How to Confidently Choose a Plastic Surgeon

5 Tips for picking a Plastic Surgeon

Remember the days of flipping through the phone book to look for a professional service? Those days are gone. Today word-of-mouth referrals and social media play a huge part in finding a new hair salon, pest control service, and dentist. So how do you find a Plastic Surgeon if you've been contemplating cosmetic surgery? 

It can be a big decision to have plastic surgery. If you are like most people, you have been contemplating this for quite some time. Once you have gotten to the point of moving forward with surgery, how do you find the right Plastic Surgeon? Here are 5 tips to consider:

1. Make sure the surgeon is board-certified. For any plastic surgery procedure, you want a doctor who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Why is this important? Legally any doctor is permitted to do any cosmetic procedure. A psychiatrist could do a breast augmentation (legally, but not necessarily with skill and technique). If you use a board-certified Plastic Surgeon you know that he or she has completed the necessary surgical training, plus they have to take written and oral tests, do continuing medical education and re-certify every 10 years. It is no longer enough to just ask, "Are you board certified" because most doctors are board-certified in some medical specialty. The specific certification to be looking for is done only through The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). To find out if your potential Plastic Surgeon is board-certified visit https://www.plasticsurgery.org

2. Ask if the surgeon has hospital privileges. Even if you are having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic or surgical center, it is worth asking the doctor where they have hospital privileges for this procedure. Hospitals do extensive background checks, thus hospital privileges from a reputable hospital are a good indication that the surgeon is qualified and in good standing. You can also check the surgeon's record. Many state licensing boards list malpractice judgments, plus any disciplinary actions by the board.

3. Ask detailed questions. Some questions may include: How many times have you performed this specific procedure? What specific techniques will be used? Are you insured for malpractice? What contingency plans are in place in the event of an emergency? Realistically, what results can I expect? How many years of experience do you have?

4. Beware of bargain prices. We all like a good deal. If pricing seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is. A cheaper price may become very expensive if revisions are necessary or complications arise. Another reason advertised low prices could be concerning is sometimes the quoted price could exclude other fees or after procedure costs, the facility where the procedure will be performed may be outdated and non-compliant, the surgeon may be using outdated tools, and the surgeon may be in desperate need of new patients.

5. Ask your friends and talk with previous patients. A great way to gain insight on a surgeon is to ask around. Ask friends or family for referrals. Personal recommendations are important. Get opinions from your family doctor and other medical professionals. Surgical technicians and operating room nurses are an excellent source for information about a surgeon's skill in the operating room. 

 

The UGLY TRUTH of Beauty Products: Buyer Beware!

While in-office skin treatments can work miracles for the health and appearance of your skin, using the right at-home products is vital to maintaining your results and making sure your skin is thriving. "Medical grade" professional skin care products are formulated with high-quality ingredients and offer clinically proven results. Because of their strength and efficacy, most of these products are available only through licensed physician's offices (dermatology and plastic surgery) and some medical spas.

Is There A Difference in Skincare Product?

Over the Counter: This type of skincare product is limited on what they are allowed to actually put into their product. When it comes to pricing you are typically paying for pretty packaging, fragrances and fluff, rather than the product itself. Many drugstore skincare products contain a long list of filler ingredients. These substances typically do not provide much benefit, but can increase your risk of skin sensitivity, irritation or an allergic reaction. When you buy skincare products from a "big box" retailer you are paying for untested, unproven, unregulated and potentially ineffective ingredients. Why pay for that?

Medical Grade: Medical grade skincare products contain a higher concentration of active ingredients and the majority of brands are competitive with pricing. A higher concentration of active ingredients also means that you get a lot more with less product. Therefore, they tend to last longer and will be more economical in the long run. "Medical grade" professional skincare products are typically more expensive up front, but they usually last longer and produce a significantly higher return on investment for your skin health over time. Isn't that what you want to pay for? Medical grade skincare products cannot be sold at your favorite big-box retailer (brick and mortar stores as well as online) because of the higher concentration of active ingredients. These products should be recommended by someone with education and experience with skin types, skin conditions, and ingredients in order to guide you in picking the correct formulated product for your skin.

What Is Beauty Diversion?

Beauty Diversion is becoming like an infectious disease spreading throughout the professional skincare and cosmetics industry like a crazed wildfire. As online shopping becomes increasingly popular, the problem of skincare diversion is increasing. Plus, who can resist the "FREE 2 day shipping" and the convenience of getting the product right to your door faster than you can blink?!

Beauty diversion happens when professional products, that are intended for sale only at authorized physician's offices and some medical spas, end up being sold by other types of retailers.

How does this happen? Skincare (both "over the counter" and "medical grade" products) is a hot market right now (estimated $63 BILLION in US product sales every year) and there are very few laws to prevent diversion. Yet there are many, many ways "companies" are trying to cash in on this business. Imagine these scenarios: A wholesaler orders product and fails to sell it all. They then drop the product on a popular online site to sell to a third party without the manufacturer's consent. Diverted product may have been stolen or "collected" from multiple sources before being sold to the third party, and ultimately the end-user. Beauty diversion can also happen when spas/salons go out of business and liquidate stock. There is no way to insure the quality of a professional product when purchased through a retailer other than an authorized seller. Diverted products often times have original tracking codes or batch numbers scraped off. Some containers are dumped out and refilled with other lotions and potentially deadly potions. There have been numerous cases of cosmetics sold online, unauthorized, that have been found to contain lead and other deadly ingredients.

Why should this matter to you? Diverted products can be counterfeit, diluted and/or altered formulas, old, or expired products that may not be safe to use. There could even be a completely different product inside the bottle than what is listed on the label. Using a diverted product could result in irritation, infection or worse. By purchasing a diverted product you are contributing to a major problem that affects both consumer and the entire skincare industry. But if that doesn't convince you, still wanting to save a couple of dollars buying product from an unauthorized seller, please consider your health and safety. Your skin is your body's largest organ. Skin is your body's protection. Don't endanger the health of your skin with diverted product. It's not worth the risk to save a couple of dollars.

Today's fake skincare products, just like a fake handbag, are so well counterfeited they can look just like the real product. While diverted products are often sold at a discounted price, they can be counterfeit, diluted formulas, or old, expired formulas that may not be safe to use. Diversion products run the risk of being expired. Some may have been opened already by customers. You run the risk of not knowing if a product is authentic or not.

Where is the Best Place to Buy Medical Grade Skincare Product?

When you buy from an authorized doctor's office you are getting authentic product. Plus you are getting the proper advice on how to use the product and integrate it into your routine. Getting the correct guidance on how to use product correctly is very important.

