Coco Chanel made tans fashionable
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SUN IS LOVELY – BUT WATCH IT!
Cancer Patients must avoid direct sun, and don’t forget that even under an umbrella, sun’s rays can be bounced off the sea, or even concrete, and burn you!
So use a good sun cream and make sure you top it up regularly.
When slapping on the suncream, take the opportunity to examine your skin for ABCD, suggests the Cadogan Clinic.
A = mole that becomes asymmetrical
B = edge/border changes
C = develops more than one colour
D + diameter enlarges to more than 6mm
“If you find a mole with any of these ABCD traits, get it checked as soon as possible”.
And never, never use sunbeds.
At last, after all the media hype, the WHO (World Health Organisation) and recent studies have said that Tanning beds increase your odds of getting cancer. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced in the new issue of the Lancet Oncology that it has moved UV tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category — “carcinogenic to humans.”
Until now, the committee of experts who advise the World Health Organization had not confirmed a link between tanning beds, sunlamps, and cancer. The group made the decision after reviewing studies that showed teens and young adults who used tanning beds increased their risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.
HOW CHANEL MADE SUNTANS FASHIONABLE
Ironically, the great fashion icon Coco Chanel made suntans fashionable. Chanel was the IT girl of her generation (1920s); lover of the Duke of Westminster (one of world’s richest men), and whatever she did was news.
Until her time, all women wanted the pale, elegant look; only peasants got sunburn. But after a day spent on a yacht in the Mediterrenean, where she accidentally got sunburn, Chanel changed that, and made the ‘sporty outdoors look’ fashionable. All the fashionistas wanted the same look; on which she capitalized.
How times have changed!
Today, we realise that the lovely bronze colour of a suntan actually masks burnt skin underneath the top layer; a recipe for disaster later on. And it is this unseen damage that causes the problems.
Also, sunburn is ageing – you only have to look at some film stars and TV presenters, past their sell-by date, who always had a deep tan. Seeing their skin close to is frightening. If you really want to keep a youthful skin, wear a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 – 20 cream on your face every time you go out, as the sun’s rays still penetrate even in winter, and when there is cloud. And don’t think that glass protects you -apparently sun’s rays penetrate this, especially car windscreens.
PREPARING FOR SUN
To look good, you have to prepare your skin. Every month at least, have a Facial to help restore the moisture in your skin, and prepare the skin on face, neck and bust to survive pollution, sun, stress and modern life.
Recently I visited one of the most advanced skin treatment salons, in the new Westfield shopping complex, in West London. There Destination Skin has a salon offering everything from facials up to complete skin Rejuvenation Packages at £3,000.
Before putting myself into Siobhan Hudson’s hands, I had to fill out a very detailed medical questionnaire. I said I wanted a facial, and she disappeared for ten minutes. Becoming restless, she returned to tell me she had been checking with their backroom team to find out what my skin would be able to tolerate. Showing me a list of drug names, she went through them with me to confirm that I hadn’t forgotten one, and then told me that the team advised that I needed a Hydrating B5 Facial. This attention to detail is incredibly reassuring; the salon carries out all sorts of treatments, but it was made very obvious that if I had come in and wanted anything inappropriate, I wouldn’t have been allowed to have it.
Using their SkinCeuticals products, there then followed a blissful session of cleansing, exfoliating and a wonderful mask – which I could feel my skin soaking up. Several days later I still can feel the benefits, and what was even more of a delightful surprise was that in this very modern salon, the price for my gorgeous facial was an incredible £45.
Siobhan tells me they also have experts who can do things like putting in tattoos to replace the areola when you have had a mastectomy. They have salons in major towns around the UK, and if you really want to go into the science of skin the salons have those special cameras that can highlight the damage done to your face by the sun. They also offer treatments for men too. 0845 125 8415 www.destinationskin.com
Before you slap on sun protection, you MUST have a clean skin.
