Sunscreen Made Simple: What you Really Need to Know

UVB rays mostly cause sunburn and they are filtered by windows

UVA rays mostly cause wrinkles, sagging and aging, and they blast through windows

SPF numbers ONLY apply to UVB, and SPF 30 keeps out 97% of UVB rays

All sunscreens need to be re-applied after 2 hrs if you are out in the sun

All sunscreens need to be re-applied after swimming or sweating excessively

No sunscreen is perfect, wear a hat and apply enough to protect you

A day at the beach will require 1/4 to 1/2 an 8oz bottle of sunscreen

Different types of sunscreens protect against different types of rays

UVB chemical blockers include chemicals such as octinoxate, octisalate

UVA chemical blockers include avobenzone, and oxybenzone

Safety concerns have been raised about avobenzone, oxybenzone and other chemical blockers but only 1-5% of what you put onto your skin actually penetrates it

UVA and UVB physical blockers include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide

Chemical sunscreens need 30 minutes to bind to the skin before they are effective

Physical sunscreens, (zinc & titanium), are effective immediately

Sunscreen does not cause Vitamin D deficiency, this is a myth

Sunscreen is still necessary on cloudy days

Look for a sunscreen, like PCA, with the "Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval

PCA sunscreen has both chemical (octinoxate), and zinc oxide for full protection

PCA has a new physical only tinted sunscreen, with both zinc and titanium

Find a sunscreen you like, approved by the Skin cancer foundation, and USE IT!


Heliocare: Adding SPF from the Inside Out

What is Heliocare?

Heliocare is an extract from a tropical fern found in South America. This supplement (used both topically and orally) has been used to primarily treat dark spots or pigment for over 30 years.

Over time Heliocare scientifically known as Polypodium leucotomos Extract, has been shown to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, generalized oxidation and chemical damage. The only pure and reliable form of the extract is sold as "Heliocare" or "Fernblock" and this is the formulation that has been studied extensively.

Is Heliocare Safe to use?

Heliocare appears to be very safe. Over 40 years of published studies have not revealed any serious side effects. In one of the larger studies the individuals who took this supplement had six times lower chance of getting sunburn. In additional studies positive results were shown on allergic skin conditions, and some results for improving long term sun damage.

Can I use this instead of sunscreen?

NO! You ALWAYS need sunscreen and this supplement will never replace sunscreen. The use application for Heliocare all depends on your skin type.

How do I know how much to take?

If you are white skinned and just generally want to be protected it may be a good idea to take 1 capsule in the morning and 1 at night. If you have Melasma, the chronic brown pigment which usually springs from hormonal issues, it appears to be useful to take 2 capsules twice per day. If you are going on vacation, and are going to have more sun exposure than usual, you may want to increase to 5 capsules/day (maybe 3 in the am and 2 in the pm). You can also just try Heliocare to see how it affects your skin, as the safety of the supplement has been well established.

Normally I'm not a big fan of supplements, as I think that eating real food is far superior to anything you can get out of a pill. However, since South America is pretty far and munching on ferns doesn't seem that appetizing, Heliocare seems like a pretty good bet. It's available on Amazon, and at Walgreens.

Three is a Charm - PCA Peel #3

It's nice when the phrase Three is a Charm actually rings true in your life. Last week I had my THIRD PCA PEEL at Dr. Brown's and my skin keeps getting better and better. The results? Less pigmentation (so my skin looks more even) and more hydration.

What I didn't expect was a lesson in the different types of peels that go on our face. When Dr. Brown says she customizes every facial, she really does. I actually learned that our skin changes every 21 days. On the one hand that's a scary thought but then again, if by "change" it means we slough off old skin, then I'm all for that! The PCA Peel that Aundrea administered this time contained Salicylic Acid. Now normally I would have thought this would be strictly for acne prone patients; however, the Salicylic acid's main function is to actually increase the amount of moisture while eliminating sticky skin cells. By loosening up those sticky skin cells, the end result is shedding that old dull looking skin.

On day 2 (the day you get to wash the PCA Peel off), I was pleasantly surprised to find that while my skin felt tight, it did not feel dry. And on day 3 I was really shocked to find I wasn't peeling nearly as much as the previous 2 peels AND the fine lines above my lips appeared softer (hallelujah!).

If one of your New Year's resolution is to improve your skin, this is hands down one of the best ways to do it. Don't hesitate to call Dr. Brown's office (818.222-8232) and schedule a skin consultation. You won't regret it....more importantly, you deserve it!

The Second Peel is the Key

I know Dr. Brown wrote about the PCA Peels a few Newsletters ago and I was excited to give them a try but as always, I won’t write about anything that I haven’t experienced myself first hand. Writing this blog/testimonial gives me a chance to share what changes I have noticed so that if you’ve been hesitating to try these Peels, this should help in your decision making.

So let’s be really clear. The PCA Peel is NOT A FACIAL! Aundrea and I were discussing this last time I came in for my 2nd Peel (a series of 5 peels is what Dr. Brown recommends). I say this not to deter you but rather help you set realistic expectations. The difference between this treatment and a facial is that you actually see long lasting results! C’mon, who hasn’t enjoyed a great spa day, where the esthetician massages your face, your neck, your shoulders and you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed with that “facial glow” about you. So how long does that last? For me, not even 24hrs. And then within a week or so, my skin looks exactly the same as it did before.

