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PHONE: (828) 526-3783 | TOLL-FREE: (877) 526-3784

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Highlands, NC 28741

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Skin Cleansing: How to Get the Most Out of Your Clarisonic

Skin Cleansing: How to Get the Most Out of Your Clarisonic

Clarisonic Highlands, NCLong gone are the days of using a warm washcloth and facial cleanser or Pond’s Cold Cream to clean your face. By using at-home cleansing tools like the Clarisonic, you can help to get your skin significantly cleaner than ever. By using a combination of uniquely designed brush bristles and a vibratory motion, the Clarisonic can remove 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt than cleansing with just your hands alone. However, if you’re not taking the proper care of your Clarisonic or if you simply don’t know how to use it correctly, you aren’t going to get the cleanest skin possible. If you either currently have a Clarisonic or if you are considering investing in one, it is important that you know how you can get the most out of it. Read on to learn more tips and tricks.

Change the Brush

The same way that you wouldn’t use one toothbrush for an entire year, you need to switch the brush head on your Clarisonic every three months. By accumulating dirt and oil, an old, dirty Clarisonic brush is simply just going to cause you to breakout. To switch out your brush, simply twist off the brush head, throw it away, and replace it with a new one— it’s as simple as that!

Clean Both the Brush and the Base

Dirt and grime can build up under your brush head if you don’t clean it often. To help keep your Clarisonic as clean as possible, remove the brush head after each use and clean both the brush head and the Clarisonic device. To remove the brush head from the Clarisonic, simply twist it off. Then, with warm water gently wash the brush. When cleaning your Clarisonic, simply wipe it under running water. Once every week or so you should also remove the thin white plastic ring around the central spindle that holds the brush. You have to pop it out from under the small brass pins around the outside of the brush well. This is best cleaned with a Q-Tip. While you are at it, clean the drain holes too .

Dry the Brush

To keep your brush head in the best condition possible, dry it after every use. To dry the brush head, remove it from the base and rub the brush against a clean, dry washcloth or towel— about 5-10 times— or until it is dry to the touch. You should  also set it at an angle where circulating air can get to it.

Get the most out of your Clarisonic by using the tips and tricks above. To learn more, contact The Center For Plastic Surgery today!



Many “Medical” Spas Lack Proper Oversight.

The Hampton Roads (VA) Virginian-Pilot (8/29, Simpson) reports on the growing trend of spas “tacking the word ‘medical’” onto their business’s name and “pitching invasive services,” often without “proper doctor oversight.” The paper writes that the trend is a result of a few factors, including “aging baby boomers, people looking for a cheaper alternative to plastic surgery and elective enhancements, and doctors looking for a way to replace shrinking insurance reimbursements.” Cases have begun to pop up, the latest of which occurring in Virginia when a Norfolk physician “received a state reprimand and a $5,000 fine” form the Virginia Board Of Medicine “for letting an unlicensed person use his prescription information to obtain medication for erectile dysfunction at a local medical spa.”

Other spas pay a non qualified off site physician to write prescriptions for other prescriptive medications including skin care products and then sell these without physician supervision. The Obagi Nu-Derm system is an excellent example as this system definitely requires oversight. Other spas are using lasers and other semi invasive machines without physician oversight. These too require oversight and the state of North Carolina where we are also requires this oversight. 

The Center for Plastic Surgery and Medi-Spa has been operating with more than the required oversight for over 14 years. All prescriptive skin care, such as Obagi, is personally supervised by Dr. Buchanan who also carefully oversees or personally does all invasive procedures, including lasers, IPL’s and major peels.

March Medi-Spa Specials

Ready to try something new at the Medi-Spa?

During the March only we will be offering our Renewal Eye and Lip Treatment. Using the botanical line of Epionce Skin Care, this Eye and Lip Treatment is designed to exfoliate and tighten these delicate areas with a light lytic acid wash. Once the wash is removed, the skin will be treated to a moisturizing mask with a light application of steam. A perfect solution for winter skin!