Water is essential too – inside, NOT as a cleanser on its own. Those nice people at Willow Water sent me some helpful tips from Celebrity make up artist Armand Beasley which make sense:
1. Keeping your body hydrated is essential. With our brains being over 70% water we must drink two litres of water a day. I love Willow spring water for its smooth taste and beautifying properties.
2. Twice a week have a full body exfoliation. Get rid of those flaky dead skin cells and buff the skin to aid absorption. Use a circular motion with or without a mitten and focus on dry areas like elbows and shins.
3. Ditch the face wipes! Once in a while is fine but they can dehydrate your skin so invest in a good cleanser. If time is of the essence, then take a look at cleansers and toners in one. Again, preparing your skin properly will allow your moisturiser to be more effective.
4. Don’t splash your face with cold water as this can damage the skin especially if you’re prone to redness. Splash with tepid water instead.
5. If you have dry skin then go for a nourishing cream foundation; dehydrated skins should use a fluid foundation; oily skin should try either mineral powder base or an oil control foundation. Always apply from the nose then blend out so by the time you get to the jawline, the base should have blended into your skin.
For more info log on to http://www.willowwater.com.
To keep updated with Armand Beasley go to http://www.armandinternationalltd.com
Even in winter, I put on a minimum SPF 15 protection every day, such as Clinique’s Repairwear lift. Good name, and it does what it ways on the label, although it has a tough job fighting against the seven (or is it 8) drugs I take daily.
These drugs are zapping our skin from every direction, so you need good ‘fighters’ on your side. WEAR PROTECTION! and remember even on a dull day the sun’s rays still get through to harm skin.
Slip – Slap – Slop
When the sun does shine, remember some of the best cancer skincarecare advice comes from Australia, so copy their mantra Slip – Slap – Slop.
- Slip on something cool that covers the body
- Slap on the high factor protection
- Slop on a hat.
France is another country where cancer care is good – and the medical spa of La Roche Posay has developed a user-friendly range of suncare products under the trade name Anthelios.
For years the French have had the benefit of excellent skincare for medical conditions on their health service and now the pioneers, La Roche-Posay products, are made under licence by L’Oreal skincare. Recently La Roche-Posay (LRP) have come out with high factor Sun protection product, Anthelios,which gives protection up to Factor 50+. They also have an SPF 50 cream for the face that is tinted, so I often use this instead of foundation.
LRP chose to launch in Eire as Skin Cancer is one of their most common cancers, responsible for 1 in 4 new cancers in Ireland every year. Possibly this is because it is more likely to affect fair-skinned people (2 out of 3 of Irish population), but don’t think you are immune if you have a dark skin, as skin cancer can attack any skin colour.
When deciding on what protection you need, you may be confused by talk of UVA and UVB rays. La Roche Posay says:
UV rays come in two forms UVA and UVB.
UVA rays are 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth; responsible for ageing of skin and can cause skin cancer.
UVB rays are more dangerous than UVA rays, even though they only account for about 5% of radiation that reaches earth. They burn the skin and can cause skin cancer and eye damage. Anthelios range offers greater protection of less than or equal to 2.5.
All sunscreens with an SPF will filter out some of the rays, but you need overall protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and the European Commission recommends a ration between UVB and UVA protection of less than or equal to 3.
Anthelios, being French, has been developed with a strong in-put from feminine users, and the first thing you notice is that although the creams vary from SPF 20 – 50+, they sink straight in to the skin – you don’t have that white layer making you look like a ghost. They advise putting on one application ,waiting ten minutes, then add another application. And don’t miss out on ears and back of neck and knees.
And listen to the French – their women didn’t start with out good skins, but boy do they age better – and that is because they are taught to take care of their skin from an early age.
If you perspire, you need to renew sun protection more frequently, and LRP recommend re-applying every hour. Well, they would, but this was confirmed by Prof. John Hawk of St. Thomas’ Hospital in a recent speech.
Prof. Hawk didn’t have a good word to say about sunbeds. To be avoided like the plague. Use fake tans – I am using a marvellous one by Estée Lauder called Self Tan, which they make in three colours, so you can choose your tone. One thing I like particularly is that it doesn’t have that horrid smell on my skin.
