Out, damned spot! out, I say! ~ Lady McBeth
What are those Damned Brown Spots Anyway?
Brown spots are flat, oval areas of skin that are darker than the surrounding skin – hence called ‘spots’ – and they are typically tan, brown or black. While brown spots develop most often in people with light to fair complexions, those with darker skin can also experience small areas of increased pigmentation.
What Causes Brown Spots?
Prolonged and repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the most frequent cause of brown spots in those that are genetically predisposed. UV light causes brown spots because the skin reacts by increasing melanin production in a localized area; increased melanin production is also how you get a tan to help protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays, but with a tan the distribution of pigment is even. Moreover, because it is UV light rather than the entire spectrum of sunlight that causes brown spots, commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can also contribute to their development.
While UV light is the most common cause, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from skin injury, certain skin diseases, and certain medications that sensitize the skin to the sun can also cause brown spots.
The development of brown spots usually happens gradually over time. Because of their gradual development, they are sometimes called ‘age spots,’
Where do Brown Spots Occur?
In the case of UV exposure, brown spots usually occur on those parts of the skin that have had the most sun exposure, e.g., on the back of the hands, the top of the feet, on the face, or on the shoulders and upper back.
How Can I Get Rid of Brown Spots?
Before using a laser or IPL to get rid of a brown spot, see your doctor first to make sure the spot is not pre-cancerous or cancerous.
You’ll especially want to see your doctor if you notice that a brown spot has any one or more of these characteristics:
- It is darkly pigmented
- It is rapidly increasing in size
- It is greater than 5mm
- It has an irregular border
- It has an unusual combination of colors
- It is accompanied by itching, redness, tenderness or bleeding
If your doctor tells you it is safe to remove a brown spot, if you only have 1-2 spots, liquid nitrogen is quite effective. Sometimes, however, more than one treatment may be needed to fully remove a spot and repeated treatment with liquid nitrogen can cause blotchy pigmentation over time.
IPL, on the other hand, is equally effective in removing many brown spots at once while also maintaining skin tone; in fact, the goal of IPL treatments is to make your skin more evenly colored by decreasing the irregular brownish and reddish areas that have developed as a result of aging and sun damage. In addition, IPL also brightens the skin and gives it a more youthful glow.
It should be noted, however, that the effectiveness of IPL in removing brown spots depends somewhat on your skin tone; while IPL can be adjusted to your skin tone, if your skin is too dark, your best bet is to use a Yag or Q-switched Yag laser.
How to get your Vitamin D Levels Up While Protecting your Skin
Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” does more for your body than you think: it influences nearly 3,000 different genes in your body. Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of cell, from the brain to the heart to the bones. The skin also benefits tremendously from Vitamin D. Having a sufficient amount helps minimize acne, boost elasticity, stimulate collagen production, enhance radiance, and lessen the appearance of lines and dark spots. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies’ Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 IU (International Units) a day for people between the ages of 1 and 70. This amount can be easily acquired through sun exposure, the most natural method, certain foods, and supplements. While vitamin D is most easily and naturally acquired through sun exposure, waiving skin protection can come with a price. New York City dermatologist Dr. Robert M. Bernstein of Bernstein Medical advises, “Going into the sun without proper protection can have dangerous adverse reactions to the skin over time like sun spots and skin cancer. It’s better to wear sunscreen and protect your skin at all times.”
The Sunscreen Factor
Proponents of getting vitamin D through sun absorption, like The Vitamin D Council, suggest exposing yourself to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes before applying sunscreen. The Vitamin D Council touts: “The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer. You don’t need to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on the time of day, where you live in the world and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced.”
The problem with exposing bare skin to sunlight before sunscreen is that any amount of time in the sun without proper protection greatly increases the risk of skin cancer and causes the skin to age prematurely.
Sunlight Effects Aging Skin
In addition to an increased risk of skin cancer, sun exposure also greatly ages the skin and can cause DNA damage. The sun’s UV rays can greatly effect the skin’s appearance by causing premature aging. Examples of this include wrinkles, hyperpigmentation like sun spots, sagging, fine lines, and leathering. Fortunately, we don’t have to fry our skin to get vitamin D, there are others ways to make sure we get our daily dose of the “sunshine vitamin”.
