Sunscreen Myth or Fact #2

Continued from part 1

Fact or Myth– Minerals such as zinc and titanium in sun protection products protect differently than chemical types

Fact – These minerals from the earth actually “reflect” rays away from the skin in contrast to chemical ingredients (such as avobenzone, oxbenzone, etc.)  that absorb rays (and will eventually enter the skin).  In the past people stayed away from minerals due to the unattractiveness of the white residue. However, advances in how the minerals are processed have eliminated this.

Fact or Myth — You do not need to use sunscreen if you have dark skin

Myth- Even people with deeply pigmented skin, who rarely burn, should use sunscreen. Research has shown dark-skinned people are not immune to most skin cancers and its related complications, as well as premature aging.

Fact or Myth–You need sunscreen in the winter

Myth – Don’t let shade or outside temperature fool you!  Snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays.   Although rays cannot penetrate through umbrellas and straw shades, they still bounce off snow, sand, water, concrete, and other reflective surfaces

Fact or Myth – Simply wearing clothes is adequate sun protection

Myth –  Typical cotton T-shirts and summer weight fabrics can allow 50% of harmful UVB rays through to your skin  when dry, and 10-20% more when wet.

Fact or Myth  – Indoor tanning (i.e. tanning beds) is safer than laying outside in the sun

Myth — UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not  need a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.

 See Part 1

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New Sunscreen Rules #1

‘Broad Spectrum’ Means UVA Plus UVB Protection

A SUMMARY From Web MD Health News…June 14, 2011

Sunscreen labels will carry a “broad spectum” label to show they offer protection against UVA rays as well as UVB, according to the  –click ** new rule **  from FDA.

Products currently labeled as “broad spectrum” may or may not protect against UVA. The new rule reserving the “broad spectrum” claim only for products that protect against UVA and UVB will not take effect until the summer of 2012.

The old “SPF” designation will still show how well a product protects against UVB rays. But products with the new “broad spectrum” label will have to pass a test showing that they protect against UVA, too.  The higher the SPF level on these broad-spectrum sunscreens — up to SPF 50 — the better they protect against both UVA and UVB.

UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn and plays a major role in causing skin cancer. It affects only the outer layer of the skin. UVA, while less intense than UVB, is 30 to 50 times more prevalent than UVB and penetrates to deeper layers of the skin. UVA is the dominant tanning ray and is closely linked to skin aging. It also damages skin DNA and causes skin cancer.  See part 2

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New Sunscreen Rules #2


‘Broad Spectrum’ Means UVA Plus UVB Protection

Continued from part 1

A SUMMARY From Web MD Health News…June 14, 2011

Sunscreen labels will carry a “broad spectrum” label to show they offer some protection against UVA radiation as well as UVB radiation, according to a long-awaited new rule from the FDA.

New Information on Sunscreen Labels: Sunscreen labels will state  a clear message about how long water-resisitant sunscreens maintain protection after a person swims or sweats. labels will specify either 40 or 80 minutes of protection. Those that are not water resistant will have to carry a warning to that effect.

Sunscreen labels will be able to claim that a product protects against skin cancer if it has an SPF rating of 15 or higher, and that the product can claim to protect against sun-related premature skin aging if it has the broad-spectrum designation. However, products will not be allowed to claim they “block” the sun or that they prevent skin cancer or aging. They also can’t say they last for more than two hours, unless proof of longer protection is submitted to the FDA. These new rules will take effect by the summer of 2012, although  some sunscreen makers may change their labels before that deadline.

Spray Sunscreen Questioned: The FDA is asking the manufacturers of spray sunscreen products to prove how well the products work when used by consumers. There’s concern that people may use too little of the products, thus failing to get the level of sun protection the label would lead them to expect. Spray sunscreen makers also will have to prove there’s no danger from accidentally inhaling the products while applying them to children and adults. See part 1

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Acne and the Sugar #1

Through his studies and clinical experiences Dr. Perricone, the author of varies publications on skin care, has discovered that it’s cellular inflammation that cause many of the problems associated with aging, as well as many diseases, including acne. He says the key to preventing this kind of inflammation is to eat a diet that has been designed to prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar.
Why is this important? Because a rapid rise in blood sugar causes an insulin response in the body, which then causes an inflammatory response. Remember this simple fact: whatever food we eat is converted to sugar as it is digested. Different foods are converted to sugar at varying rates. If we consume foods that are rapidly converted to sugar, that is considered pro-inflammatory.

