SmoothMED

Beauty Blog

November 10, 2015
by SmoothMED
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Advantages of Using SmoothMed for Your Kybella Treatment

You’d be excused for not knowing about KybellaTM, the new treatment to reduce submental fat. It was approved by the FDA in April, 2015, after 19 clinical studies and over 2,600 patients took part in a successful trial. As one of the pioneers of the KybellaTM treatment, SmoothMed has the knowledge and expertise to offer you the best possible experience. Our one-on-one, personal approach to all of our patients extends to KybellaTM patients as well, so you can rest assured that you are in excellent hands.

Who is SmoothMed?

We are a highly professional medical spa located in the heart of New York City, just two blocks from Central Park in Manhattan. View our contact information here. We do not require appointments, so feel free to visit us at your convenience. We are proud of our accomplishments and expertise. Our satisfied patients agree, and our highly rated reviews reflect our commitment to each and every patient we serve. Contact us here to find out more information about SmoothMed.

What is KybellaTM?kybella-logo

For those who have not heard about this treatment, KybellaTM is a noninvasive method to remove the fat that causes the “double chin” phenomenon. In the past, the only ways to remove this fat were to cut it out or suck it out, both of which require invasive and unpleasant surgery with all the prep work, side effects, as well as time and cost requirements, that go along with it. For many, this fact was enough to prevent them from addressing the issue at all.

However, KybellaTM has changed all of that and created a stir among people all around the country who have been fighting that stubborn double chin fat. Now, this simple treatment, which is unanimously recommended by all members of the FDA advisory committee, is available to the public. Ready to take advantage of the KybellaTM revolution? Read on to find out how it works.

How does KybellaTM Attack Chin Fat?

Images courtesy of Kythera

Images courtesy of Kythera

Instead of going under a knife, KybellaTM offers patients a series of injections that target

submental (double chin) fat directly. Each injection contains a type of deoxyholic acid, which is a natural molecule that already exists in the body and is known to break down fat when it’s needed to sustain the body. The deoxyholic acid removes fat cell membranes and allows the fat cells to be absorbed into the body in a way that mimics the natural breakdown of dietary fats.

The SmoothMed dermatologist administering the injections will determine based on the patient’s unique circumstances where those injections need to take place to permanently remove the patient’s chin fat. This generally requires the dermatologist to focus the largest number of injections on the most significant of the fat. Each injection contains 0.2 cubic centimeters (0.08 cubic inches) of deoxyholic acid, which works on a localized area of fat. Thus, several injections are necessary to complete the treatment successfully.

After ice is applied to the area, these injections should only require a few minutes to administer. KybellaTM works fast and heals within two to three days with no bandages, another huge benefit over invasive surgery.

For the best results, patients should understand that consistency is key. Receiving regular monthly KybellaTM injections for a few months will generally produce the most significant effect.

Who should take advantage of KybellaTM?

kybella male

Images courtesy of Kythera

Kybella is specifically for patients who experience a small to moderate amount of undesirable fat under their chin. For these patients, KybellaTM can noticeably reduce submental fat. Addressing the double chin fat in a meaningful way that generates real results tends to improve self esteem and confidence, leading to an all-around life boost.

However, KybellaTM is not right for everyone. Patients with excess skin on their chin and neck will not benefit from a treatment that focuses on fat rather than skin. Also, we’ve had patients ask us why they cannot use KybellaTM to treat unwanted fat in other areas of their body. Unfortunately, it would not make sense to do this because of the amount of deoxyholic acid that would be required to significantly reduce fat in other parts of the body. Instead, SmoothMed has many other available treatments to help you feel the best in your body. Contact us by phone or send us a message here to find out more.

SmoothMed: The Right Choice for KybellaTM Treatment

Here at SmoothMed, we pride ourselves as one of the top med spas in New York City. Our expertise and ability in our field has led us to become the highly rated practice that we are today. SmoothMed was one of the first New York med spas to offer KybellaTM and as such, we have the experience that our competitor’s simply don’t. Dr. Berdy, our in-house KybellaTM specialist, is a real and highly experienced doctor who knows how to care professionally and compassionately for his patients. While we are proud of our superior staff and comfortable, upscale office, we understand that you have a budget. Therefore, we have worked hard to provide treatments at the lowest possible cost.

Additionally, SmoothMed is known for providing high quality treatments that allow you peace of mind. We are highly conscious of the fact that there are less experienced doctors and more expensive options available, so we never cut corners in providing you with treatments that improve the way you look and the way you feel. Our reputation means too much to us to deliver any less, while still providing the benefits you’ve come to expect from SmoothMed. Of course, this extends to our KybellaTM treatments as well.

If you are ready to take the next step and find out if KybellaTM is right for you, please give SmoothMed a call at (212) 371-7666. We also accept walk-ins to our office, which is located at 111 East 59th Street. No appointment is necessary.

Aside from KybellaTM, we also specialize in CoolSculpting,®, BOTOX®, DYSPORTTM, cosmeceuticals products, Ultherapy®, and more. Speak to one of our helpful members of staff to determine what is best for your needs.

 

October 6, 2015
by SmoothMED
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Freeze the Fat Away: CoolSculpting

You’ve tried every diet, you’re maintaining healthy eating habits, you work out, but there are still certain fat bulges that won’t go away. If you’re frustrated but not ready or interested in a surgical fix, then CoolSculpting is the solution for you! Find out more about this amazing procedure below.

CS 6CoolSculpting is a noninvasive treatment that “freezes the fat away.” CoolSculpting targets specific areas of your body, freezes the fat cells, which causes them to crystallize and die.  Your body then naturally breaks down and eliminates these fat cells, and the targeted area becomes thinner!

How long does it take?

The actual procedure on the chosen area, typically takes about one hour. If you are getting your “lovehandles” done, for example, it will be one hour on each side. You’ll have to maintain a comfortable position for the procedure, but feel free to bring a book, magazines, your phone/tablet, or anything that will keep you occupied (and fairly still) for the duration. 

The results are generally noticeable after a few weeks, after the fat cells have been reduced and are gradually eliminated from your body. After a couple of months, a definite change in appearance will be evident. For some people, they are satisfied with one treatment; others may opt for a subsequent one, depending on how much they want to lose, or choose to have other areas done. SmoothMED will consult with you to discuss your best options.

coolsculpting-before-afterHow is it different than weight loss?

