skin cancer

Beauty, Skin, Uncategorized

Lip Service: 8 Ways To Pamper Your PoutFeatured

Did you know lip care is skin care?

Like the rest of your skin, your lips have a stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) — but this protective layer is thinner on lips than on any other skin on your body. Combine that with a lack of oil glands (lips rely on saliva for moisture), absence of melanin (your skin’s natural pigment and protection against UV rays), and you’ve got one sensitive organ.
Your skincare just isn’t complete without lip care. Here are 8 ways to pamper your pout:

Featured, Skin

DermatALLogy's Mission to Fight Skin Cancer in Costa Rica

Costa Ricans suffer from the highest rates per capita of skin cancer in the world. We spoke to Laura Muller Steinvorth of DermatALLogy — a Costa Rican organization focused on skin safety — about her mission to increase awareness about sun damage among the Costa Rican population, and about how they’ve been working with the country’s dermatologists since 2007 to provide high quality products focused on skin and sun protection.

How did DermatALLogy start, and why the focus on skin cancer?

DermatALLogy was started 12 years ago by my mother-in-law, Marina Ramirez, under the advice of one of the most respected dermatologists in Costa Rica, Dra. Hernandez. For many years, now, Costa Rica has been suffering from one of the highest rates per capita of skin cancer in the world. In 2016, Costa Rica was the number one country in terms of rate of skin cancer incidence per capita (Australia being the top country in absolute numbers). Every four hours, a new case of skin cancer is diagnosed in the country, and many dermatologists agree that this is an underestimation.

What do experts think is the reason for this high rate of skin cancer in Costa Rica?

Unfortunately, most if not all Costa Ricans do not apply sunscreen. If they apply any, they apply it only once, early in the day in a non-homogeneous manner, and many times using just a small quantity, and often of a lower-quality sunscreen. DermatALLogy was created in 2007 with the mission to increase the awareness of the Costa Rican population about sun damage, and to provide them with a way to protect themselves against the sun’s harmful radiation.

We see that same problem in several other countries. Thank you for helping to raise awareness about not only how important using sunscreen is, but how often to apply, how much to use, and what quality of protection to look for!

It’s why DermatALLogy started with a strong focus in sun protection, offering solutions ranging from UPF (SPF) 50+ clothing and accessories, oncological head-wraps for cancer patients, to the highest quality of dermo-cosmetics.

We know that DermatALLogy has since begun to offer other types of care for the skin. Tell us more about that.

We diversified into broader skincare that focused on additional issues such as skin allergies and anti-aging solutions. Studies show that 1 out of 4 people has a reaction from contact with common ingredients in cosmetics — in Costa Rica it is 1 out of 3.
Each and every one of DermatALLogy’s products is recommended by dermatologists, the Skin Cancer Foundation and/or the Melanoma International Foundation. We do not carry all SKUs from a given brand, but rather the SKUs that dermatologists recommend as the best for certain conditions. DermatALLogy is a “support store” for dermatologists and patients who know that by entering DermatALLogy, they will find the best care for their specific problems.

How does DermatALLogy work with top dermatologists from the country?

The idea of DermatALLogy came from one of the very top dermatologists in the country. Dermatologists had been asking for years for such products to start being imported into Costa Rica. Now, DermatALLogy products are sold in many of the top dermatology clinics all around Costa Rica. Some dermatologists even ally with us by setting up a DermatALLogy store within their clinics. We regularly visit doctors to:

  • Sell them DermatALLogy products
  • Have them send patients to DermatALLogy stores
  • Ally with them commercially on a deeper level
  • Ask them for advice on DermatALLogy portfolio improvement
  • Participate in national events with dermatologists
  • Register with the Health Ministry products they wish to have in Costa Rica
  • Send them new patients
  • Create marketing campaigns and awareness events, ask them to participate with us on National TV/Radio…etc.
  • Go with their medical teams to international conferences/events.

DermatALLogy is a company that imports and distributes UPF50 + and other products recommended by dermatologists. Their mission is to provide Costa Rican consumers with high quality, safe and effective skin care products, aspiring specifically to contribute to a culture where Costa Ricans take care of their skin by protecting it from the sun. Laura Muller Steinvorth is also a painter and landscape photographer. 

Healthy Living, Skin

Saving Your Skin — All Year Round & No Matter Your Age, Race, or Gender — Could Save Your Life

Just because you don’t bake in the sun for hours — or are young, or are brown — doesn’t mean your skin is as safe as it could be. Read on for ways that you might be getting more sun exposure than you think, and why daily sunscreen, indoors and out, and all year round, is a really good idea.

