Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another skin care myth

I thought this was neat. You know "age spots", aka "liver spots"? Your mom might have them. Or maybe you do? No biggie ... but they're not actually age spots. They're sun exposure spots.

Again, from Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop says:

Brown, freckle-like skin discolorations are not a result of age; they are the result of years of unprotected sun exposure (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, pages 195 -202; Dermatology Nursing, October 2004, pages 401 -413; and Age and Ageing, March 2006, pages 110 -115). You can demonstrate this yourself: just compare the skin on the parts of your body that haven't seen the sun (like your backside or the inner part of your arm) with skin on the parts of your body that see the sun on a regular basis. I'll bet that the parts of your body that don't the see sun will have minimal to no skin discolorations. And keep in mind that the bad rays of the sun also come through windows!

The number of skin-care products claiming they can make skin whiter or lighter more often than not contain no ingredient that can have any significant, or even a minor, impact on melanin production (melanin is the brown pigment in skin). (One of the products that can lighten skin is hydroquinone.) In addition, even when the product does contain an ingredient that can have an effect, it usually contains such a small amount that it won't help at all. Basically, there is no comparison between the effects (or non-effects) of using one of these products and using a sunscreen plus a product containing hydroquinone. (Sources: Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, May-June 2008, pages 107 -113; Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, April 2008, pages 20 -24; Experimental Dermatology, August 2005, pages 601 -608; Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, December 2005, pages 2368 -2373; International Journal of Dermatology, August 2004, pages 604 -607; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July -August 2004, pages 377 -381; Facial and Plastic Surgery, February 2004, pages 3 -9; Dermatologic Surgery, March 2004, pages 385 -388; and Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, March 2005, pages 272 -276).

I found this interesting - I thought age spots were caused by age. Who knew?

P.S. I promised this for Friday, but I forgot to post it. It's been in my drafts for a few days.

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