Tag Archives: acne scars

News Flash: 302 Avogen is Now a Supplement!!!

It’s been in the works for a long time, and I’ve been dying to tell you all about this latest development.  Finally I can spill the beans:

The molecule that is the star ingredient of the 302 Skincare line has been made into a nutraceutical supplement, to be used with or without 302 Skincare products.  Of course, if you approach the skin from the inside with the Avogen capsule and from the outside using 302 Skincare, your results will be accelerated.  The wonderful part of using the supplement is that it can be taken without supervision of a 302 professional.  You can’t overdose from it or cause undesired effects from misuse.  You take 1 capsule (for up to 250 lbs) a day, preferably at night.  Even though you could take more capsules, it won’t increase the benefits.  Unless you are allergic to avocados, there are no side effects.  Toxicology and safety studies have shown it to be totally safe, with no cancer promoting effects.  Even pregnant women can take it.  You gain all the skin and health benefits of eating an avocado, but without the calories or the mess!

So, What the Heck is So Special About Avogen?

I get this question occasionally. . .  isn’t Avogen just glorified avocado oil?   Absolutely NOT!   Avogen is a specific molecule found in avocado that is isolated and purified.  The molecular weight of Avogen is 302 daltons, which is very, very tiny, allowing it to pass easily through the epidermal layer into the dermis.  In the nutraceutical supplement, the Avogen molecule is added to avocado oil in a concentration that is equivalent to eating one avocado a day.  Avogen is not store-bought avocado oil!  It is a patented, proprietary lipid from a specific variety of avocado.  Avogen undergoes rigorous cGMP protocols and quality assurance testing as required by the FDA.  Avogen is not available in any other skincare or supplement line.  You can’t buy it for DIY potions either.  The properties of Avogen go way beyond what avocado oil can achieve.  It’s the essential nutrient found only in avocados and no other plant species.

If you Google about the avocado’s benefits, you will find tons of anecdotal information about its ability to improve skin, hair, and health.   For the last decade or so, the Avogen molecule has been studied extensively by scientists and doctors, working in conjunction with Richard Huber (founder of 302 Skincare).  As a result of these studies, the biological mechanism with which the avocado achieves all these benefits is now known….It all has to do with Avogen’s unique ability to normalize the extracellular matrix (ECM) in our body, including the ECM of skin, eyes, bone, muscles, joints, and internal organs (the liver, lungs, heart, brain, etc.).  The ECM is composed of proteins, collagen and elastin, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), proteoglycans, hyaluronic acid, among other components.  It comprises the various connective tissues in our body.  The health of the extracellular matrix normally declines with age, but also from external factors such as sun damage, toxins, stress, trauma, and inflammation.   Avogen, in preliminary studies, has been shown to reverse ECM damage from aging and external factors, restoring it to a healthier, more functional state.  Avogen is the first and only supplement available on the market that targets the health of the ECM.

Why a Healthy ECM Leads to a Healthy You

The ECM is the matrix which surrounds your cells, like cushioning jelly or scaffolding.  It gives tissues its structure and integrity.  It enables cell signaling and proper cell functioning.  When the ECM is healthy and functioning normally, cells can signal each other easily, and cell functions are optimized.   If the ECM is compromised, it turns into a clogged network or wad of gristle-like or crosslinked protein strands, which hinders or prevents cells from communicating with each other.  As a result, cellular activities such as replication, waste disposal, mitochondrial energy production, and wound repair become dysfunctional.  External scars (such as acne scars) result from dysfunctional ECM and excessive crosslinking which forms hard, inelastic tissue around wounds or traumas.  Though scarring is a protective mechanism intended to protect exposed tissues from infection, this excessive crosslinking also causes disfiguring depressions and pitting in the skin.

Excessive crosslinking results in both external scars and internal scars (adhesions).  Adhesions often result from surgery and abnormal tissue growth (such as in endometriosis), especially in and around the pelvic and abdominal areas.  Adhesions can cause internal organs to become misshapen and to stick to other organs, causing pain and/or organ dysfunction.  It’s believed that infertility often results from adhesions in the uterus (Asherman’s Syndrome) or in other reproductive organs.  Studies have also shown a possible connection between ECM dysfunction and cancer metastasis.

When used topically in skincare, Avogen softens and plumps the skin by renormalizing the skin’s ECM and stabilizing the tendency to excess crosslinking.  It’s the only topical I know of that can safely repair scars without using damaging acids or inflicting injury and inflammation on the skin.  As a result of using Avogen in 302 Skincare for 7 years now, my acne scars are 98% corrected; my skin is firm, supple, plump, and unwrinkled.

This is a un-retouched shot of me, 2 months shy of  57, bare skin, no foundation or concealer, just eye and lip color.  I’ve never had botox, fillers, or a facelift done.