When you lose weight, your fat cell count remains the same, but the cells shrink. When you gain weight, they become larger. CoolSculpting targets specific areas of the body to freeze fat cells, which respond by crystallizing and dying. With CoolSculpting, you reduce the amount of fat cells in a particular area. The great thing is, once these cells are frozen and eliminated, they will never come back.

Is it better than liposuction?

With CoolSculpting, one of the biggest benefits is that it’s a non-invasive procedure, and there is no need for recovery time after. You can resume your normal activities immediately. You may experience redness, bruising or swelling in the treated area, but it will go away shortly thereafter, and resolve completely. The device creates a suction on the targeted area, and you’ll feel a cooling sensation, and possibly tingling (akin to when your foot falls asleep and it’s waking up), or aching, but these sensations will give way to a numbness caused by the cooling.

Liposuction is a surgery and does require some down-time after the procedure, some people needing 1 -3  weeks to resume their normal activities, and it may take up to 6 months for the skin to fully contract.

However, CoolSculpting and Liposuction can serve different purposes. Liposuction is better for those who have a greater excess of fat they would like to lose. CoolSculpting is optimal for those who have those last stubborn pounds they struggle to lose.

CoolSculpting at 12 weeks

Common Concerns, Answered

Naturally, there are questions or concerns with any procedure. One of the more common questions is with the breakdown of fat tissue, will the loose fats create an increase in cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. This has not been the case, as blood panels done from post-CoolSculpting treatments have shown the levels remained the same as pre-CoolSculpting results.

No other cells are affected by this treatment. The adipose, or fat, tissue happens to react poorly to extreme cold temperatures. In this case, it’s a good thing! The cold crystallizes the fat, which is then naturally broken down by enzymes in the body. 

People also wonder if special supplements or a particular regimen is required to maintain the results from CoolSculpting. There is nothing specific required after your CoolSculpting treatments. It can encourage people to keep a healthier lifestyle or eating habits, but there is no need for change to accommodate the treatment.

Contact Us

When you’re ready to try CoolSculpting, or would even like to discuss it in more detail, please call our friendly, professional staff at (212) 371-7666. We are more than happy to answer any of your questions or schedule your appointment!

SmoothMED offers a full range of services at our medical spa, also specializing in Botox, Ultherapy, injectables/fillers, and we are happy to announce that we now offer Kybella treatments as well! Check out our website at www.smoothmed.com or give us a call! Appointments and walk-ins welcome.

 

September 29, 2015
by SmoothMED
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True or False: Exploring 8 Common Beauty Myths

Whether you are a slave to beauty trends, or just mildly interested, it’s easy to fall for the tons of beauty myths out there. It’s hard to tell sometimes which ones might actually have some validity to them. Here we explore some popular beauty myths and what, if any truth, exists in them.

Cucumber slices decrease puffiness around the eyes.Natural-Acne-Treatment-4-1024x725
TRUE. Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and caffeic acid which help prevent water retention, decreasing the swelling or puffiness around the eyes. Cucumbers also have a very mild lightening agent, which can help with the appearance of shadows or dark circles around the eyes.

Shaving makes your hair grow back thicker and darker.
FALSE. When we shave, we are shaving the hair at the mid-shaft, which, as it grows out may appear darker or thicker than before. Additionally, since it is being cut at the mid-shaft, it has no impact on the hair follicle.

Facial yoga or exercising is a way to slim and tonfacee your face.
FALSE. Spot treating weight loss never works, unless you choose to do it through a specific procedure or surgery. Secondly, working out your skin and face tends to pull on it, making it stretch. While increasing the facial muscles can reduce slack in the skin, the stretching out also contributes to more wrinkles in the skin, or the deepening of already-present wrinkles.

Plucking one gray invites more to grow back in its place.
FALSE. Plucking your gray hair will not make more grow back in its place. Rather, your hair may already be experiencing a change, thus appearing as if when one is plucked, more grows. In fact, those hairs were likely undergoing the change already.

haircut-834280_640 Cutting your hair makes it grow faster.
FALSE. Your hair is cut at the ends, not at the follicles where it grows. Secondly, what may be happening is the illusion of rapid hair growth after a hair cut. It’s easier to notice growth after a sudden change, versus experiencing a gradual growth over time.

Eating chocolate causes you to break out.woman-674977_640
NOT EXACTLY. There is no evidence that directly correlates chocolate consumption to increased breakouts. However, there is evidence that a high fat/high sugar diet increases sebum (oil in your skin) production, which leads to more acne.

It’s bad to pop your zits.
FAIRLY TRUE. It’s best to leave them alone; however, if you can’t resist the urge to pop or play with it, there is a better way.

Messing with your pimples bare handed can cause more harm than good. Pus and other particulate can actually be pushed back into the skin, making it more irritated. Also by using your hands, whatever is on your hands (bacteria, dirt, etc.) is added to the mix. These irritations can make your blemish even bigger and redder, or worse yet, leave a scar.

However, if you use a cotton tissue or a facial wipe to cover your fingers so they are not directly touching your skin, that can cut down on the irritation.  Using an instrument is your best bet, like a clean comedone extractor or blackhead extractor, which you can drag it across the skin to release the pimple, and you don’t have to worry about bacteria or dirt from your hands interfering with your face.

beer-117392_640Washing your hair with beer makes it shinier.
TRUE, but don’t count that time someone accidentally spilled some alcohol in your hair. Beer washes or conditioning with beer do seem to make hair thicker and give it shine. The proteins in the beer add nourishment and strength to your hair, and the B vitamins present also help give it a shine. You’ll still use your regular shampoo and conditioner, but the added beer rinse will give your hair the extra body and sheen for those luscious locks.

And there you have it – some curious beauty myths reviewed! If you’re interested in some surefire ways to regain your youth and enhance the beauty you already have, join us at SmoothMED! We offer a variety of services including Botox, Laser Rejuvenation, Ultherapy, CoolSculpting — subtle enough to look natural, yet feature the best version of you! Check out our website for a full listing of all of our services at www.smoothmed.com. We also offer a full line of SkinMedica products!

