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Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal

Friday, August 25th, 2017

NOT ALL SUNSCREENS ARE CREATED EQUAL

Today, most of us are aware that we need to apply sunscreen when we are headed to the beach or going to be outside for an extended period of time on a hot July day but have you considered the effects of incidental sun exposure?

The principal reason our skin ages is not our age itself, but rather recurring sun exposure from birth onward. Studies indicate that approximately 80% of our lifetime sun exposure comes from incidental sun exposure, not from a day at the beach. Incidental sun exposure refers to the UV exposure you get while walking your dog, walking to your car, sitting in front of a window in your home or a restaurant, driving to work, etc.

While there is no question that you need to apply and re-apply sunscreen when you are at the beach, it’s also failing to apply a sufficient amount of “proven-effective” broad-spectrum UVA / UVB sunscreen 365 days per year that will speed up your aging process and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. So if you are concerned about looking younger longer, protecting yourself from incidental sun exposure is paramount.

The difficult part of choosing a sunscreen is knowing which ones really offer you the protection you need. Not all sunscreens are created equal.  Some sunscreens offer broad-spectrum protection, while some do not. Some sunscreens are considered physical sunscreens (our preference) and some are considered chemical sunscreens.  More-importantly, some sunscreens are “medical-grade” and must be FDA regulated to prove it’s effectiveness, strength, ingredient content and stability while OTC sunscreens do not have to be regulated.  Chemical sunscreens can cause irritation or stinging when applied to sensitive skin types while physical sunscreens will not.

Sunscreens work by either using titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to physically reflect the sun’s rays or by use of absorbent ingredients referred to as chemical sunscreens, which absorb and break down the UV radiation. Some sunscreens use a combination of both. When choosing a sunscreen, there are some very important elements to look for. Look for labels that say “broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection” and check the ingredient label to make sure it contains micronized zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide at sufficient levels.   For example, Physical Defense Sunscreen by Castillo MD Skin Science contains 10% Zinc Oxide and 5.5% Titanium Dioxide and Sun Defense Sunscreen contains 12% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate.

For years the media has drilled the importance of “SPF” into our heads.  It is used on labels with cosmetics, moisturizers and sunscreens, but gives us a false sense of protection. SPF (sun protection factor) actually refers only to UVB, a shallow ray that causes skin burns / tans & skin cancer. It is of great importance that we are protected from daily UVA exposure as well. UVA rays are deeper penetrating rays known as “the aging rays.” They are responsible for pre-mature photo-aging and hyperpigmentation, along with some skin cancers.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, we recommend using a medical-grade physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens for optimal protection. I prefer Physical Defense, Prime Defense or Sun Defense for the face and Body Guard for the body. Theses sunscreens by Castillo MD Skin Science are medical-grade and all contain high levels of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and some contain Octinoxate as well. These medical-grade sunscreens contain important physical (mineral) components we find necessary to provide effective protection:

  1. Finely Micronized Zinc Oxide – 10% -12%
  2. Titanium Dioxide – 5.5% – 8%
  3. Tint (iron oxides) – tinted sunscreen reflects the sun’s powerful rays as an added source of protection.
  4. Antioxidants – to provide future protection against UV and environmental sun damage.
  5. Water resistance (up to 80 minutes). There is no such thing as truly “water-proof,” as all sunscreens will break down within about 80 minutes when exposed to water or perspiration.

I recommend these sunscreens for a few reasons. They are formulated with the highest percentages of Titanium Dioxide and / or Zinc Oxide that I have used to date. I also like that don’t don’t feel like sunscreens. They are not sticky or smelly and actually enhance the appearance of your cosmetics and your bare skin. The cosmetically elegant formulation found in these sunscreens makes them perfect for daily use.

DSC_0475Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                     https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coca-Cola Tanning Trend

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

There is newer trend in tanning appearing on social media that involves putting “Coca-Cola” on the skin as a way to enhance a tan. Quite frankly, I cannot wrap my head around the thinking process or lack there of when it comes to this Cola-Cola” tanning trend. It is beyond comprehension. This is absurd on so many levels, unless of course the objective here is to find the fastest direct route to damaged, sun-burned, wrinkled skin with an increased risk of skin cancer.

