Woman running outdoors

A Runner's Reference For Sun Protection

You’re serious about your running routine.You’re at it every day. And you want to see some serious results. You want to look in the mirror and see those biceps bulging. You want to see those glutes flexing and those quads defined. What don’t you want to see? Sun damage.

Running is a great way to stay in shape, but if the terrain is your domain, you have to deal with the elements, and the sun is a large element. All those miles in the sun increases the risk of malignant melanoma and associated abnormalities. If you’re skipping the sun screen, here are some things your dermatologist may want to tell you.

Don’t Skimp on Protection
According to Amy Mc Clung, MD, sweating in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer. Even if you are starting in the dark hours of the morning or in cloudy weather, there is no reason to throw caution to the wind. The darkest days can always give way to sun, and you can also burn on an overcast day. McClung recommends a generous application of sunscreen, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses, regardless of how the weather looks when you set out.

Apply Sunscreen with a Heavy Hand
Before you start patting yourself on the back for applying the sunscreen, make sure you have plenty on. Brooke Jackson, MD, and once dermatologist for the Chicago Marathon, says that if you are using a cream or lotion formula, aim to apply enough of the stuff to fill a shot glass. That translates to about an ounce and a half, which means you should go through an eight ounce bottle in about two days.

Woman applying sunscreen

Don’t Get A Base Tan
If you’re thinking gradual exposure will protect you from sun burn or damage, Jackson would like you to think again. She warns that tans and burns are not buffers, but rather the body’s built in way of telling you you’ve had enough sun. “As a dermatologist,” she says, “when I see tanned skin, I see damaged skin. It doesn’t at all look healthy to me.”

Don’t Run Shirtless
Or in a very small top, sports bra, or similarly sized contraction. While it is tempting to disrobe in the heat, doing so will increase the surface area of skin exposed to the sun. Look for the “UPF” label on clothes, which indicates that the item has sun protection built in. Even if there is no label, Jackson says that even regular tanks and shorts can provide an SPF of about 8.

Don’t Omit Your Head and Lips
Scalps with thinning hair are very vulnerable to sun damage and are known to be the first area on which cancerous growths first appear. As Jackson points out, the spot can be particularly dangerous, because remaining hairs can conceal the appearance of cancers, making them easy to overlook.

Apply sunscreen to the top of your head, and, if you have a full head of hair, remember that your part is also a target for sun damage, and should be protected appropriately. A hat will provide even better protection than lotion, and can also help to shade your forehead and spare you from the possibility of getting irritating sunscreen in your eyes.

Don’t forget about your lips, which are also subject to burn. Give them a coating of sunscreen or use a lip balm with SPF and wear your shades to protect your eyes from cataracts and cancer.

So take special care if you are running and let us know what you do to keep your skin from burning. We wish you good luck and great skin.

Girl in hat at the beach

Sun Protection: Shade Vs. Sunblock

Sunblock talks a pretty good game. You may have heard of SPFs as high as 75, melt- in sunscreens, continuous sun comfort sprays and even melanin-inducing sunblocks and screens. But how can you be sure that all your sunscreen is really working? Did you apply enough? Did you miss any spots? It’s enough to make you think you’re better off just using your own methods of avoiding sun exposure, like just staying in the shade. Of course, the shade is a good option, it definitely cuts down on direct sunlight, but is it a better alternative than sunblock? Here are some things you should know before you give up on sun lotions altogether.

Shade
According to the National Skin Cancer foundation, the guideline is, if you can see the sunlight, seek the shade; but know that not all shade is created equally. You can spend hours in the shade and still receive quite a good amount of sun exposure. Indirect UV light is radiation that has been scattered in the atmosphere and bounced back by UV reflective surfaces, like sand and concrete. As a result, most of the UV light we get sitting under an umbrella or tree is indirect. Only when we are in deep shade, meaning we are unable to see the sky, can we be assured of complete protection.