 

September 14, 2015
by SmoothMED
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It’s Time to Fancy Our Feet!

Our poor, poor feet. Rarely do they get the same love, attention, or adoration as our face or other parts of our body, yet for most of us, they are burdened with carrying us around wherever we want to go. Think about it: at best, many of us are guilty of neglecting our feet, despite the fact they must bear our weight, get shoved into less-than-

boots-828975_640 (1)perfect shoe choices, and look pretty while doing so! Ah, the price of fashion. Aside from getting that pretty pedi every month or so, there’s definitely a lot more we could be doing to take care of these underrated parts of our bodies. There’s so many ways our feet can be wronged, but let’s give them more credit and start treating them right!

If you have a few minutes at the end of your day, think about devoting some of those moments to your precious feet, even if it’s just once or twice out of the week. Even with just the basic steps, your feet will be much happier!

5 Easy and Basic Foot Care Tips

These are very simple tips even if you don’t have a lot of time but know your feet need some attention. Minimal commitment and easy to work into your daily!

Improve Circulation: Kick up your feet and elevate them at the end of the day to encourage better blood flow.

Cleanliness: Washibody-913908_640ng your feet thoroughly in your shower or bath routine, especially focusing in between the toes. Make sure you dry off completely. Sounds obvious, but the thorough washing helps cut down on the bacteria (which can make for smelly feet!), and drying reduces the risk of fungus developing.

Moisturize: One way to keep your feet moisturized is to apply lotion at night, and wear light cotton socks to bed. This traps the moisture in, but still allows enough breathability for your feet. Otherwise, applying lotion after the shower works well, too. The trick for soft, smooth feet is to keep them moisturized with lotions, however, be careful to ensure they are clean and dry when putting on shoes, especially between the toes. This helps prevent fungal infections from developing.

If you prefer not to wear socks overnight, even moisturizing right after you’ve dried off from the shower will help prevent dry skin and cracking.

*Yes, we do keep mentioning the ‘f’ word (fungus), but it is definitely a problem that we want to avoid! It would be a pity to go through all of these efforts, only to have a visit from an unwanted guest.

Change Your Socks: Yes, we all (hopefully) change our socks daily or when necessary, but consider changing to an acrylic fiber sock, instead of using regular cotton socks. Cotton tends soak the moisture and keep it where it is, but the acrylic fiber wicks away the moisture, helping keep your feet dry and less susceptible to, yes, fungus.

Ready for a little more commitment?

Here are some tips that involve a little more time, but will definitely pay off in the end. However, these don’t need to be done every day; you can still reap the benefits from a minimum of once a week.

Soak, soak, soak: Soaking your feet at the end of a day is a great way for the muscles in your feet to relax, which can help relieve any foot pain. Epsom salts are a great tried-and-true remedy to use with a foot soak. On top of that, they’re cheap and easy to find at the drugstore! Epsom salts are a combination of magnesium and sulfate, which can help abath-water-915589_640lleviate a number of foot issues, including relief from aches and pains, flushing out toxins, and even helping treat fungus.

Soak your feet for a good 10-20 minutes. Completely dry your feet, and apply a moisturizing lotion, especially since Epsom salts tend to be drying. Often, peppermint lotions are recommended for feet for their soothing, cooling, and potentially muscle-relieving properties, perfect for tired, achy feet at the day’s end.

No Epsom salts on hand? No worries; a good soak in warm water with soap will suffice.

pumice-stone-186302_640Pumice or foot scrub: Use a pumice or foot file to exfoliate and scrub away the dead skin, for softer and smoother feet. For extremely callused feet, you can use a callus shaver to rid your feet of dead skin.

Massage: Use a good moisturizer and take some time to massage your feet (or, if you’re lucky, have someone do it for you!). Again, peppermint is a good recommendation Massage not only helps tired feet, but it also helps improve circulation as well.

The Ultimate Commitment: Lifestyle Changes … and ways you can cope.

For the fashion-conscious or the ultimate heels-lover, these can be the hardest recommendations to implement.

One of the most basic precautions we can take in protecting our feet is so obvious, but many of us, tend to overlook it: does your shoe actually fit? And we mean really fit. Not squeeze it in like a sausage or an overstuffed suitcase. By truly fitting your foot, that means there are no pressure points, nothing is rubbing or otherwise causing irritation, and there is enough support provided in the arch.

We would be hard pressed to find a person out there who hasn’t worn an uncomfortable shoe just for the sake of aesthetics. We may even be so used to putting up with the pain that we don’t realize anymore that this is actually harmful. Even when the discomfort kicks in, many of us have the tendency to ignore it as long as we can stand it.

Louboutin_veryprive_roseWearing shoes that are too tight, too high, or too flat can produce a variety of problems including corns, calluses, blisters, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails, hammertoe, inflammation, even ankle sprains. There is disagreement whether high heels actually cause bunions (or if other hereditary or arthritic factors are more to blame), but it is certain that they are aggravated by them. Consistently wearing flats can also lead to knee, hip, and back problems as well.

We all know that the best thing for us to do as a preventative is to stop wearing all those shoes that cause us problems. However, we also realize the likelihood of that happening is not very high. Aside from using insoles, adhesive pads or cushions, here are some tips for future reference when shopping for a shoe:

If you must have heels, try to avoid the ultra high heels; even consistently wearing heels 2” or higher is bad for your feet. However, if you’re not ready to sacrifice your height, aim for a chunkier heel or a platform, so the weight is more evenly distributed and not pinpointed in one part of your foot.

Shop for the larger foot: Unless you are blessed with perfect symmetry, many of us have one foot that’s slightly different than the other. If the difference is significant enough, make sure you shop to accommodate the larger or wider foot.

If it’s too tight now, it will be too tight later. Don’t expect your shoe to stretch enough to allow a comfortable fit. Even if it does end up stretching, it can often take miles of painful endurance to reach that state, and by that time, the other support your shoe provides may be worn down as well.

Try shoes on later in the day. As the day wears on, our feet tend to swell slightly. By the end of the day, our feet are at their largest, so trying on shoes then is ideal for a better fit.

woman-865111_640Don’t shop online for shoes. Unless you are ordering the exact same shoe you have had previously (and liked it), it’s best to actually try on a shoe before purchasing. Slight variations in length, width, and just overall fit can make for unhappy feet.

