Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Arm yourself with these sun protection secrets from FITNESS Advisory Board member Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University and founder of K&J Sunprotective Clothing.
1. Commute carefully: Cancer-causing ultraviolet rays can come through the windows of your car, home or office. Studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology show that in the U.S., left-sided skin cancers— and aging— are more common as a result of sun exposure during driving. Regardless of weather conditions, apply a light, broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher on your face, arms, and hands before hitting the road.
2. Get out early: Choose the morning to have (protected) fun in the sun. Research published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that afternoon sun exposure is five times more likely to lead to skin cancer. Scientists say this is because a protein the body produces to repair damage caused by ultraviolet rays is most active in the mornings. In general, seeking the shade between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. is best, but when this isn’t possible, try to get an early start to your day.
3. Know your ABCDE…F and G’s: Do monthly self skin exams and look for any spot that is new, not healing or— as gross as it sounds— bleeding, oozing or crusting. When examining moles, be on the lookout for asymmetry (one side doesn’t equal the other), border/color irregularity, lesions growing in diameter, and anything evolving (itching, hurting, etc.)— but don’t forget to look at your fingers/toes and genitalia. Skin cancer can come anywhere, and it’s usually more dangerous in those not-so-easy-to-see spots.
4. Say no to tanning: When someone’s first tanning booth exposure is in youth, their chances of developing melanoma are increased by 75 percent. It has also been shown that ladies who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. Additional studies have concluded that tanning can be as addictive as hardcore drugs, making it a hard habit to break.
5. Don’t rely on dark skin: People with dark skin are not immune to skin cancer— fact it can be more deadly in this population. A survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that only 17 percent of ethnic minority respondents has been to the dermatologist for a skin check. Everyone, regardless of skin type, should wear sunscreen daily and seek the care of a dermatologist for guidance on optimal skin health.
Spring has sprung— but as the temperatures rise, our complexions start feeling the heat. We thought layering on more makeup or frequent blotting were the only options to counter shine and sweat, but not anymore. Enter the oil-controlling, acne-fighting and SPF-depositing powers of Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30. Salicylic Acid and willow bark absorb oil and eradicate blackhead-causing bacteria, while titanium dioxide protects from UVA and UVB rays. A stable of antioxidant vitamins (A, C and E) also work to stave off and undo sun damage and nourish skin. Best of all: The convenient, no-spill brush dispenser makes mid-day touch-ups— even over makeup— a breeze.
—By Alana Peden, contributing blogger
You can customize sneakers, frozen yogurt, kitchens—and now skincare: The new bespoke line Truth Art Beauty allows you to co-create your own natural skin products in three simple steps. Choose your base (for example, sea salt or brown sugar for a body scrub), boosters (like antioxidants or anti-aging ingredients) and essential oils (grapefruit, spearmint, orange, lavender, etc.), then your product is custom-blended, so you’re able to see what goes into it from start to finish. Our favorites: The Body Buff, infused with fresh coconut, super-rich Eye Balm (below) and silky, luxurious Body Salve (above).
Cozy up to one of these self-warming beauty products on a chilly winter’s night— they contain ingredients like zeolite and magnesium sulfate, which release heat upon contact with water. The warmth not only soothes sore muscles and elements-exposed skin, but also enhances the penetration of active ingredients. Hot stuff to try:
- HAIR TREATMENT: Wella Enrich Self-Warming Mask
- FACE CLEANSER: Bioré Warming Anti-Blackhead Cream Cleanser
- FACE SCRUB: Dermalogica Multivitamin Thermafoliant
- FACE MASK: Somme Institute Boost Gentle Warming Mask
- BODY SCRUB: Bliss Hot Salt Scrub
- FOOT SLOUGHER: All About Feet Warming Foot Scrub
We were lucky enough to spend the past weekend in Aspen (pinch us!) with Clearasil watching their ambassador, Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Hannah Teter, win the women’s superpipe bronze medal at the Winter X Games— while celebrating the launch of PerfectaWash, a high-tech, hands-free system that dispenses the just-right amount of acne-fighting salicylic acid cleanser. Here, our conversation with the inspiring pro snowboarder, who’s as down-to-earth, adorable and kind as she is talented:
A snap of Hannah at the birthday party Clearasil threw for her Friday night, which raised over $1,000 for the charity Children International.