Hats
Even if you wear a hat, you may only be getting minimal sun protection, especially on your neck, nose, and ears. Hats with all around broad brims angled downward provide the most comprehensive sun protection. Research shows that wearing a broad brimmed hat will provide sunblock protection comparable to a sunblock with and SPF of 5 for the nose, ears and neck, while baseball caps may offer the same for the nose, but little for the other parts of the face, like the cheeks and chin.

Umbrella

Umbrellas
Unless your umbrella is very large, their UV protection is relatively low. Although the SPF of an umbrella can range for 3-106, the amount of UV light under the umbrella can be as high as 84% of that in direct sun. In other words, because so much UV light is reflected under the umbrella from the water, sand, and sky, an umbrella on the beach offers very little protection against the sun.

Trees
If you are looking to a tree to defend you from the sun, look for ones with large, rather than sparse spreads of foliage, and, if possible, choose a tree located near other trees or buildings and note factors that may decrease the amount of protection, such as reflective surfaces. Also note that the same tree will give less protection in the early and late parts of the day, when the diffuse UV rates are higher, than it will at midday, when the sun is directly overhead. Similarly, trees offer better protection on a sunny day than on a cloudy one, when indirect sunlight is greater.

Other Elements
Because you are never guaranteed full UV protection from shade alone, it is important to employ a comprehensive program for sun protection, including wearing clothing made of dark or bright colored tightly woven threads, hats, and sunglasses, and regularly using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. Be aware of sunscreens claiming higher than an SPF over 30. According to dermatologist James Spencer, an SPF 15 product will block approximately 94% of UV rays, while an SPF 30 blocks about 97%: and SPF 45 blocks about 98% and, “after that, it just gets silly.”

What do you think? Do you swear by your parasols or can you trust your sunblock? Let us know!

Woman with healthy skin in the fall

Tips For "Fall Proof" Skin

“To everything there is a season” and to every season there is a new skin regimen. In the summer, we sun proof, in the winter, we moisturize, and in the fall? What do we do in the fall? If you got questions, we got answers.

Fall is rough on the skin because it is a time of transition. Not only is the drying weather a problem, but new routines and busier schedules put our complexions under stress. Our skin is subject to imbalances such as, flakiness, and eczema breakouts and dryness. Here are some ways to prepare and keep your skin beautiful in this season of change.

1. Buy A Humidifier
One of the the reasons autumn is so dehydrating is drop in the humidity level. Dryness leads to inflammation, which is why rosacea and eczema are so prevalent in the fall months. The solution? Bring the humidity back with a humidifier. Use humidifiers to boost the moisture level in the home or office and increase hydration. It may also reduce redness and increase comfort levels.

2. Slather On The Oil
Nourish dry skin with some natural oil. Not only does oil help to maintain the skin’s elasticity, it decreases trans-epidermal water-loss. Worried about worsening acne? Don’t be. Lubricating skin loosens dry, pore- clogging sebum and helps to bring balance to acne prone skin. It is important that when choosing an oil, you aim for one with natural ingredients; mineral oil will not absorb as well. Your best options are olive, jojoba, and coconut oil.

3. Hydrate
Moisturize from the inside as well as the outside. Hydration includes the increased consumption of foods like moisture-rich fruits, leafy greens, and healthy fats. Soups and stews are great for you and great for the season. Avoid dehydrating dry meats, alcohol, starches, and caffeine.

4. Feel The Peel
Exfoliate! It gets rid of dead skin and clears pores allowing the skin to absorb oils and moisturizing elements to replenish skin and prevent dry skin patches form appearing. Peeling is also crucial for circulation and keeps skin looking young. While you may choose to use an intense scrub on your body, you may want to use a gentler product on the face.

5. Stimulate Circulation
Cold weather constricts the blood vessels making for dull looking skin. Strong blood flow transports waste from our skin cells while delivering oxygen, keeping skin healthy and bright. Use skincare with ingredients such as lemon, oil, Vitamin C, ginseng, and ginger. These will help to restore color, improve circulation and increase collagen for anti aging.

6. Nurture Your Skin
Pamper yourself with a facial. The pore extracting elements will help to purify skin and the massage portion with boost blood flow and brightness. Masking treatments can be tailored to your beauty needs and aid in stress relief.

