 

You’ll also want to use barrier film (more on that below) which will help increase absorption and even further reduce the pain your clients feel! 

Learn about microblading numbing cream here

#3. Box Gloves

latex free gloves for microblading

This one isn’t a fun one necessarily but it’s still a necessity!

You have to protect yourself and since you are performing a procedure which may result in bleeding you need to make sure you are using gloves. 

Stick to gloves that are latex free (or you can get another latex free box if you want) because you never want to be in a situation where your client has a latex allergy and you don’t have any latex free gloves!

You can prevent this problem from ever happening by purchasing and using latex free gloves.

These are the medical grade gloves that I use and love: 

Learn more about Latex free gloves here

#4. Microblading Pigment

If you are doing microblading then obviously you will need microblading pigment!

Make sure to get the right type of pigment and have multiple color sets available so you can always match your pigment to the skin tone of your client. 

Using the right high quality pigment will help reduce discoloration of your results and will help increase the longevity of your brows. 

Learn about microblading pigment here

#5. Barrier Film

Barrier film is supposed to be used in conjunction with your numbing cream. 

Barrier film helps occlude your numbing cream to the face and increases the absorption of numbing cream and reduces the amount of time you have to wait for your clients to get numb. 

This not only helps the experience for your client but can reduce the amount of down time you have between clients and therefore increase your profitability!

Using barrier film is easy:

You apply numbing cream to the brow area and then place the barrier film over it (make sure to cut the film so that it doesn’t get in their eyes, nose or mouth!). 

Then you wait until your client is numb! 

Learn more about barrier film here. 

#6. Microbrushes

Microbrushes are like the jack of all tools when it comes to microblading.

They can be used to push pigment around, to help apply numbing gel/cream, to clean up the brows and so on. 

If you are doing microblading make sure you have PLENTY of these little guys to go around. 

Consider this a microblading staple. 

Learn more about microbrushes here

#7. Chuse Manuel Pen

You can’t microblade without a microblading pen!

You’ll want to spend some time finding a high quality pen with the type of handle that fits your hand and style. 

Your pen and the grip is very important to your overall results. 

I like this pen, but make sure you look at some options to find that one that works for you: 

Learn more about manuel microblading pens here

#8. Brow Stencils

While not absolutely required these are still included here because they can be a huge help. 

Brow stencils can really help increase the flow of your work and the efficiency, especially in clients who don’t have eyebrows. 

You definitely need to learn how to create a brow shape just out of the existing set of brows, facial structure and so on – but once you have this down you can use stencils to help improve productivity. 

Brow stencils can help give an outline of the shape that you are looking for and cut down on shaping time. 

Definitely don’t use them as a crutch, though!

It would be similar to smashing a circle into a square peg, it just won’t work for every client. 

But it never hurts to have them on hand for those clients that they do work for. 

If you do decide to get stencils make sure you get plenty of outlines, shapes and sizes. This will give you options and increase the diversity of your brows! 

Learn more about brow stencils here

#9. Tinkle Razor

The Tinkle razor is one of my favorites and I use it to help clean up the brows and get rid of stray hairs before the microblading begins. 

My clients also love them because I always give the Tinkle Razor to them after the procedure so they can keep their brows nice and tidy after they leave. 

These little guys are quite cheap and your clients will love them! 

Learn more about the Tinkle Razor here

#10. Pigment Rings

Pigment rings are another staple that simply help to improve your efficiency. 

The ring will go on your finger and you place your pigment in the ring. 

This allows for quick application of pigment during the microblading process. 

There isn’t much else to say here, just make sure you get them. 

Learn more about pigment rings here

#11. Measuring Calipers

Measuring calipers are another must if you are microblading. 

They help you identify ratios on the face, find spacing for the brows and create your shape. 

Learning and understanding how to use calipers should have been taught to you during your training course. 

There are different kinds of calipers but I like these ones: 

Learn more about measuring calipers here

#12. Brow Shaping Pencil

Your brow shaping pencil helps you draw the shape on the face before the procedure actually happens!

It’s important that you find a pencil which will stay on the brow through the numbing process so that you can use your shape to guide the procedure!

