Refreshing Your Skincare Routine for Fall

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Every year, September ushers in a new daily schedule. School and extracurriculars might mean more time ferrying the kids around. You might be buckling down at work now that vacation season has ended. Perhaps your activity levels are shifting as the days get shorter. A change of seasons means a change in lifestyle, even for those of us in sunny Southern California. As you adjust to your new routine, don’t forget to check in with your skin — stress levels, sleep schedules and atmospheric changes can all have an impact on the types of products you skin needs to stay healthy.

Start Fresh

After a summer full of outdoor activities, you might want to hit the reset button before picking up new skincare products. At Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we offer two excellent nonsurgical options that can help you get rid of the layer of old skin cells that has built up over the last few months: laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels.

At SCCSA, laser treatments can be comprehensive or customized to target specific skin regions and concerns. They are effective in fading scars, hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The short pulses of light vaporize highly targeted areas of skin cells, making sure that only unhealthy cells are removed and leaving behind a glowing layer of new skin.

If laser resurfacing isn’t right for your needs or skin type, ask us about medical-grade chemical peels. These use acidic ingredients to dissolve dead skin cells, making this treatment ideal for brightening dark spots and removing dull skin cell buildup.

These treatments can be scheduled by calling Southern California Center for Surgical Arts at 818-616-6685 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Elias can help determine if one might be right for you, or recommend skincare products that can achieve similar results.

Don’t Dry Out

A good moisturizer can be your skin’s best friend as the air starts to get dry. Even here in Southern California, where we can expect temperatures to stay balmy through November, the average humidity levels drop beginning in late September. When the moisture levels in the air are low, the moisture in your skin becomes more prone to evaporation. It’s important to choose a moisturizer that will replenish your skin’s water stores and protect it from the dry air. Look for moisturizing creams that list ingredients like dimethicone or squalane, or are cocoa or shea butter-based.

Wake Your Skin Up

If your new fall routine is busy and stressful, your skin might be feeling the effects. If you’re noticing your skin — especially your eyes — feeling red or puffy, you should consider adding a soothing mask or nightly eye cream to your regular skincare. Antioxidant and moisturizing ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 (also called niacinamide) or aloe can stimulate collagen production, cool and hydrate, bringing an even tone and youthful springiness back to your skin. Be sure to avoid harsh or fragrant ingredients like alcohols and essential oils — these could irritate your eyes and make redness worse.

SCCSA wants all of our clients to have beautiful skin that makes them feel empowered and confident, regardless of the season. Call us today at 818-616-6685 to find out more about what we can do to get your skin glowing year round.

Celebrating “Galentine’s” Day!

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At SCCSA, we’re all about empowering our clients to look their best when it comes to their skin. Our female clients are always looking for ways to introduce their friends to skin care treatments they love, so why not do them all month long in February. Instead of focusing on one day a year where you can express love for your significant other, think about sharing that love with your gal pals about your skin. When you’re embracing skin care together, you feel confident as a group to accomplish more.

We can’t say this enough, but the way you age is up to you, and that means getting active about skin care. Getting a group of your friends together to talk about the issues you’re experiencing with skin care, such as premature aging as wrinkles make their debut, is much more beneficial than going it alone. Women need to stand together on every issue including beautiful skin, so you feel good about everything you do from the minute you get up until the day is done.

Think of February as an invitation to start your self-love and skin care group. Each month, pick a new skin condition you’re all concerned about and look into skin care treatments that solve the problem. Skin care treatments you can do with your friends at Southern California Center for Surgical Arts include:

Laser Skin Resurfacing and Chemical Peels

If you’re in your thirties, it’s a sure thing that some light to moderate signs of aging has appeared. Laser skin resurfacing and chemical peel methods will help you get a hold of these things before they get worse since they work to remove the topmost layer of your epidermis to start fresh. Using heat therapy, lasers can fractionally cause damage to the surface of your skin (killing off the dead cells) so that your skin’s natural healing factors can replace them with fresh, healthy cells. Heating the skin creates a domino effect of repair mechanisms that will reinforce collagen and support protein production all year long.

