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Looking to Up Your Skincare? Why You Should Consider Epionce

Looking to Up Your Skincare? Why You Should Consider Epionce

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCIf you read fashion magazines, watch daytime television, or look at fashion blogs online, then you probably get your fair dose of skin care ads. However, with so many options available, it can sometimes seem overwhelming to choose a skin care product line and regimen that’s suited to you, your age, and your skin type.

Here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we know just how important good skin care is which is why we offer a number of unique systems, one of which is Epionce.

What’s Epionce?

This four-phase basic skin care system is designed to cleanse, renew and fortify, protect and prevent sun damage, and strengthen the skin’s own mechanisms. Plus, because it’s made with botanical ingredients, you won’t have to worry about adding any harmful chemicals to your skin. The goal of Epionce is to strengthen your skin to improve function, restore the barrier, and reverse any destructive skin inflammation or issues.

As a skin care system that is sold exclusively to physicians and skin care professionals, you know that you will get comprehensive results from Epionce. Plus, as an evidence-based system, we have seen our patients get real results that are worth bragging about every time.

Who Is It For?

Epionce is a system that’s primarily beneficial for patients with minimal sun damage who are looking for basic skin care products. During your appointment with Dr. Buchanan or our aesthetician at the Center For Plastic Surgery, we will go over your skin’s current condition and the results you are hoping to see to help you decide if Epionce is right for you!

Healthy, clear, youthful skin starts with a good skincare routine. Our Epionce skin care system is great at hydrating, firming, and cleansing the skin and protecting it from any further sun damage.

Are you ready to learn more about Epionce and whether or not it’s right for you? Contact our Highlands office today and call: (828) 526-3783.

Going to be Outside a Lot? How to Keep Your Skin Protected

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCWith nicer weather, it is highly likely that we all will be out in the sun more. Though we need to protect ourselves and our families at all times since the UVA Aging Rays of the sun are present even in the shade and indoors, we need to be especially careful when we are directly in the sun.  Therefore, we thought we would create a list of best practices that will keep your skin protected. Let’s take a closer look.

Wear Sunscreen

The best — let’s repeat that again — the best thing you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen each and every day, rain or shine. Make sure you are applying sunscreen to every part of your body that is not thoroughly covered with sun protective clothing. Since there is a huge difference in sunscreens, make sure you are wearing the right one. There are 2 ways to get full effective coverage for both UVA and UVB. One is to use a combination of chemical sunscreens including avobenzine. The other is to use Zinc Oxide, a physical sunblock. The difference is that the chemical sunscreens are effective for only about an hour outside and perhaps 2 hours indoors. Zinc Oxide, which now goes on clear, however, is effective until you wash or rub it off. It, therefore, is practical and our recommendation. Using a sunblock with at least 8% Zinc Oxide gives you all the UVA and UVB (SPF) protection you need.

Try Self-Tanning Creams and Sprays

A lot of people think that because their skin is light and it hasn’t seen the sun in a few months, that they should get it ready and hit the tanning bed. However, tanning beds are basically a path toward skin cancer (Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists call them “skin cancer machines”). Skip the skin cancer and give your skin the extra glow by trying some sunless tanning cream or spray.

Cover Up

Another way to keep your skin shielded and protected? Cover it with a big hat and clothes. Hats are not perfect, but they do reduce some of the sun that gets to your face. Clothes are far from perfect either. Most only slow the UVA rays a little bit. There are, however, 2 things you can do to improve the effectiveness of clothing. One is to buy specific sun protective clothing. These are available at the Highland Hiker and other stores that sell sporting clothing. You can also wash the clothes you already own with Rit SunGuard, available at our office, on the net and some stores, once every 6 months.

Taking good care of your skin when out in the sun doesn’t have to be difficult. With these easy tips, you can, hopefully, keep your skin healthier and younger for longer. To learn more about skin care tips, schedule a consultation at our Highlands office today (828) 526-3783.

Is Good Skin Care Really Worth It?

Beautiful Skin Highlands, NCIt can seem like there is a marketing scheme for just about anything— especially skin care. Use this, and it will make you instantly younger. Put this on your skin, and your wrinkles will vanish. And, even though there are some skin care products out there that claim to do things that they will never do, here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we recommend skin care products that we can stand by.

