Budget Beauty Guide- Anti-Aging Sun Protection

I’m thinking of producing a tee shirt that reads: ” Up to age 60, 90% of skin aging is due to sun damage”.  Seriously, its that important.

Effective sun protection  creams and lotions are the only non-prescription product that the FDA allows to make anti-aging claims.  But buying a powerful  yet effective  sunscreen can be daunting.  Go into any pharmacy and you’re met with a long  wall of options.  Waterproof?  Oil-free?  Broad spectrum, Fragrance-free?  I covered this material  before in a series of Sunscreen  Cheat Sheets, but once you have picked the right formula, then you want to  get the best possible price.  Remember you need to  use sun protection each and every day and you need to use it fairly generously.   If you’re not using up  a 3 ounce bottle in three months, … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This week the host of Fashion Flash  is Shawna of Female Fat Loss Over 40.  And if  there is a time  of year when we really need Shawna it’s during the Christmas holidays. Seriously, it seems that every  holiday activity has its own  high calorie food.  We  fill up stockings with sweets, tie  candy canes on presents and  warm up after ice skating with hot chocolate.  And then  there are goodies in Christmas songs and stories–  the plum pudding in A Christmas Carol,   the dancing sugarplums in the Nutcracker, and  of course there is that  runaway gingerbread man.   And unfortunately, there are no traditional Christmas exercise  and nutrition programs– until now that is.  This week Shawna  has  focused on  tips to stay in shape in times when the  only non-fattening thing on the table  seems to … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen in Real Time

Now that  sun filled days are here, I am wondering  how much sunscreen do I really need to use.  Many expert recommend one tablespoon for the face and  a total of two tablespoons for  both face and body.   To test  it out, I  measured out one tablespoon  of sunblock and dumped it on a small plate.  Then I went to work, dabbing it  on my checks, nose, and chin. I avoided my bang covered forehead.   At first, things went fine.  My skin seemed very happy  with the  extra moisture  of the sunscreen.  But as I applied more and more, it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting — or clown make-up.

One of my biggest concerns when using sunscreen has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequetly, foundation, powder or blush … Continue Reading…

New Respect for Retinol

I have often mentioned my reservations about retinols vs the more powerful retinoids like Retin A.  When applied to the skin, retinols have to convert themselves to  a true retinoid before they can be effective. Researchers estimate that a retinol is only 25% as effective as a Retin A.   For example, a .1% Retinol (  a very common concentration) is equal to a .025 Retin A–  which is actually the mildest Retin A on the market.  And then there is the problem that most retinol products don’t say how much of the power  stuff they actually contain.  You can’t know if a  product is to weak to be effective or too strong and irritating. 

I stayed away from retinol products until wandering in the exhibit hall  of a derm conference, I picked up  free samples … Continue Reading…

No More Aging Sunburns

The UV wristbands are  on  their way to all  subscribers  who emailed  me their contact information.  They are so easy to use– Apply a dab of  your sunscreen to the top of the strip, and watch the colors change.  As soon as you go into the sun, the band turns a bright purple.   When it fades  to a lavender pink, its a signal  to put on more sunscreen.  When the band is pale, yellowish color, its time to get out of the sun.  Children really seem to like it and run to tell me when its time to put on more sun lotion– which is more fun for both of us than running them down and struggling with them to get more suncreen. 

The wristbands can be hard to find, but I found a cache at a K-mart  near NYU. I still have twenty left, so email me if you want  one.  And  let me know  how they worked … Continue Reading…

True or False –Use Sunscreens When Its Cloudy

It has been overcast  and drizzly all week, yet  I dutifully applied my morning  sunscreen.  I have repeatedly read that 40% of UV rays come through even when its grey and cloudy.  But I began to wonder…is this true?  Or is it like the one tablespoon of sunscreen for the face thing. 

Wednesday was  particularly  humid andcloudy– a bad  hair  day, but perfect  to test the idea.  I strapped on a UV Sunsense wristband  and  walked outside.  Within seconds, the  ban turned  purple– not the bright, lurid, purple I see in the full sun, but a true  full purple color.  Clearly there were UV enough UV rays out there to activate the band.  After one hour walking to Bloomingdales, it stayed the same color.  By comparison, on a sunny day,  it had faded to lavender– a sign to reapply  sunscreen.

Another hour passed as I walked to Otarian, a great vegetarian fast food  place.  As I sat down  to … Continue Reading…

A Reality-Based Sunscreen

I am still uneasy over the disconnect between sunscreen recommendations  and what  can actually fit on a human face.  So when I caught a review of  Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF70 on 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic, I was intrigued.  This products hits all the marks– it is waterproof, oil-free, PABA free, broad spectrum and contains Helioplex, an ingredient that helps sunscreens do their job.  But what  put Ultra Light Face Shield on my radar?  The instructions said to use only a few drops on the plam of  the hand and spread on the face.  Drops!  Not the  large clumps  that are suggested for most other products. 

This sunscreen goes on smoothly and is absorbed quickly.  As  an extra bonus, it does not leave that  dreaded white sheen on my face.  It is however about twice the price of other Neutrogena sunblocks.  I am going to test it out today with my … Continue Reading…