Category Archives: Sun Damaged Skin

Are you likely to get melanoma or other skin cancer?

I’m not trying to scare anyone, but skin cancer is the #1 cancer in the USA….and sure, one does not want to live a life in fear….but you can certainly do your best to reduce your potential to be one of the statistics….

1. Wear a mineral sunscreen every single day…rain or shine…

2. No tanning salons/tanning booths – EVER!

Deadly melanoma has increased 200% since 1973…that’s a much bigger risk of you getting it… 9000 people die every year from this form of skin cancer…. Read this article to really understand the story… Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are no joke either…

Yes, I’ve had melanoma removed from my face – twice – so I truly understand the meaning of being part of the statistic. Get yourself checked out. If you need to have some skin cancer cut out of you, here are my recommendations as to how you can help your skin heal and repair well

Which exfoliator to use for flaky dry skin, age spots, hyperpigmentation

Here are my ‘general’ recommendations, going from the mildest form of exfoliator to the strongest form. 

Everyone is unique and the skin may react differently from person to person using these different exfoliator solutions. See NOTES at end of the article.


For dry/flaky skin use an enzyme exfoliator like No Dry Skin + Enzyme Gel at a 4.0pH. Enzymes catalyse the break down the dry dead cells on the surface of the skin. Use it a minimum of 3 nights per week after cleansing – and you can go up to 7 nights per week as long as you don’t have sensitive skin. The result will be smoother, softer, non-flaky skin.

For skin that has a little dryness, a little oiliness, a little pigmentation, a little rough texture, use Gentle + Exfoliate Gel. It is a very light alpha and beta hydroxy acid formula at a 4.0pH. It will not irritate the vast majority of skin types. It may tingle/sting slightly. Apply it on dry (non moist) skin. Use it 3 nights per week after cleansing. Non sensitive skin can use it 7 nights per week. Most mild adult acne problems can be controlled by using this exfoliator.

For skin that is combination or oily, experiences regular adult acne outbreaks, has more pronounced hyperpigmentation caused by the acne pimples, and has stronger keratin growth (like little skin bumps that form over old pimples and take a while to go away), use either the 3.9pH Clear Skin Ultra Gel, or the stronger 3.5pH Age Limit. By increasing cell turnover rates you will see less congestion of pores, hyperpigmentation and rough texture. Apply it on dry (non moist) skin. Use it 3 nights per week after cleansing. Non sensitive skin can use it 7 nights per week. These are not ideal products for very sensitive skin.

For oily or combination skin that experiences strong keratin growth (often represented by many sebaceous cysts along the jaw and chin, but can also be seen on cheeks and forehead) and other ‘annoying’ bumpiness on the skin use Power Peel (it is not a peel – just an exfoliator). This aggressive 3.2pH alpha hydroxy acid will definitely tingle and sting on most skin types. Some people feel it makes their skin ‘itch’. These are natural reactions to an AHA of this intensity. Use it 3 nights per week, and you can build up to 5 nights then 7 nights a week (over a 1 month period) if your skin can accommodate it (i.e. your skin should not get and stay red, irritated or flaky). Severe adult acne sufferers usually benefit from this exfoliator. Use at night on dry (non moist) skin, after cleansing. This exfoliator usually works well at lifting and lightening most forms of pigmentation caused by acne and sun damage. Often this is the best exfoliator for ‘oily’ teenage skin.

Sometimes I recommend a stronger exfoliator like the 32% GlySalLac at 3.0pH – but only after consulting with the client, or, preferably performing a facial on them, and in so doing I get to know more about the strength and condition of their skin. I never believe in being aggressive on the skin just for the sake of it….

A peel, performed by an experienced esthetician, will deliver great results in terms of reducing hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and rough texture. It is not for everyone. I will never do a peel on anyone unless I have worked on their skin before, and thus know whether they can accommodate an intense exfoliation peel. I only do peels from late Fall through to early Spring. I never do peels in Summer. Read this article for information on home care and peel expectations. It’s the only skin you will ever have, so if you screw it up by being too aggressive, you have to live with it….

