Things You Didn’t Know About Sunscreen

Sun protection is crucial for your skin. You’re probably using sunscreen every day, but do you know how to use it?

  1. Higher SPF doesn’t mean better protection – it means longer protection. SPF of 15 filters up to 95% of the UVs while SPF50 up to 98%. But the higher the SPF number, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. In theory, SPF of 15 means you can safely be in the sun up to 15 times longer than you could without using sunscreen. This is only a guideline and it is 100% valid only if you’re using the sunscreen correctly and reapplying as indicated.
  2. Less is NOT more. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen lotion– and make sure you reapply as needed. You can lose protection even when you sweat or rub your skin.
  3. UV-Bs are the ultraviolet rays that burn your skin – but not the only ones to cause damage! While UV-As only cause sun burns in large doses, they are still associated with aging and other detrimental changes to the skin because of their action on the collagen and elastin fibrils. UV-As are milder, but they are still not safe. So make sure you choose a sunscreen that guards skin from both UV-As and UV-Bs.
  4. The SPF number only measures the amount of UV-B protection you get. It doesn’t measure the amount of UV-A protection, which is given by another number. When purchasing a product, try to find out the UV-A protection factor. If this is not available, a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects against both A and B rays will suffice.
  5. Clothes are not an efficient barrier against sun damage. Wear sunscreen on your entire body under your clothes when you spend lots of time outdoors. Clothes only have a SPF of 4 up to 7, not enough to protect during longer sun exposure.
  6. Tan is the skin’s defense reaction to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. It eventually acts as a filter for ultraviolet rays (partially) but this doesn’t recommend using your newly achieved tan as SPF. The beginning stage of tanning is essentially skin inflammation and the tan itself is just damaged skin which can be seriously affected when overexposed to sun.
  7. Layering sunscreen lotions will not multiply the SPF protection. If you apply a lotion with SPF 15 and then makeup with SPF 20, the total SPF you’re benefiting from is 20; the SPF you end up with is the highest one you have applied.
  8. Sunscreen will not prevent body from producing the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Your skin needs UV-B rays to make vitamin D. While these can be filtered out by sunscreen, you only need approximately 10 minutes of sun a day for producing vitamin D – which you are likely to get considering people almost never apply sunscreen correctly and just a little time outdoors is enough. Be careful though: your skin stops producing Vitamin D a few minutes after sun exposure. Sunbathing for hours will not increase your vitamin D levels.
Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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6 Easy Rules of Summer Skincare

Naturally, there are products you just can’t live without all year round, but it is recommended to change a few of your skincare products with the change of seasons. While in winter we tend to use thicker, intensely hydrating creams and strong serum treatments, summer time calls for lighter, gentler formulas. Here’s what you should change this summer:

1. Use a lighter, water based moisturizer

In winter, skin is drier and needs extra protection from cold so an oil-based moisturizer or a thicker formula is best suited for your skin. But summer’s soaring temperatures, sun and sweat won’t make a good environment for the heavy creams. Switch to a light lotion that is preferably water based. For oily skin, choose an oil-absorbing, mattifying formula or apply a primer over your moisturizer.

2. Increase your SPF usage

Not just the frequency, but also its number! If winter time is mostly cloudy where you live, a SPF 15 is generally a good choice for everyday wear. But summer’s sun is most damaging for your skin, especially if you are wearing other medicated treatments, so increase the SPF to 20 or 30 or even higher if needed, but make sure to reapply often (after sweating or washing your face it is best to reapply sunscreen in order to stay protected)
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Free to Be Happy and Healthy

Summer is traditionally a time to celebrate freedom. People all throughout the Northern Hemisphere feel a spirit of freedom in the air throughout the summer months. The combination of warmer temperatures, extra hours of daylight, lighter work schedules and a recess for most schools gives us freedom to explore new places and new possibilities for personal growth. And it’s not surprising if you feel healthier and happier in this season of freedom—most people do.

What you may not realize is that there are real and tangible psychological and physiological factors which feed the summer boost to our mood. Extra summer daylight and the brighter quality of that summer light both have a direct effect on the production of hormones that regulate our moods and our waking and sleeping cycles. This hormonal effect may be part of the reason people report fewer episodes of depression during the summer months. The free time that comes with extra daylight hours and lighter summer schedules also gives us an opportunity to relax and have some “me time” to try and recover from the chronic Cultural Stress® that can burden us and erode our health and sense of well-being.

I strongly encourage you to make the most of this opportunity to unwind by truly unplugging, at home and on vacation. I also encourage you to heal your spirit and body by behaving like a child during your free time by letting go of unreasonable expectations and negative thinking. And if you are planning to take a family vacation, please take to heart the following advice “be imperfect; live longer.” Don’t fall into the trap of pressuring yourself to deliver an ultimate vacation experience for the whole family. Try not to over-plan and try to let everyone have an age-appropriate amount of input—it will be less stressful for all concerned if the agenda represents a family collaboration instead of a parental imposition. I hope you have a wonderful summer with many memorable moments and that the health and happiness you rediscover this summer will stay with you throughout the year.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Shining Light on Sun Safety

Sun Safety

 

As someone who reads up on news related to skincare and skin health, you’re doubtless practicing good sun safety. It’s likely that you’re the sort of person who books an annual skin physical with her dermatologist and gives herself a monthly skin check. But one thing about sun safety that you might not know is that as an expert on sun safety, you are in an amazing position to really spread the word in your community. Any kind of recommendation has more power to influence when it comes from someone you know and respect. So how do you create an opportunity to help friends, family and neighbors to understand the need to show their skin, and the sun, a little more respect? Try one of these “did-you-know” sound bites to start a conversation. (more…)

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Fade and Prevent Age or Sun Spots

Age-and-Sun-Spots

Regardless of your skin type or color, the most important step to prevent age and sun spots is to wear “Broad-spectrum protection”. This specific protection in SPF products means that it will protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Sun spots are preventable, so seek shade as much as you can and do not over-expose your skin to the sun during which the sun’s harmful UV radiation are stronger: between 10 AM and 4PM. Have a look at Murad’s SPF products and find the one that best fits your skin concerns.