But is skin care something that’s worth investing in or is your money better spent elsewhere? Let’s take a closer look.


Everyone, no matter your age or your skin’s condition, needs 3 basic things, an alpha or beta hydroxyl cleanser to remove the outer dry dead cell layer, a pH balancer to restore the skin’s normal function, and a UVA sunblock for protection. Although all are important, if there’s one thing you cannot be without, it is the proper sunscreen, your skin’s defense against skin aging and cancer development. The ideal sunscreen is zinc oxide, at least 8%, every day, rain or shine. It also has enough SPF to protect you from UVB and does not have to be reapplied every 1-2 hours like the other UVA blocks. Notice nothing was said about a moisturizer. That is because it is something that most people use but shouldn’t, as it actually dries the skin and weights it causing wrinkles. None of these are expensive but all significantly help maintain youthful skin.

Face Cream

Further skin care should address specific problems like spots, abnormal vasculature and/or wrinkles. It is within this arena that most skin care products make a claim of
efficacy. However, you must realize that the skin is exceptionally good at doing its job and keeping things out. For a product to work to restore problems, it must penetrate to the cellular level in order to correct spots, reduce wrinkles or improve the skin’s health in general. Most products simply sit on the top and disguise the problem, like collagen and hyaluronic acid that are the new ”magic ingredients” but whose molecules are so large they could NEVER penetrate to where they could work. There are, however, a number of products that can penetrate to the cellular level to change the injured skin cells and correct the problems. Additionally, some have been specifically formulated to penetrate to achieve your goals. We have specifically studied this problem and recommend only products that can get your skin to where you want it.

In addition to using the above, some problems or the desire for a “quick fix” require other modalities like microdermabrasion, fillers, Botox, chemical peels, laser and/or IPL, all of which can help you look younger in no time.

Ready to learn more about how you can take better care of your skin efficiently without wasted effort or money? Contact us in Highlands today at (877) 526-3784.

Restoring Moisture to Your Skin

restoring moisture to your skin

Now that the weather is cold and the air dry, your skin may be flaking and itching. Although the most common thing people do is lather on a moisturizer, this is really the worst thing you can do to your skin. First, it turns off the skin’s ability to moisturize itself. Additionally, it further adds weight to the skin that increases the development of fine lines and wrinkles. There are things you can do to help your skin moisturize itself and feel smoother. With the help of exfoliators, peels and good skin care, we at the Center for Plastic Surgery can help give your skin that extra boost it needs to feel smoother and more moist.


If you don’t already exfoliate your skin regularly, you need to start as it is the first step in good skin care and allowing your skin to feel moist. Exfoliating with a face scrub, preferably with a handheld device like Clarisonic is one of the best ways for you to get rid of dead, dry skin that accumulate over time from sun exposure and reveal smoother, healthier, more moist skin in the process.


Okay, we aren’t talking about the type of peeling out you did in your car in the parking lot when you were young, although that was a lot of fun. In fact, we are talking about micro-peels. Here at our Center For Plastic Surgery Office, we provide patients with a variety of different peels to help treat and target different skin concerns including dryness, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines, and more. Some are quite refreshing and have absolutely no down time. During your initial consultation with our staff, we will help determine which one of our peels, Radiance, Glycolic, Jessner or Blue (trichloroacetic acid) is the right option for you and your skin.

Improve Your Skincare

If your skin is unusually dry and sensitive to the touch, look at the skincare products you are using on your face. Most of the skin care sold does your skin no good and only attempts to disguise its problems. In fact, most are actually doing your skin harm and are responsible for what most of the symptoms you have, including sensitivity. Good basic skin care consists of an exfoliating (alpha or beta hydroxyl) cleanser, a pH balancer (like Vitamin-C Serum or acidic toner, etc.) and a Zinc Oxide (clear, long lasting, thus practical UVA blocking) sun block. Switching what you are doing to this can frequently make a tremendous difference in how your skin feels. For specific problems, there are also specific solutions that can correct those problems that have developed from doing the wrong thing.

Ready to learn more about how good skin care can markedly improve your skin? Schedule your consultation at our Highlands office today at 877-526-3784!

