Category Archives: Sunscreen

7 Rules of Layering Your Skincare Products

skin-care-product-layeringBefore we dive-in to skincare product layering tips remember this: DON’T strip your skin of it’s lipid barrier function and healthy PH when you wash it, that will make everything you do afterward a big.fat.waste of time (check out my favorite cleansers)!

1. Start light. Serums—the thinnest products—go first, because a) that just makes sense and b) they deliver active ingredients into the skin most efficiently. Pick two or three serums that each treat one of your skincare health concerns: wrinkles/fine lines, acneic or oily (Power Peel Glycolic Gel, Clear It), water or oil-dry (Hydrate Super Serum), sensitive/irritable to calm redness (Calm Down ).

2. Add an antioxidant. Vitamin C is one ingredient every skin type needs. It brightens, protects against sun damage, and promotes collagen production (C Power Vitamin C Serum).

3. Take a coffee break. If you give each product a minute to dry, it won’t pill. I flow my skincare in with the rest of my morning routine. For example, I put on a product, have coffee, then put on a second product, then brush my teeth.

4. Lock it down. Moisturizer is key to any layering routine because it seals serums on your skin, which can make them more effective (Atmosphere Protection Cream).

5. Know when to go in reverse. If your sensitive skin reddens at the thought of using even one treatment product, try putting on a simple, fragrance-free moisturizer first and then serums on top. The cream will reduce the potency of the serums but they’ll also be less likely to cause irritation.

6. Add an oil. In small doses, oils make skin radiant. Put them on dry areas after creams—as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not vice versa. Skip the oil if you’re wearing more than two serums under your moisturizer (Botanical Booster).

7. Don’t forget protection. Sunscreen is your last step in the morning. It sits on top of your skin, so if it goes on first, it prevents other ingredients from penetrating (Oil-Free Daily Protect).

See you at the spa!

FDA and Sunscreen Report – International Dermal Institute

Update: New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen

Article from the International Dermal Institute

“Twenty years ago, the concept of sun protection was to prevent sunburn from UVB rays. There was no international SPF test, sun products had virtually no protection against UVA -there were only two sunscreens classed as UVA filters- and there was no concept of photo stability applied to sun care products. The goal was to get a golden tan and enhance it as much as possible (ahem baby oil users!) instead of protecting from future damage.

Today is a vastly different environment when it comes to sun protection. We know a lot more today about UVA rays than we ever did, and sun protection products are much more sophisticated. Regulations have finally caught up with the science, backing sunscreens as effective methods to prevent early skin aging. Last year’s FDA statement covered some ground on testing and labeling of sunscreens- and this goes into effect June 2012.

I’ve summarized the key points below:

• If the product passes FDA’s tests for both UVB and UVA, it can be labeled as ‘broad spectrum’. Previously, only UVB protection was tested, which is where the SPF value comes from. Look for ‘broad spectrum’ on the label for maximum protection.

• If a ‘broad-spectrum’ product has a minimum of SPF15 and is used regularly along with other sun-protection measures (clothing, shade), then these products can state on the label that they not only help prevent sunburn, but also reduce the risk of cancer and reduce signs of early skin aging.

• No more ‘sunblock,’ ‘sweatproof’ or ‘waterproof’ claims. Instead FDA will allow “water resistant (40minutes)” or “extra water resistant (80minutes)” as relevant.

• Remember to apply at least every two hours, especially if swimming or sweating.

• From now on, all sunscreen products must include standard ‘drug facts’ information, on the back and/or side of the container. Look for this panel on the package for detailed information.