And, here’s the best part; as our gift to you, when you purchase the Renewal Eye and Lip Treatment, you will receive a free Obagi Elastilash and a free Jane Iredale Mini-Lip Drink. It is our way of saying “Thank You” for your continued support.     

The Renewal Eye and Lip Treatment and the extras are only $75.


And back by popular demand…

If you are experiencing “all over” dry facial skin, the Obagi Radiance Peel will remove the winter flakes and leave your skin tingling and taunt. This peel is available as a single treatment or packaged in a series of four or six.

Both treatments are available on Monday and Friday in our Medi Spa. Call 828-526-3783 for more details.

Christmas 2012 Specials

Time to spruce up your skin care for the Holiday Season!

If it has been a while since you treated yourself to a facial, our Pumpkin Enzyme Facial is the one to choose. Designed to naturally exfoliate and refresh your skin, the Pumpkin Enzyme facial will leave your skin glowing and refreshed. And the best part, it is now on sale for 20% off until the end of the year.
Let us help you with your Christmas shopping this season. Do you have a “hard to shop for” person on your list? We can help with that. We offer the complete line of Jane Iredale Skin Care Makeup where we can help you will find a great gift in any price range.

Visit our office to learn more about the newest member of the Clairsonic family. If you have been wondering about the Clairsonic Cleansing System, wonder no more. A staff favorite and a great way to deep clean your skin, this now comes in a Pro Face and Body Complete System. It is available in several color options. (And by the way, the charcoal gray makes a great gift for the man in your life!) We also have the regular Pro and the Mia on sale.

And don’t forget, a Gift Certificate is always a welcomed surprise!
Happy Holidays from Lynne, Maryam, Cathy and Diana

Jane Iredale Mineral Make-up

How can makeup actually be good for your skin? When it is the pure crystal mineral make-up line by Jane Iredale®, offered at The Center for Plastic Surgery.

The Jane Iredale® line contains no talc, no chemical preservatives, no parabens and no synthetic fragrance. It is also hypoallergenic and contains natural total UVA and UVB protection not just the UVB of most other brands. Their lipsticks are the only ones anywhere containing complete UVA protection from edible Zinc Oxide. Thus they actually help prevent skin aging from sun damage. It is also easy and fast to apply and leaves the skin feeling “breathable,” with a clean and healthy look.

Call and inquire about Medi-Spa at our office today at 828-526-3783 or toll free at 877-526-3784 to find out more about the Jane Iredale® Skin Care Makeup line. We will be happy to set up a time for you to receive a complementary color match, with the purchase of any Jane Iredale® product.


Most women have concerns about facial hair. From the fine ‘peach fuzz’ to those horrible dark chin hairs that show up overnight. What can we do?

Expensive laser hair removal treatments will only eliminate dark hairs and the fine light hairs will remain. Waxing of course is always an option. However, if you are on the full Obagi For Life System or any skin care line which contains retinols or glycolics, this is not the best choice.
Here at the Medi-Spa we have a solution! Dermaplaning is a non-invasive means to remove dead cells and facial hair at the same time. This treatment takes about 20 to 30 minutes as a stand-alone Spa service or it can also be added on to any of our other Medi-Spa treatments. It will give your skin a refreshed, smooth look.

For more information on the benefits of Dermaplaning, please contact our office.

The 10th Anniversary of FDA approval of Botox® as a Wrinkle Reducer

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the approval of Botox® to relax wrinkles. Botox® has been around for about 50 years as a treatment for eye muscle spasm. It was originally used in children treating strabismus, but later broadened to adults with eye muscle problems. In 1987, Dr. Jean Carruthers of Vancouver, BC, Canada, an ophthalmic surgeon, had a patient she was treating for facial muscle spasms tell her that the treatment gave her “a beautiful, untroubled expression.” This led to several clinical trials that resulted in the FDA approving Botox® as a cosmetic treatment of wrinkles in 2002.

