May 23

Sunscreen Breakdown – What You Need To Know

What’s in your sunscreen is just as important, if not more important as its SPF number. When deciding which sunscreen to purchase, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the multitude of choices out there. This is why Dr. Palm talked recently with Elle.com to discuss the differences between the two main “groups” of sunscreens and why one is very much superior to the other. The active ingredients in sunscreens are what separate the good from the not-so-good – and they are divided into two broad categories: physical and chemical. 

Physical vs. Chemical – The Breakdown

What they’re made of

Physical sunscreens are often referred to as “natural” sunscreens, because they are made up of either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both).  These are the only FDA-approved physical sunscreens and are both minerals, which is the reason they are often labeled as “natural.” 

Chemical sunscreens are made up with ingredients that are often hard to pronounce, such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, homoscalate, octinoxate and octocrylene. 

How they work

Physical sunscreen agents work by reflecting light that reaches the skin’s surface back into the environment. Many dermatologists, Dr. Palm included, prefer a physical-based sunscreen for this very reason. Zinc oxide has excellent coverage across the UV spectrum, even better than titanium dioxide, and published scientific literature shows that neither of the two are absorbed from the skin’s surface into the body. In fact, even micronized forms (where particles of sunscreen are invisible to the naked eye) cannot and do not penetrate the surface of the skin. They simply sit atop the skin’s surface, acting as a shield and reflecting the light back into the environment.

Chemical sunscreens work by converting light energy into heat on the surface of the skin, which may contribute to sun damage to the skin over time. The heat causes inflammation on the skin, which can cause premature aging. Anyone with melasma should be very weary of chemical sunscreens, as the heat produced on their skin by chemical sunscreens can further aggravate their pigmentation.

What to Look For When Shopping For Sunscreen

Dr. Palm recommends looking at the active ingredients on the label of the product. A physical sunscreen should list zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both. She recommends using a zinc-based sunscreen with a 7% or higher concentration of zinc oxide. It’s also important that a sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or more and that it states it is “broad spectrum,” meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB. 

Dr. Palm also likes combining the power of a physical sunscreen with other ingredients that fight inflammation, reduce free radical production and promote anti-aging effects on the skin. She says to look for ingredients like tocopherol (vitamin E), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), polyphenols (plant-based antioxidants such as resveratrol and green tea) and niacinamide (vitamin B3). 
Art of Skin MD Brightening Vitamin C Serum

Understanding the breakdown of what is in sunscreen is the first step in being able to make informed decisions when it comes to protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you’re still unsure as to which one best suits your needs, Dr. Palm has a few favorites all dependent on when she uses them. She also recommends reapplying every two to three hours and immediately after swimming.

 

Dr. Palm’s Sunscreen Picks

For the Face

EltaMD UV Elements Broad Spectrum SPF44 | Art of Skin MD | San Diego

 

Easy Reapplication

Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF Brush

For the Body – Everyday Use

EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

For the Body – Outdoor Activities

EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50

 

Stop by or call us at 858-792-SKIN (7546) if you have any questions or need any assistance in selecting your perfect sunscreen. We are happy to help you make sure you're protecting your skin as best you can!


May 8

Skin Cancer or Just A Mole?

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in an effort to help spread awareness, Dr. Palm was asked by Glamour Magazine to share not only her knowledge but also photos of her patients’ skin cancers for an article in their May 2017 issue.  As this can often be a confusing and sometimes scary topic, Dr. Palm is passionate about breaking down the information in an effort to educate as many people as possible and encourage patients to be proactive when it comes to their health.

While getting skin checks at least once per year is imperative, there are signs and symptoms that can be cause for concern. Here, Dr. Palm breaks down the differences between what is “normal” and what is cause for a visit to your board-certified dermatologist.

Normal Mole
Normal moles develop through our mid- to late-20s, and any moles that develop beyond this point in time should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.
Art of Skin MD Normal MoleWhat a normal mole looks like: Continue reading


Apr 20

First-Time Fillers: A Patient’s Perspective

I was 31 years old when I first had Botox injections. Up until that point, I had really only done peels and facials. I’ve never liked needles, so the thought of them going into my face was not one I was fond of. However, I also was not fond of the creases between my eyebrows, so off to the dermatologist I went. And when I saw the results, I wished I had started sooner.

When deciding where to go, I did my research. The one place I kept hearing wonderful things about was Art of Skin MD – that the facility is state of the art, the providers are the best of the best and the staff is wonderful. It made my decision easy, and I scheduled my consultation. From the moment I made my initial appointment, they lived up to their stellar reputation. And upon arriving to my appointment, everything I’d heard about Art of Skin MD was absolutely true. Another one of the top reasons that I came to Art of Skin MD as a patient is that looking natural is incredibly important to me, and they are known for doing just that. It’s not that I don’t want to age, it is that I want to age gracefully.  I immediately loved that both Dr. Palm and her Registered Nurse, Jessica Scott, approach toxins with that in mind – my face looks fresh, never frozen.

