• Sunscreen: Facts, Tips, Tricks

    Annet KingHere in the west, we’re entering into summer, and you know what that means: fun in the sun – and more exposed skin in need of extra sun protection! But even for those entering into winter, protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays is still just as necessary! We skin therapists know this, but do your clients? Here are some easy tips to share with them for keeping skin protected from those ever harmful UV rays:

    Protect and Apply Sunscreen Liberally.
    It’s not enough to just apply sunscreen, make sure enough sunscreen is actually used, whether in direct sunlight or not. Studies indicate that most people do not apply nearly as much daylight protection as they should. A teaspoon for the face and a shot glass for the body are needed, and re-apply every 2hrs. It is best to stay out of the midday sun (from mid-morning to late afternoon) whenever you can. Wear long sleeves and long pants of tightly woven fabrics, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses that absorb UV. Thanks to today’s sophisticated formulas and technology, you can select your sunscreen according to your skin condition or your lifestyle. Choose exactly what the skin needs, from oil free, matted formulas for oily skin, chemical free sunblock for sensitive skin, easy, waterproof sprays or protective wipes for the kids or a light booster with SPF to add to your favorite moisturizer.

    Soothe Over Exposed Skin
    Let’s face it: you forgot the sunscreen, didn’t apply enough or got caught in a hot sunny spell. The damage is done but today we have access to super soothing botanicals and cooling after sun gels that help repair DNA damage, prevent peeling, reduce redness and heal inflammation. Apply generously over exposed skin at the first sight of a pink glow. And remember for next time- one blistering sunburn doubles your risk of melanoma, so be sure to get a yearly skin exam by a doctor and perform a self-examination once a month to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change.

    Repair and Treat Sun Damage
    UV light causes photoaging in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin, a cascade of damage results, such as the stripping of barrier lipids (causing inflammation), the production of reactive oxygen molecules (which affect healthy cell growth), the stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes, the list goes on and on. So that tan may look pretty, but it indicates damage. Step up your regimen and bombard your skin with age fighting products and ingredients to help undo any damage that may occur to further protect it from the aging effects of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

  • The Statistics Sound Staggering

    Dr Claudia AguirreAbout 9 out of 10 young women who visit tanning booths know perfectly well that they are increasing their risk of developing a fatal form of skin cancer: melanoma. Yet they walk in and lay in the tanning booth anyway. Almost half of tanning booth visitors know someone with skin cancer. What’s going on?

    These statistics are brought to us by a recent survey from the American Association of Dermatology of almost 4,000 white females, aged 14-22. The president of the Academy, Dr. Ronald Moy, stated: “Our survey confirms that teens are more concerned with their current looks than their future health, even though they realize that skin cancer is a risk factor of their behavior.”

    Here is my interpretation: the teenage brain really is not fully developed. As we know, adolescence is a time of great change. Hormonal fluctuations and rapid growth is accompanied by changes in brain and behavior as well. More and more research confirms that the teenage brain is wired to partake in increased risk taking and sensation seeking- which can take a toll on parents!

    Just this year, new research from the University of Pittsburgh provides evidence of brain activity differences between adolescents and adults. In short, teenagers’ brains are wired to be so excited by immediate reward, that often they partake in riskier behavior and ignore consequences. This may have evolutionary significance, but that is another story.

    Taking these data together can present a clearer picture- those adolescents seeking the immediate reward from a tanning session override the known long-term consequences of skin cancer development risk. So are teens doomed to get skin cancer because they ignore long-term consequences? No. The recent ad campaign against smoking has shown to have positive effects on reducing teen smoking, so we may need a creative answer very soon. What we can do now is continuously educate teens and present the risks in a more realistic, not futuristic, manner. Since tanning is primarily a cosmetic behavior, we must remind them that tanning also ages skin prematurely… and no girl wants that!

  • Saving Skin… One Conversation at a Time!

