More Reasons to Avoid Tanning Beds

Ok, no one is going to say that tanning bed exposure isn’t bad for you. It is. Big time. People in the industry call them “cancer boxes.” Yikes. In any event, there is news coming out now that saying that if you’re on certain types of medication, you are at a high risk for complications and problems. I’ve always been told that if you have a few areas of blemishes or eruptions, a trip through the tanning bed can clear it up—or at least get it under control. Well. Maybe not so much.

If you are “self diagnosing,” which if you’re honest, we all kind of are, and sending yourself to the tanning bed, you could be in trouble. If your skin eruptions are actually eczema or psoriasis, the tanning bed could help. BUT, if the eruption is caused by a reaction to your medication, tanning beds are dangerous.

For instance, there was a study about a patient that went to the tanning bed for a mild skin rash. Apparently the patient didn’t realize that they had an allergy to ibuprofen. They did the tanning bed, the skin hyper reacted to the UV light and the patient was covered in severe blisters. It was called toxic epidermal necrolysis or TEN, this is a life-threatening skin disorder that can attack your skin and other tissues. TEN can cause hemorrhaging, respiratory failure, vision abnormalities and digestive track complications, even a multi-system organ failure.

The next study took notice of a patient’s skin and noticed very high levels of protein that was the reason for their inflamed skin. The researchers used lab tests and studies to show that normal skin cells when exposed to the protein for inflammation and UV radiation (of the tanning bed variety) produced HUGE levels of protein. So, if you already have too much protein and you do tanning beds, it creates more protein and you can see more allergic reactions.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone looks better with a pop of bronze, a little touch of sun. The perceived benefits of tanning beds are just that—perceived. I hope we are way over the whole “let me cure my rashes with a tanning bed.” I think they’re gross, I think that they are awful AWFUL for your skin. I think that a little glow is fine, but with the technological advances in self-tanning lotions, there’s really no reason to do these tanning beds.

The bottom line—tanning beds are bad news. Go see your derm before you sit in one, just in case.

Have a great day!!

toodles

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No More Ingrown Hairs or Razor Burn

The summer sun is here and you’re wearing more skirts and shorts. If you didn’t spend the whole winter waxing, (like I did) you’ll be shaving more. My leg skin is weird, it is SUPER sensitive and I’m always trying to liberate the ingrown hairs. I also find that my lower legs don’t tan, it all happens on my upper thighs…weird.

There are tons of different types of products that promise to save you from razor burn and ingrown hairs. They all seem super expensive and who has the time?! I want pretty skin now. lol. I did a little bit of research and did some serious legwork. I have reverse engineered a few of these products to give you a homemade recipe. If you have sensitive skin or if you routinely get razor burn or suffer from ingrown hairs, this home made recipe can help. You can also try it on your acne or as an exfoliation treatment. It works to take off your rogue self-tanner as well. I gave this recipe to a few of my friends who are dancers and they LOVED it. (And who shaves more than strippers, right?)

NOTE: If you are ALLERGIC TO ASPIRIN YOU CANNOT USE THIS.

Uncoated aspirin
70% alcohol
Witch Hazel
A measuring cup or bottle
2 bottles used to shake mixtures
1 8oz or more bottle or container to keep finished product

1. Pour 5.5oz of 70% alcohol into one bottle.
2. Drop 18 uncoated aspirin into the alcohol. Cap bottle and shake.
3. Pour 2.5oz of witch hazel into the second bottle.
4. Drop 8 uncoated aspirin into the witch hazel. Cap bottle and shake.
5. Wait awhile (30 minutes to a whole day) for the aspirin to dissolve in the liquids. Shake periodically to help dissolve aspirin and mix. NOTE: not all of the aspirin will dissolve. That’s ok- some of it never will.
6. Now combine both the alcohol and witch hazel mixtures together into one bottle. Make sure you shake it up before you pour them out so you also get the aspirin residue into the new bottle.

So, go nuts. Try it before or after, see which works better for you. I have been using this stuff after I wash my face, twice a day. My skin is hella soft and it seems to have cleared up a bit. I also heard that it can be used as a deodorant…Who knew. Mix up a batch and let me know what you think.

Wear those shorts with pride!

toodles

Skin Cell Dust Improves your Air Quality?

This could be gross, but interesting nonetheless. Humans shed their entire outer layer of skin every 2-4 weeks. It works out to about 500 million cells every day! These sloughed off skin cells contain skin oils, cholesterol and something called “squalene.” These dead skin cells are the major component of household dust, the stuff on tables, lamps, mantles, etc. Research has come out saying that these squalene from the cells can actually decrease household areas of ozone. Ozone is a pollutant that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat; it worsens asthma symptoms, etc.

Over the past few years, scientists have noticed that squalene will actually perform an oxidation chemistry process inside indoor environments. They actually studied the levels of squalene on airplanes. More than half of the ozone removal measured in the cabin was because of the way that ozone reacted to skin cells in the air, and the cells of skin, hair and the passengers’ clothing. They studied the air quality, noticing this phenomenon.