Dr. Melanie Palm and Registered Nurse Jessica Scott
Continue reading


Mar 15

How To Attain & Maintain A Healthy Scalp

          Scalp health is vital to hair growth. It’s as simple as that. The reasons, though, are a bit more complex. Here, Dr. Palm breaks down the signs our scalps give us that say they are either healthy or not-so-healthy. And if yours is saying the latter, not to worry – she also offers tips on reviving the often forgotten area.

          Our scalps supply the network of blood vessels that nourish the base of the hair bulb, allowing it to grow with the proper nutrition, oxygenation and removal of toxic byproducts. When one of these necessities is interrupted, hair can be greatly effected. The result can be hair loss, sudden shedding, loss of hair density and even changes in hair architecture such as decreased hair strand width, sudden brittle hair or even a change in color.

          Are you having one or more of these symptoms? If so, I’m sure you’re wondering how can you know if your scalp’s health is the reason? Well, according to Dr. Palm, it really depends on the underlying cause for the symptoms. Non-scarring inflammatory conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis (or inflammatory dandruff) can cause redness, flaking, scaling, itching, tenderness and rashes. In some rare cases, acne-like lesions may result. Or, another reason could be an external exposure to a noxious substance, such as a hair dye someone is allergic to, which can cause redness, swelling, itching, hives, scaling, oozing, bleeding and in very rare cases, a systemic-wide body response called anaphylaxis. Continue reading


Mar 1

Restylane Refyne & Defyne – The New Fillers on the Block

           Art of Skin MD is one of the first practices in the San Diego area offering Galderma’s newest members of the Restylane family that are changing the game with a very exciting new ability – flexibility. What makes this so exciting? Flexibility means a more natural look, and in the hands of the right injector, that can be game changing.

            Dr. Palm serves as an advisory board member, clinical investigator, national speaker and physician trainer for Galderma, meaning that she has been selected to educate other physicians on products’ use and safety. She has also assisted in studies related to Galderma products. Both Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne were FDA approved in December 2016 and released in the U.S. in January 2017. Prior to this, Dr. Palm was among the first U.S. physicians to inject the product and was selected to learn from Canadian experts outside of the country on injection techniques prior to Restylane Refyne and Defyne becoming available in the U.S.

          What makes these fillers different from other hyaluronic acid fillers already available? The hyaluronic acid strands of both Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne are bonded together in a way that creates a smooth gel that may provide not only a longer duration and less swelling than some other fillers used for wrinkle reduction, but also allows for more movement due to its flexibility. One of the most dreaded fears of patients is looking as though they have an unnatural appearance, and this is when choosing the right injector can make a huge difference. Dr. Palm is careful to select the right injectable dermal filler for each patient, and with the smoothness of both Restylane Refyne and Defyne, when injected by expert hands, they lend themselves to a very natural result by integrating into the areas of injection extremely well.

 

Continue reading


Feb 3

How Your Shower Routines Are Damaging Your Skin – And How To Fix Them

Shower Skin Damage? Last month, Dr. Palm answered some must-know skincare questions for Shape.com talking specifically about how seemingly-harmless shower routines could be damaging your skin. She breaks it all down with what you could be doing wrong, why it’s damaging and how to fix it!

Using the Wrong Soap
The wrong soap can be very drying to the skin. Some of the most popular brands of soap available over the counter (for example, Irish Spring, Dial and Lever 2000) use soap detergents to cleanse the skin. This might sound harmless, but these soaps strip skin of not only dirt but also the natural moisturizing factors that keep the skin barrier intact and keep the skin hydrated.

The Fix
Look for soaps that contain moisturizing agents, such as ceramides. Ceramides are a naturally occurring cholesterol-derived component to our skin that is devoid when skin is dry or eczema-prone. A great face and body wash that Dr. Palm recommends is our Art of Skin MD Antioxidant Soothing Wash.

Art of Skin MD Antioxidant Soothing Wash

Continue reading


Nov 21

Why We Love Mineral Makeup, And You Should Too!

This time of year brings many social gatherings, our calendars are filling up with fun parties and outings as we are sure yours are! We all want to look our best, so for many of us, that includes glamming up with our favorite outfits and of course having a bit of fun with makeup! There are so many choices out there, so we want to break the basics down for you and give you the information to be able to choose the right foundation for your skin's needs.

Benefits – Why We Choose Mineral Foundation

These foundations are great because the main ingredients in most of them (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferrous oxide) are either anti-inflammatory, provide great sunscreen protection (as a physical blocking agent), or provide natural, mineral-based color for the skin.  They are ideal for many skin types, but in particular can help calm sensitive and rosacea prone skin and the anti-inflammatory properties of many of the formulations help to improve acne prone complexions.  The mineral based foundations work great with oily complexions, helping to absorb unwanted shine.  Newer liquid mineral foundations are better for mature skin, and don’t settle in fine lines the way earlier formulations sometimes could.

Continue reading


Nov 10

The Down & Dirty on Blackheads

Blackheads are a form of non-inflammatory acne called “open comedones.”   Basically, a mix of sebum (oil) and skin cells get caught in the pores and oxidize, forming the characteristic brown–black color of comedones.

