Tag Archives: epidermis

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.  








Skin 101 – How the Body’s Largest Organ Works


Before we can talk about skincare and how to choose the best skincare for you, a basic understanding of what makes up skin and how it functions is necessary.   Can’t fix a broken car unless you know what the main parts are and how they function, and the same applies to your skin.  This will be a very short explanation because you could easily find more detailed information by doing an Internet search.   

As the title says, the skin is the biggest organ in your body.  As an organ, it serves to perform certain tasks in order to keep you alive and functioning.  The main task of the skin is to protect you from the environment.  Yep, it’s not there to look pretty or glowy, though we all wish that was the case.  Its main job is to protect you from the hazards of toxins, infections, bacteria, temperature extremes, and environmental exposure from the sun’s UV rays.  If you had no skin or very compromised skin, you would either be dead or get sick from infections, dehydration, hypothermia, etc.  So, we need to remember that the skin reacts biologically to preserve the skin’s integrity.  When it senses it’s been comprised, it springs into action to repair it.    

The 3 Layers of the Skin

Most of you probably know the 3 layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layers.   But you probably don’t understand what each does.   This section will delve a little into this and, by knowing how each layer works, you will know how to better target treatments for specific skin issues.  Specific skin problems have origins in a specific layer of the skin, as you will see in this section.  


The top layer of your skin is the epidermis.  This layer is your foremost protection against the elements and environment, so it’s vitally important this layer is kept intact and functioning optimally.  It is normally around 0.5 to 1 mm in depth and does not thin as you age.  It protects you from infection, UV damage, toxins from entering the body and affecting the internal organs.  It prevents your body from getting too dehydrated by not allowing moisture to escape.  The three main types of cells in the epidermis are the keratinocytes, melanocytes, and Langerhans cells.  Keratinocytes originate at the lower portion of the epidermis and are the predominant type of cells found in the epidermis.  At the bottom of epidermis, they appear as rapidly dividing cells and more oval shaped.  As the keratinocytes mature and move upward to the surface of the skin, they lose water, flatten out and eventually die as they reach the surface of your skin.  This is what is visible to the outside world, dead keratinocytes which make up the stratum corneum.  These dead skin cells naturally slough off every 3 to 6 weeks.  The older you are, the longer it takes for dead cells to slough off because your skin’s metabolism markedly slows after the age of 30.  Because skin cell turnover slows with age, dull skin is one of the signs of aging.  The melanocytes in the epidermis are the pigment cells which produce melanin and determine your skin color.  The darker your skin, the more melanin you are producing.  Melanin is produced to protect the body from UV damage from the sun.  This explains why darker skin types are predominantly found in countries with extremely sunny environments, south of the Equator especially.  The Langerhans cells function as immune system cells, fighting off infections and preventing foreign substances from penetrating the skin.  

A fundamental biological fact is the epidermis is the first responder as far as protecting your internal organs from the elements.  As such, the body will repair it at the first sign of damage, sacrificing nutrients from other parts of the skin in order to do this repair.  This may not seem important at first, but once you understand how this affects the dermis and that the epidermis acts as a shield from UV and environmental damage, it becomes clear that you need to keep your epidermis as intact and healthy as possible to prevent premature aging.    


The dermis is the layer directly below the epidermis.  Though most people believe the epidermis is responsible for wrinkles and pigment spots, it’s really the dermis which is responsible for those 2 evils of aging.  Remember that the epidermis is the layer of the skin which is the first line of defense against disease and injury.  Knowing this, Mother Nature has ensured that the epidermis never thins as you age.   But since your metabolism naturally slows as you age, something’s gotta give, so the dermis takes the hit.  It’s the dermis which thins, starting around 30, about 1% a year.  The main cells in the dermis are fibroblasts which produce collagen and elastin proteins.  These two cell types provide the structure and elastic quality in skin.  As you age, less collagen and elastin is produced, which presents itself as wrinkles and slackened skin.  In addition to fibroblasts there are capillaries (blood vessels) which provide oxygen and nutrients to the skin, lymph nodes which drain toxins out of the body, sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin, sweat glands to control temperature, and hair follicles.  Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which lubricates and waterproofs the skin, preventing moisture from escaping.  When too little sebum is produced, you have dry skin.  With too much sebum, oily and acneic skin results.  When the skin is healthy and functioning optimally, it should be balanced, neither too dry nor too oily.  

