Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Four looks to WOW at your Holiday Event!


 Picture via Pinterest

This looks packs a big punch without taking a lot of time and is perfect for the girl who wants to stand out at her Holiday event! And of course, the red is a great way to get in the holiday spirit! There are a variety of ways to wear this look depending on your personal preference. It can be added to a full makeup look or worn boldly alone. We recommend doing a minimal eye to draw the attention to your lips. A simple thin black eyeliner and black lash with a light to medium color eye shadow complement this look excellently. To give this look an extra oomph try a lip plumping lipstick like Jane Iredale’s Just Kissed Lip Plumper and finish with a gloss to add that kissable look!


Picture via Pinterest

A sure fire way to get noticed at your Holiday Event is to add a little glitter! What makes a woman feel more feminine than glitter? Ummm…pretty much nothing! We love that sparkly stuff everywhere we can get it, on our clothes, on our handbags and yes, even on our faces! But to avoid being the spectacle of the party instead of the star, make sure to keep it to a minimum by choosing just one area to highlight with glitter. We recommend the eyes! Start with an eye shadow of your choice and then simply add glitter! We recommend using a cream eye shadow so the glitter will be able to stick. Jane Iredale EyeGloss is the perfect example. If you don’t want to use any eye shadow you could also use a primer mixed with a moisturizer. Or you can take your powder eye shadow and mix it with a moisturizer to make it into a cream shadow. Next add a glittery dust, we recommend Jane Iredale 24Karat Gold Dust, and voila, Glitter Goddess!


Picture via Pinterest

Remember those phrases our parents used to say, less is more and a little goes a long way? Well, those are the inspiration behind this look. This look is perfect for the girl who wants to wow at her Holiday party without being too overdone. A great way to get bright glowing skin and cover blemishes without using too much makeup is to use a BB Cream. We LOVE Jane Iredale’s Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream. Skip the eyeliner for a truly minimal look, but make sure to add a subtle line of your eye shadow under your lower lash to draw attention to the eyes. A small dab of lighter shadow at the inside corner of your eye will open up your eye and make it pop. Always finish the eye with a curl of the eyelash and a great mascara. That is one makeup product we will never allow you to skip, no matter how minimal you are trying to go! Finish with a tinted lip gloss to complete the look.


Picture via Pinterest

You can’t go wrong with the tried and true cat eye look. It adds a little glamor to any look and definitely takes your look from day to night. The cat eye is created by extending both the upper lid liner and lower lid liner to connect in a subtle winged extension from the outside corner of your eye. This look can range from tame to wild depending on the medium you choose to create it and how long the line extends. A softer look can be achieved by using a dark eyeshadow and a tapered eyeliner brush or an extreme look can be made by using a liquid eyeliner. We like this look with a soft eyeshadow such as Jane Iredale’s Wink or Nude Purepressed Eye Shadow and a hint of color on the lip such as Jane Iredale’s Erin PureMoist LipColour.


The first step to any good makeup is a good skincare routine. The finished piece of art can never be perfect without a good canvas to start with! So, take care of that skin! Make sure to use a good cleanser (see previous post for guide on finding your perfect cleanser) and a great moisturizer.  Moisturizer is especially important in the winter months when we all tend to get a little dry. Check out our BrookskinMD moisturizers, MoistuLuxe and NiaLuxe. For those of you feeling especially dull you may want to try a chemical peel for a quick pick me up: our BrookskinMD Quick Peel is perfect just for that and can be done on the day of your Holiday Event!

The perfect way to complete any of these looks is with a bronze glow! Since we absolutely do not approve of ANY time spent in a tanning bed we recommend a sunless tan using Tan Towels. They are easy to use and create a beautiful bronze without the streaks! Pick them up at the Spa today for 25% off!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guide to Choosing Your Cleanser

Deciding on the right cleanser can be one of the most difficult decisions in your skin care regime. Many people end up choosing the wrong cleanser, which can in turn make the rest of your skin care regime seem as though it is not working. Your moisturizer can end up getting the blame when your skin is too dry, when in reality your cleanser is too harsh! The type of cleanser you use can also change depending on the weather outside. Here in New England with the harsh difference between the summer and winter air, it can be common to need a foaming moisturizer in the summer and a creamy cleanser in the winter. Also, as we age our skin loses some of it's oil production and someone who spent their whole life with oily skin may begin to find that a foaming cleanser is too harsh for their now dryer skin.

The first step to deciding what type of cleanser is right for you is too determine what skin type you are. We recommend going to see an aesthetician to determine this as they will be able to use their well trained eye to tell you exactly what skin type you are. We provide free skin care consults with our aestheticians at Spa on the Green. If you are interested in coming in for one call the Spa at 413-565-2405.