First, take a look at this list of Coca-Cola ingredients directly from the Coca-Cola website:

Carbonated WaterHigh Fructose Corn SyrupCaramel Color,

 Phosphoric Acid, Natural FlavorsCaffeine

I guess the thought process here is to use the Carmel Color to stain the skin, giving the appearance of a tan. Believe me, there are definitely better, healthier options out there for achieving a fake bake look from body bronzers to spray tans. Check out my last two blog entries for my latest experience and lessons learned with airbrush spray tanning.

The Phosphoric Acid alone is enough to stamp “recipe for disaster” all over this one! Phosphoric Acid is a corrosive. This means it can remove the enamel off your tooth or polish old metals and coins. And… people want to put this on their skin? Nooo thank you!   Remember even simple exfoliation increases your risk of burning and sun damage when exposed to UV radiation.

Second, Thirty years ago we didn’t have the scientific support to enlighten us about the dangers of UV radiation. People used to apply baby oil and tanning oil and lay out on silver reflectors to get the deepest, darkest tan they could. But, the days of ignorant bliss are over! We now know that ultraviolet radiation from the sun and tanning beds is a HUMAN carcinogen! Say it with me…, “HUMAN carcinogen!” – That’s bad! Not even a tan can make that look good.

Third, if corrosive material and skin cancer isn’t deterrent enough, then for beauty’s sake, please! There are safe ways to get glowing skin! According the Skin Cancer Foundation, “an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure. “ Going outside unprotected is a sure fire way to develop an earlier onset of wrinkles, lines, rough texture and blotchy skin.

And Fourth, it’s gross! You will be a walking feeding frenzy for flies and other sugar seeking creatures like one of those sticky fly strips… a corroded, wrinkled, walking, sticky fly strip.

I rest my case.

 

Sincerely,

Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY   http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

Lessons In Airbrush Tanning

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

My airbrush tanning adventure was definitely a learning experience. Being inexperienced with spray tanning, I collected several tips along the way. I must say I did not anticipate the number of considerations when searching for a streak-free experience! The devil is definitely in the details here! While, I had an in-depth conversation with the owner of Body Bronze ahead of time, I still found there were many things I wish I would have thought through in advance!

After weighing out the specifics of my research, and my one booth spray tan about 15 year ago, I decided on Body Bronze in Champaign for my airbrush tan experience because:

  • They use a hand-held airbrush spray system for thorough, even detail, unlike a spray booth.
  • Each room is equipped with a ventilation system to immediately remove the mist from the air.
  • You can choose the depth of color you prefer (sun-kissed, light, medium, dark and anything in between). I chose sun-kissed to light, which was plenty of color for a girl who is not used to seeing herself with a tan. However, they offer options for all preferences
  • They offered two types of solutions for a range of shower times to fit most schedules.

When You Call To Schedule Your Appointment:

  1. Don’t be shy! Tell them that you are new to airbrush tanning! Ask for an explanation of what you should expect. Ask for their advice on what you can do to get the best outcome.
  2. Ask about your options. They likely offer different types of solutions that vary in dry time. It is important because your dry time will dictate your life until you can shower for the first time.
  3. You will be assigned a “shower” time at the end of your appointment. This is based on the solution and color depth you choose. I would recommend asking for an approximate shower time when you schedule your appointment. Keep in mind that you will be sticky and very dark until you are able to shower. I made the mistake of scheduling my spray tan prior to a meeting. This was not the best plan.  I had some explaining to do.  Lesson learned!

72 + Hours Before Your Appointment:

  1. At least 72 hours before your appointment, kick up the hydration! Moisturize your whole body every day if you are not already moisturizing on a daily basis.
  2. If you are planning on waxing, do it a few days prior to your spray tan. Removing the wax will also remove your spray tan in those areas.
  3. If you are planning a mani or pedi, do it prior to your spray tan. Exfoliation, rubbing and chemical can remove your spray tan. I did not think about this ahead of time and therefore, missed out on my planned pampering. Instead I carefully painted my nails on my own and missed out my “me time. “ Lesson learned.