But remember – Fake Tans are not sun protection – you need to use both.
La Prairie’s Soleil Suisse SUN products with one of the highest SPF factors (50) are also popular, and you can save money by buying in Duty Free outlets.
The old days of ghastly fake tans in orange stripes have long gone. But to get the best results you need to start off with smooth skin, so always exfoliate before you start. Currently I am using Clinique’s Sparkle Exfoliator – lovely name!
This is ideal as a basis for fake tan, as it leaves your skin beautifully smooth – what you need to ensure the fake tan goes on smoothly with as few streaks as possible. Use Sparkle before you get in to a bath or shower, then when you pat yourself dry smooth on the fake tan.
Either use gloves to spread on the fake tan, or as soon as you finish immediately wash your hands – otherwise you end up with orange palms!
Today I ‘slapped on’ Estée Lauder’s Self Tan, and – as the product says – I have a ‘medium gold’ tan, of which I am very proud. I always hated using these tans, as usually they smelt so awful on me that either I put them on at night, and the smell woke me up, or I felt I was so smelly I had to avoid everyone. But this product has no smell at all – even though I have been sniffing away for the past few hours, and I feel very smart! And being from the Estée Lauder stable I know they understand cancer skin.
Incidentally, like most sunscreens this product does not protect against the sun, so you MUST put on a sunscreen as well.
Generally the fake will fade away after about 3 – 5 days, so needs to be re-applied. And don’t forget it takes some hours before the colour develops, so if you need an immediate tan use a purpose-made cream. However, these often aren’t water-proof, and will come off in the bath or when swimming.
has useful advice about how and when to apply suncare creams, and says that even if you have a dark skin, you MUST apply these too: http://www.cancer.about.com/skincancerprevention/a/sunscreenmistakes.
Sun, Ski and Skin is Not a Good Combination
A top skin cancer expert has issued a health warning to anyone planning to head to the slopes for a ski holiday.
A Consultant Dermatologist at London’s Cadogan Clinic www.cadoganclinic.com, Dr Jonathan Bowling is concerned that people don’t understand the importance of sun protection when on the slopes:
“Skiing is a fantastic sport and good for general fitness, but a lot of people forget the effect that the winter sun can have on their skin. When you’re up a mountain, at altitude, your level of UV exposure is higher than at ground level, so you’re soaking up the radiation.
“Add to that the geography and the sun can be incredibly intense. Normally features such as grass and trees absorb the UV, but when those features are covered in snow not only are they not absorbing the UV, the snow cover itself is bouncing the UV back at you.”
Skin cancer is the commonest form of cancer in the UK, with 75,000 cases reported each year and rates on the rise, coupled , with the main risk factor for skin cancer being an increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation. There are three main types of skin cancer, melanoma (the most serious, malignant type), squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. In all three, early detection is essential.
Dr Bowling says that anyone going skiing this winter needs to consider sun protection as essential as warm clothing and the correct equipment.
“Anyone skiing should treat the slopes like a beach and apply just as much, if not more sun protection to any exposed skin than they would when stretching out on a sun-lounger. Sun cream for skiing should be the highest factor tolerated, with a minimum SPF of 30, and should be broad spectrum to protect against both UVA& UVB, and should be reapplied every 2 hours.
“Sun-blocks which contain a higher percentage of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide should be considered as they give excellent, long-lasting protection, even though they are cosmetically inferior; a practical approach would be to use these products for just the lips and nose. Finally do not forget to protect children. Sunglasses or goggles with UV filters will give additional protection to the eyes and eyelids.
Dr Bowling adds that anyone who has had sun exposure, especially if they have burned, should be looking for any new or unusual moles, blemishes and having them checked as soon as they get home:
“There are a few key things to look for if you think a mole may be suspicious: A mole that becomes asymmetrical (A), the edge/border changes (B), develops more than one colour (C) or the diameter enlarges to more than 6mm (D).