The basic skin types are; oily, dry/dehydrated, combination, sensitive and normal. Individuals with oily skin typically have larger pores, are more prone to acne outbreaks, and tend to have "shiny" looking skin due to visible oil on the skin a few hours after cleansing. Now, as stated before, as those with oily skin get older their skin type can change and become much more dry. So, let's add another category to the list, aging skin. Also, it is possible for oily skin to also be dehydrated. Are you beginning to see why it is important to find out from a professional what skin type you are?

 True dry skin usually feels tight after cleansing if no moisturizer is applied. The skin can become very dry and can flake. These individuals usually have a lack of lipids in their skin and therefore a lack of oil production. Dehydrated skin can feel the same way as dry skin, but instead of lacking oil it lacks water. Any skin type can become dehydrated. Combination skin is exactly how it sounds, a combination of oily and dry skin. These individuals usually have oily T-zones (forehead, nose, chin) and dry cheeks. You can usually actually see a difference in the pore size from the T-zone to the rest of the face. Sensitive skin can be easily irritated by many ingredients especially things such as fragrances, parabens and even botanicals. Those with sensitive skin should be very careful with any of the products they use making sure to read ingredient labels and buy from sensitive skin lines. Normal skin is in perfect balance with just the right amount of oil production.

After you have determined your skin type, it's now time to look at the different type of cleansers out there. Most cleansers fall into one of two categories, foaming or creamy. As a rule foaming cleansers should be used for oily or combination skin as the foaming agent strips away some of the excess oil. Creamy cleanser should be used for dry and sensitive skin types. Normal skin can use either cleanser. Aging skin usually does best with a creamy cleanser, but depending on the time of year, may need to switch to a foaming cleanser if they used to have oily skin when they were younger. Aging skin does very well with creamy cleansers that have some form of alpha hydroxy-acid in them, such as Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid. Our Lacticleanse Creamy Cleanser is a great example of this type of product. The acid helps to exfoliated the skin making fine lines and wrinkles less apparent while the moisturizing creamy part of the cleanser helps to add moisture back into the skin rather than dry it out more. We also offer Lacticleanse Foaming cleanser for aging skin that still has a lot of oil production. Oily skin that is very acne prone should use a foaming cleanser with an alpha hydroxy-acid in it such as our Hydroxyfoam Cleanser. Cleansers with Benzyol Peroxide can be excellent for acne prone skin, but this can be very drying so it is a good idea to only use this cleanser in the morning and use a gentler cleanser at night. Sensitive skin individuals should look for products specifically made for sensitive or redness prone skin. Our RosaLuxe cleansers are great for sensitive skin and come in foaming and creamy formulations!

Now that you hopefully have a better grasp on which type of cleanser you should be purchasing, we invite you to stop by the Spa for 25% off ALL of our cleansers!

This offer is for TODAY only, Dec 11, 2012.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


One of the biggest concerns for all of our patients when having an injectable procedure performed is whether or not they will be sporting a nice big bruise for the days to follow. The fear of a bruise can even prevent some patients from getting the procedure done! Treatments with neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport are less likely to cause bruising than fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. But of course, bruising is always a risk anytime a needle is used. If bruising does occur, patients can expect the bruise to last anywhere from 10-14 days. Most bruising can be covered by makeup, but sometime those pesky dark purple bruises that occur the first few days following the procedure can be difficult to cover up.

We have good news though! There are certain things that can be done to help reduce the risk of bruising from an injectable treatment. It all starts long before you even step into the office. One of the most important things you can do to prevent bruising is to avoid certain medications, supplements, foods and drinks prior to the procedure. It is most prudent to avoid these substances for 2 weeks prior to your appointment. Things that should be avoided include all NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, Excedrin and Motrin. The only over the counter pain med that is not in this category is Tylenol or Acetaminophen. So, if you happen to have a headache or an ache or a pain 2 weeks prior to your procedure, reach for the Tylenol instead of the Advil!

Supplements and some Vitamins also play a huge part in bruising as many of them block platelet function. Some specific ones to avoid include Fish Oil, St. John's Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Garlic, Ginger, Green Tea, and Vitamin E.

Lastly, alcohol can also increase your risk for a nasty bruise, so just like all of the other things mentioned, it is best to avoid it. It is not necessary to avoid alcohol for a full 2 weeks but at least 24 hours is recommended. The longer the better though!

Now, before you go thinking all supplements will causing bruising and swear them off for good, there are some supplements that may prevent bruising or help bruises dissipate faster. Notice, we say MAY. There is no scientific evidence supporting these supplements and decreased bruising, but some people swear by them. Bromelain, an extract from made from the stem of pineapples has been used in folk medicine for years as a anti-inflammatory medicine. It is also thought to diminish the appearance of bruising by breaking down the proteins in the skin that trap fluids. Bromelain can be found in pill form or is present in all parts of a pineapple if ingested. No, you don't have to eat the stem!