Still not ready for the change?

The least you can do is to rotate your shoe selection to allow your feet a break from one type of extreme to another. This can also help if you have a problem with foot odor, as it gives your shoes time to dry when your feet sweat.

With these ideas in mind, you can be on your way to making your feet a lot happier! As always, if you have questions about foot problems, injuries, or are seeking treatment, it is best to consult your doctor, podiatrist, or other medical professional to work with you toward a solution based upon your individual needs.

 

However, SmoothMED is always here to help serve your medspa needs! We specialize in Botox, Injectables/Fillers, Laser Rejuvenation, Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, and much more. Check out our website www.smoothmed.com to view a full range of services, or call us 212-371-7666 for more information! Walk-ins welcome!

 

August 17, 2015
by SmoothMED
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The Basics: The Benefits to an Alkaline-Balanced Body

Lots of leafy greens contribute well to an alkaline diet.

Leafy greens contribute well to an alkaline diet.

As with most things in life, your body needs to maintain a proper balance in order for it to perform at its best. In this case, we’re talking about acid vs. alkaline balance. Several years ago, the alkaline-based diet debuted on the scene and since then, it has gained some momentum throughout the years. Kelly Ripa, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Elle MacPherson are among many that tout the benefits of an alkaline diet. But what exactly are the purported benefits of an alkaline diet? How does it affect your body?

Background

As a simple refresher, alkaline or basic compounds score higher on the pH scale, above 7 through 14, with things like bleach and lye scoring highest. Acidic scores range between 0 and 7, with gastric juices and battery acid scoring lowest. A neutral pH is right at 7; human blood, for example, is slightly alkaline, with a pH between 7.35 and 7.45.

Maintaining a healthy balance helps keep your body and body systems functioning at its best. The idea behind an alkaline based diet is that it helps promote body health by creating a more basic environment for body systems to thrive. When your body becomes off-balance, particularly in the acidic direction, this can create a toxic environment and lead to acute or chronic health problems. The alkaline-forming foods work to offset the effects of the acid-forming foods. If the body is overloaded with more acid-forming foods and too little alkaline-forming foods, the acids begin to build up in your body.  This becomes more taxing on your body systems, which have to work sad-505857_640twice as hard to process and excrete the excess acids. The body is always going to work toward maintaining its homeostasis, its most stable state, but having to function in non-optimal conditions will only make your body work harder, and unnecessarily tax your body and organ systems.

 

The Impact of an Acidic Body Environment

A more acidic body/environment tends to be more toxic and decreases the body’s ability to perform basic functions. This includes mineral absorption, cellular energy production, and a decrease in ability to repair damaged cells. Additionally, highly acidic body environments tend to leach calcium from bones, while an alkalitic diet helps maintain bone density, an especially key benefit for the later years in life. Some doctors also suggest that a more acidic body environment can leave a person fatigued, bloated or constipated, as well as prone to inflammation, arthritis, weight gain, and a potential host of other body ailments.

training-828744_640Additionally, for athletes or those who work out regularly, an acidic body environment can have a negative effects as well. We mentioned before that an acidic environment prevents the body, down to the cellular level, from functioning at its best. As a result, the body is not fueled properly, resulting in a lack of energy. For anyone, a continued lack of energy leaves the body fatigued, and results in overall poorer performance. This lack of energy and body fatigue can also impair the immune system and recovery times, and ultimately result in a greater risk of illness or injury.

Alkaline Diet

The idea behind the alkaline diet is that by providing a rich environment of alkaline resources, the body can work better to neutralize the acidic toxins and promote optimum functionality. Without ample alkaline resources, the body begins pulling those resources from other parts of the body, such as bone or connective tissue. An alkaline diet, or even just a more balanced diet provides plenty of alkaline minerals to help your body process toxins better.

With the continuesalad-374173_640d health-conscious trends, shifting toward an alkaline-rich diet may be easier, and you may already be on your way. Lots of fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy greens, are highly promoted, while highly processed foods, fats, and excessive meats are advised against.

For reference, however, it should be noted that even though a food by itself may be acidic (e.g., lemon or citrus) or basic (milk, meat), but it’s the acidity or alkalinity after digestion that should be considered. This is why foods are often referred to as acid-forming or alkaline-forming.

Always consult a doctor or health professional before any change in your diet or routine to make sure it is the right match for your body’s individual needs.

Don’t forget …

If you ever need some extra TLC for your body, we’re always available at SmoothMED! We offer a range of services including Botox, Dysport, Injectables/Fillers, CoolSculpting, Ultherapy, and much more! Check our website for a full listing of services www.smoothmed.com, or give us a call at (212) 371-7666. Walk-ins welcome!

August 6, 2015
by SmoothMED
0 comments

Skin & the City

If you livnew-york-city-828776_640e and/or work in the city, you’re no stranger to traffic, air quality reports, constantly checking your phone for messages and contacting clients, encountering a barrage of people every hour, all with the din of urban clamor fading to white noise as the day barrels on. Maybe it wears on you, maybe you thrive on your daily dose of frenetic energy, but don’t forget, at the end of the day, it all adds up. In particular, it adds up on your skin, in your pores, and if you’re not careful, city life will leave its hardened signature on your face. Whether it’s the random particulate matter floating through the air, the stress we incur, or even exposure to our favorite device – the daily accumulation of all these things can wreak havoc on our skin!