Botox®, a potent toxin when used in large doses has proven exceptionally safe over this time. In the last year more than 5.6 million people were injected, making it the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world. Though it is officially approved only for treating the muscles between the eyes to get rid of the “11’s” there, it can be used anywhere there is a hyperactive muscle causing a problem.

To celebrate, Allergan, the maker of Botox®, is offering a discount for the next several treatments if they are prepaid before the end of April, 2012.

Radiance Peel by Obagi in the Medi Spa

At the Medi Spa at The Center for Plastic Surgery, we are constantly striving to bring you the latest in both relaxation and medical grade facials.

Our newest addition to the spa menu is the Radiance Peel by Obagi. This minimally invasive treatment with little to no down time exfoliates dead skin cells from the face and neck revealing a smoother, more refined skin.

Now, as an introductory special, we are offering this peel for a limited time at $85 (regularly $100) per treatment. We also have packages available at an even greater discount. Be sure to ask our staff about the Radiance packages currently available.

The Medi-Spa

The Medi-Spa at the Center for Plastic Surgery offers a unique combination of traditional spa services and medical aesthetic treatments designed to actually reverse the skin damage to help you look and feel your very best. Medical Spas like ours are a relatively recent addition to what is available to you to improve your skin. As Plastic Surgeons recognized that surgery alone could not rejuvenate the face, we sought other methods. We soon recognized that advanced skin care was not available in normal spas, but the experience people had there was well worth imitating.

Day spas and resort spas can offer only services that are allowed by their licensing boards. Whatever treatments they do provide cannot actively change the skin cell and the products used cannot be prescriptive. While the treatments they do provide are all that many people with minimal skin damage need, those with more damage require advanced treatments and prescriptive products to make any real difference. Anything less merely camouflages the damage instead of rejuvenating the tissues. A Medi-Spa fills this gap by offering prescriptive products and advanced services under the guidance of a physician.
At the Medi-Spa, clients can relax and are pampered just as in a regular spa, but are assured that only the finest quality ingredients with proven efficacy are used during any of their treatments. All European Facials include a warming hand treatment, facial skin analysis, steam and a deep exfoliation process followed by extractions of small cysts or other imperfections if necessary. Facial massage, acupressure, and lymphatic drainage are used as needed followed by a custom blended mask suitable for each individual skin type.

Medical grade skin treatments offered in a Medi-Spa setting can also include DermaPlaning, a skin scraping treatment to eliminate dead cells on the surface of the skin, or aggressive Microdermabrasion treatments, a sanding exfoliating process to achieve similar results.

Glycolic and Lactic acid treatments can be used also as a chemical reaction for the elimination of dead cells, and they can stimulate collagen, the building block of healthy skin. In order to achieve the depth of penetration an acid peel must have to do both, an esthetician working under the supervision of a physician is required. They are trained to know what to look for while performing these treatments. This markedly reduces the risk of serious injury or discomfort.

Many times the esthetician will recommend additional treatments that only the doctor can provide, or she may simply suggest a scheduled visit with the doctor to discuss further treatments. These additional treatments can include IPL (intense pulse light) treatments to correct red or brown areas, Laser and deeper chemical peels such as TCA (TriChloroAcetic acid) or Phenol/Croton Oil that can even rejuvenate leather-like skin, or injectables such as Botox, Juvéderm or Radiesse to erase deeper wrinkles and folds.
A new treatment in our Medi-Spa is the Zerona machine. This is the only FDA approved non-invasive body slimming Laser device that can painlessly and without surgery achieve clinically significant loss of fat in just two weeks.

Whether you have put off skin care or body issues in the past, or whether you are new to services that are provided at a Medi-Spa, now is the right time to start taking care of you.

At the Medi-Spa at the Center for Plastic Surgery, you are made to feel pampered and relaxed. Lynne Girard is our highly qualified esthetician who has twenty-five years of skin care expertise and medical skin care training Call the Medi-Spa at the Center for Plastic Surgery at 828-526-3783, or toll free at 877-526-3784 our caring and friendly staff to schedule a consult or an appointment or for more information.

