Tag: Gabe

Do Peels Scare You?

Do Peels Scare You? on Belle Belle Beauty

By now, most of you know that Gabriel Horn is my trusted source of medical spa services. In fact, he’s known as the Tulsa Skin Guru. And it goes without saying that I trust him implicitly. We have been working together for almost a year now, with much success, in the battle against my hyper-pigmentation and sun damage. Our approach has been moderate strength chemical peels (you can read more about them here). While these peels are both my and Gabe’s choice to reverse sun damage, their aggressive nature isn’t always right given the person or time. So, what do you do if aggressive peels scare you or are inconvenient?

I had a couple things going on in my life last time I visited Gabe (side note: Gabe is also a wealth of advice, wisdom and laughter during my visits). Between a hot date, a Mardi Gras ball and a television appearance, I knew that the regular chemical peel just wasn’t going to work for me. I suddenly found myself in the shoes of some of you readers who have told me peels scare them. The pain, side effects, dry skin and redness just sometimes don’t fit into our lives.

Gabe curated a different treatment that was productive but left my skin radiant, even and supple the following day. He started with a heavy microdermabrasion. Then a 30% Glycolic peel was applied for a short period of time. Thanks to a couple lazy evenings, I had two breakouts on my chin. Gabe spot treated these with salicylic acid. I experienced no tingling or pain. That being said, we must emphasize that these steps require a medical aesthetician. These are not run-of-the-mill spa services. I left the office with a little bit of redness which dissipated throughout the evening.

These types of treatments can lead to dramatic and satisfying results. The difference is that peels like these are like baby steps as opposed to rapid results with more aggressive approaches. But for many people, they just can’t afford the downtime. While the required frequency of more gentle peels might cost slightly more, the lack of side effects might be worth it. Additionally, a more moderate approach might be ideal for summer months. Skin under aggressive treatment can be at greater risk from the damaging sun.

The real takeaway from my last visit is that peels come in a huge spectrum. When we hear “chemical peel” we think of the frightening Sex In The City episode with Samantha’s peeling, red face. But there is a huge range of options and customization available. With proper analysis, a medical aesthetician can design a proper and balanced approach. Even microdermabrasion, a zero downtime treatment, can boost collagen, reverse sun damage and improve skin texture.

The plan for me for now is to ramp up my use of hydroquinone and Retin-A to prep my skin once again for the slightly more aggressive treatment. We are in the home stretch here with maybe only two or three more peels necessary. But I know the time will come again when I just can’t afford the downtime. And it is a comfort to know that there are steps I can take that mitigate the side effects and still make progress against that darn sun damage!

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The Quest For Even Skin

gabe peel

Ever since this interview with Gabriel Horn, I knew I wanted to up my game battling this stubborn hyperpigmentation. I’ve confessed to indulging in the sun this summer (obviously safely, always with sunscreen), so my sun damage and dark spots have gotten even worse. Even with my SPF 50 on my face, my hyperpigmentation-prone skin was affected.

Now that the cooler days have arrived, I knew I could safely go after the damage with strong, medical grade formulas. I stopped in to see my favorite Tulsa Skincare Guru, Gabriel Horn. He has recommended incorporating Tretinoin (aka Retin-A) along with hydraquinone (at 4% strength). I’ve been loyal to that combo since early September. And I have made tremendous progress against those darn spots. But I knew I needed more to eradicate them totally.

Last week, I went in to see Gabriel for a peel. While it can sound scary, my prep work actually made it much less traumatic. Skin that is used to and being treated with Tretinoin can handle chemical peels much better. I have had a peel with Gabriel before, so I knew what to expect. We started with acetone (which sounds gross and scary), but it helps for effective and even absorption of the chemicals. He then applied a modified Jessner peel with a formula developed by Dr. Manduano (the doctor he works with). This usually consists of salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol. From what I understand, it is a very gentle peel alone but can work in conjunction with other peels to raise efficacy. Gabriel then upped the game and spot treated the really dark spots with Trichloroacetic acid (TCA). This is a much more aggressive type of peel.

