All posts in Eye & Sun Care

What I Think About The Recent News On Nano-particle Sized Zinc Oxide That May Cause Cancer

.

Lately, many readers have been asking me my thoughts on the recent report by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on the nano-particle sized Zinc Oxide that may cause cancer.

I first heard the news about a sunscreen and cosmetic ingredient that may cause cancer from the Chinese radio station while on my way home from work early last week. The Chinese station didn’t mention the name of the ingredient. Upon reaching home, I was actually shocked and disappointed to realize that it is the popular and potent sunscreen ingredient Zinc Oxide. And it is the nano-particle sized Zinc Oxide with very small particles that can absorb into the skin cells and may cause cancer as it has claimed.

Zinc oxide, one of the 17 FDA approved active sunscreen ingredients, is an excellent broad spectrum UV reflector that protects the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Other than Titanium Dioxide, Zinc oxide is considered the safest and most effective physical sunscreen ingredient available.

When used as an ingredient in sunscreen, Zinc Oxide, a mineral powder, is claimed to sit on the skin’s surface scattering and absorbing ultraviolet rays without being absorbed into the skin. It is non-irritating and non-allergenic, therefore it is claimed to be very suitable for sensitive skin.

As compared to the normal Zinc Oxide powder that gives an opaque white cast, the nano-particles Zinc Oxide appears transparent when applied to the skin. Because of its small particles, the nano size Zinc Oxide does not scatter light and therefore does not appear white. It is found to have superior UV blocking properties compared to its normal size particles. Therefore it is commonly used in sunscreen creams and lotions to protect against sunburn and other damage to the skin caused by ultraviolet light.

Many controversial researches have shown that these nano-sized particles Zinc Oxide may cause potential health risks. They are claimed to enter healthy human cells like the blood or the lungs and damage DNA. However, there are also reports show that particles of Zinc Oxide greater than 30nm, when applied to the skin, do not get absorbed into the body, do not enter the bloodstream, and are not a threat to human health.

Continue reading →

August 11 –
Beauty tip of the month

.

If you are troubled by under-eye circles, look at your eye area and answer the following question: Do you have deep wrinkles under the eyes? If not, if the skin is relatively tight, then the problem is not inherent to the skin. Look deeper. You may not realize that there is a fat pad protruding from under your eyes, casting a shadow and creating the circle. Take a Q-tip and push on the under-eye area. If the circle disappears, it indicates a hidden fat pad, and it also indicates that the source of the problem is not the skin. Roll your eyes upward and look as high up in the mirror as you can. Do you see the outline of a fat pad? You may or may not have noticed before that it is there. The only way to get rid of the fat pad is by removing it surgically. You cannot “drain the under-eye puffiness” or “break down the fat”, as some of the most outrageous claims on cream jars would like you to believe. Continue reading →

Guest Blogger Dr. Irwin – The Cause & Treatments For Dark Eye Circles, Puffy Eyes & Wrinkled Eyelid

.

Under Eye Circles

Sometimes genetics, weight loss, or even lower-eyelid surgery that takes too much of the fat pad can give the appearance under the eyes of hollowness or gauntness, which most refer to as ‘under eye circles’.

Under eye circles can also be caused by excess pigment or superficial veins, or a combination of several of these factors.

The first thing to do is make sure you are getting enough sleep and enough fluids.  Being dehydrated and sleep-deprived will accentuate any hollowness under the eyes.

Only expert injectors should be working around your eye area if you decide that fillers are your best option for a hollow under eye area! Restylane and Juvederm are the most commonly used. And with all fillers, there is a risk of bruising, swelling, and lumpiness. Fat transfer is an option but expect a longer recovery time and possibly longer lasting or permanent lumpiness.

For dark pigment or visible blood vessels under the eye, consider fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing. More than one treatment may be needed. Healing time for back to work (but not “camera ready”) is 4-7 days. http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractionated-carbon-dioxide-laser

Juvederm/Restylane are the hyaluronic acids (a natural sugar). The cost is $450 to $600 per syringe and usually only 1 is needed. You will need maintenance treatments every 6-12 months. Experts only. Read more about fillers here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/injectibles-botox-fillers-sculptra/guide-to-fillers-restylane-and-juvederm-cosmoderm

.

Sagging or Excess Skin

If the puffiness under the eye is due to excess skin or sagging, there are two things you may want to consider. If the problem is mild, try reducing your salt intake and increasing your water intake to 6-8 glasses a day. Also, stick to foods low on the glycemic scale (no white sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, white flour, etc.).

See if there are allergies that are making your eyes irritated or causing you to tear up, or rub the tissue around your eye a lot. Some times puffy skin is due to an allergy.

Second, if the sagging skin is mild to moderate, an Eyelid Thermage or two will tighten that skin and help reduce the sagging. As with hooding or sagging on the upper eyelid, this is most effective when the problem is mild to moderate. If you have a lot of sagging, you’ll need surgery to correct it. Read more about Eyelid Thermage treatments here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-eyelid-thermage

Third, quite remarkable results can be seen for tightening eyelid skin with a fractionated CO2 laser. One to three treatments are needed over 3-6 months. Sometimes called the “Madonna Lift,” it offers an alternative for some patients to eyelid surgery. http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractionated-carbon-dioxide-laser

.

Skin is Crinkly or Crepey

Many people are bothered by tiny fine lines on the upper eyelids that make the skin look like crepe paper or give it a crinkly look. If the problem is mild or moderate, then eyelid Fraxel is a good option to reduce the fine lines. Fraxel makes a special, tiny, FDA approved tip just for the eyelid area. Generally you’ll need 2-3 for the best results.

If there is mild sagging coupled with the crepiness, then the combination of 1-2 Eyelid Thermage treatments to tighten the skin a little with the Fraxel eyelid treatments to reduce the crepiness will give you an even better result. Or as an alternative, the fractionated CO2 laser which both tightens eyelid skin and helps with crepiness. In general, Fraxel or a combination of Thermage and Fraxel are more appropriate for women in their 30 or early 40s with the fractionated CO2 for women over 40.

Laser treatments on the eyelid are higher risk so make sure you see an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon for work around the eye area. Read more about Fractional lasers for the eye area here: http://www.skintour.com/guide-to-cosmetic-treatments/laser-treatments/guide-to-fractional-lasers

Dr Irwin

.

Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
Click here to ask a question now!

.

Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

.

Beauty Questions? Ask Dr. Irwin
- Sun Protection 101

.

Reader’s Question

Dear Dr Irwin,

I would like to ask about sun protection:
1) What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays, and is one more detrimental to the skin than the other? How do we know if we are exposed to more UVA or UVB rays? (e.g. does it depend on seasons or weather, or being indoors or outdoors?)
2) I have heard of chemical sunscreens and mineral sunscreens, what is the difference? Is any one more superior to the other?
3) Regarding SPF, is it that a higher SPF offers MORE EFFECTIVE coverage (i.e. against stronger sun’s rays) or longer HOURS of coverage?
4) If one is working indoors most of the time (or outdoors, whichever is the case), is there any difference in the type of sunscreen one should be using/purchasing (e.g. look for different types of ingredients in the sunscreen)?

Thank you.
Polly

.

Dr. Irwin’s Answer

1) What is the difference between UVA and UVB rays, and is one more detrimental to the skin than the other? How do we know if we are exposed to more UVA or UVB rays? (e.g. does it depend on seasons or weather, or being indoors or outdoors?)

UVB is a shorter ultraviolet wave than UVA.  UVB damages the outer layer (the epidermis) more whereas UVA travels deeper into the skin (the dermis) and damages the deeper layers more.  Both UVA and UVB are rays of natural light which you are exposed to everything time you are outdoors. Please see: http://www.skintour.com/skin-care-products/sunscreens.

2) I have heard of chemical sunscreens and mineral sunscreens, what is the difference? Is any one more superior to the other?

Chemical sunscreens work by binding to the cells themselves and mineral sunscreens work by providing a barrier of invisible protective particles that bounce light back so UV waves won’t penetrate the skin.  Generally, mineral sunscreens in the right percentages are superior because they don’t degrade as much in exposure to light.

3) Regarding SPF, is it that a higher SPF offers MORE EFFECTIVE coverage (i.e. against stronger sun’s rays) or longer HOURS of coverage?

The FDA is coming out soon (probably 2012) with the requirement that products have an SPF (which we have now and only refers to the amount of UVB coverage) as well as a # that will explain the amount of UVA coverage (which is more easily said than done).  Look for sunscreens that are at least SPF 30 and that say ‘broad spectrum’.  Best are sunscreens that contain 5-20% zinc which blocks both UVA and UVB — and the higher the percentage the better.

4) If one is working indoors most of the time (or outdoors, whichever is the case), is there any difference in the type of sunscreen one should be using/purchasing (e.g. look for different types of ingredients in the sunscreen)?

If you work indoors, you aren’t exposed to UVA or UVB unless you have a desk near a window. UVA goes through window glass, which includes your car windows and windshield unless you have put in special window protection. Here is a list of sunscreens I recommend : http://www.skintour.com/sunscreens

Best,
Dr. Irwin

Do you have a beauty question for Dr. Irwin too?
Click here to ask a question now!

.

Read more beauty tips at :

Skin Care Information & Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Irwin

.

Video – My 6-Point Eye Circulation Massage For Dark Eye Circles

.

This 6-Point Eye Circulation Massage helps to improve better circulation on the eye areas and thereby reduce the dark eye circles & wrinkles.

.


.

Sun Myths – Questions & Answers

..

I don’t need any protection when the sky is cloudy

Not true. Clouds filter out UV-B (sunburn rays) but allow 65% UV-A rays to go through. UV-A rays are of a longer wavelength and can penetrate clouds and glass. You may not feel hot but you can get sun-damage on a cloudy day and while driving in a car. Protection is necessary as long as it it bright, even when you are inside a car.

Continue reading →

Avoid These Sunscreen Ingredients If You Have Sensitive Skin

 

 

To promote healthy skin and avoid aging changes, it is essential to wear sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun. But if you have sensitive skin, wearing sunscreen may at times causes further damage to the skin. It is especially if the product you are using contains ingredients that are not right for you.

