10 Things You Need to Know About Sunscreen

woman in sunhat purchasedDon’t let last week’s spring snow fool you.  Warm weather is definitely on its way. Unfortunately, those sunny skies can do a whole lot of damage to your skin if you don’t protect yourself with a good sunscreen (seriously, this is non-negotiable!). To help you choose the right one and to make sure you soak up the sun responsibly, follow these 10 important tips.

  1. Know Your Number

All sunscreens are labeled with an SPF number, which tells you how long you can safely stay in the sun before burning and how well it protects you from the sun’s UVB rays, which cause sunburn. SPF ratings are NOT an indicator of protection from UVA rays, which are responsible for aging.

How frequently you must reapply sunscreen is different for everyone, depending on your skin’s natural protection. To determine how long a particular product will protect you, multiply the amount of minutes you can stay in the sun before turning pink (5-10 min) by the SPF factor. It’s always advisable to reapply before your protection wears off.

  1. How It Works

Physical blocks like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect the UV rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays, preventing skin cells from being affected by the sun’s damaging radiation.

  1.  Apply in Advance
    Sunscreens should be applied 20 minutes to a half hour before sun exposure for optimal protection.
  1.  Don’t Be Stingy
    When it comes to sunscreen, a little dab won’t do ya’. The average adult should apply between 2.5 and 3 ounces (about a shot glass full) for adequate protection.
  1.  Encore, Encore
    Reapply sunscreen every 90 to 120 minutes, or more frequently if you perspire a lot or are swimming. (Hint: Stock up on the stuff next time you’re at the drugstore—you’ll go through several bottles during peak sunscreen season.)
  1. It’s Not Foolproof
    Fact: No sunscreen provides 100% protection. Protection from UVB rays range from about 50% (SPF 2) to 97% (SPF 30). Higher than that won’t make much of a difference. Don’t develop a false sense of security.
  1.  “Waterproof” Is a Myth
    There is no such thing as a truly waterproof sunscreen, despite whatever claims are made on the label. Make sure to reapply after taking that dip in the pool.
  1. Beware of Heights
    For every 1,000-foot increase in altitude, the sun’s potency increases. Snow reflects UV rays, so remember to reapply frequently and liberally in higher altitudes.
  1. Kids’ Stuff
    Children under six months old shouldn’t use sunscreen. For the best protection, keep infants in the shade and dress them in sun-protective attire.
  1. No Make-ups
    Moisturizers and cosmetics with built-in SPF aren’t enough to do the job (and are bound leave you with plenty of unprotected spots, unless you’re into the kabuki look). Treat makeup as an added layer of protection, not your main source.


Spring Forward! This Season’s Biggest Makeup Trends

spring makeupWith spring on its way, it’s time to refresh your makeup routine. We’ve rounded up this coming season’s hottest beauty trends to tell you what colors, cosmetics, and applications to consider.

Just bitten lips are anything but twice shy. Pucker up to super-saturated lipsticks in shades of satin (no lip liner required, unless you want to) and finish with a hint of sheer gloss in the center.

Lighten your eyeliner load by half and stick to defining your upper lashline only.

Get look-at-me lids by brushing on bright and bold shades befitting of the season. Simplicity is key, so stick with one perfect pop of color, rather than several.

Naturally glowing, gorgeous skin is so in this season. Ditch the heavy foundation and reach for a tinted moisturizer instead.

Stretch Marks


Stretch marks can occur in areas of the body such as the abdomen, hips, bottom, upper arms and breasts. Predisposing factors include rapid growth spurts, such as of the breasts for example, rapid weight gain, as well as hormonal effects during pregnancy. They affect skin elasticity. While stretch marks may fade with time, they still remain visible in the form of pale and often atrophic scars. Conventional treatment methods include laser treatments, and topical application of vitamin A. None of these methods have shown significant efficacy. The most widely used skin rejuvenating method, such as laser resurfacing, involves damage or even destruction of top layers of skin. This procedure is risky and may not result in improvement.

However, a relatively new cosmetic medical procedure – Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) also referred to as medical micro needling, has shown to significantly improve skin defects and skin structure by improving the collagen matrix. This is done by tiny micro-needles that produce micro wounds and activate wound healing without damaging the epidermis in the process. Post-treatment regeneration of the skin, with the formation of a new, natural collagen and elastin and thicker epidermis, can be achieved with virtually no downtime. By inducing collagen and stimulating endogenous growth factors, needling treatment leads to natural regeneration of the dermal connective tissue – and visual fading of scars. The optimal results require repeated treatment sessions. The appearance of the stretch marks continues to improve for several months after treatment. Treatments can be repeated as needed to achieve desired appearance.

stretch mark before and after
Before/After Photos courtesy of Dr. Matthias Aust, Germany (After – 6 months post treatment)