Skin Care and Rejuvenation

The majority of what is generally considered skin care are habits passed down from one generation to the next or products containing a minimally or non-effective form of the latest ingredient shown to improve the skin. Almost none is based on a thorough understanding of the skin, its aging or how to reverse this aging. In fact, most of what we do to our skin is actually harmful. Take, for instance, moisturizers. Almost everyone uses them because we have been told that we should. In fact, moisturizers are one of the worst things we can put on our skin. They disrupt the normal protective barrier by modifying the surface lipid content, and they weight the skin down, markedly accelerating wrinkle development. More of what we should do instead later.

Skin ages in two distinct ways. First, certain changes occur to all of us. For one, our cells just stop or markedly reduce the efficiency of actively renewing the structure of our skin. This generally occurs around 30 years of age. Our genes determine the time this occurs and the speed of other aging effects. The second type is “solar aging.” This is the direct result of sun damage. Our habits affect both. Studies of twins demonstrated that certain skin care methods, sun exposure, and smoking markedly increased skin aging. Sun exposure causes predictable changes to the skin. Smoking speeds these changes about 20 fold. Improper skin care can also increase these changes.

Sun damage causes:

  • Thickening of the outer dead cell layer. This is, in childhood, very thin. The thicker this layer is, the dryer the skin feels.
  • Loss of moister of the living layer
  • Spotty distribution of pigment (freckles, dark areas and spots)
  • Change in the cell nucleus in the layer of reproducing cells. This can lead to rough spots or skin cancers.
  • Loss of the normal blood supply of the skin. When this happens, the aging process speeds up.
  • Production of abnormal small blood vessels. This is a form of “Rosacea.” The only effective treatment for this is an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or Laser.
  • Loss of collagen, the support of the skin. This, together with the weight of the outer dead layer, results in wrinkles.

Our genes determine which of these predominate. Thus, one person may show mainly spots and another, wrinkles. The trick is to determine what problem exists and how best to correct it. Once corrected, we need to prevent any further damage. Therefore, a part of any skin care regimen should be protection from further sun damage. Presently, there is only one product that blocks both UVB (causing sun Burn) and UVA (causing skin Aging) and is practical. This is micronized Zinc Oxide (which goes on clear). You need to apply this only once a day unless you wash or wipe it off. You should use a product containing at least 5% of this every day, since UVA is present all day, every day. An article in Oprah Magazine described sunblocks as “the closest thing we have to a Fountain of Youth.” In addition, the young need only a good cleanser and something to return the skin pH to normal after washing. Some pH balanced Toners will do this. However, we prefer products like Vitamin C Serum or Prevage MD®, since each is also an antiinflammatory and an antioxidant, thus also providing further sun protection.

Once the dead cell layer thickens and the skin begins to feel dry, we need to add a step to reduce this layer and restore the normal moist feeling of the skin. You can do this with regular use of alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s) that are in many over the counter products, or frequent micro-peels, dermaplaning, or microdermabrasion. All these are available in our office and Medi-Spa.

As the amount of sun damage increases, we must address the other problems. Several products can reduce spots. Many work well for minimal spots, but the ultimate spot remover is hydroquinone. Occasionally a peel can increase the color correction. Although several magazines have touted retinols as conjuring up “a prettier complexion while you sleep,” only prescription Retin-A (tretinoin) has actually been shown to do so. It reduces the stickiness of the dead cells, vascularizes the skin, and causes thickening of the skin that reduces wrinkles.

Since our skin is designed as a barrier, the challenge has been to get these products to the cells where they can act. No product by itself can do this. However, when combined into a system, so that they penetrate to the cells deep within the skin, we increase their effectiveness significantly. To totally rejuvenate the skin, we at the Center for Plastic Surgery, therefore, use only total skin care systems where all products are designed to work together and have FDA approval as being effective in skin rejuvenation.