If you have any fall skin tips, please share. We welcome your insight!

Women walking in polluted air with a mask

Your Skin’s Reaction To Pollution

Pollution can be a tricky issue to deal with, because, unlike other factors in your life, such as sun exposure and diet, the effects of pollution will not be immediately visible on your skin.

Nevertheless, your skin reacts to pollution in a number of different ways, and it is important to understand this in order to protect your skin as much as you can.

What Is Pollution and Where Does it Come From?

Simply put, pollution is when contaminants are introduced into a natural environment, and this is something that happens on a daily basis.

Every day, an increasing amount of microscopic specks of smoke, acid, soot and more are released into the atmosphere.

Where do they come from?

So many different sources, including cars, power plants, fires and more.

factories releasing harmful smoke into the city

Air pollution is actually one of the most common types of pollution, with research showing that traffic pollution in particular may be the single most toxic substance for the skin.

As you can imagine, this is a greater problem in urban areas, and even rural areas that are nearby to them, as the wind carries and distributes pollutant particles.

Water pollution is another one that you need to be aware of. Again, this is caused by so many different things, from industrial waste to chemical run-offs to laundry detergents.

While there are other types of pollution out there, from noise and light pollution to thermal and radioactive pollution, it’s air and water pollution that you really need to focus on when it comes to your skin.

How Exactly Does Pollution Affect the Skin?

Pollution has been linked to a wide range of different health issues, from lung and heart diseases to diabetes and even to mental health. However, the effects that pollution has on the skin are only now being understood…

To begin with, pollutant particles are absolutely tiny, often up to 20 times smaller than the size of one of your pores.

As you can imagine, this means that once they settle on to the surface of your skin, it does not take long for them to work their way into your pores and infiltrate your skin’s different layers.

So, what do these particles do when they enter your skin?

They trigger inflammatory responses in a few different ways…

Firstly, they create free radicals, while depleting the body’s natural levels of antioxidants.

In a way, this is a two-pronged attack, because it is the antioxidants in the body that are key when it comes to fighting free radicals. With all of these extra free radicals, and a loss of antioxidants, your body, and your skin, are somewhat defenseless.

Free radicals not only accelerate the aging process, but they also severely damage the cells within the body, including the DNA within them, which then causes new cells to grow in a damaged way.

In fact, studies have shown that people who live in highly polluted areas age 10% faster than those who live in the countryside.

Another result of the inflammation caused by pollution is a stimulation of melanocytes, which are basically the cells responsible for your skin color. By over-stimulating these melanocytes, excess pigment is created, which results in what are known as age spots, or sun spots.

close-up of woman with sun spots

In some cases, environmental pollutants can be so harmful that they cause severe genotoxic stress, potentially leading to skin cancer.

The inflammation caused by pollution also expands the blood vessels in your skin, making them much more visible. This manifests as redness, and, in some cases, rosacea.

The collagen in your skin, which is basically your skin’s support system, giving it its firmness and smoothness, is also affected by pollution…

How?

Well, not only does pollution break down the collagen that is already in your skin, it also interferes with the production of new collagen. This then results in sagging skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. This is exacerbated by the fact that pollution starves the skin of oxygen, while drying up its natural oils, as dehydrated skin ages much faster than hydrated skin.

Another effect that pollution can have on the skin is hives. In fact, studies in Beijing, which is an extremely polluted city, have shown that there are direct correlations between spikes in air pollution and hospital visits for skin conditions, with hives being one of the main ones.

With pollution affecting so many different processes within the skin and body, everybody’s skin will react in its own way.

However, here are a few of the other skin issues that pollution can cause:

  • Breakouts, similar to acne
  • Skin allergies
  • Rashes
  • A dull complexion
  • Dry and dehydrated skin
  • Eczema

Protecting Your Skin From the Effects of Pollution

Now that you know about the damage that pollution can cause, you likely want to know about how you can protect your skin from this, while also reversing any damage that has already been caused.