Vitamin D Foods
While the amount of vitamin D present in these foods isn’t enough to achieve the daily recommended dose, any little bit can certainly help. Vitamin D foods are:
Fatty fish (ex: salmon)
Fortified milk and orange juice
Vitamin D Daily Supplements
There are two kinds of vitamin D supplements on the market today: D2 and D3. D3 is the closest to the what the body produces from sunlight. It’s converted into its active form much faster than D2 and is available in more potent dosages.
Dermatologists emphasize the most effective alternative to sun exposure and vitamin D-fortified foods are daily supplements. Dr. Bernstein concurs: “The easiest and most risk-free way of getting your vitamin D levels up is to take supplements.”
Kissing lines, or perioral lines, are wrinkles that form around the mouth by way of repetitive facial expressions.
As skin matures, it loses its elasticity and fine lines begin to form and deepen around the corners of the mouth and above the upper lip.
An effective anti-aging measure to prevent these lines from deepening is a routine peel or exfoliating treatment. Chemical, enzyme, and crystal peels (microdermabrasion) work to slough away dead skin cells revealing a brighter, firmer layer of skin.
For best results, opt for a spa treatment over an at-home kit. Spas use professional grade products which are more potent than those sold in stores. Plus you can relax knowing the procedure is being administered by a trained skin care expert!
Other tips to prevent lip lines:
– Refrain from smoking
– Apply sunscreen regularly
(product recommendation: Chemfree Superblock)
– Keep lips hydrated by using a lip balm
(product recommendation: Honey Vanilla Lip Balm )
– Apply an anti-aging cream or serum daily
(product recommendation: Primrose Eye & Upper Lip Treatment Cream)
Check out our current spa deals >>
A recent article in Fox News Magazine highlights creative ways to use the summertime heat for great skin.
Read on for Shizuka’s summertime tips for eliminating dull dry skin:
To make sure your skin is in tip-top shape, it’s especially important to cleanse properly when the temperature rises. Experts say now is the time to thoroughly exfoliate every week to remove impurities from the skin and keep pores clog-free. New York City-based celebrity facialist Shizuka Bernstein suggests applying a hot towel to the skin for five minutes after removing makeup and washing skin thoroughly. Follow this by exfoliating gently with a scrub that’s ideal for sensitive skin.
Summer is all about being outside; whether it’s building sandcastles on the beach, picnicking in the park, enjoying a backyard barbeque, or just basking on a some stepsâ€”outdoors is the place to be!
While the warm sun feels wonderful on your skin, it can really dry it out (even if you’re in the shade!), eventually leaving your skin starving for some nutrient-rich moisturizing.
In the name of summer and all things relaxing, we came up with a list of our most popular “sun repair” spa treatments that will heal and soothe sun drenched skin, providing deep hydration and relief (& will prepare you for some more fun in the sun!)
For the Face:
- The Geisha Facial – The Geisha Facial has received a lot of press due to its much lauded ingredient, Uguisu no Fun or Nightingale droppings. But many forget is that this is a full service facial including a hydrating camellia oil facial massage and antioxidant-rich Green Tea Collagen mask. The mask works to reduce signs of aging by encouraging further collagen production and saturates the skin with free radical fighting antioxidants.
- GentleWaves® LED Facial Rejuvenation – This facial incorporates specially coded LED lights that promote a process called photomodulation in the skin. Much like photosynthesis in plants, the LED lights work to stimulate and promote healthy skin production.
- Naturopathica’s Natural Face Lift Facial – Combined with ultrasonic and microcurrent technologies, this high performance treatment uses Naturopathica brand products including Plant Stem Cell Serum (a powerful antioxidant blend) to deliver deep hydration and gently firms and tones the skin.
For the Body:
- Coffee Break Mud Wrap – This 50min heated treatment uses a natural body scrub that includes Black Silt Clay and Coffee Arabica to exfoliate and draw out impurities. It also includes Indian Sarsaparilla and Shea Butter to clarify skin and seal in moisture.
For the Hands & Feet:
- Espresso Mud Pedicure -This sensually invigorating pedicure uses a mud mixture to exfoliate and deeply hydrate your feet. In addition to nail and cuticle care, and buffing/color; this treatment includes added moisturizing and light massage.
- Sakura Pedicure & Nagomi Manicure – These are our signature manicure and pedicure treatments that include the most pampering and nail care. We use the natural harnessing power of ingredients like Crystallized Honey, Rice Bran, Sake-Kasu, and a handmade and chemical free Yuzu Massage Cream to fully exfoliate and deeply hydrate the hands and feet.
