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Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal: New Complete Guide On How To Pick A New Favorite

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. Whichever sunscreen you choose, be generous with your applications.  If you are good to your skin, it will be good to you!

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Roxanne Grace
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

 

 

 

 

 

How To Revive Your Skin After a Little R & R

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

 

cosmetic plastic surgery, skin rejuvenation, medical spa champaign il, Kankakee, decatur Ahhhh vacation! There is nothing like a summer vacation to re-charge your body and mind and take a much-needed break from the demands of daily life.  Even though you return relaxed and ready to head back into the rat race, vacation often has the opposite effect on your skin.  I see a lot of concerned patients in the Skin Rejuvenation Suite at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center once they return from their summer vacation destination. Long flights and changes in climate can dehydrate your skin making it even more susceptible to sun damage and other environmental stressors.  Too much sun, too many sugary Pina Coladas on the beach, not enough exercise, or sunscreen and skipped skincare regimens may not help your case either.

So how can you revive your skin after a little R &R?

EXFOLIATE: Use an exfoliating cleansers and buff puff on your face, neck, décolleté to remove dry, dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull and flaky.  Dead cells can even decrease the effectiveness of your skincare products.  Use a salt or sugar and coconut oil body scrub to exfoliate the rest of your body. After exfoliating, your skin will be ready for re-hydration.

As long as you are not sporting a sunburn, you might even consider scheduling a exfoliating microdermabrasion treatment at you local plastic surgeons office.  Within 30 minutes, your skin will look brighter and feel smoother. Dr. Castillo’s patient’s tell me that microdermabrasion in our office leaves them feeling so relaxed they feel like they have just a had a min-vacation.  You can even top off your treatment with a rejuvenating, hydration mask.

4311♦RE-HYRATE:  Apply an at home moisture mask to your face, neck, décolleté every two-three days for the first week after your vacation then follow with your moisturizer.  Apply coconut oil to the rest of your body.  If you are looking for a quicker fix than your home regimen can provide, Dr. Castillo or your local plastic surgeon will have effective solutions to boost your skin radiance.  ♦Increase your water consumption.

♦PROTECT: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage.  Re-apply as needed.

**Remember to increase your water consumption, and consider investing in UV rated clothing and a wide-brimmed hat prior to your next trip.

 

♥Yours Truly,

 

Roxanne Grace
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

 

 

 

GLO FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It looks the like crisp, cool weather is settling in for the holidays.  For many of us this means significant changes in the suppleness of our skin.   The winter elements can quickly create a dry, dehydrated look to your skin.   Dehydrated skin not only looks dull, tired and flaky but is very difficult to hide under cosmetics.

Here a few easy tips from Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center to ensure your skin exudes a fabulous, dewy glow for all of your upcoming holiday events.

1.      Depending on how the winter elements affect your skin, you may need to consider switching from GLO Mineral pressed power base (foundation) to GLO Mineral Satin II Finish Liquid base (foundation).   The Satin II Finish will provide more protection and hydration during the harsh climate changes.  You may find your complexion is getting lighter now that days are getting shorter. This will call for a slightly lighter shade of foundation during the winter months.

2.     Schedule an appointment with your skincare specialist at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Skin Restoration and Laser Institute.  It is important that your skincare regimen is adjusted to combat the oncoming dry season.  It is likely that you will need to add an additional hydrating complex under your moisturizer or change to a moisturizer that is better suited for the cooler months to maintain a higher level of hydration.

3.     Increase your water intake.  Coffee, tea, soda etc. are not equal to water.

4.     Highlight your cheeks with the GLO Mineral Luster brick for added radiance.

5.     Since cool air is naturally dried than warm air, it is a good idea to keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or less.  Keeping your home at higher temperatures removes even more moisture out of the air.

6.     Use a broad-spectrun, UVA/UVB sunscreen every day.  It is the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin to maintain youthful looking skin.

Here’s to maintaining healthy, “GLO”ing skin that will be the envy of all your holiday parties this season.

Cheers!

Roxanne Grace
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)

Ask Our Expert – Tanning to Cover Sun Damage

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Ask Our Expert Blog

Q:  Now that summer is over, my tan is fading.   I have dark brown patches and spots on my face that are making me feel very self-conscious.  If I use a tanning bed through the winter months to stay tan, will it help hide these brown spots?

A:  Stop…  Back away from the phone…  Do not schedule a tanning appointment.  Covering up sun damage by getting more sun damage is never the answer.

First, understand that the UV radiation (exposure to the sun or a tanning bed) is the reason these unwelcome spots are appearing on your face in the first place.  Though tanning your skin may initially camouflage them, those spots will become darker and multiply very quickly. Not only that, but eventually these unwelcome visitors will bring friends in form of lines, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, and poor skin texture.  Your skin is giving you an initial visual warning.  It is saying “STOP abusing me or else!”  And believe me, “or else” means it will punish you by introducing you to lines, wrinkles, large pores, and rough texture next!”

Many people find themselves caught in the same viscous circle.  They develop sun damage.  Then to cover the sun damage, they sun tan. Then they develop more sun damage.  It isn’t until the sun damage is so bad that it can no longer be hidden, that people truly realize what they have done to their skin.  Your best bet is to give your skin the protection it is demanding and begin to correct the sun damage that is causing you to feel self-conscious.

So let’s talk about ways to correct your sun damage.  There are many options that will help you to some degree or another.  It is important to seek advice from someone who specializes in aging, sun damaged skin such as a Board-Certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.  They will help you match the amount of sun damage you have to the appropriate treatment. Usually the less expensive options are less aggressive and therefore give less result or require multiple treatments.  If you are someone who is willing to be patient, some of the less aggressive options may work well for you.  I will start with the least invasive options and work up.

Topical skincare treatment:

1.      Avoid sun exposure as much as possible and protect your skin faithfully by applying a medical grade physical sunscreen every single day of the year, not just when it is hot or sunny. (THIS IS A MUST NO MATTER WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING SOLUTIONS YOU CHOOSE)  We have 4 medical grade sunscreen options available here for our patients to meet the needs of any skin type.

2.      Use a prescription skin lightening agent with retinol every night for 6 weeks.  Both of these will help lighten the brown spots over time but you will need to be patient.

3.     In addition, applying Vitamin C and E topically to the skin every morning may also improve your spots.

4. Talk with an experienced medical skincare specialist within a Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon’s office.  Ask her or him to build a medical-grade skincare program for you based your skin injuries. Remember that there are no magic creams out there but there are some scientific based medical skincare products that will make great improvements to your skin.  However, you must be faithful in applying them as directed. 

Chemical Peels:

There are several formulations of strengths when it comes to chemical peels.  I suggest you seek an experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon to develop your chemical peel plan.  Chemical peels have a quantitative effect, so typically you would expect to have multiple peels. You need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Treatments:

Intense Pulsed Light can improve both brown spots and redness.  You should plan on three to six treatments depending on the severity of your sun damage.  Expect redness and swelling for a few days following each treatment.  Your brown spots will get darker before they get lighter.  Then they will come to the surface and flake off.  Again you will need to protect your skin from UV radiation and use a physical sun block every day.

CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing:

CO2 Micro-Fractional Laser Resurfacing is typically the best treatment for sun damage in the form of brown spots, melasma, lines, wrinkles, and the break-down of collagen and elastin.  In most cases this is a one- time treatment. You will need to take about four days off from work or social activity as you will be swollen, red and your skin will peel between days three and five.  This option will give you the best non-ablative results available if preformed by an experienced laser practitioner.

 

Roxanne Hammond

Roxanne Grace
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)