Fresh Start Blog
If you purchase a pair of sunglasses, they must offer some level of UV protection. This level could vary, however, which is why it's best to look for those that specify a certain level, such as UV 400 or 100 percent UV absorption. Because the FDA only regulates whether companies adhere to the labeling, if your sunglasses claim to be "100 percent UV protected," they must live up to that claim. That said, there are other types of glasses on the market that are marketed as sunglasses but are actually called: *Sun blockers *Polarized glasses *Eyeware *Sunware. In these cases, they may offer no UV protection at all, yet would still be allowed under the FDA rules because they're not technically called 'sunglasses.' There are also so-called 'cosmetic' sunglasses.
Price is not an indicator of quality sun protection. CBS News actually did a study comparing cheap sunglasses ($5 a pair) to high-end brands like Versace ($200 a pair). All 31 pairs carried claims that they offered excellent UV protection… and all but one (a cheap pair) actually did. In other words, if your sunglasses claim to offer good UV protection, they probably do. But, if you're uncertain, take them in to an eye center. Most will test the UV protection level of your sunglasses for free, and it takes less than 30 seconds to do so.
Sunblock protects your skin by absorbing and/or reflecting UVA and UVB radiation. All sunblocks have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating. The SPF rating indicates how long a sunscreen remains effective on the skin. A user can determine how long their sunblock will be effective by multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes for him or her to suffer a burn without sunscreen.
For instance, if you normally develop sunburn in 10 minutes without wearing a sunscreen, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will protect you for 150 minutes (10 minutes multiplied by the SPF of 15). Although sunscreen use helps minimize sun damage, no sunscreen completely blocks all wavelengths of UV light. The American Association of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that a "broad spectrum" sunblock with an SPF of at least 15 and no more than SPF 50. We recommend sunblocks with SPF of at least 30 with frequent reapplication.
Dark Eye Circles
Dark circles are often caused by the aging process as the skin around the eyes become thinner, allowing blood vessels to show. So, now that we have them, is there any way to get rid of them?
There basically three types of dark eye circles:
1. Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmented undereye circles can be dark circles often found in women with darker skin tones (African, East Indian or Latin descent). This is caused by the over-abundance of melanin in skin.
2. Blue-ish veins. As we age, the skin around our eyes thins out, causing the veins underneath to show. This is typical in women with lighter skin.
3. Poor circulation. These under-eye circles tend to be puffy or baggy. This is usually caused by poor blood flow or water retention under the eye. Large bags that don't recede in time are hereditary. The temporary ones can be caused by stress, lack of sleep or a bad smoking habit.
To determine the cause of your under-eye circles, press your thumb on the shadows. If the shadows momentarily lighten, the cause is poor circulation. If they don't lighten, the cause is hyperpigmentation, according to dermatologist Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas of Yale University in Elle Magazine.
How to Treat Dark Eye Circles
Dark circles from hyperpigmentation can be treated with lasers. However, be warns that lasers don't always work well on darker skin. "The laser may turn on melanocytes to produce more pigment," says in Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas.
For dark skin, she prefers topical solutions made with kojic acid. Creams with hydroquinone are also commonly used to treat undereye circles. Both kojic acid and hydroquinone brighten hyperpigmented skin.
If you suffer from puffy eye bags, sleep on your back with your head propped up. You can also treat puffiness with black tea bags. Chill steeped tea bags in the fridge first. Place chilled bags over the eyes. The tannins in black tea help reduce bloat, according to "Confessions of a Beauty Editor," a book written by the editors of Allure magazine.
If bags are constant and never go away, see a doctor for more treatment options.
Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there. (This problem is called venous insufficiency.) When backed-up blood makes the veins bigger, they can become varicose.
Spider veins can be caused by the backup of blood. They can also be caused by hormone changes, exposure to the sun, and injuries.