Medical grade skincare products are a good value. So much in retail today is way over-priced. When you purchase medical grade skincare product from our office you get more for your money in a professional product.

Diversion hurts all of us. Consumers, Doctor's offices, Spas, Distributors and Manufacturers. Please do not buy your professional/medical grade products from sources other than a doctor's office. If you have a favorite brand or medical grade skincare product that you want to purchase, but you just don't know where it is safe to purchase an authentic product, oftentimes the manufacturer will list on their website "authorized retailers".

Don't take chances. You should buy the freshest product you can buy. Not only will it perform better for your skin, but it's safer as well. You can be assured that any product bought in Dr. Jensen's office is authentic and we are authorized to sell. Plus, we will give you the correct advice on what skincare product will work best for your skin.

New Year, New Goals: A Prescription for Cancer Survivors

Ranked as one of the top New Year's Resolutions, every year, is the goal to "exercise more often". Exercising is always a good goal to have, especially if you actually put your goal into action! But did you know that research shows there are many benefits to exercising for those specifically with a cancer diagnosis? Some doctors even prescribe exercise as a way to improve quality of life and the long term outcomes for cancer survivors.

Exercise Can Prevent and Even Cure

"Exercise is the magic pill," says Michael R. Bracko, EdD, FACSM, chairman of the American College of Sports Medicine's Consumer Information Committee. "Exercise can literally cure diseases like some forms of heart disease. Exercise has been implicated in helping people prevent or recover from some forms of cancer. Exercise helps people with arthritis. Exercise helps people prevent and reverse depression."

Exercise for Cancer Survivors

For cancer survivors, who regularly exercise, the research shows the positive benefits of exercise including: reducing fatigue; an increase in energy and a positive shift in mood; improvement in heart and bone health; improvement in balance and flexibility; and the ultimate benefit...lowering your risk of cancer returning.

Be Creative, But Don't Overcomplicate

Exercise doesn't need to be complicated. You can start slow and be creative about your movement each day. Small changes in your daily routine are a great start and can make a difference. Some ideas to help you begin are:

  • Discuss your exercise plan with your health care provider, especially if you have any long-term medical conditions.
  • Make realistic goals by starting small. Try adding 10, 20, and 30 minute exercises, in some form, to your daily routine. Build momentum over time.
  • Choose things that you enjoy. If you are doing something that you enjoy it will be easier to stick with your plan.
  • Explore new ways to exercise. All movement counts. Dance, walk, climb stairs, swim, garden, bike, even household chores count. Choose activities that make you feel happy and confident.
  • Track your progress. Wear a pedometer. This is an easy way to measure your success and to add in more movement each day.
  • Stick with it, but ditch the "all-or-nothing" attitude. Be kind to your self. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, just adding modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your health.

Why I am Grateful to be a Doctor

My days and weeks can be hectic. There are many demands I need to meet each day in order to best serve my patients, my family and my community. Oftentimes when I'm scrubbing into an operation I take those few quiet minutes to do a couple things. First, I use that time to pray. I have a strong belief in God and I pray for His direction and help during each and every surgery. Second, I think about the specific operation I am about to do and that particular patient. And third, I reflect on the blessing it is that I can be a doctor, do what I love, and help people improve their lives. While this has become part of my "scrubbing in" routine, it is an important and powerful part of my day.

It is a great blessing in my life to be a doctor. Not only do I get to do something that I immensely enjoy, but there is great satisfaction in playing an important role in the lives' of my patients. I am privileged to share tender moments with patients during some of their most difficult times and even in their triumphant moments. Every day my patients demonstrate courage and fortitude. It amazes me. Their courage to overcome their challenges is inspiring. Many times, when these challenges hit, patients entrust me with their stories and the vulnerable spots in their lives. I never take for granted the trust that is placed on me when their lives are literally in my hands.

Another reason I am grateful to be a doctor is the opportunity to be constantly intellectually challenged. No two patients are the same. Each individual problem warrants a unique solution. Plastic Surgery is particularly challenging in that manner. It is enjoyable for me to be presented with a problem and then contemplate creative, potential answers. Often I think about it for days and days. It is very rewarding when a new way of addressing an issue comes to mind, I attempt it in the operating room and I find it is successful. Many of my favorite operating procedures have been refined and shaped by such circumstances.

Finally, I am grateful to be a doctor so I can converse and learn from my excellent co-workers and colleagues. No doctor practices medicine alone. Everyone involved in the care of my patients, from my surgical partners, to nurses and surgical techs, to social workers and orderlies, even housekeeping and secretaries play an important role. It is the excellence of each person that touches my patients' lives and ensures success. Every job is important and I am grateful to be surrounded by some of the best.

Working many hours each week, being on-call for my patients 24/7, and the emotional investment I have for my patients and their success can sometimes be overwhelming. But then I receive letters like this: "I wanted you to know that the burden of this process was significantly eased by the care and personal attention I received from everyone in your office. Your office is an office of 'happy and beautiful people'. I have been so impressed by the professionalism and care you gave me and all your patients. I always left appointments feeling encouraged and uplifted. I felt genuinely cared for as a person, and I will be forever grateful for that." Even just one patient that I have helped confirms to me how grateful I am to be a doctor, doing what I love. I'll continue the simple additional steps I take as I am "scrubbing in" to an operation, because it helps me focus on what matters most.

"A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles."

Fight Against Breast Cancer, Annual Luncheon

On October 11, 2016 Dr. Jensen and his wife hosted their 5th annual breast cancer luncheon for former and current breast cancer patients of Dr. Jensen. This year our luncheon was held at the Vista Room of Cedar Hills. Special guests Congressman Jason Chaffetz, along with paralyzed rodeo champion breakaway roper and professional barrel racer Amberley Snyder, spoke to our luncheon attendees.

Chaffetz's mother passed away after a long fight with cancer in 1995. "My mother fought breast cancer for twelve years, " Chaffetz said. "I saw up close and personal the toil this disease takes on patients and families. We appreciated so much the work of trained professionals who worked hard not only to treat her physical ailments, but also to give emotional support during a very difficult time for our family."

Other keynote speaker, Amberley Snyder, realized after a paralyzing rollover accident that the odds were stacked against her and her rodeo life. This life changing experience could have kept her from living her life, but she decided to "get back on the horse", literally. Despite being paralyzed, Amberley has gone on to become a champion rodeo roper and professional barrel racer, performing faster times than her competitors. "Speaking to a group of women who have felt hard struggles, and can relate to the life changing challenges that life throws at us, is a humbling experience for me," say Snyder. "Dr. Jensen has been a part of all our stories and through his gifted hands has helped give us the opportunity to return to the life we love."

