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Faking It

July 2005

A QUICK GLANCE THROUGH THE LATEST FASHION MAGAZINES reveals that the look of sun-bronzed skin is hot. However, we are also warned of the many dangers related to sun exposure. The American Academy of Dermatology has reported that the incidence of melanoma has more than tripled in the last couple of decades, and it’s the most common cancer among women between the ages of 25 and 29. So based on this warning and the implied safety risks of chemical tanning booths and products, how can we transform our skin, the largest and most complicated immune organ, into that beautiful bronze color without sacrificing our health?

Sunless-Tanning Options

There are several sunless-tanning choices available today, including bronzers, body-tanning treatments, sprays, and a plethora of products ranging from creams to pills to towelettes. Since the 1960s, fake tanning has become increasingly popular, despite, QT, short for Quick Tanning? It pioneered the thousands of formulas currently on the market. You will probably also recall the infamous orange hue that QT created on the skin. It was not even close to the bronze color users desired.

Today, formulation improvements mean better products that no longer turn the skin a putrid orange; instead, they produce a color so real it can be mistaken as the result of a week spent in Acapulco. I personally can create a better-looking tan with selftanner than the sun could ever produce. So much so that I have been admonished by a doctor about the dangers of tanning.

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Used with permission.

The Ugly Truth of Cellulite

Not Dated

In our aesthetic culture today, the word ‘cellulite’ has come to represent a hideous fat condition of the human body where by we will do just about anything to rid it. The term was first used in the 1920s and began appearing in English language publications around the late 1960s. The earliest reference appeared in Vogue magazine, the prestigious fashion journal. Vogue introduced this new word for ‘fat’ into American society and from then on, controversy has surrounded cellulite for decades whereby medical doctors, scientists, and other professionals cannot agree if this foundation of fat really exists. Many doctors have flatly refused to acknowledge the existence of cellulite and still do despite the overwhelming scientific evidence.

Given that, among the believers there still remain strong opinions that debate the condition, cause, treatment and management of cellulite. And because of the ‘cellulite controversy,’ the last nine decades has spawned a wide range of clinical and home care remedies that have in part been loosely based on solid research and antidotal data used to market these products.

Over the last several months, I have reviewed numerous studies as my sources for this educational editorial and whether you agree or disagree, my intent is to help tear down this controversy and present solid science to facilitate the right products and cellulite treatment for a successful end point result.

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Who is the Brownest of us All?

Not Dated

A quick glance through the latest fashion ‘IT’ magazines makes it clear having golden skin is “Beauty Hot” representing health, vigor, and youth. The desire for this tanned look also presents the flip side of the increasing awareness of accumulative hazards affiliated with prolonged UVR light exposure and a yearly-renewed interest in ‘artificial tanning’ products as summer approaches. Using the term ‘artificial tanning’ is by description only a ‘marketing idiom’ and not accurate in present day sound skin science. Although the potentially dangerous photon energy of the sun is not accountable for this ‘artificial’ pigment reaction, the skin none-the-less is chemically responding with darkening consequence.

Having stated this fact, let’s take a serious look at the cosmetic epiphany to safe tanning and understand the solid science behind it.

The American Academy of Dermatology has reported the incidence of melanoma has more than tripled in the last couple of decades and is more common than any non-skin cancer among women between the ages of 25 to 29. Given the current information and based on this warning juxtaposed with the innuendo of safety regarding certain “chemical” tanning booths, how can we still acquire that magnificent bronze tan color on the largest and most complicated immune organ without sacrificing our health for beauty?

The answer is simple given there are several varieties of sunless tanning products and modern techniques available in salons, spas, skin clinics, and medical spas providing the skin care professional and client with a wide menu of preference options. Many of these “sun alternatives” include sprays, bronzers, consecutive body tanning treatments, and a plethora of products ranging from pills, towelettes, creams, lotions, mists, and gels.

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