Sagging Skin from Weight Loss: What works and what is just hype?

Airdate: 3/20/12

You're shedding extra pounds, but what about the sagging skin that comes with extreme weight loss? Paula and her team reveal which solutions really work and which treatments are merely scams.

Paula Begoun: Hello! I'm Paula Begoun. I'm the Cosmetics Cop. And I am here with my Paula's Choice Research Team, keeping you beautifully informed. And, actually, they keep you beautifully informed all of the time on our BlogTalkRadio show because I have taken a big backseat, not referring to my backend, my rear end rather, just where I travel and what I have been doing lately.
00:00:30 And I'm actually being a guest on my own - on their show tonight. I'm introducing myself. Let me introduce them, because they do all the work. Daynah, how are you doing?
Daynah Burnett: Very, very well. And , you know, we may keep them beautifully informed, but you keep us beautiful, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you are so wonderful. I love you, too. And Bryan, hi Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Good evening. Nice to have you back on, Paula. Nice to see you; you have been out of town for quite awhile.
Paula Begoun: I have been traveling.
00:01:00 You know, I am really blessed in life, the places I get to go. I have been, geez, how many times to China, and Korea, and Taiwan, and recently to Bali. I hadn't been there before. India, I just came back from India; I have been there a few times. And, yes, Mexico. I've just been very lucky. I get to travel to wonderful places, some of it for Paula's Choice and our products and the work we do, and some of it is just because I have been working a lot less in life and taking more time off.
00:01:41 But this topic, and we talked about when I was going to be a guest on our show, "Be Beautifully Informed with the Paula's Choice Research Team," when I was going to come back on. And this show in particular, because I think, Daynah - wasn't the show your idea, "Sagging skin from weight loss: What works & what doesn't?"
Daynah Burnett: It was. It was born of a conversation you and I were having about weight loss, and what you can do to really keep your
Paula Begoun: Keeping it in as opposed to hanging out. Right.
Daynah Burnett: Exactly.
00:02:18 And it just seemed like a topic that we really needed to touch on at some point.
Paula Begoun: So it is kind of interesting. So Daynah, actually not kind of interesting - it is actually miraculous - because as somebody who has....personally I have been heavy on and off all my life, mostly on rather than off, and have done some crazy types of weight loss, you know, bordering on bulimic when I was younger. Never anorexic because I ate too much. But definitely I think that if had the word bulimic been around back then, I would have probably been identified as being a binge eater.
00:03:01 It was just terrible. But having gained and lost a lot of weight, and also having done - I have had a tummy tuck operation. And I have had a breast reduction. So, I mean, definitely I have been struggling with sagging skin from weight loss a good deal of my life. But Daynah - Daynah, how old are you? Do you mind me asking you?
Daynah Burnett: I don't mind. I'm 35.
Paula Begoun: So Daynah is 35. How much total weight have you taken off in the past year?
Daynah Burnett: I started on May 1, and I have lost almost 90lbs.
Paula Begoun: Son of a...god, you know, it is...and let me just say to everybody - first of all, people say this all the time, "Oh you are so beautiful but you are heavy."
00:03:52 Some people are beautiful and they are heavy, but some people are not so beautiful and they are fat, but people would always say to me, "Oh, you are so pretty, but you are heavy." And I'm thinking, give me a break. You know? I'm an okay looking woman. But definitely being heavy didn't make things better, but Daynah is actually a stunning woman...
Daynah Burnett: Oh stop.
Paula Begoun: With just crystalline and beautiful smooth skin, although I do credit myself and Paula's Choice for that. And she has just a beautiful flare.
00:04:27 Actually Daynah is blonde and dies her hair dark, which I am just giving away all of your secrets. So, when Daynah started losing her weight, I was actually losing weight - we were kind of losing weight at the same time, it is just that you have really outpaced me.
Daynah Burnett: Well, I had a lot more to lose.
Paula Begoun: Nah. That was cute, but no, that's not true. I think I might carry my weight a little better than you, but your legs are thin. Did you know your legs were this thin?
Daynah Burnett: I didn't know what was happening underneath all of this. But I am liking what is happening. It is nice. Yes.
Paula Begoun: So it is kind of discovering yourself.
Daynah Burnett: It is.
Paula Begoun: How old were you when you started getting heavy?
Daynah Burnett: I was 25.
00:05:08 It really started happening after I had my daughter. I mean, you know, pregnancy just changes everything. And it also, you really stop thinking about yourself. And so you let...some of the things that you should do for yourself, you let that go because you are taking care of kids. And, that had to do with nutrition, and exercise, and you end up eating the kinds of snacks that your kids eat.
00:05:30 And all of a sudden you have gained 100lbs, and you don't know what happened. And that is pretty much the situation I was in.
Paula Begoun: Well for me, having never had kids, I actually - you know, it's funny about being heavy. There's different types of what they call onset of obesity. And actually being obese is a much narrower technical/medical definition. Women often think, oh, 100lbs overweight, that you get that ugly name "obese."
00:06:03 But the medical world actually has it at a much smaller number. So they call it the onset of obesity. And for me, it was when I was pubescent, which is actually harder to lose when you start being heavy young. That amount of constant building up of fat cells, and losing them, and building them up - because once you get a fat cell, it doesn't go away unless you cut it out or liposuction it out.
00:06:30 And so even though you have lost weight, that adipose tissue starts building and building, so the weight loss might make that fat cell thinner, but that fat cell doesn't go away. So your body keeps making fat cells as you gain weight. And then as you lose weight, they get flat, but you have more fat cells. So, no matter how much you try to lose - this is about Yoyo dieting, where you gain weight, you lose weight, you gain 50, you lose 25, you gain 75, you lose 60.