October: A Time for Healing, Celebration and Remembering

Every October women all over the world celebrate breast cancer awareness month. It is a time of healing, celebration, and remembering. For our patients it is also a time to "pay-it-forward" to future breast cancer patients.

"Breast cancer survivors learn and experience so much during their fight against cancer; they can be a caring and valuable resource to recently diagnosed breast cancer patients," says Dr. Jensen. "My wife and I created this Pay-It-Forward program because we want to give back, but we also wanted to facilitate a way for breast cancer survivors to give back as well."

Each year, during our annual luncheon, attendees put together care packages for Dr. Jensen's future breast cancer patients. These bags include a small gift as well as cards with a personal, encouraging message from luncheon attendees, who are currently on or finishing their own breast cancer journey. This year Origami Owl, Jamberry, and Image Skincare generously donated product for our Pay-It-Forward gift bags.

This luncheon means so much to our office. It is a celebration of survivorship. In the U.S. one in eight women will be diagnosed during their lifetime with breast cancer. What an inspiring thing to witness hundreds of breast cancer survivors gathered together for our annual luncheon. We love celebrating them. We love celebrating WITH them. We love connecting them together.

Dr Jensen says, "I am honored to help my patients eliminate the initial shock that comes with a breast cancer diagnosis and instead replace that feeling with hope. Helping these women feel hope again is a very fulfilling part of my career."

Is Your Skin Winter Ready? 4 Easy Tips to Get Ready.

Written by our Aesthetician Traci

I love summertime; the weather, the vacation, but especially my skin's sun-kissed glow! However, maintaining that glow seems nearly impossible in the winter. So, here are a few tips/tricks to keep your skin looking healthy and fresh in the upcoming winter months:

Tips & Tricks to Keep Skin Looking Healthy in Winter

1. Exfoliation! Winter months are the perfect time for more aggressive exfoliation treatments. Chemical peels are a deeper form of chemical exfoliation to help remove dead skin cells and stimulate cell-turnover. This will help undo any damage from the summer and also improve your skin's overall health.

2. IPL Photofacial Treatments are another great way to give you back that fresh-faced glow. Now that our tans are fading, the dark spots seem to appear. The IPL laser will zap the spots aways, giving your skin a more even tone and texture.

3. HydraFacial MD Treatments will help restore your skin throughout the dry winter! With the use of hydrating cleansers and serums, the HydraFacial balances your skin and replenishes it with antioxidants to help prevent against environmental aging as we take on the winter elements. 

4. Finally, a proper at-home skincare system will make a world of difference! Switching to heavier creams will prevent your skin from drying out. The A.G.E. Interrupter cream by Skinceuticals is a wonderful product that helps hydrate the skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Also, hydrating serums are a great addition to any skincare routine. Again, these serums will help to balance your skin and replenish the antioxidants that free radicals take away. Don't forget to wear sunscreen! Just because the summer is over it doesn't mean the sun stops doing damage. Elta MD has many different sunscreens to accommodate different skin types. Not only do they protect from the sun's UVA rays, they are also rich with ingredients that have many skincare benefits.

Summer Glow All Winter Long

Keeping your skin looking healthy and fresh in the winter doesn't have to be a struggle anymore! Customizing a treatment plan and home-care regimen will help to give you that summer glow all winter long!

Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy

Being pregnant is a beautiful experience, but it does take a toll on your body. Most women experience sagging in the lower part of their abdomen following pregnancy and, in many cases, diet and exercise can never get rid of it completely. Fortunately, having a tummy tuck after pregnancy can help to restore your pre-baby body. 

Lasting Effects of Pregnancy on the Tummy

Pregnancy stretches the skin on your tummy to accommodate the baby growing inside you. Your body also stores more fat - especially around your waistline - to help nourish your baby. This excess skin and abdominal fat remains, even long after your pregnancy.

Abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, eliminates this excess skin and fat to reveal a flat, tightened tummy below. A tummy tuck helps women look and feel confident and healthy after pregnancy. It also offers many health benefits that improve your abdominal wall function.

Types of Tummy Tucks after Pregnancy

There are two main types of abdominoplasty procedures: a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. The full tummy tuck procedure involves removing excess fat and skin along with restoring weakened or separated muscles to create an abdominal profile that is noticeably smoother and firmer. Dr. Jensen will reposition your belly button to a natural-looking location on your tummy.

The length and shape of the incision is determined by the amount of excess skin on your tummy and does cause a scar. The horizontal incision typically runs from one hipbone to the other hipbone, but Dr. Jensen can place it right at the bikini line - or even incorporate it into the scar from your Caesarian section - so that it is not so noticeable. You can return to work in two to four weeks after surgery, in most cases.

The Mini Tummy Tuck Option

A mini tummy tuck is a surgical procedure in which the doctor removes excess fat and skin through a smaller incision. In a mini tummy tuck, the surgeon does not reposition your belly button, but will still tighten your abdominal muscles. The incision for a mini tummy tuck is quite small, running the width of your pubic bone, and the scar is generally smaller. The mini tummy tuck offers many of the same benefits as a full tummy tuck. Recovery is relatively shorter than for a full tummy tuck. Dr. Jensen will help decide which option would be best for you.

For best results, wait at least six months after the end of your pregnancy to allow your body to recover fully before undergoing either a regular tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck.

Medical Benefits to a Tummy Tuck

In addition to the cosmetic benefits, there are several important medical benefits gained from a tummy tuck. An abdominoplasty will improve the tone and position of the abdominal wall, thus creating improved posture. Muscle function of the abdominal wall will improve and in some cases this can help improve minor stress urinary incontinence. Many patients find that reduction of abdominal fat helps them to loose and keep off the weight. Some have speculated that the reduction in adipose tissue helps improve dietary hormones that are important in weight control, while others feel that the increased abdominal tone helps patients feel a sense of satiety after eating. An improved body image and abdominal contours may also contribute to improved health and sense of well being.

Are You a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck after Pregnancy?

Most healthy women who have excess skin and fat in their lower abdomens after pregnancy are good candidates for a tummy tuck. For a mini tummy tuck, however, a good candidate is a patient without much excess skin in the upper abdomen. To be a candidate for a tummy tuck after pregnancy, you must be in good enough physical health to undergo surgery and be free from any underlying medical conditions.

You are also a good candidate for a tummy tuck if you are not anticipating any more pregnancies. If you do become pregnant again, you will probably want to undergo another tummy tuck.

Additionally, a good candidate has realistic expectations for the outcome of their surgery. Surgical results may vary greatly depending on an individual's personal muscle tone, skin elasticity and amount of weight gain during pregnancy.

Women who have good muscle tone are especially great candidates for a mini tummy tuck. To find out if you are a good candidate for a tummy tuck after your last pregnancy, make an appointment with Dr. Jensen 801-418-0904.