“I Never Go Out In The Sun”

If you use tanning beds you’re still at risk.

“I Never Tan”

UVA penetrates windows and windshields, and sun damage is cumulative (meaning the little you get while crossing the street counts). Remember the famous photo from the New England Journal of Medicine of a 69-year-old man with marked photo damage on the left side of his face from over twenty years of driving his delivery truck? As the Huffington Post reported, “Driving has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer due to sun exposure through the windows, which do not filter UVA rays. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology concluded more cases involved the left arm and left side of the face, according to the CBC.”

“I’m a Guy…I Don’t Need Sunscreen”

More men get skin cancer than women.

“I’m Too Young To Worry About Skin Cancer”

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the 25-29 age group, and the second most common form of cancer among people aged 15-29.

“I Only Spend Time Outdoors When The Sun Is Already Setting…Or In The Winter!”

Glare off of the water right before the sun goes down, and bouncing off of snow, can double your exposure.

“I’m Too Dark To Get Skin Cancer…It’s A White Person’s Problem”

Reggae legend Bob Marley died of melanoma. Skin cancer affects all races and all skin tones.

“My Moles Are Fine…They’re Small And Don’t Change” or “That’s Just a Mark, It’s Harmless”

That’s only as far as you know. You may not be seeing all the moles on your body or may not recognize some marks as warning signs. And some changes are too microscopic to notice with the naked eye (why mole mapping and skin cancer screening are so important).
As you can see, unless you are an actual mole (the mammal) and live underground, or a mole rat which some studies show are immune to cancer (and if you’re either, congratulations on the reading!) there’s almost nothing that makes you immune to skin cancer. Practice sun avoidance and use sun protection daily.

Be safe:

  1. Stay out of the sun.
  2. Apply sunscreen daily, all year round, indoors or out.
  3. Don’t be shy about application, especially when outdoors: slather it on and reapply every 1-2 hours.
  4. When outdoors, wear hats, long sleeves and cover-ups.
  5. Get an annual skin cancer screening and mole mapping.
Featured, Skin

Sunscreen Isn't Just For Summer (And Your Laptop Could Be Causing Your Dark Spots)Featured

Sunscreen isn’t a summer thing.

It’s as daily a must as brushing your teeth: both help you look great and prevent serious damage!

You’re not out frolicking in the sun? It’s important to remember that sun damage is cumulative — every bit of exposure adds up. Your skin doesn’t “reset” when you’re back in the shade (and UVA is present on cloudy days). The little bit of sun you’re exposed to when walking from the arrival terminal to your car, or crossing the street for your morning latte, adds to whatever damage occurred while beach baking last year (it’s why a bad sunburn in childhood can increase the risk of melanoma…the risk doubles, on average, with more than five sunburns). Applying sunscreen every day ensures you’re protected from accidental exposure.

Featured, Skin

Keep Your Sunscreen Next To Your Toothpaste: 30-Day Healthy Skin ChallengeFeatured

Repeat to self: sunscreen every day, all year round.

Sunscreen is a daily necessity.
This may be the single most important skin tip you ever learn: wear sunscreen every single day, whether you’re spending the day indoors or outdoors, and all year round. Like brushing your teeth…just do it every day.
Sunscreen is arguably the single most important thing you can do for your skin and overall health. It prevents skin cancer — which is deadly but is also one of the most preventable cancers. It prevents (and can even help lighten) dark spots — which come from the sun but also indoor lights like lamps and computer screens. And, it prevents photo-aging — wrinkles, sagging, fine lines.
For more on how sunscreen saves you from the sun, indoor light, skin cancer, and more, check out these articles:

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

How To Look Good? BE Good.Featured

We all age. That’s just what living organisms do. But what more and more research is showing is that we can affect how we age — how quickly, how severely, how visibly.

