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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunblock 101

As many of you head to the beach for the last hurrah of Summer, don't forget the sunblock!  Here's a helpful rundown of this must-have part of your skin care routine. . .

What's the difference between UVA & UVB rays?

Photoaging - as opposed to normal temporal aging - is due to exposure to the sun’s radiation. These rays, UVA/UVB, (280-400nml on the spectrum) are from the ultraviolet portion of the light spectrum.

UVB (short length) rays penetrate just into the epidermis.  They were once thought to be the culprits in the affect on the epidermis, but UVA (long length) rays, which penetrate deeply through the body are now known to be equally if not more damaging.  Many lines of evidence indicate that the primary biological actions of UVA radiation involve DNA damage.

UVB emissions from the sun undergo significant seasonal variations; the UVA emissions, however, do not appreciably change over the course of the year. The amount of solar UVA reaching the earth's surface is much greater than that of UVB. Also, UVA is transmitted by most window glass and many plastics that do not transmit UVB.

What can happen if I don't use adequate sunblock?

Photoaging of your skin with fine lines, wrinkles, dilated pores, laxity and sagging of skin are the direct result of sun damage to the underlying collagen and elastin fibers. Hyperpigmentation can be caused or exacerbated by the sun’s stimulation of the melanocytes, causing over-production of melanin resulting in freckles, and/or reddish hyperpigmented areas.  Damage to the skin’s vasculature can result in telangectasias (broken blood vessels).  Finally, enough exposure to the sun's damaging rays can result in formation of pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions.

Sunscreens use a variety of ingredients to protect your skin.  There are chemicals that “absorb” the sun's rays, and there are physical blockers.  SPF ratings only apply to UVB, as UVA protection cannot be measured, since the chemicals are destroyed by the rays and the air.  Thus the need for broad spectrum coverage.  So make sure your sunscreen protects from both UVB and UVA.

As to the amount of protection needed:

SPF Rating       Amount Blocked
SPF 2                           50%
SPF 4                           75%
SPF 10                        90%
SPF 30                        96.67%
SPF 50                        98%
SPF 70                        98.57
SPF 100                      99%

No sunscreen product blocks all UV rays.  So use a good broad spectrum sunblock as directed, and try to minimize your exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Sun responsibly - your skin will thank you for it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet news for your skin - August 20 is National Honey Bee Day!

It seems that the skincare industry is rediscovering some age-old wisdom: that honey is beneficial to your skin.  It's good not only for your inside, but your outside, as well!  Read on. . .

(The following was copied from a American Bee Journal newsletter called ABJ Extra, July 01 2010.)

Honey as an Antibiotic:
Scientists Identify a Secret Ingredient in Honey That Kills Bacteria

New research in the FASEB Journal shows that defensin-1, a protein added to honey by bees, possesses potent antibacterial properties and could be used against drug-resistant bacteria.  Sweet news for those looking for new antibiotics: A new research published in the July 2010 print edition of the FASEB Journal ( explains for the first time how honey kills bacteria. Specifically, the research shows that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections.  "We have completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of a single medical-grade honey, which contributes to the applicability of honey in medicine," said Sebastian A.J. Zaat, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. "Honey or isolated honey-derived components might be of great value for prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria."  To make the discovery, Zaat and colleagues investigated the antibacterial activity of medical-grade honey in test tubes against a panel of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. They developed a method to selectively neutralize the known antibacterial factors in honey and determine their individual antibacterial contributions. Ultimately, researchers isolated the defensin-1 protein, which is part of the honey bee immune system and is added by bees to honey. After analysis, the scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey's antibacterial properties come from that protein. This information also sheds light on the inner workings of honey bee immune systems, which may one day help breeders create healthier and heartier honey bees.  "We've known for millennia that honey can be good for what ails us, but we haven't known how it works," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "Now that we've extracted a potent antibacterial ingredient from honey, we can make it still more effective and take the sting out of bacterial infections."

So, in honour of National Honey Bee Day and all those busy worker bees, give yourself a topical treat - add a few tablespoons of honey to your bath, or to your favourite sugar scrub.  Your skin will thank you for being so sweet!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Everybody loves a freebie!

Place your order of $100.00 or more at & receive a FREE Heal & Protect SPF 40 Tinted Sunscreen.  Oil, fragrance, sulfate & paraben free.  It feels AMAZING on the skin, & works for a broad range of skin tones.  You've got to protect your skin anyway - why not look fabulous while doing it?  At FREE, the price is definitely right!  Don't miss out - offer ends August 31, 2011. 


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