Of course change doesn’t occur suddenly so these are things to look forward this year, with additional changes in the future. Some issues that FDA will look at in the coming years include investigating whether some delivery methods are valid ways of delivering UV protection. These forms are eligible for inclusion in the future OTC sunscreen monograph: oils, lotions, creams, gels, butters, pastes, ointments, sticks and sprays. We should point out that sprays may be delisted pending FDA requested safety and efficacy testing. While spray sunscreens are easy to use, most people don’t use enough (you need at least a shot glass of the cream kind so imagine how much you really need to spray!). For now, the FDA will require an extra safety warning for sprays to ensure proper application. Other popular forms of sunscreen delivery, such as powders and wipes, are currently considered ineligible for inclusion in the sunscreen monograph. Since there is no hard evidence showing that really high SPF numbers are significantly better, FDA is proposing to cap SPF values at 50 – that means no more SPF 100! This is all still a work in progress, but it shows that government agencies are putting work into regulating the fast-paced world of over-the-counter drugs in cosmetics.

So what’s the difference between a drug-store sunscreen and a professional skin care product with sunscreen? It all lies in the formulation. Both will legally have the same sun protection, since they must adhere to US FDA (or other regulatory body’s) rules. But the world of skin care is also based on research and sometimes makes changes faster than governmental rules ie: broad spectrum protection has been around for many years before it became a labeling possibility. We know that protecting against UVA and UVB rays is only part of the problem when it comes to photoaging. Free radical formation is also a major culprit- professional skin care products with sunscreens are more likely to have higher levels of antioxidants along with broad-spectrum UV protection for maximum skin health benefits. Formulators of professional products can also enhance products to provide more benefits around specific skin conditions. They will also take into account the feel and texture of the product, so you are sure to get sheer, non-greasy formulas that deliver the same amount of sun protection as any basic sunscreen but formulated with ingredients that maximize skin health and prevent future damage.

The main point of this is to remember that sunscreen is not fool-proof. Be sun aware, especially when outside for long periods of time, either in summer or hitting the slopes in winter. And remember, in order to get the actual SPF designated on the package you must apply a full teaspoon of product to your face or a shot glass to your body… So enjoy the summer – but be sun aware!”

Going to the Beach? Tips to Save Your Skin

It’s a fact: The Ocean is one big sun reflector. You’re more at risk for sunburns and sun damage on the shore than anywhere else.

Here are my expert tips to keep your skin safe this summer:

  • Discontinue use of AHA’s:Using exfoliants regularly (such as Glycolic Acid) have been shown to increase sun sensitivity by 45 percent. It’s best to discontinue use of AHA’s seven days prior to the beach.
  • Sunscreen: It’s not the SPF number that is as important, it is how often and generously you apply.  When it comes to SPF, I prefer SPF 30 reapplied as often as every hour.

My pick: Tu’el Oil Free Protection SPF 30. It’s an oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates.

It contains a key moisturizing ingredient, Sodium Hyaluronate as well as nourishing Cucumber Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Green Tea
  • Be aware of oily skinned areas: The areas of your face where you have larger pores will always produce more oils.  These natural oils can breakdown sunscreens more quickly, so pay attention and reapply more often.  For example, the nose area acts as a natural reflectant.  Pay attention to your nose, or any area, that is getting shiny…
  • Apply sunscreen in forgotten areas: hairline, ears, tops of feet, toes, eyelids.
  • Don’t think you are safe in the shade: You still get sun under an umbrella, especially by the ocean. Because the water reflects light you still need to apply and re-apply sunscreen.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses: If the goal is to help protect your skin from premature aging, a hat and sunglasses can be the extra coverage you need for your face.
  • Got acne? Go for a swim: The salt in the ocean water helps destroy bacteria, which can clear up your breakouts.
  • Rinse off the saltwater: The same water that is destroying bacteria is also very dehydrated (great for blemishes, not for dry skin). Make sure to rinse off before leaving beach.
  • Wear mineral makeup: For extra protection, Youngblood mineral powders has an SPF protecting factor and will give you a finished look without being too heavy for the beach.