Don’t make the mistake of spending 30+ minutes creating a shape on the face with a pencil only to have it washed away or smudged with the application of numbing cream. 

Learn more about shaping pencils here

#13. Wipes

Wipes serve to keep your work place clean and can be used on the face of your client to wipe off the brow pencil, clean up the skin and so on. 

Learn more about wipes here

#14. Face Masks

Face masks should be a staple because they will help protect you and keep you from breathing on your client while you work!

You don’t want them to smell your breath and you don’t want to be distracted by them either!

Using a mask will also protect your face and may help to reduce infection. 

Learn more about face masks here

#15. Alcohol Pads

Alcohol pads should be used to clean the skin BEFORE you start blading it. 

Alcohol wipes help to reduce the burden of bacteria on the skin and may therefore help reduce the risk of infection. 

You’ll notice in the medical world that before anything enters the skin – think about shots, blood draws and so on – nurses and Doctors will apply alcohol to the area. 

You should be following these best practices because it makes you look more professional and it reduces your risk of complication. 

Use medical grade alcohol wipes: 

Learn more about alcohol pads here

Wrapping it up

If you are a microblader make sure that you use high quality products and equipment. 

It may cost a little bit more money up front but it will pay off in the long run as you provide superior results to your clients. 

But now I want to hear from you:

What supplies do you absolutely love?

Which products have you found out that make your life easier?

Leave a comment below to share with other microbladers! 

7 Surprising Microneedling Benefits for Your Skin (#6 is my Favorite)

Microneedling may be one of the quickest and easiest ways to get more youthful looking skin. 

Not only does it make your skin look rejuvinated but it can also treat acne, help reduce scarring and even reduce oil production and black heads!

If you get microneedling done there are some things you need to know before the procedure because they can seriously impact your results. 

Learn more in this guide: 

microneedling benefits guide<img class=”tve_image” alt=”microneedling benefits guide” style=”width: 389px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/microneedling-benefits-guide.png” width=”389″ height=”778″ data-attachment-id=”1485″>

What is Microneedling?

​Microneedling is a procedure designed specifically to invoke the healing response in your skin by causing microtrauma in a targeted way. 

Using a pen with a small head that contains 10+ needles, it vibrates at high power, and at a certain depth, to pierce the superficial layer of your skin thousands of times over a few seconds.

(This video shows the vibrating pen in action, note that while it does sting it doesn’t cause intense pain and this is me getting it done WITHOUT numbing cream.)

These small and controlled piercings go into your epidermis and even the upper layers of the dermis to stimulate the healing response in your skin which results in increased collagen formation and elastin formation.

But what does that mean for you?

It means your skin becomes more plump, more textured and smoother in the process.

But beyond these basic benefits, microneedling also offers several other VERY beneficial side effects that you can take advantage of.

These range from healing acne, reducing scar formation and even helping you look 5+ years younger!​

We will talk more about before and after pictures below, but first let’s talk about the other potential benefits of microneedling: ​

#1. Improves the quality and texture of your skin (immediately) 

​The microneedling procedure takes about 1 hour long and in order to get the best results should leave the skin with some pin point bleeding (yes some blood is a GOOD thing). 

Even with the pinpoint bleeding and the slight redness that occurs for up to about 1-1.5 days afterwards, you will notice an IMMEDIATE improvement in the texture and quality of your skin.

How does this happen?

The pinprick needles actually stimulate remodeling of existing collagen and promote formation of new collagen and revascularization (blood vessels) in the skin.

Vitamin c increases collagen in the dermis<img class=”tve_image” alt=”Vitamin c increases collagen in the dermis” style=”width: 600px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Vitamin-c-increases-collagen-in-the-dermis-e1492279515913.png” width=”600″ height=”452″ data-attachment-id=”1116″>

Collagen and elastin are the two components of your skin that give your skin the normal “plump” look every woman wants.

And starting at around age 30 this collagen starts to degrade naturally (other things can even make the degradation happen more quickly as well), which is when women start to notice slight changes and sagging in their skin.

The good news is that this healing process starts almost IMMEDIATELY after the procedure.

Which is why you notice a soft texture to your skin immediately afterwards.