While heating the skin does wonders for your face, neck, and chest, chemical peels come in a variety of strengths that chemically induce exfoliation and peeling of the superficial layer. If you’re not ready for laser applications, chemical peels can be modified to focus on acne, texture, pore size and more. Try a light peel first and gradually increase strength as needed. These chemical peels are a lot like mini-facials but with more kick and depth of clean. Book a set of peels or laser treatments together to see the difference in your skin over the next few months.

Botox and Other Injectables

Get ready to smooth over your wrinkles like they were never there, to begin with, or replace some lost volume with dermal fillers. Botox is a neurotoxin injection that calms muscle movement, so you don’t have to worry about forehead, brow or crow’s feet getting in the way of your day. Injectables are a great quick fix way to address aging signs as they happen. Botox and injectable parties are some of the most fun where you can get friends together to discuss your wrinkles and which injectable types work best. While Botox gets injected into the muscle, other injectables can work between muscle and skin layers to boost hydration and reduce wrinkles.

Call SCCSA to get your weekly or monthly Galentine’s Days scheduled throughout the year at 818-696-4425.

Peel Yourself Beautiful This Fall


Great skin comes in many forms, and it’s subjective when you’re looking at it from the surface because beauty can be viewed by so many people differently. We agree that beauty is dynamic and we like it that way; each one of our patients is beautiful uniquely. However, the condition of the skin from a bird’s eye view may reflect something that could affect the health of the skin. If your skin is unhealthy, the chances are that it won’t look great forever which is why we want to give our patients their best chance at not only beautiful but healthy skin all around from the roots on up.

At Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, great skin is a promise that we work into our skin care treatments, and we recommend that everyone take a chance on a peel. We say during the fall season is the best time to start thinking about your skin care regimen and how it can chance the world for you and your skin. So why don’t you peel yourself beautiful this fall with our various safe and customized chemical peels?

Chemical Peels and How They Work

An overview of chemical peels is the ideal way to start when you’re weighing your skin care options because you should know what each treatment promises for your skin and why. Chemical peels were designed by dermatologists to help remove or exfoliate the superficial skin from your face so that you can start a skin care plan fresh and be able to concentrate on any custom concerns that stick to your skin type. There is a list of things that will further classify the types of facial chemical peels we present to our clients at Southern California Center for Surgical Arts; the first is your age and the condition of the skin.

The younger our clients are, the more lenient we can be on the type of peel they should go for to maintain healthier skin that has a relatively new set of cells. Older skin may require deeper peel formulas if you’re looking to lift and tighten as well as restructure. Should you have a few different levels of hyperpigmentation, acne and age spots, these too can require a varied peel strength. The following skin concerns are ideal for a chemical peel:

  • If you’re looking to restructure the dermal layer
  • Want to rid your skin of freckles, age spots and melasma
  • Smooth over the tone and texture
  • Reduce wrinkles in the face, neck, chest and hands
  • Get rid of larger pore openings
  • Increase circulation
  • Break down dead cells and resurface the skin
  • Reducing the appearance of scarring

We can continue as to the many reasons why you should consider a peel. Ultimately during your skin care analysis with Dr. Elias and his nursing staff we’ll help you decide which peel is the optimal choice for your skin since it should align with your needs of hydration, rejuvenation, and vitamin infusions. There are three types of facial chemical peels that we base our decision on as we recommend this treatment plan for each patient.

The Three Gradients of Chemical Peels

Surface Peel, Light Peel or a Peel for Sensitive Skin

The surface peel, the lightest possible peel we can offer our patients, is composed of alpha and beta-hydroxy acids or glycolic acids that will be created for you as you enter into our treatment room. Only the topmost dead cells will be removed during this sensitive peel which will not damage the deeper layers at all. When patients have never had a chemical peel, previously we often recommend starting here to see if you like the result. Should you require a deeper peel to cover any deeper skin conditions, we may move to medium or a deep peel. This peel is for younger skin that doesn’t require serious treatment, so for things like superficial sun damage and rough wind conditions.