 

Excessive Under Arm Sweat; Causes And Treatment

Over Sweating; What is it Called When You Sweat a Lot?

What Is Hyperhidrosis? Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis is a disorder which can cause embarrassment and emotional distress for individuals who suffer from this condition. It has been estimated that 3% of the American population suffers from excessive sweating of the underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) or excessive sweating of the palms and soles of the feet (palmoplantar hyperhidrosis). Sweating of the underarms has a tendency to start in late adolescence, while sweating of the palms and soles of the feet can begin in early adolescence, around age 13. If left untreated, problems can continue throughout the life of the affected individual.  Excessive sweating is not only embarrassing; it can affect a person’s ability to interact with others in social, business and romantic situations. In extreme cases, it can affect a person’s ability to perform daily functions such as gripping an object or even driving a car.

What Causes Excessive Sweaty Underarms, Hands & Feet?

What causes hyperhidrosis?  Neurologic, infectious and other systemic diseases are often the cause of hyperhidrosis. Many cases however occur in people who are otherwise considered healthy. Heat and emotional distress can trigger hyperhidrosis in some individuals, while many others suffer from hyperhidrosis during their waking hours regardless of weather conditions or emotions.

How to Solve, Stop & Cure Excessive Body Sweating

Can this condition be cured? While over the counter remedies provide temporary relief, you are certainly not alone in your pursuit for a perspiration free life. Fortunately, there is help at hand in the form of a revolutionary treatment protocol called miraDry. This treatment protocol is specifically designed for individuals suffering from excessive sweating of the underarms and consists of three steps; mark the treatment area, numb the underarm area and treat with miraDry.

How Does the miraDry Procedure Work?

The process is very simple. The miraDry system is designed to target and destroy the sweat and odor glands within your underarm. Once the sweat glands are destroyed they will not grow back. In essence, they are gone for good along with the excessive and embarrassing underarm sweating. Until recently, managing excessive sweating in the underarm area has been an almost impossible endeavor ruining your clothing, your self-confidence and monopolizing your time. Thanks to miraDry, there is a viable solution. In fact miraDry is the only non-invasive treatment protocol available to permanently and effectively eliminate underarm sweat and odor glands. miraDry is FDA-cleared and can be performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office and takes approximately one hour to complete. Once the treatment is over, you can expect to see lasting results almost immediately.

miraDry Procedure Treatment to Permanently Stop & Cure Excessive Underarm Sweating in American Fork UT and Serving the Residents of Utah

For more information on miraDry, contact the professionals at Mark H. Jenson MD and speak with a medical advisor about the miraDry system and how it can effectively treat excessive sweating in the underarm area. 

Layer Like a Pro

Layer Like a Pro to Boost the Benefits of Your Skin Care Products

With so many cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and much more out there, your skin care routine can get overwhelming. Did you know that there is an easy formula for "layering" your skin care products? There actually is an order to which you should apply your products and it really does make a difference to your skin. You've invested money into these products so we want you to get the best out of them. To achieve the best benefits and results, follow these simple rules.

In what order should I apply my skin care products and why?

1. CLEANSER. Always start by removing dirt and oil buildup. Never forget this first important step of washing your face with a gentle cleanser. You can follow up with a toner if you use one. To keep your face fresh, gently exfoliate a few times a week to remove dead skin and buildup, which will help your products penetrate your skin effectively.

2. SERUMS. Serums are nutrient-rich and should be kept as close to the skin as possible. They are the thinnest skin care product and the goal of a serum is to deliver the ingredients deep into your skin. Some people use multiple types of serums that deliver different skin benefits. Apply liquid serums first, then gels, followed by creams.

3. EYE CREAM. An eye cream is much like a serum in that they are thin and need to be clear of any other product barrier. Definitely use an eye cream before a moisturizer.

4. TAKE A BREAK. Let the serums dry and lock into your skin. 

5. MOISTURIZER. A good moisturizer is the key to any routine to not only hydrate the skin, but also to seal the serums into your skin.

6. FACE OIL AND NIGHT CREAM. (night time use) Use face oil in small doses. Oil can penetrate moisturizers, but a moisturizer cannot penetrate an oil, so make sure your oil goes on after your moisturizer. Our skin does some repairing and restoring while we sleep, so thicker night creams are intended to be absorbed over several hours while we sleep.

7. SUNSCREEN. (day time use) This should be your last step in the morning and a step you should NEVER skip. Sunscreen sits on top of your skin, so if you apply it first it prevents other ingredients, from other products, from absorbing into your skin. A good medical-grade sunscreen is lightweight enough that it is easy to layer over multiple products and still have it work to its full potential. Most medical-grade moisturizers have a built-in sunscreen which helps combine two steps into one.

8. LIP BALM WITH SPF. Don't forget your lips need protection from the sun too. Moisturizing your lips will help to keep them healthy and looking great.

Most experts recommend a simple routine during the day consisting of: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Some people like to double up on the benefits a serum provides, so they use serums in the mornings as well as at night. At night you load up on your skin care products adding in serums, eye cream, night cream, and face oils, allowing them to work for you while you sleep.

Medicated products for acne, alpha hydroxy products for pigmentation, and spot creams to lighten scars are additional products that can be customized into your daily routine. It is always a good idea to ask your Aesthetician the order in which you should be layering these products to achieve the best results.

Layering Your Skin Care Products: a Simple Formula

This simple formula of layering your skin care products will allow for great absorption of nutrients and better protection of your skin, but it is still recommended to watch your skin and find out what really works for you. If you notice pooling of products on the skin, your products are not being absorbed properly and you will need to switch up your routine. The general rule is to go from the lightest to heaviest with your skin care products. Always make sure you are giving the products enough time to settle into your skin before you apply the next product.

HydraFacial MD Treatment

Your skin is your body's largest organ, yet it is a part of our body that often times we neglect. From the moment you step outside in the morning your skin feels the negative effects of the environment. The natural aging process also contributes to the changes in your skin. Did you know that every minute of the day your skin sheds over 30,000 dead cells. As we age we lose elasticity and firmness in our skin as our bodies stop producing collagen. And statistics show that 4 out of 5 teenagers get some form of acne, while 1 in 20 women and 1 in 100 men suffer from acne as well.

Would you like to immediately notice a dramatic shift in the overall health of your skin? A HydraFacial MD is a treatment that leaves your skin looking and feeling better than ever before. It works on all skin types, delivers immediate results and long-term benefits without any downtime and irritation, and it is highly effective at improving overall skill health.