00:07:03 That yo-yo weight loss is just hell on the body. And the face, for that matter. Because, eventually what happens is the skin only has so much ability to snap back. The elastin, whether it is in the face, or the arms, you know, the helicopter arms, or the wing arms where your underarm is hanging down a few inches, and flapping in the wind - there is just so much elasticity in skin to snap back.
00:07:38 And the older you get, the less elasticity you have just because of age. Sun damage makes it worse. It is kind of interesting. Sagging skin wouldn't be so bad for much of the body if you were better about sun protection on different parts, and all parts of your body that see the sun. You know, your tummy generally speaking doesn't sag, I mean depending on how much weight loss.
00:08:04 It is easier - the upper abdomen is easier in terms of who it is going to look aging wise. But it would sag less if it was healthy, if you didn't destroy the elastin, obviously the weight gain and the weight loss destroys the elastin, but so does sun damage, and that is what is supporting the skin and keeping it snapping back. But, the story we were talking about earlier in terms of the body and weight loss...
00:08:34 On one of the Biggest Loser shows - what is that show called? The Biggest Loser, that's what it is called, right?
Bryan Barron: The reality show where heavyset - well, I guess heavyset is being nice. These people on the show are morbidly obese, often, and need to lose a lot of weight. And they opt to go about doing it boot camp style.
Paula Begoun: So, I knew one of the first years - I think this was the second or third year of the show, and one of the third runner ups happened to be my hairdresser, Susie.
00:09:08 And Susie is kind of interesting the way she was shaped is her face was a normal weight face, but every other part of her was incredibly overweight. And she lost a tremendous amount of weight in a very short period of time. And that is actually - it is actually an unattractive thing to do.
00:09:35 Well, one, the way they do really shouldn't lose weight that fast. It is hard on your muscles. It is hard on your skin. But, in particular, the skin has less time to snap back, and that rapid weight loss, and the skin is just hanging out, and more and more skin is less and less supported by the fat tissue - it doesn't have much time to snap back.
00:10:00 And when I saw her after...I think it was three months after she had been off the show. And so she had the summer where she still could lose weight, and then come back on to compete against the three finalists, she showed me the excess skin she had, because she was wearing a body suit, kind of a body Spanx thing, and it was...I was shocked at how much...
00:10:26 No I do believe she, and I don't think it is a secret, but I do believe she eventually did have surgery to cut off some of the excess skin, because I mean it was just...I never thought I would see anything like that except on myself, having lost weight and then had a tummy tuck. But many years of up and down weight loss and weight gain. So, that is a very long story to say that one of the best friends you are going to have for sagging skin on the body is going to be Spanx, other than surgery, or liposuction.
00:11:06 Let me be really cautious about telling people about liposuction. The positive thing about liposuction is obviously you are not cutting away skin. That also means you are left with skin, and sometimes it isn't even the fat tissue that is so much a problem from the neck down as it is - what really is the problem - is from the excess skin hanging, and not so much that there is any fat left.
00:11:33 Well, there is going to be fat left, but it will be collapsed fat, so it is a thinner layer. But what is great about liposuction is it sucks out those fat cells, they are gone. And they aren't going to plump back up so fast. So, if you have really good liposuction where the doctor really knows how they are getting out the fat, and they are getting out the fat, then that is great.
00:11:59 Then you actually don't have those fat cells anymore, but you still have skin. And a good doctor is going to tell you that when you take out those fat cells, you could get lax skin. You can have laxity, the skin waving in the wind. So, rapid weight loss is a problem. Liposuction is an option. The negative thing about liposuction is that you tend to gain weight, because it really only removes about - I think tops - 5lbs or 6lbs, depending on how much fat you have.
00:12:34 That's not that much, and you can gain it back. And because of how women gain weight, you tend to gain it back where they took it out. And it doesn't take much to gain, as all of us know over a Thanksgiving weekend, you can gain five pounds. And it isn't water weight. I love that. I grew up with, "Oh, it's water weight. It's bloating." You know, no it is not.
00:12:58 So, Spanx is your best friend. Please stop with the cellulite creams. You are wasting money. That isn't doing a thing. The way we - 85% of women have cellulite. That means it ain't just the chubby women. Thin women have cellulite. Yes, when you have more fat it shows up more, but it seems to have more to do with the way women have - because only 5% of men have cellulite, which I think is an incredibly unfair statistic.
00:13:32 But it seems to be about hormones. It seems to be about the way the skin, the connective fiber holding skin together, the way it is distributed on the thighs tends to let fat globalization, that tends to occur on women, on their thigh, plop through, show through the skin. So, all of those products claiming slimming, and all that other stuff, just don't do it. It's money down the drain.
00:14:05 And you can save money up for your real anything you want to do like lasers that can shrink skin, Ulthera in particular. That can have some incredible benefit. It is still rather pricey because it is a new laser, but lasers - these stronger lasers - can shrink skin. So, liposuction is an option. Some lasers are an option, and obviously a much more radical step is, indeed, a tummy tuck, a breast reduction, those kinds of things make a huge difference in the appearance of sagging skin.
00:14:42 By the way, let me mention - you know, one of the things after I lost all of that weight, before I had my breast reduction, I remember after my breast reduction, even though I had already lost a lot of weight, I remember everybody saying, "Oh, you look so much smaller." And I had already lost - I hadn't lost anymore weight, but the breast reduction, because I had so much breast tissue, it actually made me look smaller.
00:15:10 Because my breasts weren't hanging down around my belly button anymore, which was, and still is, rather nice. So, let's talk a little bit about the neck up. Did I cover - Daynah, was that everything we talked about?
Daynah Burnett: Oh yeah. And you know, you make a really good point about the breast reduction because you are able to show off your waist. Once things are up a little bit higher, then you can really see that tiny little waist.
Paula Begoun: It's so true.