Another supplement used to help with bruising is Arnica. Arnica is a flowering plant found in Europe. It too is thought to help with healing and to help decrease the appearance of bruising. It can be found in a few different forms including pills to be taken orally or in creams or ointment which can be rubbed directly onto the affected area.

Now, of course in addition to this there are also traditional methods of preventing bruising that most of you have most likely heard of, such as ice. We usually have our patients sit with some ice-packs on the treated area both before and after the treatment to help prevent bruising and swelling. The ice helps to constrict the blood vessels making bruising less of a risk.

Now that you know all of the tricks of the trade hopefully the idea of having an injectable treatment isn't so scary! We still recommend that you get your treatment at a time when you don't have something important to go to for the next few weeks like say, your wedding or 10 year reunion! If you are interested in learning more about any injectable treatment call the office for an appointment with either Leah or Julia at 413-565-4400.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


October 17, 2012 marks the first ever Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day in the USA. BRA Day was started in order to bring to light a part of Breast Cancer Awareness that can tend to be overlooked. This day seeks to promote education, awareness and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. BRA Day was started in Canada in 2011 and now will occur annually on the 3rd Wednesday of every October.

The spokeswoman for the BRA Day campaign is singer/songwriter Jewel. Her charitable song
 "Flower" was written to benefit breast reconstruction patients. Below is a video of her Public Service Announce regarding Breast Reconstruction and BRA Day

It is important that we spread the word about Breast Reconstruction as 7 out of 10 women eligible for breast reconstruction following mastectomy or partial mastectomy are not being fully informed or informed at all about their options for reconstruction. All women have the right to know what the different breast reconstruction options are and which specific options they would be eligible for.

To find out more information about BRA Day USA or Breast Reconstruction visit BRADayUSA or Breast Reconstruction Options.

We need your help to spread the word about Breast Reconstruction! Help us close the loop on breast cancer!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Trifecta of Skin Care: The 3 Ingredients you need to fight photo damaged skin!

One of the most common questions we get in the office is what kind of skin care regimen the patient should be on. Patients are always asking about the specific brands of skin care they use, if we have heard of it, if it is good, or if they should be using something else. They want to know if there really is a difference between the products you find in a drugstore vs. a department store vs. a doctors office. They are curious about the specific ingredients found in skin care and if there is one particular “magic cure all” ingredient out there. 

The brand of skin care that you use is important. Skin care lines that you will find in a drugstore will have lesser quality ingredient than you will find in products in a department store. Which makes sense seeing as the products in a drugstore are much cheaper than the products in a department store. The more important difference though is between the products you find in a doctors office, or specifically a plastic surgeon or dermatologist’s office vs. pretty much everything else. Product lines sold to or created by doctors will have ingredients in them that actually work to change the cellular structure of your skin in order to enhance the overall tone and texture of it. These ingredients unfortunately cannot be found in products sold at drugstores or department places simply because they hold the potential to cause a reaction that lets face it, the CVS or Nordstrom clerk wouldn’t know how to deal with, but, a doctor would.

So, what exactly are these ingredients and are they magical cure alls? Of course they are not magic and of course there is not just one single ingredient that will give your skin everything that it needs. However, there are basically 3 main ingredients that are the most important to look for in your skin care products if you are looking to improve sun damaged skin and help the overall tone and texture of your skin.

1. Some form of Retinol or Retinoid. Retinols and Retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives that work to increase the number of Fibroblasts in your skin. Fibroblasts are cells found in the skin that make collagen and elastin. It is obvious how this would be appealing as collagen and elastin are what helps to make the skin plump and resilient. As we get older we lose some collagen and elastin which leads to wrinkly, loose skin. Retinoids and Retinols also help increase cell turnover. When we are younger our cells in our skin turn over very fast which is why if you get a cut when you are younger you heal quite a bit faster than when you are older. As we get older the amount of time it takes for our skin cells to turn over double and even triples! Retinols and Retinoids help to make this number closer to what it was when we were younger. This helps to exfoliate the skin getting rid of that dull look and creating a fresher more glowing appearance to our skin! Retinol is the non-prescription strength of retinoid and can be found in many over the counter products as well as in product lines in doctor’s offices. It is a good place to start when you first begin using this type of product, as it is less irritating. For example we sell in our product line Retinol 50 and Retinol 100. We will very commonly start a patient on one of these strengths initially before bumping them up to the prescription strength retinoid.  It is only necessary to use a retinoid every other day, or for example Monday, Wednesday and Friday as the product actually stays in your skin for 48 hours. Only about a pea-sized amount is needed to cover the entire face and it should always be applied at night after cleansing as the sun deactivates it.