The Nest talks with Shizuka Bernstein, Celebrity Esthetician and Owner of SHIZUKA New York Day Spa, about summer beauty products in their article:
Shizuka describes Naturopathica’s Lavender Protective Moisturizer SPF 17 as an ideal summertime skin care product that’s great for use year round.
“This moisturizer from Naturopathica is a perfect makeup base in the summer, offering UVA and UVB protection with a smooth, matte finish,” says Bernstein. “Micronized zinc oxide is a physical sun blocker, so it doesn’t penetrate the skin, which means it doesn’t irritate it. But the secret ingredient is turmeric root, which reduces redness and helps inhibit melanin production for added protection. I love this product and use it all year round!”
Some find freckles, sun or angel kisses, cute, and some annoying. But what are they?
Freckles are a grouping of melanin pigment that forms on the outer most layer of the skin to protect deeper layers from excessive sun damage. Since freckles are part of the skin’s protective functioning, it’s privy for anyone susceptible to these mighty little “kisses” to work with the skin and always wear sunscreen and resort to other protective measures.
Freckles usually form on the places exposed to direct sunlight: face, arms, shoulders and neck. If you “freckle” it’s a sure sign your skin is sensitive to sun exposure so it’s a good idea to limit exposure to harmful UV rays by covering up and using sunscreen. This will limit further “freckling”, prolonged sun damage, and possibly even melanoma. And plus, your skin will look and feel healthier.
If you’re looking to even out your complexion, here are some ways to care for freckled skin:
- Brightening creams and cleansers. These products contain brightening agents that will even out skin tone creating a brighter complexion. Be sure to follow directions when using these products and always wear sunscreen when outside, as your skin will be even more susceptible to UV-damage.
- Laser/IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments. These treatments will lighten or remove dark spots entirely. Depending on your skin’s condition, several treatments may be necessary.
- Chemical Peels. Chemical peels strip you of your outer most layer of skin, allowing for newer healthier skin to grow in. This will reduce the appearance of freckles and age spots.
More sun-damage prevention tips:
- Take cover with an umbrella, hat, scarf, and protective clothing. Avoid scorching sun rays between 10a – 4p.
- Look for “broad-spectrum” sun screens that will protect your skin from both UVB and UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin, while UVB rays are shorter and cause sunburns. Look for sunscreen with SPF of at least 15, although sunscreen SPF of 30 or more is ideal. If you’re at higher elevations use higher SPF.
- Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before stepping outdoors, and continue to reapply every 2 hours.
- If you have moles, make it a regular habit to visit a dermatologist at least once a year for a check-up.
- The use of tanning beds can significantly increase your skin’s need to freckle, not to mention increase your risk for melanoma. If you really need a tan, try using self tanning creams or sprays instead.
- If you have sensitive skin and want to stay away from chemical-based products, look for chem-free products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients help to block UV rays from penetrating the skin’s surface. They aren’t absorbed into the skin like regular sunscreens so are nonallergenic and nonirritating and won’t aggravate acne.
- If acne is a concern, Shizuka suggests staying away from powder mineral make-up. “I’ve seen so many clients who use the product come in with acne, I suspect the oil from the minerals or the applicator brush is clogging pores.” An unwashed brush transfers bacteria back and forth from the powder to the skin, which further contributes to clogged pores. For oily and congested skin, be sure to wash your face (& make-up brushes!) as soon as possible.
Related blog post>> Product Highlight: SNY’s Skin Freshener (Mt. Fuji Water Tonic)
Related blog post>> 11 Ways to Look Fabulous for Memorial Day & Beyond!
Related blog post>> Preventing Acne, Is There an App for That?
Memorial Day is just a few weeks away, bringing with it the warm summer months to follow. Here are some tips to looking and feeling your best throughout the summer months!
1. Screen your skin!: In order to protect against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, generously coat all exposed skin with sunscreen, preferably broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher. Also, just applying once isn’t enough–remember to reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or extensive sweating.
Related blog post>> Top Summer Skin Mistake
2. Post lunch: Most people forget that the skin on your lips is also susceptible to sun damage, so be sure to wear lip balm with SPF. Don’t forget to reapply especially after eating or drinking.
3. Made in shades: Wear sunglasses with lenses that provide UV protection. Too much sun over time can actually damage your eyes, not to mention the fine lines that can accrue from too much squinting.