24 Hours Before Your Appointment:

  1. Shave – Try to shave 24 hours before your appointment instead of right before your appointment. This will lessen the chance of getting solution into your pores because it can leave dots of color on your skin, which is not likely to be the look your shooting for.
  2. Exfoliate – your whole body while in the shower. Avoid the use of oily salt or sugar scrubs. Instead just use an exfoliation mitt or washcloth.
  3. Moisturize – Keep your skin well moisturized 24 hours prior to your spray tan. Well-moisturized skin will accept the solution better than dry skin.

The Day Of Your Appointment:

  1. Shower / Exfoliate – Your best bet for avoiding a blotchy, uneven spray tan is to thoroughly and evenly exfoliate your entire body again the day of your spray tan. Using an exfoliation mitt or washcloth will do the trick. Because I was still a little paranoid about streaking, I had an in-office microdermabrasion treatment for a thorough exfoliation on my face and common dry skin areas (underside of wrists, hands, knees, ankles…) to assure an even application. That worked great! My tan was even all over and fading very evenly as well.
  • Be sure to pay special attention to dry skin areas like your elbows, ankles, knees, feet and hands.
  • Avoid oily sugar or salt scrubs as they can leave a residue on your skin that can effect the absorption of the tanning solutions.
  1. Arrive with clean skin – Do not apply lotions, sunscreen, perfume, deodorant or make-up the day of your appointment. If you must wear make-up or deodorant, the spray tan facility you choose is likely to have wipes for you to remove your make-up and deodorant but you should check with them in advance or bring your own oil-free / alcohol free wipes.
  2. Dress The Part – Arrive to your appointment with loose fitting, dark clothing and loose flip fops or slides. Tight clothing can rub off some of the solution leaving you with a funky tan and stained clothing.
  3. It’s A Process – It takes time for the spray solution to process. You will have to wait 2-12 hours to shower. Your technician will give you an exact shower time. During this time, you will also need to avoid sweating, washing your hands, or getting wet (might want to check the weather forecast, consider rescheduling if you are likely to get caught in a downpour!).
  4. Shower Time – Once your waiting period is up, rinse your body in lukewarm water. You will see lots of color rinsing off in the shower. Continue to rinse until the water is clear. Do not use washcloths or soap during this first shower. Gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Do not rub your skin with towel. Cover your entire body in a good moisturizer. Once you have showered, your tan will continue to develop over the few hours.

THINGS THAT CAN SHORTEN THE LIFE OF YOUR TAN:

  • pools / hot tubs
  • scrubs
  • AHA’s / BHA’s
  • retinol
  • masks
  • pore strips
  • benzoyl peroxide
  • waxing
  • mani / pedi
  • shaving

One Last Thing:

A spray tan is not a substitute for sunscreen. Contrary to popular wives tails, it will not stop you from getting a sunburn. Use sun protection and avoid exposure when possible.

Sincerely,

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond,

Skincare and Laser Specialist

G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY  http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

My Airbrush Tanning Experience

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Unless you’ve been avoiding television, magazines, newspapers and social media for the last decade, I think it’s safe to say you’ve heard that UV radiation from both sun exposure and tanning beds are known to cause pre-mature skin aging, skin cancer, even death.

Tanning beds are known carcinogens!

The three things that skincare patients will always here from me are:

  1. “If you do nothing else for yourself or for the health and beauty of your skin; wear medical grade, physical sunscreen every single day, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life.
  2. Re-apply your sunscreen often and generously.
  3. Avoid sun exposure whenever possible.”

If you’ve spent anytime in consultation with me at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, then you know I am a proponent for healthy skin. I spend my days helping others turn their sun-damaged skin into a smooth, clear, healthy canvas featuring their natural skin tone, free of pigmentation with a high level of light reflectivity and smooth texture.

Signs of sun damaged skin: brown spots, lines, wrinkles, sagging, dullness, rough texture

UV radiation from both tanning beds and the sun will rob that natural beauty by leaving it’s unflattering signature behind in the form of unwanted pigmentation or brown spots, lines, wrinkles, sagging, broken vessels, facial redness, rough texture and sometimes cancerous skin lesions. These signs may not show up right away but if you are not protecting your skin, they will catch you off guard at some point, no matter your skin type.