    Annet KingAs Skin Therapists, we not only physically treat the skin but we also spend a large percentage of our time coaching clients about skin health, from what products to use and how to use them, to lifestyle and habits. During the summer months, we need to up our game and have more conversations to ensure every client is acting sun smart and adequately protecting her or his skin, in turn sharing that information with friends and family.

    Here are some top tips to share with your clients when it comes to sun protection:

    Think Daylight – Not Just Sun: The skin needs protection all year round! Burning is just one negative side effect of ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The skin is an excellent record keeper, and every moment we are exposed to daylight adds up like money in the bank, namely skin damage in the form of wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, premature aging, a repressed immune system and the potential for skin cancer.

    Sunscreen Could Save Your Life! More than 20 Americans die each day from skin cancer (primarily melanoma). Even more staggering is the fact that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer, and 90% of these cancers will be the result of exposure to UV radiation from the sun. Check the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website for the latest statistics

    Full Coverage: Teach clients to apply about one teaspoon to the face and a full ounce (think shot glass) to the body for optimum coverage. Reapply every two hours.

    Light of Day: UV radiation can go through clothing, windshields, windows and even clouds, meaning skin is exposed even when you think you’re safe. Wear sunscreen as part of a “daylight defense” regimen to help prevent skin cancer, premature aging and photodamage.

    Bounce Back: Water, sand, concrete and snow are highly reflective surfaces, bouncing back as much as 90% of the sun’s rays, equaling UV damage for your skin.

    Burn Out: Avoid tanning, and do not burn! Five sunburns will double your risk of melanoma.

    Scrub Up: Exfoliation helps remove possible precancerous cells before they become dangerous. But keep in mind that an exfoliated skin must be protected with sunscreen (recommended by the FDA) as it is more vulnerable to assault.

    Start Young: Keep newborns out of the sun. Once your newborn hits 6 months, you can use chemical-free sunscreens containing Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

    Watch List: Coupled with a yearly skin exam by a doctor, self-examination of skin once a month is the best way to detect early warning signs of carcinomas and malignant melanoma. Look for a new growth or any skin change.

  • Coming up Rosy

    Dr Claudia AguirreWith Mother’s Day right around the corner, everything is coming up rosy. From pink to red, roses are a sign of spring, love and mothers. Red hues look great on flowers, but on the cheeks they can be a sign of skin inflammation. When the redness is persistent, it may be a sign of the chronic inflammatory skin disease Rosacea.

    Rosacea affects over 16 million Americans and 45 million people worldwide. As common as this may seem, there are countless others who go on about their daily lives undiagnosed. To complicate matters, the cause of Rosacea is still undefined. There are many factors involved in the disease progression, and one that will affect Rosacea sufferers in the coming summer months is sun exposure.

    There is a strong connection between UV exposure and Rosacea. Patients with Rosacea tend to be on the lower end of the Fitzpatrick scale, areas of the skin not exposed to sunlight are typically not affected- studies even show that more damage appears on the driver’s side of the face. Solar elastosis can also be seen in affected skin biopsies, strengthening the relationship between sun exposure and Rosacea symptoms. The goal with this chronic condition is to control symptoms, not cure. Skin health maintenance is crucial to clients with Rosacea. Beach time and frequent washing may sound refreshing in the warm summer months, but the truth is these can exacerbate Rosacea. Besides the UV damage, the barrier can also be stripped with soap or harsh detergents, which can worsen both Acne and Rosacea (both chronic, inflammatory diseases).

    Some helpful tips during the warmer months for Rosacea sufferers:

    Over exposure to sun
    Emotional stress
    Environmental triggers – repeated exposure to wind, smoking, alcohol, and extreme temperatures

    Daily sun protection (minimum SPF 15)
    Ceramides (found in sunflower seed extract) and lipids (gamma linoleic acid) in moisturizers
    Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Oat extracts, ginger, bisabolol and peptides designed to control inflammation
    Prescription strength anti-inflammatories or retinoids may be beneficial for those seeking medical help