What if you applied sunscreen but still got sunburn? The most common problems are:

  • Too little sunscreen applied
  • Not applied every hour for intense exposure
  • Not the right formulation

Sunscreens wear off, sweat off and wash off.  Applying 20 minutes before exposure, liberally and often makes all the difference.  If you want to look young, avoid the sun. A little sun means a little damage; a lot of sun means a lot of damage.

Click here if you want to learn more about sun protection.

Summer means fun at the beach – relax and enjoy but be safe with your skin!

See you at the spa!

Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30

oil free spfDaily Protect Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30

An oil-free, lightweight full spectrum sun block especially for oily or impure skin or for those in hot and/or humid climates.

SPF 30 can be worn all day, but is especially important when outside for prolonged periods, or near water.

Some of the ingredients include:

Chamomile Extract: Soothing, calming and  assists in healing.

Green Tea Extract: Powerful antioxidant, free radical scavenger and anti irritant.

Aloe Extract: Soothes and protects.

Sodium Hyaluronate: It is the cosmetic grade of Hyaluronic Acid. Extremely humectant, binds up to 1000 times it’s weight in water, supports collagen and elastin in the dermis where wrinkles form.

People are often confused about sunscreen formulations. Here is what is in this one:
  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate – UVB protection, waterproof, reduces the appearance of scars and is an organic compound.
  • Benzophenone 3 – It is an organic compound, broad spectrum protection photosynthesizing short wave UVA  and absorbs rays in the upper UVB, lower UVB range, where primary sundamage – i.e. burning, skin cancer and aging occur.
  • Octyl Salicylate – Adds emollient properties, is an organic compound and absorbs UVB.
  • Titanium Dioxide – Utra Violet physical block found naturally.
  • Avobenzone – Active, “broad spectrum” (this is an important key phrase, watch for it on labels) protection. It’s an organic sunscreen agent that has the ability to absorb ultraviolet light over a wide range of wavelengths.

*Price quoted for this product is valid up to one month after this post is published.
See you at the spa!

Traveling Soon?

This summer I’ll be traveling down the Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam visiting little villages and touring castles. We begin our adventures with a day in Gay Paree!

It is a thrill to anticipate, and still – I’m a bit apprehensive. 😉

Air travel can still be a brutish experience. An extended flight in an airplane’s low-humidity, pressurized interior, followed by exposure to a climate that may be vastly different from what you’re used to, can wreak havoc on your body.

Cabin air is drier than the world’s driest deserts. It’s like 10 percent humidity. That’s a very harsh environment, not just on your face but on your entire body. An environment like that, with no moisture, can make your skin look five to 10 years older.

When the skin has no water, it attempts to compensate for the dehydration by producing more oil—which is the last thing that oily skin needs. But for dry skins that have no oil glands, the skin will be depleted of its water content.

Add to that the inevitable experience of jet lag, often mixed with immodest amounts of caffeine or alcohol, pre-flight stress, high-fat meals eaten in a hurry at airport fast-food outlets, and hours of breathing the germ-laden air in the airplane cabin; and it’s no wonder travelers often deplane dehydrated, with dry, blotchy skin, puffy eyes, and swollen ankles.

Complicating matters are new airline security regulations that limit the liquids passengers can carry on. Yet, despite all these gorillas waiting to pound your skin, savvy travelers can still do a lot to lessen the negative impacts.

The moral: traveling is especially tough on skin, so spend a little time anticipating what you’ll need to take care of your self.

So, before I talk myself out of going, let me suggest a few things I carry at Star Brows, that you (and I) will need to keep our skin healthy, hydrated and happy 🙂

  • Moisturizing and hydrating skincare products (in plastic bags in case they leak). Look for serums using ingredients like Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone and Hyaluronic Acid to lock in moisture.

My picks: Hydrate & Hydrating Body Tonic by Tu’el – I call these “under-wear” because they hold onto the moisture that is naturally occurring in your skin, and you typically wear them under sunscreen, night cream and body lotion – especially if you are very dry.

  • A facial mist to instantly hydrate (carry on, and spritz your face when you feel dry).