NOTE: Stronger and more aggressive does NOT mean better results. Use the correct exfoliator suited to the level of sensitivity of your skin. Have patience…use a milder exfoliator and get better results of a longer period of time…expect improvements within weeks rather than within days.

NOTE: Once you have achieved your primary exfoliating skin care goals, you should try using a milder form of exfoliator as your ongoing home care maintenance product.


For more information on exfoliation, see the SkinCareTV video.

NOTE: The general rule of thumb with skin care exfoliators….expect some kind of sensation on the skin….expect a little redness – but it goes away within 5 minutes after removing the exfoliator. STOP using a product that results in prolonged or intense redness or any ongoing irritation or increase in skin sensitivity where the exfoliator was applied. Never use a strong exfoliator on inflamed or irritated or abraided skin or wounds. Never get an exfoliator in the eyes. ALWAYS use cool water to remove exfoliators – NEVER warm or hot water. Use cool water to calm any skin irritation.


The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Tanning beds and UV lamps provide short and long term results

Tanning beds and UV lamps provide consistent Ultra Violet Ray exposure and makes it seem as if you have your own ‘personal’ piece of the sun in your own home! Yes they deliver the same rays as the sun – just a whole lot closer to you! They set the skin into ‘protective’ mode the same way as any outdoor activity like lying next to a pool or playing beach volleyball, or tennis, or golf, or cycling, or running etc etc etc will do. Protective Mode is not synonymous with Safe Mode. There’s a lot more we have to do to strengthen the Protective Mode. Life on this planet comes with zero guarantees….

Yes, I will give a list of best Protective Measures at the end of this article….

Here’s how your skin works, relative to the effects of the sun…a stimulus of UVA and/or UVB will get the melanocytes in your skin producing more pigment so as to cover the DNA hosting nucleus and thus reduce the damage that the UV ray will do to each skin cell’s DNA, and the ‘darker’ protective pigment is therefore referred to as a tan. Yes we are talking about real damage to the DNA in your skin cells. Yes we are talking about reducing, NOT eliminating, UV damage to the DNA in your skin cells. On this planet, any UV exposure means there is a potential for DNA damage. On this planet, any ‘tan’ means you have already experienced UV damage to the DNA of some cells. A ‘tan’ is not healthy – it merely proves that we have already exposed our DNA to damage.

Most of the time, light DNA damage can be repaired by your body through the action of DNA repair enzymes. HOWEVER, the more frequent and intense the DNA damage, the more likely your body will not repair all the UV induced damage, and so your potential for developing skin cancers increases. That’s why tanning beds and UV lamps are exceptional potential dangers to your health.

Science has proven that both Ultra Violet (UV) and Infra Red (IR) rays from the sun and man-made devices like tanning beds, will increase the speed at which the skin ages, and thus the speed at which you start to look older with wrinkles and blotchy sun spots. See also the SkinCareTV video on brown spots.

Because you have no idea just how vulnerable your DNA is to UV damage, it means you have no idea if you will get skin cancer at a young or old age. It used to be the case that cancers generally affect older people more than younger people…generally because DNA repair enzymes are more efficient in young people than old people (it’s just Mother Nature’s way of doing things). However, with skin cancer being the #1 cancer in the USA, there is a growing number of young people getting severe forms of skin cancer…including life threatening melanoma!

In this CNN article about the recent FDA warning and re-categorization of sun tanning UV equipment, here are some interesting excerpts:
1. people who have been exposed to UV rays from indoor tanning have a 59% increase of developing melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
2. Those who use tanning beds on a regular basis, especially teens, have 10 times the risk of developing all three types of skin cancer, including melanoma, which is deadly
3. ‘My youngest melanoma patient was 18. She was using tanning beds since she was 13. She has a huge scar on her back and is constantly being monitored.’

