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Décolleté Care & Breast Self-Awareness Using Non-Toxic Ingredients in Personal Care Products

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Daily Care of the Décolleté and Breasts


During daily skin care rituals much attention is paid to the face and not as much to the décolleté (the neck, upper chest, shoulders) and breasts. The décolleté and breasts have thinner, more delicate skin and less oil glands and are prone to wrinkling as levels of collagen and elastin fibers decrease with advancing age, and the area becomes subject to environmental sun damage. Skin changes can include hyperpigmentation, spots and wrinkling of the area from the neck to the breasts. Extending the application of facial products to the décolleté and breasts during daily skin care includes using a gentle cleanser, a hydrating serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, and periodic exfoliation of the décolleté with an enzyme-based scrub. The addition of nightly or three times a week massage of the décolleté and breasts using a serum containing antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and skin loving massage oils helps smooth, tone, moisturize and nourish the skin, leaving it more supple, and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. This routine also increases breast self-awareness and familiarity which is of utmost importance in early detection of breast cancer.


I am not professing that the aging process can be completely prevented or reversed, however a preventative regimen might reduce some of the premature environmental damage to the face, décolleté and breasts that occurs and that I see during the examination of some of my patients. More importantly, breast self-awareness might result in earlier detection of breast pre-cancerous lesions and cancer, and less invasive breast cancer treatment. In addition, sun damage and skin cancer can be reduced by using sun protective clothing and sunscreen to block harmful UV rays.

RasShahn Johnson-Baker, Aesthetician and Educator at El Noel Wellness extending treatment from the face to the décolleté. Proper skin care helps to achieve healthier skin and prevent and repair some environmental stressors.


Breast Self-Exam or Breast Self-Awareness


For decades health providers were informed that clinical breast exams (CBE) should be included in breast cancer screening, and patients should perform once monthly breast self-exams (BSE) to help detect breast cancer. Over the last decade several leading health organizations, among them the American College of OB GYN, the American Cancer Society, and the US Preventative Service Task Force, have stated that these exams are no longer recommended in women who are at average risk for breast cancer (1,2,3). What has changed? Systematic reviews by these organizations led them to conclude that there is lack of evidence that these exams are beneficial in breast cancer screening for women of average risk and who are having regular mammography screening. They do however recommend breast self-awareness which has proven to aid in the detection of abnormal breast changes and breast cancer. This blog highlights the importance of regular breast and décolleté massage which nourish, moisturize, and tone these areas, while additionally promoting breast self-awareness and familiarity.


Regular Breast Massage and Breast Self-Awareness


Massage therapies involves rubbing the soft tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, skin) to help reduce stress and tension, provide pain relief, heal injuries, and support overall wellness. At El Noel Wellness, we offer several massage therapies, from the traditional Swedish, to deep tissue bamboo/hot stone hybrid, and facial massage. We do not offer breast

massage as it is not part of a classical massage. During our massages and facials considerable attention is directed to the muscles and underlying tissues of the shoulders and back, areas that are often reservoirs for stress, and the décolleté which is prone to environmental damage and the effects of aging. Our total body scrubs include exfoliation of the décolleté, and if the client wishes, a gently exfoliation of the skin overlying and under the breasts. We encourage our clients to perform daily or every other day décolleté and breast massage at home, which moisturizes, tones, smooths and nourishes the skin, and reduces stress and tension.


Although regular BSE is no longer recommended for average-risk women, those who wish to continue are not discouraged from doing so. In my gynecological practice I’ve continued to perform CBA while informing my patients about BSE and breast self-awareness. According to the American College of OB/Gyn, breast self-awareness provides a sense of what is normal and reporting to your health provider what is not, noting findings of breast pain, nipple discharge, a mass or discoloration of the skin. The ( ) cites that almost 50% of cases of breast cancer in women over 50 were detected by women themselves, and 70% in women under 50, mainly during daily routines like bathing and dressing. Breast awareness allows women to be proactive, as regular engagement in their breast health and wellness, being able to note and report changes, is key to early breast cancer detection. Breast and décolleté massage can also increase self-awareness and familiarity regarding how the breasts feel and look. In my over three decades of practice the most common breast complaints by my patients have been breast pain and finding a mass for which a diagnostic mammogram referral was made. Fortunately, most of these complaints did not turn out to be cancer. According to the American Cancer Society regular mammography screening beginning at age 40 for women at average risk increases the likelihood of early detection, decreases the risk of advanced breast cancer, and increases life expectancy.