2. The second ingredient to look for is Vitamin C. Vitamin C works synergistically with retinoids and can be used at night on the days that you do not use your retinoid, so, for example, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Vitamin C is a nutrient needed by Fibroblasts in order for them to work properly, so you see how this helps retinoids as they increase the number of Fibroblasts in the skin. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect skin cells from UV-related damage, reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin. Some patients will ask us if taking a multivitamin or Vitamin C supplements will help their skin. Multivitamins are an excellent idea for your overall health and can help you get the nutrients you need if you are not finding them in your diet, but it is unlikely that the vitamin C you consume in a pill or a food will ever reach your skin. If you are looking for the benefits of vitamin C to be seen on your face, you must use it topically. The form of vitamin C is also important to consider. Most product labels do not say vitamin C on them but instead various long scientific names that most people would not realize is vitamin C.  These names represent different forms of vitamin C. The most stable and effective forms of vitamin C that you should look for in the ingredient list are: ascorbic acid, retinyl ascorbate, L-ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate.

3. The last ingredient to complete the “trifecta” is some form of alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs). The most common forms of AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid and mandelic acid. Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size and therefore is able to penetrate the outer layer of skin the easiest so that it can reach the layer of skin where living cells reside. This is why it is the most commonly known AHA and it is the one you will likely find in most products. That being said, products with other forms of AHAs are still beneficial and it is not necessary to only buy products containing glycolic acid. AHAs work to improve the appearance and texture of photo damaged skin by increasing collagen in the skin as well as by increasing the thickness of skin without causing inflammation. They also help with general exfoliation of the skin. These products are best used in cleansers and can be used every day. They can be somewhat irritating in high concentrations especially if you are just beginning a retinoid regimen.

So, there you have it, the 3 most important ingredients to help with photo damage! Of course, everyone’s skin is different and therefore it is wise to meet with a skin care expert to get the best advice on exactly what regimen you should be on! At Spa on the Green, located above Dr. Brooks’ practice, we offer Skin Care Consultations with either of our fabulous aestheticians, Jennifer or Heather! Call the spa if you are interested in learning more about what you should be doing for your skin or to learn more about Dr. Brooks’ personal skin care line, Brookskin MD!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


What is an LED and why should you care?

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. An LED is basically a semiconductor light source. LEDs come in many different colors as depicted in the above photo. The first practical visible-spectrum LED was red and  was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak Jr., while working at General Electric Company. LEDs are currently used for televisions, radios, watches, telephones, calculators, traffic lights, large display screens as well as for skin care treatments!

LED skin care treatments or LED facials have been available in medical spas for a long time. They include treatment with either a red LED or a blue LED. Red LEDs are used to treat photo-aging while blue LEDs are used to treat acne. Having these treatments in a medical spa usually involves sitting in front of a bank of these light emitting diodes that are either blue or red. These lights are targeted toward whatever area of the body the patient is looking to treat. Most commonly this is the face, but the back or chest can also be treated, specifically for teens with acne. 

LED treatments are completely safe for either facial rejuvenation or acne reduction. It is not painful and does not require any downtime. LED light is not the same thing as a laser and therefore does not carry the same risk as lasers. It is not necessary to wear protective glasses while being treated with LED light and the light may be used on the skin surrounding the eyes.

The latest breakthrough in LED treatments has come with the creation of an at home treatment device! Now these medical treatments are available to be used in the comfort of your own home, making them much more convenient. While it is still beneficial to come in to a medical spa to get large areas such as your back or your chest treated for acne (we do still offer this at Spa on the Green), it is so much easier to treat your own face and neck at home and not have to worry about finding the time to come into the office/spa for a treatment!

The TANDA luxe is an at home hand held device that uses red LEDs to help fight the signs of aging. This red light is coupled with sonic vibration and gentle warming in a unique massaging treatment head to deliver a professional photo-facial experience at home in order to obtain luxurious, soft, smooth, glowing skin. Red light penetrates into the skin to boost cellular energy increasing the production of collagen and elastin in the skin as well as increasing micro-circulation in the treated area. This helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and make skin look younger, firmer, plumper with a overall enhancement in tone and texture. 

The TANDA clear+ uses the exact same technology as the TANDA luxe except for the fact that instead of using red light, it uses blue light. Blue LED light has been clinically proven to kill acne-causing P. acnes bacteria, clearing existing blemishes and preventing future outbreaks. The clear+ also uses sonic vibration and gentle warming to increase the efficacy of the treatment. Blue light works by producing oxygen singlets which attach to the P.acnes bacteria. These singlets have a photo-toxic effect on key porphorins, causing the P.acnes bacteria to self-destruct. The vibration increases micro-circulation in treated areas, which helps to reduce swelling and inflammation in the skin. The gentle warming opens pores allowing more light to reach the bacteria. 