Cleansing is one of the most important steps in your skin care routine when it comes to tackling pollution.

Why?

Because this will remove any environmental toxins from your skin, clearing away clogged particle matter.

For those who live in extremely polluted areas, a double cleanse may be worth considering, as this will ensure that all pollutants have been removed from your skin. While this may be the case, you do need to make sure that you are not overdoing it with the cleansing. Everybody’s skin reacts differently, so while some people may benefit from a double cleanse, others may find this too drying for their skin. 

Exfoliating a couple of times a week is also vital. While cleansing clears away the pollutants on the surface of your skin, exfoliating will enable you to get even deeper, clearing out any pollutants that have already worked their way into your pores.

Exfoliation will also help any subsequent skin care products that you apply to better penetrate your skin, meaning that they will be able to work so much more effectively.

When it comes to the free radicals that pollution causes, one of the best ways to protect yourself from this is by increasing your antioxidant intake.

Wondering what makes antioxidants so powerful?

Well, they are able to donate missing electrons to free radicals, therefore neutralizing them and preventing them from causing damage to the rest of your skin cells.

infographic on free radicals, antioxidants and normal molecules

Antioxidants can be consumed, as well as applied topically. When it comes to topical antioxidants, your best bets are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Squaline

You are likely to find these antioxidants, as well as many more, in numerous skin care products.

In terms of foods that contain antioxidants, try to increase your consumption of the following:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables of a wide range of colors
  • Green tea
  • Oily fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Herbs and spices

However, keep in mind that in order to maximize the effects that antioxidants have, you need to be providing your body with a wide range of them. 

Why?

Because antioxidants work in conjunction with each other to heal and protect your skin, and single ingredients on their own will not have much of an impact in the end.

Another way to protect your skin from pollution is to strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier.

This can be found on the outermost layer of your skin, and is not only important for keeping moisture locked in, but also for keeping environmental toxins out.

If you have a damaged skin barrier, then the effects of pollution will hit you so much harder.

So, how do you go about protecting and strengthening your natural protective barrier?

To begin with, you need to be moisturizing daily. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of the skin, therefore, in a way, creating their own barrier. Moisturizers will also keep your skin hydrated, which is essential for your natural protective barrier to thrive.

You should also be paying close attention to the ingredients in the skin care products that you use.

Why?

Because harsh ingredients will strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your protective barrier vulnerable. Many ingredients can also have an alkalizing effect on your skin, meaning that they alter your skin’s delicate pH balance, disrupting all the natural processes that your skin goes through.

Your diet can also have an impact on your skin’s natural barrier. Ceramides, as well as essential fatty acids, both do so much to strengthen the barrier, and while these can both be consumed through your diet, obtaining enough to actually protect your skin from the damaging effects of pollution can be difficult.

So, what can you do about this?

Well, in addition to using skin care products that contain both of these ingredients, you could also consider taking oral supplements for both. These will be absorbed by the skin from within, and have been proven to have a significant effect in just a couple of months. 

Of course, sunscreen is also vital. While you may be focussing on fighting pollution rather than the sun, the sun’s UV rays will damage your skin’s barrier, making sunscreen essential.

For those who live in areas that are extremely polluted, it would be worthwhile listening in to your daily weather forecasts. On the days when meteorologists call for high amounts of smog or low air quality conditions, try to stay indoors as much as possible, and wear clothes that completely cover your skin when you have to head outdoors.

If you use air conditioning in your house, you should also make sure that the filters are kept clean, so that they do not end up trapping pollutants and blowing them into your home.

What About People Who Live in Rural Areas?

If you live in a rural area, you may think that your skin is safe from the effects of pollution, but this is not at all true…

As mentioned above, pollution particles are incredibly tiny, meaning that, even with a small gust of wind, they can spread further than you would imagine.

This means that nobody is safe from the effects of pollution, no matter where you live.

While you may not need to be quite as diligent when it comes to protecting your skin from pollution if you live in a rural area, you will still need to take at least a few of the steps mentioned above.

Don’t Forget About Indoor Pollutants

In addition to all of the pollutants outdoors, you need to also remember that indoor pollutants will also damage your skin.