O is for Obagi: The Benefits of Obagi for Your Skin

Obagi Nu-Derm® Highlands, NCThere are two types of people: those that tell everyone when they’ve found something amazing that they love and those that keep the good news and benefits just for themselves. Lucky for you, we are the first. Once we discover something good, we share it with all of our patients. One of those things? The Obagi Nu-Derm skin care line. If you came to our skin care event last month, you might have learned why we choose Obagi, if not, let’s take a closer look!

One of the main reasons that our patients like to use the Obagi skin care system is that it contains a unique skin bleaching ingredient called hydroquinone. Containing 4% hydroquinone, Obagi works to lighten sun spots, acne scars, freckles, age spots, and melasma. It can also help those with vitiligo, or whitish areas, by lightening the other skin. Depending on your area of concern, our staff at Center For Plastic Surgery will help you choose the right Obagi products depending on the needs of your skin.

Another one of the biggest reasons why our patients rave about Obagi and why we recommend it to patients time after time is for its unique ability to correct other signs of aging such as a loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles as well as pigmentary problems. Although this process is slower than correcting spots, the Obagi system is 2-3 times more effective at doing so than anything else on the market. It is the perfect accompaniment to Botox by reducing or eliminating any wrinkles that Botox does not treat.

The other reason we love this system is that it actually rejuvenates your skin, reverting it to its previous healthy state, not just hiding the problem. Patients notice visibly smoother, clearer, and younger looking skin. It also prevents these issues from reoccurring.

Let’s face it, your skin and your self-esteem go hand in hand. If You have noticed a loss in your self-esteem due to your complexion or signs of aging, Obagi by it self or with other skin care treatments from our office, can help you get your self-esteem back before you know it.

If you would like to learn more about Obagi or to schedule a consultation, contact our Highlands office today!

The Importance of Upkeep

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCKeeping up with the Kardashians is one thing but keeping up with your skin’s health and appearance is a whole other ballgame. No matter what age you are,16 or 86, it’s essential to maintain your skin’s health and appearance both with in-office and at-home treatments. Whether your goal is to fight off wrinkles and/or spots or just to shield your skin from further sun damage, here are a few ways you can achieve these goals.

Fight Off Wrinkles

As we age, several things cause us to develop fine lines and wrinkles. First, we lose volume below the skin and the sun’s UVA rays cause the dermis, the support layer of the skin, to thin. As this happens, wrinkles begin to appear. With thickening of the outer dead cell layer of the skin weighing it down and increased function of the underlying muscles of facial expression, these wrinkles and lines worsen. If you do what you have been taught all your life and put a moisturizer on instead of removing the dry dead cell layer, you simply make the wrinkles worse. Luckily, with the combination of using face creams that contain ingredients like retinol to thicken the dermis and an alpha hydroxyl to remove the dead cells, getting frequent facials to remove the dead cells, using Botox to weaken the muscles and refilling the area under the skin with one of the Juvederm products or fat, you can fight off your wrinkles from the inside out.

Combat Hyperpigmentation or Redness

Exposure to the sun can result in hyperpigmentation and/or increased abnormal vascularity causing redness. Disease processes and hormonal fluxes can also cause pigmentary problems. These can leave you feeling self-conscious and always having to wear foundation to hide them. Luckily, with good skin care, frequent facial treatments such as microdermabrasion, facials or peels and/or IPL treatments we can correct these problems, leaving you with a more even complexion and a younger look.

Prevent Further Damage

One of the harshest things on your skin is no other than the sun itself. Not only can sun damage put you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, but it can also cause premature wrinkles, sun spots, freckles, redness and other damage. We encourage our patients to wear a daily sunblock containing zinc oxide since it is impossible to stay out of the sun, even indoors. The new (actually over 20 years old) zinc oxide sunblocks are practical since you need to apply them only once or twice a day and they go on clear. The only other sunblock that blocks UVA, the cause of the problems, needs to be applied hourly if you are outside or every 2 hours if inside.

Here at Center For Plastic Surgery, we understand the importance of upkeep and offer our patients a wide variety of non-invasive procedures and skin care options. Schedule your consultation with our Highlands office today!