00:15:37 You know, it's interesting what we spend money on and what we are afraid of when it comes to beauty. And I think that for women who tend to buy, and I'm guilty of this too; you know, I have like 50 pairs of shoes, and if I add up how much money I have spent on the same kind of black pair of shoes, or frivolous spending - I don't know if frivolous is the right word - but misguided.
00:16:06 They haven't checked out Beautypedia and "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," all of our work from the Paula's Choice Research Team, wasting money on skincare products, that there is a lot of stuff that we tend to be afraid of, hoping that cosmetics will do it. And while I am the first person to say that there are great things skincare and makeup can do for certain, to not recognize the limitations just means you are constantly throwing money at a problem where it simply can't fix it.
00:16:37 So, having said that, let's talk a little bit about the face up. And I know we have on this show talked about facial exercises, but it deserves one more time. I think facial exercises have...they had an infomercial about facial exercise - that stopped a long time ago, right? That just went out the door. Like people don't ask about facial exercise so much anymore, do they Bryan?
Bryan Barron: No.
00:17:01 You know, the latest questions we have been getting, and I haven't followed up to see if she is selling something, she probably is, but Suzanne Somers and her FaceMaster, which I'm assuming is some sort of contraption or device that you use that is like a face version of her popular ThighMaster. So, the last couple of months have been Suzanne Somers related. And they think that she looks amazing.
00:17:27 As an aside, I think that she looks terrible. I think that she looked overinflated and she has clearly had work done and...
Paula Begoun: OH MY GOD! People really do believe that these women who say they have done it through their machines or their skincare products, that that is really true. You know, oh, I'm not going to say names, because that is too catty, but do you remember Bryan when I met this woman who owns a skincare company, who claimed she didn't do anything.
Bryan Barron: Yep.
Paula Begoun: That it was all her products. And she was silicone - her breasts came in the room about a week before she did.
00:18:07 I mean, it was as... I mean, ballooned. Her lips were ballooned. Her cheeks were ballooned. I mean, the implants in that woman must have weighed a ton.
Bryan Barron: Oh, her cheeks looked like she was storing something for the winter.
Paula Begoun: Oh my gosh.
Bryan Barron: I could not believe it. It was actually shocking to me.
00:18:28 It actually kind of turned me off to the whole concept of dermal fillers and stuff, because I was like, "Okay?! Wow, didn't know when to say when!"
Paula Begoun: "Here doctor, this is what I don't want to look like."
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. There is no way that Suzanne Somers has achieved whatever she is at right now in life - all you have to do is look at what she used to look like. She doesn't know, it is Joan Rivers. She doesn't physically resemble in any way, shape, or form what she used to look like.
00:19:04 So we have got to stop believing the myths and the misleading information because it is just wasting our money. Facial exercises...oh, I'm sorry Bryan. What were you going to say?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, what she is selling now is called the FaceMaster Platinum. And it uses advanced wave technology - I'm reading the claims - to tone and tighten all 22 facial muscles. And we were just talking about this before the show. There isn't 22 muscles in the face. There are 60.
Paula Begoun: Yeah.
00:19:32 The face has a whole bunch of muscles. Yes. 60, 50, depending, yes, 52 to 60 muscles depending on genetic differences or ethnic differences. But, yes, we have a lot of muscles of the face. Where did they get 22 from? There's more than 22. But even so...
Bryan Barron: This is $230.
Paula Begoun: But even if you could somehow through her little machine exercise your muscles, that doesn't get you anything on the face.
00:20:05 Because if all your muscles got exercised and thicker, because that is what happens when you exercise a muscle, is it gets thicker. It doesn't shrink, it gets thicker. Right? Because when you exercise your bicep it is not like your arm shortens. It simply, if anything, the skin stretches to accommodate the bigger, thicker muscle.
00:20:30 When you exercise 22 muscles of your face, they are all going to get thick at the same time. So, that means - if anything - whatever wrinkle you have doesn't go away. It just gets tucked under thick - it just gets deeper in the middle of all this extra muscle, but of course that is not what happens. Nobody's face gets thicker, because just like a muscle, like if you are Arnold Schwarzenegger and you keep exercising your muscle, it gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger.
00:20:58 So your face would just get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. And that is not what happens, because the truth is that it is impossible to do weight bearing exercises on the face. The facial muscles of the face are already the most used muscles of the face. You can't use them anymore than you do. If anything, moving around muscles is a problem - well, actually she is claiming that you can stimulate a muscle and make it exercised and toned as opposed to facial exercises.
00:21:29 Facial exercise is a different animal where you move your face around which really stretches out the skin, and you can't isolate muscles that way of the face, because the muscles of the face are so tightly bound. What Suzanne Somers is saying is that if you electrically stimulate muscles you are not going to stretch the skin, you are just going to get more "toned" muscles. But that is not going to pick up sagging skin one iota, especially given that what happens to the muscle is the muscle actually becomes lax.
00:22:03 It stretches out like a rubber band. Think about a trough and a rubber band that has stretch out and is sagging down. When you exercise a muscle, it doesn't lift it back up. It just makes it thicker. That is what happens to muscles. It doesn't make sense. It just logically doesn't make sense. Not logically, physiologically doesn't make sense. So, don't waste money on that stuff. There is no research showing that...
00:22:27 I know they all say, "We have research. We have research." There is no independent research. They pay to have their tested products tested. Of course, you never see that there is ever a study that says it doesn't work miracles. Ugh. Okay, I'm ranting now. Oh, did I cover that? Was there something else I was supposed to say? I forget. Did I get to everything guys?
Daynah Burnett: Well, we have a few callers, so maybe we can get to anything that we missed...
Paula Begoun: So I should stop talking?
00:23:01 That's okay. I do carry on. Oh, let me just say one other thing. So let me just jump off of rapid weight loss, and by the way, Daynah, you do look gorgeous. Every time I come in I am just struck. You know, a healthy body. Being healthy. Being overweight isn't healthy. And when you are healthy you look better. And you do. You just look....yeah, stunning. So, but there was an article, just one other thing, because we love - well, we don't love, but we always enjoy busting when somebody in a fashion magazine or a woman's magazine gives bad information, which is actually so easy to do, because we find it all the time.
