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Women’s Dermatologic Society Panel Discussion on Vitamin D, Sun Care and More

October 22, 2010 Comments

On Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, three members of the Women’s Dermatology Society (WDS)— dermatologists Diane S. Berson, M.D., Heidi Waldorf, M.D., and Kavita Mariwalla M.D.—participated in a panel discussion at BeautyPress’ Media Day on changes in dermatology, skincare trends, the Sunscreen Monograph and other advances in the skin care industry.

Waldorf discussed some of the biggest trends happening in skin care today. As a result of the economic downturn, she noted “People want to look natural, not overdone." Instead of major cosmetic produces, many consumers are looking a little “tweaking" versus reconstruction. Neurmodulators have been around for a couple decades now and are commonly used to soften signs of aging. Not only are they used to fill lines, but to shape and renew proportions of the face. On a safety note, Waldorf noted many neuromodulators have a better safety profile than aspirin.

Mariwalla, who was part of the WDS mentorship program, and also the recipient of grant from WDS, debunked a few myths related to skin cancer, vitamin D and sun exposure. Despite the popular school of thought that vitamin D deficiency occurs when you don’t get enough sun, studies are finding sun exposure is not the root of vitamin D abundance. And, contrary to popular tanning-booth belief, tanning booths are not a sufficient way to get vitamin D; it actually increases your risk for skin cancer by multiple-fold. As a result of these recent studies, Mariwalla recommended supplementing vitamin D. Vitamin D3, made through UVB, is the best source of vitamin D, as it helps absorb calcium, helps with inflammation and it regulates cell death. Another myth she debunked was that sunscreen stops vitamin D exposure—wrong; it helps protect the skin from UV damage.

Berson discussed sunscreen’s bad rep for increasing skin cancer risk. The root of this rumor stemmed from consumers’ false sense of security: because they were getting a “base tan" and they weren’t getting a sun burn, they assumed their sun exposure was at “safe levels"; however, sunscreen protects against UVB rays—the burning rays—and consumers were still being exposed to UVA rays—which penetrate deeper into the skin, destroys collagen, causes immunosuppression and skin cancer.

UVA and UVB protection are a hot topic right now. Many organic filters that effectively protect against UVA are approved in Europe, but FDA has yet to approve them for use in the United States. Changes in the Sunscreen Monograph are also slated to take place in the near future.

The panel mentioned the turn toward natural ingredients that work synergistically with the skin to help protect against inflammation—the root of all skin evil—reinforce the barrier function of the skin, help with pigmentation, reduce pore size, fight off oxidative damage and stimulate collagen production. These ingredients included: vitamin B (niacin, in particular), licorice, caffeine, chamomile and soy. 

Fortunately, the hybrid of cosmetics/skincare/personal care and nutraceuticals is a growing trend, and our industry is bound to see more growth as a result.

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