Having 2 large scars on my face due to melanoma surgery, I am very aware of the ‘unattractive’ nature of skin cancer. Why am I the only 1 in my family dealing with skin cancer when we all lived out in the African sun as youngsters and adults? It is impossible to determine your precise potential for skin cancer, but it is possible to increase your percentage of risk for skin cancer by increasing your exposure to UV rays (from the sun and/or tanning beds/UV lamps).

So, what can you do to mitigate some of the dangers of being a happy, healthy, outdoor, sports person on this wonderful planet of ours?

1. Wear a mineral sunscreen like one of these, every single day (rain or shine).
2. Apply a multi-level antioxidant before your sunscreen, every day. Antioxidants help defend your skin against the Infra Red (IR) spectrum from the sun, while sunscreens help protect against the Ultra Violet (UV) spectrum from the sun. Both spectrums age your skin.
3. Use plant enzymes from the Mediterranean Arabidopsis plant to stimulate your DNA repair enzymes to correct a large amount of the every-day damage that occurs in skin cells exposed to UV and IR. These plant enzymes are found in the Cell Youth Actif product. Apply AM and/or PM before moisturizer.
4. Use the esterized version of Vitamin C (Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) to stimulate collagen and elastin development in the skin – and help repair the damage caused by UV and IR. This Vitamin C also acts as a long lasting antioxidant to fight the aging effects of free radicals. There is a high level of this Vitamin C in the C + Renew Serum. Apply before moisturizer. Apply after Cell Youth Actif.
5. Eat a healthy diet of 5 fruit and 5 vegetable servings every day. Junk food and processed food can never be classified as part of a healthy diet!
6. Wear a wide brimmed hat, long sleeved shirts with collars, long pants and sneakers rather than tank tops, shorts and sandals….make a different fashion statement!

If you are concerned about the media-hyped scare of Vitamin D deficiency, please read this blog article.

The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.

Stem Cell therapy for skin care – brilliant marketing seduction and lies

Stem cell therapy BS and media hype abounds….so ‘let the buyer beware’ before you shell out your hard earned cash on the basis of the over-hyped promises by skin care marketers…. Our own enzymes that stimulate our adult stem cells in our skin can be stimulated by certain plant ingredients in topical skin care products….but no plant stem cells will penetrate your skin and take over from your human stem cells…. Sorry – it makes for a great fairy tale, but lacks all the science and physiology needed to make it a reality..

Here are my previous posts on this topic…

The second part of an article at the beauty bullshit blog deals with the hype and BS around stem cells…

“The idea behind stem cell therapy is that the living cells can help repair damage to your organs basically by replacing them with ones that don’t suck. The “stem cells” in this (Juice Beauty) CC cream are very dead, so they aren’t going to be able to do that. Before you go out and start rubbing apple roots on your face, living stem cells aren’t going do anything for you either. We don’t do medical research using apple stem cells because we aren’t apples. A living apple cell is not going to incorporate itself into your skin. AND, even if you DID have human embryonic stem cells sitting in your freezer for some reason, rubbing it on your face would not only be disgusting, it wouldn’t give the cells the appropriate cues to do anything meaningful. Triple failure. 

With poorly-researched newspaper articles referring to stem cells as a “fountain of youth”, it is unsurprising that skin care companies would jump on this idea for anti-aging products. However, again, this claim does not hold any water.”

And then there are the ‘Ellen DeGeneres’ ads…look younger without a face lift….just like Ellen…yeah right! Since when does anyone believe the PR and marketing hype that celebrities generate? Especially when they are paid a huge amount of money by the manufacturer. Check out this very ‘official’ sounding site ‘Skin Care Advisors‘ with ‘experts’ ‘discussing’ the product that has enabled Ellen to look so young (because she will never admit to paying for medical treatments that have enabled her to look younger and better (like all celebrities)…. So when we look into this ‘miracle’ product, here are the hyped ingredients (my comments in CAPS)

Matrixyl 3000 – 45% decrease in wrinkle depth
Argireline – 25% reduction in crow’s feet
Dermaxil – 36% reduction in volume of wrinkles
Chromabright – 190% increase in evened skin tone

Edelweiss Stem Cell – 15% decrease in fine lines
Apple Stem Cell – 80% increase in cell rejuvenation
Sea Fennel Stem Cell – Brightens and promotes skin renewal

Hyaluronic Acid – moisturizes the skin at a cellular level THIS IS NOT AN ANTIOXIDANT!