Click to enlarge

I’m happy with my skin, even though it’s obviously not a 20-year-old’s skin, and I have some light freckling and one age spot.  Believe me, my skin was a lot worse before 302, and considering I don’t do much to my skin, I’m okay with the tiny flaws I have.  I’m sure I could do a more aggressive 302 regimen, but frankly I’m too lazy to bother.  I do shudder to think what my skin would look like today had I not stumbled across 302 Skincare and Richard Huber in 2005.  I am eternally grateful to all the help he gave me in those beginning years.  Yes, I have strayed…I used other natural skincare lines in the beginning.  It was the skincare junkie in me, but time and again, I ended up going right back to my beloved 302 products.  I just haven’t seen anything come close to the quality and effectiveness of 302 Skincare.  I’ve been strictly a 302 girl for the last 4 years and couldn’t be happier.

So Why is Avogen a Supplement and Not a Drug?

Since ECM is present in all skin, bone, muscle, and organs, ECM dysfunction could conceivably cause many different diseases or abnormalities in the body.  Avogen addresses and corrects ECM dysfunction throughout the body, not just the skin.  For a supplement to potentially address such a vast array of conditions with virtually no side effects is groundbreaking.  I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s coming from my personal experience.  You may wonder then, “Hmmm, if it’s so great why isn’t it a drug by now, like Retin-A?”  Well, mainly because getting a drug approved through the FDA requires money, lots of it, millions of it.  Small companies don’t have the hundreds of millions to do that.  Only Big Pharma does.  The FDA also requires a strict protocol of phased clinical trials which can take a decade or more to complete.  In the meantime, nobody outside the clinical trials can use the therapy.  Thirdly, drugs will cost you, the consumer, MUCH more than a supplement because of all the cost involved to get it approved.  What costs Big Pharma a few dollars to manufacture ends up costing you hundreds, or thousands, of dollars to buy.  Unless you have medical coverage or are really rich, you will have no access to these types of groundbreaking drugs.

So, what’s a small biotech company to do??….one option is to sell Avogen to the highest Big Pharma bidder for a ton of money and let them handle the long tortuous  FDA drug process….at the end of which they will make billions, once it’s approved (See links below).  Instead, the Avogen company decided the more equitable, economical, and expedient route  was to sell Avogen as a nutraceutical privately instead of going the drug route.  This way,  more people can buy it at a reasonable cost.  The Avogen company has done its own extensive clinical tests with human subjects using Avogen internally and externally.  They have almost a decade’s worth of Avogen use in 302 Skincare, showing its effectiveness on the skin.  They have toxicology studies done at Eli Lilly showing it’s safe.  So, there is no issue with efficacy or safety here.  Unfortunately, the company cannot post or advertise on their website anything related to Avogen’s therapeutic or medical benefits, other than skin benefits.  This is solely due to FDA labeling restrictions on nutraceuticals.  Nutraceuticals and supplements, by law, cannot make any claims that they can treat, cure, or address medical conditions.  It doesn’t mean they don’t provide such benefits, it’s just that the company cannot claim or talk about it.  Only drugs can make medical claims.  If a supplement company makes any hint of a medical claim, then they must declare it as a drug and go through the whole long, drawn out, expensive FDA drug approval process…or face being shut down by the FDA (See related link below).  This, in effect, prevents consumers from learning about promising new nutriceuticals in a timely manner.  You will always hear about the latest drugs coming out of Big Pharma through big press releases and ads, but will seldom hear about  new nutriceuticals, like Avogen, right from the start.

Also, you will not see the clinical studies on the website or anywhere on the Internet.  Be assured, they exist.  There are independent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on humans.  You can access them from the Avogen company if you are a researcher, doctor, or someone with a need to know, but first you have to sign a Confidentiality Agreement (for intellectual property purposes).  I wanted to explain this upfront to people who are skeptical because there are no published studies for Avogen available in the public domain.  The company may eventually decide to release some or all of their studies to the public, but I think it will depend on their future plans.  They are still researching Avogen’s properties and will be for many years to come.

For More Information and to Order the Avogen Supplement

There is more information, including links to scientific articles about ECM and lysyl oxidase (the specific protein that Avogen targets in the ECM) on the new Avogen website.  There is also some bio information on the team of dedicated scientists and medical experts who have been working on the Avogen project.  This is also where you can purchase the Avogen supplement:


All 302 Skincare professionals will also carry this supplement, so you can conveniently order it along with your 302 products.  Availability is scheduled for May 7, 2012.   In the meantime, read up on all the reference links on the Avogen website; it will become much clearer that ECM has a tremendous impact on your body’s health, not just skin health.  You can think of Avogen as the “Fountain of Youth” supplement because it addresses the whole body, not just what you see on the outside..

My Meeting with Richard Huber and A Little History about the Supplement

A year ago, back in March of 2011, is when I first found out an Avogen supplement was being developed.  I had a very interesting conversation with Richard Huber, the director of 302 Skincare and, now, the Avogen project.   He happened to be on business in my neck of the woods.  I was thrilled to have the chance to talk to him face-to-face.  I have been e-mailing/calling him about 302 skincare since the beginning of 2005, but never met him in person.  I was a little scared at first at the notion….me a little ol’ consumer, and him, a big nerdy scientist type….what would we talk about?  Well, my fears were unfounded.