4. Exfoliate & moisturize!: Show off soft smooth skin by making it a habit to exfoliate regularly and moisturize daily. When you exfoliate, dead skin cells are sloughed off revealing smoother skin. Moisturizing everyday will not only keep your skin hydrated, but will help your skin retain water and look smoother. SNY Moisturizer goes on light and silky and provides the benefits of immediate hydration.
5. Wax not wane: Consider waxing to get rid of unwanted body hair during the summer months. In most cases, a waxing will last for 4-6 weeks. IPL (or Intense Pulsed Light) is considered a more permanent hair removal solution, however, IPL treatments make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Because of this, the procedure is best left for the cooler winter months when skin is less likely to be exposed to direct sunlight. If you do receive IPL during the summer, take care to wear protective clothing and reapply SPF 30 or higher regularly to the treated areas.
Related blog post>> 5 Summer Waxing Tips from Shizuka NY
6. Footsie play: Get a spa pedicure with exfoliation to get your feet sandal ready! Have fun and choose colors that compliment your sandals or add-on a bit of reflexology to soothe and recharge tired feet.
7. Aloe me: Keep some aloe vera or aloe-based ointment or moisturizer on hand in case of accidental sunburn to skin. Aloe will help relieve the pain and can help the skin heal faster. Continue to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to the affected area(s).
8. Daily cleanse: Be sure to cleanse skin properly each day to keep pores free from sweat and sunscreen build-up. Sweating actually purifies your skin by releasing bacteria and other toxins through your pores. However, when you let the sweat dry on your skin, the sitting bacteria can lead to breakouts and major acne. SNY Clay Cleanser is great for summertime cleansing and the cooling effect of peppermint will leave your skin cool and refreshed.
Related blog post>> Product Highlight: Shizuka NY Clay Cleanser
9. G’day: As the sun beats down on you, especially during the scorching afternoon hours, be sure to wear a hat or scarf to protect your scalp from burning. Scarves in light colored fabrics such as white, khaki, or pastels will help keep you cool by reflecting heat instead of absorbing it like dark colors. Brimmed hats made of natural fibers such as straw, linen or cotton will help your scalp breathe and will help protect your face as well. If hats and scarves aren’t your thing, consider using an umbrella instead. It will keep you cool and help protect your skin, scalp AND hair from ultimate summertime burnout!
10. Bugs beware: To avoid unsightly bug bites and itchy rashes from mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats, consider trying natural alternatives to chemical-based repellents. Apply any combination of essential oils like cedar oil, citronella oil, clove oil, geranium oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, and even the juice from garlic cloves will help keep mosquitoes and other bugs (and maybe even other humans too) at bay.
11. HydrateHydrateHydrate: Drinking plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages will help keep your skin and hair hydrated and healthy. Alcohol tends to dehydrate the skin and hair, so be sure to replenish your system with plenty of water and electrolytes after every mojito and margarita!
One of the top summer skin mistakes is incorrectly applying sunscreen. Most sunscreen wearers apply it only once a day but in reality most sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours, or every hour if swimming or sweating. For each application, apply the sunscreen and/or sunblock at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and use enough to generously coat any area of the skin not covered by clothing.
Apply sunscreen to children and babies as well, however, babies under 6 months should not be exposed to the sun at all.
Sun protection is serious business–it’s common that most sun-related skin damage occurs by the time we reach 18 years of age.
Lavender and skin care go hand in hand. Its soothing aroma is useful for treating anxiety and insomnia while its antiseptic property acts as an all natural antibacterial component to purify the skin. Infuse lavender skin care into your summertime beauty routine!
During these hot summer days, we invite you to give extra attention to keeping your skin free of bacteria that can lead to acne. Relax with these soothing lavender skincare facial cleansers:
Aloe Cleansing Gel – A foaming sulfate-free cleanser with a refreshing blend of Aloe Vera and Lavender that gently clarifies the skin while maintaining natural moisture.
Lavender oil, known for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, can be found in our Shizuka New York Skincare System as well:
Shizuka NY Moisturizer – This moisturizer is a non-greasy and absorbs immediately to hydrate, condition and rejuvenate, and works to clarify and brighten the complexion.
Shizuka NY Foaming Cleanser -This Foaming Cleanser is used in most facial treatments in our NYC day spa and contains a slew of other nourishing ingredients leaving the skin renewed, softer and more supple.
Check out the latest mention of our Halloween Week Special – Geisha facial here! There’s still time to take advantage of our exclusive Halloween Week spa deals. So hurry, offers end October 31st, 2011!