TANDA luxe and TANDA clear+ should be used as part of your at home skin care routine. To get the most out of either of these treatment systems, they should be used 3 times per week over the entire face and neck. The TANDA luxe may also be used on the hands to treat the signs of aging. 

The head of the TANDA must make full contact with the skin in order to turn on. When it turns on it will emit the light and you will feel a slight vibration. Each area should be treated for 30 seconds. When 30 seconds has completed the device will beep. The triangle shape of the head makes it easy to maneuver the device over your entire face. We find it easiest to use this device with a facial serum to help it glide easily across your skin. We recommend our BrookskinMD C-serum. The vibration of the device will help to push the product into the skin. The Vitamin C in the C-Serum works as a nutrient for the Fibroblasts in our skin which make collagen and elastin, enhancing the overall treatment!

If you would like to learn more about LED treatments or the TANDA products please leave a comment or visit us at the office or the spa! TANDA luxe, TANDA clear+ and TANDA zap are all sold at our office and at our spa!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Botox...lasers...fillers...OH MY!

Do you want to get rid of your wrinkles, but aren't sure what the best treatment is for you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of facial rejuvenation treatments out there? Let us break it down for you!

It starts by determining what type of wrinkle you would like to rid your face of! There are actually FOUR different kinds of wrinkles that can be found on the face! The next step is to determine which treatments will work for the specific wrinkle you want to kiss goodbye!


1. Atrophic Wrinkles
These wrinkles are fine lines occurring on the face that appear to be almost parallel to each other. When you stretch the skin surrounding these wrinkles they tend to disappear. These wrinkles are caused by the loss of collagen in your skin which can be due to sun exposure as well as the normal aging process.

2. Permanent Elastic Wrinkles
Crease lines that may start out as Atrophic Wrinkles, but become permanent over time. They occur on the cheeks and upper lip most frequently. These wrinkles are also caused by sun exposure as well as by smoking.

3. Dynamic Wrinkles
Wrinkles caused by movement of facial muscles. These wrinkles are commonly referred to as frown lines, smile lines, crows feet or "11's" (the lines in-between your eyebrows). They are not caused by sun or smoking (however ALL wrinkles are exacerbated by both of these things), but rather from the repetitive movement of skin as your muscles of your face move in expression.

4. Gravitational Wrinkles
These lines are caused by the effect of gravity as we age. They are also due to the redistribution of fat as we age. These include things like nasolabial folds (the lines framing your mouth) and jowls.


1. Botox & Dysport
Botox (onobotulinumtoxinA) and Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), are both neurotoxins that treat Dynamic Wrinkles. Botox and Dysport work by stopping the nerve from firing, which stops your muscle from contracting, which stops your skin from moving! Once your skin is not constantly moving all day it allows the skin to smooth out and viola, NO wrinkles! Botox and Dysport are temporary treatments and need to be done every 3-4mo. If your wrinkles are deep and do not go away when you are not moving your muscles it make take more than one treatment of Botox or Dysport to completely correct these wrinkles. Some wrinkles may be too deep to ever achieve 100% correction, but can be softened by multiple treatments.

2. Fillers
There are many different fillers out there on the market. The most common are Juvederm and Restylane, which are made of Hyaluronic Acid, a naturally occurring sugar molecule found in your skin. These fillers last anywhere from 6-18 months! These are best used to treat gravitational wrinkles where you have actual loss of volume. They can be used to fill the nasolabial folds & marionette lines (vertical lines going down from each corner of the mouth) as well as to plump up the upper cheek and lips!

3. Lasers Treatments
Laser resurfacing or Fractionated Laser Therapy can be used to help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Both of these treatments can help with the overall appearance of your skin including correction of tone and texture. Lines around the mouth and underneath the eyes as well as atrophic and permanent elastic Wrinkles on the cheeks benefit greatly from a Laser resurfacing treatment. These treatments do require more downtime than treatments with Fillers or Neurotoxins as the skin needs anywhere from 2-10 days to recover depending on how aggressive the treatment was.
Of course Botox, Fillers & Lasers have contraindications, risks and potential side effects associated with them just as any cosmetic procedures do. These treatments should only be performed by a trained and licensed medical professional! Make sure you do your homework and know who is treating you!
If you are interested in learning more about any of these treatments or are interested in receiving any of these treatments, please book a consultation at our office with Dr. Glen Brooks, Leah Kenney, PA-C or Julia Boucher, PA-C. Call 413-565-4400 to book now!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


When it comes to getting the long luscious lashes that all women want, there are many different options to chose from. It can be a bit overwhelming with all of the products out there boasting guaranteed increase in length and volume of lashes. There are many over the counter products including lengthening mascaras, eyelash conditioners with lengthening, eyelash extensions & false eyelashes. Lengthening mascaras can improve the look of your lashes, but we all know there is no magic in them. Obviously, the mascara you chose does play a part in achieving that perfect lash look though. We recommend making sure you use a lash conditioner or "base" prior to putting on the black stuff. This gives yours lashes one more coat which will make them appear fuller and longer! We love Jane Iredale's PureLash Extender Conditioner. Check out this video to learn how to properly use a conditioner prior to your mascara.