Protection is step 1, now let’s look at fading age and sun spots.

Essential-CThe first step to fading age spots is, of course, to actually fade the pigmented areas of the age spots. Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum uses Resilient-C Complex™ that maximizes collagen production and skin brightening while providing all-day free radical protection. The product is formulated using Alpha Hydroxy Acids to exfoliate both surface skin and dead skin cells beneath the skin’s surface within follicles. Its Myrtle Extract also encourages new cell growth and help boost cell vitality. That means that the Vitamin C in Murad’s active radiance serum can penetrate deeper and work more effectively to lighten hyper-pigmented areas. The Alpha Hydroxy Acids also encourage the movement of the pigmented cells to the skin’s surface where they are more easily and rapidly treated.

Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum can be used in both your morning and evening skin care regimen. Your Advanced Active Radiance Serum helps to restore tone and smooth texture and is clinically proven to improve skin firmness by up to 64% in just 15 minutes. To fade your age spots and sun spots, apply Murad Advanced Active Radiance Serum after you cleanse your skin and then Starter Kit Essential Cfollow up with a skin or face moisturizer. In addition to fading sun spots and age spots, this serum also improves skin’s overall tone by lifting away other darkened or dull areas of skin discoloration for an overall even skin tone. Its faster-acting formula with double the brighteners boosts radiance and reverses visible signs of environmental damage. It will preserve clarity and defend against future damage for lasting youthful radiance. Try our Environmental Shield line with an affordable starter kit to see if these products are a match.

Although daily SPF moisturizers and serum just like our Advanced Active Radiance Serum are essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through healthy food. In fact consuming more food which contains Polyphenols, Carotenoids, and Vitamin C such as vegetables and fruits, will help your skin keep its natural glow and avoid inflammation. Read more about eating the right food for your skin: Eat Your Sunscreen!

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Eat Your Sunscreen!

Sunscreen and food

When skin is exposed to the sun and free radicals, it can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in fine lines, age spots, blotchiness and, even worse, skin cancer.

We typically protect our skin from skin assailants such as free radicals and the sun’s harmful rays through topical broad-spectrum SPF creams. What many people don’t yet know, however, is that eating certain foods can improve your body’s natural environmental defenses and increase your cellular health.

We need to be ever aware of sun damage because we are at risk of sun damage every day, merely walking outside during our lunch breaks or driving in our cars. Although daily SPF moisturizers and creams are essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through food that let us “eat our sunscreen.”

For sun and free radical protection, try consuming the following foods:

Foods Rich in Polyphenols:

Polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative protection to fend off free radicals.

  • Pomegranates
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Green tea
Fruits and Vegetables with Carotenoids:

Carotenoids serve to protect cells from the danger of free radicals that may be produced by the body, pollution, cigarette smoke, etc.

  • Goji Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Pink Grapefruit
Cruciferous Foods Containing Isothiocyanates:

Isothiocyanates combat carcinogens that can lead to cancer, including skin cancer and breast cancer.

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Watercress
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
Foods Rich in Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen to help skin looking plumper and younger.Berries and skincare

  • Mangos
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes
Foods Containing Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 acts as a shield from free radical damage, stopping the damage from penetrating to the cells.

  • Spinach
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat Germ
  • Whole Grains

 

These healthy and delicious foods give us numerous benefits including sun protection and anti-aging properties, helping us to eat our way to health that’s BETTER EVERY DAY®.

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Seasonal Skincare: Change your skincare regimen based on the weather

Seasonal-Skincare-Explained

There are certain things that we should do all year round (such as wearing sunscreen and “eating our water”) to help keep our skin protected and hydrated, but as the seasons change, so do our skincare needs.

In the short video below, I explain how our skin’s needs change with the weather:

So let’s review some of those key seasonal adjustments:

A heavier moisturizer in colder weather and a lighter moisturizer in the summer, as I mentioned in the video, is one example. Another adjustment we can make to protect the health of our skin is to optimize our sunblock use.

While I always say we should use sunblock year round, we find ourselves outside and exposed to harmful UV rays more often during the warmer months—when the sun is the strongest and most dangerous. That means we need to be extra vigilant and reapply more often spring through fall.
 
To help you through these changes in your skincare regimen as Spring and summer arrive, we suggest reading about the best ways to detoxify your skin for the warmer days days: here.

 


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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Recipe: Dr. Murad’s Favorite Salsa for Summer

On a summer day, there is nothing better than a refreshing and healthy snack. Try Dr. Murad’s salsa recipe, it’s easy:

  • 1 medium avocado, chopped into medium-sized chunks
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine
  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of reduced sodium sea salt to taste (optional)

Mix above in a medium-size bowl. Can be used as a dip or a salad dressing. Adding garlic aoli creates another light version of the salad dressing. This salsa can be made with limes.

Enjoy!

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