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Skin MD Natural Blog - Innovations in Skin Care

Protect your Skin this Summer

By the Editor | June 20, 2011

It’s the summer and while you proceed to spend some fun in the sun with your family and friends, it’s important that you properly protect your skin from overexposure—too much sun can lead not only to painful sunburns, but skin cancer and early skin aging such as unattractive wrinkles and sun spots as well.

But when it comes to selecting the best sunscreen for you and/or your family, sometimes it’s confusing. So confusing in fact, that the Food and Drug Administration has mandated new sun screen regulations so that consumers can better understand labels and get the protection they need.

Under the new regulations, which will take effect next summer, sunscreens will now have to pass a “broad spectrum” test before they can be placed on the market. This test will ensure that the lotion protects against both UVA rays (which causes sunburn) and UVB rays (which causes premature skin aging/cancer)—something that was not mandated in the past. Only approved lotions with an SPF value of 15 or higher can claim to minimize the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin (thus protecting against UVA and UVB rays); those with an SPF value between 2 and 14 can only claim to help prevent sunburn.

In addition, lotions will no longer be able to be labeled as “waterproof,” “sweatproof,” or even use the term “sunblock.” The only acceptable label that can be used is “water-resistance” and even then, manufactures must clearly explain how long the lotion will remain effective, either in 40 or 80 minutes increments.

With that said, until the new regulations take effect next year, here are a few tips to take into consideration when choosing a sunscreen for you or your family this summer:

 

Author Bio:

This guest post is contributed by Leslie Johnson, who writes about health, green living, parenting related articles at masters in health administration.

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Topics: Skin Cancer, Skin Care, Skin Damage, Skin Problems, Skin Science, Sun Damage | No Comments »

The Dirt on Common Cosmetic Ingredients

By the Editor | April 4, 2011

Have you given up trying to figure out what causes your skin allergies?

Unbeknownst to many consumers, we could be spending good money on products that we think are good for our skin but are actually causing allergic reactions, dermatitis, premature aging, and worse.  The following are the cosmetic industry’s dirtiest ingredients, rated according to Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database Skin Deep, which references the American Cancer Society and other reliable organizations.  Skin Deep rates specific ingredients on a hazard scale from 0 to 10, the latter being the most harmful.

Petrochemicals

Petrolatum (petroleum jelly) rates a low 2 on Skin Deep’s hazard scale but butyl alcohol goes up to 4 due to its properties as an eyes and lungs irritant as well as being potentially toxic to human organs.  The most immediate concern to consumers may be that mineral oil does not allow pores to breathe, often causing dermatitis or acne when applied to sensitive areas of the skin like the face.

Sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates

SLS is today’s most common cleansing agent and rates between a 4 and 3, respective to the two aforementioned types.  Although preferable to plain old soap when applied to the face according to beauty experts, SLS is a common eyes, skin, and lungs irritant.  Some cosmetics users find that when they stop using products with SLS high on the ingredients list, their skin allergies go away.

Moreover, SLS has been seen causing brain, nervous system, and behavioral effects as well as mutation in some animal studies at moderate doses.  Environment Canada Domestic Substance List classifies SLS as an environmental toxin, to boot.

Formaldehyde and paraben preservatives

Parabens are added to cosmetics to preserve the stuff while they sit in our bathroom cabinets for months (years?) on end.  They tend to rate higher on the hazard scale (between 5 and 6) and have been seen in many studies to cause endocrine disruption due especially in unborn children in pregnant mothers and infants.  In fact, parabens are sometimes referred to as “gender benders.”  They also have been known to cause allergic skin reactions in some consumers.

Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (PEGs and PGs)

Rating anywhere from 4 to 7 on the hazard scale, PEGs and PGs are known to cause skin, eyes, and lungs irritations in some consumers.  They are ecotoxic and in many instances are contaminated with more harmful chemicals like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.

Synthetic dyes and fragrances

Synthetic dyes tend to rate lower on the hazard scale but many studies show that people with unknown causes of allergies stop getting them when they desist use of cosmetic products with dyes as well as hand soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, and fabric softener.

As for fragrances, companies don’t have to inform the public the ingredients to their trademark scent.  This means they can use practically anything they want—even skin irritants.  Skin Deep rates perfumes and colognes like Covet by Sarah Jessica Parker and Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Men at 10, the highest on the hazard scale, raising genuine concerns about the product’s contribution to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, and environmental toxicity.

 

Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching scholarships for math students as well as army scholarship programs. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.

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Topics: Anti Aging, Natural Skin Care, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Care Products, Skin Care Tips, Skin MD Blog, Skin Problems, Skin Science | No Comments »

True Skincare and Products with Idebenone

By the Editor | March 28, 2011

If you do a search for true skincare products, one of the first things you will see is information about a compound called idebenone.  What is it?  That’s what this post is all about.

Idebenone is described in most advertisements as a synthetic analog of the antioxidant coenzyme Q10 or COQ10 for short.  I am a big proponent of all naturally occurring forms of COQ10.  I have seen what the antioxidant can do.

If you are over the age of 20 and you are not taking the dietary supplement on a daily basis, you should be.  It could help you live a longer healthier life.  It could reduce your risk of heart disease and help prevent gum disease.  It can also help protect your skin from damaging UV radiation.

For many years, we have been told by marketers and major healthcare organizations that sunlight is what causes everything from skin cancer to wrinkles.  That is misleading and the misunderstanding has led to an increased incidence of vitamin D deficiency.

Your body needs sunlight to make vitamin D.  The vitamin D found in milk and other fortified foods might prevent outright vitamin D deficiency, but it is not the best form of vitamin D for the health of your body, simply because it is not the most natural form.

Anything called a true skincare should be safe and natural.  Whether or not idebenone is safe is unknown.  It is actually classified as a drug.

The drug was originally used to treat neuro-muscular diseases, Alzheimer’s, ataxia, muscular dystrophy and cognitive defects.

Normally, drugs must pass numerous scientific tests in order to be placed on the market.  There are loopholes in US laws that allow drugs of all kinds to be included in cosmetics, such as lotions applied to the skin, without going through any safety testing.

The best anti-aging skin care products include natural forms of coenzyme Q10, because research has shown that they help to prevent and repair free radical damage.

It is actually the free radical activity caused by over-exposure to sunlight that contributes to skin cancer and wrinkles.  The sun is not the real problem.

Advertisements concerning true skincare products should not be misleading.  Hopefully, this post shed a little light on the subject.

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Topics: Anti Aging, Antioxidants, Skin Care, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Care Products, Sun Damage, Supplements | No Comments »

10 Natural Post-Waxing Treatments for your Skin

By the Editor | March 8, 2011

Waxing your skin can lead to numerous problems ranging from skin irritation and dryness, to ingrown hairs and pimples. But treating your skin after you wax it doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated process.

If you have the funds, there are numerous products available to help treat your skin which can help reduce skin irritation and infection. Shea butter, tea tree oil, witch hazel, olive oil, and cod liver oil are all popular post-waxing treatments, but if you’re on a strict budget, that are various natural remedies known to help treat skin irritation and dryness that can be found in the back of your cupboards or even your refrigerator.

Here are ten natural products that are known to help reduce skin irritation and ingrown hairs after waxing:

1.  Tea bags

Scientific studies have proven that tea, (specifically green or chamomile tea), can be used to treat various inflammatory conditions and even skin disorders. Because tea acts as an antioxidant, it can help protect your skin and reduce bacteria, and leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed.

Brew a tea bag in a kettle and then either put it in the freezer or let it sit and cool down for a few minutes. Once the bag has cooled down, place it on the area of skin that is inflamed or irritated. (This is also a popular method to help get rid of puffiness around the eyes).

2.      Baking soda

Baking soda is known to be an effective home remedy to treat acne treatments because it not only kills the bacteria known for causing pimples, it also effectively removes dead skin cells by acting as an exfoliator.

Try pouring approximately three to four tablespoons of baking soda in your palm, and then mix it together with a teaspoon of water, (make sure the mixture isn’t too thick). Apply the mixture to dampened skin in a circular motion for about one minute, and then rinse the skin with water. Be extra careful not to leave it on your skin for too long as it may leave your face feeling dry and itchy.

3.  Epsom salts

Research has proven that Epsom salts can help absorb magnesium and sulphate into the bloodstream, which are responsible for regulating the body’s enzymes. This can help reduce inflammation and even reduce pain. (Interestingly enough magnesium is also known to increase serotonin levels in the body, so bathing in Epsom salts can also produce “mood-elevating” chemicals in your rain which can help you feel more calm and relaxed).

Epsom salts are also commonly used to treat nail fungus because it helps reduce the risk of infection in your skin and help “speed up” the healing process and increase circulation.

4. Potatoes

It may seem like an odd natural remedy, but because a potato acts as a cooling agent its juices can provide a soothing feeling to your skin.

Grate one potato and then apply the juices to your irritated skin. Experts recommend applying the potato juice up to two or five times per one sitting. Afterwards be sure to wash your skin with cold water.

5.  Milk

Because milk acts as an exfoliator, applying it to your skin can leave it feeling soft and hydrated.

Pour one cup of milk into a bowl, and then rub it over your skin using cotton balls. (If you have oily skin use skim milk, but if you have dry skin try using whole milk).

 

6.  Honey

Using honey on irritated skin can both draw and retain your skin’s moisture. Honey also has anti-microbial properties as well s antioxidants which can give your skin a healthier, shiny glow. Also, because honey is sticky, once removing it from your skin it can actually help pull away dead skin cells from the pores, and the antimicrobial properties can help reduce the risk of infection.

Simply apply a layer of honey over your irritated skin, allow it to dry for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash it off with lukewarm water.

7.  Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great natural remedy for itchy skin, and has been used by the Egyptians and Arabs from as far back as 2000 BC. However, it is important to point out that it is colloidal oatmeal, not the oatmeal usually eaten for breakfast, that is used to treat irritated skin. (Colloidal oatmeal contains oats that are grinded almost to a point of pulverization).

Because colloidal oatmeal contains natural ingredients like cellulose and fiber, it can help provide more elasticity to your skin and will not only leave it feeling soft and refreshed, it can also help protect your skin as well.

If using regular oatmeal, use a coffee grinder or blender to grind approximately seven cups of oats. Pour it into a tub filled with lukewarm water and soak in the water for about 10 minutes. After getting out of the tub, be extra careful to gently pat your skin dry rather than rub it, because rubbing the skin will actually cause more irritation.

8.  Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is an effective natural remedy which can help remove any dead or dry skin, and leave your skin feeling moisturized and refreshed.

Spoon out two tablespoons of mayonnaise in a small bowl, and then spread it over your face and neck. Let it sit for approximately ten minutes, and then rinse your face with cool water. (You can also try adding two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of lemon juice for extra effect).

9.  Aloe Vera gel

If you like to spend your days out in the sun, or if you sunburn easily, then you probably have a bottle of Aloe Vera (or two) lying around the house. But Aloe Vera-based gels aren’t just for sunburns, they can be used to moisturize the skin and also act as a natural anti-inflammatory.

Be sure to use an Aloe Vera gel that doesn’t have any added dyes or fragrances, and refrigerate it beforehand for an extra cooling effect. Also, choose a clear Aloe Vera gel over a green or blue gel, as the clear gel contains over 75 nutritional compounds like minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and much more.

10.   Ice

And last (but certainly not least), ice cubes, ice packs, or even cold water can be one of the most effective ways to treat your skin after waxing. Because waxing forces your pores open, rubbing ice over your skin can help close your pores and reduce the risk of skin irritation and infection.

Bio: Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she’s been researching math grants as well as how to win scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

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Topics: Skin Care, Skin Care Products, Skin Care Recipes, Skin Care Routine, Skin Care Tips, Skin MD Blog | No Comments »

Homemade Exfoliator for Dry and Oily Skin

By the Editor | February 22, 2011

To keep you skin healthy and young you need to regularly moisturize your skin, tone your skin, cleanse your skin and exfoliate it. While moisturization helps in keeping the moisture to your skin, toning helps in keeping the pores of the skin clean, thus maintaining the health of the skin, exfoliation helps in the removal of the dead cells from the skin, thus giving the skin a brand new look. Exfoliation treats the blemished skin, dark marks, clogged pores, hyper pigmentation and dry skin.

A few home made exfoliators that give a new lease of life to your skin

A natural and home made exfoliator is the ones that work best and without any side effects in comparison to the chemically prepared exfoliating products. Exfoliator is better avoided by the people who have acne prone skin as it may increase the condition.  Here are a few home made exfoliators that can give your skin that copious freshness.

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Topics: Skin Care, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Care Recipes, Skin Care Tips, Skin MD Blog, Skin Peels | No Comments »

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