As for false eyelashes and eyelash extensions, while they do create a beautiful look, they can be very expensive and a lot of work to keep up! So, even though there are many options at your local drug store and Sephora there doesn't seem to be one that has it all. This is when it's time to visit your plastic surgeon! You may have heard of a prescription medication called Latisse. Latisse (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% is a topical medication applied to your upper lash line daily to promote growth of lashes, including length, thickness and darkness.

Results after using Latisse for 16 weeks
The medication in Latisse was originally used intraocularly (into the eye) to treat glaucoma. It was then observed that patients who were you using this medication started growing fuller thicker lashes, so Allergan decided to formulate it into a cosmetic application to help treat hypotrichosis (inadequate or not enough eyelashes).

Like any medication, there are risks and contraindications associated with use of Latisse. Patients who have Glaucoma and are on medication to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) should only use Latisse with close monitoring for changes in their IOP as concurrent administration of Latisse and IOP-lowering prostaglandin analogs may decrease the IOP-lowering effect.

 Latisse may cause hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the eyelid or the iris (the colored part of the eye). If hyperpigmentation of the iris occurs this is likely permanent. Eyelid hyperpigmentation usually resolves once Latisse is discontinued. This risk is something that we find patients to be particularly worried about prior to explanation. The hyperpigmentation of the eyelid is something that most women will barely notice. If  you have light skin you may notice a slight red hue to the skin just above your lashes and if you have darker skin you may notice a slight purple hue. For most women this does not turn out to be a problem as once you have your eyeliner and eyeshadow on you can no longer see this hyperpigmentation. As far as pigment in the iris, this is a very rare occurrence and has in fact only happened with the use of bismatoprost intraocularly. Patients with completely blue eyes are not at risk at all as blue eyes lack any pigment and therefore no pigment can be put down in them. Brown eyes, while at risk for more pigment to occur, would be unlikely to show any noticeable difference in pigment, as they are already dark. Patients most at risk are those with hazel eyes, green eyes, or blue eyes with flecks of gold or brown in them. Other risks include red itchy eyes, dry eyes, and swelling around the eyes.

Latisse should not be used in women who are pregnant or breast feeding. Latisse should not be used while contacts are worn. Contacts must be removed first and the patient should wait at least 15 min after application of Latisse to reinsert contacts.
Now that we have gone over all of the risk and contraindictions, let's talk about how you actually use Latisse. Latisse comes as a 30 day supply with 60 applicators and an eyedropper bottle of medication. It is only nessecary to use 1 drop of latisse to treat both upper lashes. Take the top of the eyedropper bottle and flip it over and then squeeze 1 drop of the liquid into the top. You can then take the applicator and dip it into the top and then glide it across the lash line just above your upper lash. You do not need to treat your lower lash. The instructions say to use a seperate applicator for each eye, but we find that it is okay to use the same applicator for both eyes. The applicator should be thrown away after 1 use though.  Watch this video from Allergan, the creator of Latisse to see exactly how to apply the product.

You will start to notice a difference after using Latisse for about 4 weeks. As you continue to use it your lashes will continue to become longer and fuller! If you stop using Latisse your lashes will slowly return to the length and thickness they were prior. They will not become shorter or thinner than before use of Latisse. If you are interesting in getting started with Latisse please call our office to make an appointment for a consult and to get your first prescription! Please comment with any questions regarding Latisse. Thicker, fuller lashes are in your future!!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Before: No makeup

During: Trying out the new Jane Iredale spring products!


I was lucky enough to be able to try out the new hues of Jane Iredale's spring collection: "Feeling Alive" first hand with the help of our lovely aesthetician, Lynne. My before picture shows how dull and drab my skin has been looking as we come to the end of the cold/dry weather of a New England winter. It's tempting to go out and sit under the harmful rays of the sun to get that perfect sun kissed look. I'm here to tell you there is another way! All you need is a little Jane Quad Bronzer and you can achieve this look without worrying about the added wrinkles and risk of skin cancer that go along with sun worshiping.

Lynne started my makeup application by color matching for foundation. This can be the most difficult part of a makeup application. It is important to first determine whether your complexion is cool or warm. Folks with cool complexions have blue undertones in their skin, while warm complexions are usually more yellow. Now, you are probably thinking, my skin doesn't look blue or yellow! You can tell which you are by looking at the veins on the inside of your forearm. These veins will either look blue or green. If they are blue you have a cool complexion and if they are green you have a warm complexion. If you still have trouble, think about what color jewelry you usually look best in. People with cool complexions tend to look best in silver jewelry while warm complexions are complimented by gold jewelry. Determining if you are cool or warm will help with color matching your foundation as well as determining your overall makeup theme. You may love the look of orange and corals but if you have cool skin chances are it won't look as good on you as your friend who has a warm complexion!

After Lynne found the perfect shade of Purepressed Mineral Foundation (which by the way has SPF 20 in it!), we moved on to bronzer. If you are pale like me, bronzer is a must, and Jane has one of the best around! Jane's Quad Bronzer comes in 3 shades, the newest shade, Rose Dawn is what Lynne used on me and is a beautiful array of pinky bronzers! Perfect for my cool skin!

Moving on to the eyes. I am in love Jane's Eye Gloss. It is soft and silky and doesn't cause any smudging or creasing! It also lasts all day long, which is absolutely necessary for the long summer days! Lynne used the new shade, Pink Silk on me for a natural ethereal day look. She used Basic Black Eye Pencil to line my lids and Purelash Extender and Conditioner for my lashes followed by Black Onyx Mascara. While we are on the subject of lashes, a quick shout out to Latisse, the medication responsible for my long and thick lashes! We will have another post specifically on this, but I would be remiss not to mention it when talking of lashes.

Last, but not least, lips! Lynne used In the Pink PureGloss to give my lips a hydrated feel and glossy look. She also put just a small amount of the Pink Silk in the middle of my bottom lip to create some dimension in color. If you want a little more than just a gloss Jane also has lipsticks and plumpers available. Jane's Just Kissed Lip Plumper make lips fuller and more kissable while giving them the moisture and color you crave!

My overall look is a perfect collection of pink that would work well on any summer day. It is soft and light and does not look too made up. Perfect for a picnic or barbecue. If you are interested in learning more about Jane Iredale makeup check out their website www.janeiredale.com or come in to our spa for your very own makeup application or makeup tutorial!

~Julia Boucher PA-C

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It's pretty hard to live in our world these days and not know what a chemical peel is. Most people have either had one in the past or at least have known someone who has had one. What can be more difficult to determine is whether you are the right candidate for a peel, what type of peel you should get and what the result will be. This post will hopefully answer some of these questions!

Let's start with, are you the right candidate? The answer to this question for the majority of people is YES! There are very few contraindications for having a chemical peel. The most common contraindications include sunburned skin, open wounds, medications that cause sensitivity such as Vitamin A derivatives (Retin-A, Retinol, Adapalene, Accutane), cystic acne, heightened allergies and skin infections. Patient who are on topical keratolytics such as Retin-A will be asked to discontinue them for a period of time prior to the peel.

Another big question that must be answered in deciding if a chemical peel is right for you, is what are your expectations? If you are someone who is looking to correct deep wrinkling in between the eyes, around the eyes or in the forehead, deepened nasolabial folds (smile lines) or jowls, a peel will not be enough for you. You could still benefit from a peel but you may be more pleased with something a bit more invasive such as Botox or Dysport, fillers such as Juvederm, or even facial cosmetic surgery (don't worry there will be posts about all of these in the future!). However, if you are looking to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, create an even skin texture and tone, brighten and refresh skin, or help lighten pigmentation then congratulations, you are the perfect candidate for a peel!

Now that we have determined a peel is right for you, the next question is what type of peel should you get? There are many many different peels out there that vary in intensity and purpose. There are very strong peels that must be performed by a medical professional such as an MD or PA and require a large amount of downtime. These peels result in a burned-skin look, think Samantha from Sex and the City after her chemical peel. There are also peels that require next to no downtime and are performed by aestheticians.

At our Spa we offer peels that require little downtime (no burned-skin look), but actually achieve excellent results. Our least invasive peel is our  BrookskinMD RosaLuxe Sensitive Skin Peel. This peel is for redness-prone and sensitive skin. It may safely be used in patients with Rosacea. Most patients experience approximately 3-4 days of peeling with this peel. It contains Salicylic acid, Mandelic acid and Azelaic acid. Our most popular peel is our BrookskinMD Glow Retexturing Peel. This peel helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, makes the skin look more radiant and helps even tone. The Glow peel is formulated with TCA, Salicylic acid and Azelaic acid. It is a perfect peel to do in preparation for summer to peel off the dry harsh winter! Most patients peel for about 5-7 days after this peel. If you are looking for help with pigmentation, our BrookskinMD Corrective Pigment Peel will be perfect for you. This peels helps lighten pigmentation, rejuvenate the skin from sun damage, help with fine lines and wrinkles and even skin texture. This peel is formulated with Lactic acid, Azelaic acid and Rhytic acid. This peel has the most downtime and patients can expect to have some peeling for 7-10 days. For those patients who don't want any downtime we have our BrookskinMD Quick Peel. This peel can actually be performed on the day of your big event! All of our peels come with after-care instructions and products to use for the next few weeks while your skin is healing!