So while the PCA Peel may not feel relaxing (you feel a stinging sensation but it’s totally tolerable and goes away quickly), and Aundrea may not be rubbing your toes during the session, I promise you that after the second peel you are going to LOVE YOUR SKIN!

Let me back up. When I came in for my first peel, Aundrea examined my skin and then broke the bad news that I have pigmentation all over my face (thank you high school days of worshipping the sun) and my skin was also very dry (yay! more good news). But I love the confidence Aundrea has in the PCA products because she gave me hope that this treatment process was definitely going to improve my skin texture and appearance.

After the first peel, my skin looked and felt really good. And then the shedding began. It’s called a Peel for a reason…..but it only lasts a few days and your new skin appears. My skin looked a tad bit lighter (e.g. more even) so I was satisfied with the results. But let me tell you it’s the SECOND PEEL that blew my mind. I now know what Dr. Brown means by brighter skin and yes, more even skin tone. I’m not one to wear make up very often but now that my skin looks more even (less sun spots!) I really like to show it off.

I can’t even imagine how great my skin will look after the 5th peel but clearly there’s a method to this madness and I’m definitely on board with it.

So again, for those of you hesitating to try the 5 PEEL PACKAGE, don’t wait! You will not be disappointed. And then you can be part of the Peel Junkie club like me (okay so I may not put that on my resume).

As always, don’t hesitate to call Christie with any questions and I look forward to you joining the club!

Your Face is Like a House

Imagine that your face is a house. When you are born it's perfect, as if it were just built. All the walls are strong, the paint is smooth, the floors are shiny, and the roof is tight and never lets in a drop of rain. Then years pass and the sun beats down on it day after day, the rain pours onto the roof, winters come, and slowly there are changes. But you are busy living inside this house and you barely notice the changes. Still, the roof leaks a little, the paint begins to crack and peel, and the walls slump a bit. Maybe the front door hangs a little crooked and a window breaks during a storm--some rain comes in and starts to rot the floor.

If your house goes on like this for many years and you don't notice the problems and repaint the walls, fix the roof, or replace the windows, eventually the house is going to look worn down. But you've been busy inside that house. You've had kids, done important jobs, made a life. And one day when you're a little less busy you take a look at your house and you see there's allot of work to do. And if you try to just paint the outside and ignore the leaking roof and sagging beams, it won't do the job. You’ll need to support the inside structure or the house will continue to collapse.

Imagine again that this house is your face. After many years of taking our faces for granted, we suddenly notice that things are sagging. This is a common problem. We often go to the doctor and ask for some Botox, maybe in the frown lines, which can be helpful. But this is a little like painting the house and ignoring the sagging roof. Fillers are usually more helpful than Botox because they do actually replace what we have lost: the supporting structures beneath the skin. Fillers are designed to prop up the skin just as a buttress supports a roof. Imagine filler as the supporting beams of the house. Used properly, it actually can lift the structure back up.

At Skin Renaissance we look at your face as a whole, as a house that reflects your identity. First we attempt to support the skin by replacing the deep structures that have faded over time with fillers. Then we add Botox to smooth the surfaces, and perhaps follow that with a chemical peel to seal the cracks. Then your renovation will be complete and you can effortlessly face the many and complex elements of your life.

PCA Peels Have Arrived!

Healthy Skin is Beautiful Skin

PCA Skin has scientifically formulated products that are designed to address specific skin conditions like excess pigment, acne and mature skin. Their blended peels are today's gold standard, and they are totally free of synthetic dyes and fragrances. The synergistic effect of the natural ingredients minimizes fines lines, evens skin tone, treats acne, and infuses the skin with essential antioxidants and vitamins. I have used their excellent daily care products in my practice for the past fifteen years, and have now begun using their peels.

Inflammation is the cause of many problematic skin conditions. Often overly aggressive peels irritate the skin, worsening that inflammation. People often think if a little is good, more is better. This isn't true for skin care. Gentle, slow treatment is actually best and surprisingly it delivers the most dramatic and consistent results. This is even true for Retinol, (Retin A), and the lightening ingredient hydroquinone. Typically the higher strength products can cause dryness and inflammation. Skin care is a marathon, not a sprint; slow and steady wins the race.

Since everyone's skin is unique, it makes sense to customize both daily care and a peel, and the PCA system makes that possible. Your peel will be customized by me personally. I have specific peels for all skin conditions, and while your pores are open from the peel, they will be flooded with specific ingredients needed to optimize your skin condition. The peel is self neutralizing, painless, and is left on the skin. There is basically no downtime from a PCA peel, so when you leave the office, your skin will look healthy and glowing. After a few days, you may experience some mild peeling or flaking, but most of the improvement is happening on a cellular level.

A series of peels is the most effective way to address any skin issue. Gradual change leads to the most healthy and beautiful result. This summer, (through August 30th), I am offering a special price on PCA Peel packages. The packages include a series of 5 peels, a free consult with me, products to prepare your skin for the peel, and a post procedure care kit...all for $550! Also included are extractions and microdermabrasion if I think this would effectively enhance the health of your skin.

Call Christie today to set up your appointment. You'll soon be on the road to healthy, beautiful skin!