00:23:39 But Patricia Wexler who is a dermatologic surgery - cosmetic dermatologic surgery - is she a dermatologist who does cosmetic surgery, Bryan? Or is she a cosmetic surgeon?
Bryan Barron: I think that she is a cosmetic dermatologist. I don't know for sure if she actually does surgery, but I know that she does all manner of cosmetic corrective procedures. And by that I mean Botox, dermal fillers, light treatment.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so she is a dermatologist who might do surgery.
00:24:09 But I actually don't think she does surgery. I think they kind of quoted one of the things that happens when I often see people quoted in magazines, I always wonder if they got them wrong, and if the fact checker did, in fact, check right. So, whether or not Patricia Wexler really said this or not, I can't be 100% sure. It definitely has her name and picture on it.
00:24:30 And it is about blackheads. And the question is, "How do I get rid of blackheads?" like people haven't been asked that a million times. Her answer, which just is shocking to me is, "The dark color is the result of oxidation," that is true, "when air mixes with waxy oil inside pores it turns to black," that's true. And then she says, "Twice a week exfoliate with gentle micro beads or some type of aluminum oxide crystals," which is just another gritty kind of scrub ingredient, "and this helps remove the dark plugs and smoothes away dead skin cells that build up around the rims of pore making them look less obvious."
00:25:04 And then she says, if that wasn't bad enough, "If you have sensitive skin use a plain clay mask," as if anybody has gotten rid of a blackhead any time in their life from scrubbing their skin or from using a clay mask, like a clay mask can suck something out of your face. It is impossible. It does absorb oil if it doesn't contain irritants, and that can be helpful, but it doesn't get rid of a blackhead.
Bryan Barron: Right it has to be, like for our Skin Balancing Carbon Mask, Paula, we do mention that it helps to bring blackheads to the surface. It can help clear out that initial surface blockage, but you really need to be using it along with a BHA exfoliant to get inside that pore lining to complete the process.
00:25:52 So it is definitely a twofer.
Paula Begoun: Well and then the other thing is that what - have we launched our comedone extractor yet? Because you can get comedone extractors from other companies, too. Have we launched ours, or is that not out yet?
Bryan Barron: No. That doesn't launch until...when is it? It's not on our calendar. It is coming up soon, though.
Paula Begoun: It is coming up soon.
Bryan Barron: Oh wait...
Paula Begoun: What, do we know? So let me explain what a comedone extractor is while Bryan is looking up. So, one of the things about stubborn blackheads is you can't scrub them away. Yeah, you can get rid of some of the top layer and make them look less.
00:26:31 But if you over scrub you will scratch the skin. You will hurt healing. You will get redness. You will get more oil production. That is a bad thing. but what you can do, and sometimes absolutely have to do for stubborn blackheads is you have to get rid of them. You have to squeeze them, or you have got to - and squeezing actually generally damages skin. So, a comedone extractor - and we will on our website have a big explanation of how to use it, and when to use it, what products to use with it.
00:26:55 But a comedone extractor is a very inexpensive tool. You buy it once, it lasts forever because it is stainless steel. And if you keep it clean you can help remove that top layer in a deeper, more concentrated way to actually remove the depth of the blackhead, because the blackhead just isn't on the top of skin. It's down deep in the pore, constantly being pushed up. The second you remove the top it comes right back. It is a bigger problem. Okay, we will do blackheads another time.
00:27:23 Let's take callers. But Patricia, you missed the mark on that one. First caller, Daynah?
Daynah Burnett: We have Andrea from Oklahoma. Andrea, you're live on the air.
Andrea: Hi everybody.
Paula Begoun: Hi Andrea. How are you?
Andrea: I'm doing fabulous. How are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. What can I do for you?
Andrea: Well, I'm so glad you guys are covering this topic. I recently lost 55lbs, and I'm 33, but I really have some deep, deep wrinkles in my forehead. And I feel like maybe it is because my face was much larger then. And I have been using your Resist line for about a month now, and although my skin looks better, I'm wondering if this is going to get any better.
00:28:09 Or is Botox the thing that...
Paula Begoun: How fast did you lose the weight? Over what period of time, Andrea?
Andrea: About two years.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's great. So, do you have a narrow face? Is that some of what happened is after the fat went away your face was more narrow than you knew?
Andrea: Yes, definitely.
Paula Begoun: Yeah.
00:28:32 So here is the thing about the face that is kind of interesting is that the thinner your face, the less bone structure you have to hold up skin. Think of skin as a drape, and if you have a really good sturdy large rod to hold the drape up with, the drape stays up and is nice in place. But if you have a small - you have got a lot of skin or fat - and the rod becomes smaller, and you don't have as much support from the fat which built up and held the skin and stretched out the skin, when that goes away the muscle doesn't change.
00:29:15 And the fat is gone - the skeleton support stays the same, but the fat that was supporting and holding the skin and making it look full and plump went away. So, a narrower face just does tend to - especially if you haven't been good about sun protection - you have got to be good about sun protection. Genetically gets...just you lose that support, so there is no bone support behind it.
00:29:43 Once the fat tissue goes away, you tend to get skin that sags. Now, you are 33 and if you keep that weight off you really should get some amount of snap back, but after two years, you know, I think some of it is that there is nothing to do about it, without plugging my products too hard. I know you are using some of the best products out there. I don't care what any other company is going to tell you - it isn't going to tighten your skin back up any better than mine can in terms of what formulations are available to take care of your skin.
00:30:22 I can say that without hesitation. And it doesn't mean you have to stay using my products. You can try somebody else's as long as we gave them a big happy face on Beautypedia. But, I just know what the limitation of skincare ingredients are. So, I know...and you are using one of our exfoliants and everything? You are doing all of that?