“If you find a mole with any of these ABCD traits, get it checked as soon as possible on your return home. Additionally any areas of broken skin that won’t heal should also be checked, as this may also be a sign of skin cancer. The Cadogan Clinic is the only clinic in the UK able to offer same-day skin cancer testing; elsewhere you’re likely to be waiting up to a week for results, giving you several days of worry and stress when you could already be undergoing treatment.”
Tony Turnbull is a ski instructor and travel operator from Woodstock, Oxfordshire who, through his North Yorkshire based company Nordic Challenge UK Ltd, has spent many years taking skiers on downhill and cross-country skiing trips in Norway. Tony recently came to Dr Bowling to have treatment for a sun-related skin disorder on his forehead.
Tony says he and his company take sun protection when skiing very seriously:
“I’ve spent many years of my life working in the ski industry and through our work with Nordic Challenge UK we have always made sun safety one of our top priorities.
“I’ve always been aware of the problems associated with the ski environment and climate, especially cold and sun. We warn all of our skiers and supervise them in the application of sun creams and barriers, especially the school parties we take to Norway.
“You do inevitably catch the sun while you’re on the slopes, especially at the end of the season, so you have to take the risk of sun damage very seriously.”
London’s Cadogan Clinic is the only clinic in the UK currently able to offer same-day skin cancer testing, where moles can be seen by a specialist, biopsied in the lab and results given (and treatment started if necessary) all on one day. In most clinics these tests take up to a week, causing unnecessary worry and stress.
One of the diagnostic techniques Dr Bowling makes use of is Dermoscopy, where specialised devices (dermatoscopes) are used which illuminate and magnify structures within the skin which would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. These structures include the blood vessels seen in certain skin cancers. Dermoscopy has been proven to improve accuracy when diagnosing melanoma, allowing earlier detection of melanoma and other skin cancers and a reduction in unnecessary skin excisions.
Treatment for skin cancer is complex and depends on a number of factors including the type of cancer, the site affected and the potential of the tumour to spread. Treatments can include topical creams for less aggressive cancers; cryotherapy, the freezing of a tumour; surgical excision; photodynamic therapy using special creams and bright light. All these treatments are offered by the Cadogan Clinic.
The Clinic also offers a range of skin cancer prevention programmes including mole mapping, a technique whereby a patient’s moles are catalogued or ‘mapped’, with the images created being used as part of a skin cancer surveillance programme, with regular comparisons of images to looks for changes in mole size, shape etc.
Anyone interested in making an appointment with the skin cancer experts at The Cadogan Clinic should call 020 7901 8500 or see www.cadoganclinic.com.
It is fashionable in Australia and the Far East for men and women to wear swimsuits that cover large areas of the body – particularly up to the neck and across the back – as the best way of protecting skin.
After radiotherapy you will probably be advised to stay out of the sun for some time, and of course you need to beware getting skin cancer. This is easily treatable if caught soon enough, but it is rapidly becoming one of most prevalent cancers, and you want to ensure you don’t get it. So wear sensible swimwear. Thongs and bikinis are the worst possible scenario!
Instead, investigate what Speedo has to offer. The company started 75 years ago in Australia, and now sell a complete body suit – or you can just buy the ‘middle’ part which covers the back and neck, top or arms and top of legs (if you want to look more fashionable when out of the water, roll up the leg part! and roll it down when swimming). The sun’s rays penetrate into water, so wearing a bikini whilst swimming is asking for trouble. This body suit in very smart colours costs £50. www.speedo.co.uk 0115 9105267.
Speedo are sold in most sports shops or contact www.brandnation.co.uk for nearest stockists.
Mosquitoes are nasty little things and can do incredible amounts of damage with their tiny bodies. Shortly after getting a nasty bite, I develop Lymphoedema – am sure it is just a co-incidence, but there is a lot of anecdotal – unproven – evidence out there.
Anyway, avoid the little perishers, and make sure you use something to keep them away. Jungle Formula has been developed for intreprid explorers and makes a range of useful products which you can get at all good chemists.