Through the use of Castillo MD Skin Science skincare products, sun protection and in-office skin rejuvenation treatments, our patients are seeing for themselves that well cared-for, clear, even toned, smooth, radiant skin can be more beautiful than tanned skin and is worth protecting!

 

If you are one of those people who think tanned skin is more attractive than natural-toned skin, a spray tan is a way to accomplish that look without putting your skin’s health at risk. Many past sun worshipers are now searching for alternative ways to appear sun-kissed when they have a special event coming up. They frequently ask for recommendations for self-tanners or spray tans for upcoming weddings, vacations, and class reunions.

I decided to investigate to options of self-tanners on the market and spray tans available in our area. Truthfully, once I researched the self-tanners for at home use, I couldn’t bring myself to try them. It seemed WAY too complicated with lots of opportunity for error considering my inexperience! I didn’t want to risk being blotchy or streaked, or umpa-lumpa orange.

That left spray tan booths and airbrushed spray tans to consider. In recalling my single experience with a spray tan booth about 15 years ago, I was reminded why I never opted for another spray tan. I was in a spray booth, cold, naked and alone without professional direction. It is impossible to hold your breath the whole time, so breathing in some of the solution is unavoidable, unless maybe you’re a fish. As I gasped for a quick breath, I got a mouth full of spray tan solution! Not good! My “tan” was blotchy in areas, which may have been a result of improper exfoliation in certain areas were my skin was drier (between fingers, ankles, the underside of my writs) but also on my lower legs which was not expected :-(. So… I ruled out volunteering for a duplicate of that experience, even though I realize it’s quite possible booths have improved over the years.

Airbrush tan it is then! I spoke in depth with Kristen, the owned of Body Bronze in Champaign. I decided to try a professional airbrush spray tan instead. I liked that the spray is controlled by a technician, similar to being spray-painted. They can give you direction along the way, “turn this way, hold your breath, breath now…” which put my worries to ease. I did not ingest any mist.

The rooms were equipped with ventilation systems to remove the mist immediately. Kristen explained that their FDA-approved solutions are all gluten-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic and come in different shades to meet the needs of each individual. Together we determined that the sun-kissed to light, quick dry application would best meet my goals.

It was a quick, easy, process, a little chilly. I was given a specific time to shower (which you will definitely want to factor in before making your appointment!) and away I went. I felt a little sticky afterwards and was alarmed (though Kristen warned me) by how dark I appeared as the solution was setting. She assured me that when I showered, the dark color would rinse off and it did. By morning, I had a nice, even sun-kissed glow just in time to catch my plane for Hawaii.

I was concerned about whether or not the tan would fade evenly as I would be on vacation for 10 days. Kristen recommended I take a small bottle of Body Blendz Touch-Up spray with me just in case. My tan faded quite evenly so I did not need to use it. However, it’s nice to know there is a touch-up spray available.

While I remain a firm believer that well cared for, protected, original skin tones (color) are most beautiful, it was fun to change things up and experience a sun-kissed glow for a few days.

Stay tuned to my blog as I will share the lessons I have learned during my adventure with spray tanning and discuss the things you should know before your next fake bake.

Sincerely,

Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY    http://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

Solutions For Seven Sins Of Skincare

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Fabulous skin is in at any age!  While most of us  want to look our best and avoid pre-mature skin aging, sometimes we commit skincare skins that defeat our goals without even realizing it.  Here are a few skin sins that we share with our skin rejuvenation patients at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center.

  • Sin #1 – Unprotected sun exposure:

Apply a physical suncreen– every single day, without fail, that’s 365 days a year… every year.  You get the picture 🙂  UV radiation is non-discriminatory.  It will hunt down your skin winter, spring, summer and fall.  It doesn’t care if its sunny or cloudy so daily protection and re-application are key.  Treat this step as part of your daily morning routine, just like brushing your teeth, even when you are not going outside.  This will help establish a habit so that on busy mornings you will be less likely to forget.

  • Sin #2 – Not cleaning your skin after a workout:

Clean your skin after exercising – Washing your skin right after your work-out will help to prevent clogged pores, break-outs, and irritations. If you are  like many people who do not shower at the gym, then keep a tub of Clear Skin Pads by Castillo MD Skin Science in your gym bag. Whisk one across your face at the end of your workout. These triple-action, maximum-strength corrective pads help rid your skin of pore-clogging oils, sweat and debris after your workout. This decreases blackheads and whiteheads and help prevent future breakouts.