Andrea: Yes. I am using the whole Resist line, even the hand cream.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you are so good. And that means I know you are using sunscreen. See, at the age of know, I didn't start using sunscreen until I was 32. I was still getting deep tans, although because I was heavy I actually wasn't going out that much, because I was kind of very, you know, about my weight like a lot of women are.
00:31:07 But I did still get tan. I didn't start using sunscreen religiously until I was 32. And I am telling you, Andrea, the biggest thing you are doing to take care of yourself. Even though I love my products, and I think I have done a brilliant job personally speaking, I know that the biggest friend you have is that we take care of your skin when it comes to sun protection.
00:31:30 All of our skincare routines demand sun protection. I can't believe how many cosmetic companies let women walk away from the counter without giving them a lecture on sun protection. We see it all the time. The research team can tell you how many times they are talking to sales people at counters, and nobody brings up sunscreen. They just want to tell you about their latest anti-wrinkle launch. It never fails to amaze me, and I was doing this a long...I love that I don't have to go to the cosmetics counters so much.
00:32:00 I'm off on a rant. Andrea, I think you are doing great. Stay thin. Don't gain wait to get your fad pads back up and to pick up skin. But I think you will get some amount of snap back. Be patient. It does take awhile for the skin to adjust to the weight loss. But sometimes you just have to say that there isn't much else to do except maybe at some point get a forehead lift, which actually is an option.
00:32:34 You know, I know people say I talk a lot about cosmetic corrective procedures and they just want to know about what skincare products to use. And even though I own a cosmetic company, and cosmetic company owners only are supposed to talk about their skincare products - that is the only thing that works, it is not the truth. For some problems it really is about the marriage of a really great cosmetics dermatologist, and you don't have to buy their products, or a plastic surgeon, and you don't have to buy their products either, because there is nothing special about them. And you save your money for procedures that really make a difference.
00:33:09 By the way, having gone off on a rant, because I am in a very talky mood tonight I am noticing, and I bet you Bryan and Daynah have fallen asleep now.
Daynah Burnett: I'm awake!
Bryan Barron: We are here.
Paula Begoun: So, Andrea, when you say you have forehead lines, are you talking about the crease lines or the frown lines? Or both?
Andrea: I have three long crease lines on my forehead. And then I have one that kind of goes down vertically between my eyes sort of.
Paula Begoun: So, let me just throw it out there, and I'm not encouraging anybody to do anything...have you ever considered Botox?
Andrea: I have. A friend of mine just had it done last week, and so that is why I was kind of wondering if that is my next step. But...
Paula Begoun: How does she look?
Andrea: I haven't seen her yet. She lives a ways from me.
Paula Begoun: Have her send a picture. This is the millennium. Have her take a picture up close and personal and email it to you, or text it to you.
00:34:15 I mean, some of it is that from what you are describing, I actually think that is less about your weight loss as it is to just some people get forehead lines faster and deeper than other people. And it starts in your 30s. Look, you know, I know we are used to seeing Hollywood, but they have all started being Botoxed in their late 20s. And so we think that everybody is supposed to have smooth forehead. And now, not everybody ages the same, but from what you are describing, I think if you are up for it, and you are willing to look at the research - there's pros and cons to it, mostly pros. There are very little cons documented in the literature.
00:34:59 I think that after you see your picture from your friend you might be jealous.
Andrea: Probably so.
Paula Begoun: But, you have to weigh it out. You really need a great dermatologist. You really need to weight out what you want to do, and what are the pros and cons. But for those kind of forehead lines that you are describing, Botox is like...for me, a good dermatologist will tell you that you won't necessarily see the effect of Botox for three or four days.
00:35:29 I saw the effect of Botox the next morning and was like, "Whoa." It was night and day. But stay healthy, Andrea. Congratulations on your weight loss.
Andrea: Thank you so much.
Daynah Burnett: Congratulations. That is huge. That is really great.
Andrea: Thank you. And you too.
Daynah Burnett: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: All right, Andrea. Take care.
Andrea: You too. Bye-bye.
Paula Begoun: Daynah, next call.
Daynah Burnett: Our next call is from Joan in California. Joan, you are live on the air.
Joan: Hi. Thank you. Happy first day of spring.
Daynah Burnett: Is it the first day of spring?
Bryan Barron: You would never know it from being here, Joan.
Paula Begoun: It is!
00:36:06 It's the first day of spring! Oh, happy spring. Sorry.
Joan: And I can't imagine a better person to talk to. And I wish I could...I love you so much and all of your products. And I especially love reading all of your funny commentaries. And I know I am limited to one question, so...
Paula Begoun: It's a special night! You are limited to more than one question. Go on.
Joan: Okay, well I was actually flipping through my email. I was supposed to be doing some work, but I got the email, and I saw what your topic was going to be, about the sagging skin from weight loss. And it intrigued me to call because of this reason - I am naturally a thin person. I have a big, healthy appetite, it is just my build.
00:36:54 And I'm 46 now. I baked in the sun. I am very lucky...I baked in the sun. I didn't even start wearing sun block until my late 30s, and my skin actually looks great. And I'm very toned; I'm in really good shape. But this is what I...and I don't think there is really much to do about it actually. And I love, by the way, Paula, your mix of whether it is product, or sometimes Botox, whatever the things are, I like your whole approach.
00:37:24 So at my knees and at my elbows there is a little bit of wrinkling, and it just drives me crazy. I know it is not that huge a thing, and obviously I am happy that I don't really have any skin damage, and I'm in great shape, blah, blah, blah, but is there anything to do about that, or isn't there really? And what I thought of was I know that muscle - for instance, I have kind of - I danced in the ballet when I was younger, and so I have strong leg muscles. And so I think that my skin is kind of smooth/taut over the muscle.
