Archive for the ‘Skin Cancer’ Category

How to Maintain a Sunless Tan Without Exposure to UVA and UVB

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

It does not matter whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall men and women of all ages want to look and feel suntan. During the winter months our skin lightens from the lack of vitamin D that the sun provides for us naturally. We start looking pale. There are products that you can use to keep that suntan glow. This article is written as a guide on products that are good picks for maintaining a sunless tan through the fall and winter. These products can be found in stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Victoria’s Secret, makeup counters and online.

Get Your Skin Ready
The first thing you need to do before you buy any sunless tan product is to make sure that your skin is healthy. All the sunless tanning products in the world are not going to help you look and feel better if your skin is not healthy. When we age our skin lightens in color. To keep that healthy suntan look we need to have circulation in our skin. Cells renew faster in your face than the rest of your body.

I would start with exfoliating your skin, especially the dry areas, to remove dead skin cells. I would also shave your legs the day before. After I shave my legs I always put moisturizer on them and they sometimes tingle depending on the brand of moisturizer I use. Give your hair follicles a day to heal before you use a sunless tanner to prevent any burning sensation. You should always do a spot test before you apply a sunless tanning product all over your body. This will help assure that you are not allergic to the product or that your skin is not sensitive to the product.

I suggest using rubber gloves or a self-tan application mitt when applying the tanning product to avoid discoloring your palms. Shake the bottle then massage the product in using a circular motion and apply evenly. Wait ten minutes before putting your clothes on to make sure the product is dry.

What Self-Tanning Products Should I Use?
Sunless tan products include items like bronzers, self-tanners, lotions, gels, sprays, mists, mousses, foams, towelettes, oils, powders, makeup and sticks similar to deodorant sticks. Lotions go on smoothly and last longer than the sprays, gels dry faster, sprays are popular but harder to use, and mousses do not contain much moisturizer. The towelettes are convenient and exfoliate.

Top 3 Best Reviewed Products on Consumer Research
St. Tropez Self-Bronzing Mousse, contains glycerin and aloe for added moisture. No bad smell. Best applied in the evening and washed off in the morning. Product comes with a free application mitt. Instant natural color, easy to apply and dries quickly. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 fl. oz. for $29.99. Other websites sell the product for $42 to $42.99.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, best gradual sunless-tanning lotion. Looks natural and does not streak. It smells bad, takes 10 minutes to dry and three days to see a difference. It can be purchased on Amazon 4 fl. oz. for $5.30. Other websites sell the product for $9.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Body, the wipes claim to exfoliate, tan and moisturize. The color looks natural and lasts a week. This product extends the life of the tan. No strong odor. When used on fair skin color can turn orange. It can be purchased on Amazon 8 wipes for $45.00. Other websites sell the product for $35.99 to $49.

Sunless Tanners Runners Up include: Jergens Natural Glow & Protect Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20 4 fl. oz. for $9, Clarins Self-Tanning Instant Gel 4.2 fl. oz. for $35, Nature’s Gate Glow Lotion 16 fl. oz. for $14, Tarte Brazilliance 5.5 fl. oz. for $37.

Sunless Tanners: Reviews.

Other brands that are proven to be the most effective at helping people maintain a tan without exposure to UVA and UVB
I went to Walmart to do my research. The Walmart store brand is Equate. I found four Equate products that compare to St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing and they are Self-Tan Bronzing Lotion with Aloe Vera 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Bronzing Spray for a natural-looking golden tan 6.7 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Foaming Mousse golden color, never orange, instant color 4 fl. oz. for $7.98, Self-Tan Flawless Legs Spray for airbrushed looking legs and a natural looking tan 2.5 fl. oz. for $7.98. Walmart Equate brand also had a Tan Applicator Mitt that can be hand or machine washed in cool water for $4.48. There was a Flavours Sunless Tan Corrector that corrects self-tanner mistakes 6 fl. oz. for $8.97.

Walmart carried Loreal Bronzers in lotions, gels, mists, moisturizers and towelettes ranging in price from $8.47 to $9.47. Neutrogena came in build a tan gradual sunless lotion where you control your shade 6.7 fl. oz. for $8.97. Neutrogena also had micro mist airbrush sunless tan in a medium and deep shade 5.3 fl. oz. for $9.87. Coppertone Sunless Tanning came in a gradual tan moisturizing lotion for a flawless natural-looking tan you control 9 fl. oz. for $7.67. Banana Boat Summer Color Self-Tanning came in a lotion and a mist ranging in price from $6.44 to $6.67. There was Ocean Potion SunCare Tanning Safe Bed xtreme tanning xcelerator spray gel with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.47 and xtreme tanning intensifier lotion with instant bronzer 8.5 fl. oz. for $6.67. There was a new Salon Formula EG European Gold Dark Tanning that came in bronzers, lotions and a dual chamber product that ranged in price from $5.47 to $9.97. Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs instant spray-on makeup, dries in 60 seconds, came in shades tan glow, medium glow and deep glow 4.4 fl. oz. for $11.74.

Main Product found in all Sunless Tanning Products
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a safe sugar found in all sunless tanning products. DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. The FDA has approved dihydroxyacetone for external use to the skin, but they have not approved the use of this product near the eyes, mouth or nose. DHA has an odor that people smell when they use the sunless tanning products.

Are sunless tanning pills safe?
Avoid sunless tanning pills because they are unsafe. They contain the color additive canthaxanthin, which can cause your skin to turn orange or brown and cause hives, liver damage and impaired vision.

Sunless tanning: What you need to know.

How to Maintain Your Tan
Once you achieve your sunless tan a good way to keep it is to moisturize every day. Swimming in chlorinated pools will fade your tan faster. Chlorine is bleach. To maintain your color you need to reapply the product once a week. For areas of skin, like wrinkles, that are darker than other areas you can apply hydrogen peroxide, baking soda or whitening toothpaste to lighten them to help achieve an even tan.

Sunless tanning products are not better than the natural sun but I would think they are better than sitting under a tanning bed, which exposes you to UV light. These products work in two ways: you can wash them off with soap and water and they can stain your skin and only come off as cells renew.

What is UVA and UVB?
Earlier I stated DHA interacts with dead cells in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis, to produce a temporary darker skin color, a sunless tan. Melanocytes are in the outermost layer of your skin. When melanocytes are exposed to UVB, short wave ultraviolet, they produce the pigment, melanin. When melanin is exposed to UVA, longer wave ultraviolet, it oxidizes or darkens. This reaction is your skins way of protecting itself from too much UV light.

Most of these sunless tanning products do not contain sunscreen and do not protect against sunburn. To reduce your risk of skin-aging, skin cancer and other harmful effects use sunscreen, wear protective clothing and limit sun exposure when using these products. Products that contain sunscreen are only effective for a couple of hours and have to be reapplied.

Self-Tanning Foods
A British study found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables had golden skin that was rated healthier looking than when they had a suntan. When you eat a lot of carotenoid rich produce like carrots and plums many of those excess carotenoids are stored in the fat just beneath your skin, where their pigments peek through and give you a healthy glow that mimics a tan. It takes about two months of a produce-heavy diet to get a golden sunless tan. Experts recommend eating at least five servings of produce a day to get the effects. I have included the link below if you would like to read the study.

Resources for Further Reading:
University of Nottingham (2011, January 12). Eating vegetables gives skin a more healthy glow than the sun, study shows. ScienceDaily.
Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health.

Your Personal Skin Care as a Routine

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Some people have the idea that applying a moisture cream or going to a beauty parlor is the only way to take care of your skin. Others believe that their skin will really take care of itself and they only have to do something to it every now and then. Personal skin care is not really complicated and it is not really expensive considering the benefit of glowing healthy skin when you are done. When you do personal skin care you are simply following a routine or procedure for taking care of your skin.

You must determine your skin type before starting a personal skin care routine. Do you have dry, oily, sensitive, or normal skin? Once you do this you can select the products that are most suitable for you although, you may have to experiment with different products to find what will work best for you. The following is a routine that should work for most people with normal skin.

The first thing to do is use a cleanser for cleaning your skin. Cleansers are made of three main ingredients which are cleansing oil, water, and wetting agents called surfactants. The oil and wetting agents extract the dirt and oils from your skin and the water flushes them away leaving your skin clean. Finding the right one for you may take some time and always find or use one that is soap free. When using the cleanser don’t use very hot water, like warm water will do. Do not over-cleans your skin and damage it in the process of using your cleanser.