Being the largest organ of our body, skin receives the brunt of everyday pollutants and exposures that come with living and working in the big city. Pollutants in the form of fumes, exhaust, chemicals, dirt, etc. dust us with a fine coating upon each exposure, especially in the thick of the city. Additionally, our skin reacts to the different environments we occupy on a daily basis, depending which temperature-controlled building we’re in, or how often we’re outside, in the car, and even when we return home. Whichever way the thermostat goes, either one affects the moisture in our skin, causing it to dry out and become sensitive.

migraineAnother factor that affects our skin is stress. The city isn’t always conducive to rest and relaxation, and more often than not, it can encourage high stress environments or interactions. It becomes evident in our appearance when we begin to succumb to those stressors. As our body becomes stressed, it releases hormones which are naturally designed to prepare us for defense mode. Repeated or chronic triggering of these systems can launch a series of reactions, including increased oil production, which clogs pores and causes acne, and rushed skin renewal, causing the skin to flake. Blood vessels also react to our stress levels, either constricting and making our skin look pale, or dilating, giving us a flushed appearance. Stress also compromises our body’s ability to heal. Healing from any illness or injury may take longer due to stress interference at the cellular level, preventing what would normally be a smooth and quick recovery.

talking-560318_640Depending on how you use your cellphone, it may be yet another culprit contributing to breakouts or blemishes. If you frequently hold your phone to your face to talk (vs. using a hands-free device), make sure you’re regularly cleaning your cell phone. Dirt and bacteria quickly accumulate as we handle our phones all day long. Plus, when we’re not handling them, they’re often living in our purse, pockets, or other non-sterile places – and all of that can easily transfer to your face! Additionally, that extra heat the cell phone emanates can irritate your skin if exposed for long periods of time, and even contribute to dark spots.

 

486174_10151274856689168_1784153339_nA Regular Skin Care Regimen is Essential

Lack of a good skincare routine can lead to dull-looking skin, breakouts and blemishes.

Because pollution, dirt, makeup, and other particulate matter can accumulate on our skin so easily, it’s crucial to have a regular face-cleansing routine to keep our skin healthy, youthful, and radiant. In more heavily polluted environments, or on warmer days where sweat also factors in, it wouldn’t hurt to wash your face twice, just to be sure you’re not leaving anything behind that can clog your pores. Exfoliating your face regularly (once or twice a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is) helps get the grime off, and sloughs off dead skin cells which can also lead to clogged pores. Once you’re done cleansing your face, don’t forget to top it off with a good moisturizer. Moisturizing your face is essential to keeping your skin hydrated, but can also help provide a barrier between your skin and the daily pollutants it encounters.

Make sure to always wash your face before bed; whatever you have on your face transfers to your pillow and can continue to haunt your face night after night. Additionally, don’t slack on washing your bed sheets! Though you may be squeaky clean crawling into bed, your body still sheds skin cells, your hair and face still leave behind oils, and whatever dust or particles floating in the air eventually rest in your bed, too.

Tips from the Inside Out

Protecting our bodies from pollutants and the toxins accumulated with city living can begin from within as well. Many of these tips are common health advisories, but underlines their importance in overall health and wellness to show from the inside out!

water-686917_640Stay hydrated! Drinking water is obviously key for hydration, but also to help flush out those toxins. Eating fruits and vegetables high in water content also helps.

Antioxidants: Eating foods loaded with antioxidants also helps rid the body of toxins and free radicals, those pesky agents that interfere with proper cell function.

Caffeine and alcohol – tone it down or balance it out: Many of us ingest a lot of caffeine to get us through our day, then enjoy a drink or two to wind down at night. Caffeine and alcohol both dehydrate the body. Otherwise, you can say hello to dry skin, which happens to make any wrinkles more noticeable! Keeping your water intake high can combat these effects. However, alcohol has the added consequence of interfering with the body’s ability to effectively deliver nutrients to the body, so consider that warning before ordering another drink.

sports-731506_640Exercise: Always good for your general health, but with this context in particular, the increased activity improves blood flow to all areas of the body.

Get some fresh air!  Keep your home environment clean and the air flow fresh. Opening your windows in the heart of the city may not result in fresh air flow through your place, but there are options. Buying an air purifier for your home can help filter the toxins.

YOU time: If stress is leaving its mark on your face, finding ways to balance time for you in your busy schedule is crucial for your mental well-being and physical well-being. If it’s nearly impossible to envision “me time,” force yourself to carve out 20-30 minutes a day that you can choose an activity for yourself, read a book, peruse the internet, or even DO NOTHING (what a novelty, right?). It may even require a greater effort in figuring out how to organize or reorganize your schedule to use your time more efficiently. Whatever it takes, you and your body will definitely appreciate it in the end, and the benefits will be tangible!

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As always, if you ever need help looking your best, SmoothMED is available by appointment or walk-in! We offer a full range of services, including Botox, injectables/fillers, CoolSculpting, laser rejuvenation, and our newest addition, Ultherapy! Visit our website, http://www.smoothmed.com/ or contact us 212-371-SMOOTH (7666).

August 6, 2015
by SmoothMED
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SECRETS FOR SUMMER

Wwoman-400574_640e are well into summer, but has your face and body been holding up? If you’re looking a little more than sunkissed, or your locks are looking lacklustre,  you may need to adjust your beauty, skin and hair care regimen for the season. Read our reminders for keeping you and your body beautiful and safe this summer!

✾ FACE & BODY

That summer glow is almost a requisite for the season, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your body. To protect against sun damage, the safest way is clearly the spray-on tan from a salon, or if you’re skilled enough, using a self-tanner!

Having trovegetables-752153_640uble keeping your skin glowing and vibrant? Check your diet and see if you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens, sourced with natural estrogens, Vitamin A & C that  help contribute to brighter skin. Lycopene-rich tomatoes and the oils in avocados can contribute to an increase in collagen. Apples also contain antioxidants in their peels, in particular, one that can aid in protection against the sun. Other fruits such as red grapes, berries, and especially açai berries are also loaded with antioxidants, which help fight those free radicals and rid the body of toxins.

Keep it Clean
Sweat, sunscreen, self tanners — all of those extra things we layer on for our summer look can build up on your skin. Exfoliating a few times a week can reduce build-up and keep skin fresh. For your face, which may have makeup on top of all the sweat and sunscreen, exfoliation works as well. Though products with glycolic or salicylic acid are great for cleansing the skin, they can actually dry it out and increase sun sensitivity. If you notice your skin is drier, but don’t want to give up these products, try using them fewer times a week. This is another reason to make sure you’re applying sunscreen to your face.

An oft-forgot area for care is your decolletage. The skin in there is actually more sensitive than the rest of your body, so be gentle. Exfoliate in a similar manner as you would your face, using a facial scrub instead of a body scrub. Moisturizing your decolletage up to your neck area will help keep it hydrated and healthy.

