Moles – What to Look For.
Moles are a very common skin growth and most of us have at least a few of them. In most cases they are nothing to worry about and we tend to forget we have them. Unfortunately, moles can also be a sign of skin cancer or pre-cancer. Whereas most are harmless, if you notice any changes in a mole, or develop a new one that looks different to the rest, it could be something you need to speak to a skin clinic or a doctor about. It may well be nothing to be concerned about but with moles it pays to be vigilant. Existing moles can suddenly grow, develop hairs where there were none, change color or fade. Most of us are still developing new moles into our forties! Some changes are nothing to worry about but others can be a sign that something isn’t right. Finding cancerous moles early on is absolutely key to treating skin cancer effectively. Don’t ever be worried about whether you’re wasting your doctor’s time by asking advice about a mole – they are happy to put your mind at rest and would much prefer you to come in needlessly than not come in until it’s too late. The early signs of a melanoma (a serious type of skin cancer) that you should get checked out include: Asymmetry. The mole looks uneven and one half doesn’t seem to match the other. Border unevenness. The outside edges of the mole are ragged or blurred. Color. If the mole isn’t the same color all over it could mean there’s something changing. It could be anything from tan, brown, and black or even red, white, and blue but if the colours are blotchy, it’s a warning sign. Diameter. If it’s larger than 6 mm (0.2 in.) across, or suddenly starts to grow, it’s something you need to get checked out. Evolution. Any noticeable changes in its size, shape, symptoms (itching or tenderness), surface (bleeding), or color. Keep an eye on your moles – or ask someone else to – and carry out a skin self-exam regularly to identify any suspicious skin growths. You need to be examining your moles monthly and if possible, visit a skin clinic for an expert to check them over once a year just to be safe. What to check for: Look at your skin, including the scalp, and any existing moles, freckles, skin tags or other skin growths to check for changes in color, shape, size, and appearance. If you’ve had any minor injuries, check the skin to see if it’s properly healed. If you notice a changing or suspicious skin growth, get your doctor to check it out right away. It might be easily removed and nothing to worry about (most growths are easily taken off) and this will stop it from growing and irritating the skin around it, getting caught on your clothes or even spreading to other areas of the body. Finding and treating skin cancer early can help prevent problems, so keep an eye on your skin lumps and bumps!
UVA and UVB Sun Protection – What’s the Difference?
The sun is starting to get hotter and if you’re not already wearing sun screen you should be! It can be confusing when you’re looking for quality skincare and sun protection – UVB rays are fine, right? Well, no, not quite. Read on to find out what you must know about sun protection.
UV Light Causes Skin Damage. You want to take care of your skin, so you’ll want to protect it from avoidable damage. The sun produces two kinds of rays: UVA and UVB. Both types of light can potentially damage your skin, causing anything from sun spots and ageing to deadly skin cancer. Sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage, and if you’re not sure about which type of product suits your skin, your esthetician will be able to help.
What Are UVA Rays? UVA rays are a danger to your skin no matter what the weather is doing. They can penetrate clothing and glass, and although beauty salons used to consider them safe, and use them in tanning beds, but experts know that using tanning beds before the age of 30 can increase your risk of skin cancer by 75 per cent  so they aren’t recommended now. UVA rays can cause damage to the deeper skin cells, and just getting a tan in on the sun lounger is also bad for your skin – the act of tanning will create irreversible skin damage. It won’t show up straight away though – but in ten or twenty years’ time it manifests in the form of wrinkles, dark spots, and leathery skin.
What Are UVB Rays? UVB light is responsible for sunburn. It gets stronger in the summer months or hot climates – also in snow holidays where the sun’s rays can be very bright and reflect off water and snow. UVB is responsible for most skin cancers. UVB is strongest at midday and the best advice for health and beauty is to protect yourself in the sunshine, wear sunglasses, a sun hat and invest in superior quality SPF skincare.
Protect Your Skin. Choose a good quality sunscreen with a high enough SPF (sun protection factor) – ask your salon or esthetician for advice if you’re not sure whether the SPF is high enough. Make sure that your sun protection filters UVA as well as UVB. Check for a ‘broad spectrum coverage’ sun screen, and make sure that your facial skin care contains an SPF too. Don’t ignore extra protective sunscreen – if it’s hot and sunny you need to double up even if you have SPF in your moisturizer. There are some great sun products formulated for your face that don’t leave an oily residue. When you’re out in the sunshine, you need an absolute minimum of SPF 15 – preferably higher. Don’t skimp when applying the product either. Most people underestimate how much they need to effectively cover their entire body. As a rough guide, you should use around a shot glass volume of sunscreen for your body, and don’t forget delicate areas like your ears, neck, chest, hands, and feet. If you need advice – speak to your esthetician. Stay sun safe! Reference 1 From ‘Dying for a Tan’ article (IARC 2007). Dermatological Nursing 2015, Vol. 14, No. 1
Yes, You Do Need an Eye Cream, Here’s Why.
We’re all rather protective of our peepers, and most of us have spent money on eye serums and creams in the past to help combat signs of aging around our eyes. But there are some people who insist that eye creams are a waste of money. Here’s why we disagree… The ads all suggest that a good eye cream can reduce the signs of aging. Some products even claim to be able to erase them completely. If you look in the mirror and see fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles you’re probably thinking that an eye cream is the answer to your skin care problems. But are they really worth it? Or are eye products just a form of expensive moisturizer? Not necessarily, although you do have to find one that is right for your skin to get the effects you’re looking for. Eye creams aren’t just standard moisturizers at all, in fact they are formulated specifically to be used on the delicate skin around your eyes. For this reason, eye serums and creams often tend to be thicker than standard moisturizers. They are also more nourishing and nurturing to your skin, usually containing more oil than a standard moisturizer. They are packed with targeted ingredients designed to get to work on the skin around the eyes, too, which you won’t necessarily find in a facial moisturizing cream or lotion. Because the skin around the eyes is more fragile than elsewhere on your face, it’s often the first part of your face that shows up your age, tiredness and dehydration. The eyes are always moving, too, and this constant movement can bring on wrinkles and lines over time. Added to that, your under-eye area is prone to a build-up of fluid which leads to puffiness and dark circles. This is where eye products can really help.
What to Look for in an Eye Product: Dark circles – Dark circles are often genetic, but they can be exacerbated by sun damage, aging, and even a build-up of blood and fluid. Look for products containing vitamin C, as they work to thicken the skin and can help to conceal dark circles. Other ingredients to look out for in your eye serums include Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, and kojic acid. Fine lines and wrinkles – These can partly be blamed on sun damage and are also a result of your skin making less collagen as you age. Collagen helps to keep your skin supple and elastic, and eye creams containing vitamin C, peptides, and retinol have been found to help boost collagen production in various studies. Ceramide and hyaluronic acid-based products may also help as they prevent water loss and also improve skin’s elasticity. Puffy eyes – Your eyes can appear puffy when there’s a build-up of fluid and/or blood under them, showing through the skin. There have been some studies that indicate caffeine-based eye products may have an effect on circulation, reducing puffiness. Other studies found that cold temperatures are also an effective way to treat puffiness, so double your advantage and put your eye creams in the refrigerator! For advice on eye skin care, speak to your esthetician.