Category Archives: Sun Safety

Don’t forget about the neck and chest!

When thinking of skincare products and treatments, we tend to focus our thoughts on our face. Of course, we want to have glowing skin on our face, however we need to make sure that our face matches our neck and chest.

When applying sunscreen, make sure that you apply the product down the neck and also on your chest. The neck and chest are some of the first areas to show visible signs of aging, develop laxity and discoloration, all of which give away our age. Being sure to protect those areas will avoid those pesky spots and wrinkles from popping up.

But what if the damage is already done?

That is where treatments come in to play! The neck and chest are wonderful areas to treat using the latest laser technology. Whether it’s skin tightening for the neck area, skin resurfacing for wrinkles and fine lines, or needing to even out skin tone by removing unsightly brown spots, we have your answer.

Most treatments require little to no downtime and results can be achieved in one to two treatments. Consultations are always complimentary. We would love to sit down and create a personalized treatment plan to make sure all of your goals will be met.

Actual SkinSpeaks patient-

IPL Chest

Patient received 1 IPL treatment

The Importance of Year Round Sunscreen

Image result for sunscreen bottle

Are you still using your favorite sunscreen, even for these late winter/early spring months?  Here are a few reasons why it’s important to use sunscreen year around.

There are different types of UV rays, the most common being UVA and UVB. UVA rays are present and the same strength year round, regardless of the season. They penetrate more deeply than UVB rays and cause premature aging and skin damage. UVB rays are the rays that cause skin to redden and burn. They are not as strong during the winter, so that means you most likely won’t get sunburned and you also will have no warning signs when you’ve had too much exposure.  With snow on the ground that increases your exposure because the snow reflects the sun’s rays, which can result in a double dose of exposure.  So  get into a good routine of using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily.  Ask our SkinSpeaks team for a recommendation today!

3 Winter Skincare Mistakes


Slacking on exfoliation-

Winter is an especially important time to exfoliate. By removing dead skin cells, moisturizers can actually penetrate deeper providing the extra hydration it needs.

Over moisturizing-

Our harsh Minnesota winters can really stress our skin, leaving it feeling super dry.  It’s a common mistake to layer on the moisturizers, but caking on these lotions can increase clogged pores, bumps, and breakouts. After the skin has absorbed all that it can absorb, the rest just sits on the surface of the skin potentially blocking pores.  Making sure you are using the correct moisturizers for your skin type and adding an oil-free serum can give you the extra boost it may need to survive the winter.

Skipping the SPF-

Even though you may not be getting a sunburn or suntan, you are still getting those damaging rays that cause brown spots and aging. Also, snow reflects up to 80% of the UV light from the sun, increasing your risk of damage. Use an SPF of 30 or high every day and reapply often when spending extended amounts of time in the harsh winter air.

Don’t Put Away Your Sunscreen!

Summer may officially be over, but that does not mean it is time to put your sunscreen away. Did you know that you are actually at more risk for sun damage when out shoveling snow then when you are laying on the beach? UVA rays are just as strong during the winter months as they are in the summer. UVB rays are stronger in the summer, however reflection of the rays can cause them to be up to 80% stronger. Snow reflects 80% of UV rays, whereas beach sand reflects only 15%.  Bottom line, do not put that SPF away! It is extremely important to keep using all year long.

SkinSpeaks offers a wide variety of SPF options to help protect your skin ALL year round. Whether you want an SPF that moisturizes, has anti-aging properties, has a tint or just a plain old sunscreen, we have what you need!


SPF in a Nutshell

SPF is a measure of UVB protection (does NOT indicate UVA protection) that refers to how many times longer a person could be in the sun before getting burnt compared to being outside without sunscreen. Suppose that a particular person would normally burn after 15 minutes on an average sunny day. If this person applied a sufficient amount of SPF 30, then she would theoretically develop a burn after 7.5 hours (30 times longer than with no sun screen). However, this does NOT mean that she is protected for 7.5 hours, as damage to the DNA in the skin occurs well before the skin reddens. The SPF rating is NOT intended to be used to calculate how long someone can or should be in the sun and if misinterpreted can give a person a false sense of security.

How much protection are you getting with each SPF?

SPF 5: 80% of UV radiation is screened

SPF 15: 93% of UV radiation is screened

SPF 30: 97% of UV radiation is screened

SPF 50: 98% of UV radiation is screened

SPF 100: 99% of UV radiation is screened

The numbers above demonstrate that there is not a very meaningful difference between the higher SPFs. The bottom line is that no matter the SPF, sunscreen must be applied at least every 2 hours of sun exposure to adequately protect the skin. You don’t need to get burned to experience the harmful effects of UV radiation.