00:37:58 And someone suggested that, I don't know if this is a total fallacy, that if you could kind of work the same muscle around like your knees and elbows that it would kind of stretch the skin and be smoother. Is there anything to that? And do you have any other ideas on this whole thing?
Paula Begoun: You can't exercise the kneecap. If I understand where your wrinkles are, even the best athlete, even Arnold Schwarzenegger had bulky...I keep talking about Arnold. Poor little destroyed, messed up, trampy Arnold. His knee - I'm not sure where your sagging is talking, but over the patella, over the top of the knee...
Joan: Yeah. It feels really saggy. It's a little wrinkly, like when I straighten it out.
Paula Begoun: You can't build up muscle. There is no muscle tissue that you can exercise that is directly over the kneecap.
Joan: I see.
Paula Begoun: And there is no weight bearing that you could put on the...first of all, I actually am not 100% sure...don't think I am 100% correct that there is no muscle tissue over the knee, but I am almost certain that it is ligaments and other fascia that is over the top of the knee.
00:39:18 Because that never bulks up, even for a weightlifter. You can't bear weight on the knee in the way you would need to do it to build up muscle in that area, like you can a pec, or a hamstring. It is just limited as to what you can do around the knee. So you are not going to be able to pick up skin there. So, just out of curiosity, and I'm guessing here - I am really guessing here - I am going to send you my 2% beta hydroxy Weightless Body Treatment.
00:39:56 I'm curious that if you exfoliate the I have, when I pay attention...we have been working for some time on a 5% beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid body product. It has just been hell keeping it in stability. It has been one of my product development challenges. We get a product, we love it, I love it, I'm using it, and then it breaks down and we are not holding it stable. So we have been working on it for some time.
00:40:25 But it doesn't mean that not using...I mean, you could use a lower concentration, like a 2% concentration that we have for the face. And when I am good about using it on my elbows, I don't have the problem you are talking about with the knee, but when I am good about using it on my elbows, my elbows, that rough, wrinkly looking skin goes away.
Joan: Can I ask you something related to that?
Paula Begoun: Yeah, sure.
Joan: Since you mentioned that, that's funny, because I the way, this is a quick's not right actually on the elbow. It is actually even in the skin above it a little bit. And you know, my mom, who the way, we are really, really fair people. Like, really blue-eyed, really white skin.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so you are not talking about the rough skin on your elbow?
Joan: No. I'm talking about wrinkly skin above. And my mom has none of that. She is like in her 70s and she has none at all. Is it because she never went in the sun and I did?
Paula Begoun: Nah. I mean, it could be, but it is most likely just a genetic little cute thing that you have got going.
00:41:27 So, I want you to try my 2% Weightless Body Lotion anyway. I'm just curious to see if you see any tightening improvement at all. Because you can get some tightening from salicylic acid. I am also going to send you my 10% AHA Weekly Treatment for the face, except after you have tried the 2%, depending on the results you get, I want you to try the 10% on those areas, too. I'm just curious. You will have to email me back, because I am curious to see if you get any benefits.
00:41:57 The truth of it is you are adorable, and cut it out worrying about such a little thing, because I know everybody on the show right now is hating you. What were you going to say?
Joan: I know. I know what [unintelligible]. And I know I am very fortunate not to have, I know...
Paula Begoun: You can ask me anything. One more question, and then I have to let you go. What were you going to say?
Joan: Okay, since you mentioned, but no, this is not rough skin on the elbow. It is actually when I straighten out my arm, it is the wrinkling of skin above it. But I wanted to ask you since you mentioned the beta, you know, I use all of your products.
00:42:25 And I had tried the 2% beta hydroxy, because I have a little bit of redness on my nose and chin, and it was so dry, and burnt terribly. So, I was able to return it, and I got the lotion, and the lotion works great. But the gel is this a similar thing, because you said a beta, a BH...?
Paula Begoun: It is. It contains salicylic acid. It is relatively similar. It is a little less fancy in terms of antioxidants and stuff like that, but it is a beautiful formula, and this is about getting the salicylic acid and to see if you get some tightening from it.
Joan: Okay. There is nothing cosmetically that you know of?
Paula Begoun: Pretty much you are just going to be cute the way you are. And enjoy being a gorgeous 46 year old. And I am glad you love my products. Take care, Joan.
Daynah Burnett: All right. Next up we have got Priscilla from California. Priscilla, you are on the air.
Priscilla: Yes, hi. Good evening everybody.
Paula Begoun: Hi Priscilla.
00:43:28 God, I love the name Priscilla.
Priscilla: Oh, thank you.
Paula Begoun: What a great name. So, Priscilla, tell me what I can do for you.
Priscilla: Well, actually I have been listening to everything, and I think you kind of answered some things, but the question that I had was I lost over 125lbs, and everything is really not bad. I mean, there are some things that I wish I could improve on, I don't know what to do about. But, my question is, is there anything that you can do for the sagging arms and the legs?
00:44:02 Everything else is kind of really kind of going in at a nice pace, because it has taken over three years for the complete process. I don't have any problem with my face. I was having some problem - I thought I was going to have the turkey neck, but I started using a product under the chin on the neck and everything, and that has really tightened up.
00:44:27 I was just wondering is there anything I can do?
Paula Begoun: So, Priscilla, what product do you think tightened up your chin?
Priscilla: Actually it was the L'Oreal Youth Serum.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, so that didn't do it.
Priscilla: It did do it.
Paula Begoun: No, no, no, it didn't. It can't.
Priscilla: Oh no? Okay.
Paula Begoun: It's coincidental. Actually, I think we gave that one a bad rating. I can't remember. Bryan, did we give that a good rating, do you remember?
Bryan Barron: The Youth Code Serum?
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Do you remember?
Bryan Barron: No, I don't think we did because of its alcohol content.
