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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Not All Aging Is the Same


There’s only one word to describe what happens over time –age –but there are different reasons and triggers for this process. Let’s look at the three main types of aging. This will help you to completely grasp how to address aging.

What happens when you age?

  • Wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Less hair in some places, more in others
  • Poor memory
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of Energy
  • Poor digestion
  • Reduced circulation
  • Chronic disease

Intrinsic Aging: A Fact of Life

Intrinsic aging is simply the natural aging process no matter what you do to try to halt it. It’s what would occur had you never been in the sun, swallowed toxins, taken a stressful exam, smoked a cigarette, partied past your bedtime, breathed metropolitan air, and so on. It’s what would occur despite sleeping in a pure oxygen tank, avoiding smiling to defy laugh lines, or Botoxing your face stone cold. 12139807_318783148292334_76868710_nGenetics play a key role in intrinsic aging. If your parents aged well, odds are you will too. In the body, intrinsic aging results in loss of collagen and elastin, and reduced water content in the cells.

Environmental Aging: Inevitable but Controllable

Extrinsic or Environmental aging is exactly what it sounds like: aging from a combination of injury to your outsides and compromised cellular functions on your insides. Luckily, this is a type of aging that we can control to come degree. Factors such as excessive sun exposure, pollution, smoking, stress, poor diet, and intake of drugs or alcohol contribute to this type of aging. The classic signs of environmentally aging are usually written all over a person’s skin in the form of redness, dryness, thinner skin, sagging, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. You probably can’t see the water loss in the cells, but it’s there. The good news is the effects of environmentally aging can be minimized through both preventative actions and treatment.

Hormonal Aging: Another Fact of Life12145582_1529962630629177_1482865733_n 

This type of aging has gain tremendous attention in recent years and has no doubt spurred much conversation, especially in women’s circles. Hormonal aging occurs as levels of estrogen decline –and starts happening long before menopause.

Estrogen is your skin’s best friend. It helps prevent aging in three big ways: 1. It prevents a decrease in skin collagen in postmenopausal women; 2. It increases the skins collagen content, which maintains skin thickness; and 3. It helps skin maintain moisture by promoting the production of certain substances in the skin that boost hydration.

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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Age Spots – Not just an age problem

One of the first signs of aging is hyper-pigmentation, manifested through dark spots on your skin. Also known as liver spots, they have nothing to do with the liver, as almost in all cases they are caused by long-term sun exposure. At first, one may notice dark brown spots and patches on the hands or on the face, the areas that are almost all the time exposed to the sun. That’s why the spots will appear darker in these areas, more than they appear in other areas of the body. There can also be a genetic predisposition to developing age spots in a lifetime.

The first spots can appear in the early twenties and can go away in time through the skin’s natural regeneration process, if skin is protected when exposed to sun. Most of the dark spots appear with the aging process because that’s when skin loses its ability to regenerate fast. The dark color is caused by the melanocyte cells which produce an excess of melanin – the skin pigment, and this is gets deposited in the top layers of the skin.

These unpleasant spots can occasionally appear as a result of the use of birth control pills, hormonal imbalance, insufficient vitamin B in your body or skin reactions to perfumes and creams after sun exposure. Make sure you have a diet rich in Vitamin B and don’t apply perfumes (or products containing fragrance) directly on your skin prior to sun exposure. It is important to protect these spots from UVs even if they’re not sun related, because more sun can worsen the appearance

Treating hyper-pigmentation is best done with a melanin suppressant, its action leading to the slow recovery of the area and the lightening of the spot. Hydroquinone is the best known solution for dark spots but there are other useful alternatives like antioxidants, Azelaic Acid or Kojic Acid. It is important to avoid sun exposure – any direct UV exposure will darken the spots even more. Wear sunscreen or cover the area with clothes as much as possible; some of the melanin suppressants usually sensitize the skin and the reaction to UVs can darken the age spots even more.

Can you prevent dark spots and age spots from forming on your skin just by making lifestyle choices?

Dr. Howard Murad explains how a combination of skin care and Inclusive Health® can help you to prevent dark spots on your skin.

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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


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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Sun Safety Checklist

As temperatures heat up outside, days get longer and the sun shine stronger, it is more than ever important to keep you safe from the sun whether you are traveling or not. We’ve developed a handy Sun Safety Checklist to help you stay protected – so you can look, live and feel #BetterEveryDay. By making sure you check each of those will decrease your risk of sun damage which can ultimately prevent skin cancer. The summer is beautiful, so is your skin.



Now go enjoy the Summer, but always remember to make sun protection part of your daily routine. Make sure you are wearing sunscreen, it  will not only decrease your risk of getting skin cancer but also will help you fight premature aging, dark spots and age spots.Check out our Environmental Shield line and for a daily protection our SPF products.