Next up was a Retinoic acid peel applied all over the face. This is deeper than a Glycolic acid, Alpha hydroxy acid or Beta hydroxy acid peels, but not as strong as the TCA. Along with pigmentation, Retinoic acid also works against scars and wrinkles. While there was a tingle and discomfort but it certainly wasn’t intense pain. I held a fan in front of my face for about 10 minutes which provided a lot of relief.

The areas that Gabriel spot treated got very dark and then peeled for a full week. But gosh darn it… those dark spots are GONE. My face peeled on Friday (approximately 48 hours after my peel). Other than the spot-treated areas, I was done with peeling by Sunday evening. I had no pain after the actual application of the peel. And my skin looks radiant, healthier and more even. I am going to follow up with more peels and will be keeping you posted on my progress!

If you are in the Tulsa area, I highly recommend Gabriel. He works out of Dr. Joey Manduano’s office (also highly recommended) at 2219 East 21st Street. Their phone number is: 918.749.5522.


Summertime Medical Skin Care

Summertime Medical Skin Care // Belle Belle Beauty

Yesterday marked the moment of truth. While I have been on a quest to finally nip this hyper-pigmentation, I have come to the realization that I am a bit of a pool bunny. While I wear SPF 50 at least and reapply every hour, my forehead is just really prone to these dark spots. So, I visited my favorite Tulsa Skin Guru, Gabriel Horn, and we made a plan on action.

I already knew that summertime required a bit of a different approach to skin care. I have set aside my beloved retinol because, primarily, it makes us more susceptible to the sun. I, along with Gabe, will return to the heavy duty retinol/hydroquinone 1-2 punch in the fall. But all is not lost for these months I might spend a little more time by the pool.

First, don’t give up on your hydroquinone. It still helps block the body’s ability to make more melanin, preventing some of those dark spots. In fact, I learned today that it is often used post peel or procedure to keep that melanin suppressed. But as a note, results have shown it takes a 4% dose, twice daily. And for that, you need to see your doctor. Over the counter hydroquinone is at most 2%.

So, that’s what to do on the home front. During my office visit, we went after things in a more medical and aggressive format. But fear not: the biggest bonus of Gabriel’s DNA Reparative Brightening Treatment is you are left with glowy, healthy looking skin. No down time. (Tulsa folks, get more info here).

First, we cleaned things up with a eyebrow tweeze and extractions. Apparently, I was looking “bushy”. Ha, not anymore. Next, we did my favorite, microdermabrasion. The microdermabrasion clears out pores and gives skin a fresh start. Next, Gabriel applied ZO Skin Health ‘Ossential’ Growth Factor Serum.

ZO Skin Health 'Ossential' Growth Factor Serum // Belle Belle Beauty

Growth Factor Serum contains lab-developed growth factor that works to replicate healthy skin cells and repair damage or anything that ails the skin. The water-free gel was soothing and left my skin insanely soft. Over the Growth Factor Serum, Gabriel applied the Ossential Skin Brightening Sheet Masque (found only at doctor’s offices). This deposited much needed antioxidants, stabilized Vitamin C and a mega-dose of hydroquinone to brighten the skin.

Ossential Skin Brightening Sheet Masque // Belle Belle Beauty

After 15 minutes of mask time, my skin was revealed to be softer, brighter and glowing. While I still have to work on my sun damage in a couple months, the DNA Reparative Brightening Treatment is a great way to go after tired and dull skin in the summer.

ZO Skin Health™ 'Ossential™' Daily Power Defense // Belle Belle Beauty

Lastly, Gabriel applied with Dr. Obagi calls “the one product every patient has to have”. (note: Dr. Obagi left his namesake line, Obagi, to start ZO Skin Health). ZO Skin Health™ ‘Ossential™’ Daily Power Defense is a DNA repair lotion that also protects cells from future damage. Stimulating cellular activity, skin cells are encouraged to rejuvinate. This second line of defense is used under SPF.

Tulsa folks, I highly encourage you to stop by for Gabriel’s DNA Reparative Brightening Treatment. You can reach his office at 918.749.5522 or find more information on his Facebook page. Also, make sure to follow him on Twitter. And alert French Bulldog fans: his Instagram cannot be missed.

ZO Medical and ZO Skin Health products can be found at a dermatologist’s office near you. Find your closest here. ZO Skin Health products can be found at Nordstrom as well.

Shop my favorite ZO Skin Health products here:

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