We met on a beautiful spring day and spent 6 hours talking.  I was impressed by his humble, unassuming nature, his wealth of knowledge, his keen sense of humor, and the wild stories of his adventures in Guatemala.  Time flew as we were chatting about how he discovered Avogen, how it was produced, and future plans.  Really fascinating stuff, hopefully he will write a book someday about his 302 adventures.   He also told me that I could take Avogen internally; that it would further improve my skin and my overall health.   He had been taking Avogen internally himself for over a year and he was still alive and kicking.  So, at his suggestion, I started taking the stuff internally, about half a dropperful at night, under the tongue.   I used the 302 Drops RX as the supplement since there were no capsules at that time.   Since that particular product is only comprised of Avogen, jojoba oil and avocado oil, nothing in it is toxic; it was the closest thing to pure Avogen available at the time.   The new supplement contains only Avogen and organic avocado oil.

Almost 57 but feeling 37 (click to enlarge).

It’s been a year now, and I feel fantastic.  It seems like I’m getting younger instead of older in every sense…my skin, hair, nails, energy level.  I have no bone, joint, or muscle problems.  My breast cancer is still in remission.  I’m on no medications at all.  My physicals are excellent.  Of course, I also live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy foods, but I believe the internal use of Avogen has also helped, (along with my 302 Skincare regimen).  I use it like my other daily supplements.  I may skip a day or two during the week, but I’ve been using it pretty consistently.   I’ve never experienced any side effects whatsoever, not even on an empty stomach.

Now, luckily for you, you don’t have to bother with messy droppers or squirting Avogen in your mouth like I did.  You can simply pop 1 capsule at night.  They are also introducing a 1% Avogen mist to use with the capsules to specifically target skin problems.  The mist can be used with existing skincare products, but I recommend you stick with only 302 topicals and never use acid products for maximum results in the shortest amount of time, especially where scars are concerned.

Now for the Best Part. . I Have Free Products for Trial 

Since this is a brand new product launch, and I want more people to learn about it, I have a very special, limited-time offer for people interested in trying the Avogen supplement.  The Avogen company is graciously providing me with some full-sized products that I can give away for trials after the official launch on 5/7/12.  I will have 25 sets of the Duo-Pak which includes 1 bottle of Avogen (60 capsules) and 1 bottle of the Avogen Mist (2 oz).   I will ship this free of charge (except shipping fee) to the first 25 people who e-mail me at freeavogen@gmail.com.  Once I acknowledge your e-mail, I will ship products, first come, first served, as my time allows (I have a day job).  As I am paying out-of-pocket to ship this to you, please reimburse me for shipping with a $6 payment through Paypal to my e-mail address once you receive your products.  The other conditions are:

1.  One per household.

2. USA residents only.

3.  Use up the entire bottle of supplements.  Use the mist as you see fit.   If you use 302 skincare now, you may not need the mist.  The 302 serums/drops already have 3% Avogen in them.  You can give the mist to a friend.

4.  After 60 days, if you are happy with what you see and how you feel, tell your friends, family, acquaintances about Avogen and/or post about your experience with Avogen on your favorite forums or blogs.  Spread the love, in other words.

NOTE:    Depending on various factors such as your age, extent of scarring, current health and lifestyle, you may need more than 2 months’ supply of Avogen to get full scar repair.  Also, keep in mind that if you are on multiple medications that affect the skin, this may decrease Avogen’s effectiveness on the ECM.  As for anything, individual results will vary.

Final Words and a Request

If you have followed my posts on various skincare and acne forums and this blog for the last 7 years, you might think either 1) I work for 302 Skincare or 2) I’m an obsessed 302 cult member.  I may come across as overly enthusiastic at times (OK, all the time) when it comes to 302 Skincare and Avogen.  But the facts are that I’ve never worked for 302 Skincare or Richard Huber, been told what to say, or paid for any posts, and I really DO have a life outside of skincare.  I just have a passion (not obsession) for doing everything I can to stay young in mind and body, and want to share information with others who feel the same way.  So to that end, I invite everybody to send me any progress reports/testimonials/pictures, and I will post them here.  I want a true picture of results, so I will accept anything, positive or negative, as long as it’s written in a respectful and informative manner.  Please share your experiences with others who can benefit.  I look forward to hearing about your experiences with Avogen!









My Favorite Skincare Gadgets – #2: Microcurrent

My 2nd most favorite gadget to use in conjunction with my skincare is a microcurrent device.  Proper skincare will help maintain the structure and elasticity of the skin by rebuilding collagen and elastin.  Ultrasound devices can stimulate the pili muscles in the dermis to further tighten the skin.  But, another factor which contributes to an aged appearance is sagging of the facial muscles located under the skin’s subcutaneous layer.  This results in nasolabial fold lines, sagging jowls, and turkey gobble under the chin.  Skincare and ultrasound are not capable of correcting lax, sagging muscles, so it is an important consideration if you are trying to keep an overall youthful appearance.  Luckily, a microcurrent device can address the sagging muscles.  Professional microcurrent machines have been used in spas for at least 20 years.  Muscles on the face that are not worked on a regular basis eventually atrophy and sag with age, similar to muscles on the body. 