Next you must exfoliate your skin. This is nothing more that helping your skin get rid of the dead skin cells and helping to replace them with new ones. When dead skin cells are left on your body they prevent the skin underneath, or the new skin cells, from taking advantage of the personal skin care products. This is not to say that the dead skin cells don’t use or consume your skin care products–they do. So, when you remove the dead skin cells you can gain maximum effectiveness when you use your skin care products. Understanding how often to exfoliate is a must. Exfoliate 4 to 5 times per week for oily and normal skin and 1 to 2 times per week for dry and sensitive skin. You can exfoliate a couple more times in hot and humid weather.

The third thing on your list is using a skin moisturizer. This is perhaps the most important thing to do in your personal skin care routine. Interestingly enough, even people who have oily skin need a moisturizer. Moisturizers will seal the moisture in your skin and then attract moisture from the air when needed. Using too much moisturizer will have an adverse effect by clogging your skin pores and doing harm to your skin. You will most probably learn how much to use during your first week of use. Apply the moisturizer while you skin is still damp.

The last thing to look at is using a sunscreen in your personal skin care routine. Many of the daytime creams and moisturizers come with UV protection. You can use these on any day.

You really must experiment with different skin care products and the amount of each you must apply to give you the best results. Then you can develop your very own personal skin care routine. If after doing all this and you find that you still have problems you should look for professional help to determine what the problem is. You should do this especially if you have a skin problem to begin with.

Who is Most at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Summer is in full swing and many of us are flocking to the beaches, lakes, and swimming pools. The danger of the sun is even more present now than ever before with the looming risk of skin cancer. Everyone is at risk for skin cancer; however there are some people that are more susceptible to the disease than others. This article will take a look at who is most at risk for skin cancer and how they can prevent it.

Pale Skin

Do you have a lighter skin complexion, or do you have a dark skin complexion? If you are darker skinned or black you have a much lower chance of developing skin cancer compared to your pale skinned counterparts. Lighter skinned individuals are more likely to get sunburned with overexposure to the sun compared to darker skin toned individuals. The harmful UV rays get soaked up into the skin and cause painful sunburn which eventually can lead to skin cancer down the road. If you have light skin use high SPF sunscreen when going outside and take special precautions as not to get burned by covering up or applying sunscreen often.

Do you work outside?

If you work outside you are much more likely to get skin cancer as you are exposed to the sun more than the average person. If you work outside as a construction worker or other labor intensive job you most likely work without a shirt which increases your risk of UV damage. Use sunscreen and apply it regularly when working outside, wear more clothing to protect all exposed portions of the body, or face the risk of skin cancer.

Previously Had Skin Cancer

Anyone who has previously had skin cancer faces a higher risk for getting the disease again. Take extra precaution when facing sun exposure if you have been previously treated for skin cancer.


People who have moles or freckles for some reason get skin cancer more likely than someone without multiple moles or freckles. Dark moles or increased number of moles can also be a warning sign of skin cancer.

High Sun Exposure and Sunburns in Your Past?

If you have tanned a lot as a teenager and remember getting sunburned easily you have a much higher risk of skin cancer in your future. Skin cancer survival rates are in the 90%+ if caught early according to, therefore regular doctor checks if you have this risk factor is a great idea.

Sunburn Easily?

If you have pale skin and or light color hair and you burn easily you are at a much higher risk than your darker friends who do not burn easily. Use sunscreen that is SPF 70+ and avoid the sun when it is at its brightest, which is between 10AM and 4PM.

Sources:, Skin Cancer Facts

When Looking Good Brings Bad Things to Your Health

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Go to the nearest beach and watch the young people tanned and lovely walking along, with a little light lotion. Years from now that translates to bad skin and even skin cancer. But in a world where looking good is more than doing the right thing, the end result can be trouble for one’s health.