Photo credit: Nick Tininenko
Our first manicure, hair color, time wearing makeup: There are many beauty firsts that we never forget. One of mine is my first facial ever at the Mario Badescu Spa this past weekend! I’ve always struggled to find the right skin care regimen, and after talking to my facialist, I realized it was because I didn’t know my skin type. I thought my skin type was oily, which was incorrect! My t-zone is always very oily and my cheeks are usually a little dry. My skin type diagnosis: combination. After solving that puzzle, I asked about my pores. I’ve always had enlarged pores and longed for a matte complexion. My facialist said that I have medium-sized pores, and suggested a glycolic acid peel to help them appear smaller. My pores are noticeably less visible! I asked if there was a product I could use at home to help reduce the size of my pores and she suggested Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, with the same active exfoliating acid as the peel. The cleanser reduces discoloration, minimizes scars and leaves skin radiant and smooth. After an informative consultation and relaxing facial, I left the spa with tousled hair, twinkly eyes, and best of all, glowing skin!
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
While you’re focused on getting your body into top shape— or keeping it that way— it’s easy to forget about your skin. Jasmina Aganovic, creator of the anti-aging skincare line Stages of Beauty, has some quick tips for keeping your skin in as good condition as your bod— before, during and after your workouts.
Your face could touch a mat (crawling with bacteria!) during crunches, yoga, Pilates, or push-ups, and bacteria can cause breakouts. Before working out, wipe down the surface with sanitizing wipe. You can also bring a clean towel to lay on top of the mat prior to your sweat session.
While working out, you want your skin to be able to breath to avoid clogged pores. Wearing makeup or cosmetic products that are heavy can cause complexion congestion: Specifically, avoid anything that contains occlusive silicone or petrochemicals, like petrolatum, mineral oil and propylene glycol.
There are three skincare essentials no gym bag should be without: makeup remover wipes or pads for pre-workout, cleanser and toner. If you have time, do a full facial cleanse to get rid of sweat and grime after you exercise. In a hurry, swipe a clarifying or balancing toner over your face to sweep away dirt and freshen your face.
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
I’m a sucker for anything sweet (who isn’t?!), so when I heard about this DIY body scrub that promises to make your skin bright and healthy, I had to try it. The verdict: It works and smells amazing! Best of all, it’s made of simple ingredients you’re sure to have stashed in your kitchen:
½ cup of brown sugar
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of honey
A few drops of water
Mix ingredients in a bowl, rub all over your skin in the shower, then rinse. Store in an airtight container for future use. Pretty sweet!
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
Since arriving in chilly, arid New York City from Mississippi a few weeks ago, I’ve been plagued by flaky, parched skin and chapped lips. So I grilled dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, for his best tips on fighting climate-induced dryness:
- Thicken up your skincare routine by choosing a moisturizer that’s one level heavier than what you normally use. If you usually go for a gel formula, try a lotion; if you normally use a lotion, try a cream; and if your go-to is a cream, try a balm, salve or oil.
- Even your ears need a little TLC in the winter, because they’re often exposed to the elements: Apply the same product you use for your face on your ears as well.
- Don’t neglect your lips! Your lips have fewer oil glands than other parts of your body, so they’re highly susceptible to cracking and sun damage. Slather on a lip balm with SPF, Nivea A Kiss of Protection Lip Care SPF 30, every day.
- Using antibacterial gels and frequent hand-washing during flu season can cause dry skin. Help your hands by hydrating with a thick cream such as Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy after each wash. For severe dryness, cover your hands and feet with petroleum jelly followed by gloves or socks before bed to help skin heal overnight.
- Skip the soap: It can strip the body of oil and dehydrate skin. Try a moisturizing body wash like Neosporin Moisture Essentials Daily Body Wash that will gently cleanse dry skin.
- Super-hot showers feel great during the winter, but the heat can break down the skin’s lipid barrier. Prevent damage by taking cool or lukewarm baths.
—By Leah Cayson, beauty intern
Naturally, we’re huge proponents of working up a sweat, whether you’re mastering the elliptical or letting out stress in your cardio kickboxing class. But excess sweat that dries on skin can leave behind salt and toxins, which contribute to acne and red bumps on the skin, according to Dr. Alex Fazeli, M.D., president of skincare brand Sebamed . Here, three ways to keep workout-induced breakouts at bay:
- Ditch the sweatbands and tight clothing, which can drive bacteria even deeper into the skin, causing blemishes. Choose exercise apparel made of moisture-wicking fabrics, which are breathable and help prevent pores from getting clogged.
- Avoid touching your face or blemish-prone areas with your hands or used towel, which can spread bacteria.
- Cleanse your skin immediately after working out with a hydrating wash like the Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash to help restore your skin’s barrier and remoisturize, which will prevent further toxins from penetrating.
—By Jaclyn Smock, beauty intern