Shellacked nails are gorgeous and a great secret for busy women. But if you get them, make sure to wear sunscreen or some sort of protective glove with the fingertips cut off during the “curing” process. You may have to work with your manicurist to iron out the details of how this could be done, but it will be worth it. Almost all nail salons use UV curing light machines to cure the shellac. If anyone tells you it won’t harm your skin, they are 100% wrong!!!! It’s like a mini tanning bed for your hands! A woman’s hands often show her age so why would anyone want to accelerate nature? UV light causes skin cancer and photoaging—YUCK!!!
“One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life. A person's risk for melanoma also doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age.” Facts about Sunburn and Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. The most preventable risk factor for developing skin cancer is sun exposure.
Children under six months of age should be kept in the shade. They cannot regulate their body temperature as effectively and get easily overheated so I recommend light weight clothing and shade. Their skin barrier is not mature so they absorb more through their skin than older children. That’s why sunscreens are not recommended in babies, especially chemical sunscreens or microionized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide; think shade!
Clothing: Older kids should have a long-sleeved rash guard and swim shorts as well as a wide brimmed hat. Avoid direct sun between 10 and 4. Bikinis are cute, in the evenings:)!
Sunscreen (face): I recommend a sunscreen stick such as the Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block (not the Continuous Protection line) or Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby for sunscreen on the face. Kids don’t seem to mind the sunscreen sticks as much as lotions and creams being smeared all over their faces. These sunscreen sticks use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active sunscreen ingredients. I like this because physical sunscreen ingredients are not chemical sunscreens which I prefer avoiding in children, and they have a slight white tint to them so you can see where you have missed. After you get the sunscreen applied thoroughly which you should be able to see, you can rub it in to decrease the white tint. The higher the concentration of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the better the protection but the whiter the look. Zany Zinc by Solar Sense is a colored facial 25% zinc oxide for faces. It’s great for the nose or cheeks under the eyes and kids think it’s fun because of the color variety.
Sunscreen (body): Creams and lotions are better for kids’ bodies because they are quicker to apply. Again, I recommend looking for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the active ingredients vs. the chemical sunscreens. Look for SPF of 30 or above. My favorite brands are Blue Lizard Australian Cream and Neutrogena Pure and Free. These can go on kind of white but that way you know where you are getting it and you can try to rub it in to take away a little of the white effect. But unless you go more with the chemical sunscreens, it is almost impossible to avoid the slight whitening of your child’s skin. But they don’t seem to mind and I’ll take a little white glow over skin cancer and premature aging any day!
I know moms love the spray sunscreens because they are quick and easy but I really recommend they only be used in time crunch emergencies which we all have. The spray sunscreens are chemical sunscreens, again which I try to avoid in children, and it’s difficult to quantify how much you are actually using and where it is going so it’s easy to overestimate the protection you are actually getting. In fact, most people don’t use enough of the spray. Reapply at least every two hours.
If you are a mom who is concerned with sunscreens because of all of the chemicals in the active and inactive ingredients and you prefer natural ingredients, check out Badger line of sunscreen products.
Dry skin is just the dead layers of skin cells called keratin at the top of the epidermis that hang on before they fall off as dust in the environment (Yuck, I know). Dry skin can be genetic and/or environmental. It occurs when there is a lack of the body’s natural oils or when the dead skin hangs on too long. If you’re genetically programmed to produce less oils or if your skin has qualities that cause it to be more adherent (there are actually proteins in skin cells that “glue” skin cells together), your skin will be more dry. Lack of humidity also contributes to this, and that’s why dry skin is often worse during the winter months and in places where the climate is more arid.
Moisturizers help in two ways. They are a supplement to the body’s own oils, even though there is no real substitute for your own internally produced oils. In addition, they create a barrier that helps the body retain its own oils and moisture, and this barrier also protects against arid environments drawing moisture out the skin. Because they are not constantly produced internally, however, moisturizers are only a temporary fix, and that’s why your skin looks great immediately after you put it on but later in the day you’re likely to be dry again. Part of the reason moisturizers make your skin look better is that they instantly hydrate dry ruffled dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.
There are many good moisturizers out there, and you have to find one that suits your unique skin. Some of the moisturizers I recommend are Cetaphil, Eucerin and Aveeno. My personal favorite is CeraVe. I have very dry skin, and I like CeraVe cream because it’s a heavy moisturizer while not being greasy and it spreads easily. I use it on my face and body every night. On my face I put it on top of my retinoid after my retinoid has dried. If you are looking for a lighter moisturizer, try CeraVe lotion instead of cream.
If you can afford it, you should consider doing microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is the removal of the dead cells of the outermost keratin layer and sometimes some of the epidermal skin layer by mechanical friction and suction. It should be distinguished from “dermabrasion,” which is a much deeper, heavy duty procedure with a lot of patient downtime. Unlike dermabrasion, microdermabrasion has never been proven to do anything permanently…but it does make your skin feel temporarily softer and can also temporarily minimize fine lines. How does it do this? It causes slight, non-visible swelling and thus stretching of the skin. It also creates a softer light reflection off of your skin by the slight skin swelling and removal of ruffled, uneven skin layers.
So if you have a big event like a wedding or a high school reunion, consider planning it a couple days before. However, I never recommend doing anything for the first time before a big event in case you have a poor outcome, which is possible. For example, it can cause you to be red or too puffy. There are different levels of treatment aggressiveness and different machines available, so make sure to consult with your dermatologist before undergoing this procedure. Consider treating yourself to this procedure once or twice—it’s fun!
If you like longer, thicker eyelashes, this one is a no brainer as long as you can afford it. Latisse is a prescription solution that you put on the base of your upper eyelashes like eyeliner. Unlike mascaras that just create an optical illusion of thicker eyelashes, Latisse is the real deal and actually grows thicker and longer lashes. You can get a prescription from your dermatologist. The recommended dose is one drop per eyelid brushed on the base of your upper lashes once daily. One cost-saving tip: once you get the desired results, I recommend decreasing the frequency of application to twice weekly, and you can usually get by with one drop shared between both eyes for maintenance.