The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2013

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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B eauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but that hasn't kept scientists from analyzing faces and bodies in an attempt to understand — and quantify — the perception of age and beauty.1,2 One goal of cosmetic science is to create products that help us look more beautiful and youthful. Researchers have found that each of us uses several visual cues to calculate a person's age and attractiveness.3 Many cues involve skin and hair, but it's not only about the number of wrinkles we have, or the amount of gray hair. Perceptions of attractiveness depend on a number of physical phenomena, and are remarkably consistent across race, nationality, and age.4 Let's take a dip into the fascinating world of beauty perception — and the simple things we can do to boost our own va-va-voom! SkIN Skin tone, which can be defned as a combination of skin color and texture, is a key factor we use to evaluate appearance.5 The more even-colored and smooth-textured our skin is, the younger and more attractive we appear. Even-colored skin is a result of the regular and uniform distribution of melanin (pigment or color).6 Skin with a smooth, frm texture is also considered attractive, since it refects light more evenly than rough, sagging, or wrinkled skin, creating fewer shadows.7 Fortunately, there's much you can do to enhance skin tone. Proper Skin Care The key to taking care of our skin is consistency — devoting time every morning and every night to your skin care regimen. It takes commitment, because it really is a regimen (or as I like to call it, "my beauty ritual"). Cleansing Proper skin hygiene is essential to achieving and maintaining an attractive skin tone, so cleansing your skin morning and night is a must. Start by choosing a product that meets your particular skin needs (such as a gentle makeup remover if you wear color cosmetics, or a cleanser formulated for dry, oily, normal, sensitive, combination, or acne-prone skin). Some people Sunscreens and Moisturizers In addition to causing the kind of damage that can lead to skin cancer, the ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun and tanning machines cause more than 90 percent of the visible signs of skin aging, including wrinkles, rough patches, sagging, skin discoloration, mottling, and dullness.8 Daily use of sunscreen, which protects the skin from the sun's UV rays, is a critical part of a complete sun protection regimen, along with seeking shade and wearing sun-safe clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UVblocking sunglasses. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the anti-aging benefts fnd that using a manual or vibrating facial brush helps to achieve an even deeper clean, and many people follow this cleansing step with a toner to further balance the skin. Whatever methods you choose, cleansing every morning and night is a key step in any good skin care regimen. of daily sunscreen use. It allows broad-spectrum (UVA/ UVB-screening) sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher to claim on the label that the product not only protects against sunburn, but, if used as directed with other sun protection measures, can reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.9 [The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that sunscreen be applied liberally 30 minutes before heading outside, and reapplied after two hours outdoors, or immediately after swimming or sweating heavily. For extended outdoor activity, the Foundation recommends a broad-spectrum, waterresistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30+.] While a moisturizer alone cannot prevent sun damage, it can improve the appearance 31

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