While the idea of a daily facial seems unlikely, especially for those constantly on the go, there are a couple things you can do daily to keep your skin happy and healthy this season.
As the weather gets cooler and the air dryer, it’s important to remain mindful of the foods we eat. It’s difficult to determine the exact correlation certain foods have on skin conditions, but for most, a slight change in the way we eat can bring a drastic improvement to our skin. Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City, says, “Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look”.
To ensure you’re getting enough essential vitamins to nourish your skin from the inside out, we’ve compiled a list of seasonal winter foods to look out for the next time you go grocery shopping. For ultimate skin protection, we’ve paired them with our vitamin-infused topical serums and potions for a customized mini-facial everyday!
Reduce wrinkles, curb inflammation, improve skin tone, increase collagen levels: Eat foods rich in Vitamin C like sweet potatoes, red peppers, pineapple, oranges, and dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is best known to strengthen your immune system but can also protect your skin’s cells and tissues from premature aging. Apply our Vitamin C Power Gel for a Vitamin C boost and Beech Tree & Ginseng Daily Moisturizer.
Soft, smooth, radiant skin: Eat foods rich in Vitamin E like fortified cereals, almonds, turnip greens, tomatoes, pine nuts, and avocado. Vitamin E helps fight off toxins in your body and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Build up anti-aging defense mechanisms in your skin, even skin tone, reduce skin irritation and itchiness: Eat foods rich with Beta Carotene like carrots, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach. Beta Carotene promotes cell growth and increases immunity. Apply Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel to naturally exfoliate dead skin cells, and for mature skin apply Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel which is infused with both Beta Carotene and Vitamin C.
Reduce the appearance of dark under eye circles and skin discoloration: Eat foods rich in Vitamin K like olive oil, scallions, Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus, broccoli, and pears. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health but also helps heal skin discolorations and scarring. Apply Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum to under eye circles and our Anti-Redness Gel (also infused with Vitamins C and E) to reduce the appearance of redness and small capillaries.
Smoother, naturally hydrated skin: Eat foods with Hyaluronic Acid like fish and poultry. Hyalauronic Acid helps to hydrate and tightly bond skin cells together. Apply our Hyaluronic Acid Gel for deep skin hydration and Glycolic Purifying Peel for both exfoliation and hydration, for normal to oily skin.
Healthy glowing skin: Eat foods rich in complex B vitamins like whole grains, poultry, fish, and eggs. B vitamins helps build healthy cells and can help even out skin tone.
Check out our current Spa Deals here>>
Can’t make it to the spa? Check out our online store>>
The summer solstice today marks the beginning of the season of beaches, parks, and sun. Just in time, the Federal Drug Administration has recently issued new rules that are intended to improve the way sun protection products are marketed and used.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind when purchasing and using sunscreen this summer:
- SPF only refers to protection from the sun’s UVB rays. In order to prevent sunburn, premature skin aging, and skin cancer, you need broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection.
- SPF is based on testing that uses large amounts of product on the skin. In order to be effectively protected, apply more sunscreen than you may want to, and more often than you normally would.
- There is no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen. All sunscreens lose effectiveness when you sweat or swim. In these cases, reapply frequently.
- There is very little difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50. There is no need to purchase a sunscreen with SPF higher than 50. Rather, look for broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and reapply frequently.
- In addition to using sunscreen with SPF 30-50 daily, you should protect your body with clothing and light-blocking hats and umbrellas.
When you venture outdoors this summer, take care of your skin to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Recommended Sun Protection Product:
Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+
By DCL Skin Care
DCL Skin Care’s Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+ combines high UVB absorption and powerful UVA blockage for broad spectrum protection in an elegant silky sheer, matte finish that leaves the skin residue free.
The superb photo protective performance of ultra microfine zinc oxide contributes to the high SPF protection while supplemental antioxidants safeguard the skin from environmental free-radical damage.
Size: 1.7 Fl oz / 50 mL
We’ve been telling you about the dangers of tanning for awhile now. In case you need a quick refresher, here it is in a nutshell:
- Tanning is a MAJOR cancer risk, according to the World Health Organization, along with arsenic and mustard gas, due to the UV rays in sunlight and in tanning beds.
- Tanning is your skin’s natural reaction to DEFEND itself from the sun’s UV radiation, not encourage you to stay out longer.
- Tanning seriously ages your skin, weakening connective tissues in your skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles as well as hyperpigmentation (sun spots).