Using Unique Technology

Using unique Vortex-Fusion serum delivery technology, a HydraFacial is different than any other treatment. This non-invasive multi-step treatment cleanses, exfoliates dead skin cells and extracts impurities out of your skin, while it replenishes your skin with vital nutrients, providing a solution for improved skin health. These vital nutrients such as Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid, hold the key to skin cell defense and repair, as well as boosting collagen and elastin production, giving volume and fullness back to your skin.

Each treatment can be customized to fit your skin care needs and concerns. A HydraFacial is great for sensitive skin, as it is very gentle, yet it gives results similar to a more aggressive chemical peel.

Our patients love a HydraFacial treatment because of these potential benefits:

  • a reduction in the appearance of large pores
  • a softer and more youthful looking complexion
  • a more even skin tone and texture
  • diminished fine lines and wrinkles
  • improved elasticity and firmness of the skin
  • decreased hyper-pigmentation

Oily and congested skin can be difficult to manage. Fortunately even having just one HydraFacial treatment can make great strides on removing the build-up of excess oils and clear out the congestion and impurities that contribute to acne.

Light Therapy Treatments

LED Light Therapy treatments, using Red and Blue LED lights, can be added to a HydraFacial to give you additional benefits to combat aging, reduce redness, irritation and rosacea, as well as killing acne-causing bacteria and reduce the number of acne lesions. LED Light Therapy has been proven to make beneficial changes in your skin, contributing to overall skin health.

How often should you have a HydraFacial treatment? The recommended frequency of a HydraFacial depends on your skin needs and overall skin health. The more frequent you can have a HydraFacial treatment will contribute to greater results. However, we have noticed significant improvement in skin health in those patients that have a HydraFacial treatment even just 4 to 5 times a year.

Your skin is most beautiful when it's healthy. Let a HydraFacial treatment help you achieve your healthy skin goals. Schedule an appointment with our medical Aesthetician to begin your journey to healthy skin.

Cosmetic Surgery: Are the rumors true?

written by Lindsay Nyman, Nurse Practitioner

When I was interviewing for the position to be Dr. Jensen's Nurse Practitioner I was nervous about whether I would like the job or not. I had professionally known Dr. Jensen while working for a local General Surgeon and knew that he had an excellent reputation. I also respected Dr. Jensen's work, and enjoyed associating with him in the operating room. I loved working in the surgical field, especially with breast cancer patients, however, I was nervous to work with "cosmetic surgery" patients. I wondered if I could find professional fulfillment working with patients that seemed to be self-indulgent. There are rumors of cosmetic patients being vain, high maintenance, never satisfied, and always wanting something more.

After I accepted this position my very first patient in Dr. Jensen's office was a cosmetic patient returning for a follow-up appointment after abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). The patient had previously lost some weight but was bothered by excess skin and stretched out muscles. The patient showed me her before pictures and I was amazed at her surgical results. This procedure had changed her life by allowing her to gain mobility, fit in normal clothing and ultimately regain self-confidence after a difficult weight loss transformation. She was thrilled with her surgical results and right in that moment I saw a shift in my preconceived notions about cosmetic surgery patients.

I've been Dr. Jensen's Nurse Practitioner for almost 2 years and I can't express how much I love and respect our cosmetic patients. The rumors are NOT true! These patients are incredibly hard working men and women who are striving for self improvement. Most have worked extremely hard to stay healthy but they have a troublesome area that they need a little help with. They don't seek out cosmetic surgery out of vanity or the need to impress others, rather they are looking to improve their feelings of confidence and obtain a sense of rejuvenation of body and mind.

I feel very fortunate to work with such amazing patients that let me be a part of their lives. The highlight of my day is being able to see patients return after surgery. They come into the office with exhilaration to finally see the full reveal from their surgery. It is exciting and a privilege to share in that moment when they begin to feel their confidence finally return. I'm happy to have found out that I have had great professional fulfillment working with these wonderful "cosmetic surgery" patients.

A Patient's Perspective: Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy

"Deciding to have reconstruction was my way of not letting cancer win."

We've come a long way with breast cancer! The emotional and physical results of this disease are very different now than they were even just 10 years ago. With more research, developments, and treatments women have more choices and better outcomes with breast cancer surgery than ever before.

Breast reconstruction is often sought after by women going through breast cancer. It can help restore the look and feel of the breast after it has been removed from a mastectomy.

So why do women choose to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy? There are many personal reasons involved. Some reasons include:

  • To have a more balanced looking chest
  • To avoid wearing a prosthesis
  • To permanently regain breast shape and size
  • To feel more confident about body shape
  • To give a sense of wellness

The Breast Reconstruction Decision

The long-term affects of living without a breast or part of one is different for every woman. It's a very personal decision and often it's not an easy one to make. There has been a rise in breast reconstruction rates, with more than 102,200* procedures performed in 2014. According to the plasticsurgery.org website, "studies show that reconstruction can greatly improve a patient's quality of life and self-image. But, not all breast cancer patients undergo breast reconstruction, in some cases because they are not informed of all of their reconstructive options."

A Patient's Experience

One of our breast cancer patients, Stephanie, explains why reconstruction after a mastectomy was important to her.

Stephanie, at the age of 32, while pregnant with her 5th son, found a lump in one of her breasts. Sixteen weeks into her pregnancy the results revealed she had invasive ductal carcinoma. Stephanie says, "Having breast cancer came as quite a shock, as it does for everyone. WIth 4 little boys and one on the way it was hard to imagine how I could get through it all. I just wanted to be back to normal." The cancer growth accelerated due to increased hormones during pregnancy. Because of the aggressive nature of the tumor Stephanie had to immediately begin treatments while pregnant. She was able to take a break from treatments a few weeks before delivering her baby and last summer their family welcomed a baby boy into their lives.

Stephanie returned back to chemotherapy treatments and prepared for a double mastectomy. She says, "I told my boys that what I was going through was a lot like having a cavity, which unfortunately they know a lot about. They had to cut the cancer out to prevent it from doing more damage to my body. Once my breasts were removed they could be filled back up, just like a filling, so my appearance could be like before…or in my case, after nursing four boys, my new additions would appear a little better, but they don't really need to know that."

She goes on to explain, "Deciding to have reconstruction right after my bilateral mastectomy was my way of not letting cancer win. I wanted to take back what was mine and move forward with my life. Like many do, I spent some time online searching for what to expect after my bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I know, I know, you shouldn't seek medical advice online, but we all do it anyway. After seeing pictures I thought I had a good idea of what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to wake up from anesthesia to the beginnings of my new self. It was not what I expected, but much better. Dr. Jensen's skill and care were notable from the first placement of the tissue expanders. Let's be honest here, reconstruction isn't exactly fun and comes with it's share of pain, but I love the thoughtfulness, empathy, and care that Dr. Jensen and his amazing staff have shown me during these unfortunate circumstances. I look forward to the great relationships that will continue with Dr. Jensen and his breast cancer recovery team."