Medium Peel

We go a little deeper with this peel since it will go further than just those top layer cells that are normally flagged as continually regenerating cells. Not only will we wash away the top layer of dehydrated, malformed or sunburned cells, but we will remove discoloration from the skin’s layer one set further. Resurfacing the skin will start with a medium peel in your skin care place so we can start by rerouting blood circulation that will feel the facial cells with more nutrients and oxygen to act as anti-oxidants when free-radicals irritate the skin.

Deeper Peel

When we’re hoping to help patients with their deep wrinkles, injury and some light surgical or acne scarring, this deeper peel is harsher on the skin, but it will get to smooth these issues over. We require an anesthetic for these deeper set peels because they tend to be a bit uncomfortable which is why we don’t recommend this for sensitive skin. Sometimes these deep peels are done through laser heat energy but will depend on the recommendation.

We encourage you to set up a comprehensive consultation for chemical peels and a skin care analysis to find out if chemical peels are the right choice for you. Call SCCSA today to schedule your skin care session with Dr. Husam Elias at 818-616-6685.

Santa Ana Winds: How to Protect Your Skin


The Santa Ana Winds are something we hear about every day in the fall and winter here at SCCSA, Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, in Sherman Oaks. These winds hit between October and January, which are the strongest sets of wind speeds that can reach up to 40 mph. That’s pretty fast wind and the higher their speeds, the harder they hit whatever they pass through or hit straight on—mainly your skin. During these months, when the winds are at their highest, the skin is the most vulnerable part of the body, and we want to protect it vigorously.

Wind Dehydrates the Skin

As soon as we go outside, our skin is vulnerable to high winds and cooler temperatures that can be a shock from the temperatures inside your car or home. When the temperature change hits the skin, then cells start to lose their plumpness and vitality. Each layer of the skin becomes weaker and will eventually break down over time revealing aged skin if we don’t tend to these cells. Regulating the effect that the wind has on our skin can help reduce the amount of damage we find during the winter months.

The difference between fall and winter compared to the summertime makes all the difference in the way the skin behaves. In summer, we have more moisture to spare because the heat activates sweat glands to balance internal and external temperatures, but in the winter months when it’s cold we don’t have these mechanisms always working. If we continue to lose water molecules, then we can’t get them back unless we hydrate the cells another way. So how do we protect the skin from the wind and dryness?

Protecting Skin in Wind from Dryness

The Santa Ana Winds produce dead skin cells on the surface and dryer than dry cells beneath. We have to save what’s healthy and to hydrate these cells continually. At SCCSA, we recommend that everyone have either a skin resurfacing laser treatment or varying type of chemical peel that can remove the topmost surface layer to uncover fresh skin. Once we have a fresh new layer of the skin, this is the best place to start our complete skin care regimen. Here are some of the tips we recommend to our clients at the change in the seasons, especially when the Santa Ana Winds are at their peak.

  • Try to avoid swift cold to warm shifts in the temperature
  • Apply sunscreen and cover up
  • Drink plenty of fluids, mostly water
  • Apply oils and cosmeceuticals prescribed by a skin care professional
  • Laser treatments and peels
  • Maintain healthy skin care plan with your doctor

If you have significant damage to your skin, such as redness and maximized pore size, hyperpigmentation, and a rough texture, it’s time you see a specialist that can help you reverse this damage or repair what you have. The sooner you know how important skin care is no matter what the season, the better prepared you’ll be for what’s to come. Call the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts to learn more about healthy skin care and our top cosmetic treatments today at 818-616-6685.

Everything You Need to Know About Botox

Everything You Need to Know About Botox

The name Botox is not uncommon; you have heard it floating around between friends, among older relatives, maybe even at work. Though it has been such a popular product for so long, it can still be a bit unclear why it is so popular and, now that it has so many functions, what exactly it is used for.

Learning about the different ways Botox can help you, and what exactly this neurotoxin is, might push you in the direction of becoming one of its faithful fanatics, so be prepared to learn everything you need to know about our favorite injectable treatment!

What is Botox?

Botox is an injectable made of botulinum toxin type A. Those words mean absolutely nothing to the majority of the population. The chemical that makes up Botox is used primarily for relaxing stiff muscles and was originally a solution for muscle spasms and dystonia. Since then, research has helped push Botox into commercial use and its functions have extended to cosmetic treatment as well as healing a long list of symptoms.

Why is it so popular?

Botox has become so popular over the years because of its massive commercial reach and appeal. Once a very noticeable treatment for crow’s feet and anti-aging, it has become a finessed procedure that can naturally reduce the signs of aging and provide men and women with relief for many different types of chronic pain or cosmetic woes. Because it is such a versatile product and may soon become a topical treatment, Botox is only going to become more common and, possibly, even a household name.

What can Botox do for me?

You’re probably wondering what exactly the functional uses of Botox are, and we don’t blame you. There are so many different ways to use this injection, but the most popular include:

  • Anti-aging: Botox is very effective in combatting stiffened muscles in the face, including crow’s feet, lines between your brows and other wrinkling that can be caused by stress and time. As these muscles harden and seem to make a permanent residence on your appearance, they cause you to look older than you feel. Injecting Botox carefully into these areas can bring major relief to the muscles and help you look as young as you feel.
  • Migraine Solution: Chronic migraines have very few treatments, the most popular being overmedicating with either prescription strength medication or over-the-counter pain killers, which can both be very damaging to your liver when taken in excess over a long period of time. Botox has recently been approved as an effective treatment for migraines when injected into the temples. It reaches the nerves causing the pain and relaxes them to relieve the headache.
  • Excessive Sweating: That’s right! Extra-strength antiperspirant has nothing on Botox for managing sweat. Patients have opted for injections in their underarms, feet or scalp to eliminate excessive perspiration and avoid sweat marks on their clothes or ruining their blowout within an hour of leaving the salon.
  • Involuntary muscle spasm: Cervical dystonia, a disorder that causes the head and neck to jerk, or blepharospasm, chronic eye twitching, can both be treated with Botox. As the product is designed to relax muscle function in specific areas, when injected into the site of the nerve causing the spasm, it can be very effective in relieving these twitches.

What are the side effects?

It is extremely important to consult an experienced physician before opting for Botox injections, because this toxic substance can have an adverse effect if administered improperly. Allergic reaction is always a possibility with a new medication, so be sure to let your doctor know if you have similar allergies or if you need an allergy test.

If you do see a physician who is not experienced and trained with Botox injections, you risk the possibility of paralyzing the wrong muscle group. So, instead of eliminating the look of crow’s feet, you may end up without proper eyelid function for the duration of the injection. The side effects of Botox are very manageable and avoidable if you are careful about who you choose to administer the treatment.

After your injections, you might notice redness, swelling or irritation in the injected area. This does not necessarily mean you are allergic to the treatment; it is a natural reaction that lasts several hours to one day and will fade on its own.

How early can you start?

In recent years, because of the widespread use of Botox, it has been debated how early is too early to begin to receive injections. The answer truly depends on why you are receiving the injections and what your intentions are for treatment.

Something to consider when you are beginning to receive Botox injections is that they are not permanent. The upkeep on Botox is about twice per year, so it is not a treatment you can receive once and be through with it if you want to maintain the results. If you are opting for cosmetic reasons, consider this in your ultimate decision.

No patient under 18 years old should ever be receiving injections, but Botox can be helpful for adults who need a solution to migraines or sweating. For anti-aging purposes, we recommend waiting until mid-to-late twenties before beginning injections. This may still seem young, but Botox as preventative can put off the aging process and help men and women look ageless when they should be starting to see fine lines in the face.

Am I a good candidate for Botox?

If you have begun to experience early signs of aging or are looking for a solution to chronic pain, Botox might be the perfect treatment for you. Before choosing this injection, we recommend you schedule a consultation with a trusted specialist like Dr. Elias. As an experienced surgeon and Los Angeles’ go-to Botox physician, he knows what can benefit his patients and is able to guide you in the right direction.

At the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we want our patients to feel comfortable, supported and safe trusting in our care. To schedule your consultation and learn more about how you can improve how you look and feel, call us today: (818) 696-4425.