Even the day after the procedure it just looks like you have a light sunburn from the redness, but you can definitely go to work or out on a date the following day if necessary. ​

#2. Reduces pock marks and scarring

Another huge benefit is that skin needling (or microneedling, they are both words for the same procedure) helps reduce acne scars which are notoriously difficult to treat​. 

So how does microneedling help with scarring?

When you have any sort of scarring on your face (or anywhere on your body) your body naturally undergoes a process known as fibrosis. 

This is good when healing, because it makes everything stick together, but beneath the skin the glue is so strong that it can literally pull the skin down and create pock marks or scarring on the surface of the skin.

using microneedling for acne pock marks<img class=”tve_image” alt=”using microneedling for acne pock marks” style=”width: 547px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/using-microneedling-for-acne-pock-marks.png” width=”547″ height=”332″ data-attachment-id=”1506″>

(You can see an example of the pock mark scarring I am talking about and see the before and after pictures throughout 5 visits over 5 months – it works well with heavy scarring and light scarring)

The microneedling procedure helps to “break up” all of the glue and fibrosis underneath the skin which allows the skin to “let go” of the tenting and release the surface of the skin.

Naturally this results in a more smooth surface to your skin.

The best part?

Studies have shown that you can see results almost IMMEDIATELY after doing microneedling and in as little as two procedures.

Microneedling tends to work best on scars that are small, result in tenting of the skin or pocking of the skin. 

It doesn’t work as well for large lacerations (like the kind of scars that require stitches). ​

This procedure is also great if you have a slightly uneven texture from years of acne, but not overt scarring (like the pock marks mentioned above). ​

dermaroller plus vitamin C for acne scarring<img class=”tve_image” alt=”dermaroller plus vitamin C for acne scarring” style=”width: 525px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/dermaroller-plus-vitamin-C-for-acne-scarring.png” width=”525″ height=”607″ data-attachment-id=”1507″>

(This is an image of the “rough” surface of the skin that can occur with mild but persistent acne over time. The skin just looks rough and not as refined as it once did, but over the course of 5 treatments you can clearly see that the skin starts to look young, smooth and refreshed again.)

#3. Reduces black heads

This is another pretty cool side effect of microneedling and is especially helpful for women who suffer from LOTS of black heads (especially those who have PCOS, or hormonal acne). 

 The controlled trauma and thousands of needle pokes actually liberate and knock out black heads during the entire procedure. 

Immediately after you will notice a reduction in the total volume of black heads on your face (especially in your nose, but be careful because the nose is sensitive!).

You will also notice that your pores are smaller in size for about 3-4 weeks after the procedure due to the healing effects and revascularization that occurs.

​The reduction in black heads doesn’t last forever though! It usually only lasts around 3-4 weeks which is right in time for when you would need to do the procedure again. 

You can further reduce black head and pore size by using the right kind of aftercare and Vitamin C serum. ​

#4. Treats acne and cystic acne

Not only does microneedling ​help treat acne scars, but it can also help treat and stop acne. 

How exactly it helps acne is not well understood but it seems to be due to the fact that microneedling results in a reduction in sebum production and makes the skin less oily.

Reducing oil production on the skin and reducing black heads likely plays a role as well…​

Either way, studies have shown that microneedling does indeed help treat acne. 

This is mostly helpful because it means you can still get the treatment done if you are having active breakouts.

This is important because some procedures (like dermaplaning) shouldn’t be done if you have active pimples. ​

In my experience microneedling shouldn’t be the ONLY treatment you use for acne but it’s something you should definitely explore because not only will it help stop acne but it will also treat any texture changes or small scars in your skin. 

#5. Exfoliates the skin 

​Pretty much any treatment that mechanically disrupts the epidermis will result in some exofliatiation. 

Exfoliation refers to removing the upper surface of the epidermis, usually the stratum corneum (which is the upper most skin layer).

This is important because your dead skin cells live on this layer and removing this layer of the epidermis makes your skin look fresh and smooth almost instantly.

This procedure isn’t as good as dermaplaning for exfoliation, but it still works!​

#6. Makes you look younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles

This might be the single best and more important benefit of microneedling…

That it can actually help you LOOK younger and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

​How does microneedling make you look younger?