✾ PROTECTION

1432951409-thumbnailThough it is safer to get less sun, summer wouldn’t be the same if you were holed up inside all day! Thank goodness for sunscreen. Applying such goes without saying, but don’t forget to use it even if you’re not spending the entire day soaking in the sun. Many of us have SPF in our moisturizers or makeup, but a little extra doesn’t hurt with the more intense summer sun. This is especially advisable for travels close to the equator. If you are sun-sensitive and/or have a dramatic part in your hair – you may want to use a spray-on sunscreen to provide extra protection for your scalp. Or, have fun and wear a cute hat!

Don’t forget to reapply as well; the rule is generally every 2 hours with heavy sun exposure. Not reapplying can mean that your sunscreen loses its effectiveness and whatever SPF shows on the bottle could be reduced to half that. Also, if you can’t remember when you purchased your sunscreen (as in, a year or so ago), then it’s time to buy a new one. What’s the point of sunscreen if it’s lost its effectiveness?

Tips for Selecting a Sunscreen

When shopping for sunscreen, key features to look for include the ingredients avobenzone and its helpers, octisalate and octocrylene. Avobenzone helps with the absorption of harmful UVA rays, while octisalate and octocrylene help stabilize avobenzone, and increase the length of time of its effectiveness. Seeing Helioplex on a label is also a good sign; it is actually the stabilized avobenzone. Mention of broad-spectrum or uva/uvb coverage is essential as well. Additionally, don’t put too much faith in the sunscreens labeled with super-high SPFs. SPF numbers of 75, 80, 100, etc. are more or less ridiculous and in reality, only confer a SLIGHTLY higher advantage (about a percentage point or so) than, say, an SPF 30 or 45.

Waterproof or water resistant sunscreens are also important if you’re going to be spending a lot of the time in the water or exposed to water. Know that reapplication is still necessary, however. Sunscreen that is water resistant means that it retains its efficacy underwater for 40 minutes, while waterproof sunscreen can last for 80 minutes.

swimming-pool-830505_640✾ HAIRCARE

The time we spend in the water, salted or chlorinated, can incur some damage to your tresses.

Rinse your hair before going swimming, but don’t shampoo! This will help especially for those whose hair tends to turn green when swimming in the pool. (The reason hair can turn green is due to copper exposure in the water. Chlorine doesn’t help, as it is harsh on hair and can cause damage. The copper is readily absorbed by damaged hair and oxidizes as it comes in contact with the hair shaft, thus turning hair a greenish hue. The lighter the hair, the more noticeable the green is.) Dry hair will want to absorb whatever it comes in contact with. By showering before pool or saltwater exposure, your hair becomes satiated with “clean” water and leaves little room for other chemicals or components to invade. However, leave the shampoo for later — the shampoo will strip the hair of the oils that also helps safeguard your hair against the salt or chlorine exposure.

Whether it’s the pool, the beach, or again, sweating it all out, hair care is essential for avoiding dry, damaged hair. Use a clarifying shampoo to keep your hair clean and rid it of the sweat, chlorine, product or whatever else has built up in your hair. Try deep conditioning your hair once a week to maintain its healthy shine, but also to prevent over-conditioning, which can result in a greasy look.

✾ MAKEUP

Go lighter in the makeup department as well. If you’re used to applying a thicker layer of foundation, tone it down for a lighter, fresher look. Liquid foundation can break down with heat and sweating, and end up clogging your pores. Mineral foundations or tinted moisturizers are a better bet to a great summer look. model-855018_640

✾ LOVE YOUR LIPS

Most of us don’t intentionally apply actual sunscreen on our lips, but since they aren’t able to tan (a natural defense mechanism against the sun), they’re pretty vulnerable to the exposure. Using a chapstick or lipbalm with an SPF can help better care for your lips with increased sun exposure.

The right chapstick or lip balm should be without the menthol or camphor-based ingredients, which actually dry lips over time. Ingredients like shea or beeswax are better choices for keeping moisturized. Avoid those with petrolatum, which tends to attract sun because of its oily nature.

✾ FEET

Make sure you are taking care of yourself from your head down to your toes. Use a pumice stone to get rid of dry skin, and moisturize after. If you can bear wearing socks to bed during summer, moisturize your feet and cover your tootsies as a great way to trap the moisture and keep your skin well conditioned.

SKINMEDICASkin-Care-Products-Santa-Rosa
At SmoothMED, we are proud to carry the SkinMedica line! SkinMedica offers products perfectly suited to put your best summer face forward. We carry the Extreme Protect Sunscreen, and also different cleansing treatments to keep your skin healthy and pores clear. For smoother, younger-looking skin, some of our bestsellers include the TNS Essential Serum, as well as the Youth Eye Complex. Click here for more information on the SkinMedica products at SmoothMED.

Now that you’re armed with awesome information, go out and have a great rest of your summer! Aside from our SkinMedica products, if you’re feeling like you may need extra help with your amazing summer look, visit us at SmoothMED! We have incredible skincare and body treatments including Botox, injectables/fillers, laser rejuvenation, Coolsculpting to help freeze the fat away, and Ultherapy, our newest non-invasive skin-lifting treatment. Visit our website, www.smoothmed.com, call us for an appointment (212) 371-7666, or let our skilled professionals welcome you for a walk-in!

April 23, 2015
by SmoothMED
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It Ain’t Called Beauty Sleep For Nothing!

cat yawnBeauty sleep — we’ve heard it all of our lives, but for many of us, it somehow manages to slip by us. Busy work schedules, family time, and our social lives generally take precedence over our precious sleep. A couple hours here, a couple of hours there — we don’t chalk much up to sleep loss except feeling tired or drained the next day, but sleep deserves much more credit than we’d like to think! Chronic sleep loss greatly undermines our overall well-being and even contributes to health issues.

Many of us are familiar with some of the obvious perks to a well-rested body, including increased energy and a better temperament (for everyone’s benefit), but we can also thank a good night’s rest for stimulating other processes essential to maintaining our best self!