00:45:05 But it is L'Oreal's version of Lancôme's Génifique serum.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: So it has the Bifida Ferment Lysate ingredient in there, that pro-biotic bacteria type ingredient that is supposed to do wonders for your skin. And it has a nice silky texture, but I don't see how it is physiologically possible for it to tighten around the chin. But Paula, that is what you were going to explain.
Priscilla: Okay.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:45:32 And I don't want to tell you to stop using it. I just like talking reality. And sometimes what happens for women is that they use a product, and something that would have happened anyways they attribute it to the product. And what I can tell you - and it is an inexpensive product. It is not going to hurt your neck or your...I don't think it is well-formulated. I don't like when women put lots of alcohol on their skin. But, what I know is an absolute physiological fact is you can't tighten skin with a skincare product like what you are describing, Turkey neck, stuff like that.
00:46:10 It doesn't mean it is bad, and I'm sure the moisture, some amount of moisture it might have been giving your skin is good, but most likely that retracting you are getting is... Priscilla, how old are you?
Priscilla: 58.
Paula Begoun: You got retraction at 58?
Priscilla: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Whoa, you are good.
Priscilla: I wish I was. If I was good, everything would be tightening.
Paula Begoun: No, you are my age, and whoa, I'm just jealous all over the place.
Daynah Burnett: Could that have to do with the fact that it went over the course of a few years instead of a dramatic, sudden rapid loss, she paced it out?
Paula Begoun: Well, and also, yes, definitely not having rapid weight loss is a huge issue.
00:47:00 But, are you, I don't know how else to say this, are you big boned, Priscilla? Do you have a nice, sturdy bone structure?
Priscilla: Oh yeah. I do. And also, too, I do facial exercises - well, actually it is just one, that I do, that I learned a long, long time ago. And I just have always done it. And for awhile there it just wasn't doing anything, so I thought it just stopped working.
00:47:32 But then I started using that, and I guess like you said, the coincidence...
Paula Begoun: It's a coincidence, dear.
Priscilla: It just started tightening up again. And it just is absolutely great. I mean, there is no more of it. I don't know if it is maybe because I lost some more weight? I don't know.
Paula Begoun: Just to be very clear, if a skincare product like the L'Oreal one could tighten up turkey necks, who the hell would have a turkey neck? I mean, I would be drinking the stuff for god's sake.
00:48:05 But nevertheless, so just to be clear, you did a lot of things right and genetically you have a lot of things in your favor. And, again, it is one of those things that when women lose weight, how much bone structure they have to hold up the skin, to allow it to - the elastin fibers to go back in. You didn't do a lot of sun damage, I suspect.
00:48:30 And that also helps that you have stronger skin because it hasn't been damaged. And the bone structure is a very big deal. Heavier women who lose weight, and they are really little people really underneath a lot of skin don't have as much bone structure to hold up the skin while it is trying to go back and retract and get the healthy elastin back. So you had a lot of things going for you, Priscilla. The flapping arms and the thighs, you know, just enjoy the fact that you are going to be a healthy woman living a longer life.
00:49:10 Because, you know, normal weight people who exercise live longer, healthier lives. And, obviously surgery - not for the thighs. Thigh lifts are dangerous and not many doctors even do them. Actually, I have thought of doing this, I'm not going to do it, but we were just talking about that. What is it called, Bryan? The arm tuck? What is that called?
00:49:37 Oh, an arm lift is called a brachioplasty.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: And so you actually can get the flab under your arms, you can get an arm lift as an option. And then there are lasers that they are doing now, like I mentioned, this Ulthera. But in terms of skincare products...
Priscilla: No firming cream?
Paula Begoun: Nah, doesn't work.
00:50:01 That is like toilet paper. You are just throwing it down the drain. It doesn't do anything. Actually, toilet paper is a better investment. I'm sorry, what were you going to say, Priscilla? Sorry.
Priscilla: Would it also make a difference if I was African American, because I have never had any trouble out in the sun or anything like that. And I just started using - I didn't even think I needed any type of SPF or anything like that.
00:50:33 And I just started reading articles and seeing things on the emails that you sent, so I just started using them a couple of years ago.
Paula Begoun: What it is for - so, having black skin, having darker skin, it is not that you don't get sun damage, because absolutely aging, and wrinkles, and sagging skin is about sun damage for all skin colors - all skin colors.
00:50:58 But, the darker skin you have, the more natural protection you have, so you don't get as hammered necessarily as somebody would who has whiter/lighter skin.
Priscilla: I have very few, I mean, gosh, I can't even say how many wrinkles...I just don't have wrinkles on my face.
Paula Begoun: Right. So some of what it is is that black women, darker skinned women don't tan as a general rule. You don't see them sitting out on beaches trying to get darker; it just doesn't happen in most cultures. So, given that you grew up probably not sitting out in the sun, yes, you have healthier skin. There's no question about it.
00:51:39 So you have larger bone structure, but it is naturally not from being African American but just being your own genetics. You have a stronger, larger bone structure - that gives you better support. You haven't been hammering away at the sun. And now you are being good about sunscreen, so your skin is just healthier. So it is able to retract better than it would for say a thinner boned woman and somebody who has been baking in the sun.
00:52:07 So you are doing good. Priscilla, you get my newsletter; you should be getting my products. So give me your skin type, dear? What skin type do you have?
Priscilla: Oily.
Paula Begoun: Oily. So I am going to send you some of my Skin Balancing products, is that okay?
Priscilla: Oh, great. Okay.
Paula Begoun: I'm so excited, Priscilla. It was wonderful talking to you. I am going to try to get one more call in. You take care, dear.
Priscilla: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: All right, Daynah?
Daynah Burnett: All right. We have got Susan in Nebraska.
00:52:31 Susan in Nebraska, you are live on air.
Paula Begoun: Hi Susan.
