True or False Sunscreen

Young woman in sunglasses putting sun cream on shoulderFalse:  I don’t need sunscreen, I don’t get that much sun.

True:  Most of the sun damage that occurs in our life is from doing everyday tasks: driving, walking to the mailbox, talking outside with your neighbor, shoveling snow.  It is an accumulation that causes eventual sun damage.  How does sun damage show up?  Sagging skin, wrinkles, brown spots and skin cancer.

False:  Sun is good for me, I need the Vitamin D so I will apply sunscreen at the beach if I start to turn red.

True:  By the time you turn red, the damage is done.  You have injured your cells and are inviting skin cancer to come over.  Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you get to the beach.  If you are worried about your Vitamin D levels, ask your doctor to measure it the next time you have your annual check up.

False:  I don’t need to wear sunscreen daily because my makeup has SPF.

True: Makeup usually has a low SPF.  What is best is to apply a moisturizer before that contains SPF of 30 or greater and then apply your makeup.  That way you are sure that you are protected.

False:  I tan easily, I don’t need sunscreen.

True:  Darker skin usually will not burn as fast as lighter skin but that does not mean that it is not being damaged.  Look around, deeply tanned people have wrinkles and usually the appearance of leathery skin.

TRUE:  People who have a lot of sun exposure tend to look older as they age.  In the moment a tan is wonderful; you look healthy and it hides imperfections.  BUT, what will you look like in 10 years from now?  Not so healthy and not so perfect.  And…you may get a skin cancer that may be fatal!  Think about it!


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Your Secret To Younger Skin

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Every day women are scrubbing, rubbing, lasering, and peeling their face in the hope that inflicting just the right amount of damage will spur healing and that skin will end up looking better than before. Exfoliation is paramount and we finally understand that to have youthful, glowing skin, you first need strong, repaired skin.  However, you  need to find a careful balance so that you are strengthening your skin between brief—not chronic episodes of controlled damage.  There is such a thing of over exfoliation and depending on your skin type you can sometimes end up with brown (hper pigmentation) or white (hypo pigmentation) spots.  Redness also can be a side effect.

BUILD UP THE BARRIER With Antioxidants

Safeguard the skin barrier with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals created during sun and other exposure; when free radicals get into the skin, they attack collagen and elastin.

Look for products that contain a mix of antioxidants (Vitamins A and E) and water-soluble ones (such as vitamin C). Vitamin A is found in both over-the-counter retinol and prescription products like Retin-A. Vitamin A makes its way down into the second layer of the skin—the dermis—where it can activate fibroblasts to create collagen, which builds up the skin.


Use ingredients like peptides and growth factors, which stimulate collagen production. Each of us already has these enzymes in our body but around age 30, levels start to decline. Studies have shown that using topical products with DNA repair enzymes can actually reverse some of the effects of sun damage to prevent precancers, as well as help thicken skin, by limiting the development of collagenase, an enzyme that degrades collagen.


To rehydrate the skin and replenish those spaces between the cells, you need a combination of lipids. Products with moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, shea butter, and fatty-acid-rich botanical oils and hyaluronic acid.


Maintain your skin PH. Your skin is naturally acidic, with a pH of 4 to 5.5. This is the acid mantle, a thin film on the outer layer of the skin, one that works as a built-in antioxidant, protecting underlying skin from oxidative damage, regulating moisture levels, helping guard against damage from environmental factors like sun and wind, and inhibiting the bacterial growth that leads to blemishes and inflammation. If you use products that are too alkaline—soaps and cleansers that are harsh and stripping—you tear down your skin’s own defense and make it harder for the other products you’re using to do their job. Products that are too harsh can leave your skin feeling stripped and almost squeaky-clean.


Source:  Bazaar Magazine September 2015
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Banish Brown Spots Now!

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Brown spots, which are caused by excess melanin, can be the result of sun exposure, aging, genetics, and even pollution.  The sun stimulates melanocyte cells to produce more pigment, which then gets transferred to skin cells and brown spots appear. Hydroquinone, a strong bleaching agent, was among the most frequently recommended treatments. But overuse of hydroquinone, though, can kill melanocytes and cause permanently discolored skin especially for those with darker skin. It’s critical to use hydroquinone only under a doctor’s supervision.  Hydroquinone has been banned in Europe but is still available here.

As a result of hydroquinone’s side effects, the  newest products contain ingredients that treat existing spots while also halting tyrosinase, an enzyme that controls melanin production. Products with vitamin C for brightening, arbutin and peptides to inhibit tyrosinase, and peroxy acid to break up existing melanin are recommended.

An example of a skin whitening system is: Dermalogica’s Power Bright TRx systemC-12 Pure Bright Serum , Pure Light SPF 50 , and Pure Night —contains peptides and vitamin C.  The peptides are like cell whisperers; they tell melanocytes to slow down.”

The best way to get rid of sun spots is with lasers. Typically a scab coffee ground in texture will form on the treated area and fall off in about a week. Exfoliation can help release much of the brown pigment and brighten overall tone.  A word of caution though. If you don’t protect your face from the sun, the brown spots will come back.  If you are using a brightening system or using lasers, be sure to wear sunscreen religiously and re apply every 2 hours.



Source: Adapted from Bazaar Magazine September 2015
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