My pick: Climate Control by Senegence

  • Lip Conditioner containing shea butter, which not only adds to the protective barrier but also locks in moisture.

My pick: Glossy Gloss by Senegence (the moisturizing part of the long-lasting, top-selling duo – LipSence.)

  • Foot cream! 1. To keep your feet in tip-top shape. 2. To have an excuse to massage them.

My pick: Smooth by OPI – it is a no-rinse way to moisturize and exfoilliate.

  • Sunscreen, one for the face and one for the body.

My pick: Sun Diffusing Protector by Bioelements and SPF 30 (full spectrum block) of some sort for the bod.

So, we’ve covered the bare essentials – face and body hydration, UV protection and foot and lip care.

Now let’s talk about a couple other travel do’s and don’ts for great skin:

  • Avoid putting on makeup before boarding an airplane. Makeup will act as one more barrier if you want to rehydrate your skin during flight. (I’ll admit this is a tough one for us beauty mavens!)
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, both in flight and before you board, but do drink as much water as you can–ideally, at least eight ounces for every hour of flight time.
  • Periodically head to the restroom to splash lukewarm water on your face to rehydrate and clean out clogged pores. For long flights, consider soaking a washcloth or paper towel in hot water and placing it on your face to open nasal passages.
  • Apply moisturizer or mist whenever you feel skin beginning to tighten. Every hour is not too often.
  • Gel eye masks are inexpensive and you can ask a flight attendant to keep one in the galley refrigerator for you during the flight.
  • Once you reach your destination, indulge in a long, hot bath as soon as possible. The key is to immerse yourself in water and restore moisture to your dried out skin, lips, and mucous membranes. In addition, a long bath or shower will help humidify the air, which can also be dreadfully dry in hotel rooms.
  • Slip, Slop, Slap as the Aussies say. That’s slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, and slap on a hat!
    Don’t stop protecting your skin just because you’ve completed the marathon of getting from Point A to Point B–especially if Point B has a dramatically different climate than Point A. Look out for sunburn.
  • Essential Oil is a travel must. The airplane offers a host of bacteria and viruses, essential oils purify, protect and bolster your immune system.

My pick: Thieves by Young Living

An Irish blessing for your travels:

May your day be filled with blessings like the sun that lights the sky, and may you always have the courage
to spread your wings and fly!

See you at the spa!

The “M” Word and Your Skin

Menopause is the 2nd big hormonal event in a women’s life, and even if you are nowhere near this stage of life, it is NOT too early to prepare. Like everything else, preparation and knowledge about the process of  “your change” will dictate your success in navigating through this natural occurrence.

So do as I say, not as I did. I saw menopause as something natural that I would float through seamlessly – didn’t I have my last baby at home? Super Woman! Not 😉 I mean I got through without a DNC, I let fibroids shrink on their own, I wore sunscreen, got moody, lived through night sweats, fought dryness, etc.

What I did not prepare for was the state of depletion that the declining levels of estrogen left me in. There are supplements to address these changes, but I didn’t see the need at the time. I do now, as a 55-year-old post-menopausal woman…better late than never!

But, I digress…let’s just stick to the skin part of this discussion.

The biggest skin bandit is undoubtedly the sun – which we love! but we must respect its power.

In 2nd position is the process of aging. First of all, can I just mention that I HATE the phrase anti-aging. Is it beneficial to be against aging? We, as women, spend our youth worrying if we are thin enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, toned enough…blah, blah, blah enough already! I like to call it healthy aging instead.

That said, let’s talk about what is going on behind the “skin scenes” in the aging process – and  what we can do to have the best possible outcome.

Decline in estrogen levels are the main culprit. This affects every organ skin of the body, including the skin. The estrogen receptors that carry this magic “women juice” are found most abundantly around the genital area (duh), face and lower limbs.