It has been shown that the small pin holes created by the thousands of needles​ break into the upper levels of the dermis and cause the release of growth factors to “repair” and “heal” from the microdamage that has been caused. 

Basically your body is overreacting to the small trauma thinking that there is a BIGGER trauma and this healing process results in the release of growth factors that increase collagen and elastin levels.

​In addition to the stimulation of collagen the microtrauma also results in the formulation of tons of little blood vessels which supply blood, oxygen and nutrients straight into the dermis. 

The combination of these changes results in a reduction in wrinkles, healing of photodamage and tightening of existing skin – all of which makes you LOOK younger.

vitamin c serum and aging process<img class=”tve_image” alt=”vitamin c serum and aging process” style=”width: 648px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/vitamin-c-serum-and-aging-process.png” width=”648″ height=”407″ data-attachment-id=”816″>

If you remember from my Vitamin C serum guide you will know that ​90% of the reason we look older is because of sun damage (AKA photodamage) which is actually reversible with the right treatments. 

#7. Reduces hyperpigmentation and evens skin the skin tone​

Finally, microneedling also helps with your skin tone and can reduce hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation refers to the slight changes in your skin that can occur from inflammation, pimples, black heads, white heads, etc.

Basically any sort of skin problem results in changes in color to the underlying skin which doesn’t match the surrounding skin.

This leaves the skin looking blotchy and uneven.

So how does microneedling help?​

It is speculated that the microneedling increases expression of matrix mealloproteinases which reduces hyperpigmentation.

It’s also felt that the microneedling procedure reduces the growth of keratinocytes, but scientists don’t know for sure! ​

In addition microneedling can (and should) be combined with Vitamin C serum to help the healing process and Vitamin C serum has been shown to balance melanin levels as well.

So really the combination of microneedling and Vitamin C serum is what you should be aiming for.

It’s also worth mentioning that microneedling is actually preferred over laser treatments of hyperpimentation in women with darker colored skin (Fitzpatrick IV and V skin types).

The reason is because some women react with WORSENING pigmentation if using lasers and microneedling doesn’t have that problem. ​

Microneedling Before and After

I’ve included a picture of my before and after picture after just 1 round of microneedling. 

You can see from the picture that I was struggling with some pregnancy acne (hormones imbalances!).

The picture immediately after shows the pinpoint bleeding and this is a good thing and what it is supposed to look like.

You want to make sure you are getting some pinpoint bleeding, but the blood shouldn’t be dripping off of your face. ​

Side view microneedling before and after<img class=”tve_image” alt=”Microneedling before and after mesa arizona” style=”width: 500px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Microneedling-before-and-after-mesa-arizona-e1492467413176.jpg” width=”500″ height=”311″ data-attachment-id=”1275″>

Finally, the last pictures shows the results 48 hours after. 

You can see that some of the acne has cleared up, my pores are much smaller, my blackheads are reduced by about 50% (especially on my nose) and my skin looks softer and more smooth.

I plan to get more treatments (at least 1 per month) and I will continue to update this with my pictures as we go. ​

Numbing cream vs no numbing cream

Remember if you decide to get microneedling done that the procedure can be painful…

Afterall you are getting about a thousand tiny little poke holes into your epidermis.

Because of this it’s generally recommended that you use some sort of topical numbing cream.

I use BLT (benzocaine, lidocaine and tetracaine) combination.

If you let topical numbing cream sit on the face for about 20 minutes before the procedure then the pain is VERY minimal.

You will still likely feel some of it ​but it should be around a 2-3 out of 10 on a pain scale. 

If you are pregnant you can’t use the BLT numbing cream but you can still have the procedure done (as long as you can tolerate the pain!). ​

Boost your Microneedling Results with These Tips

If you want to get results you need to make sure that you are following a couple of rules.

FIRST you want to make sure that your practitioner is going deep enough.

Some of the cheaper dermapens only go to about 0.25 to 0.5mm.

In most cases this is not enough to stimulate the collagen production we want or result in pin point bleeding.

In most cases you will need at least a depth of 1.0mm and even up to 2.0 or 2.5 in some areas.

A good gauge to make sure you are going deep enough is if you have pinpoint bleeding after the procedure.