Where do indoor pollutants come from?

A variety of different sources:

  • Stoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Particles from pressed wood products
  • Foam insulation

In addition to following the steps above to protect your skin from pollution, you should also be taking a few extra measures to reduce the damage that indoor pollutants can cause. These include improving the ventilation in your home by allowing more fresh air to flow through, while keeping the humidity relatively low.

Anti-Pollution Skin Care

With the effects that pollution has on the skin being more and more recognized, skin care companies are now investing heavily into researching ways in which they can create products that will protect the skin.

There are already a few of these products out there, with many containing high levels of niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, since this is quite effective at combatting pollution damage.

However, researchers are currently looking into ways in which they can create products that actually block this damage from occurring in the first place. One molecule that is able to do this has already been found, and is being registered as a cosmetic ingredient, meaning that this will soon make its way into skin care products in the next few years. 

Pollution is something that everybody has to deal with, no matter where in the world you may live. While pollution has been proven to have severely detrimental effects on the skin, in a number of different ways, there are, fortunately, steps that you can take to protect yourself from this, and you should really try to do this as much as possible.

Woman using aloe vera to sooth sunburn

Soothing Sunburned Backs and Shoulders

Sun protection is always important but the face, neck and shoulders are crucial areas. Skin is thin near the tops of our bodies which also tend to be closest to the sun and receive the most exposure. The face and neck are also the most susceptible to two of the most common forms of cancer, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, people with melanoma of the head and neck are almost twice as likely to die from the disease as patients with melanomas on other parts of their bodies. So what is the best way to keep these parts of our bodies safe?

Hats are a great line of defense. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you wear a hat with a brim that extends three inches or more all the way around to shade the face, neck, ears and even the tops of the shoulders.

Sunglasses are also essential. Solar UVR can cause or contribute to conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, ocular melanomas and other skin cancers. Five to ten percent of all skin cancers arise on the eyelids. The SCF recommends looking for glasses that cover the eyes, eyelids and as much of the surrounding area as possible. They should come with a tag that verifies that they block 99-100 percent of all UV radiation.

Many sportswear manufacturers also offer a variety of high UPF staples including hoods, scarves, wraps, sarongs and caps. These will offer protection to the head, neck and shoulder area. They are designed to keep you cool, dry and sun safe during outdoor activities. Choose high UPF swimsuits that cover more skin like one piece suits that might offer protection to shoulders.

Many people forget about sun protection in cold weather venues, but ice and snow reflect about 80% of the sun’s UV light, doubling the intensity of exposure. Also, snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness. For optimum protection, go for hats made of high tech manmade materials that will keep you comfortable and sun protected. Wraparound sunglasses with UV protective cut glare will block most UVR.

Of course, sunscreen is always an important consideration for the face and neck area. “You might want to look for a sunscreen designed for the face since these products are formulated to suit the needs of different skin types,” explains Arielle Kauvar, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Many facial sunscreens are oil free which gives them a lighter feel. They are less likely to clog pores of those with oily or acne prone skin. These sunscreens are also easier to use under makeup. Beware of facial sunscreens with a strong scent since those are more likely to cause skin irritations. Also, avoid sunscreens for the face with high SPF as the higher levels of active ingredients will feel heavier on the skin. Products with SPF of 30 should offer a perfect balance of feeling lightweight on the skin while still offering the recommended amount of sunscreen protection.

Woman swimming

Public Pool Safety

Summer is here! The temperature is going up, and we are heading to the pool! Trips to the public pool should be fun, so follow these tips this summer to ensure that nothing will ruin your weekend!

Be Aware of Health Standards
We hate to say it, but some pools have been fined or closed for violating health and safety standards. When choosing a public pool to belong to for the summer, ask when the facility was last inspected. Management is usually happy to show you that they are in compliance with all safety standards, and you will get peace of mind!

Stay Hydrated!
Staying hydrated is one of the most important summer tips. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be a big problem during the summer months, and extended sun exposure can cause you serious harm if you aren’t drinking enough water.