Microcurrent gadgets generate little electrical impulses which are passed through the facial muscles.  The electrical stimulation gives the facial muscles a mini workout by alternately tensing and relaxing them.  As a result, facial muscles are firmer and more lifted appearing.   Deep lines caused by constant squinting, frowning and  other expressions can be softened and relaxed with microcurrent.  The eye brows, cheeks, and jawline can be lifted with a microcurrent gadget.  As you lift the cheek muscles, nasolabial lines (marionette lines) diminish as well.  An immediate lifting effect can be seen right after a spa treatment and can last 7-10 days.   With regular treatments, the effect is cumulative and sustained.  You may have to go in once a week for a few weeks to obtain the desired results and then go on a maintenance schedule of once or twice a month to keep up the results.  The effect is temporary, however; so unless you can go in at least once every month, your sagging will eventually come back. 

The good news is that for a few hundred dollars, you can buy a home unit for interim or long-term use.  They may take longer than a spa treatment to obtain the same level of results, but the end result is the same as long as you do treatments on a regular basis.  Most of these are hand-held units and cost in the $300 to $500 range.  The benefits of microcurrent devices are that they are noninvasive, not painful, or harmful.  They are extremely easy to use.  You may feel a tingling and contractions, but it should never be painful or unbearable.  In addition to lifting the muscles, the electrical current also increases circulation and blood flow in the skin, providing more nutrients to the skin, improving its overall health, tone, and texture.  I find microcurrent helpful in reducing morning eye puffiness by moving out retained fluid under the eyes.  Like ultrasound, I find microcurrent is a must-have gadget because of its multiple benefits and lack of risk.

Over the last decade, I have tried several units.  I tried the Dermatone, Suzanne Somers Facemaster, and the Ezzi-lift.  By far, my favorite microcurrent device has been Tua Trend.  It is a handheld rechargeable unit.  I’ve been using it over a year now, and it’s very user-friendly, not painful, highly adjustable, AND only takes me 15 minutes 3x/wk for treatments.  Great for busy (or lazy) people who don’t want to spend hours every week doing treatments.  Here is a picture of my Tua Trend.  The sponges are different colors, but are the same otherwise:    

The beauty of this unit is that it has a timer on it, so you know exactly when to move the wand to the next section of the face.  There are specific settings for 5 zones of the face and neck (upper cheek, lower cheek, eyebrow and eye, jaw/neck, and under eye).  You can control the intensity or strength of contractions to each zone; this is displayed as a number on the screen.  The wands are detachable.  Two replaceable sponge contacts or heads are on each wand.  Only 1 wand comes with the unit.  However, you can buy an additional wand and plug in 2 wands (4 sponge contacts in total) in order to work both sides of your face simultaneously, cutting the treatment time from 30 to 15 minutes.  There is a DVD and a booklet with full instructions, but it is very easy to use after one read.

 I use the Tua Trend on clean dry skin.  The wands must be moistened with water or calming mist so that the current can conduct properly through the skin.  If not wet enough, you will not feel the tingle or contractions as well.  Correctly placed, you will see and feel the muscles contracting.  Depending on the level you set, it can be mild or very strong.  I suggest not setting the levels too high in the beginning.  You can overwork the muscles and cause more sag if you try to do too much, too soon, at a very high intensity.   Also, do it in the mirror the first few times to be sure you are contracting the right muscles.  Build up your intensity and give your face muscles down time to rest in between treatments.  I think 3x/wk is adequate.  If you have a big event or date, do it the morning of the event for a pick-me-up lift.  After the microcurrent treatment, I do my ultrasound massage.  It’s not necessary that the microcurrent and ultrasound treatments be done together, but I like to use my gadgets on the same 3 evenings (or mornings) and get it over with.  Together, both treatments should take about 40 minutes 3x/wk….That’s not too much time to invest in keeping your face as youthful as possible.   I think these gadgets are a better option to plastic surgery, as they are safer, cheaper, and there is no down-time.   Additionally, you can’t end up looking “overdone” or unnatural looking, as sometimes happens with plastic surgery.   Keep in mind, even good plastic surgery is only a temporary solution, because the skin and muscles will ultimately sag again after a few years.   Unfortunately, you can’t stop the aging process, you can only slow it down with proper skincare and regular use of skincare tools or gadgets.





