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. 

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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.

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Mar 6

IPL Photofacial Treatment is a Snap!

Winter skin blahs got you down?  Consider a photofacial!  Also known as an IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), this short, no-downtime procedure is a great way to rejuvenate the skin.  A quick patient demo for treatment of facial redness is shown below on our YouTube station:     Photofacial IPL is great for a variety of skin conditions,  Traditionally performed at monthly intervals as a series of treatments, IPL can improve rosacea, broken blood vessels called capillaries, and even pink-brown spots left behind by acne.  Not only does IPL treat red discoloration in the skin, but it also goes after brown spots usually related to sun or UV exposure,  Solar lentigines, melasma, and photoaged skin looks youthful, clearer, and sometimes smoother after a series of IPL treatments.   IPL can also be combined with photodynamic therapy for a more comprehensive, proactive approach to treating both skin aging and precancerous spots called actinic keratoses.   Art of Skin MD will be offering a flash sale on IPL in a few weeks.  Call our qualified staff at (858) 792-SKIN (7546) for details or contact us through the Art of Skin MD website.    

Mar 5

San Diego Laser Expert Dr. Melanie Palm on Melasma and Laser Hair Removal

I just arrived back from Miami for our national meeting called the American Academy of Dermatology.  It was full of the latest and greatest on all the advances in Medical Dermatology, cosmetics procedures, and advances in laser technology.   At the AAD, I had the privilege on lecturing several times on a variety of laser techniques.    See the photos below on the packed audiences that attended the laser lectures.
National California laser expert Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD discusses melasma treatment.

Dr. Melanie Palm breaking down melasma at the AAD exhibition hall.

        One of the most exciting and well-received information that I presented was on the treatment of melasma.  Melasma is a vexing problem for many women, especially in warm sunny climates.  Melasma is a pigmentary disorder that is caused by a combination of a hormonal source of estrogen and sun or UV exposure.  These triggers cause our pigment producing cells called melanocytes to overact, producing patchy areas of hyperpigmentation or brown spots.    Below is a before and after of a melasma patient after Spectra laser treatment.  
Spectra melasma treatment san diego

Melasma patient before and after treatment with the Lutronic Spectra laser.

  Another series of well-attended lectures for which I was invited to speak was on effective laser hair removal.  I addressed the ease and comfort of laser hair removal using the Lutronic Advantage - it can treat an entire male back in 7 minutes!     Check out our Fuzz-Free Fridays specials on laser hair removal.  Have questions?  Call us at Art of Skin MD at (858) 792-SKIN (7546) or through the Art of Skin MD Contact Page.            

Feb 26

Dr. Melanie Palm a Featured Speaker at National Laser Meeting ASLMS in Boston

April will be a busy month for laser specialists.  Nationally and internationally-recognized experts in laser science will converge in Boston this April for the laser meeting of the year, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS).   I (Dr. Melanie Palm) am among the roster of speakers at this international meeting of the minds on the latest and greatest in lasers.  This year's talk will focus on developments in IPL technology as a part of the resident and fellow symposium.  Teaching the next generation proper techniques and safety is paramount not only to myself but for other members of the ASLMS.  Here is a quick demo of IPL in action for treating sun spots on the hands:     Check out just some of our other laser videos on the Art of Skin MD YouTube station to see how easily lasers can be used to treat many of the frustrating skin problems affecting us all.   Laser Hair Removal:   Laser Tattoo Removal Treatment:   Spectra Peel for melasma or pore size reduction:     Got questions?  Give us a call at (858)792-SKIN (7546) or through our Art of Skin MD Contact page.  

Feb 25

Fast and the Furious: Laser Tattoo Removal Made Simple with Dr. Melanie Palm at Art of Skin MD

Tired of that older tattoo from days past?  The old flower or dolphin or initials, or heart or star has lost its glimmer or meaning?  Are you ready to rid that tattoo?  If your answer is yes, consider laser tattoo removal at Art of Skin MD.   At Art of Skin MD, Dr. Melanie Palm uses the latest technology to remove professional and traumatic tattoos.  Most colored tattoos can be removed with our Q-switched laser, the Lutronic Spectra Laser.  The Spectra laser features multiple wavelengths (four) to treat nearly all colors found in professional tattoos.   Comfort is extremely important for our patients during tattoo removal.  We seek to make the experience pain-free.  Watch Dr. Palm treat a tattoo in seconds on our YouTube channel:       Ask our qualified staff at Art of Skin MD about tattoo removal today.  Contact us through the Art of Skin MD website or by calling (858) 792-SKIN (7546).