Woman applying sunscreen

Slather on the Sunscreen
This is a no brainer. A long day at the pool can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not properly protecting your skin. It is a good idea to put on your sunscreen before you leave the house, at least 15 minutes before you’ll be out in the sun. Also, give your sunscreen plenty of time to sink in, and make sure that you aren’t rubbing off your SPF with your clothing. It’s easy to lose track of time during a day in the sun, but it is important to reapply your sunscreen every few hours- even more often when you’re in the water! The instructions on the bottle will let you know exactly how often to reapply any particular brand. Keep your skin protected at the pool, and don’t let an angry sunburn follow you to work on Monday!

Know Your Surroundings
This is especially important if you have kids. Anytime you are around water, there is danger, regardless of how well you or your family members know how to swim. Public pools can be crowded, and though lifeguards are well trained, it is possible that they will miss a warning sign if there are a lot of people to watch. Make sure you know where you kids are at all times. If you, or anyone in your family, are not  strong swimmers, take a special note of what areas of the pool are safe to be in, and what areas to avoid (deep water, steep inclines, drains, etc). Also, make sure that these areas are properly roped off to decrease the chances of mistakenly entering an unsafe area.

 

Don’t Go Overboard
No, we don’t mean falling into the water. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun in the sun, but it is important to not go overboard, and limit your sun exposure. Too much sun during peak hours can cause serious burns, fatigue, dizziness, heat rash, and several other not so fun complications. Play it safe, and take breaks from the sun every so often so you can enjoy the pool all summer long!

Woman applying sunscreen

SPF 30 vs SPF 50

When you shop for sunscreens, you’ve probably noticed products available with SPFs ranging from 15 to 100. You would think an SPF of 100 would be more effective than one of 15, but it’s not as simple as that. So, what exactly do all these numbers mean?

SPF refers to a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays, but not UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburns while UVA rays are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both kinds of rays can contribute to skin cancer. The SPF rates measure the amount of time it would take for you to sunburn without sunscreen as opposed to the amount of time it would take you to burn with the sunscreen on. But Florida dermatologist. James M. Spencer, MD, explains, “SPF is not a consumer friendly number. It is logical for someone to think than an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15, but that’s not how it works.”

Spencer further explains that SPF 15 will block about 94% of UVB rays while an SPF 30 blocks 97% and an SPF 45 blocks about 98%. “After that it just gets silly,” says Spencer. Doctors like Farah Ahmed, general counsel for the cosmetics industry group Personal Care Products Council, tends to agree, but adds that high SPF products may protect better against long term skin damage and exposure related skin cancers. Generally, an SPF of 30 is recommended.

Dr. Steven Q Wang, MD and director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, points out ways in which using sunscreens with a higher SPF can even have negative effects. Since SPF protects against UVB rays only, and UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, individuals may not burn while using these sunscreens. However, this does not mean they are not susceptible to damage from UVA rays which cause premature aging. To these lengths, Europe and Australia have adopted UVA testing guidelines and measurement standards and capped the SPF of sunscreens at 50. The U.S. Food and Drug Association may follow suit.

Resveralife-spf-30-vs-spf-50-spf-50-spf50

Wang also points out that people who are wearing an SPF of 50 or higher, may adopt a false sense of security and may stay out in the sun longer. They may not make wise choices like seeking shade or wearing sun protective clothing. Sun damage can take place even if skin is not becoming tan or reddening.

No matter what produce you choose, water resistant sunscreen should be applied liberally a half hour before you go outdoors and should be reapplied every two hours or after you are swimming or sweating. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less likely to wash off and effectively protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid avobenzone products which are not stable and oxybenzone, which is absorbed into your skin and has demonstrated to be a hormone disruptor.

So, what’s your number? Let us know in the comments section below!

Woman holding sunscreen

Save Your Skin From the Sun

Don’t leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage this summer! Follow these simple steps to keep your skin safe, so the only thing you have to worry about this summer is finding a good chair at the pool and an ice cold beverage.