It’s the pleasure of the moment psychologically that makes people reach for things that bring them harm, even though they intellectually know the difference. They read that sun protective wear and lotions will help prevent skin cancer, but few wear hats regularly these days even though the rate of skin cancer is growing. Furthermore skin protective lotions are administered sporadically and not daily, when it’s winter, overcast or one is driving a car.

Dr. Stephen Antrobus is a plastic surgeon who practices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is trained in Moh’s procedure. He has seen an increase in skin cancer patients in the decades of his practice. Much of this, he contends, come from those who spend too much time in the sun. Then there are those people who don’t realize that even in cold climes the sun can do damage. Furthermore skin cancer can come from winter sun in cold climates, while most people worry about summer. He recommends lotion protection and hats for both men and women all the time. Do that and avoid skin cancer, he declares.

Just like other specialists he recommends putting on sunscreen lotion all the time, even if the person is just driving a car because the sun comes through the windows and can cause sun damage. Sunscreen and a high block value of 30 to 50 is important.

Dr. Androse goes further and explains that he believes there should be education on skin cancer protection in school. Children don’t get the information they need in this area as they are growing up, so prevention needs to be encouraged when they are very young, as other experts maintain

Do the right thing, Dr. Androse says, not just what feels or looks good for the moment and you’ll prevent the ravages of skin cancer and skin discolorations that will make you not look so good in those later years.

What Your Skin Type Tells You

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

With different skin types comes different reactions to different things. Skin type can determine how our skin reacts to the sun. It can also determine how our face feels after a good cleansing. It is important to know everything you can about your skin type, not just what type it is. Sure, different skin types need different care, different products. But why is it they need such different things. This article is an attempt to describe what it is that each of the different skin types actually do to our skin.

Normal Skin

Normal skin is not too oily, and it’s not too dry. Normal skin is called normal for a reason. So, what happens to normal skin in the sun? Normal skin normally burns and then the burn turns into a tan. People with normal skin usually have fair to medium skin tone. Normal skin is prone to T-zone breakouts (forehead, nose and chin), this is because the pores are larger in this area of the normal skin type person’s face. People with normal skin generally feel some tightness in their skin in the cheek area after a good cleansing, and their cheeks can often get dry and chapped feeling. When it comes to wrinkles as older age sets in, expect just a few of them around your eyes, forehead area and around the upper lip.

Oily Skin

People with oily skin tend to tan easily. They will usually have an olive or dark complexion. Oily skin will break out often, partially because of the oiliness and partially because of bigger sized pores. Oily skinned folks should expect to see a blackhead here and there too. Your skin needs to be cleansed often, because within an hour or so after washing your face usually looks shiny and oily all over again. The best thing about oily skin, though, is that you lucky people will have very few lines and wrinkles as you get older!

Dry Skin

Dry skin is easy to burn and peels a lot. This dryness leads to itchy skin, often, and especially in the winter months when moisture is pulled out of the air. Dry skin sufferers feel tightness all through their faces after cleansing. The skin of someone that has dryness is usually a fair tone. Dry skin needs to be moisturized often so that irritation is less likely. Acne is less of an issue, but with itching and irritation it still is not any better.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is a whole other ball park when it comes to skin types. Some of the symptoms and “language” of sensitive skin can sound like other skin types too. Sensitive skinned people are generally fair in complexion, which means that they burn quickly. Some ingredients in skin care products can make sensitive skin redden and make it feel painful and irritated. Sensitive skin will feel tight after cleansing and has a tendency to get itchy and reddened when using products that contains dyes and perfumes. Shop wise, sensitive skin sufferer.

Older Skin

Older skin burns easily. You may find that you are sensitive to stuff you could use with no issues when you were younger. Older skin loses elasticity. Expect drier skin in older age. Older skin has enlarged pores, but does not have the acne issues that other skin types suffer from. The complexion of older skin appears dull and fragile and flushes easily. Wrinkles begin to appear, mostly around the eyes, mouth and forehead.

Combination Skin

Combination skin can be a combination of any of the above mentioned skin types. If you have combination skin you may burn easily, or not. You may have some sensitive areas on your face, or you may have none. Combination skin generally has some oily spots and some dry spots. Normally products for normal skin can be used just fine on combination skin.


Woman’s face: Skin Care and Makeup by Kim Johnson, 1997 The Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun, 2002