Stephanie chronicles her breast cancer journey at https://www.facebook.com/Stephaniespinkribbon

With so many advances, especially in the past decade, for breast reconstruction surgery, it's possible to rebuild a woman's breast in a way that allows her to gain her silhouette back and oftentimes feel once again whole. Breast reconstruction is a very personal decision, one that can be carefully thought through by talking to other breast cancer survivors, close family members and friends, and of course your doctors. To optimize surgical results it's a good idea to talk with your plastic surgeon BEFORE any surgery that removes a tumor or breast. This allows the entire surgical team to plan a treatment that is best for you if you choose to have breast reconstruction either immediately or down the road.

As it is with most things in life, it is important to educate, engage and empower yourself to make an informed decision about your breast cancer diagnosis and breast reconstruction options. The most important thing is to follow a decision that feels right for you and keeps you on a track of healthy living.

*statistic reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2014 annual report

Hydrafacial MD "Lunch N' Learn"

Join us to learn about the amazing benefits of a Hydrafacial MD. What do we love MOST about it? Well, for starters…there is ZERO downtime. It's like having a chemical peel, facial, and microdermabrasion all in one, but without any recovery time. You can go back to work or school right after your 30-60 minute treatment and not feel like you have to hide out in your house while you recover! That's an amazing benefit. People will notice your fresh, glowing skin right away. A Hydrafacial MD exfoliates, cleanses and nourishes the skin. It's all the rage with celebrities in Hollywood and we know you will LOVE it too! Take advantage of this amazing value by joining us for lunch.

Annual Luncheon to honor Breast Cancer Survivors

Every October, to recognize and honor "Breast Cancer Awareness Month", Dr. Jensen and his wife host a luncheon for former and current breast cancer patients. This year our luncheon was held at the corporate offices of doTERRA International, and included speakers LeAnn Lopour, a breast cancer survivor of 16 months; Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah; and Stephanie Nielson, plane crash survivor, bestselling author and blogger.

"Sometimes as physicians, we forget what these women are going through emotionally, so this luncheon is kind of a reminder to us as well," says Dr. Mark Jensen. "Every patient has a unique life story that inspires us. We wanted to find a way to recognize what they have overcome. The bond we have with these patients runs deep having walked with them through an extremely difficult time. It is great to see them healthy and stronger people than they were before. This luncheon becomes a reunion of sorts, one that is growing each year."

An important aspect of the annual luncheon is participation in our "Pay It Forward" project. Luncheon attendees (survivors) write down their treatment experiences, emotional struggles, advice, and any encouragement they can offer to Dr. Jensen's newly diagnosed and future breast cancer patients. These hand written notes of encouragement are put together with a small gift, donated from local businesses, and are given out to Dr. Jensen's new patients throughout the upcoming year. It's a great way to connect survivors with those who are just starting their cancer journey.

Our annual Breast Cancer Luncheon is an event we look forward to every year. There is an energy of hope and triumph, accompanied by a fighting will to live, that permeates the room. Everyone in attendance feels it and leaves the luncheon feeling uplifted and supported. 

Dr. Jensen says, "I am grateful for the chance to help my patients feel good about themselves and to feel whole again. This is a very fulfilling and rewarding job. I am honored by the stories I hear every day. Life can be great, despite the trials and hardships. I feel so blessed to get to know each and every one of my patients and become one of their supporters on their very difficult journeys."


The View From Here

written by Tiana Nichols, Dr. Jensen's Patient Care Coordinator

Working under Dr. Jensen's very kind and capable hands for the last three years, I have had a close view of Breast Cancer. I often see on the faces of so many of our new patients a range of emotions such as shock, fear of the unknown, overwhelming sadness, or anger. However, amidst all of these emotions, there is usually one theme that seems to accompany each visit and that is HOPE. Hope for healing, hope for more time with loved ones, hope for a return to normal life, hope for a cure. This hope seems to fuel a resiliency within each patient, creating a determination to beat this unwelcome intruder; and then ultimately delivers back to the world amazing, strong, beautiful survivors!

I wouldn't dare say that I understand the road that each patient walks because each of their paths is different. Some arrive to their appointments accompanied by loving spouses, children or friends. Many are able to take a reprieve from work and will have amazing resources to help with life's demands. Others, however, may be single parents who are forced to work through chemo and radiation while taking care of young children. One thing is pretty certain though… we will become friends! Because of their many required visits, I will most likely learn about their families, their struggles, their hobbies, their travels or their jobs. We will cry together, laugh together, lament together and rejoice together. I will pray for them and I will grow from their stories, and ultimately, I will be changed. Working with our patients has blessed my life enormously. As I witness their challenging journeys, I am inspired to count my own blessings, to love more deeply and to appreciate each and every day.

I tell Dr. Jensen often that his job is not really a job, but rather, that it is a calling from God to care for His beloved children. I thank God for Dr. Jensen, and doctors like him, who work tirelessly everyday to improve the health and cosmesis of breast cancer patients. My own mother, sister, aunt and grandmother have fought this disease, bear the scars it brings, and have benefited from the skill and training of excellent physicians. I know that Dr. Jensen's concern is sincere, his love for his patients is genuine, and that he feels a personal responsibility to each of them to help improve their lives through reconstructive surgery. I watch him sacrifice valuable family time, bear the burdens of treating complications, and rejoice with patients as their treatments come to a close.

I believe it "takes a village" to effectively treat breast cancer and I am thankful for the small role I can play, from where I sit in the office, to help each patient as she travels her personal journey to a cure.

Prophylactic Mastectomy with Reconstruction, a.k.a. the "Angelina Jolie Surgery"

Have you heard of the "Angelina Jolie Surgery"? Chances are that you have if you've read the news sometime in the last two years! The Hollywood star known for her movie roles and timeless beauty underwent a genetic test that confirmed a BRCA1 mutation, which gave her high odds that she would develop breast cancer at some point in her life.

Jolie said in a New York Times article she wrote, "Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65% risk of getting it, on average."

BRCA Gene Mutations Commonly Associated with Breast Cancer

BRCA genes (both BRCA1 and BRCA2) are an indicator showing certain mutations that are commonly associated with either breast or ovarian cancer. BRCA1 mutations can produce a lifetime risk of breast cancer ranging from 45% to 87% and of ovarian cancer ranging from 31% to 63%. By any stretch of the imagination, these are high risks of potentially-deadly cancers.

Angelina Jolie went public with her decision to undergo a nipple-sparing prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction. Her procedure involved removing all breast tissue and reconstruction with silicone implants. A bilateral prophylactic mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer in women with high risk BRCA1 mutations by at least 90%.