Layer
Don’t expect your makeup to serve as your only protection! Use a moisturizer with SPF 30 as well as a foundation or tinted moisturizer with sun protection. Also, give your moisturizer some time to really sink into the skin before you move on to your primer- you don’t want to risk wiping off your protection when you move on to the next step of your routine!

Reapply
Most sunscreens will only protect your skin for a few hours- especially if you are at the pool or the beach! You should reapply your SPF a few times a day- or every 80 minutes if you are swimming or sweating. Read the label on the bottle to figure out exactly how often it is suggested to reapply for each brand of sunscreen or moisturizer. Don’t forget to throw a bottle of sunscreen, or a setting spray with SPF, in your bag before you leave the house to ensure your skin will be protected all day long!

Don’t Forget your Eyes!
Even if you use a moisturizer with SPF religiously, you may be neglecting some of your most sensitive skin- the areas around your eyes. Some kinds of sunscreen can sting your eyes, so try to find an eye cream or concealer formulated with SPF to protect those peepers!

Woman wearing sunglasses

Accessorize
Always getting those painful sunburns where your hair is parted? Try throwing on a cute, wide brim hat next time you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. Oversized sunglasses are also a trendy way to protect your eyes from sun damage. Mix up your looks this summer with cool accessories, and protect your skin at the same time!

Don’t Stop at Your Face
While wearing sunscreen on your face every day is important, we tend to spend more time outside during the warmer months, so extending our sunscreen coverage is essential. Applying sunscreen to your ears, neck, chest, shoulders, and hands can do a lot to help protect your skin from sun damage. It doesn’t take long for the stronger summer sun to harm your skin, so adding these extra steps to your morning routine will help you remember to do this every day!

Limit Sun Exposure
We’ve all heard this tip, and no one likes to follow it, but whenever possible, it is best to limit your sun exposure during peak hours. Taking a lunch break inside while the sun is highest in the sky (and using this time to reapply your sunscreen) can help decrease your chances of getting burnt. We hate to say it, but less sun is always better for your skin’s health.
No need to skip out on all of the fun outdoor activities that summer brings, but don’t forget to protect your skin first!

Woman squinting at laptop

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines?

Beauty is surrounded by many rules, guidelines and myths and it can be daunting to keep up with everything that you are or are not supposed to be doing to and for your skin. If you’ve ever heard that squinting your eyes can cause fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve heard correctly. This is one beauty myth that is absolutely true. Keep reading to find out why squinting causes more fine lines and wrinkles and what you can do to prevent additional wrinkles under and around your eyes.

Does Squinting Cause Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Unfortunately, squinting really does lead to more fine lines and wrinkles. When you squint, whether you’re trying to watch TV, read your book and check emails on your computer, you are contributing to more fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes. Dawn Davis, M.D, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota says “…when you squint the muscles around your eyes grow stronger, and it’s kind of like a workout; therefore, the overlying skin will wrinkle.”

How to Prevent Wrinkles
The skin under and around your eyes is thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face, so it is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles. While you can never prevent all wrinkles, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to keep yourself from squinting as often and causing more fine lines than necessary.

  • Get an Annual Eye Exam – Often, squinting is a response to not being able to see properly and visiting your optometrist once a year is an excellent way to make sure that your vision is in check. Your optometrist will be able to provide you with prescription glasses, sunglasses or contacts so that you can see clearly without having to squint.
  • The Sun – You’re probably excited about how close spring is because you can bask in warm weather and sunlight, but the sun is another primary cause of squinting. You can prevent squinting due to the sun by wearing sunglasses and hats to keep the sun out of your eyes.
  • Move Away From the Screen – Computers are amazing and you probably can’t imagine your life without one, but they can be quite hard on your eyes. Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City, New York suggests that you sit about 1.5 to 2 inches away from your computer screen to help prevent eye strain. Additionally, you should take two to three quick breaks away from your computer screen every hour to give your eyes time to rest, according to New York City based dermatologist, Dr. Janet Prystowsky.