Subcutaneous Layer

This is the lowest layer of the skin, directly above the musculature.  The subcutaneous layer is composed of mainly fat cells, the beginnings of the hair follicles and sweat glands also reside in this layer.  The main purpose of this layer is for shock absorption from external forces and as insulation against the cold.  As you age, this fat layer also gets thinner, which presents as a gaunt appearance on the face.  Muscle sagging becomes more pronounced because the layer of subcutaneous fat covering the muscles is thinner.  

The Skin Cell – the Building Blocks of Skin

Every organ in your body is composed of cells; specific types of cells that help the organ do its job.  Your heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, each have a specific type of cell.  So it goes with the skin.  The skin cell has unique little parts to it, and the little parts play a big role in how the skin functions or doesn’t function.  This is the kind of stuff that biochemists love to play around with and it is mind-boggling for a layperson to understand.   So this is a really simple kindergarten version of how a skin cell works, since I’m not a biochemist.   You can think of any cell as a tiny globular object containing these main parts:

Cell plasma membrane:  The covering surrounding the cell which protects it from the outside.   The membrane regulates the intake of nutrients, water, and disposal of waste or toxins.  

Nucleus:  This is the center of the cell and contains the cell DNA which tells it what to do and when to do it.   It also contains the genetic code which determines how the cells behave as you age.    

Organelles:  In addition to the nucleus, other little structures called organelles within the cell help perform daily functions such as ribosomes for protein synthesis (important in elastin and collagen production), mitochondria for producing energy.  Lysosomes are organelles which produce enzymes that digest nutrient molecules and other materials.   The organelles are essential for maintaining your skin’s metabolic and waste functions in proper working order.    

So, Okay, How Does Knowing This Stuff help Me?  

Okay, you now know what the skin is and how it basically works.   How does this relate to skincare?  Well, as I said in the preface, you have to understand how something works before you can fix it.  If you have problems with your skin, you have to know where it’s coming from and why.  In addition to problems, aging is a normal biological process where the skin is not performing as well as when it was younger.  Though aging is not a problem or disease per se, most of us would do anything to slow the aging process down.

The mechanics of why we age and what causes aging is a very interesting and complex subject, and will be the next topic of discussion in this blog.   For now, just keep in mind that you can control the progression of aging by several means.  Scientific findings in the field of nutrition, physiology, and aging mechanisms have identified promising potential “fountain of youth” interventions.  

The skin ages more rapidly starting around 30.   Your metabolic rate just starts declining because of an inherent biological clock set in our DNA.  This means the cells are not functioning optimally, which in turns affects the skin’s ability to perform optimally which, in turn, reflects as aging on your face.  The first place you need to start when addressing aging problems is the skin cell’s health because that is the foundation of everything else.  Without healthy skin cells, you cannot have healthy skin.   Unfortunately, we are taught by media, marketing, doctors, and skincare companies that simply applying their topicals will fix your problems.  But unless the topicals can reach the place where the skin problem is occurring, not much will happen except maybe irritation on the skin surface.  That may result in microinflammation which makes it look like your problem is fixed.  In reality, the problem is still there.  

Here is a sure-fire test to see how healthy your skin is. . .   Stop your skincare for 2 or 3 weeks.  Use nothing on your skin except water to cleanse with.  If it immediately looks worse upon stopping your skincare, your skin is not healthy. It has become dependent (addicted) to your skincare.  Healthy skin doesn’t require much to look good.  Just look at any young child’s skin.  They obviously don’t use skincare; it’s just that they still have healthy skin which performs optimally.  This is where we want to be too.  We want our skin to perform like it did when it was 30, not dependent on any topical to look its best on a day-to-day basis. 

So, the goal, if you want to maintain a beautiful skin, is to promote a healthy skin.   Find solutions that address the source and not just the surface problems.  Fix the root cause by finding a long-term solution which is sustainable and compatible with the skin’s natural biological processes.  Most skincare today does not address the root cause, but temporarily masks the “symptoms” of a problem with irritating ingredients.  Here’s an analogy:  Say you have a leak on your roof which causes water to seep and mold grows inside your house.  You could simply paint over the mold and make it look good temporarily.  However, unless you keep painting, the mold will eventually come back.  The paint is a temporary “cosmetic” fix.  If you really want to fix the problem for good, you need to patch the roof, right?  That is the root cause of your mold.  Find the root cause and fix it for a long-term, sustainable solution which will save you time and money.  That’s what we need to strive for when looking at skin issues and skin solutions.  Future blog articles will tell you how to do this in a holistic manner that will also benefit your general health too.

So keep tuned!