Summer of 2012 Sun Protection Guide - Sunscreens EXPOSED!

It was quite shocking to see what is happening in the sunscreen world.  We have come along way, however, not far enough.  The FDA is working on changing the current regulations.  In the meantime, I highly recommend educating yourself on the topic.  There are some extremely harmful ingredients in MOST sunscreens - choose wisely!

What to AVOID when choosing a sunscreen:
    - Oxybenzone - this is a Hormone Disrupter, may cause cellular damage and is linked to allergies
    - Retinol palmitate or retinyl palmitate - may cause skin tumours and lesions
    - Sprays - they may be inhaled and can be very damaging to the lungs
    - Loose powder sunscreens - possibly carcinogenic when inhaled
What to look for:
    - Avobenzone 3%
    - Mineral sunscreens are the safest choice as per EWG Environmental Working Group
    - Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) - great mineral sunscreen ingredient (has high UVA)
TEST YOUR SUNSCREEN!  What is your score?  See how your sunscreen measures up by following this link

If you are using what we have been recommending - Ombrelle 60 SPF, you may be disappointed to note - it isn't listed!  I am confident however that our score should not be higher than a 3 (the lower the score the better the product).  I have emailed them to notify them they are missing an important contender.  Remember however, the Ombrelle 45 does have Oxybenzone in it - so AVOID that one.

Nine surprising truths about sunscreens.

I have used some sunscreens in the past that have made it to the Hall of Shame!  Have you? Check it out…  

Questions?  Comments?  Anything to add to this hot topic?  Please respond directly below or send them our way.

On a less serious note, I'm sure you may have some great stories from "back in the day" when we used to lather on baby oil and the coconut smelling Coppertone oils.  Share them with us!

The Healthy Glow - NOT!

Oh that beautiful glow...if only we could maintain it throughout the year - safely!  Tanning beds give off UVA rays, which are absorbed deep into the dermal layer of the skin (UVB is only absorbed into the epidermis). This is actually more harmful. Yes, at the tanning salon, you are less likely to burn, however, you are 7 times more likely to get skin cancer in your lifetime (based on use of a tanning bed more than 10 times/yr). link

If getting melanoma doesn't scare you, then perhaps the prolonged effects of tanning from a cosmetic stand point, might. Tanning, whether from the sun or a tanning bed causes leathery, dry and unhealthy looking skin, uneven skin tone, age spots, freckling, sun spots and of course wrinkles. A true recipe for aging quickly!

The latest news on tanning salons -- They have been BANNED to those under 19 in Nova Scotia, under 18 in British Colombia, as well as other parts of the world. 

Check out this interesting article from the Globe and Mail and let me know your thoughts.

Blame parents for teen tanning habits

Should Ontario ban Tanning Salons to minors?

When thinking about this issue, consider this fact -- In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, declared after a review of evidence that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 per cent when use of tanning beds starts before the age of 30.

I've love to hear your thoughts on this.


Pigmentation/Sun Damage

The goal of this treatment is to literally cause the darker pigmented areas ie. Sun damage, age spots, etc, to become darker and irritated (sometimes blistered), in turn allowing that unwanted pigment to shed and leave behind a nicer lighter skin in its place.  Usually within 2 - 4 weeks.

There are many types of pigmentation - Epidermal (superficial), Dermal (Deep)and Mixed Dermal/Epidermal.

Epidermal pigmentation

is usually made up of solar lentigenes and freckles.  These are generally on the surface of the skin, and therefore easier to remove.

Dermal Pigmentation

is located in the Dermis - much deeper.  Melasma is a good example of Dermal Pigmentation.  The 1064nm Nd:YAG laser is best suited, as it is penetrated at the deepest level.  

Mixed Epidermal/Dermal Pigmentation

is just that, a mix of both types of pigmentation.   

Reasons for Pigmentation:

  • Overexposure to the sun.  UVA/UVB rays cause trauma to the skin, much of the time resulting in unwanted brown spots
  • Hormonal - i.e. Melasma - caused by estrogen from pregnancy or the pill
  • Skin Trauma - i.e. Acne

Broken Capillaries Treatment

This service targets those annoying little red/purple lines on our nose and cheek area.  These tiny vessels are very simple to treat with the Nd:YAG laser.  Most clients walk out with some redness, and most importantly, without those red/purple capillaries!  Similar to the Spider Vein treatment, the vessels absorb the laser energy and coagulate, usually scattering and therefore disappearing immediately. 

Any one area generally needs 1 -2 treatments.  Follow up is scheduled for 6 weeks post treatment.