We know, for example, that even if you have diabetes in the family, improved nutrition, careful monitoring and daily exercising may keep you from developing it yourself. More kids are getting acne at younger ages and children as young as age 9 are now given simple acne treatments and regimens, reducing the severity of or even preventing acne altogether, even if both parents had it. Genes are not the all-powerful, written-in-stone determinants that we once thought they were. Stunning new studies in epigenetics are showing how gene modifications might be influenced by our actions, too, and that these changes may even be passed along to future generations.
study in the journal Nature and Neuroscience [1] shows how a mother rat’s nurturing can imprint her pup’s DNA with biological characteristics that can be passed on to future offspring. The Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center of the University of Utah breaks it down:

“Mom’s behavior actually programs the pups’ DNA…The epigenetic code allows certain types of information to be passed to offspring without having to go through the slow processes of random mutation and natural selection. At the same time, the epigenetic code is sensitive to changing environmental conditions such as availability of food or threat from predators…So take heart – your epigenetic destiny is not written in permanent ink.” [2]

Another study [3] showed a link between meditation and an increase in telomerase, an enzyme that is fundamental to the long-term health of cells, meaning their youth. While it might have been obvious that participants would feel less stressed after meditation, that this could also affect our bodies — and specifically proteins related to aging — is compelling. The study showed that these positive “emotional” or “psychological” results can impact how telomeres behave, promoting their longevity, and thereby possibly prolonging our cellular health and youth, too. Even if we don’t go down the seemingly sci-fi road of genetic influence, there is an already solid body of research linking inflammation to several skin concerns from acne to eczema, psoriasis and, yes, aging. And what’s linked to inflammation? Stress.
We know that smoking, a poor diet, comedogens, allergens, pollution and unprotected sun exposure can influence skin. We know that proven active ingredients applied topically can improve the skin’s health and appearance. Now we know that stress management is another key to slowing down the aging process.
While we wait for the cream-pill-yoga pose combo that turns us into a 25-year-old version of ourselves overnight, there are right now, right this second, multiple, totally achievable things we can do to keep us looking younger for longer. And they all (spoiler alert) have to do with being good — to yourself and to others. We’ve chosen the top five here:



Photo-aging, skin-damaging, immunosuppressive UVA penetrates windows and windshields.

You’re great about sunscreen use at the beach, slathering it on and reapplying every one to two hours. Fabulous. What you’ve done, however, is the minimum you need to prevent skin cancer, but not necessarily to fight aging. And fighting aging — or at least slowing down the natural aging process — is something that sun protection can definitely do. In interview with CNN, Mayo Clinic professor of dermatology Dr. Lawrence Gibson notes, “photoaging is not part of the natural aging process — it’s avoidable.” [4] A recent study [5] published in the Annals of Internal Medicine proves that daily sunscreen use “protects against photoaging: wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity.” [4]

But why all year? Because you’re getting more sun than you think. It’s not just the hard core tanning-baking-hours-outdoors that causes photo-aging and skin cancer, it’s the daily exposure that you don’t even think about. Sun damage is cumulative so even the incidental exposure you get from crossing the street counts. What about winter? You might be getting hit by double exposure from snow glare. And while not much UVB gets to you on cloudy days, a good amount of UVA does — rain or shine, summer or winter, UVA is present and it is very damaging. In addition, UVA passes through window glass and windshields. Think of all the sun you get driving to and from work or sitting next to a window at work or at home when reading a good book.

Finally, photo-aging includes dark spots. While the sun causes them, visible and infrared light from indoor sources such as halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens, saunas and stoves are proven to cause melasma and other dark spots which increases the aged look of skin. To learn more about what else causes hyperpigmentations (surprising things like cooking!), check out Shining The Light On What Causes Dark Spots & Blotches.


The benefits of a daily, active regimen are multiple and cumulative, making skin look younger and more vibrant almost immediately, with dramatic results over time, and keeping skin healthier as we age.

What should I expect from a good anti-aging treatment?


A good at-home regimen isn’t a one-shot deal: it’s meant to keep your skin healthier over time.

As the photographs above show (taken at baseline and week 4 of using Re-Everything Anti-Aging Cream with unbuffered glycolic acid, kinetin, virgin coconut oil and antioxidants in a regimen), at a minimum, you should expect to see brighter, more vibrant-looking skin. Fine lines should appear less pronounced and possibly deeper wrinkles as well. The skin should feel and appear more firm and youthful. With the right actives in the appropriate concentrations, many people report noticing improvements almost immediately. Continued use and proper prevention can deliver more dramatic results in as little as four weeks. And as with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, consistency continues to pay off.

Actives like unbuffered glycolic acid, retinoic acid, and mandelic acid as well as virgin coconut oil and antioxidants like green tea are some of the best studied and most reliable age fighters.



Deep cleaning + stress management. Win-win.