3 Things to Know About UV Rays

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NC

When it comes to protecting your skin from the sun there is a tremendous amount of misinformation on the internet, in published articles and passed from person to person. Most physicians, and even some dermatologists and plastic surgeons, haven’t taken the time to learn all the new information available. We now know that sunscreen is not only your skin’s best defense against getting sunburned, it is vitally important on a daily basis and year around to prevent sun damage and aging. This is because there are two harmful rays. UVB that cause sunBurn and UVA that cause skin cell injury and Aging. This article will list three things for you to know about UVA rays. Read on to learn more.

  1. They Are Present All Day Every Day

Some people assume that if they are going to spend time outside, they should only do so during the early morning or the later afternoon. This is a carryover from thinking only about UVB rays that are 90-95% absorbed by the atmosphere depending on the latitude and time of day and year. They are stronger midday, down south and in the summer. The reason that sunburn occurs is that 70% of UVB rays (basically a form of energy) are absorbed in the outermost layer of the skin. However, UVA rays are present all day, all year and at all latitudes, essentially everywhere you have light from the sun. So, even during those times when you are not likely to get a sunburn, you need to make sure that you are keeping your skin protected with a hat, a UVA blocking sunscreen like the new clear zinc oxide, and protective clothes.

  1. They Can Get In Through the Windows

Many people assume that if they are spending time in the car or indoors that they are automatically shielded from the sun. However, when it comes to the sun, there is no such thing as hiding when there are windows around. In fact, most people get a lot of sun damage from driving down the road or even sitting next to their living room window.

  1. They Cause Direct Tissue Damage

UV rays don’t just cause sunburns and freckles. In fact, the damage that they do penetrates a lot deeper than you may be aware. UVA rays cause direct skin tissue damage along with the release of free oxygen radicals which damage normal skin cells in the process. They cause thickening of the outer dead cell layer of the skin that gives your skin dullness, injury to the pigment cell that causes freckles and dark spots, thinning of the dermis, the support layer of the skin, causing wrinkles, production of abnormal capillary blood vessels causing redness of the skin and injury to the various cells of the skin which can eventually result in skin cancer.

UVA rays are the number one enemy of your skin. Not only can sun damage causes premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles and sun spot, but it can also result in more serious things like skin cancer. If you would like to learn more about how you can take better care of your skin and/or how you can reverse the damage you already have, contact the Center For Plastic Surgery today!

Are Organic Skin Care Products Really Better?

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCWith the organic movement taking the world and every grocery store shelf by storm, people are becoming more aware than ever of what they are putting in as well as on their bodies. From milk to facial products, more and more people are looking for the organic stamp of approval before they consider purchasing a product. However, with things like face care products, is it worth it to go organic? Are they giving your face the proper cleansing and care it needs? Read on to learn more.

What Does Organic Mean?

Before we delve into whether or not organic products are doing the trick, it’s good to know what organic means in the world of skincare. With food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has to put its stamp of approval on it for it to be “organic” or “100 percent organic.” To be classified as organic, the food must contain at least 95 percent ingredients that have been grown organically without certain chemicals. But when it comes to skincare, there are almost no regulations because neither the USDA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates these types of products. So, skin care companies can put an organic stamp on their product without meeting any regulations or having the ingredients tested.

Is Organic Good for Your Skin?

One of the biggest things to be aware of is that a lot of the ingredients used in regular skincare products are derived from plants or natural sources already. For instance, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are both plant-based ingredients that are used to fight acne, but they aren’t always labeled as organic. Alpha hydroxy acids, Vitamin-C, retinol and zinc oxide are all also organic compounds. Additionally, remember that if an organic skin care product doesn’t contain at least some preservatives, its shelf life won’t be nearly as long which makes the product less effective, and most of these cause no reaction to the skin. Control of irritation and abnormal reaction are things the FDA does regulate.

There is also no scientific data saying that “organic” skincare is better than regular skin care. It is just a marketing ploy to get you to buy products that may not do what you need them to do for your skin. Also, it’s important to know that just because a face wash says it’s “organic” it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have some of the ingredients you are trying to avoid or that it is good for your skin. We at the Center for Plastic Surgery have studied the scientific basis of skin care and what your skin needs at various stages and has researched what products provide the attention and improvement your skin needs. To learn more about skin care and the products that can improve and protect your skin, contact the Center For Plastic Surgery today!