A Safe and Sensible Approach to Correcting Acne Scars

Once your acne is under control and your skin is no longer inflamed, you can address the acne scars which remain.  The effectiveness of treatments tends to be better on people who are younger, healthier, and have fresh scars.   However, if you have decades old scarring, you can still diminish scarring.  My scars were 30 years old and I still got excellent results.  It will just take longer and require patience.   My suggestion is that you approach scar remodeling on a risk/benefit basis.  That is, try the least risky options first before embarking on more invasive and, potentially, damaging procedures.   Many people immediately go for the big guns, paying thousands of dollars on the latest laser treatments in hopes of instant scar repair.  “Instant” scar repair usually does not happen without some risk attached to it.  If there was a miracle treatment, we would have heard of it by now.  Though I have heard of some success stories with lasers, dermabrasion, and peels, I have also heard the flip side, of people who have become disfigured or damaged their skin permanently from botched laser procedures, dermabrasions, and deep chemical peels.  The damage may not show until months later, but it is devastating when it happens.  Remember, your results are totally dependent on the skill and knowledge of the doctor, nurse, or assistant doing the procedure.  If you sustain damage to the dermis or subcutaneous layer, you will have few options to repair it without risking further damage.   So, my recommendation is to eliminate or reduce the risk of damage by trying the less invasive treatments first, treatments which have little or no risk.     

Scar Remodeling – What I Found to Work  

I have been searching for acne repair solutions for the last 3 decades, so I’ve done many things and used many skincare lines.  Some have helped and some made things worse.  Most did nothing.  I believe I got some improvement from TCA peels in the doctor’s office, acids with Copper Peptides, and a line called Epicuren.  The problem was, with long-term use, they eventually led to my skin becoming sensitive, thinned, blotchy, and the results eventually stopped.   

Of the many treatments I have tried over the years, I find the following to be the most effective, safe, inexpensive, and without down-time.  Results are cumulative.  It can always get better, not worse.  Try these first before signing up for deep chemical peels, dermabrasion, or laser treatments:

1.   My Holy Grail of scar repair has to be this:   302 products with Avogen in conjunction with ultrasound and needling techniques.  The Avogen is a safe and effective ingredient that softens the skin and increases cell renewal.  I can honestly say that this has been the only thing which I could use long-term and see dramatically visible results.  I had 80% improvement in the first year, and now I would estimate it is 95% improvement after 5 years.  Avogen is very good at breaking up the gristly, cross-linked protein which presents as hardened scar tissue in the dermis.  It softens skin.   It also increases glucose utilization, which improves cell energy, and promotes the collagen and protein synthesis necessary to fill in the scar.  Ultrasound and needling are not required with Avogen, but I find it accelerates the process by breaking up the scar faster and pushing the Avogen deeper into the dermis.   The actual entire process is explained below in more detail. 

2.  Heating your skin to 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 seconds will denature the scar and help promote collagen formation.  You can use a number of gadgets to accomplish this.  In fact, that is how lasers seem to promote collagen, by the heat it generates, not the light.  See the study below.  You can safely use a 2 MHz ultrasound probe to generate the heat, a heating pad set on a low setting, or even hair dryer on low.  But the ultrasound probe is best because it will not dry out your skin or get too hot. 

3.  Take supplements which help break up scar tissue.  The two I use are serrapeptase and nattokinase.  These are fibrinolytic enzymes which dissolve excess fibrin which causes scar tissue, adhesions, and growths on organs, vessels, and arteries.  Once broken down by these enzymes, the cell debris is more capable of being excreted as waste.  These enzymes also have anti-inflammatory, immune system, and circulatory benefits.

4.  Even without 302 Avogen, you can try individual needling, dermarolling, or dermastamping.  This involves puncturing the skin with tiny holes, which can break up scar tissue and allow topicals to permeate the dermis better.  Vitamin A and C topicals are recommended prior, during, and after these treatments to promote collagen regeneration.  Just make sure not to apply Retin-A or L-ascorbic C forms, as these are highly irritating and will sting.  Instead, use lipid soluble vitamin A in the form of Retinyl Palmitate and vitamin C in the form of tetrahexydecyl-ascorbate (THDCA).  These forms are gentler, yet still provide the same benefits as Retin-A and L-ascorbic C.  These are the forms used in the 302 A Boost and Lightening Drops.  You can buy microneedling devices from the Internet or Ebay, but you have to be extremely careful.  There are many dangerous and shoddy devices out there.  I would never go any longer than 2.0 mm in length, because the possibility of going all the way to the subcutaneous fat layer is too risky.  You can permanently damage your fat cells by using extremely long needles and cause them to die or atrophy, leaving your face gaunt looking.  I buy my supplies from www.owndoc.com.  I find them honest and reasonable in cost.  You can also try finding a physician who does these procedures in an office setting under sterile conditions, which would be the safest option.             

My 302 Protocol for Scar Remodeling

First, a disclaimer.  This is my personal protocol.  The 302 company does not endorse self-needling, dermarolling, or dermastamping.  Obviously, there is a risk of infection if the tools are not sterile or you do not do it correctly.  Before embarking on this, read about dermarolling, needling, and stamping in the www.owndoc.com website.  There are several very informative articles in their forum. 