Pro-inflammatory foods cause all kinds of problems in the body resulting from a rapid rise in blood sugar, which in turn sparks a burst of inflammation on a cellular level. As our insulin rises, this triggers more inflammation throughout the body, such as acne breakouts.   See part 2

(Above are comments by Dr. Perricone )

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Acne and the Sugar #2

Continued from part 1

The cornerstone of an anti-inflammatory diet is the careful regulation of blood sugar and insulin levels so that inflammation on a cellular level can be controlled.

If one’s blood sugar is high, inflammation runs rampant throughout the body, resulting in feeling (and looking) terrible, low energy levels, susceptibility to infectious diseases, age-related diseases, and an increase in acne flare-ups. To optimize health and keep skin clear and beautiful we must avoid pro-inflammatory foods, which include the aforementioned sugar and everything that is rapidly converted to sugar, such as potatoes, pasta, bread, sugar, honey, cakes, cookies, candy, baked goods, dried fruits, sugary beverages, sweet drinks of any kind.

In addition to avoiding the pro-inflammatory foods, it is crucial to learn about the foods that have powerful anti-inflammatory activity. Many of these anti-inflammatory foods provide excellent sources of essential fatty acids (the good fats). The essential fatty acids designated as the omega 3s have powerful anti-inflammatory activity

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also wonderful foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Those possessing the most powerful anti-inflammatory activities are the ones that are brightest in color– that contain many ntioxidants including vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as the carotenoids.

To fight inflammation and improve acne, water is just as important as high-quality protein; essential fatty acids; and low-glycemic, antioxidant-rich carbohydrates.Water exerts an anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies, and when we combine plenty of water with an anti-inflammatory diet, there is a very rapid reduction of inflammation in the body with visible results on the skin. See part 1

(Above are comments by Dr. Perricone )

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Does the Sun Dry-Up Acne?


My acne clients often comment that going to the beach clears their acne (especially on the back), and this may very well be true, but not for the reason one may think. Most of us know about the dangers of lying out in the sun, such as skin cancers and advanced aging of the skin.  But for acne suffers it can be worse!  When you already have inflammatory acne lesions, the sun will make them redder, more inflammatory, take longer to resolve, and cause those older  red spots to last  longer.

Since there are so many negative aspects to being in the sun, then how can it dry up acne as people claim? Perhaps it is not the sun after all, but the heat causing your body to sweat.  Could it be that sweating cleans your pores, and therefore clears acne?  This is not exactly true since the sweat glands excrete through sweat “ducts”not the hair follicle pore where the acne bacteria reside.  However, there is a “salt” component of the sweat that has a drying effect to the skin. Although salt will not kill acne bacteria, it may give acne sufferers with oily skin a clean, tight feeling, and a little less inflammation.

Going to the beach may help acne due to salt from sweating and the salt in sea water.  This could be a really great thing if we could just eliminate the sun!

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Daily Moisturizers and SPF


Daily moisturizers that claim to provide UV protection may not provide protection from UVA rays.

Are we getting enough sun protection from just applying a daily moisturizer in the morning?  Manufacturers are increasingly adding UV filters to skin care products, however, a recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that these products do not provide necessary protection against the UVA aging rays  (UVB are burning rays).

Researchers chose 29 top selling day creams with claims of broad spectrum UV using sales volumes from the US website They looked for the presence of chemical UVA filters and zinc oxide in the products.

Although actual product names are not disclosed, according to the study, six of the 29 products contained no active ingredients that provide UVA protection and seven of the remaining 23 contained zinc oxide, but only 3 contained levels greater than 5 per cent, which the team said was required to provide ‘adequate’ UVA protection. Sixteen products did contain chemical filters, but only 3 had adequate concentrations of a key ingredient necessary to stabilize the filters, which according to the researchers, is otherwise unstable on contact with UV rays.

The researchers concluded that many day creams do not offer long wave UVA protection. 

Source: Archives of Dermatology

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