Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Sun Protection for Your Lips – Part II June 29, 2010

Back in February I wrote a post about how your lips needs sun protection just as much as the rest of your body.  Now that it is summer I thought it would be a good idea to mention that fact again.  Luckily it is very easy to find lip products with spf in them, and even better there are products for every price range and every lip product preference.


Why Your Lips Need Sun Protection


Our lips need sun protection because they are exposed to the sun 365 days a year, the skin on the lips is thinner than the skin on the rest of your body, and the lips have no melanin.  No melanin equals no sun protection.  Over time sun exposure destroys collagen and that is why our lips thin as we age.  So using a broad spectrum (protects from UVA and UVB rays) helps to both protect our lips from skin cancer and from sagging and aging in the future. 

Keep one more thing in mind – lipstick and lip gloss do not provide sun protection unless they have an added spf in them.  Be sure to see if your favorite lip product with spf provides both UVA and UVB protection.  Shiny lip gloss actually attracts light to the lips and increases your risk of skin cancer.


Lip Products with spf


The following list of products is not meant as an endorsement but rather as a guide.  I haven’t tried every product myself and truthfully haven’t researched them extensively to know if they provide enough UVA and UVB protection.  In my opinion using a lip product with spf year round is extremely important so if your favorite lip product provides UVB protection but not UVA than that is a good start in my opinion.



If you have a favorite lip product with spf in it please share!


Source:  Simple Skin Beauty by Ellen Marmur, MD – Page 134


Gift Idea for the Men in Your Life June 27, 2010


My husband has little interest in the myriad of skincare products that are poised to take over our bathroom.  So it was a great surprise to me when he showed an interest in Dermalogica’s shave products.   I had received a sample of the products and passed them along to my husband not expecting much of a response from him, but my husband not only liked the products he asked if I could get him so more.

A great way to introduce these products to the men in your life is through the Dermalogica Shave System Kit.  The kit contains five sample size products – daily clean scrub, pre-shave guard, soothing shave cream, post-shave balm, and defense block spf 15 – for $35.  The products are the perfect size for airline travel, by the way.  So if your husband travels as much for work as mine does and never checks a bag he doesn’t need to worry about having these products confiscated from him at airport security (and in case you might be thinking the TSA has let up on that policy – think again.  My mother just had a jar of jam confiscated from her at airport security).

The products are said to be for all skin types.

You can order online through Dermalogica or buy online or in stores through Ulta.


Does Order Matter? How to Apply Your Skincare Products June 24, 2010

Filed under: beauty,Skincare products — askanesthetician @ 6:18 am
Tags: , , , , ,

If you use multiple serums and lotions on your face both in the morning and the evening it can be confusing to know when to apply what.   So how do you apply your products so that you get the results that you want?

The way to apply multiple serums is actually not too complicated.  Keep the following in mind:

  • Apply from thinnest consistency to the thickest
  • Apply the serums with the least color first

Be sure to stop and allow your serums to penetrate before applying another product.  I would suggest applying a serum, brushing your teeth for example, and then going on to the next step in your routine.

After applying your treatment serums apply your moisturizer if you are using one.  If the moisturizer that you are using does not contain spf protection apply your sunscreen.  Then apply your make-up.

Keep in mind that there are some products that you should not apply at the same time since the active ingredients cancel one another out.  For a list of those ingredients see my earlier post:  No Mixing Allowed.


Further Reading:


Inexpensive Make-up Worth Trying June 22, 2010

If you like to change your make-up look often or just enjoy trying out make-up trends then you know that this can be an expensive hobby.  Luckily there are two inexpensive make-up lines that you can buy in order to experiment and not break the bank along the way – e.l.f  and Essence.

I’ve known about e.l.f., which stands for eyes, lips, face, for a while and mentioned before in this blog.  Their range of products is very extensive plus their prices cannot be beat.  I would suggest reading the online reviews before buying a product, though with the average cost per product being around $1 even if you purchase something you aren’t thrilled with it isn’t like you wasted a lot of money.  You can purchase e.l.f. online (though then you have to pay for shipping so the cost goes up) or at some Target stores.  My local Target has a small selection of e.l.f. products.  Or you can purchase some e.l.f. products online through Target.  Be sure to sign-up on the e.l.f. e-mail list – you’ll get almost daily emails about specials and sales.