Breast Cancer Screening for Women at High Risk


Cancer and women’s health organizations recommend that women identified as being high risk for breast cancer should receive genetic counseling and testing for certain gene mutations (BRAC1/2) and have annual screening mammograms and MRI beginning at age 30. They should also have clinical breast exams every 6 months to 1 year. One worrisome statistic cited by these organization is that breast cancer occurs more frequently in White women, however Black women are 30% more likely to die of breast cancer. I am suggesting that the addition of décolleté and breast massage while improving skin hydration, moisturization and tone, adds to breast self-awareness and possible early detection of breast cancer.


Breast Pain


Breast pain can be caused by multiple factors. Although pain symptoms seldom accompany breast cancer, it should be brought to the attention of your health care provider for further evaluation. Some of the common causes of breast pain includes:


1) cyclical pain in menstruating women, usually during the week preceding the menses as hormone levels rise and which go away during the menses. Breast self-massage might be helpful to relieve some of the congestion.


2) Pain from underlying muscles, ligaments, joints, and bone might appear to be coming from the breast tissue. The pectoral muscles lie along the upper chest wall, under the breast tissue, and can be a source of tension and pain. If persistent, and/or worsening a consultation with your health provider for appropriate testing and referrals may be needed which might include a mammogram, breast sonogram, or physical therapy if the pain is found to be musculoskeletal in origin. Some women, particularly with large, pendulous breasts report shoulder and back pain, and indentations on the skin overlying their shoulders due to the weight of their breasts and the downward pressure exerted by tight bra straps. Regular self-massage and moisturization of the décolleté, chest, shoulders and breasts might provide some pain relief. Exfoliation of the indentations using an alpha hydroxy exfoliant followed by a moisturizer can also be tried to minimize the discoloration. For continuing troublesome symptoms, a consultation with a breast surgeon could be scheduled to discuss surgical options.





3) Lactating women can experience pain due to breast engorgement. Regular self-breast massage including lymphatic drainage is recommended as well as seeking lactation support when needed. Breast self-care during lactation is paramount as engorgement, infection and soreness of the nipples can have a significant impact on mother and baby. Breast pain with redness and/or fever are signs of an infection and should be immediately brought to the attention of your health provider for appropriate treatment. Do not massage over broken, inflamed, or red skin.


Lymphatic and Blood Circulation to the Decolletage and Breasts


There is no scientific evidence that breast massage or the use of “breast enhancing” products can increase breast size. Breast massage improves blood circulation to the breasts and the décolleté. Wearing a bra throughout the day, although providing support, is often constricting to the chest. Removing it at night and performing a massage of the décolleté, breasts and armpits using lymphatic stimulating and anti-inflammatory essential oils helps mobilize and drain lymphatic fluid and increases blood flow to the chest and breasts.




Regular attention to the décolleté and breasts should be done by women of all ages as an extension of their daily facial self-care ritual. YveMD Face, Decollete and Breast Peptide Serum and YveMD Décolleté and Breast Massage Oil includes non-toxic ingredients that promotes a healthier skin barrier against environmental stressors while increasing breast self-awareness and familiarity which is of utmost importance in early detection of breast cancer.


  • YveMD Decollete & Breast Massage Oil

    • This exotic and luxurious oil blend of argan, grapeseed, organic jojoba, marula, essential oils, vitamin E and other oils rich in antioxidants, helps smooth, tone, moisturize and nourish the skin, leaving it more supple, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles and increases breast self awareness. Combine with YveMD Face, Decollete and Breast Peptide Serum for nightly or three times a week massage of the decollete and breasts.



  • YveMD Face, Decollete and Breast Peptide Serum

    • The daily application of YveMD serum to the face, décolleté and breast, areas that are prone to wrinkling and environmental sun damage, improves skin hydration, moisturization and tone, and adds to breast self-awareness and familiarization and possible early detection of breast cancer.



  • YveMD Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Gentle Exfoliating Polish

    • For the Face & Décolleté

    • Cleanse, hydrate, nourish, gently polish, and refine your skin with both physical and chemical exfoliation using organic alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and fruit enzymes combined with jojoba environmentally friendly beads, moisturizing butters, and organic antioxidants. Alpha Hydroxy acid exfoliant can be used twice weekly on the face and extended to the décolleté to reduce hyperpigmentation, spots, and shoulder indentation marks.


Author

Yvonne E. Noel, M.D.

Gynecology

Environmental Educator & Advocate

Owner, El Noel Eco-Center for Integrative Wellness

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