Melasma also known as the mask of pregnancy is hyperpigmentation that forms patches of brown to gray-brown patches on the face. It’s most often found on the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, chin and above the upper lip. Melasma occurs when the color making cells in the skin or melanocytes produce too much color. If you have a darker complexion you’re more prone to melasma because you have more active melanocytes than someone with a lighter complexion.
Common causes include:
Sun exposure: Ultraviolet or UV light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. Even just a small amount of sun exposure can make your melasma return after fading. It often gets worse in the summer with continued sun exposure.
Change in hormones: Melasma is common in pregnant women, is often called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills can also trigger melasma.
Not all hyperpigmentation is Melasma. To be properly diagnosed, you will need to see a Dermatologist.
Hydroquinone-this can be found in a 2% strength OTC or 4% strength with a prescription, to help lighten the skin.
Tretinoin- a prescription vitamin A or all-trans retinoic acid enhances skin lightening.
Professional treatments that may help include: chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion.
Melasma is a difficult skin condition to treat because sun exposure, the main cause, is present in our everyday lives. It’s very important to wear sunscreen every day and reapply every 2 hours. If you know you will be in the sun for long periods of time, be sure to wear a wide brim floppy hat for more coverage.
What is the difference between physical exfoliation, enzymatic exfoliation, and chemical exfoliation? A physical exfoliation is one that you can physically feel to the touch. It’s often in the form of beads or granules like that in a scrub. Whereas an enzymatic exfoliation is usually in a treatment type product like a mask, peel, cleanser, etc. Enzymes are found in fruit acids and are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin types. Chemical exfoliators are also found in treatment type products, but are more aggressive and are usually found in the form of acids like Glycolic, Salicylic, AHA’s, & BHA’s. Chemical exfoliators are better suited for normal to tolerant skin types.
When is sunscreen needed? The answer is all the time. You should always wear sunblock! Whether you use daily skincare products or not sunblock helps prevent damage, period. Using sunscreen religiously is the number one thing you can do to prevent pre mature aging!
Do extreme hot/ cold temperatures ruin my product? No. We have confirmed with various manufacturers on this very issue and temperature does not compromise the integrity of the product. If you receive a product and it is either extremely hot or extremely cold bring the product inside and let it go back to room temperature before use. You may also need to shake or stir the product if the ingredients have separated. This does not change the efficacy of the product, it’s good to use.
Why doesn’t my product have a seal on it? Since we’re shipped product directly from the manufacturer to our warehouse it’s not required for the products to come sealed. It is up to the manufacturer if they choose to seal the product or not. Rest assured our inventory doesn’t make contact with the public until it is shipped directly to your door. All returns are sent back to a different facility and aren’t shipped back to the warehouse.
Is the date listed on my product the expiration date? Not always. Most products will list a sequence of digits or numbers that can look like a date format. This is usually a manufactured date, lot number, or batch number. An expiration date will have the letters EXP in front of the date sequence. Most all SPF products will have an expiration date printed on the product or packaging along with certain organic brands. If it does not, you can use the sequence of digits listed to contact the manufacturer directly for more information.
Summertime is officially upon us! Here is a list of Beach Essentials to keep you looking fabulous!
– Fake Bake Original Self Tan Lotion: Its richness in color gives you the perfect tan without the damaging side effects of the sun. Designed for easy, goof-proof application, Fake Bake has a built-in color guide-a dark temporary color that lets you see exactly where you’re applying the product. No pale patches, no streaks, no dark spots.
– Hampton Sun After Sun Moisturizer: Hydrates and soothes skin with a fresh, with a rejuvenating pick-me-up scent. Revitalizes and invigorates the body with a blend of natural ingredients, Emblica Fruit extract, Aloe, Almond Oil, Walnut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Cocoa Butter, Tea Tree Oil, Green Tea Oil, and Chamomile.
– Heliocare: Heliocare capsules are an oral dietary supplement with antioxidant properties which help maintain the skin’s ability to protect against sun-related effects and aging.
Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Day SPF 18 combines Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid to fight off the 3 types of wrinkles; permanent, reversible and programmed. It addresses wrinkles in the most critical areas, between the brows, around the mouth and crow’s feet. It contains a cutting edge ingredient, fast acting Retinol + Adenosine for a more effective, gentle resurfacing effect. The benefits include:
– Provides results in as little as 4 days
– Increases skin’s cell turnover rate
– Hyaluronic Acid helps fill in lines and plump them out
– Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive
This product can also be combined with Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Night for a double dose of wrinkle fighting power. This product speaks for itself, if you are looking for a better anti-aging moisturizer look no further, this is it!
Ah, summertime! The sun is shining brightly, the days are longer and we start spending a lot more time outdoors. While we all know that sun protection is important all year long, it is especially important when spending longer periods of time in the sun. While you are out there enjoying the sunshine this summer, don’t forget that your lips also need protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Don’t let the heat can leave you with dry, chapped lips. Keep them hydrated along with the rest of your body.
A great choice for both men and women is the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25. Shea butter, avocado oil and Vitamin E sooth and nourish the lips while the natural mint and green tea add a soothing and refreshing touch. The texture is hydrating but not heavy and is perfect to wear alone or on top of your favorite lip color.
Hooray, the warmer weather is here bringing with it wonderful sunny weekends and a desire to get away for a few days. Looks like it’s time for a weekend getaway! The only problem left after deciding where to go is trying to decide what to pack. If your bathroom vanity or cabinets are anything like mine, they are filled to the brim with various beauty products. How on earth do you decide what to take with you?
Here are my top three essentials for every weekend getaway:
For a quick yet thorough cleanse the Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Cleansing Wipes are my go-to items. These wipes not only cleanse, they are also infused with anti-aging ingredients such as Pepha-Tight micro algae, Vitamin C and CoQ10. You gotta love multi-tasking products!
Another compact time saver that I love is the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo. It’s perfect for use in between regular shampooing or to revive hair during the day. Excess oil at the roots is quickly absorbed by the rice, oat and tapioca starches while lemon verbena leaves a refreshing scent.
For the most part, I like to keep my makeup pretty low maintenance on vacation unless I’m going out somewhere special. That’s why I love tinted moisturizers! My favorite is the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All in One Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15. Moisturizer, color and SPF in one step, it doesn’t get much easier than that. It’s lightweight and provides lasting hydration and it also contains the antioxidant benefits of Vitamins C and E.
Want an anti-aging moisturizer disguised as sun protection? You got it here with Hampton Sun SPF 15 Hydrating Face Cream. Anyone that has used sun protection knows that a good one can be hard to find. They can feel heavy, smell bad and/or go on too white. Not Hampton Sun. This oil-free, fragrance-free formulation with Zinc is as light as they come. Typically products with Zinc can be very heavy so I was impressed to learn that not only is Zinc, my preferred form of sunscreen for its instant efficacy and healing qualities, the sun protection but it’s choked full of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause damage and aging.
That alone would grab my attention but it also contains ginger, an antioxidant that Increases radiance, decreases inflammation, cucumber strengthens connective tissue, relieves redness, aloe and chamomile to soothe, seaweed firms skin, gingko biloba helps with sun damage repair. Not only do I love it for its ingredients, I also love it for what’s not in it like parabens and PABA.
This power-house product is going to be great for all skin types but especially those with normal/combination to oily.
Everyone knows that most melanoma skin cancer and skin photo-aging is caused by the UVA and UVB rays in sunlight, right? Maybe not. According to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic, melanoma cancers have increased eightfold for young US women in the period 1970-2009.
So why do we ignore the advice of the Skin Cancer Foundation when it says that everyone over the age of six months should use sunscreen daily all year round, in any weather? Perhaps it’s because, as some people say that they’re afraid of the chemicals in sunscreens, or that sunscreens make them break-out; or they’re afraid they won’t get enough Vitamin D; or because sunscreens can be so thick they won’t rub in. For some of these reasons, many women have turned to moisturizing SPFs, but used as the only UV protection, most of these products simply cannot provide adequate protection. Again according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an SPF of 15 or higher is acceptable for everyday activity, and an SPF of 30 or higher is acceptable for extended or intense outdoor exposure.
It’s for exactly these reasons Snowberry broad spectrum (meaning they protect against UVA and UVB) Everyday SPF15 and Active Outdoor SPF30 were created by Snowberry’s Soraya Hendesi in New Zealand – in a land where UV intensity is comparatively high. These are 100% natural sunscreens that absorb quickly, avoid potentially harmful chemicals, and can be safely used at any age. Snowberry sunscreens containing coffee bean oil and Shea butter do moisturize, and with Inga Oil extract help to counter inflammation, and Siberian Larch extract is an effective anti-oxidant, but they are sunscreens first and moisturizers second and this is what makes them so very effective against photo-aging and the risk of melanoma cancer.
We all know that sunscreen is vital to skin health, but many may not consider it to be a true anti-aging product. In fact, it is the most important age control product available to the skin care professional. Above retinoids, vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids, which undoubtedly improve the appearance of aging skin, sunscreen can singlehandedly prevent damage from occurring.
As we move into fall, it is critical to remember the importance of year-round sunscreen use. Remember that unlike UVB, the strength of the sun’s UVA rays (responsible for aging) remains constant throughout the day and throughout the year. These rays are able to penetrate through clouds and windows, and their effects target everyone, regardless of skin type, tone or condition. Many patients have an “it won’t happen to me” mentality when it comes to skin cancer, but most are frightened of the inevitable aging process. This fall, change your way of thinking about preventing and treating visible aging with year-round daily use of broad spectrum sunscreen.