I discovered Essence make-up recently when shopping at my local Ulta.  I had two dollars left on a gift card, and I wanted to buy a bronzer/blush combo.  Right before I gave up finding a product I wanted I spotted the Essence display and lo and behold there was a bronzer/blush combo for two dollars!  I’ve been quite pleased with my purchase.  The other day I needed an eyeliner sharpener and found a great one from Essence that sharpens two sizes of eyeliners – regular and jumbo.  Prices average about $2.50 a product.  You can buy Essence online through Ulta or in Ulta stores.

Have fun playing with your make-up!


Will Ferrell Sunscreen – I Kid You Not June 20, 2010

I don’t even remember any more why I was looking at the Fred Flare website in the first place.  But as I was tooling around the site I came across what I thought at first was a joke: Will Ferrell endorsed sunscreen  which benefits Cancer for College.  My husband is a big Will Ferrell fan so I thought buying him this sunscreen as part of a Father’s Day gift would be fun and a great surprise as well.

It turns out that Will Ferrell is a long time friend of the guy who founded the non-profit organization Cancer for College.  Craig Pollard founded Cancer for College after battling and surviving cancer twice before he turned 20.  Realizing that many families use up all their savings just to save the lives of their kids who have cancer he wanted to help those kids realize their dream of going to college.  The non-profit holds an annual golf tournament fundraiser which Will Ferrell always participates in, and now Ferrell has also lent his name and image (well partial image) to a sunscreen whose proceeds benefit the group.

The sunscreen is spf 30 and has a lightweight feel.  It went on easily and sunk in quickly.  I definitely recommend it for use this summer.

You can buy the Will Ferrell sunscreen through the Cancer for College website, Fred Flare, and even Amazon.


Clothes That Provide Sun Protection June 17, 2010

Depending on where you live summer has already begun (or never left) or it is just around the corner.  I’ve written again and again and again in this blog about using your sunscreen daily and reapplying it as well.  I thought it best to shift gears a bit and write about another way to get proper sun protection – by wearing sun protective clothes and hats.

It turns out that a standard white t-shirt only provides a protection of SPF 5 when dry and 2 when wet.  The darker or more tightly woven your clothes are the more sun protection they provide (truthfully I don’t know the spf ratings for those clothes), but many of us don’t wear clothes like that during the summer.  As the heat intensifies our clothes get lighter and well frankly generally shorter and smaller. 

You can buy sun protective clothing that is made to absorb ultraviolet light.  Usually light-weight polyester, nylon, cotton jersey, or linen these clothes have a tight, nonporous weave and the material is treated with sunscreens.  Sun protective clothing has a UPF rating or ultraviolet protective factor rating which is regulated by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Products Commission (CPSC).  UPF ratings vary from 30 to 50.  The fabrics used for these types of clothing are durable, and the sun protection cannot be washed out over time.

A few sources for sun protective clothes areCoolibar,  Solumbra, BloqUV, and Shady Lady Products.   Shady Lady Products is a particularly good site since they have items for adults and kids including clothes, hats, sunglasses, sunscreens, and stroller covers – among many other things.



Another Option:  Wash The Sun Protection Into Your Clothes


You can actually wash sun protection into your clothes using a product called SunGuard.  After you’ve laundered your clothes with this detergent like product your clothes will have a UPF 30 protection factor, and the treated clothes stay that way for up to 20 washings.  This product is very affordable – one package costs $1.99 (plus shipping).



Sun Protective Clothes for Your Kids


It is actually very easy and affordable to buy sun protective swim wear for your kids.  I’ve purchased numerous items for my son at Target, Old Navy, and even the Disney store (Buzz Lightyear waterproof swim hat anyone?).  As mentioned above you can wash your kids day-to-day clothes with SunGuard in order to give them UPF 30 protection.   And there is always The One Step Ahead  and Shady Lady Products for more sun protective gear for your kids.  For more information about protecting your kids from the sun see my earlier post:  Sun Care for Your Baby and Child.