5 Skin Cancer Facts that will surprise you

1.The risk of developing melanoma doubles in those who have had five or more sunburns.

2.Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults age 25-29. It is the 2nd most common form of cancer in teenagers. About 75% of these melanomas are attributed to tanning bed use.

3.Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Those who survive melanoma are about nine times as likely as the general population to develop a new melanoma.

4.Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; there are more skin cancers diagnosed every year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined!

5.One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Of those who live to be at least 65 years old, 40%-50% of them will have developed at least 1 skin cancer.

The easiest and most effective way to prevent skin cancer is; by using sun protection that includes a combination of daily use of sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater), wearing protective clothing such as hats, and making an effort to seek shade when possible while enjoying the outdoors.

* BONUS FACT: Daily use of sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing skin cancers by 40%-50%.

Skin cancer facts obtained from the Skin Cancer foundation –

The Importance of Sunscreen

We think by now it is an understatement that snow weary Midwesterners are ready for a little fun in the sun!  At Skin Speaks: Advancements in Dermatology we want to educate and protect you against the most preventable risk factor of getting skin cancer, a sunburn.  While we want everyone to get the most enjoyment out of our beautiful Minnesota summer weather, a little care and planning will go a long way in preventing burns, premature aging and skin cancer. 

First let’s dispel a few myths:

 1)    You don’t need sunscreen

            Sunscreen prevents harmful UV rays.  If you are going to be outside for longer than 20 minutes certain lighter skin types will start to burn.  If you normally tan and feel that sunscreen is not necessary that is also false.  A tan is another type of visible injury to the skin as well.  There is also the myth that you should tan in a tanning bed before a vacation in a warm weather climate; however, these types of tanning are provided by high intensity UVA rays.  This will darken the skin quickly but not offer protection from UVB rays. People of all skin types, including skin of color, require sunscreen as everyone is at risk to develop skin cancer.  One famous example is Bob Marley who died at age 36 of an aggressive melanoma.

            There are many types of sunscreens on the market. Keep trying different brands until you find a great fit for you.  At Skin Speaks we recommend Neutrogena Ultra Dry Touch and CeraVe sunscreen which is a chemical free, transparent, physical blocker.  Our clinics and spa also offer cosmetically elegant sunscreen options for the face that can be worn under make up, as well as Intellishade tinted sunscreen which is a staff favorite.

 2) The higher the SPF the less I need to reapply

            As a general rule sunscreen products need to be reapplied every 2 hours or if you are getting out of the water.  This holds true even if the product states it is water or sweat proof.

 3)  I can use my sunscreen from last year

            Not true!  If you are using your sunscreen the way it is intended you should not be carrying it over from year to year.  Chemically the sunscreen will break down over time and the bottles should have an expiration date, so be sure to take note of this.  Also, do not store your sunscreen in a heated car or other warm environment. 

 4)  Sunscreen isn’t safe

            The American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation both say sunscreen is safe and effective. There are claims suggesting otherwise and are based on questionable science, the Skin Cancer Foundation says. Researchers who studied more than 1,600 adults over 10 years found that those who applied sunscreen each day reduced their risk of melanoma significantly.

 5)  I don’t need to apply sunscreen on cloudy days

            Not true!  UV rays are able to penetrate through the clouds which can cause an unexpected burn and UV damage to the skin.  Also, be aware of the environment that you are in outdoors as snow, water and sand also have reflective properties and intensify the UV rays’ effect.  If you are driving in your car you should be applying sunscreen as the damaging UV rays will penetrate through the window.  During skin exams we are able to see notable signs of sun exposure, aging and skin cancers on the left side of the face. 


While this list is not exhaustive, providing you with a few more helpful hints will go a long way in your skin’s overall health and well being: 

             ~The proper amount of sunscreen to apply is about 1 ounce or the size of a shot glass

            ~Don’t forget the commonly missed sites like you ears and scalp!

            ~If you are outdoors and your shadow is shorter than you-seek shade

            ~You will get adequate amounts of sun for your vitamin D with incidental sun exposure

            ~The recommended SPF is between 30-50.  No matter the SPF you still need to reapply

            ~People who use indoor tanning beds increase their risk of acquiring melanoma by 75%

            ~Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection

 When discussing sunscreen and sun safety with our patients, we also recommend they watch a short video on YouTube called “Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me.”  It will hopefully help you understand the impact of skin cancer and encourage consistent use of sunscreen and sun protective measures for you and your loved ones.