So here’s the thing: you brush your teeth daily but see your dentist for deeper cleanings. Your daily at-home skin regimen is like brushing your teeth, and facials are your deeper cleaning at the dentist’s. Which your skin needs. The skin on your face is naked — even with sunscreen, it is (like your hands) the part of your body that is unclothed. Your face gets the most direct and regular exposure to the sun’s damaging rays, indoor light and heat, plus pollution and airborne allergens. Therapeutic facials provide a good, deep cleaning through steaming and a proper extraction to purge it of accumulated dirt and debris that topical products cannot wash away. VMV Facials are allergen-free, feature effective active ingredients — which, with the steaming, pore cleansing and gentle massage, are absorbed better — and end with a therapeutic mask, usually with higher concentrations of actives than what you could use at home, and in a formulation that heightens the absorption of actives and provides barrier therapy, intensive hydration, and anti-inflammatory benefits. If your daily regimen is like taking your vitamins, think of this as getting a booster shot of concentrated actives.

If you’d like to up the therapeutic benefits even more, add a chemical peel (high concentrations of powerful actives applied for a short, very controlled amount of time) — ours also feature allergen-free peels we formulate ourselves plus anti-inflammatory products to reduce downtime and the risk of irritation without sacrificing efficacy. A monthly or quarterly laser procedure can be more expensive and may not be doable as regularly as a facial but can be more instantly dramatic.

Still, nothing replaces your daily regimen — again, think of it like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t stop daily oral hygiene because you see your dentist every few months, would you?

The fantastic icing on this very healthy cake: facials and spa services are healthy, and not just for your skin. They “dew” double duty as concentrated treatments and stress reducers…which is so, so important for your skin, mind and body! To learn more about how a spa session can physically benefit your brain, check out  4 Reasons You Need Spa Hour.

For more information on VMV’s clinically-sound, allergen-free therapeutic facials and spa treatments, give us a call at (212) 226 7309 or book online at vmv.nyc.



Stress ages you and makes you sick. Stress management isn’t a luxury: it’s a health priority.

As the studies above show, stress reduction can influence our proteins, cell behavior and possibly DNA. The link between stress and inflammation is proven and a growing body of research is strengthening the links between inflammation and a library’s worth of skin and health problems, from depression to obesity, acne, psoriasis, rosacea and eczema to cancer and, again, aging.

It may not be the most obvious thing to think about but for preventing the visible signs of aging, it’s important to avoid skin stressors, too. For example, did you know that irritations, rashes, pimples, allergy flare-ups, itching, severe dryness, and reactions to products are all types of inflammation and are skin stressors? Whether or not you already have sensitive skin, avoiding known allergens can help prevent irritations — even subtle ones which may not yet be obvious— which can thin and stress the skin and contribute to aging.

We know that you know but it’s really important: aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation alone accounts for multiple skin, mental and physical problems. It might seem impossible but it is more achievable than you think. An article that made the rounds online (“If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers”) has gotten quite a bit of attention for its promotion of “deliberate practice.” [6] A few of us at VMV Hypoallergenics have tried this stricter schedule of less hours but more focused work, and have found it remarkably effective at both upping our productivity and giving us more time for relaxation, fun, families, a social life and sleep! To read more about deliberate practice, check out Laura’s (our CEO, a big fan of deliberate practice and balance in life) Happiness Inventory of Five.

Make stress reduction a priority, too. Meditate, keep a gratitude journal, practice yoga, pray — experiment with what works best for you, your schedule and your lifestyle. A quick side note: cocktails with your BFFs can be an awesome way to end a stressful day but don’t make alcohol your go-to de-stressor. While a glass a day can actually be good for you, excessive alcohol can be pro-inflammatory and a depressive. A glass of wine a day should be fine but try other, healthier practices to manage stress on a regular basis.



Your skin shows the state of your body.

Want to know the state of your body? Look at your skin. Frequently, sometimes even before a blood test or MRI, your skin mirrors how your insides are doing. Poor health shows externally in the form of acne, dull skin, dry skin (which can lead to loss of elasticity and a more aged appearance) and even hair loss. Certain signs on the skin can even point to thyroid problems, diabetes or other internal issues (check out My Dermatologist Has X-Ray Vision for a great example of how a good, investigative dermatologist can point a patient in the direction of a specialist for a suspected internal problem, just by looking at her skin). A healthy body, on the other hand, is reflected in glowing, younger-looking skin, nails and hair.

Talk to a nutritionist if you’d like help understanding portion size and if you need assistance choosing healthier alternatives to your favorite foods (like coconut sugar, fresh-squeezed juices or whole grains). As a general rule, banish junk food altogether — the chips, candies and pre-packaged juices and sodas. Cut down on processed, “white”, and pre-packaged food and drinks. Load up on fish (smaller fish like sardines and herring for more good oils and less toxins), nuts, and fresh vegetables. Get your antioxidants from fresh fruits (they don’t tend to survive well in pills and supplements) to help combat the oxidative processes that are huge contributors to aging. And don’t forget your healthy oils like virgin coconut oil (excellent for use on salads, as well as in cooking, in your coffee..and on your skin and hair!)

Exercise is vital for your heart, metabolism and pretty much every aspect of your health. Plus, it’s an excellent stress reducer and mood lifter. In addition, new studies are showing that it’s not about extreme exercise three times a week. Constant activity is the new objective. Some studies are even showing that sitting down for more than a few hours at a time is extremely unhealthy — hence the rise of treadmill desks and the “fad” of standing more at work. Set a timer, get up, and walk around the block if you have to, but get moving. [7]

Mix it up: cardio one day and weights the next, yoga or pilates another day, then perhaps a hike outside. Mixing it up keeps it interesting and keeps your body challenged. Aim to work out every single day — again, you don’t have to kill yourself with a mega soul cycle burn each time, but you do need to do something every day. For example, if you had a hard workout on Monday, make Tuesday a “rest” day but instead of spending an hour in bed watching TV, catch up on your favorite shows while pedaling slowly on a stationary bike.

If you’re having one of those weeks where finding time to brush your hair has you exploring advanced physics for alternate dimensions, try the Scientific 7-Minute Workout [8] which a published study shows can give you maximum results in minimum time. [9] It’s awesome because it takes no time at all (no matter the week, there’s no way you don’t have seven minutes) and all you need is a chair and a wall (unless you’re extreme camping in the Gobi dessert, there’s no way this isn’t doable either). An app that we know a lot of people use is UOVO’s The 7 Minute Workout. It comes with instructions for the simple exercises — all of which you’ve probably at least tried, even in high school gym class — and links to videos so you can practice before you start, voice instructions and timed intervals. Another great, free app is Sworkit, which allows you to choose your workout (strength, cardio, yoga and stretching) and workout duration (5-60 minutes). They’re motto is “no gym, no excuse” so you can “sworkit” anywhere, too (they even have Sworkit options for kids so the whole family can get in on it).

On days so lazy you can’t think let alone manage the pep required for Zumba, do ANYTHING. Pedal like a sloth on valium on a stationary bike while watching a Scandal marathon. Take the slowest walk around one block. Or grab that 7-Minute Workout app and repeat to yourself: everyone has seven minutes. The point is to prioritize some purposeful activity each and every day.

Pay It Forward


Rescue cat Ming-Ming. Kindness and happiness promote good health.

Here’s something else to remember. Do all the above and the rewards are self perpetuating. One of the more amazing things that all this incredible new research is suggesting, is that you could be influencing far more than your mood and general health — you might be influencing your mind, body and skin at  chemical, protein, biological, and even genetic levels, far more powerfully than previously thought possible. The consistency of all these healthy practices may be teaching your body to maintain a healthier, younger state for longer and longer. If you’ve got kids, here’s the other plus: you might be influencing your genes enough to pass all this good behavior and its benefits along to your kids…and their kids!

Referring back to that study on maternal behavior in rats, another excellent article in Discover Magazine puts it this way: “Call it postnatal inheritance: With no changes to their genetic code, the baby rats nonetheless gained genetic attachments due solely to their upbringing — epigenetic additions of methyl groups…gumming up the works and altering the function of the brain….They found that inattentive mothering in rodents causes methylation of the genes for estrogen receptors in the brain. When those babies grow up, the resulting decrease of estrogen receptors makes them less attentive to their babies. And so the beat goes on.” [10] This applies to bad habits, nutrition and behavior, as well as to good. “If your grandmother was adopted by nurturing parents, you might be enjoying the boost she received thanks to their love and support. The mechanisms of behavioral epigenetics underlie not only deficits and weaknesses but strengths and resiliencies, too.” [9]

Kindness and care could therefore not only impact your health now, but positively influence the health those you love…on a biological, genetic level.

Daily sunscreen, a daily regimen, regular facials, stress management and “skinside-out” health — for your own health and age-resistance, and possibly for your children’s, being healthy is the gift that keeps on giving!
For more on how to achieve and sustain younger-looking skin, enter “aging” in the search field at skintelligencenter.com.

  1. Weaver, I.C.G, Cervoni, N., Champagne, F.A., D’Alessio, A.C., Sharma, S., Seckl, J.R., Dymov, S., Szyf, M., & Meaney, M. (2004). Epigenetic programming by maternal behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 847-854.
  2. Lick Your Rats. Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans, Learn. GeneticsTM Genetic Science Learning Center, The University of Utah, 2013. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/rats/
  3. Jacobs, T.L., et al., Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators. Psychoneuroendocrinology (2010), doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.09.010 and Positive psychological changes from meditation training linked to cellular health. UC Davis News and Information. Nov. 3, 2010. http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9669
  4. CNN.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/06/04/health/sunscreen-aging 
  5. Hughes M.C., Williams, G.M., Baker, P., Green, A.C. Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin Aging: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(11):781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002.
  6. Cal Newport, If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers. Study Hacks. http://calnewport.com/blog/2011/11/11/if-youre-busy-youre-doing-something-wrong-the-surprisingly-relaxed-lives-of-elite-achievers/#
  7. Susan Orlean, American Chronicles, “The Walking Alive,” The New Yorker, May 20, 2013, p. 44. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/20/130520fa_fact_orlean
  8. Gretchen Reynolds, The Scientific 7-Minute Workout, New York Times, May 12, 2013, p. 20. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/
  9. Klika, B, Jordan, C. High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment. Health & Fitness Journal. 2013; 17:3. Accessed May 10, 2013. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2013/05000/HIGH_INTENSITY_CIRCUIT_TRAINING_USING_BODY_WEIGHT_.5.aspx
  10. Hurley, Dan. Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes. (Trace Vs. Fate). Discovery Magazine. May, 2013. http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13-grandmas-experiences-leave-epigenetic-mark-on-your-genes#.UfnNFxbwO-I


What do you swear by to stay healthy and slow aging?

Featured, Healthy Living, Skin

Vitamin “D-bate”: In, Not OutFeatured

I wear sunscreen everyday, but could I be affecting my health by not getting enough Vitamin D?

Skin cancer is a much bigger threat to your health and you can get adequate vitamin D from supplements.
There is a lot of research about the great benefits of vitamin D — everything from increasing bone density to protection against some cancers, and benefits for diabetes, hypertension, myocardial infarction and depression.
But don’t start basking yet.
Getting enough vitamin D (and all its benefits) is important but needs to be balanced against what we already know are the big risks of sun exposure, i.e. skin cancers, inflammation and immune disorders.
Studies also show that if vitamin D can do all that it seems it can, we need more of it than we can get from daily sun exposure and our regular diets. So sitting out the sun isn’t going to give you all those vitamin D perks (sorry, you still can’t justify it!)
Taking a vitamin D supplement is a good idea. While it differs for each person, current recommendations hover in the 1,000 and 2,000 IU range (make sure to ask your doctor before increasing your dosage or taking new supplements).
For more details check out: “Vitamin D, Sun Avoidance, Hypovitaminosis D” in skintelligencenter.com.

Featured, Skin

Put A Ring On Your SunscreenFeatured

Don’t make sunscreen a summer fling. Make it a permanent thing…a good sunscreen is the best partner your skin will ever have!

But I Don’t NEED Sunscreen…

            …with enough “exposure,” everyone can get burned, it’s just a matter of time:

  • People with fairer skin, light eyes, and blond or red hair typically sunburn easily and tan poorly. Those with highly photosensitive skin can burn in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
  • People with light brown skin burn minimally and tan easily. Fair-skinned people with brown hair will burn in closer to an hour.
  • Those with medium brown skin rarely burn and tan darkly and easily. Burning may take hours.
  • People with the darkest skin color do not show a perceptible burn (which would take several hours) and always tan maximally.

And the more exposure, the higher the risk.

Regardless of your skin type and coloring, your risk of getting a sunburn is significantly increased when…
– You are in tropical regions…
– You are at a high altitude — every 300m increases UV radiation by 4%…
– Exposed to the sun between 10am and 2pm — 65% of UV radiation reaches the earth between these times…
– There are clear skies, snow, water and ice — they reflect sunlight…
– Taking certain drugs or applying skin care products that can make you more photosensitive (more prone to burning or hyperpigmenting with sun and light exposure)…
– Exposed to sun or light after some interventional skin care treatments (think microdermabrasion or peels).