Susan: Hi. My question pretty much has to do with like the saddle bags. I have lost 40lbs over about the last 9 months, and I always exercised. I was a gymnast, so I have big legs. And I just - they look really good. The pants fit fine, but I see this little bag up at the top, at the top of my thigh, and I cannot do anything about it.
00:53:05 It just drives me crazy.
Paula Begoun: So you are not talking about, just so that I am clear what saddle bags are - you are not talking about, I think the term is muffin top when you have a roll of skin at the top of that the right term? Or you are talking about right at the hip, at the side of the hip?
Susan: Well, it is the side of the hip, like right underneath the buttocks. No, I am so small on top, but I have these big legs. [Unintelligible].
00:53:31 And so it sits right there...
Paula Begoun: At the back of the...all right, just so that I am clear, because I am wondering if liposuction is for what you are describing, a fairly easy - some types of liposuction are harder than others on the body. The thigh area is particularly uncomfortable and a long recovery. And the rear end and the very sides, the roll at the sides of the hips just kind of...
00:54:05 If you were to take the backside and move around towards the, what is that called? I just hope we are talking about the right thing. But just at the top of the thigh, on the sides of the body, not the backside, and not the front side, but the sides of the body - if that is what you are talking about as saddle bags and it is a relatively small area, that is a very easy, relatively inexpensive way where liposuction would work incredibly well, especially after losing that weight.
00:54:40 You want to make sure you have had the weight off for awhile because you want to give the body a chance to see if it can go back, but it is one of those situations where certain parts of the body build up fat and no matter how much weight you lose, and no matter how much you exercise, because of the built up layers of fat sometimes liposuction is absolutely the best way to go. But, again, without seeing you...
00:55:05 But it wouldn't hurt. You know, it's a consultation. You go in and you ask a cosmetic dermatologist or a plastic surgeon about liposuction in that area, and I think, especially if you know you are going to keep the weight off, and how old did you say - oh, you didn't say. Susan, how old are you?
Susan: I'm 50.
Paula Begoun: How old?
Susan: 50.
Paula Begoun: Fifty.
Bryan Barron: 5-0, Paula.
Paula Begoun: 5-0. 5-0. So, you know, are you going to keep the weight off? Are you going to be good and healthy and exercising for a long time now?
Susan: I sure plan on it. This was one of those, like you were talking at the beginning.
00:55:43 It was the stress when my father was dying, started eating, and then it just kind of was there, and you couldn't get rid of it. I'm back to the size I used to be.
Paula Begoun: So maybe the gift to yourself at the age of 50, because you are going to live a long gorgeous life, and you want those pants to just fall perfectly, and liposuction is a fairly non-invasive, easy to do procedure. Maybe that is your little gift to yourself.
00:56:12 So, think about it. I know what you are talking about. There are no skincare products. Let me just say this unequivocally - everybody if you are listening, and my archived listeners - please don't buy those cellulite slimming creams. Please do not believe that there are products that are going to retract those parts of your body - they don't work. Exercise is your best friend.
00:56:32 Staying healthy. Slow, easy weight loss. Rapid weight loss doesn't work. And, sometimes, you know liposuction is just a good friend for some parts of the body, particularly I think if we are talking about the same thing. I would go get a consultation, Susan, and see what a physician has to say about that. And, because you are 50, I take it you just turned 50, like you had a birthday just recently?
Susan: No, last July.
Paula Begoun: Oh, okay, that is soon enough for me. So, let me send you - give me your skin type Susan.
Susan: I use mostly the Skin Recovery. I have the, I guess I use the 2% BHA lotion and then pretty much everything else is Skin Recovery.
Paula Begoun: So you have more dry skin?
Susan: Yeah, dry skin.
Paula Begoun: And are you using the serums?
00:57:22 Have you tried my new retinol serum?
Susan: I use the Skin Recovery serum and I think I was having problems and I figured out it was the niacinamide, am I saying that right, from the Hydrating Treatment Cream.
Paula Begoun: Oh.
Sarah: So I have the Resist serum, but then I went back to the Skin Recovery because it is more emollient. And I'm not having problems with Rosacea.
Paula Begoun: You are doing everything right.
00:57:51 So what I am going to send you is my - god, I love when women are doing everything right. I'm so excited. You know, niacinamide is an incredible ingredient, but not everybody's like retinol. I can't use retinol, but I can use niacinamide. So that is one of the reasons I have so many different product formularies, so women can find the right products with great ingredients that work for their skin type.
00:58:14 We are two perfect reasons why I have different formulations. So, Susan, what I am going to send you for your dry skin is some of my body products for dry skin, particularly my Body Butter, the Weightless Body Treatment, and the Slip into Silk. And I've got to run, Susan. Thank you for calling. I'm so proud of everybody with their weight loss. Ladies, I am so proud. And unfortunately sometimes it does come with extra skin, but I think we have solved some of the problems.
00:58:42 So next week - you know, I don't have the list of what we are talking about next week. Who knows what we are talking about next week? Oh, eye lashes...can I be on the show next week? We are talking about eye lashes. Everything about eye lashes. Does Latisse work? What about the products that aren't Latisse and they say they grow lashes?
00:59:00 So everybody has got to listen next week, because the mascara ads - are they lying? Okay, let me just say it real quickly: they are lying!
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Okay, but you still have to listen, because we are going to tell you what doesn't lie, what really can make a difference. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with the most incredible team in the world that knows more about beauty, skincare, and makeup than anybody else in the world, I guarantee it. Bryan Barron. Daynah Burnett. And Desiree Stordahl, who is just listening today. I have the best group around me. They make me look smart.
00:59:32 Please stay tuned on our show, "Keeping you Beautifully Informed." We are Tuesdays, but you can archive listen to us. Please visit us at Have a beautiful rest of the week wherever you are in the world, and stay tuned for the next show coming up, live Tuesday, or archived whenever you choose to listen. Take care.
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