New research suggested makeup helps fight skin cancer + signs of ageing

New research from the Australasian College of Dermatologists suggests that cosmeceuticals - or functional coloured cosmetics - such as foundation, eyeshadow and lipstick are the second most important anti ageing products to use after sunscreen. ACD dermatologist Dr Phillip Artemi said some makeup products offer benefits that are more than just aesthetic – reducing the incidence of skin cancer, especially around the eye. “We now know that it isn’t just solar radiation such as UVB and UVA that is bad for the skin,” he said at the ACD’s Annual Scientific Meeting this month. “The sun also emits infrared radiation and visible light, which can lead to damage resulting in dull skin, wrinkles and unsightly pigmentation. “Pollution, too, has been shown to cause wrinkles and skin ageing and, with increased urbanisation, traffic pollution is set to become a major skin toxin.” Due to properties such as SPF ingredients, pigments and reflectors of solar radiation, functional coloured cosmetics can offer protection against the ageing - and cancer causing - impact of sun exposure. But Dr Artemi said lipgloss provided little protection, suggesting that coloured, long lasting lipsticks afforded better protection. He said that while sunscreens go a long way to helping prevent sun damage, “we now advise that functional coloured cosmetics should be added to the long-standing advice in order to further reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing as well as protecting against the increasing danger of air pollution”. PRAHS Cosmetic and Rejuvenation Clinics dermal clinician Deborah Seib-Daniell recommends a daily routine of cleansing, then applying an antioxidant-rich serum, moisturiser and SPF 50 sunscreen – after which functional cosmetics such as foundations,...

What is actinic or ‘solar’ keratosis?

An actinic keratosis (AK) is also known as a ‘solar’ keratosis. It has the appearance of a crusty, scaly growth and is caused by  damage to the skin from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation; something we see a lot of in Queensland! Can it cause skin cancer? Actinic keratosis is considered a pre cancer because if  it’s left alone it may develop into a skin cancer, most often the second most common form of the disease, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). What causes solar keratosis? Sun exposure! Queensland has the dubious title of the ‘skin cancer capital of the world’, having the highest rates of skin cancer thanks to our high year-round UV levels, outdoor lifestyle and the predominance of people with light skin colour in our population. The most common type of precancerous skin lesion, actinic keratosis appear on skin that has been regularly exposed to the sun or artificial sources of UV light, such as tanning machines. Where does actinic keratosis form on the body? They most frequently appear on exposed areas such as the face and body, including the scalp, ears, shoulders, neck, arms and back of hands. They can also appear on the shin, ankles and feet. Which skin types are more likely to develop solar keratosis? People who have fair complexions are more prone to AKs than are people with medium or dark skin. What does solar keratosis look like? They are often elevated, rough in texture and resemble warts or scabs. They often become red, and can range in colour from  light or dark beige, white or pink. They can also change colour. In...