Balance Your Skin’s Microbiome to Clear Acne

by Marie Veronique

Nothing’s more exasperating than conspicuous breakouts. We all get them, and we all spend a lot of effort trying to avoid them. A daily diet of topical antibiotics and antimicrobials prescribed to combat acne may work for a time, but ultimately, they can disrupt the skin’s microbiome balance. It’s now common knowledge that prolonged use of antibiotics kills off beneficial bacteria found in the gut microbiome, tipping the balance in favor of over-colonization by disease-causing pathogens. Similar to the gut’s microbial disruption-disease cycle, skin microbial dysbiosis can lead to skin problems ranging from redness, irritation, rosacea, rashes, eczema, resurgence of acne and adult acne to photosensitization.


A Treatment Plan for Acne

by Marie Veronique

Acne is usually a result of elevated testosterone levels increasing sebum production. The excess sebum and the bacteria that feed on it, as well as dead skin cells and assorted debris, collect in the pores. The resulting congestion can lead to inflammation, which culminates in a case of acne. Conventional treatments battle breakouts with topical cleansers, exfoliants, antimicrobials, antibiotics and, in serious cases of cystic acne, drugs like Accutane. Now new research suggests that certain vitamins, taken internally as well as applied topically, offer an effective alternative approach to treating acne—without the side effects. This story will explore your options.

How to Find a Safe Sunscreen that Works

by Marie Veronique

The right sunscreen not only lowers skin your cancer risk, but it delays skin aging, as well. For a sunscreen to effectively aid in photoaging prevention, it must include active ingredients that protect against damage occasioned by long-wave length UVA rays. But some ingredients in some sunscreens actually accelerate skin aging, because they generate free radicals that attack cell structures and DNA, eventually resulting in chronic inflammation.

Sun Protection: Scrutinize Sunscreen Ingredients, Not SPF Numbers

by Marie Veronique

To select a safe and healthy sunscreen, scrutinize sunscreen ingredients, not SPF numbers. Physical sunblocks offer UVB protection equivalent to chemical sunscreens and superior protection against UVA rays and beyond. Some chemicals in sunscreens can be toxic to reproductive systems, cause allergic reactions and accelerate skin aging.


Sun Protection: High SPFs Can Be Misleading

by Marie Veronique

The most effective way to delay signs of aging is to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with good UVA protection daily—not only when you go to the beach. But beware: Products boasting high SPF numbers can be very misleading. High SPF ratings, in the 40s, 50s and even higher, indicate complete, broad-spectrum, UVB/UVA protection. The implication is that the higher the number, the greater your level of protection.

Sun Protection: It's Dangerous to Get It Wrong

by Marie Veronique

Some time ago, a senator used a snowball as Exhibit 1 to prove that global warming doesn’t exist—if it did, we wouldn’t have snowballs, right? Well, no actually. Extreme temperatures in temperate zones, low as well as high, demonstrate exactly the opposite, but who are we to deny senators their theatrical moments, no matter how ridiculous?

A Sperm-Savers’ Shopping Guide

by Marie Veronique

A recent Danish study showed that, of almost 5,000 men averaging 19-years-old tested over a 15-year period, only 25% had healthy sperm counts. To blame: plastics like PFCs and phthalates found in toys, food and cosmetics—and the materials used to package them. Of course, the problem goes far beyond the plastics mentioned—plastics manufacturing is the third largest industry in the U.S., and at every stage of their journey from factory to landfill, synthetic polymers have a negative impact on our health and the health of future generations.

9 Suggestions for Sensible Sun Protection

by Marie Veronique

As the subject of how best to protect yourself from the sun grows ever more complicated, advice from all quarters grows shriller and ever more conflicting. Now we have after-sun damage to ponder, and Professor Niehls Jorgensen, author of a new Danish study suggesting a link between exposure to an enormous number of chemicals in plastics and low sperm counts, advises men not to wear sunscreen at all.

Sun protection is a complicated business, and it’s little wonder consumers are confused, fed up or just plain bored with the whole subject. But sun protection is important. Melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) rates are skyrocketing, and simply put, wearing sunscreen can save lives. However, it can’t be just any old sunscreen. In fact, most sunscreens are worse than useless, as the EWG points out.