Dryness and wrinkling in peri and post menopause are the most noticeable effects on the skin and impact all women to some degree. But behind the scenes there are some other body systems that are changing:

  • The skin becomes less capable of storing moisture.
  • Collagen is breaking down.
  • The blood supply to the skin decreases.
  • The sebaceous glands shrink and produce less oil
  • The skin’s deeper fat layers shrink
  • Aging skin thins and becomes paler and more translucent
  • The skin bruises more easily and is generally more sensitive
  • Allergic reactions and body itching may increase
  • Risk of skin cancer, rosacia and other skin disorders increase.

Having fun yet? 🙂

Solutions:

  • Use a full spectrum block from an early age – or now!
  • Use Mineral Makeup , it calms, soothes, protects the skin from environmental factors and provides an SPF factor
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Start a preventative skin care regime, supervised by a skincare professional that addresses your skin type and issues.
  • Eat healthy raw foods regularly. Low-gylcemic index foods, will increase dermal hydration.
  • Consider supplements: especially a multiple vitamin, minerals and essential fatty acids like Omega 3
  • Use exfoilliants and/or get chemical peels regularly to increase cell turnover.
  • Moisturize using a formulation with hyaluronic acid
  • Practice regular/daily habits of elimination.
  • Develop stress management resources and a support system. Emotions create toxins that affect the skin.

The skin is a living, breathing organ of elimination. It also serves as a  protective covering and barrier – what works to keep it fit and healthy is constantly changing.

You have completely new skin cells every couple of months. Those new cells were grown in an ever-changing body, depending on: what you eat, drink, your skincare regime, hormones, the weather,  – even your thoughts and moods.

Note: When I do brow maintenance I also consult with my clients about the state of their skin, keeping them in touch with the changes the skin is going through, and how to best facilitate healthy, beautiful skin at any age.

See you at the spa!

5 Prime Time Makeup Musts

I’ve found some excellent priming products over the years that I love and use both at home and at work.
After all, great makeup is no accident, is not for the faint of heart, and requires attention to detail.
Still reading? Good! 😉 Let’s get started!
1.) Mineral Rice Setting Powder by Youngblood
Youngblood Mineral Rice Powder at Star Brows: This ultra-silky, translucent powder absorbs oil to control shine and diminish the appearance of pores, but doesn’t dry your skin. It prepares the skin for my favorite makeup, Natural Mineral Foundation (which comes pressed or loose). The rice powder (which also comes pressed or loose) sets a flawless, long-lasting matte finish. This unique formulation uses rice starch, corn starch and minerals, is 100% talc-free and calms and soothes the skin.
What’s in it?
Mica (CI 77019), Corn Starch Modified, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Hydrated Silica, Carum Petroselinum (Parsley) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root Extract, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Flower Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract. .35 oz. $22.
2.) Mineral Primer by Youngblood
Give your makeup real staying power with Mineral Primer, a lightweight, translucent blend that works with Youngblood Mineral Foundation. You will love its silk-to-powder touch within seconds of application, and be amazed at how fine lines and pores disappear effortlessly. Formulated with minerals and vitamins, the Primer also protects skin from environmental damage. Skin protection, a flawless complexion, and makeup that last all day.
What’s in it?
Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Smithsonite Extract, Rhodochrosite Extract, Malachite Extract, Hematite Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate. 1 oz. $37.50
3.) Mineral Lash Prime by Youngblood
This milky white lash “cream” works under mascara to create visibly fuller and thicker lashes after the first coat of mascara. The nourishing formula moisturizes and softens lashes with protein, vitamins and natural oils to help prevent lash breakage.
What’s in it?
Water (Aqua) , Acrylates Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polybutene, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethanolamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oleic Acid, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil , Simethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water. .13 oz. $22

Tip: For a fake eyelash effect, apply primer to bear lashes, wiggling at the base and sweeping out. Immediately apply multiple coats of your favorite mascara while it is still wet.

