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Eastbay Skin Care,
as seen in...
Diablo magazine...

Sunny Side Up!

by Lynn M. Cowie, C.E.
Founder, Eastbay Acne & Skin Care Clinic, Inc.

Here's a new approach to summer:

  "Stay out of the sun!"

I knew you wouldn't like it! And, because that bronze glow is so alluring, I can almost guarantee you're going to ignore my summertime advise.  However, when you realize that your skin has acquired the texture of microwaved bacon, you may say "my beachcombing days are over." 

There are several reason this is unrealistic.  It's difficult to avoid the sun altogether, and some sun is good for you.  But, you can do the next best thing: protect your skin from serious damage from ultraviolet rays. The truth is, no tan is safe. Tanning is your skin's natural defense against ultraviolet rays. The pigment melanin helps to prevent radiation from altering the skin's cellular DNA. When we're young, our body's remarkable repair mechanism fixes or eliminates damaged DNA. But the repairs are seldom complete, and the damage is cumulative. The DNA damage that isn't repaired is a time bomb that comes back to haunt us years later in the form of skin cancer. Over time, as we age, the risk of skin cancer increases, depending on our history of sun exposure.

Minimize Hazardous Ray Exposure
Plan outdoor activities to take place early in the morning or late afternoon, because the midday sun causes the most damage to your skin. This counsel is fine for weekdays, when most of us are indoors during the peak danger hours of 10 AM to 4PM. But on weekends, your first instinct should be to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your first exposure. Unlike moisturizer, which works best on moist skin, sunscreen should be applied to dry skin; water and perspiration diminish its effectiveness. While burning UVB rays are strongest midday, equally dangerous UVA radiation is present dawn to dusk, even on overcast days. In fact, cloudy days have a higher percentage of burning, skin damaging rays than do sunny days. So, you need sunscreen whenever you're outside for an extended period.

The Number One Cause of
Prematurely Aging Skin is UV Exposure

High in the atmosphere, the ozone layer used to filter out much of the sun's UV rays. Scientific evidence has shown that the ozone layer has diminished significantly, allowing more UV radiation to reach the earth's surface. It has become vital to guard against excessive UV exposure. In most cases, it's sun exposure that causes wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. I recommend that you select a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of 30, or higher, and reapply it after you perspire or swim.

Your Skin is The Number One Priority
When applying sunscreen, remember sensitive places: the neck, and décolletage (low neckline) areas, hands, tops of feet, ears, lips, and bald spots.  Apply it 30 minutes before exposure to allow the sunscreen to penetrate the skin so it will be ready to work for you.  Choose clothing with a tight weave or fabrics with natural SPF or unbleached cotton, high-luster polyesters and some silks. Wear a wide brimmed hat.  More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by the sun, and most of them are found on the head and neck.  Remember to protect your eyes, too, with UV-blocking, polarizing sunglasses.  Like your skin, eyes can get "cooked" too!

When you first begin sunbathing, limit exposures to a few minutes, gradually increasing sun time each day.

The Operative Word is "Protection"
but it often becomes a question of how much can your skin tolerate.
To understand the amount of protection offered by the SPF, the formula is:

 60 minutes 
 -----------  = equivalent unprotected exposure minutes per hour

Thus, 60 minutes divided by #30 = 2 unprotected minutes each hour. 
In an 8 hour day of intense sun that's equivalent to about 16 minutes of unprotected exposure - enough radiation to give most fair-skinned people some color.

Establish a Daily Sunscreen Habit
Place your sunscreen next to your toothpaste and apply it every morning, rain or shine, 365 days a year. It's an important habit that may just 'save your skin' about 20 to 30 years from now. Also, keep in mind that sunscreen does not start working immediately ~ be sure to give it adequate absorption time.
You're at risk for the first 20 to 30 minutes. At EBAC, we sell several excellent sunscreens for every skin type and condition.

If you get a sunburn
Bathe gently in cool or tepid (lukewarm) water using a gentle cleanser, then apply a cortisone cream or Karin Herzog's 3% Oxygen Body Cream. Over the next 12 hours, apply cold compresses and take an oral, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine*.  Do not cover the affected area with oily preparations like butter or petroleum jelly - they restrict oxygenation and slow healing.  If pain or inflammation is severe, consult a physician.
Discontinue use
of potentially irritating glycolics and benzoyl peroxide preparations (for treating acne) until the burn has healed. 
If sunburn or inflammation is painful or severe, consult your physician.

As always, observe all warnings and precautions when taking any medication.

If you still want some color
Self-tanning products are a wonderful substitute for the real thing. I recommend TanTowels, or Jan Marini Skin Research's Sunless Self-Tanner.
For deep, even-toned results use these products after cleansing with a glycolic cleanser.

Be Safe!

  • Apply sunscreen daily - SPF 20 or higher - two or more times per day - making sure you cover sensitive areas 
  • Acclimate you skin to sun exposure, gradually increasing exposure over the first few days
  • Avoid the intense midday sun 
  • Reapply sunscreen after perspiring or swimming

...and keep your Sunny Side Up!


Eastbay Skin Care offers a variety of sunscreens online.

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