If you are bleeding slightly then you are on the right track.

In addition to the depth you can also boost your results by using Vitamin C serum and considering tretinoin PRIOR to your procedure: 

#1. Make sure to use a Vitamin C serum AFTER your procedure

Vitamin C serum is another big deal when it comes to microneedling. 

Most of the studies listed above used a combination of 20% vitamin C serum (in the L-ascorbic acid form) along with microneedling.

Adding Vitamin C serum to microneedling results in even more collagen formation, even better skin tones and a reduction in your healing time.

I use and recommend this product to all of the people who get microneedling done (and it’s the same one that I use). ​

iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum

Overall rating

Overall Quality

VERY high quality with a pure form of Vitamin C combined with antioxidants


Price is high, but well worth it

Personal Rating

Can be “layered” with other products for more benefit (I use this product daily)

Who should use it: 
  • People with photo damaged skin or with sun spots
  • People with aging skin (pretty much anyone over age 30)
  • People with very sensitive skin
  • People who are layering multiple products
  • L-Ascorbic Acid
  • Retinol
  • Bioflavinoids
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Tocopherol 
How to use it: 
Why it works
  • Apply 2-4 drops directly to your face after cleansing
  • Spread evening throughout your face and to your neck line
  • Avoid placing product in the eyes or in any orifice
  • Use in the morning if using active serum in the evening
  • Contains anti oxidants like Vitamin C, olive leaf extract and bioflavinoids
  • Contains vitamin A which has been proven to reduce fine lines and aging
  • Contains vitamin E which prevents photo damage
Recommended product: 

is clinical pro heal after dermaplaning<img class=”tve_image” alt=”is clinical vitamin c serum pro heal” style=”width: 294px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/is-clinical-vitamin-c-serum-pro-heal.png” width=”294″ height=”305″ data-attachment-id=”1494″>See more reviews here

#2. Consider using Tretinoin BEFORE your procedure (or other retinol containing products)

Another consideration, although this is more advanced, is to use tretinoin or retinol products prior to your procedure.

Tretinoin helps to reduce the epidermal layer by increasing the turnover time of your skin.

This effectively makes your skin more thin, which means that pretty much any therapy you do (microneedling included) will have a boosted effect.

using microneedling for acne pock marks<img class=”tve_image” alt=”tretinoin to use before microneedling” style=”width: 731px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/tretinoin-to-use-before-microneedling.png” width=”731″ height=”251″ data-attachment-id=”1500″>

If I know someone has heavy scarring (like from acne) I will often recommend that they use tretinoin for 3-4 weeks BEFORE their microneedling procedure to get more benefit.

Be careful though:

If you use tretinoin then you need to let your artist know because your skin will be thinner and he/she may need to adjust the depth of the microneedle pen. ​

Wrapping it up

Bottom line?

Microneedling is probably one of my favorite procedures because it’s quick and provides serious and long lasting results. 

It’s no go-to therapy for women who want to look younger, for younger women with acne, or with women who have hormonal problems (like hypothyroidism and PCOS). 

Just remember to use Vitamin C serum with your aftercare for even better results!

Now it’s your turn:

Have you had microneedling done?

Did it work for you?

Why or why not?

Leave your comments below!

Everything You Need to Know About Dermaplaning & If you Should Do it

Dermaplaning can help tighten loose skin, reduce hyperpigmentation and ultimately help your face look younger. 

All of these benefits come from a quick and easy procedure which includes a scalpel (but it doesn’t go into your skin!) which is grazed over your skin at an angle. 

Learn more about the benefits of dermaplaning, who should and shouldn’t get dermaplaning done and how to boost your results after the procedure: 

Complete dermaplaning guide<img class=”tve_image” alt=”Complete dermaplaning guide” style=”width: 287px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Complete-dermaplaning-guide.png” width=”287″ height=”575″ data-attachment-id=”1044″>


What is Dermaplaning & How Does it Work?

​Dermaplaning is a quick and painless procedure that involves using a surgical scalpel (yes just like a surgeon!) to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells right off of your face. 

The scalpel is NOT used to enter into the skin, instead it is placed at a 45 degree angle to the skin and is brushed back and forth over the skin on the face.

