*Unretouched photos of subject, age 47

In spite of our anti-aging regimens, hands often betray us, revealing the truth about our chronological ages.  Like the face, hands gradually lose their volume over time, resulting in thin and wrinkled skin as well as unsightly veins and tendons (chords).  While injecting a dermal filler is an obvious treatment for restoring volume to our hands and faces, which filler is best?  We recently discovered that only one has been approved by the FDA for hands:  Radiesse.

Radiesse is different from traditional hyaluronic fillers, as it contains calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), a substance that is identical to what’s naturally found in the body. When injected into the skin, these unique, patented, microspheres initially perform as a filler and, ultimately, stimulate new collagen production.  Over time, though, the body gradually absorbs the Radiesse itself, leaving behind one’s own collagen.  Los Angeles dermatologist, Dr. Helen Fincher, chooses it for her patients’ hands because, “Radiesse is a quick-fix for those bony veiny hands that were hard to treat in the past.  It provides a nearly instant natural result with minimal pain and downtime.”

Radiesse lasts up to twelve months in most patients and is relatively less-expensive than other dermal fillers.  Typically a single treatment costs $800; however, this varies based on provider’s location and the quantity needed.



Did you know that aging affects your smile?  Most oral alterations occur during peri-menopause and are attributed to hormonal changes as well as the aging of oral tissues.  Symptoms may include Burning Mouth Syndrome (an extreme pain and burning in the  tongue, lips, palate, and gums), Hyposialia (dryness of the mouth), mucosal changes (ranging from bleeding gums and ulcers to fungal infections), and Osteoporosis and Periodontitis (bone loss and gum recession).  So what is an Undercover Agent to do?  Recently The Daily Mail shared some insights.

Because salivary production is the first line of defence against acid attack from plaque bacteria and acidic food and drink, peri-menopausal women need to be diligent about their teeth cleaning.  According to London dentist, Dr. Uchenna Okoye, “The night-time clean is the most important as it’s when our saliva production drops naturally.”  Okove recommends using a fluoride toothpaste for its anti-bacterial benefits.

Boosting hydration is also key.  According to holistic dentist, Dr. David Cook, “often people with dry mouths drink more sodas and juices, which cause acid erosion.”  The good doctor recommends non-fruit herbal teas and water, which reduce acidity in the mouth.  A natural way to improve salivary flow is by chewing, but be careful about your food choices.  “The only safe snacks are raw nuts, cheese, plain yogurt and raw crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots or a boiled egg,” explains Dr. Cook, “as these foods don’t cause plaque bacteria and are not acidic.” Read more of this story »


plastic-surgery-concernsSearching for a cosmetic surgeon is more manageable when you use a clearly-defined system to make the choice. Consider all options and weigh them cautiously. If you’re consulting with a cosmetic surgeon and any of the following red-flags emerge, do consider looking for a different doctor!

1. They offer discount coupons.  Discount coupons make sense if you’re looking for a haircut or a massage, not for plastic surgery. “Don’t bargain price when it comes to something serious like surgery. You want to make sure you research the average prices and if something seems too steep of a discount, beware!” says Dr. John Zannis, a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in New Bern, North Carolina.

2. The surgeon is not Board-Certified.  Look for credentials — someone who is Board-Certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means the surgeon has had at least six years of surgical training (with two or three years devoted specifically to plastic surgery), has passed rigorous oral and written examinations, and has demonstrated safe and ethical surgical practice.

3. They make lofty promises.  Any surgeon who promises to make you look like a celebrity, or says he or she can make you look 30 years younger is over-promising.  A skilled surgeon knows the potential and limitations of surgery and will be clear about this from the start. And a good surgeon will want you to look like an improved version of yourself and not someone else. Read more of this story »