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Skin Cancer is Color Blind

Written on July 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm , by

If you have brown skin, skin cancer may not be top of mind—but it should be.

Research by L’Oréal Paris USA has shown that sun can cause DNA damage in all skin types light to dark. Ultraviolet induced DNA damage is the number one reason that skin cancer develops, so this science debunks the ”people of color don’t get skin cancer” myth.

The truth is, only 17 percent of surveyed minority respondents had been to a dermatologist for a mole check, and over 65 percent of surveyed African American adults had never worn sunscreen.  The incidence of skin cancer is going up particularly fast in Hispanic and some Asian populations, and because of delayed detection it is more likely to be deadly in those with darker skin. Skin cancer is curable if caught early, so everyone regardless should be wearing broad spectrum SPF 30 daily, getting skin checks by a dermatologist yearly, and doing monthly self-skin checks with particular focus on new/changing lesions of the palms/soles and genital skin.

—By Mona Gohara, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut

How To Safely Exfoliate On Sunny Days

Written on July 10, 2012 at 11:06 am , by

Dry, dead skin is our summer glow’s kryptonite. From the sticky gym to grimy subway rides, we run our complexion into the ground. When our faces are nearly as flaky as our mom’s apple pie crust, we turn to exfoliators to reveal young, radiant skin. We hit up Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman to give us the scoop on how to safely slough during sunny months.

New Skin + Sun = Damage Exfoliating reveals a brighter complexion, but you can actually do more harm than good if you’re not cautious about staying out of the sun. “One needs to be careful during the summer after using peels and scrubs,” Luftman says. “Skin can often be inflamed or more sun sensitive.” She warns that because it is new, previously unexposed skin, permanent hyper pigmentation and/or scarring may occur.

Physical (And Chemical) Education There are a couple of ways to smooth your skin. Dr. Luftman breaks down the options:

Physical exfoliators: Srubs that physically remove the dead skin with beads, salt, sugar or a granular material.  Choose a scrub with rounded, non-irritating beads, which won’t tear or abrade the skin. Luftman’s pick: Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

Chemical exfoliators: These contain acids like glycolic, salicylic, lactic and malic. These ingredients loosen and lift dead cells, leaving new, vibrant skin behind. Editor’s pick: Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel

Make A Weekend Of It “It’s best to do a peel when there is an opportunity to stay out of the sun for at least two days, like on a weekend,” Luftman says. “Even after the wait period, it’s important to continually protect the skin with sunscreen.” She recommends slathering a broad spectrum SPF 30 or above on all exposed areas daily. You can’t overdo it!

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Music Festival Beauty Survival Guide

Written on July 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm , by

Music festivals are one of the many joys of summertime, but they don’t make for an ideal beauty situation: Think dusty fields, searing hot sunshine and sweaty mosh pits. If you’ve got a festival or two (or just a concert) on your agenda, here are some tips for staying pretty and comfortable from the opening bands through the midnight headliners.

Forget foundation: It’ll be a gooey mess before your favorite DJ has made it through their set. Use a sheer, lightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF, or just spot cover with concealer.

Prime everything: Your eyelids, your face, your hair. Even if you don’t plan to wear makeup, primer still helps tame shine and grease. Keep frizz from acting up with a smoothing hair cream or serum: Apply in the morning when your strands are wet, and don’t step outside until they’re completely dry. Any moisture in hair + humidity = instant pouf.

Swap products: Switch out your go-tos for longer-lasting versions, like a cheek stain instead of powder blush, waterproof mascara instead of regular, clinical strength deodorant instead of basic protection, and eau de parfum for more fleeting eau de toilette.

Pack your protection: Pop a mini tube of sunscreen in your purse and reapply at least every two hours or if you start sweating. The searing hot sun is no match for unprotected skin, so add insurance by sporting a chic floppy hat, too.

Prepare for porta-potties: There likely won’t be toilet paper, or anything remotely hygienic for that matter. Stash a mini pack of tissues or wipes and a tube of hand sanitizer in your bag to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Great Skin, No Sweat

Written on June 19, 2012 at 10:33 am , by

A few quick tricks can keep your skin glowing and blemish-free-- during and after sweat sessions.

As a Pilates instructor, tennis player and founder of the skincare line Stages of Beauty, Jasmina Aganovic has a few tricks up her sleeve for keeping skin in top shape, both in the gym and out.