The entire procedure usually lasts 20-30 minutes, doesn’t require any anesthetic and provides immediate results.

So how does Dermaplaning work?

​Dermaplaning works by mechanically exfoliating your skin. 

​What that means is your artist will remove excess skin cells and any skin cell debris from your epidermis. 

vellus hair and dermaplaning<img class=”tve_image” alt=”vellus hair and dermaplaning” style=”width: 271px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/vellus-hair-and-dermaplaning.png” width=”271″ height=”466″ data-attachment-id=”690″>

This process will also remove vellus hairs from your face (the white peach fuzz).

​The process of removing dead skin cells and scraping off the top portion of the epidermis is stimulating to the deeper layers of your skin (the dermis). 

The process results in a stimulating effect which causes your skin to produce more collagen which increases skin tightness and skin texture.

The result?

Making your skin look younger, tighter and more beautiful. ​

Dermaplaning can be done as frequently as once per month.

Another huge benefit to doing dermplaning is that you can also add growth serums and other therapies to help boost your results and improve your skin even further.

Dermplaning is often accompanied with a facial and special growth serums including vitamin A and C can be added after your procedure to help maintain your results (more on those below). ​

Why should you consider using dermaplaning or other therapies that help exfoliate?

Well one of the big problems with aging is that your body ​exfoliates less and less. 

This process results in a build up of dead skin cells requiring that you either remove those skin cells yourself or use a mechanical device to help remove the dead cells for you.

The process of removing this excess skin stimulates new epidermal growth (the top layer of your skin) and creates more growth factors and collagen that all boost the appearance of your skin. 

The stimulation allows promotes an even distribution of melanin (which provides pigment to your skin), this is how dermaplaning can alter pigmentation – especially if used in conjunction with chemical peels. ​

This process generally takes 3-5 days to produce the maximum benefit, but dermaplaning does provide you with an immediate change to skin texture as well.

Remember that it takes around ​40-50 days for your epidermis to “turn over” so you don’t want to get this procedure done more often than once a month or so. 

​Benefits of Dermaplaning

  • Quick and immediate results  – your skin will look soft, fresh and clean immediately after the procedure
  • No downtime after the procedure, you will be able to walk out of the office and head straight to work
  • Helps to mechanically exfoliate the upper epidermis of your skin and remove both white vellus (peach fuzz) from your face and any dead skin cells
  • Provides immediate skin tightening and collagen production
  • Helps skin look younger and fresh
  • Does not cause hair to grow back darker or thicker
  • Can be combined with other procedures like facials, and growth serums for better results
  • More aggressive therapy than microdermabrasion, so results will be slightly quicker than using this exofliative method

Now that you know WHY it helps, let’s talk about what conditions it can be used for… 

​What conditions does it help?

Probably the single most common reason for getting dermaplaning done is for the anti-aging effects. 

Anti-aging is NOT the process of reversing the damage that is already present in your skin, instead it is more about preventing further damage from occurring.

Many people don’t realize that with some very basic therapies like facials, dermaplaning and growth serums that they can almost halt the aging process in its tracks.

​Have you ever seen a woman in her 50’s who looks like she’s in her 40’s? 

THIS is what anti-aging is about. ​

But beyond the fact that dermplaning makes your skin look young and fresh, it can also be used for other purposes and conditions: ​

Despite these benefits there are some people who shouldn’t get dermaplaning done: 

People with very fair or light skin or people who are VERY sensitive should think twice before getting this procedure.

That usually means people on in the Fitzpatrick type 1-2 range: ​

fitzpatrick scale for dermaplaning<img class=”tve_image” alt=”fitzpatrick scale for dermaplaning” style=”width: 731px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/fitzpatrick-scale-for-dermaplaning.png” width=”731″ height=”156″ data-attachment-id=”696″>

​Most people who have sensitive are aware of it and know that they react to certain creams, lotions and procedures. 

Because dermplaning is more exfoliative than microdermabrasion, the process may leave some people with sensitive skin with “razor burn” on their face.

Some sensitive patients may also get slightly swollen or “puffy” after the procedure.

​Boost your results with growth serums and Vitamin A + C: 

When it comes to your skin, and to get the best results, you really want to use a technique known as “layering”.

This idea involves the use of multiple therapies, that each work in tandem with one another, to achieve the best results.

When this is done correctly the outcome becomes multiplicative!

For instance:

Dermplaning on its own will provide some noticeable benefit to your face.

The combination of dermplaning plus chemical peels will provide even more (quicker and more lasting results).

The combination of Dermplaning plus chemical peels plus topical agents takes it to the next level.

For this reason I have included my personal favorite (the one I use) healing serum to help increase your results: ​

How to Use iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum After Dermaplaning

Overall rating

Overall Quality

VERY high quality with a pure form of Vitamin C


Price is high, but well worth it

Personal Rating

Can be “layered” with other products for more benefit (I use this product daily)

Who should use it: 
  • People with photo damaged skin or with sun spots
  • People with aging skin (pretty much anyone over age 30)
  • People with very sensitive skin
  • People who are layering multiple products
  • L-Ascorbic Acid
  • Retinol
  • Bioflavinoids
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Tocopherol 
How to use it: 
Why it works
  • Apply 2-4 drops directly to your face after cleansing
  • Spread evening throughout your face and to your neck line
  • Avoid placing product in the eyes or in any orifice
  • Use in the morning if using active serum in the evening
  • Contains anti oxidants like Vitamin C, olive leaf extract and bioflavinoids
  • Contains vitamin A which has been proven to reduce fine lines and aging
  • Contains vitamin E which prevents photo damage
Recommended product: 

is clinical vitamin c serum pro heal<img class=”tve_image” alt=”is clinical vitamin c serum pro heal” style=”width: 294px” src=”//browsandbody.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/is-clinical-vitamin-c-serum-pro-heal.png” width=”294″ height=”305″ data-attachment-id=”1494″>See more reviews here

​Dermaplaning and Acne

A quick note: ​

Dermaplaning should not be done if you are having active break outs or cystic acne. 

If you fall into this category then a better option for exfoliation would be a more gentle mechanical exfoliative like what can be achieved with the clarisonic, or with chemical peels and/or facials. 

While dermplaning can help PREVENT future breakouts, it’s not necessarily ideal for someone with acne currently. 

Once you get your acne under control you can come back to dermaplaning to help promote collagen control and use it in conjunction with chemical peels to reduce scarring from acne. ​

Dermaplaning Before and After

This is an example of me getting dermaplaned:

I’ve also included a shortened video of the entire procedure: ​

I never talk about a procedure until I’ve had it done to myself, like the results I got and understand the research behind it. 

Obviously there will be differences in terms of what beneficial effects you may see in your body, but I find that my skin is so much softer afterwards.

I also found that it help with my acne (especially due to hormones).

But as always, your mileage may vary. ​

How much does it cost? 

Dermaplaning​ will run you around $ 100-200 per visit. 

The average price at high end salons is around the $175 mark, but you can certainly get great results without going to a high end salon.

As long as you undergo the proper aftercare with healing serums it would be better to find a cheaper place to cover that cost.

The combination of dermaplaning plus growth serum will do more for you than just one by itself.

​From a technical standpoint dermaplaning is relatively easy to pick up and there isn’t a high degree of variance between artists (compared to something like botox or dermal fillers). 

Does it hurt?

Dermaplaning should cause only MILD discomfort at the most. 

The majority of patients have no issues in terms of pain after the procedure, however some may have slight “puffiness” or slight “redness” – these clients usually have more tender and sensitive skin. 

You do NOT need topical anesthetic prior to this procedure. 

Back to you

Dermaplaning is a therapy which can help promote collagen production and epidermal growth factors which may directly result in an improvement in skin tone and pigmentation. 

This procedure is primarily for people interested in anti-aging but it has more benefits beyond this!

Make sure to “layer” your dermaplaning with other therapies for maximum benefit and get some kind of Vitamin a + vitamin C based serum after your procedure (this will maximize your benefits). 

And finally – make sure you find an artist that you trust and has your best interests at heart! ​

Now it’s your turn: ​

Have you had dermaplaning done?

​Did it work for you? 

Why or why not?

Leave your comment below! ​