4.) Ultimate Concealer

Who doesn’t need help with the skin under the eyes? Youngblood Ultimate Concealer at Star Brows is a rich & creamy, mineral formula that gives sheer to heavy coverage, while still looking silky and natural. This perfect blend of light-reflecting minerals makes the skin look smoother, draws attention away from dark circles, and diffuses tiny lines. vitamin C and E help minimize lines and dark circles, allantoin extract stimulates the growth of healthy tissue, and jojoba esters prevent dryness throughout the day.

What’s in it?

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Jojoba Esters, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Allantoin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. .10 oz $27

5.) Concealer Brush

Now for my very favorite priming tip: Japonesque Foundation Brush at Star Brows – This is hot! The soft little brush dipped into a fabulous Mineral Makeup nestles into the labial folds of the nose, (new name please) and eye area. Use it any place where there are sunspots, blemishes, broken capillaries or redness, because: smaller brush = better coverage. This also helps protect vulnerable areas from UV rays, because minerals in a concentrated  area can give up to 30 SPF.

The tips I’ve given you are not just for aesthetic value, but holistic in nature – and therefore worth the time, I think, since they keep your skin and lashes radiantly healthy, as well as beautiful.

See you at the spa!


Sun and Sunscreen 101

Everyone’s always talking about UV rays and how bad they are and how you need a certain type of SPF to block out those rays. But what do all those acronyms mean? What are UV rays? Are they bad? And if UV rays are bad, how do you combat them? Well, let me tell ya!

Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is present in sunlight. It is considered an environmental human carcinogen. The effects of UV rays on normal skin include: skin cancer, sunburn inflammation and hyper pigmentation (also known as sunspots). In addition, UV rays can also have a negative impact on the immune system.

UV falls into 3 categories:

1.) UVA– can penetrate glass, it oxidizes melanin (the brown stuff), that’s already present and triggers the release of more melanin in the skin. It has less energy than other UV rays, but penetrates deeply. Fortunately, it does not cause redness. However, UVA can generate chemical changes which can damage DNA. Because it does not cause reddening of the skin it cannot be measured in SPF testing.

2.) UVB– stimulates the body to produce more melanin and produce a “burn”. They are the most potent rays that reach the earth, and can produce skin cancer.

3.) UVC- These are the highest energy UV rays.  They have the shortest wave length and could be the most harmful to your skin and eyes. They should be completely absorbed by the ozone layer, however the earth’s protective shield is increasingly compromised.

So, what is a tan anyway? My kids used to taunt me by saying, “Mom, I’m going out to get some sun damage!”

A tan is the skin’s defense against UV radiation, the brown pigment (melanin) in the skin increases when exposed to moderate levels of radiation. In healthy skin with moderate exposure, Melanin absorbs UV radiation and dissipates the energy as harmless heat, blocking the damaging of skin tissue.

It is important that sunscreen block both UVA,UVB and UVC. A skincare professional can recommend a product; or you can take a few notes about ingredients to look for in a full spectrum block like: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide  (life guards wear it – it’s clear now) and avobenzone.

Here is one of my favorite sunscreens, especially for sensitive skin that react to the chemicals in sunscreens: Tu’el Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30.

Most products contain an SPF rating to show how well they block UVB rays only. However they typically offer no data about UVA protection. In other words, that 80 SPF sunscreen you have sitting in your bathroom may or may not be working.  Since UVA rays don’t cause redness, there’s no way to tell if they’re damaging your skin.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering adding a star rating system to show UVA protection. (Note to the FDA: Hurry up already, it’s been promised for years!)

Everyday sunscreens should be at least SPF 15. If you’re going to be in the sun for prolonged periods, make sure it’s SPF 30, and remember to get one that is formulated to block the full spectrum of rays.

I recommend applying sunscreen to the entire body right after showering, and to the face after washing it. That way the product has time to soak in and take effect before going outside. It’s a good idea to slather on a second application when you hit the beach, or will be having prolonged exposure.

