This months magazine was much more fun to read than the past couple of months, but for beauty content it was running a bit low. I did find an interesting article, perfect for summer and skin protection! Enjoy!
Excerpt from Cosmopolitan - August 2011 issue
5 Things Your Skin Craves In August (page 97) (I couldn't find a link to this article online so I'll word-for-word it below)
With Cosmo's PSS campaign, we regularly warn about cancer-causing UV rays, so we have no doubt your goal is to be a sunscreen superstar. But we also know no one's perfect. Maybe you forgot to reapply after swimming or thought that since you played it safe for half the summer, it wouldn't be so bad to meet your girls for brunch... outside... unprotected. Unfortunately, not only does your health pay the price for such slipups, but your complexion does too. UV rays cause dull skin, breakouts, brown spots, and fine lines. To the rescue: this short list of essentials that top derms swear will stop potential skin issues in their tracks... and help reverse any skin damage already done.
UV rays can slip through a too-thin layer of SPF or one that you've sweat or swum off, triggering your body to release free radicals - molecules that break down collagen (it keeps your skin smooth and plump). As the season progresses, accidental damage can accumulate. "This is why lots of women notice fine lines around the eyes or on the forehead as summer winds down," says Diane Madfes, a consulting derm for Garnier. Antioxidants are free radicals' kryptonite, neutralizing their power, says Beverly Hills derm Robin Schaffran. They should be your first level of protection.
BEST OPTION Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant fights off free radicals and prevents the formation of lines, plus it gets brownie points for fading freckles, which are a sign of UV damages, says Dr. Madfes.
HOW TO USE IT Reach for a C-spiked serum, which penetrates the skin better than a thicker lotion. Airtight pumps are best, since air causes the vitamin to become unstable and less potent. Apply it to clean, dry skin every morning as your first step.
2. Extra Exfoliation
Add this to the downside of even small amounts of sun exposure: It slows your skin's natural ability to shed its dead top layers. If you haven't been using a UVA-blocking sunscreen or haven't reapplied as often as you should, you'll likely see a duller-looking complexion, more breakouts (a layer of excess flakes can clog pores), and a freckly, uneven tone (natural exfoliation buffs away extra pigment) come August, according to NYC dermatologist Patricia Wexler.
BEST OPTION Salicylic acid. It gently dissolves clingy dead cells, says Dr. Schaffran. Bonus: It'll keep you shine-free (salicylic acid is lipid-soluble, meaning it dissolves any extra oil sitting on your skin's surface).
HOW TO USE IT At night, lather up with a 2 percent salicylic-acid wash. (If you're on the drier side, find a formula that lists salicylic acid at the middle, not beginning, of the ingredients list.) Leave it on like a mask for 60 seconds to reap the full benefits.
This is your ultimate damage security system. While you need it year-round, it's most crucial at the end of summer, when UV indexes peak. Ironically, that's when many women slack off, says NYC derm Anne Chapas, who insists that being diligent a the start of summer doesn't give you a free pass to indulge in a few unprotected hours (or minutes) here and there.
BEST OPTION Titanium dioxide. While most sunscreens protect against UVB rays (the ones we associate with burning), they don't often block the full spectrum of UVA rays (those that cause aging and DNA issues). This blocker does.
HOW TO USE IT After applying vitamin C, rub on a quarter-size dot of SPF 30 (at minimum). Sunscreen loses its potency after three hours, so reapply if you take a walk at lunch or spend happy hour outside, says Dr. Schaffran. Liquid, serum-style formulas are light enough to go over makeup.
4. Retinoic Acid
Derived from vitamin A-based antiagers (specifically, retinoids and retinols), this wonder ingredient practically does it all. By triggering the growth of skin-smoothing collagen and increasing cell turnover, it erases fine lines, fades sun spots and pimples, and creates a softer, touchable texture - all things you're pretty desperate to see more of right now. "Decades of data prove these benefits," says Dr. Chapas.
BEST OPTION Retinol. This over-the-counter solution is less concentrated than a retinoid (prescription vitamin-A creams, such a Retin-A, which cause redness, peeling and serious sun sensitivity), so it's often preferred by derms, especially in the summer. While they contain about a tenth of the vitamin A found in retinoids, "the best, most effective form of vitamin A is the one your skin can handle - it's useless if the side effects stop you from applying it," says Dr. Schaffram.
HOW TO USE IT In the evening, wash your skin, wait five minutes until it's dry, then evenly spread a pea-sized drop of retinol over your face. If you experience any redness, alternate between this and a moisturizer made for sensitive skin, every other night.
5. Mega Moisture
Maybe it seems a little strange to you (especially if you get greasier in the summer), but moisturizer is a crucial, often overlooked step. "UV rays plus chlorine and salt water can leave your skin feeling and looking as dry as it can in winter," says Dr. Chapas. Parched skin also prompts your body to produce more oil (hello, breakouts!)... and more than doubles the rate at which wrinkles will develop, according to a recent study.
BEST OPTION Hyaluronic acid. The hydrator naturally exists in your body, and because it absorbs 1,000 times its weight in water, a few smarty-pants scientists found a way to re-create it as a facial moisturizer from the air into skin, so a light layer goes a long way. Plus, it's not oil-based so it's ideal for shine-prone peeps.
HOW TO USE IT Five minutes after you apply retinol (you don't want to dilute it), slather on a hyaluronic acid-spiked lotion. Since your skin does most of its repair work at night, the hydrating effect will be even more noticeable... meaning you'll wake up looking more radiant than you did going to bed.