The one important prerequisite is that you have used the 302 skincare protocol suggested by your esthetician and have come to a point where your skin is calmed, healthy, and functioning well.  If you are not at this point, don’t attempt this yet.  You want your skin to be in optimal health before doing this.  Select your tools correctly.  If you have numerous scars on the face, you will want to use a 1.5 mm dermaroller.  If you only have a few isolated scars, a single needle (for ice picks) or a dermastamp (for small scars) is a better option.  You will need some anesthetic if using the roller, but is not necessary or desirable for the individual needles or dermastamps.  Anesthetic seems to exacerbate redness, and it takes longer to go away in my experience. 

So, in a nutshell this is what I did for my acne scars.  This should also work for chemical burns and other general scarring: 

1.   Take a 2- or 3-week holiday from Avogen-containing topicals, also A and C actives.  You may continue using all other 302 products as usual if you want.  The reason for the break is to reset your skin to baseline again.  Nothing bad will happen, and when you resume the actives, the improvements seem to jump to another level.

2.  At the end of the holiday, use the appropriate tool to roll, needle, or stamp your scars.  Below, from left to right, is a 2 mm single needle, 1.75 mm dermastamp, and 1.5 mm dermaroller.It’s very important to use sterile technique and instruments.  You don’t need to excessively roll, needle or stamp.  Four passes on the roller in 4 directions, 15 stamps or 15 needle punctures is all you want.  You want to see pinprick bleeding, this is an indication you are reaching the dermis, where the scar resides.  But don’t make your skin a bloody pulpy mess, or you will cause more scarring.  With proper technique, you should have some redness or red spots, but they will be totally gone in a matter of 5-7 days.  Use appropriate sunscreen or better yet, stay inside while you are in this stage of healing; otherwise, hyperpigmentation may result. 

3.  Immediately after the rolling, needling, stamping, apply equal parts of 302 Drops OR 302 Serum (or Hi Potency Drops or Hi Potency Serum if available) + A Boost + Lightening Drops.  This is the only time you should combine 302 actives.  This is what I call my 302 Triple Threat, and I only use this when needling.  Mist with water or Calming Mist afterwards to spread it out.

4.  Let your skin rest.  Don’t apply any more actives until your redness go away.   You can use the 302 cleansers, mists in the interim. 

5.  After your skin is back to normal, resume your 302 actives as usual. 

6.  In between treatments, use your 2 MHz ultrasound probe after applying your 302 Avogen topical at night to heat up the skin and push the Avogen even further. 

Do this 3x/week, 10 minutes for your face.   This is going to promote even more collagen regeneration and help tighten the skin.  Keep your skin slightly wet when using the probe, keep moving it in little circles, concentrating on scars.  I use the Calming mist, but misting water is okay too.  You should feel a little heat, but it should never be hot.   

7.  Do not roll, needle, or stamp again for at least another 4 weeks.  Six weeks, even better.  The skin is actively producing collagen during this period of time and you don’t want to disrupt the process.  Also, you don’t want chronic inflammation, so limit your treatments.

7.  Give yourself at least 6 months before assessing progress.  Scar remodeling is one of the longest processes you will encounter, especially the older you are.  Be patient.  Don’t expect overnight results.  Take before and after shots.  Your friends and spouse will probably notice before you do, which is exactly what happened to me. 

So, stop constantly monitoring your skin on a daily or hourly basis, and keep a positive attitude!  Scar repair can be done safely and cheaply if you educate yourself, use the right tools, and have patience.  








Evaluating Skincare – Seeing Through the Hype

Marketing Gimmicks to be Aware Of

Be a savvy consumer and be aware that skincare companies want to convince you to buy their products out of the thousands if not tens of thousands lines out there in the market.   Some tactics are deliberately used to draw people into a euphoria of hope, and entice impulse buying.   Don’t fall for marketing hype such as this:

1)  The TV infomercial with celebrity endorsements and auto-ship programs.    Just because a celebrity may have used a product, doesn’t guarantee you the same results.   This is true for anything in life because people are unique….your biological makeup, how healthy you are, what your habits are, what medications you are on, age, gender, environment, all affect your results.   No one product will work the same on everybody.  It’s just biologically impossible.  The auto-ship programs are especially deceitful because many people don’t realize they have committed to auto-ship from an introductory offer until it’s too late, and then it’s hard to stop.  

2)  The amazing “before and after” photos.   I would be cautious about believing what you see in photos.  Lighting and angles can make a tremendous difference on the appearance of lines and spots.   Look at the color of the hair, the background, the lighting levels, and the position of the facial features.  If they are exactly identical, then I would be more prone to believe any changes but even then, photo shopping an image is very easy to do.  You can wipe out wrinkles instantly. 