And at the end of the page, here is the disclaimer… IT’S PAID ADVERTORIAL – IT’S ALL BS!!!

This website is a market place. The owner has a material financial connection to the provider of the goods and services referred to on the site. The owner receives payment for each qualified sale or payment for each potential customer referral. Information regarding the products and services on this website may be provided by a third party advertising such product and service on the site and therefore the correctness of such representations are unknown to the site owner who does not undertake due diligence to confirm such third party representations regarding third party advertising claims.

Resveratrol for the skin – the seductive hype is amazing

Question from a client:

I just ordered more Cell Youth Actif and Antioxidant Defense Complex from you and wondered if this new product from Skinceuticals (RESVERATROL B E) would be worth adding into my routine as well?

Short answer….save your money. YIKES $145? for something based on pure marketing hype? The antioxidant defense complex has way more antioxidants than this product (18 in total – so 15 more than this $145 marketing hyped product and almost $100 less). 

I have no idea of the size you’re getting for $145….and no idea of the full ingredient list (because they like to hide facts from people like me who know something about cosmetic ingredients and chemistry). 

Merely 1% resveratrol in a skin care product is pathetically little – even if if could do anything. The 1% of Vit E is no big deal either – many products contain Vit E merely as an antioxidant for the formula itself…and will be totally unavailable for any actual skin based antioxidant activity.With the Baicalin there are just 3 potential antioxidants in this product, and the latest studies are showing that we need a ‘concert’ of antioxidants in order to counteract Infra Red light from the sun in creating free radicals and aging the skin. Ones body requires multitudes of antioxidants in order to function properly on this planet – that’s why there are so many types of fruits and vegetables in nature. If you try eating just 1, you will be sorely undernourished and your skin will age a lot faster. Eat 5 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day and apply a multi-level antioxidant to your skin each morning. AND JUST SAY NO TO THE BS THESE MARKETING COMPANIES ARE DISHING UP…..

I have blogged about the resveratrol hype before – in 2010 and again in 2013 and yet in 2014 we are still bombarded with marketing BS about resveratrol…. RESVERATROL IS HYPE NOT FACT…IT’S NOT EVEN A SLIGHT AMOUNT OF HOPE!

Here is an excerpt from the EXCELENT article on resveratrol from the beauty bullshit blog where she talks about another marketing hyped product Juice Beauty’s CC Cream…. ‘The idea that resveratrol may be a factor in aging began in 2003 with a paper in Nature (the premiere interdisciplinary science journal) by Howitz and Sinclair entitled “Small molecule activators of sirtuins extend Saccharomyces cerevisiae lifespan”. Basically, the authors found that resveratrol stimulated the Sir2 gene, extending the lifespan of a particular species of yeast. Other researchers attempted to repeat these findings in fruitflies and in a nematode species called C. elegans, but did not succeed. Additionally, some clinical studies of resveratrol have been conducted in mammals. Unfortunately, it appears that resveratrol does NOT extend the life of mice. At last, in 2011, an article in Nature concluded that the lifespan effects of resveratrol had been significantly overstated

If you are a yeast cell, congratulations on your literacy. Maybe check out this resveratrol thing. If you are a human, though, you should know that at the present time, there are NO peer reviewed journal articles that suggest that resveratrol has any effect on people. In addition, all of the previous studies have used resveratrol in the organism’s diet. Juice Beauty’s CC Cream is topical. That’s the difference between eating some kale and rubbing kale on your face. Obviously the latter is not going to do very much. Even more fundamentally, all of this research is being done to examine the effects the organism’s overall lifespan, NOT on visual anti-aging effects.’

Skinceuticals, like Juice Beauty (and thousands of other companies) is an excellent marketing company…just wish some of them knew about skin and had some ethics….there I go trying to roll boulders up a hill…