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Cynthia Golomb, MD | Dermatology Boutique

Sunscreen

How the sun affects skin of color

· Sunscreen · Comments Off on How the sun affects skin of color

 

My patients with darker skin tones also experience the damaging effects of the sun, but sometimes differently than their lighter-skinned counterparts.  The sun may not cause as many wrinkles, but hyperpigmentation and melasma are more of a problem if you have dark skin.

In addition, something called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more of an issue for skin of color.   This is hyperpigmentation that develops at the site of an injury or inflammation that is made worse with sun exposure.  The inflammation can be acne, and patients find the resulting dark spots disturbing.

UV radiation also causes damage in skin of color and can result in skin cancer.  Unfortunately, because of beliefs that dark skin protects one from the sun, patients with skin of color are diagnosed with skin cancer at a more advanced stage.

Because of the propensity for pigmentation, patients with skin of color should select a sunscreen with iron oxides.  Research has shown that using a sunscreen with iron oxides gives greater protection to the block visible light that causes this skin discoloration.  Even though iron oxide might be listed as an “inactive ingredient” on the label, it is providing additional protection if the product has least 2% iron oxide.

You may have to look up your product online to see the full list of all sunscreen ingredients.  Sometimes only the “active ingredients” are listed on the product label.  Iron oxides will not be listed as a sunscreen ingredient.

Tinted sunscreens often have iron oxides and this is why I believe tinted sunscreens are much better for the face.  If your skin is dark and the tinted sunscreen you select is not dark enough, put your foundation on top of the sunscreen.  Also, we are happy to have you test the tinted sunscreens we sell in the office.

Key sunscreen ingredient to stop brown spots, melasma

· Sunscreen · Comments Off on Key sunscreen ingredient to stop brown spots, melasma

While the FDA is currently reviewing the ingredients in chemical sunscreen, we now have even more reason to use physical sunblock instead. If melasma or brown spots are an issue for you, research has shown that you have to use an iron oxide product to the block visible light that causes this skin discoloration.

Recent studies have proven that blue light creates changes in the melanocytes in your skin to produce dark, resistant pigmentation.

The two physical blocks that will protect you are:  zinc oxide for ultraviolet light protection and iron oxide to protect from visible light.  These two ingredients are deemed to be safe and effective by the FDA.

I carry several products for your face that will protect from both visible light and ultraviolet light:

  • skinbetter Tone Smart SPF 68 sunscreen compact
  • Avène Mineral High Protection Tinted compact SPF 50
  • Dermatology Boutique BB cream

Skin drops by ISDIN will add visible light protection to your favorite broad spectrum sunscreen and by mixing the two, you can create your own BB cream.

When purchasing sunscreen at the drugstore, look for “broad spectrum.”  This means it blocks both UVB and UVA radiation.  And, as I mentioned above, if you are concerned about brown spots or melasma, look for iron oxide as an active ingredient.

New study highlights sunscreen issues

· Sunscreen · Comments Off on New study highlights sunscreen issues

A new sunscreen sStudy by the Clean Label Project is very illuminating. Take a look.

One finding confirms what we know about the role of antioxidants in protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. I recommend layering Skin Better’s Alto Defense Serum under your sunscreen for this antioxidant protection. Alto is amazing and reduces the appearance of skin redness. Studies show less redness compared with sunscreen alone.

The two sunscreens I recommend are ISDIN or our own Dermatology Boutique brand.  Read more about these products.

 

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#healthyskin

#skincancerprevention

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