  • Sin #3 – SMOKING:

Stop smoking – Among other health concerns, smoking reduces circulation and the oxygen levels in your blood which also effects your skin. It can result in pre-mature aging. Smoking can effect the smoothness, texture and tone of your skin, producing wrinkles, rough texture, and a grayish dull tone. Be sure to avoid second hand smoke as well as it is also very damaging to your skin.

  • Sin #4 – Picking at blemishes:

Do not pick! – I repeat, DO NOT pick at blemishes.  At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center, we suggest our patients begin a custom regimen of medical grade acne skin care products to reduce or rid their breakouts, thus removing the temptation to pick! Picking can create permanent scarring or changes in pigmentation. Our patients have great success with Castillo MD Skin Science acne products like the  Medicated Cleansing Mousse, Acne Control Serum and Clear Skin Pads.

  • Sin #5 – Dead Skin Build Up:

Exfoliate your skin – Exfoliate your skin 1-2 times per week with a microdermabrasion shower scrub.  Treat yourself to a medical microdermabrasion once a month to keep your complexion free of dead cells and looking smooth and bright.

  • Sin #6 – Mistreatment of your hands:

Be nice to your hands -Treat your skin and nails with care.  Wear gloves when lifting heavy objects or working outside.  Avoid using your nails or fingers to do things like open box tops.  There are actually special tools for that! Avoid washing your hands to hot water.  Wash with warm water instead.  Hot water can be very drying to your skin. Apply moisturizer after each wash.  Remember to apply sunscreen to your hands daily; just driving in the car exposes them to a significant amount of UV radiation which can cause brown spots and pre-mature aging of your hands.

  • Sin #7 –  Going to bed with your make-up on: 

At the very least, cleanse and moisturize before bed – It is so easy to just crawl into bed without removing your make-up after a long day when your energy is zapped but your skin begs of you to resist the temptation.  Going to bed with your make-up on makes it nearly impossible for your skin to perform its nightly duties like natural sloughing, repair and regeneration. Remember that your skin has had a busy day too.  If you are good to your skin; your skin will be good to you!

DSC_0475Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA

Skincare and Laser Specialist

COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                     https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

 

 

800-252-7123 (within IL)

217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana), IL

309-662-0436 Bloomington, IL

 

Post-Abdominoplasty: A Case Of The Missing Navel!

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

 

While all cosmetic or plastic surgeons have their own style and artist preferences, there is certain criteria that needs to be met to say you have delivered a good surgical result for your patient. We have been seeing a very strange occurrence in our office lately, one that I believe warrants discussing.

Over the past 1 ½ -2 years, Dr. Castillo has seen a number of individuals who are seeking a second opinion on their tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), which they had done elsewhere. These patients share that they are unhappy with the results. “Something just doesn’t look right,” they say. While they may not know exactly what they are unhappy with, they KNOW something isn’t as expected.”

With one professional peek at their tummy, it’s shockingly obvious. They are missing the “crown jewel” of any good tummy tuck – the navel!! We have also seen a few patients with poorly re-constructed, misshapen or poorly placed umbilicus as well. Either way, it would make it difficult for a person to feel good about the new look of their tummy.

The navel (umbilicus) is the focal point of any abdomen. It is the single most important anatomical component and without one, an abdomen can look like something straight out of Alien! Acute attention to the details of placement, size, shape and depth are paramount in the final appearance of an abdomen. That deserves repeating…. Acute attention to the details of placement, size, shape and depth are paramount in the final appearance of an abdomen. The navel immediately reveals the age of an individual by the location, shape and size of it. Compare your current navel to that of a picture of your navel as a teen. You are likely to notice some changes.

So my best advice to anyone considering a tummy tuck is ask lots of questions about what you are getting and what your surgeon’s vision of a proper abdominoplasty is. Look closely at his before and after photos. Carefully examine at the position, shape, size, depth and proportion of the navels he has created. This is not the time ignore the proverbial “elephant in the room.” Demand a proper navel! 

Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY                                                                     https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

VISIT MY BLOG:

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/blog/
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington