Spring Sun Savvy Tips


With so much publicity these days about skin cancer, it’s widely known that sunscreen use is important to protect your skin from the sun.  However, you should know that sunscreens are not the only line of defense.  It’s important to also use supporting measures that not only protect, but reverse damage.  Let’s review them here:

            Retinoids: These Vitamin A derivatives rebuild skin’s structural proteins such as collagen and elastin  as well as promote new vessels. Retinoids also help to strengthen the skin barrier and reduce unwanted discoloration. Over time skin cells become more normalized with retinoid use which helps to deter formation of precancerous changes. The net effect is smoother, healthier, younger appearing skin. Retinol or pure Vitamin A is the gentlest form of retinoid and is the easiest to tolerate.

            Green Tea Extracts: Polyphenols, especially ECGC are potent antioxidants which quench free radicals produced by sun exposure.  When applied topically, these extracts help to protect skin cells and the molecules inside them such as DNA, from the damaging UV rays. This is how green tea exerts its anti-tumor formation activity. As a photoprotectant and repair treatment, the acute as well as the chronic effects of solar radiation can be minimized. Patients should see an improvement of chronic sun damage, redness, and possibly less skin cancer.

            Vitamins C and E: These vitamins serve as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the skin. They are vital to the production of collagen and other important structural components. Topical application significantly improves collagen production lost through chronic UV exposure. Blotchiness and unwanted discoloration is reduced by using these regularly.

            Heliocare: This compound is a fern extract oral supplement which has a long history of use in Europe. It is a proven photoprotectant with a systemic effect. Importantly, it has DNA reparative activity, unlike sunscreens. Thus, it can address the acute effects of over exposure, and when taken regularly, protect the skin from  chronic cumulative sun damage as well. Heliocare supplement is packaged as a kit to include the broadest spectrum sunblock available. This sunblock contains iron oxides which produce a natural bronze coloration to the skin. I am including this link if you want to read more about this unique product. http://www.heliocare.com/how.htm

The cosmoceutical (a marriage of cosmetics and pharmaceutical) agents described above are well grounded in the scientific medical literature. Proper formulation of these compounds  is essential to achieving maximal effects.  They are made available to my patients in the office and through my website at our online store.

Being Sun Savvy has its advantages, like being able to enjoy the great outdoors and not pay for it with extra sun spots and wrinkles! !

About Christine Brown, M.D.

Dr. Christine Brown operates a leading dermatology practice in Dallas, Texas. She understands the importance of good skin care and is committed to providing you with high-quality care in a pleasant and professional atmosphere. Services include clinical and cosmetic dermatology.
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