  • Stay toned. Pack toner-soaked cotton balls in your gym bag and swipe over your face for a quick purifying cleanse.
  • Take cover. You may be indoors, but UV rays can reflect off of metal and glass surfaces in the gym, causing skin damage. Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30 or above both before and after workouts.
  • Hands off. Don’t touch your face with your sweaty hands during your session—body heat opens your pores, making skin apt to absorb bacteria and clogging dirt and oil. Wipe down any mats before touching them or bring a towel to lie down before you begin.
  • Double up. Apply an exfoliator or mask all over your face before you step in the shower, then rub in and rinse before getting out: The treatment ingredients will work while you wash, and the steam enhances penetration.

Olay’s Handy Guide to Navigating the New SPF Rules

Written on May 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm , by

Our friends at Olay just shared this fun infographic explaining the FDA’s new sunscreen rules— plus protection tips— right in time for Memorial Day weekend. Here’s to a happy, safe summer!


Melanoma Monday: 5 Sun Secrets You Need To Know

Written on May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm , by

Protect your skin 365 days a year, not just when you hit the beach.

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.

Cynthia Nixon Talks Rosacea and Her Secrets to Great Skin

Written on April 30, 2012 at 11:41 am , by

She spiced up the small screen as Miranda Hobbes on the cult TV series Sex and the City, and now actress Cynthia Nixon is speaking out about her experience with the chronic inflammatory skin condition rosacea. Read on as she dishes about the foods she loves, her biggest beauty indulgence and her secrets to embracing that natural flush.

FITNESS: What made you start working with the National Rosacea Society?
Cynthia Nixon: I first started working with the National Rosacea Society because 16 million people have the condition, but not many know about it, so I wanted to raise awareness. When you have it, it can be awful to treat it yourself. The first thing you have to do is speak to a dermatologist and get a treatment plan. You can’t cure rosacea, but you can control it. I had acne in my teens and early 20s, and then developed rosacea in my 30s. So many people think of it as acne, then use scrubs and masks and don’t realize they are only making the problem worse. You need to know what to do and what to avoid. Rosacea is a condition that can cause embarrassment and discomfort.
FITNESS: What’s been your experience with rosacea, and how have you managed it?
CN: I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing a dermatologist because everybody’s skin is different. After I found out what the dermatologist recommended and he prescribed me medicine, I have managed to keep it under control.  I also got information about things that I was eating that were triggering the rosacea.
FITNESS: What specific foods trigger rosacea?
CN: Spicy foods trigger it, like tabasco and jalapeño peppers. I still eat those things, but I stay away from them when I know I have important events coming up. Other things that can trigger it are red wine and too much sun exposure.
FITNESS: What have you learned from working with the National Rosacea Society?
CN: I’ve learned that rosacea is much more common than we think. Also, if you don’t treat it, it can get worse. There are four different kinds of rosacea: redness, pimples, eye irritation and thickening of the skin. Your face gets red and blotchy and it’s not fun. You have to tend to it so it doesn’t get worse.
FITNESS: Moving on to beauty: What’s one product that never leaves your bag?
CN: Undereye cream for sure. I find myself applying some too many times per day!
FITNESS: What are your haircare, makeup and skincare routines like on a typical day?
CN: My hair tends to be oily so I wash it two to three times a week. I wake up in the morning and wash my face, then apply some toner, moisturizer with SPF, and undereye cream.
FITNESS: What are your secrets for looking great anytime, anywhere?
CN: I make sure to maintain a gentle regimen. I don’t use many products because they can be too harsh on my skin and can cause my rosacea to flare up. Also, I wear SPF all the time.
FITNESS: What’s your diet like? Are there certain foods or snacks that are your go-tos?
CN: I’m a big fan of cheese! (Editor’s note: Woman after our own heart!) I also eat a lot of salads. I keep celery, carrots and almonds in my house. I also keep protein bars around because those things can really help sustain you through the day.
FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence? 
CN: Facial acupuncture for sure. It keeps my blood flowing.  With rosacea, my skin can get very inflamed so the circulation boost is helpful.
FITNESS: How do you stay in shape when you’re on the go?
CN: I work out mostly when I’m at home. When I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll use the hotel gym. I try to eat well; I’m a vegetarian. Also, as I mentioned, I make sure protein bars are always around.
FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from the makeup, hair and skincare experts you’ve worked with?
CN: I actually received the best tip while filming Sex and the City and that is “put as little foundation on as possible.” Maintain a good skincare routine. A ton of foundation only ages you!

Visit rosaceafacts.com to view Cynthia’s iPSA and take a self-screening quiz.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

Sun Protection For Blemish-Prone Skin

Written on April 10, 2012 at 10:23 am , by

Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30

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

Pro Tennis Player Caroline Wozniacki’s Secrets to Flawless Skin

Written on March 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm , by

Professional tennis player and Proactiv spokesperson Caroline Wozniacki manages to have flawless skin despite constant sweat and sun exposure on the court, so we jumped at the chance to get her secrets. Here’s what she said about the products that keep her looking gorgeous, her on-the-road routine, and her proudest career moment.

FITNESS: What’s your haircare, makeup and skincare routine like on a typical day?
Caroline Wozniacki: I really try to keep my daily routine simple and natural.  I always like my skin to feel light and clean, so I really try hard to use products that are good for my skin and keep me looking naturally fresh.  Since I travel so much, I like to make sure my routine can easily come with me from country to country! I make sure to drink a lot of water, get plenty of sleep and moisturize my skin every day.  I find that doing these simple things are easy ways to keep me looking my best.

FITNESS: You’re constantly on the court and exposed to the harsh sun. How do you keep your skin protected?
CW: I wear SPF under my daily moisturizer every day. I’m on the court and outside playing so much that I don’t want to have to worry about my skin getting damaged from the sun.  So I just make sure I am properly protected every day. Now it’s such a routine that I pretty much have SPF on all the time!

FITNESS: How did you start working with Proactiv?
CW: I started having bad breakouts when I was about 15 years old. I was playing a lot of tournaments back then, so I was in the public eye a lot and didn’t really feel comfortable with all the cameras around because I wasn’t confident about my skin.  I decided to give Proactiv a chance, and my experience was really positive. After about a week, I started to see significant results. I was so happy, and didn’t have to worry about breakouts anymore.  Since I love the product so much, I figured a partnership with them was a great idea.

FITNESS: What’s the one beauty product never leaves your bag? Why?
CW: Once again, SPF is really important to me so I always have some in my bag with me.  You never know when you’re going to need it! I’m also obsessed with a bunch of the Oriflame lip glosses so I keep those on hand most of the time as well.  I hate when my lips are dry or chapped! So I always like to have lip treatments with me, and if they have SPF in them, even better.

FITNESS: What are your gym bag beauty essentials?
CW: Definitely my blister patches! Compeed makes these amazing blister patches that I keep in my gym bag all the time because I wear them almost every day.  Blisters are the absolute worst when I’m playing or practicing and can really affect my game so having the patches on me makes a huge difference.

FITNESS: What does your training consist of?
CW: Naturally I spend a lot of time on the court, but I also spend a fair amount of time training off-court. I also like to mix it up and have some fun with boxercise.

FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
CW: I definitely indulge in my fair share of massages, but most of them are more sports therapy.

FITNESS: What are the beauty products you can’t live without?
CW: Proactiv 3 Step System, Proactiv Refining Mask, Compeed Blister Patches, Oriflame Giordani lip gloss line, Oriflame Divine Body Cream and the Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment.

FITNESS: Where do you get the confidence and energy to keep working your absolute hardest on the court?
CW: I’ve always been very motivated to do my best when I play.  It’s definitely a passion and drive within me that keeps me going and playing my best.  I also come from a family of athletes, so they have always been very supportive and motivating which helps me stay focused and try my hardest.

FITNESS: What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
CW: Holding the #1 position for so long is definitely something I am really proud of.  I finished at #1 for two years in a row, so that is something I really strive to reach again.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

Carrie Underwood’s Secrets To Great Skin, Smart Snacking & Workouts On The Go

Written on February 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm , by

Country star and Olay celebrity ambassador Carrie Underwood is famous for her catchy, go-girl songs—plus her glowing skin, perfect shape, flowing hair and miles-long legs. We asked her to spill her secrets for getting— and maintaining— all of the above on the set of her new ad campaign shoot. Take a peek:

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