Rest and Rejuvenation

Sleep is an opportunity for our bodies to rest and repair itself. For most adults, the optimal amount of sleep is about 7-8 hours for men, and 6-7 hours for women. While we are sleeping, our body is using this time of rest to undergo healing activity at a cellular level. Growth, regeneration, and restoration seem to be optimal at specific hours of the night, making a regular sleep schedule essential for these processes to properly occur.

Decreased cognitive function is also a result of sleep loss. Thinking, learning, mental acuity, memory, reaction times – all are affected with acute and chronic sleep deprivation. In recent years, “drowsy driving” has gained as much notoriety as drunk driving for equally harmful or even fatal consequences.

Do you ever feel achy or more pain-sensitive after fewer hours of sleep? Our neurotransmitters also need a break, and sleep is their opportunity for restoration. With sleep-deprived neurotransmitters, we are more likely to feel those aches and pains, which are normally suppressed with healthy, sleep-filled rest.

A properly functioning immune system also relies on good sleep. In the early stages of sleep, and also in Stage 3 (deep sleep), are the optimal times for certain immune cells to peak in their production. In a well-rested body, these systems promote an inflammatory response, which sounds negative, but actually helps keep the body’s immune response ready for any foreign invaders. The inflammatory response is tempered by the hormone, cortisol. When the body is deprived of sleep, the balance of these systems is disrupted. Immune response is actually lowered, and risk of illness or infection increases. Increased cortisol levels have also been seen to increase the level of abdominal fat.

Sleep Goes Down, Weight Goes Up!belly-2354_640

For those of us who are weight-conscious, sleep truly helps manage those pounds! The risk of obesity in a sleep-deprived person increases by 21%, for several reasons. Less sleep leads to increased food consumption, and cravings for particularly sweet and starchy foods. On a superficial level, people who are awake longer hours may simply have more opportunities to eat. Also, poor sleepers tend to have less energy, and are therefore less active. However, the balance of hormones that help regulate hunger are also disrupted with poor sleep, lessening our feeling of satiety and increasing our urge to eat. On top of that, sleep deprivation disrupts the body’s ability to process glucose and insulin properly. This can lead to insulin resistance, which is commonly seen in pre-diabetes or diabetes itself. Not only are we putting ourselves at risk for diabetes with chronic glucose imbalances, but cardiovascular disease is more likely to develop as well.

Your sleep is compromised, your diet is compromised – you may think you’re keeping yourself healthy otherwise by going to the gym or exercising. Lack of sleep leaves no leaf unturned! A key player in the repair and regenerative processes is the growth hormone. This hormone is released when you exercise, but it’s also secreted in deep sleep, or stage 3 of the sleep cycle. The growth hormone is essential in rebuilding muscle and burning fat, even over time. In addition to rebuilding muscle and bone tissue, these stages also promote collagen production. Collagen is vital in keeping the youthful composition of our skin!

Sleep and Our Health

sleep-375345_640Another crucial hormone is melatonin, whose production is triggered by darkness (i.e., nighttime, lights-out, etc.). From an exercise standpoint, it helps the body recover from exercise. Most of us are more familiar with melatonin as a factor in regulating our sleep cycles, but it has been found to be a powerful, protective hormone in our bodies. Melatonin protects lipids, proteins, organs (including the brain), as well as mitigating free radicals in our body. Melatonin supplements have even been shown to improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s or those who have suffered from a stroke.  Some cancer patients have also found benefit, as melatonin seemed to aide in responsiveness to chemotherapy treatments, and protect against any toxic effects of chemo. Given the significant impact melatonin has had with healthcare treatments, let’s do ourselves a favor and keep our bodies rested and producing this amazing hormone!

“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
                                                                                                                               – Thomas Dekker

Perhaps we should refer to it as “healthy sleep” instead of “beauty sleep”!  With so much information on the benefits of sleep, hopefully people will give more credence to this natural health and beauty enhancer. As deleterious as it is to our own personal health, it’s even being suggested that our economy and work productivity has suffered as result of our sleep-deprived society.

On that note, sleep well, folks!

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Whether you’re well-rested or working on it, you may feel the need for an extra pick-me-up! SmoothMED offers a variety of options to fight the appearance of age, and to maintain your beautiful self! Contact us for more information, (212) 371-7666, or check out our website www.smoothmed.com to see how SmoothMED can help you!

 

 

 

April 13, 2015
by SmoothMED
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Ultherapy: The Non-Surgical Way to a New You!

SmoothMED is proud to announce a new treatment in our facility! Ultherapy has come to us as an amazing, non-invasive way to lift skin on the neck, eyebrows, under the chin, as well as improving lines and wrinkles on your face and décolletage. Our staff has undergone intensive Ultherapy training and is ready to help your transition to a better YOU! Find out about this month’s special at the end of this blog.

Over time, collagen production tends to slow and the collagen fibers in our skin tend to break down and become weaker. As a result, we may start to see changes in our features like sagging skin, “eyehood” droop, smile lines or jowl formation, and other wrinkles or lines creeping in on us. Instead of resorting to surgical options to correct these imperfections, SmoothMED offers another treatment option for you.

ult_logo_gold_tagUltherapy is an FDA-cleared, highly safe and non-invasive treatment used to lift skin and build collagen, promoting more natural results. For clarification, Ultherapy is the name of the treatment, and Ulthera is the machine delivering the treatment. Ulthera’s innovative use of sound waves is the technology behind the treatment. By delivering ultrasound energy and heating the skin tissue at optimal temperature and depths (both superficially and in the deep foundations of the skin), this triggers a natural, regenerative response called neocollagenesis, or new collagen growth. This new collagen production is what lifts the skin over time.  The actual Ulthera device used is patented with DeepSEE technology which allows practitioners to see the layer of tissue they are treating. This adds extra precision and safety to the procedure.

ultherapy-0108c-d_2yrposttx1before-90daysaftertx2_full (1)The beauty of Ultherapy is that it can serve as a stand-alone treatment, or in conjunction with other procedures you’ve had or are considering. It works well to complement laser therapy, cosmetic surgical lifts, or even RF (radio frequency) energy treatments. Ultherapy is different from other energy procedures in that despite its precision, it bypasses the surface of the skin to accurately deposit focused energy to the exact layer of tissue optimal for new collagen production. Ulthera reaches the same layers of skin as a surgical procedure. However, the skin’s surface as well as surrounding areas are unaffected, but the specific areas will have been accurately targeted and treated. Even if you’ve already had a surgical procedure, Ultherapy can be used to complement a surgical lift by building new collagen and helping maintain such a great investment.

