Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Why You Need Sunscreen Everyday

After the craziness of the last year, a few of my clients have been saying: "Well, I don't go outside that much and now I'm working from home so I don't really need sunscreen."

But you do. 

The thinking here is that obviously, you won't get a sunburn working inside all day so what's the point. But your sunscreen is more than that. True, you will not get a sunburn indoors, but UVA light penetrates glass. It also penetrates cloud cover and is just as potent on cloudy days as sunny days. UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and is the culprit behind a wide array of premature skin aging. (Check out my last post on UVA/UVB here.)

Your broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from this free-radical damage. Yep, even inside. So keep up the routine and your skin will thank you (and you'll look radiant in those never-ending zoom calls).

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


This is a #repost of a blog entry I did a few years back, with a couple of updates. Since I still get this question regularly, it's time for a refresher.

People have a lot of questions (and a lot of confusion) about sunscreen. For this post, I thought I'd tackle UVA and UVB. There is some great in-depth information here from skincancer.org, but here are some key points.

  • Think A for "aging".
  • UVA penetrates the skin deeply and plays a big role in photo-aging the skin and causing wrinkles.
  • The strength of UVA rays is consistent throughout the day, penetrates cloud cover, and glass.
  • Mainly responsible for tanning.
  • The words "broad spectrum" are your only guide to knowing if your sunscreen protects you from UVA. The FDA monograph will be updated in 2021. Hopefully, an easy-to-understand rating system for UVA will make it in this time.
  • Think B for "burning".
  • UVB is responsible for damaging the superficial layers of the skin and causing redness and sunburn.
  • Reflective surfaces like water, snow, and ice can create a "bounce-back" effect - multiplying the amount of UV radiation that hits the skin.
  • UVB is strongest in the US from April to October, between 10am and 4pm, but can burn skin year-round - especially at high altitudes.
  • The "SPF" rating on your sunscreen ONLY applies to UVB and refers to extending the length of time it would take for the skin to first show signs of redness, it does not refer to UVA protection.
*graphic credit - skincancer.org

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Myth Of The "Base Tan"

I am surprised at how many people still believe this sun myth. Multiple studies have shown that a base tan offers no significant benefits in preventing burning later on. What's worse, the UV damage the skin takes on from this practice, especially if done in a tanning bed is both measurable and risky.

Think of it this way. The tanning response, (production of melanin) is triggered by too much UV exposure in an attempt to protect the DNA inside your cells. 

When you tan, it is literally a cry for help from your skin cells. 

Skip the base tan and practice smart sun behavior - wear a minimum of SPF 30, limit exposure between 10AM and 4PM, and utilize hats and SPF clothing. Your skin will thank you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Sunscreen Rule

I'm introducing a weekly post - A Tuesday tip! Something short and sweet and hopefully, helpful.

Since it's Skin Cancer Awareness Month I'll be focusing on tips surrounding sunscreen, and busting some sun-based myths. Off we go!

One of the biggest mistakes I see clients making is not wearing enough sunscreen. Yep, I'm talking to you - the dabbers, the dotters, the "it's in my makeup" folks. How much sunscreen do you need to use to get the listed coverage? The sunscreen rule is actually quite simple.

Spread a thin line of sunscreen along the first 2 fingers of your hand. That's enough to cover both your face AND neck.

And no, what's in your makeup is not enough. Think about how much foundation that would be if you apply the above rule...(gross!) and when was the last time you applied foundation all over your neck?

That's it, easy peasy. Now you're covered.