So, perhaps that dust isn’t so bad. If you don’t have any houseplants (they cut the ozone and improve the air quality) maybe consider leaving that thin layer of dusty squalene…? Ugh. No, never mind. It is still gross.

Have a good weekend!

Ahhhh Spr-ummer.

Sprummer. It’s a hybrid of Spring and Summer–in case you didn’t get that. The weather is amazing–it’s the kind of weather that makes you want to be outside EVERY SECOND. It’s sunshiny, but still cool. I have been enjoying the sun and cool sprummer breezes that come with it. I’ve been super active, running, biking, hiking. I even have a little bike basket so I can bring my dog with me on bike rides. (Yeah, I’m THAT guy. lol.) I will get you a pic–it’s awesome. lol.

It also seems like everyone is having barbecues and back yard parties! I love this in between, not sweltering but not too cold for a tank top. I’ve also been looking around for the best sunblock, now I just use whatever I can find over 35SPF. They say that they can’t prove that the sunblock doesn’t work harder over 35. But, I know if I’m covered in a 50SPF, I can keep my complexion lighter–and protected!

So, I’m really just rambling. I will be back on track later this week–forecast calls for rain. Boooo! Right now I’m just loving the outdoors. I am going to do some research on the best bug sprays and sunblock. Once I get indoors, I will begin reading more.

I hope you’re enjoying your Sprummer! lol

toodles

They’re Growing Artificial Skin!

Cornell scientists have created improved skin grafts that improve vascular growth that speed healing. These grafts encourage the healthy skin to invade the “wounded” area, reducing the need for future reparative surgeries.

These dermal plates were engineered in a lab at Cornell. The skin plates are made of biomaterials, experimental tissue. These plates are the size of a dime with the consistency of tofu. (I hate that reference.) They’re made of type 1 collagen, that is a very well-regulated biomaterials that is used in surgeries and other “biomedical” applications. These little plates contain actual networks of little channels that will help grow back healthy tissue at wound sites.

The scientists said that the biggest challenge was keeping the grafts alive long enough to help it grow back the healthy tissue and then re-absorbs into the body. These grafts actually promote the ingrowth of a vascular system. (That is the network of vessels that carry blood and circulate fluid through the body, serving the wounded area with a fresh flow of healing blood.) They even set up a template for the skin to heal down to the dermis level (the deepest layer of the skin). The collagen is compatible with the body, but it doesn’t have any living cells, so that will reduce the body’s concerns about rejection of the graft.

They’re saying with this type of technology, they are soon going to be able to create grafts that can act as a wound covering. So we’d be like unstoppable! You get a cut, you lay that skin template over the gash and finish out your day. I mean, in a nut shell, I’m sure we’re a few years out. lol.

These artificial skin templates are able to cut the healing time and cover the wound while offering no risk of rejection. Your body is recreating your body’s skin AND vascular systems while it covers and protects. Holy crap. One down side will be that they take a long time to “install” into the patient. But I think that is because of the depth of healing you are going to experience. It also takes a lot of time because the nature of the application has a risk of infection. They are also working with skin covers with a polymer mesh that will speed up the whole process.

Can you imagine? What could this mean for people undergoing plastic surgery? Can it work for that too? And the regenerative thing with the collagen, what might that mean for our anti-aging battle!

What is Phototherapy?

Phototherapy or Light Therapy is being used to treat acne. What is Phototherapy? The concept uses the idea that you can kill the bacteria that actually causes your acne, this is done before it ever sees the light of day. It will also stimulate your skin to create new skin cells faster.

The treatment will use light wave machines to create different types of light waves. Depending on your problems, they will create narrow, light wave spectrums, special, high-intensity Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) that your skin cells will absorb. Then, the light is converted into chemical energy. This gets the skin moving at a cellular level.

The light waves are precise; they get under the skin to kill the acne causing bacteria. It is supposed to do so without causing dryness/redness. It is supposed to be painless, too. Some of the light waves are powerful enough to get to the collagen producing level—that gets your cell growth going, giving you the renewal that you want.

I have read that most people see the results after about a week of these daily treatments. If you have the reallllly bad acne, it could be more like a month of treatments. I am pretty curious about this therapy…has anyone had it?

Toodles

Mother’s Day: Belated and Better than Ever

If your mom is anything like mine, she says she doesn’t want anything for Mother’s Day. And then she’ll tell you that you spent WAY too much on anything that you do get her. Typically, I go all out for my parents on their special days. It is really the only time that I can spend money on them and not feel guilty. Gotta love the moms.

SO, Mother’s Day is my permission to spoil her rotten! She has been looking into a certain high priced facial brush system. The facial brush system is top notch, it mimics the type of cleansing that a facial offers. It comes with a couple different attachments for varying levels of exfoliation. There is even a little pad for the elbows, feet and chest/shoulders!

This brush system is designed to take off all of her makeup; it will also speed up the absorption of products–especially Vitamin C. Why buy expensive products if you can’t get them to penetrate? This brush system is the answer. It will also gently remove the layers of dead skin so that her new summer skin can shine through.

I double checked and it is gentle enough to use twice a day. It will also help buff out those fine lines, smoothing the overall look. And, of course, I am DYING to take it for a test drive.