Squinting does indeed cause fine lines and wrinkles, but you can fight back against them by making the above lifestyle changes. To most effectively reduce fine lines and wrinkles under and around your eyes, you should combine the above advice with a high-quality anti-aging eye cream. Put on your glasses and step away from the computer once in awhile to reduce the amount of time you spend squinting, and ultimately to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Woman cleansing skin.

Seasonal Skincare

To get the healthiest, most radiant skin, you’ll have to do some year-round maintenance work. One thing that remains constant during every season of the year is that you want to be sure you are protecting your skin against damaging UV rays. However, some other areas of your skincare routine may require tweaks here and there as the seasons, and your skincare needs, change. Discover what the main seasonal concerns are and how you can best address these to keep your skin healthy and happy.

Woman applying a facial mask

Winter
Dry, flaky, irritated and itchy skin are all common complaints during the winter months. In addition to protecting your skin from the sun, you also need to protect your skin from other environmental elements. Harsh winds, freezing temperatures and incredibly dry air can all wreak havoc on your skin in winter and one way to fight back is to keep your skin covered when possible. Items like gloves and scarves can help to easily protect your skin.

You may need to switch out some of your fall products for more heavy duty formulations in the winter. Consider the following ideas when remedying winter skin:

  • Switch from a gel cleanser to a creamy or oil-based cleanser
  • Swap your toner for a more moisturizing one to soothe dry skin after cleansing
  • Look for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides for maximum hydration
  • Use gentle exfoliants on your face and lips to keep dry, flaky skin at bay

Woman touching her skin

Spring
Say goodbye to the dry, flaky skin of winter by starting spring with some much-needed exfoliation. Using chemical exfoliants such as alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is a great way to gently remove dead skin cells and other debris. A homemade scrub of olive oil and sugar is perfect to get your arms and legs glowing again and to keep them looking great, consider investing in a dry brush. You may also want to:

  • Change from heavy moisturizer to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer
  • Keep lips well protected with balms and treatments that contain SPF
  • Store your moisturizing toner for a lightweight toner or essence to treat skin and combat oil
  • Remember that you still need to be protecting your skin with an SPF every day during spring.

Woman in a beach

Summer
Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding summer skincare is the presence of excessive oil. Part of why this happens is that the warm temperature can liquefy the sebum (oil) in your pores, which causes the oil to leak out onto the surface of your skin resulting in unwanted shine. When you mix sweat with the oil, your skin looks not only greasy, but it feels uncomfortable as well. Combat excess oil in the summer by:

  • Use a gel or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil and sweat from your face
  • Decrease the intensity of your moisturizer to a lightweight lotion or a serum
  • Use beta-hydroxy acid to deep clean pores and help stop excess oil
  • Look for a sunscreen that contains mattifying properties

Summer fashion exposes far more skin, so be sure that you are applying sunscreen to any area of your body that is exposed. A general guideline is to use the equivalent of a shot glass (1 oz) to cover your entire body. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, apply 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure so your skin has a chance to fully absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens can be applied immediately before stepping into the sun. One application of sunscreen a day isn’t enough if you’re going to be outdoors; reapply sunscreen every two hours or after every time you immerse yourself in water. Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses are also a good idea to protect yourself.

Woman dressed for fall

Fall
Drier skin isn’t the only fall skin concern that you need to be worried about. Your skin may go into a bit of shock after summer and this manifests as visible sunspots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. With all of the excess oil that your glands produced during summer, you may have enlarged pores heading into the fall. To keep your skin looking healthy in the fall you should:

  • Store your lightweight moisturizers and serums and begin to use a more heavy duty product
  • Use a gentle cleanser, toner and exfoliant because skin is sensitive from UV damage
  • Begin using retinol to erase signs of sun damage from the summer
  • It should go without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that you need to continue using an SPF daily to protect from further sun damage.

If you are using quality skin care products with great ingredients and formulations, there is a good chance that you won’t need to change your entire collection of products with each season. A few key items here and there can help you keep your skin healthy during every season of the year. Sunscreen is always in season, so don’t forget to stock up on it when you create your seasonal skincare routine.