3)  The “instant’ anything, instant wrinkle removers, instant lightening creams.   The skin isn’t biologically able to instantly repair wrinkles or hyperpigmentation within a few minutes, hours, or even a couple weeks.  Collagen takes a minimum of 3 weeks to rebuild and the skin turnover is from 3 to 6 weeks, longer if you are older.   So anything that results from 2 or less weeks of use is unlikely to be real and permanent.  If you see a product claiming instantaneous or overnight results, you can almost guarantee it’s only temporary and may actually be harming your skin in the long run.   The diminished wrinkles can be the result of irritation, inflammation and swelling, which is also creating free radicals.  Once you stop the irritant, the wrinkles will come right back and maybe deeper.   Applying anything to the skin to the point of saturation, will temporarily plump it up and make it appear more resilient.  But again, when you stop using the products, all the temporary improvements will be gone as well.   Same thing with lightening products.  The immunosuppressants like hydroquinone will lighten your spots while you are using it, but when you stop, the spots come right back and perhaps darker.  While you are on hydroquinone, you are also irritating the skin, which again accelerates aging.  So you put yourself in an endless cycle and are forced to lifetime maintenance on these irritating substances to maintain your “results”.  Unfortunately, they’re not addressing the root cause of the problems and are only band-aids covering up the visible symptoms of the problems.   Also, these kinds of maintenance programs are not usually sustainable due to the sensitivity and irritation which results from long-term use of these products.  Eventually, you will find yourself unable to tolerate these and other substances and in a worse situation than when you started.  So, it’s best to never start using band-aid type skincare regimens.

Learn to Listen to Your Skin

If you find your skin continually dry, irritated, and inflamed after using your products, it’s a sign that your products are damaging the skin, specifically the skin cells are being bombarded with free radicals, the telomeres are shortening faster, and the cells’ energy reserves are being depleted.  If stressed long enough, eventually the skin forgets how to function normally and becomes a dysfunctional artifact.  In effect, the continual damage causes the skin to prematurely age or become senescent.  Senescent skin takes on the appearance of a much older person’s skin in their 80s or 90s, with a hardened, thinned,  inelastic, parchment-like texture, as illustrated by this 90-year-old woman’s face:

This type of skin eventually becomes unresponsive to any kind of skincare treatment.   It’s much harder to repair damage than to prevent the damage in the first place.  So listen to your skin and stop products that are irritating.   

Hallmarks of an Effective Skincare Product

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then you probably have a safe, effective product that is making your skin healthier for the long-run.

1.   Are all the ingredients readily listed and available for the consumer to read prior to buying?

2.  Is each ingredient safe, non-irritating, and have a proven safety record.

3.  Are the concentrations of actives high enough to actuate a change in the skin over time? 

4.  When you stop using the product, does the skin remain the same and does not immediately decline in appearance?   This is the #1 test of effectiveness for any skincare product.  If you stop a product for 2 or more weeks, and the skin remains the same, then it’s a sign the skin is functioning well on its own.   If you notice an instant decline with sagging, dryness, wrinkling, irritation, breakouts, then you know you have developed a dependence on the products….similar to a drug addiction.  Don’t believe the adage that you need products to keep the skin healthy looking on a daily basis.  That is a convenient myth propagated by skincare companies who want to keep you buying their products for as long as possible.  You want products which bring the skin’s own functions back to optimal levels, so it does not “require” any topical to look good.  If you find you need less of a product over time, that is the true sign of effective skincare.  Conversely, if you find yourself in a frantic if you miss a daily application of anything, you have become a prisoner of your skincare.  You want to free yourself from that dependency.  Also, many people who find themselves tied to a maintenance program using irritating and sensitizing agents develop an unnatural fear of being outside, fearing the sun, and enjoying the outdoors.  You need to get a healthy dose of sunshine, both to maintain your vitamin D level and to maintain mental wellness.  

5.  Is the price of the products reasonable for what the contents are?  Look at the ingredients.   Know what you are paying for.  Are you paying for fancy-sounding and exotic ingredients, the latest antioxidants?  Fancy bottle?  Advertising in high-end stores?  What are you paying for?   Just because all the greatest sounding actives and botanicals are in a product, doesn’t guarantee that it will produce results.  Especially if the concentrations are miniscule or the formulation is carelessly thrown together.  Compare other lines with similar ingredients.   It’s not unusual for markups of 100, 200, or 300% on skincare.    Look at the first 4 ingredients.   If you see water (aqua), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), aloe, mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), glycerin, alcohols, parabens,  or silicones listed, you are paying exorbitant prices for a product comprised of mostly cheap ingredients.

6.   Are there independent human, double-blind and placebo-based tests to support results?   Eliminate any studies performed by the company or people selling the products because often studies can be manipulated or performed in a way to make the results more impressive than they are.  Also remember many studies are too short and only reflect morphologic changes (surface changes).  You want long-term studies or feedback from independent reliable sources.  If a company claims its studies show results, they may be reflecting temporary results that diminish the “appearance” of wrinkles.   Doesn’t mean the actual skin structure has changed at all, it could merely be swelling.  In order to measure true change, cell health and functioning must be measured, but this is almost never done with skincare products.   So, for now, you will have look for independent testing and/or consumer reviews which support long-term results.  Also, keep in mind if the company studies use in vitro tests to claim results, that may not be a true reflection of what happens on a real person.   In vitro tests are lab tests done in a laboratory setting using Petri dishes within a very controlled environment.  It doesn’t factor in all the variables when applied on real people.   It may work well in the lab, but do nothing in a real-world setting.   You want to find long-term (over 6 months at least) studies using “in vivo” testing on real people, measured in a clinical setting.  