And Don’t Forget Your Hat


Another excellent way to protect your face, neck, and ears from the sun is a hat.  The websites cited above have hats for sale with UPF protection or consider buying from Village Hat Shop .  If you like hats in general this is a great website.  I have tons of hair and a large head (really) and can never just buy a hat off the shelf in a store, but I found the perfect sun hat on this website.  Depending on the hat they can be very affordable as well.  Also consider buying a hat from Wallaroo Hat Company – they have a great selection for women, men, and children.


 Source and Further Reading:   Simple Skin Beauty by Ellen Marmur, MD – pages 135-136



Body Acne June 15, 2010

Filed under: Acne — askanesthetician @ 5:52 am
Tags: , , , , , ,


For many people acne is not just a problem on their face – they experience breakouts on their chest and back as well.   Of course, this can be as distressing as facial acne particularly as summer approaches and you want to wear a bathing suit or more revealing clothing.

The above illustration does a great job at representing the most common areas of on the body that breakout .  Why do the red areas above break-out the most?  Because that is where the sebaceous glands, or oil glands, are most concentrated on the body.  The above illustration also highlights the groin and buttocks area which can experience breakouts as well or what appears to be breakouts.  If you breakout in your groin or buttocks area it is important to see a dermatologist in order to investigate what exactly the breakouts in those areas are. 

The reasons for breaking out on your chest and back are the same reasons why you breakout on your face – clogged pores and bacteria.  To understand more why one breaks out see my earlier posts:  How Acne Forms and What Causes Acne.


Treatment Options for Body Acne


Treat your body acne like you would your facial acne.  The main frustration with treating back acne is not being able to properly reach the area that you want to treat.  There are a few ways to get around that issue.  You can use a loofah or sponge on a stick to reach your back when cleansing in the shower. sells a buddy body that helps you apply lotions and creams to your back.   Or if your anti-acne product is in a liquid form (like a toner) transfer it to a spray bottle so you can reach your back with ease.  If all else fails enlist someone in your household to help you apply your anti-acne products on your back.

Some body acne can be brought under control just by gently cleansing the skin and then applying a benzoyl peroxide cream or lotion in the evening.  I suggest using benzoyl peroxide in the evening since it can bleach fabric, and you don’t want to ruin your clothes.  Remember to exfoliate those areas like you would your face a few times a week.  Using an exfoliating product with salicylic acid would be perfect for body acne.

If your chest and back acne is more severe I suggest cleansing with a salicylic acid cleanser and then applying a benzoyl peroxide lotion or cream nightly.  In the morning you could tone those areas with a salicylic acid toner. 

Make sure that your body wash or soap doesn’t contain ingredients that can clog your pores like coconut oil.  And never use any form of alcohol to treat your body acne!  Alcohol is far too drying for anyone’s skin. 

When you use sunscreen on those areas be sure to use an oil-free one.  For instance, just use your facial sunscreen on those area. 

Shower immediately after exercising so that sweat and grime doesn’t have a chance to settle in your pores and clog them.  Make sure that you wear breathable fabric clothes so that sweat doesn’t get trapped on your back and chest.  Avoid irritating those areas or rubbing those areas too much.  There could be a small chance that your fabric softener is leaving a waxy residue on your clothes and aggravating your acne.  Experiment – forgo using fabric softener in your next two or three washes and see if that helps your body acne.

For those of you with long hair make sure that when your hair is covered in conditioner it isn’t sitting on your back while you shower.  After applying conditioner to your hair clip your hair up on top of your head until you are ready to rinse it out.  Conditioners contain a large number of heavy, fatty ingredients that can clog pores.

If none of the above suggestions help your body acne be sure to see a dermatologist for prescription products.



Recommended Products




Sources and Further Reading



%d bloggers like this: