Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saying "I Do" to Your Skin

Loving your skin is about more than just moisturizing. Believe it or not, loving your skin requires more than exfoliation, more than even antioxidants! Loving your skin is bigger than your in-office treatments, although they play an important role. To really, truly love your skin, you have to protect it.

Sun protection plays such an important role in skin's health that I can unequivocally say that a good stock of well-formulated, broad-spectrum SPF would be my cosmetic preparation of choice if I were stranded on a desert isle. In addition to my own personal convictions, the aesthetic and medical communities have also reached some conclusions about the effects of UV exposure. And of course, just a quick word on tanning beds from the World Health Organization, because I know you weren't seriously thinking that those death-ray coffins could be safe...

In addition to common sense precautions such as limiting time spent outdoors during the sun's peak hours, and using clothing to cover body skin, my most important pearl for my clients remains: it's not just about protecting your skin from sunshine, but rather shielding it from daylight. The fact that simple daylight does expose skin to UV rays explains dermatologists' and aestheticians' insistence on year-round, rain-or-shine sun protection. And trust us, we've seen what skin looks like without it...

You're going to be in your skin for a long (hopefully very long) time. Even if you're not vain like I am, I still hope you will take protective measures to avoid the pain and heartache of skin cancer (and especially the deadly yet preventable malignant melanoma, which claims 8,000 American lives each year).

Also, for my clients who are lucky enough to be responsible for the skin of their children as well as their own, I stress that sun protection is a must for kids too! SPF use should begin at six months of age (with babies younger than six months protected vigilantly with clothing, bonnets, umbrellas, and other forms of shade), and making daily sunscreen application a family tradition is a gift your children will thank you for as the years go by.

The good news about sunscreen is that most people I talk to about UV damage do understand the need for daily broad spectrum protection. The objections to sunscreen that I usually encounter are:
  • I don't remember to apply it
  • It makes me feel greasy
  • It's hard to put makeup over it
Well, I can tell you from personal experience that once you find a sunscreen you love, you won't have any problems remembering to put it on. The Skin Studio offers excellently formulated sunscreen options, including sunscreens with antioxidants, tinted sunscreens, and mineral-based sunscreens perfect for acne-prone or sensitive skin. We have testers of everything so there's really no excuse not to come in and play. Finding that special sunscreen can be a little like finding that special someone, so I strongly recommend test-driving a couple of formulations until you find the one that works best for you.

And last but not least, if you are avoiding using sunscreen because you still kind-of sort-of deep-down secretly like to look tan, I have good news: you can still enjoy the glow of a "tan" by stopping at Katie Malone Makeup to pick up your easier-than-sliced-bread Tan Towels! Just remember that the tan you get from sunless tanners is actually a stain on the upper layers of the epidermis, not a melanin reaction deep in the skin, and it does nothing to protect skin from UV damage, so sunscreen use is still mandatory.

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