Stop the guesswork and skin-ache…

            …wear sunscreen daily, all year round, and whether indoors or outdoors.
Why Daily?
Because sun damage is cumulative…meaning it adds up. Even the little sun you get while crossing the street for a cup of coffee counts. This incidental sun exposure, over time, could add up to skin damage or skin cancer.
Why All Year Round?
UV rays get to you on cloudy days.Feeling the heat is no indication of how much UV light you’re getting. In fact, snow can double your exposure.
Why INDOORS and outdoors?
Outdoors, for obvious reasons. But did you know that highly damaging UVA penetrates window and windshield glass? Also, light exposure to halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens is proven to cause dark splotches!

No sickness, all health.


Summer flings may be short-lived but sunscreen is a year-round love affair.
Sun damage is cumulative. One bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence almost doubles your chances of developing skin cancer later. Even the little that you get crossing the street counts. There’s sun in winter, spring and fall, too. You get UVA on cloudy days and UVA penetrates windows and windshields. Indoor lights like halogens, fluorescents and even computer screens can cause hyperpigmentation. You’re surrounded by risk…why not settle down with a partner you know you can rely on?
Your sunscreen is a phenomenal choice: reliable, lessens your worry, cares for you, keeps you safe and helps you look good. Definitely the one to grow old with (even as it helps you look younger than you are!)
Your romance with sunscreen may be at its most intense in the summer but it’s a relationship to nurture every day for the rest of your life. It’ll be one of the most rewarding for all aspects of your health.
Featured, Skin

HELP! I’m Burnt To A Crisp: 10 Things To Do After A Bad SunburnFeatured

I wasn’t good about using my Armada Sunscreen and…I’m a lobster (or crawfish in this case!) I am horribly sunburned — bright red, in lots of pain and want to avoid peeling! What do I do??


Take an aspirin or another anti-inflammatory (if you’re not allergic; if you’re not sure, check with your doctor). Apply a cold compress. Stay in a dark room, or at least in the shade, indoors. Load up on water. Moisture, moisture, moisture.


1. Immediately, take two aspirins (or if you’re allergic, ibuprofen or an anti- inflammatory that your doctor recommends) and repeat after four hours.
2. Oral steroids may be needed, too; check with your doctor.
3. If you tend to develop hyperpigmentations, ask your doctor about taking an antihistamine, too, as it can help prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (skin darkening — dark splotches — after a skin trauma).
4. Stay in a darkened room away from windows and with the lights turned down (even indoor lights can cause a photoreaction).
5. Drink lots of water.
6. Repetitively apply a soothing, reparative pure oil (sans all additives) like Know-It-Oil organic virgin coconut oil. This oil is particularly soothing as a cold compress: mix it in with some cold water. Take a soft, clean towel and dip it into the mixture. Wring out excess water and gentle apply onto affected areas of skin. Using The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm can be very soothing, too, and can help lessen peeling. Peeling in general can be lessened by lots of moisture, moisture, moisture.
7. If the burn is very red and painful, apply Red Better Flare-Up Balm after the cold-compresses to quickly bring down the inflammation, and reduce redness and pain.
8. If there is swelling, keep the oil and Boo-Boo Balm in the refrigerator and use as cooling butters directly on the skin.
9. For severe cases, an ice bath may also be indicated (check with your doctor first as ice baths can be dangerous for some people).
10. If the skin is blistering, see your dermatologist immediately or go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care facility.

The Best Way To “Treat” Sunburn Is To Prevent It.


It’s very important to always apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (like Armada 30) before going out in the sun. Be sure to reapply after 1 to 2 hours, especially when sweating profusely, after swimming or playing contact sports. Also a good option: Armada Sport is sweat and water resistant! Still, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that no matter what your sunscreen says, you must reapply at least every two hou…and we agree! The skin is a living, breathing part of your body that reacts to lots of things around and on you. It’s best to reapply to make sure you’re getting the best protection.
And apply enough: a good rule of thumb is 1 oz of sunscreen for the average size body – the face alone needs 1 teaspoon of SPF!
Remember, as the Skin Cancer Foundation reminds us, just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence can almost double your chances of developing melanoma later in life.
Don’t tan, don’t burn, stay safe!