Thursday, October 27, 2011

California Bans Tanning for Teens

“The Young and the Tanless” caught my attention a couple weeks ago as news coverage highlighted California’s ban on teenage tanning bed use. The Golden State has become the first to outlaw anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. There are 30 states that have laws in place that restrict tanning for minors. Current South Carolina law states that for anyone under the age of 18, a parent must give permission in person and that protective eyewear must be worn.

I wholeheartedly support California’s new legislation and would love to see more restrictive policies here. I know it’s homecoming season for most high schools and colleges, if you or your child are thinking about going to a tanning bed to keep your summer color longer – don’t! The World Health Organization has placed tanning beds in its Group 1 Carcinogen Category along with cigarettes and plutonium.

If that doesn’t cause you to rethink tanning beds, consider that the American Academy of Dermatology has research showing that people who have used indoor tanning have a 75 percent higher risk for developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 25 to 29.

I read that Los Angeles County has shockingly more tanning salons than Starbucks coffee shops and McDonalds restaurants. A quick Google search shows that similarly Greenville is not hurting for tanning choices. As an alternative to tanning, please consider using a spray tan. Many salons offer them as a substitute to harmful tanning beds. Or come visit our office, my staff and I can give you guidance on tanning lotions, bronzers and keeping a radiant, and more importantly, healthy glow through the fall.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Allergies and Your Skin

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently released their 2011 list of “The top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals.” Not surprising to those of us living in the Upstate, several southeastern cities made the top 20, including Columbia, S.C. Our hometown of Greenville, S.C. came in 31st, just above Charleston at 32nd.

Experts predict this fall to be one of the harshest allergy seasons yet. Severe weather throughout the summer including flooding and an active tropical storm season have increased ragweed levels and produced higher quantities of mold spores.

With this allergen alert, it’s important to take steps to manage your allergies and to adjust your skincare regime accordingly.


  • Drink plenty of water and moisturize frequently to ward off the effects that antihistamines can have on your skin.
  • Keep your eyes, nose and lips from becoming chapped or red by using tissues with lotion, aloe or vitamin E.
  • Switch to hypoallergenic moisturizers and make-up.
  • To fight redness, use a bronzer with brown instead of red undertones and look for concealers with a green or gold base.
  • Avoid matte textures which make dry skin look drier. A little shimmer will give your skin a rested and dewy appearance.
  • Blue eyeliners and mascaras will brighten the whites of your eyes, making you look more rested.

To see the complete list of all cities included in the “The top 100 Fall Allergy Capitals,” visit the link below:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Antioxidants 101

We constantly hear buzzwords like antioxidants and free radicals in the news. They have us drinking more green tea and buying products with labels that claim to contain the marvelous compounds, but what are they?

It’s a little strange to think of our bodies rusting, but as we age a similar process of oxidation affects body tissues. Free radicals form in the body as oxygen interacts with certain molecules and trigger a chain reaction in the skin that damages its structure and weakens it on the cellular level. Antioxidants are our bodies’ defense against cell damage. They protect cells and promote healthy aging as they equip our bodies with the ability to fight free radicals caused from such factors as sun exposure, pollution, alcohol and stress.

Antioxidants can be taken orally as vitamins or delivered topically. They work under the skin's surface by fortifying the body’s natural repair systems and preventing new damage. Some antioxidants have been shown to reverse some of the discoloration and wrinkles associated with aging and over exposure to the sun.

Remember that even though a product may claim to contain useful antioxidants, it is difficult to know what quantities are in some antioxidant-based products. To be effective as a topical treatment, they need to be in high concentrations and formulated properly to remain stable. Common names to look for are coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid and retinoic acid. If you are considering using an antioxidant for your skin, we can talk about which products are best for you.