Measuring Results in a Logical Way

Assuming you have chosen a skincare line to test out, how do you measure its effectiveness?   Well, it’s best to start with a clean slate and trial each product one at a time, so you really see what is happening with each individual product.  If you use multiple new products at one time, you will have no idea what is working and what is not. 

So, to begin your trial, stop using all the current products you using on a daily basis for at least 2 weeks.   Find a very simple cleanser with no SLS or other irritants to wash with at night and try to use sunscreen only when you are in the sun for more than 15 minutes at a time.  You want to see what your skin really is like before starting; this is your baseline.     At the end of 2 weeks, take a “before” photo if possible.   This will give you some visual reminder of what you began with.  

Trial each product for at least a month and see what, if anything, happens.  Take another photo at 1 month.  If you are doing okay, you could add another product and then observe what happens after a month of that.   Make notes of when you started each product and what you observe.   Takes “after” photos at 1 month intervals.   

Finding a truly effective skincare line or product takes diligence and patience because real changes don’t happen overnight.   There are no “miracles” in skincare and anybody who claims to have found one doesn’t understand how the skin works.  You can’t solely rely on potions and lotions to reverse signs of aging.  You need to address your overall health too.  Just by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, your skin should visibly improve on its own.   Using skincare to boost your skin’s own natural functions and not artificially forcing it to look a certain way is the ideal long-term solution.

What is the Skincare Revolution?

Welcome To the Skincare Revolution! 

We are excited to kick off this blog today.  Never in a million years did we think we’d be blogging about skincare.  We are not formally trained estheticians or beauty consultants.  We are regular women, just like many of you out there, tired of spending money on useless skincare which promised eternal youth, but just ended up in the back of our medicine cabinets or trash bin.  Basing decisions on glitzy marketing and celebrity promises just wasn’t cutting it.  We ended up with worse skin over time, but we never understood why.  It was frustrating because we had no idea how some miracle cream worked, we just had to take the word of the manufacturer.  Many times, we bought things based on how expensive it was and if the packaging was pretty.   After awhile, we realized the premise that something expensive must work was utter nonsense.    

It was our chance discovery of a particular holistic skincare line which turned things around.  I discovered it in 2005 and my blog partner in 2008.  We both embarked on a new kind of skincare philosophy, one based on the biological mechanisms of the skin at the cellular level (not just surface appearance) and a holistic approach.  After all, your skin is an integral part of your body.  Your skin is a direct reflection of your general health.  If you take care of your body/mind and understand why skin reacts the way it does, you’ll be way ahead of the marketer’s game and will feel more comfortable about making skincare choices for YOUR skin.  You are unique, and you cannot expect your skin to react the same as another person’s skin.  There are too many variables, such as age, ethnicity, health, gender, etc.  You need to understand the variables and how to customize your skincare for those variables.

If all this sounds too complicated, it really isn’t.  In fact we both spend much less time and money on our skincare but have more youthful skin.  It’s healthier skin, not just “healthy-looking” skin.  It is effortless once you understand the philosophy.  Our beliefs run contradictory to many skincare practices commonly used today such as acids, invasive lasers, harsh exfoliative peels and treatments.  We believe these practices are damaging to the skin in the long-run when used continuously.  We base this conclusion on scientific findings and the observation of what’s happening to the skins of women who have engaged in these practices for a decade or more.  Dermatologists are seeing more and more sensitivity and hyperpigmentation issues plaguing women than ever before.  Skin cancers are on the rise.  We feel this epidemic of skin problems is directly related to the way skincare is being used, misused, and the harmful ingredients contained in them. 

Our mission here is to educate people about the potential dangers of certain skincare practices.  You don’t need take our word for it, but we hope you do your own research, just as we have.  We are lucky to have vast resources of information available to us via the Internet, so you should use it.  Then you will have the freedom to make informed decisions and not be at the mercy of a skincare company or wishful thinking.   

Our philosophy is made up of a few core beliefs:    

1.   Do no harm to your skin.   We believe we should work with the skin’s natural processes and not force it into submission through intentionally harsh and punishing treatments.  This approach may work for awhile, but the skin eventually suffers.

2.   Listen to your skin; it’s really smarter than you think.   When it looks bad – red, dry, peeling, broken out, or irritated, it’s telling you it’s not happy, and you need to stop torturing your skin.   The culprits are usually all the topicals, sunscreens, moisturizers, and makeup you are applying. 

3.   Less is best.   Just as children have beautiful skin with no effort, we want to get our skin back to a state where less is required to maintain it.  We don’t want to create a dependency on topicals.  We want the skin to do all the work, not your skincare.   

We will show you, through articles in this blog, how to apply this philosophy in your skincare as well as address other key areas such as nutrition, the mind-body connection, and healthy options for a holistic lifestyle.  All these impact your skin’s appearance.   

Living this philosophy has undeniably changed our lives for the better, and we hope it will change yours as well.   

The Skincare Revolution Team