3 Things to Look for in an Eye Cream

Skin Beautifying Treatments Highlands, NCYour skin care is one of the most important parts of your daily routine. Not only can skin care keep your skin moisturized and healthy but it can also shield you against things like skin cancer. As the most sensitive part of your face, however, the skin around your eyes is often neglected— leaving it dry, itchy, and more prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles. To help protect the skin around your eyes, make sure that you are wearing the right eye cream both morning and night. This article will discuss three things to look for in an eye cream. Read on to learn more.

Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C isn’t just good at boosting your body’s immune system, but, when applied to the skin, it is good for your skin’s health as well. In fact, Vitamins C has anti-aging capabilities to help aid in the production of collagen and skin elasticity, reduce pigment and keep cell walls healthy. Additionally it can help keep the skin feeling moist.

Retinol or Retin-A (Tretinoin)

Derived from Vitamin A, retinol or its more effective cousin, tretinoin, is a key ingredient that you should look for in an eye cream. By helping to repair damaged skin, retinol helps with skin cell turnover and regenerates newer, healthier skin in the process.

Bi-Mineral Complex/Malonic Acid

Vitamin C protects the skin and restores its normal pH and function and retinol builds collagen. Both help reduce the development of wrinkles or improve those already present. By adding bi-mineral complex and Malonic acid, trade name Obagi ELASTIderm, you convert some of the collagen produced by the retinol to elastic tissue that further tightens and smooths the lid skin.

One additional thing that should be added in the morning is a good zinc oxide sunblock to protect from the aging properties of the sun.

If you aren’t in the habit of wearing an eye cream both morning and night, then you need to get into it. By helping lock in moisture under the skin and repair damaged skin cells, the correct combination of products in eye creams can do wonders. If you would like to learn more about proper skin care, schedule an appointment with our office, contact the Center For Plastic Surgery today!

3 Reasons to Get an Obagi Blue Peel

Obagi Blue Peel® Highlands, NC

Hopefully, everyone knows basic skin care and what you should be doing for your skin every day: washing your face with an alpha or beta hydroxyl cleanser, applying a pH balancer, preferably one that is also an antioxidant such as Vitamin-C Serum, and wearing a greater than 8% zinc oxide sunscreen. Traditional superficial peels can also help keep your skin radiant. For fine wrinkles and crinkles you should add tretinoin (Retin-A) and Obagi®’s ELASTIderm®. However, if this is not working fast or well enough, there is an answer. A type of chemical peel that we offer here at the Center For Plastic Surgery, the Obagi Blue Peel, is safe and effective. This article will list three reasons why you should consider getting an Obagi Blue Peel. Read on to learn more.

It’s Different Than Other Peels

Most chemical peels that you get at traditional day spas use glycolic acid. Although glycolic acid peels are great at helping get rid of dullness and some color irregularity, they sometimes aren’t as strong as our patients like. Made from trichloroacetic acid, the Obagi Blue chemical peel is stronger and works to correct areas of concern that even a facelift cannot. Additionally, it is much safer than other trichloroacetic acid or phenol/croton oil peels because of the unique blue dye in the preparation that more accurately identifies the depth that the peel has reached, thus allowing better control of the result.

It’s More Effective

As previously mentioned, because the Obagi Blue Peel is a stronger peel than glycolic peels, it can reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles and some scars and help with overall skin tone. It actually peels the entire epidermis and into the dermis (the skin’s support layer), removing superficial wrinkles and crinkles. All the other peels do is remove the top layer of the epidermis, well above what causes the wrinkles. If you haven’t gotten the results that you have wanted from a glycolic or lactic acid peel alone, then the Obagi Blue Peel may be worth looking into.

It’s Non-Surgical

If your age has started to take a toll on your appearance, but you aren’t quite ready for a facelift, then you may want to consider an Obagi Blue Peel. This can actually do things for the face that surgery can’t.

Our Obagi Blue Peel is a medium-strength chemical peel, designed to help patients look and feel younger. If you would like to learn more about this peel or schedule an appointment, contact Center For Plastic Surgery today!