Here’s more bad news for the tanners out there. If you’ve been in search of that ever-elusive full body tan, you will be searching a long time, according to a new study.
Published in Experimental Dermatology, the study found that some parts of your body (ex. buttocks) are just less prone to holding a tan. There’s tan through swimwear out there in addition to nude sunbathing, tanning beds, and that guy above. However, our bodies seem to be telling us that there are some places that are just not meant to be tan. Staying out for hours in the sun may not get you closer to the full body tan and it only increases your risk of skin cancer.
So stick to spray tanning or, better yet, no tanning. Keep in mind that skin cancer is on the rise, especially among younger women, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS protect your skin with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 daily.
A study this year at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University used a unique method to show the effects of lifestyle choices on aging. Researchers photographed and interviewed 186 pairs of twins during the 2006 and 2007 Twins Festival in Twinsburg, OH and compared these data to find clues into how our daily choices affect the way we age.
In the above example, researchers recorded an over-11-year gap in perceived age difference between 61-year-old twin sisters Jeanne (left) and Susan (right). “We don’t have the same taste in men and weather,” says Jeanne who lives in Ohio and has aimed for “as little sun exposure as possible” in contrast with her sun worshiping Floridian counterpart. In addition to her tanning habit, Susan also smoked a pack-and-a-half per day for 16 years during her 20s and 30s.
The evidence of aging is far stronger in twin sister Susan’s hyperpigmentation (sun damage and age spots) and the greater appearance of fine lines and wrinkles under the eyes and around the mouth.
In addition to sun exposure and smoking, another major factor in the appearance of age in the twins was weight. In women below 40, lower weight generally translates to a more youthful appearance. However, in women over 40, more weight contributes to a younger look by filling in fine lines, wrinkles and skin sagging. In the case of the above 46-year-old twins, Laurie (left) weighs 38 pounds less than her sister Lisa (right) which contributes to her more pronounced wrinkles and sagging in the eye area.
Other factors that could contribute to aging include birth control pills (younger), antidepressants (older) and stress (older). [MSNBC.com]
In case you need yet another reason to eat your veggies like mom always told you to, Penn State University has recently found that compounds found in green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, when combined with selenium, could be a potent drug to fight melanoma.
So far, the new skin cancer treatment has only been tested on lab mice, but researchers speculate that the new drug could be effectively delivered to humans intravenously, or as an additive in sunscreen products.
Source: Penn State Live
Celebrity funny-man Will Ferrell of Anchorman and Saturday Night Live fame uses his best “assets” to support cancer survivors with his new line of sunscreens.
With provocative names such as “Sexy Hot Tan,” “Forbidden Fruit” and “Sun Stroke,” 100% of the proceeds of Ferrell’s signature sunscreens benefit Cancer For College, an organization that provides college scholarships to cancer survivors. According to CFC’s website, over 10,000 bottles have already been sold.
In true Ferrell form, the descriptions of the SPF 30 sunscreens are equally as hilarious as the very exposing pictures of him on each bottle:
- Sexy Hot Tan
Are you Sexy? Are You Hot? Then who wouldn’t want a sexy, hot tan? This sunscreen is made with our very own streaking strength formula plus one.
- Sun Stroke
What golfer wouldn’t want to sport a rich dark tan and add 57 yards to their tee shots? This sunscreen provides improved accuracy, added distance and the ultimate bronzing power…we think.
- Forbidden Fruit
Honestly, the less we say about this one the better for fear of being cast into a pit of fire.
More information about Will Ferrell Sunscreens and Cancer For College at CancerForCollege.org.
Experts in the cancer branch of the World Health Organization have now moved tanning beds and other forms of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk group along with arsenic, mustard gas, smoking cigarettes and chimney sweeping, among others.
Tanning beds have long been considered “probable carcinogens” likely to lead to skin cancer by the WHO, but this news, published in the medical journal Lancet Oncology, concludes through the analysis of about 20 different cancer studies that skin cancer risk increases by 75% in people who start using tanning beds before the age of 30.
“People need to be reminded of the risks of sunbeds,” remarked Vincent Cogliano, one of the researchers. “We hope the prevailing culture will change so teens don’t think they need to use sunbeds to get a tan.”
Studies show that the use of tanning beds has increased in the under-30 generation, including teens. This is easy to believe due to high visibility of bronzed celebrities gracing our movie theaters and television screens (see our previous post on Tanorexia and UV protection).