Number one rule when you have a blackhead is don’t pick at it! If you pick a blackhead, the area around the hair follicle and oil gland may get inflamed. This inflammation or trauma, the mix of sebum or skin cells, and the presence of a bacteria called P. acnes can cause non-inflammatory acne to become inflammatory. Inflammatory acne is characterized by redness, tenderness and cystic lesions. Inflammation in the area can lead to pain, unsightly acne cysts and in the worst-case scenario, it can cause scarring. Basically, you don’t want to stoke the fire of a well-behaving blackhead and create an inflamed and far worse situation.
Continue reading


Oct 20

Summer Skin Rescue Photos

We had such a great time hosting our 4th Annual Summer Skin Rescue Event on Thursday, September 29, 2016. We are grateful for all of the patients, both established and new, who came out to support us and partake in the fun the evening offered! The photos are so great, we had to share! Hope you enjoy and hope to see you all again soon!  

Jul 15

Sun Safe Skin Tips for Del Mar Races & Opening Day

Opening day is this week and Art of Skin MD wants to give you tips to keep your skin safe where the surf meets the turf!  The forecast calls for lots of sunshine and warm weather, which means sun safety is even more important amongst the dazzle of sundresses and fascinators.   Here are the Dr. Melanie Palm top tips for keeping it cool during Race Season:   1.  Slather on Sunscreen.  New FDA guidelines were released this year regarding best practices and proper labeling and usage of sunscreens.  Sunscreens should be broad spectrum, meaning they cover both UVA and UVB rays.  UVB rays cause the redness associated with sunburn, and UVA causes aging changes to the skin like sun spots, skin texture changes, and loss of collagen - not exactly the fashion statement to make on Opening Day.  Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreens are great as they act as physical blockers of the sun and offer broad spectrum protection.  Art of Skin MD offers a variety to choose from including the Elta MD line, Revision, Neocutis Journee, and the Art of Skin MD line.
top sunscreen choices san diego

Elta MD sunscreen offers cosmetically elegant formulations of micronized zinc oxide preparations

                      2.  Be unforgettable with Sunforgettable by Colorescience.  Got limited space in your purse or pockets to carry sun protection?  No problem.  We have a solution that fights shine and protects skin.  The Sunforgettable brush by Colorescience is an award-winning formulation endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.  This brush delivers zinc-based sunscreen powder as a sheer film that works on skin that already has sunscreen or makeup applied.  It is great for the stands, Turf club, and even beyond.
Art of Skin MD sunscreen brush

An elegant and compact brush system, Sunforgettable packs a powerful punch against harmful UV rays

                        3.  Prep with a pill.  Heliocare, a popular supplement, classified as one of the newer popular "sunscreen pills" can be a potent and helpful supplement to good photoprotection.  Although not a substitute for good sunscreen habits, popping Heliocare prior to an afternoon of fun in the sun can work synergistically with sunscreen to increase your threshold of protection against UVA exposure.  Heliocare contains several agents to help against unwanted UV rays and is great for patients battling pigmentation such as melasma, or those with sensitivity to the sun.  Heliocare is a combination of potent antioxidants including the an extract of the fern plant Polypodium leucotomos, beta carotene, and green tea.  Taking Heliocare 1-2 hours before sun exposure can help to boost the effects of sunscreen.
Fern extract pill for sunburn

Heliocare supplement is consists of a combination of potent antioxidants including the polypodium leucotomos fern plant, beta carotene, and green tea

                                4.  Seek shade.  A broad-brimmed derby hat is a great way to provide shade protection to your face.  The San Diego hat company makes UPF hats perfect for Opening Day.  Many styles are available at our local Beachwalk retail boutique Safarlou.  Escape to the Turf Club or the shady portions of the general admission stands to protect that glowing skin from the sun.  Check out the chic, stylish chapeaux offered by Safarlou in the YouTube video from the TV segment featuring Art of Skin MD below:     5.  Repair from the day of fun near the sun.  Feeling the burn from your fun in the sun?  Repair your skin using growth factors from the Neocutis line.  Neocutis' PSP exclusive human growth factor technology is featured in the Art of Skin MD favorite eye cream Lumiere Riche.  The Biocream and Biogel by Neocutis both contain the human growth factor to repair collagen and get your skin back on track.
Neocutis Journee sunscreen san diego

Neocutis line of skin products harnesses the collagen-repairing properties of growth factors

                        6.  Red alert:  Red light for sunburn.  Made the unfortunate mistake of getting a sunburn at a day at the Races?  Have no fear, Art of Skin MD offers the Healite II, an innovative red diode light that decreases the inflammation and redness associated with sunburn.  Best of all, treatment is affordable and sometimes billable to insurance in the treatment of sunburn.  See the clip below to understand how Healite works as I explain on the recent CW6 TV segment:     Have a great time at the Races this year.  Be sun safe, and when in doubt about how best to protect your skin during the summer months in San Diego, contact Art of Skin MD through the Art of Skin MD contact page or by calling our qualified staff at (858) 792-7546.