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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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Before Medicine There Was Food


In today’s society, we are led to believe that the solution to virtually every problem in our lives—from health to happiness—is a pill. While many of those pills contain life-saving medicines that are evidence of the true power of science, many aspects of our lives can actually be improved by following the wisdom of our ancestors and taking advantage of health-boosting fruits and vegetables. That’s why I often tell my patients to remember, “Before there was medicine there was food.”

Since May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time to try to add foods to your diet that help boost your skin’s natural ability to protect itself from sun damage. Foods like broccoli and pomegranate are rich in compounds that have been shown to improve the protective performance of topical sunscreens. I call this approach eating your sunscreen.

Our digestive health is an area where good food choices can provide benefits that medicine simply can’t. A diet that is high in both soluble and insoluble plant fiber will help to absorb cholesterol and help to create the kind of environment that allows your gut flora to flourish. Your gut flora is made up of the good bacteria that help you digest your food and avoid irregularity. It also contributes to your overall immune system health. And, of course, treating yourself to a wonderful salad for lunch or dinner is a much nicer option than a daily dose of Milk of Magnesia.

Even the traditional practice of marinating meats in cooking herbs and spices—like garlic, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage—helps to eliminate certain potentially harmful pathogens. And let’s not forget chocolate. The antioxidants in this sweet treat are now being investigated as agents to help stave off heart, brain and vascular diseases, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.

I encourage you to spend some time getting to know the “medicines” available in the produce aisle of your local market. Your body, spirit and bank account may all be the better for it.
Article by Dr. Howard Murad

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7 Key Steps Towards Prevention of Aging Skin

7 Steps Towards Prevention of Aging Skin

Step 1: Good skincare

It is important to find the best skincare regimen that works for your skin and maintain your daily routine all the time. Depending on your skin type, make sure you are using good quality products and maintain your skin hydrated and supple 24/7. Hydration is essential even for oily skin. Make sure you use efficient moisturizers that help your skin hold the water it needs to maintain a healthy tissue. Exfoliate once a week to help the natural renewal process and maintain a clear complexion. Remove all makeup before going to bed and avoid harsh ingredients that irritate your skin or cause allergies.

Step 2: Hydration

Hydrated skin is not just about using potent moisturizers. A proper internal hydration will give your skin the suppleness and the glow of youth. Make sure you drink plenty of water, but also “eat your water” and include certain nutrients in your diet to help you maintain hydration at cellular level. Water is essential to life and to your beauty as well – your body works best when it’s well hydrated and cells function correctly to maintain healthy skin. Be careful, cellular water retention is not the same with tissue water retention – which is actually a result of cell malfunction.

With aging, water levels in our body decrease and it’s very important to maintain healthy cells by providing extra “water-loving” nutrients: essential fatty acids and vitamins are key to optimal cellular hydration.

Tip 3: Diet and exercise

These two are related and they are mentioned in any life guide you can think of. You don’t have to maintain strict diets, this is more about maintaining balanced eating habits. Do not make excesses frequently and make sure your diet includes fish, cereal, fruit and veggies as often as possible. For your skin’s youthfulness, it is also important to maintain a constant weight – frequent changes in body weight lead to stretch-marks and a saggy appearance. Don’t run from fats, there are many good fats like Omega Fatty Acids which are a healthy body’s best ally and also help maintain skin’s elasticity.

Tip 4: Antioxidants

Their main role is to protect your body and cells from free radical damage, reducing the signs of aging. Used internally and topically, antioxidants are the key to a young body and a youthful skin. Vitamin C and E, grape-seed and green tea extracts along with other antioxidant-rich fruits should be included in your daily diet.

Tip 5: Sun protection

One of the skin’s biggest enemies is the sun and its harmful UV rays. While it is necessary, in small amounts, for the natural synthesis of Vitamin D by our skin, it’s very harmful in larger amounts. Skin cancer and premature aging are just long term effects, usually a result of occasional damage like burns and prolonged sun exposure. Make sure you wear sunscreen every time you go out, even in winter days when the UVs can be as powerful as in summer (especially if there is snow around). Clouds also allow some UVs to pass through and reach the ground so make sure you are “covered” by a minimum SPF 15 lotion and adequate clothing every time you are outside.

Tip 6: Sleep

It’s your skin’s best friend. While you sleep, skin regenerates and tissue heals faster. This is the most important time of the day in a skincare routine so make sure you don’t deprive your skin of at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep shows instantly on your skin, as it gets puffy, dark circles show around your eyes, wrinkles form. Premature aging can be a result of a tired body.

Tip: Lying on your back and sleeping face-up could help smooth your skin and even some wrinkles – as a result of the gravitational force, the face skin is pulled on the sides and evenly stretched.

Tip 7: Healthy mind

Avoid stress and put on your most optimist attitude. Stress is a major factor for premature aging and a negative mental state can take its toll on your body’s health. While some people resort to spas or yoga classes, others simply take the time to do something they like, as often as possible; a walk in your favorite park or generally spending time outdoors can help you manage stress better and stay stronger and healthier. And inner beauty always shows on the outside ….

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