Cogliano went on to elaborate that ultraviolet radiation is not healthy in any form, whether it be from a tanning bed or even the sun. This research only further emphasizes the need for us all to limit sun exposure and to always protect our skin by wearing sunscreen or sunblock daily with an SPF of at least 30. In addition to the cosmetic problems such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles that prolonged sun exposure can cause, it has now been confirmed what a serious health risk tanning can be.
As an alternative to tanning, the American Cancer Society recommends cosmetic bronzers and self-tanners as an alternative to tanning beds. Let’s all remember to protect our skin this summer!
More information about this story at USAToday.com.
What is Tanorexia?
Tanorexia is basically an addiction to sun tanning. Tanorexia is a condition in which a person participates in excessive outdoor sun tanning or use of other skin tanning methods (such as tanning beds) to achieve a darker skin complexion because they perceive themselves as unacceptably pale.
Could that “healthy glow” actually be unhealthy?
Absolutely. Keep in mind that a suntan is your body’s natural way of defending itself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV exposure causes the skin to produce more melanin (the pigment that gives your skin its natural color). While you may enjoy the look of a tan, the UVA and UVB rays also work in ways you may not appreciate as much:
- UV light weakens connective tissues that give your skin firmness and elasticity, resulting in wrinkles and thinner, more translucent skin.
- Hyperpigmentationâ€”usually seen as small dark spots or frecklesâ€”occurs when an excess of melanin is produced in these small patches of skin.
- In extreme cases, overexposure to the UV light can lead to skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts and Figures 2009, over 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, and New York State ranks fourth in the nation for the most estimated new cases in 2009 following California, Florida and Texas.*
America’s Next Top Tanorexic is…
It is not surprising that California ranks #1 for melanoma risk with the great number of tanning salons and the abundance of very tanorexic celebs such as the ones pictured above, including Victoria Beckham. However, BeautyNewsNYC also reported last year that there are a growing number of celebrities who are staying away from tanning beds and “fake bakes” and sporting more Geisha-like porcelain complexions (think Anne Hathaway, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Dita von Teese).
Tanorexia Makes You Look Old
As further proof of the need to protect your skin from sun damage, scientists have found through computer imaging that hyperpigmentation directly influences how old we appear to others. Using digital images of 169 women, aged 17-70, the color distribution on each woman’s face was imposed on a generic 3-D form devoid of fine lines, wrinkles, and other traditionally age-defining characteristics. Faces with more even color distributions were perceived to be healthier and younger in appearance.
Protect Your Skin This Summer!
Summer is the time for New Yorkers to flock outdoors en masse to sunny destinations such as Central Park, Coney Island, the Hamptons and Jersey Shore to soak up those intoxicating rays and work on their tans. As great as it feels to be outdoors during the summer, be careful (i.e. not a “tanorexic”) and protect your skin every time you are outside with these summer skincare tips:
- Minimize sun exposure, especially between 10am – 4pm when the sun is at its brightest.
Always protect your skin by applying sunscreen 30 minutes before you step outside.
- If your schedule requires you to be in the sun for extended periods of time, wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants.
- Remember that you can burn as easily on an overcast day as a sunny one.
- Be cautious of reflective environmental surfaces such as sand, water, concrete, and snow as these can multiply the power of the sun’s light.
- Stay away from tanning salons, tanorexic conventions, and UV tanning beds, and beware of false advertising claims that indoor tanning with UVA light is safer than sunlight.
- Teach children the dangers of tanorexia and the benefits of proper sun protection from a young age. The effects of sun damage accumulate over their lifetimes, and it is never too early to create good habits.
- Although darker skin is less likely to burn, it is still important for those with darker complexions to protect their skin with sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and other signs of aging.
The temperature is beginning to rise in New York City and it especially important to think about protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories (DCL) has just introduced a new sun protection product, Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+. This silky-smooth sunscreen carries a rating of PA+++ based on its score of 16 in the Persistent Pigment Darkening Test adopted by the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association (the minimum score for PA+++ is 8). What this translates to is superior sun protection in a sheer formula that leaves a non-whitening matte finish with no sticky residue.
This quick drying and fragrance free sunscreen also contains supplemental antioxidants to safeguard the skin from environmental free radicals.
Shizuka highly recommends Super Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($24.00) this summer. It is available for purchase, along with other sunscreens and sunblocks online, in the spa, or by phone at 212.644.7400.