What’s The Problem With Sunscreens?

sunscreens should be applied before hitting the beachThe sunscreens that we are told to use every day are now the focus of two respected consumer watchdog  organizations.  And they came up with two very different  lists of problems and recommendations.  Now what?

The venerable Consumer Reports reviewed  more than 60 lotions, sprays and sticks , all with an SPF over 30.  After rigorous testing ( more rigorous than required by the FDA) they reported that a startling 43% failed to deliver on their promised SPF.  Even more surprising, only 25% of mineral based sunscreens reached expected levels.  By contrast 58% of chemical sunscreens met promised protection levels. While better than the coverage than mineral sun protection formulations, its still leaves  much doubt about your protection on a sunny day.

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Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week the host of Fashion Flash is Mirabai of  Moving Free With Mirabai.  Hands  down, Mirabai is the best credentialed  exercise guru  you will ever meet.   And wherever you are in life, she has developed an exercise program for you.  She has programs to combat childhood obesity,  get moms back in shape, loose weight, improve  heart function, and restore strength and flexibility to both prevent and manage osteoporosis.  In short there is a reason that  she is one of the most  popular exercise  experts on QVC. I am so thrilled that she is part of Fashion FLash.  And if you  have specific questions on  all things exercise email her at mirabai@movingfee.com.   I do and her  advice  is always just what I need.

I was looking for  new books for  my granddaughters last  week when I spotted a pink polka dot  and gingham book  at Strand Bookstore.  But rather … Continue Reading…

Anti- Aging Beauty Questions

With the return of  warm sunny days,  I’m getting a flood of great sunscreen questions.  Since 90% of  skin aging  is due to sun exposure, UV protection is just about the smartest thing we can do to avoid  wrinkles and dark spots.  But it can be harder than  just grabing a tube of goo and dabbing it on.

Question 1: Help! I know  I should use sunscreen, but they makes my skin break out.

I know about that  first hand. Its so unfair.  If you have oily or acne-prone skin, some sunscreen formulations can provoke breakouts, even in women over 40.  You should start by looking for oil-free formulations. Check the labels and avoid ingredients like beeswax, petroleum, parafin  and shea butter.  But oil  isn’t the only problem.  Breakouts over 40 are  the result of inflammation, rather than the hormone/bacteria axis, so  other … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Bracelets

A while back there  was a fad for copper bracelets that were  supposed to cure arthritis.  Pretty silly.  This year I’ve discovered bracelets that can genuinely help prevent signs of sun damage.   These disposable plastic wristbands  monitor how much sun exposure you are getting– and since 90% of  ski aging is due to UV raays, this little band  is a true beauty aid.  Called SunSense they give you two important pieces of info–1) It  lets you kow how much sun you are getting and 2) it shows you  how well your sunscreen is working.  Here’s how it works:

1.  Before going ouside, wrap the band around your wrist and then apply sunscreen to your body and  on the band.

2.  When you go out in the sun the band turns … Continue Reading…

Retin A and Cancer

I’ve been hearing comments and questions about cancer risks and sunscreens  and since I am such a heavy  user, I needed to get solid answers.    The health concerns focus on the the risk of retinol palmitrate, a common ingredients in sunscreens. Retinol Palmitrate ( RP)  is a storage form of Retin A.  In a sunsreen  its used both  as an  antioxidant and  preservative.   In lab studies ( eg a test tube)  when RP is exposed to UV rays, it can  produce free radicals… which can mutate cells.  Still with  me? 

However in mice treated with  RP and then exposed to UV rays, there was no cancer.   Retinoids  have been used on the skin  for over 40 years and there is no increase in skin cancer in people that use them.  In fact, oral forms of retinoids ( Accutane)  has actually been shown to  prevent skin cancers.  There are   many factors in our environment that  definately cause cancer– … Continue Reading…

Laser Meets Freckles, Day 2

I woke up this  morning and ran to the mirror.  Not to see how good I looked, but how bad.  I was happy  that the vivid red spots were practically painless, but  they still looked pretty ceeepy.  ( See photo).  I had heard that a few days after treatment,  concealers don’t work that well on lasered freckles.  I had planned to  hide out in my house for the next few days, but I had to meet  a client to  tweak some  copy.   My choices were a) a veil; b) a very dark restaurant or c) try a concealer.  I  dabbed on BareMinerals foundation powder on the red spots and it worked better  than I could have hoped.  My skin looked a bit lumpy, but I would not frighten children.

Next post–   Let the healing … Continue Reading…