Ultherapy is a wonderful option for many kinds of people, especially those preferring a least or non-invasive approach.  This non-surgical treatment allows skin tissue to repair from the inside out, with no downtime necessary for recovery. Results appear gradually over 2-3 months and can continue up to 6 months after treatment. For most people, only one treatment is necessary in order to see results!

Your skin will continue to age, whether or not you decide to undergo any treatment or not. Even younger people benefit from Ultherapy as a proactive approach to fight the visible signs of age. Other people who are ready for a change but prefer a non-invasive method will love Ultherapy for the improved skin benefits. Depending on individual factors, most people will only need to undergo one Ultherapy treatment, but the consultation process will determine the appropriate treatment for each person.

ultherapy15mm-0297j-k_before-90daysafter_lower-1_low-reCall or contact SmoothMED for an Ultherapy consultation to see if this treatment is best for you. Our highly trained staff is available to answer your questions and guide you to the best procedure to fit your needs. Additionally, we have an amazing special for the month of April: $500 off a lower face Ultherapy treatment!! Call us (212) 371-7666 for more information or visit our website at www.smoothmed.com. We look forward to seeing you!

 

March 1, 2015
by SmoothMED
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SUGAR & AGING

Sugar and AgingIt is no surprise why we are constantly warned about the       hazards of a high sugar diet: risk of diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, etc. What we may not realize is that excessive sugar intake can also affect our skin and contribute to visual signs of age.  Find out how excess sugar intake contributes to accelerated aging, and also how you can help prevent it!

SUGAR & Glycation

Glycation is a process in which a simple sugar attaches itself to a protein or lipid, without any moderation by an enzyme. This process occurs within the body (endogenous glycation), but it can also occur during cooking as well (exogenous glycation, also known as the Maillard Reaction: browning or caramelizing foods). Glycation yields new molecules, bearing the appropriate acronym AGE: Advanced Glycation Endproducts. These AGEs affect neighboring proteins, like collagens and elastin.

Glycation’s effects on the skin make it drier, duller and/or discolored, and fragile. The upper dermis is rich in elastin, which, as its name suggests, contributes to the skin’s elasticity. Collagen provides structural support and contributes to the firmness, suppleness, and also the renewal of new skin cells.  Glycation negatively affects the natural functioning and processes of these proteins. Elastin undergoes a degenerative process, breaking down and decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch and return to its normal state. Eventually this can lead to skin sagging.  Collagen proteins are connected to each other by what is described as a “cross-link.” The collagen in a younger person is connected with much fewer cross-links, making skin softer and more pliable. As people age naturally, more cross-links form, which increases the network of fibers and causes skin to become stiffer and shrink. However, these signs of aging are accelerated with excess sugars in the system, which lead to increased glycation processes.

Glycation also deactivates the body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which leaves little defense against sun damage. As we know, sun damage can go much deeper than sun spots or wrinkles.

In addition to the natural signs of aging, the effects of glycation also become more noticeable in your mid-30s. While the natural processes leave their effects over a lifetime, a poor diet and bad habits (smoking, excessive drinking, etc.) accelerate the signs of aging and deteriorated health.

Your Body is At Risk, Too

While this article emphasizes the effects of glycation on our skin, don’t forget that these same processes are also occurring in other areas of our body. The proteins we discussed, collagens and elastins, also exist in our organs, arteries, and blood vessels. Much of the information we have about glycation is derived from diabetes research, which suggests the severity of this issue. Obviously excess sugars can lead to diabetes, eye/vision problems (also associated with diabetes) but can also contribute to atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in your arteries), stiffening of arterial walls, and neurological impairment often found in Alzheimer’s patients.

Prevention

The easy solution seems to be sugar avoidance, and that is true to an extent. Sugars are naturally found in many foods, so it’s impossible to completely eradicate them from our diet. What you can control is the amount of added sugar to your diet. The American Heart Association recommends to keep under the maximum amount of added sugar intake per day, which for men is 37.5g | 9 tsp | 150 calories, and for women is 25g | 6 tsp | 100 calories per day.

Watching your diet and calorie-intake is part of the process. Refined, fried, and of course, those high sugar foods are all ones to avoid. Choosing carbohydrates that rank low on the glycemic index are desirable; the glycemic index is used to rank a food’s effect on our blood sugar. A good number to stay under or around is 55; up to 70 is medium range, while over 70 is a high glycemic food. It is even suggested that cooking your foods a certain way, at lower temperatures for longer periods vs. higher temperatures for shorter periods, can reduce AGEs in our food intake (remember the Maillard Reaction we mentioned?).

Other Tips for Countering Glycation

Certain nutrients and foods have also been found to inhibit the glycation process. Fiber can help slow sugar absorption and absorb glycation products. Eating whole fruits and vegetables can contribute to your fiber intake. Green tea is well-touted for its health benefits, and it doesn’t fall short in this category. In addition to its numerous antioxidants, positive effects on weight loss and cancer, green tea has also been found effective in disrupting the glycation process and stimulating collagen production. Alpha-lipoic acid, another anti-oxidant, has also been found to lower blood sugar levels and also help rid the body of free radicals. Naturally, alpha-lipoic acid is found in red meats and even brewer’s yeast, but it is also offered in supplement form as well.

With any change in your regular regimen, be sure to consult your doctor especially if you have existing health concerns or are taking any medications.

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SmoothMED is also happy to contribute to your overall well-being! While you work to keep your body healthy and beautiful from the inside out, we can help with a few external touch-ups to reduce the signs of aging. We have several options including Botox, Dysport, and other injectables/fillers to diminish wrinkles or frown lines. Also, we offer products from the amazing SkinMedica line, many of which have anti-aging components that help reduce those fine lines, wrinkles, and increase the skin’s resiliency.  We are also proud to announce the arrival of Ultherapy at SmoothMED – an excellent, non-invasive way to promote collagen production! Check out our website, www.smoothmed.com for a full range of options, updates, or contact us at (212) 371-7666 for more information!