A white cotton shirt has a SPF of about 8, but if the shirt is tight and the weave stretched, it’s much less. If the shirt gets wet, fades or is several years old, its ability to protect against the sun is even more reduced. Did you know that dark colors absorb more UV rays (that’s a good thing), than light colors. That is why you are hotter in a black shirt than a white one.

Adding a hat and UV protective sunglasses to your sunscreen will help protect your face completely.

If all that wasn’t enough to convince you to slather on the sunscreen, here’s a few more fun (sun) facts:

  • One per cent of wrinkles are caused by ageing; 99 per cent are caused by the sun.
  • It only takes one severe burn during childhood to double the risk of skin cancer in adult life.
  • Using SPF 15 during the first 18 years of life lowers skin cancer odds by 80 percent.
  • An easy way to remember the difference between UVA + UVB rays: UVA = ageing, UVB= burning.

So remember – practice safe sun!

See you at the spa!

What is a Chemical Peel?

Aestheticians sometimes call their use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) when doing facials – chemical peels; but they are not peeling the skin, they are resurfacing. Whats the difference? There are 3 levels or strengths of AHAs available:

1. Cosmetic-you can get these at the drug or department store.

2. Cosmeceuticals-available to licensed skincare specialists.

3. Pharmaceuticals-doctors use these or write a prescription for them.

AHA’s work mainly as  exfoliants. They cause the cells of the skin in the upper layers to become “unglued,” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and making room for regrowth of new skin deeper down.

AHA’s also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation or sun damaged skin.

Some examples of AHA’s are: Glycolic – sugarcane, Lactic – sour milk products, Citric – citrus fruits, Malic – apples and pears, Tartaric – grapes.

For home use, I love: Glyco-A Gel by Tu’el

There is also a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) called salicylic. All  the acids have different strengths and purposes. So, what’s the difference between the BHA & AHA’s? Two words: lipid solubility, aka a substance’s ability to dissolve in oil. AHA’s are water soluble, and BHA dissolves in oil. So…oily skin likes BHA and normal to dry skin like AHA’s.

Side Effects of these acids include; irritation, sun sensitivity, redness, and itching.

Rosacea is a skin disease that responds favorably to some forms of resurfacing, but because this condition is often red, irritable and swollen,a patch test on the inside of the arm to check for allergic response or sensitivity is recommended. The capillary walls are near the surface of the skin in this condition (hence the redness and veiny appearance) so the skin needs extra protection. The skin is also thin, so toughening it up and thickening it with AHAs can be helpful.

AHA & BHA products may reverse some of the damage caused by the sun, but at the same time they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. When using resurfacers use a good sunscreen – see Sunscreen 101 , that contains UVA and UVB protection.

My favorite: Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30 by Tu’el

See you at the spa!

Oscar Thoughts

Age is nothing but a number to gorgeous stars including Sandra, Demi, Helen Mirren, Meryl, Sigourney and J. Lo. These over 40 beauties are great in pictures, but I bet they look like us before fabulous makeup artists work their magic!

To make it onto my healthy aging “A” list you need; expression and smile lines, your own tatas, and a healthy womanly looking figure.
Cameron Diaz  is such a pretty woman – and I loved her red lips; I hope she was wearing LipSense so it stayed on all night!

Diane Krueger’s smokey eye, pale lip color and great bone structure is striking! She was a favorite look of mine: simple, classic, and elegant.

Julianne Moore makes a case for sunscreen on the forearms. Freckles are cute when you are young, but tend to multiply as you age, especially when you don’t practice safe sun.

Penelope Cruz needs facial waxing. Some ethnicities like to rock the “sideburn” , but I’m not a fan.

And finally for the ladies, Helen Mirren celebrated what a naturally healthy aging woman looks like!

And what is up with all the guys’ scruffy beards? Thanks, Zac, for shaving – you look great, mmmm!

See you at the spa!