Dr. Jensen Offers Patients Risk Reduction Plastic Surgery

With the advances in medical research, specifically breast cancer research, Dr. Jensen is able to offer his patients risk reduction surgery and reconstruction. In many patients the surgical incision made is not much bigger than an incision used to do a cosmetic breast augmentation.

Mother/Daughter Duo Shares Their Story of risk Reducing Mastectomy Reconstruction

Meet this mother/daughter trio, prophylactic mastectomy reconstruction patients of Dr. Jensen. With their permission we share their story. Because of a strong family history of breast cancer the Mom decided to undergo BRCA testing so her family could make more informed decisions about their own healthcare. This is what she has to say about it, "After my positive BRCA test, surgery was not even a question. To undergo a complete mastectomy would greatly reduce the chances of getting breast cancer. My kids had the same genetic mutation and I needed to lead the charge, as they were both watching me. BRCA can scar you both physically and mentally, however Dr. Jensen was very reassuring. He answered all my prayers. I'm so grateful for modern technology, as it has given me the opportunity to do everything we can to prevent breast cancer."

Her two daughters decided to undergo prophylactic mastectomies with reconstruction as well. One daughter said, "After watching my mom and then my sister go through the mastectomy process I didn't feel like I had anything to worry about. It wasn't until I set the date of the procedure that all the questions, doubt and horror stories came to mind. 'Am I too young for this?' was the biggest question I asked myself. Then I thought, 'Cancer probably doesn't think I'm too young.' That was my answer. The next question I thought a lot about was, 'I'm not married yet or have kids, so am I going to miss out on anything?'. The answer was, 'Is it worth possibly getting cancer?'. It's not. I plan to live a long, happy and healthy life. This surgery helped me get there."

The other daughter said, "I am 25 years old, I'm a mom of two beautiful baby boys, and I tested positive for BRCA1. A mastectomy just makes sense, you would think. Unfortunately feelings and logic do not always line up. I changed my mind about 10 times a day, every day, until my surgery date. When my Aunt died of breast cancer just 1 month after my first surgery I have never regretted my decision. Having my sister and my mother going through the same things with me was amazing, empowering and brought us closer than ever. We all feel so blessed."

While Angelina Jolie may be the new poster woman for BRCA testing and prophylactic mastectomies with reconstruction, Dr. Jensen's office has seen a lot of brave women battle the same decisions and questions in regard to their health. These women could also be the poster faces of undergoing this procedure and doing everything they can to lower their risk of getting breast cancer.

In a recent medical study it was noted that women that had undergone prophylactic mastectomies with reconstruction said they wish they had known it was less traumatic and less painful than they had anticipated. Prophylactic mastectomies may not be for everyone. There are several ways to reduce your risks of developing breast cancer. Proper screening and early detection are key elements to improved survival rates.

A Whole Foods Diet Can Restore Youthful Skin

Healthy nutrition is an important part of living; it helps you to live a longer, healthier and more fulfilling life. The best food to put into your body is food most closely in its natural form. These foods are known as “whole foods” and will keep your body happy, healthy and away from any harmful preservatives.  Whole foods give you the energy and proper nutrition that will keep your body functioning optimally as well as youthful, glowing skin!

Eating Whole Foods Increases Nutrients and Helps Cleanse the Body of Toxins

Eating a whole foods diet can cleanse your body of toxins while increasing nutrients which is essential for healthy skin. The body organs that contribute to beautiful, healthy skin such as the liver, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid as well as the intestines work together. For example, when the liver and kidneys that help filter out toxins become overtaxed from eating unhealthy foods, breakouts can occur. If the body’s hormones become unbalanced from eating processed foods, problematic skin conditions can occur. If the thyroid isn’t working properly, it can cause skin to become dry and flaky.  Finally, if the intestines aren’t expelling waste, skin can become thick, blemished and oily.

The Vitamins and Minerals in Whole Foods Contribute to Healthy Skin 

Whole foods contain everything from antioxidants such as vitamin C and K2, lycopene, soy protein, silica and niacin to omega-3 fatty acids. These beneficial substances can help skin glow, restore collagen production, help regenerate new skin cells, reduce inflammation, increase skin elasticity and even smooth out wrinkles!

Ways to Incorporate Whole Foods into your Diet

A great way to implement whole foods into your diet is to simply make better choices. For example, choose to eat whole grains instead of refined grains whenever possible. Rather than taking supplements for fiber, you can eat fruits, vegetables and beans. Instead of picking up chicken nuggets for your kids, cook a skinless chicken breast with a healthy side of steamed vegetables. If you are craving some sour cream and onion chips, bake a potato with chopped green onions and light sour cream instead. Eating fresh berries with some wheat toast and eggs is better than choosing to eat a strawberry toaster pastry or breakfast bar. A blue colored slushy can be substituted with a blueberry smoothie made with blueberries, yogurt and a frozen banana. 

The Many Overall Benefits of Whole Foods

Eating whole foods is our greatest chance for improving our health and preventing disease. Whole foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts and legumes retain their fiber as well as the whole portfolio of nutrients that are often removed in processed foods. Whole foods contain powerful antioxidants that will help break down fat and cholesterol found in your body. Eating whole foods will also increase your intake of good fats versus bad fats. Whole foods are also an excellent source of fiber, which will help your body feel fuller for a longer amount of time. Include more whole foods in your diet and improve your quality of life. You will feel happier, healthier and keep your body away from harmful foods that cause your body to slow down and put you at risk for disease. 

 

Confidence at Every Stage

No matter what stage of cancer you are experiencing, know that there IS hope! When you have been through the fight of your life against a battle with cancer, reconstructive plastic surgery can help you regain some measure of your old self back; quickly and safely. Reconstructive plastic surgery gives cancer survivors the chance to feel themselves again and give back what cancer took from them. After winning the battle against cancer, there are always options for survivors to give them the confidence they need to carry on, at every stage. Many different types of cancer patients can benefit from both major and minor reconstruction to minimize deformity due to cancer. Patients who have undergone mastectomy after breast cancer can benefit greatly from reconstructive surgery. Breast reconstruction allows cancer patients not only to be happier with their bodies but also can improve how they feel about themselves.