This is a patient of ours five days after having our BrookskinMD Corrective Pigment Peel. This type of light peeling is what you can expect with any of our peels.

If you are still wondering if a peel is right for you or have more questions, the best thing you can do is come in for a consultation with one of our aestheticians. They will be able to tell you exactly what benefits you will get from a peel and what peel will be right for you! Happy peeling!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


In honor of May being Melanoma Awareness month we will be selling our "Pale is the New Tan" shirts again this year! With Melanoma on the rise it is more important than ever to raise awareness. Please help us do so by purchasing a tee-shirt and wearing it around your town! All of the proceeds from the sale will go to The Melanoma Research Foundation.

We will be selling the shirts at the office and spa located at 776 Longmeadow St. Longmeadow, MA. We will have a limited supply of shirts available for same day purchase. If you would like to order more shirts or if we don't have your size, we can special order them for you! Tee-shirts are $20 each

Awareness and prevention of Melanoma starts with knowledge! Here are a few easy ways to remember the risks for Melanoma and the signs of Melanoma. Visit www.melanoma.org for more information about Melanoma and other Skin Cancer.


If you have 1 or more of the following you are at a higher risk for developing melanoma.
M: Moles (Atypical >5)
M: Moles (Common >50)
R: Red hair and freckling
I: Inability to tan
S: Sunburn: severe sunburn before age 14
K: Kindred: family history of melanoma

ABCDE's of Melanoma

A for Asymmetry
One half is different than the other half

B for Border Irregularity
The edges are notched, uneven, or blurred

C for Color
Color is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown, black, gray, red,  and white can be seen

D for Diameter
Diameter is greater than the tip of a pencil eraser (>6mm)

E for Evolution
The evolution of your mole(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to melanoma. Knowing what is normal for you could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and or size, get it checked out immediately! 

All shirts printed by our friends at Print Indie, LLC.

Pale is the New Tan is a registered trademake of The Scarlet Lawrence Akins Foundation

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


For the past 20+ years women in the U.S. interested in a breast augmentation had two options for FDA approved breast implants. Mentor, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson has manufactured breast implants since 1984. In 2006, their silicone gel-filled implants trademarked, MemoryGel® were FDA approved for   breast augmentation in women over the age of 22 and for breast reconstruction. Mentor also offers saline implants. Allergan, the multi-specialty health care company home to Botox Cosmetic, also has a line of FDA approved breast implants, trademarked  Natrelle®. They offer silicone gel filled and saline     breast implants. As of March 9, 2012 a new choice is available for FDA approved silicone gel implants. Sientra is an aesthetics company out of Santa Barbara, CA which was founded in 2007. Sientra will offer Silimed® brand portfolio of products. This portfolio includes silicone implants in a variety of shapes and sizes. In a press release regarding the new FDA approval Hani Zeini, founder and cheif executive officers of Sientra was quoted saying, "We are elated to receive FDA approval of our flagship portfolio of silicone breast implants.This represents two significant milestones. Namely, for the first time in 20 years, Sientra has successfully broken the existing duopoly in the U.S. by offering surgeons and patients a new choice. And today, Sientra becomes the first and only company in the U.S. to provide a full portfolio of commercially-available breast implants, including shaped implants in addition to standard round implants."

Disclosure:  This post is not sponsored by any company and is meant only to give our followers the latest news in implants.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Hello Blog World! Welcome and thank you for stopping by our blog. This blog will fill you in on everything you never knew you wanted to know about plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, skin care, breast cancer, skin cancer, overall health and more!

Meet Dr. Brooks:

Dr. Glen Brooks is a board certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgery for the face and body as well as reconstructive breast surgery. His office is located in Longmeadow, MA. Leah Kenney, PA-C and Julia Boucher, PA-C work alongside Dr. Brooks in his office and in the operating room to ensure that all of our patients receive the highest level of care. Leah and Julia also provide non-invasive facial rejuvenation in the office with products such as  BOTOX® Cosmetic , Dysport®, Restylane®, JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel, and  Sculptra®.

Spa on the Green:

Spa on the Green is a medical spa located above Dr. Brooks' private practice. Spa on the Green is owned and operated by Dr. Brooks and focuses on medical grade skin care treatments. Our aestheticians are trained to help you find your perfect Prescription for Beauty using Dr. Brooks' skin care line, BrookskinMD, designed by Dr. Brooks himself with the help of a very talented chemist.

Our entire office and spa staff last year at our big skin care event "The Difference"