 

If you have sunscreen sensitivity :
(If your skin burns, itches, or turns red in response to sunscreen, below are the ingredients you need to avoid)

- Avobenzone                                                

- Benzophenones (such as oxybenzone)

- Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane

- Isopropyldibenzoylmethane                        

- Methoxycinnamate (often found in waterproof sunscreens, can cause a reaction)

- Octyl methoxycinnamate                                  

- Methylbenzylidene camphor

- Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

- Para-amenobenzoic acid (PABA)

- Phenylbenzimidazole

..

The Benefits Of Sunscreen With Vitamin A, C & E

Sun protection is nevertheless the most important yet most often neglected anti-aging and cancer preventing treatment you can use.

Sun block alone is not enough. New research indicates that the addition of topical antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E significantly increase the protection from the harmful effects of sunlight above and beyond the protection afforded by sun block alone. These antioxidants neutralise the free radicals triggered by UV rays, preventing them from causing skin aging and darkening.

There is also increasing evidence that vitamin C shields the skin from the sun’s burning rays, especially when it’s applied in high concentrations or combined with vitamin E, sunscreens, and skin soothers.

..

Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock SPF 30 / SPF 45

Product claims : Has the most effective UVA – blocking technology avail- able, this broad-spectrum sunblock defends skin against UVA and UVB rays. Waterproof and sweat-proof, it contains Anti-Oxidant A, C and E to combat environmental damage.

..

Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 45

Product claims : This antioxidant-rich sunscreen provides broad-spectrum sun protection without leaving a greasy or waxy film on skin. Formulated for the face and body, it may be worn under makeup and is ideal for outdoor activities because it is very water-resistant. Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 45 slips on smoothly and leaves skin with a softly radiant matte finish.

..

Peter Thomas Roth Uber-Dry Sunscreen Cream SPF 30

Product claims : So uber-dry…you won’t even know it’s on! Revolutionary, uber- lightweight, water resistant formula leaves an invisible veil of SPF 30 that is undetectable to the touch. Absorbs quickly for a shine-free, non-sticky, residue-free finish. Rich with anti-oxidant vitamins A, C & E. PABA and fragrance-free.

..

Can Puffy Eyes or Eye Bags Be Removed?

Are you always troubled with puffiness or bagginess of the lower eyelid?

Or do you often ask on how do they develop under the eyes, and how can you get rid of them?

Theoretically, puffiness or bagginess are usually caused by loss of elasticity of the skin and muscle of the eyelid. This allows the fat, which normally lies beneath the eyeball supporting it, to push outward. This change is commonly referred to as eyelid bags. There are also textural skin changes in the eyelid that make the skin look old.

Puffy eyes or eye bags, as a result, also come in those that happen as a slide effect of allergies, too much salt, and fluid retention.

There are many non-surgical, topical, laser and other therapies that can remedy the superficial skin changes. However once the deeper changes have occurred in the lower eyelid, plastic surgery is required to correct them.

Other remedies?

Although, for the genetic and age-related nature causes of puffy eyes, the best solution is to surgically remove the solid fat pad. But to remedy the fluid retention, you may want to reduce the salt intake or refresh the eye areas with lymph massage.

Do skincare products really help?

Claiming that a eye cream can significantly correct lax skin and bulging fat in the eyelid is, a false advertising! Don’t believe it. There is no topical product that will ’drain the fluid from under the eyes and reduce the puffiness’ or ‘break down the fat’, as some of the most outrageous claims on cream jars would like you to believe. Although there are many products, some very high-end ones, making such claims on the basis of some herbal or other ingredient, sad to say the science has not progressed so far.

If you have both dark eye circles and eye bags 

You may not realize that the fat pad protruding from under your eyes, casting a shadow and thereby creating the dark eye circles. Most of the time, this darkness of the circle is not inherent to the skin and it is merely a shadow cast by the eye bag. Usually, the circle will disappear without a trace after the cosmetic surgery. 

Genetic cause

Look at your relatives. If you see bags under their eyes, chances are bags will be coming your way, too. They do not improve with time. They only get worse. The surgery to correct this problem is an easy procedure, and the results are usually excellent. Be sure to go to an experienced plastic surgeon; you do not want an inexperienced surgeon taking out too much fat from under your eyes.

My DIY Eye Soothers

 

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to give your eyes some pampering? Quick and easy kitchen cures, at the comfort of your home.

Puffiness : 2 rose hip tea bags

Place the tea bags in a cup and pour boiling water over them. When the bags have cooled, wring them out, and place one over each eye. Relax for 15 minutes and pat dry.

Dark eye circles : 1 green fig

Slice the fig in half and place one half over each eye. Relax for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Irritated : 2 cucumber slices

Place a disk of cucumber over each eye. Relax for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Sore and red : 2 potato slices

Place a potato slice over each eye. Relax for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Bloodshot : 1/4 cup skim milk

Place 2 cotton bails in a saucer of milk, wring them out, and place one over each eye. Relax for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Sources : beauty magic