Pre-Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Tips

Reconstructive plastic surgery allows cancer patients to take part in the restoration process and focus on recovery rather than diagnosis. It is a personal positive journey but one that involves a very concerned team of caregivers to support you along the way. Most breast reconstruction patients look forward to restoring the shape of their breasts and bodies. Breast reconstruction can make your chest look balanced when wearing a bra or swimsuit and eliminates the need for an external prosthesis. Your positive mental attitude aids in your recovery and outcome and we recommend that you ask a positive person in your life to be your caregiver; the one who drives you to and from your surgery and stays with you for a couple of days after. It is also important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and exercise wisely; think lots of stretching, light cardio, low weight strength training. A walk outside is a great idea. You may be cooped up for a while after your reconstructive surgery so enjoying the sunshine and fresh air now will lift your spirits.

Re-establish Confidence and Stability

Battling breast cancer and going through the procedure of a mastectomy can take a serious emotional toll on a woman and even affect the way she looks at herself. Reconstructive plastic surgery can re-establish physical confidence and help patients regain their emotional stability. To help deal with the loss of breasts from cancer, it is important to focus on the positive. Although a mastectomy can change a patients feeling about themselves, it is important for them to remember that they are worthy of love and attention. By staying positive and surrounding themselves with a good support system, the patient can go through reconstructive plastic surgery with their self-esteem intact.

While winning the battle over cancer can bring a new sense of purpose to one’s life, it can also leave them feeling a little out of place. Reconstructive plastic surgery will give cancer patients the extra boost of confidence they need and deserve. Dr. Mark H. Jensen M.D. is an expert in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Dr. Jensen will assist patients in regaining the confidence they need to live a happy and full life after cancer. 

Spring Cleaning your Makeup bag

When was the last time you took a critical look inside your Makeup bag? Be honest. We often skip over taking a quick minute to unveil the horror of month-old cotton buds amidst the cloud of loose powder residue. While hoarding our beloved beauty products past the recommended usage date may not be life threatening, we should still be aware of how old a product is, especially when it come to water-based products like foundations, creams, mascaras and even cream blushers.

Here is a list to help you Spring Clean your Makeup bag so you don't have to ask yourself the question, "How long is too long?".

Lipsticks - While lipsticks are not water based, it is the lip brush you use that can potentially hold a lot of threatening germs. It is recommended to wash your lip brush once a month. Try using Johnson's baby shampoo as a gentle cleanser for the brush. It is mild and contains antimicrobials. Lip products should be treated the same as a mascara - they are both a NO sharing zone. Typical lifespan of lipstick after opening is 2 years.

Skin Products - Take the time to inspect your favorite foundations and skin products on a regular basis. If it has a different smell or has started to separate it is definitely time to re-stock. Also, consider if you use your hands to apply your skin care products, as dirty hands can result in dirty products. We recommend investing in a foundation brush to help keep your products hygienic. Typical lifespan after opening is 12 months.

Eye Products - In this cosmetic area it is especially vital to stay on top of how long you are using your products and in what circumstances. Mascaras should not be kept for longer than two months due to the bacteria breeding ground that is on the wand. For eyeliners we recommend switching to gel based eyeliners to help avoid eye bacteria from spreading throughout an eye pencil and making consistent contact with your eyes. If an eye pencil is preferred then make sure you sharpen it prior to each use. Mascara life span after opening is 3 months. Eye pencil life span after opening is 2 years. Eye shadow life span after opening is 2 years.

Brushes - The constant use of Makeup brushes can cause Makeup residue, dust and debris to build up and form a layer of bacteria on your brushes. That layer of bacteria is constantly being transferred between your face, brush and products. It is important to regularly clean your brushes. Consistent cleaning can also increase the longevity of your Makeup brushes. Try using Johnson's baby shampoo once a month on your brushes. 

Makeup Bag - Aim to clean your Makeup bag every 3-6 months. Remember, bacteria thrives in warm conditions, making your Makeup bag a perfect hideaway. Try to opt for a fabric bag that can be easily thrown in the washing machine. Or look for a Makeup bag that can be wiped out carefully with an antibacterial wipe.

"I did not let cancer define me or take what I love from me"

Want some guidance from someone who has truly "walked the walk"? Meet Libbie, Valerie and Nicole. They are a mother/daughter team and are offering us their sage advice. They know more than just a little something about breast cancer, because they have had a very personal fight against this disease. Two of them were diagnosed with breast cancer and have undergone surgeries, chemo and radiation. And one was not going to let cancer eventually take control of her life based off of her strong hereditary chance to get this disease, so she underwent preventative surgeries. This is what they have to say:

Question: What would be your advice to someone who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer?

"I would tell people that you cannot 'fix this' yourself. Let others in. Trust in the Lord and count all your many blessings. I would also tell them to find the best doctors, ones that they feel comfortable with. Trust in them, but also be an active participant in the decisions that are being made and if you don't feel right about something to speak up."

"Keep your head up! It's shocking and discouraging but it doesn't' mean 'the end'. Know that it will be hard, but you can do it!"

"It is important to talk to the people you know because chances are there are several people that they know who are going through the same thing. I have been able to help several people find answers that they were seeking because I was willing to share what I was going through. Also, attitude is EVERYTHING! A good attitude can make this process so much easier and can help you heal MUCH faster!"

Question: What is something you are most proud of during your breast cancer journey?

"I am proud of the education I have learned of so many things. I have learned that there are so many good people who love and care about others, including me. These people are family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers. It has taught me to believe in the goodness of mankind. And reaffirmed that as I try to serve others that I do not think of my own problems and I am happier. Other personal lessons I have learned is to delegate, after years of being really bad at it. I've learned to relax and take time to appreciate everything and everyone around me, and to count and enjoy all my blessings. I gained the ability to accept the outcome of what I delegated and not let it drive me crazy when it didn't get done the way I would have done it. I am proud of the peace I have found through this ordeal. To have faith in the Lord's plan and time table…Come what may…and love it!"

"I am proud that I didn't let this diagnoses 'define' me. I can remember shortly after my diagnoses my Mom and I went to the drugstore and bought a big pill container - you know the one that has M-F a.m. on one side and the p.m. on the other side. I looked at the container and I said, "I don't want this. It says REALLY OLD or SICK and I am not old and I am not sick. I just have something I have to do - an obstacle to overcome." This is how I felt and the mentality that I carried - I'm not sick, I just have some challenges to get through. Yes, there were times due to the chemo when I was very sick. I had to leave my home, my husband and my 2 children and let my Mom and Dad take care of me. But when that week of being sick was over, I went right back to life. I went home and I cooked dinner when I could, I spent time with my husband, and I took care of my kids. I did not let cancer define me or take what I love from me."

"I wasn't diagnosed with breast cancer, but I am very proud that I made the decision to be aggressive and take control of my life before breast cancer took control of it. My risk was pretty high so I made the decision to go ahead with the bi-lateral mastectomy even though my health wasn't immediately at risk."

These women are great examples of not just surviving, but living a full life with a positive attitude. Thank you for your gems of wisdom!