Is your sunscreen shady?

sunClick topmost title to open

According to study published in the

Journal of American Academy of Dermatology

(JAMA), and reported widely, 40 percent of

top consumer rated sunscreens sold on  did not adhere to AAD guidelines,

including not being water and sweat resistant.

Many others are also facing legal challenges,

alleging they are not performing up to their marketing claims.

This doesn’t surprise me! I have found shopping

for good quality Mineral sunscreen to be very challenging.

Now, Dr. Kally Papantoniou tells you what you need to know to really protect your skin. She is a Board Certified New York Dermatologist, so she knows her stuff!

Do you really need SPF 50 or higher?

Dr. K: SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB)

rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked

to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer.”

Dr. Papantoniou explains that, “The SPF rating is a measure of the time

it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed

to the time it would take with sunscreen.

“SPF is not a consumer-friendly number,” says Dr. Papantoniou.

“It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good

as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works.”

According to Dr. Papantoniou, “An SPF 15 product blocks

about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays;

and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays.

After that, it just gets superfluous,” she says.

Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays,

but none offers 100% protection. Dr. Papantoniou recommends

her patients use products with an SPF 30 – 50, depending on their skin type and medical history.


How much sunscreen should you use?

Dr. K: You’ve probably heard people say to use an amount the size of a quarter.

Wrong! You’re supposed to use a shot glass full of sunscreen on all exposed

areas. “And here’s something else you probably don’t know,” says Dr. Papantoniou.

“SPF only refers to UVB rays. There is no ratings scale for UVA protection.

So look for the words ‘Broad Spectrum’ on the label and specific ingredients.

The most important ingredients for UVA protection are Avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.”

Dr. K says: Wear sunscreens rich in antioxidants

Natural antioxidants are the latest breakthrough in sunscreens

and are a safe way to boost our natural immunity to the sun’s harmful rays.

When layered or combined with a sunscreen, they add an extra level of protection.

Some known antioxidants are green tea polyphenols, vitamin C, raspberry seed oil, astaxanthin, ferulic acid and reishi mushrooms.

Dr. Kally says: You don’t need multiple SPF products every day!

“Only one of the products you use each morning needs to have SPF of 30 or higher,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “SPF is SPF, regardless of whether it’s in your foundation or moisturizer.”

Dr. Kally says: SPF isn’t an equation.

“You can’t use an SPF 15 primer and an SPF 20 foundation and get SPF 30 coverage.

Your sun protection is only as strong as your highest SPF, which in this case would be 20.”

Of course, if you’re dabbing foundation or moisturizer on only small areas of your face,

it’s wise to double up on products that contain SPF to ensure total coverage”.

If you’re wearing foundation, you don’t need sunscreen. A layer of makeup will protect your skin from the sun.

Dr. Kally says: Make up will not act as a barrier for UV rays, even if it has an added SPF.

“Testing has shown that the SPF protection from a makeup product alone is insufficient.

That small amount of SPF is always a nice addition, but not enough to protect your skin,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Always apply sunscreen (or a moisturizer with broad-spectrum sun protection) under your makeup.

If you’re worried about your skin looking greasy, there are plenty of great mattifying options for the face.

Here is a check list:

Always wear a hat and sun protective clothing if you’re going to be out for long periods of time.

Avoid the mid-day sun.

Don’t be tempted to use that tube of sunblock you didn’t quite finish last year. New summer, you need sun screen.

Slather on generous quantities of sunblock at least 30 minutes before you head outdoors: To achieve the SPF level on the label, you need a teaspoon on your face and a shot glass-worth for your body. Don’t forget your ears, your lips, your hairline, and your scalp or part lines.

Reapply every couple of hours, especially if you’ve been swimming or exercising.

Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City.


DolceDolce favourites:

Here are a few of our own personal favourite sun screens:

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 combines serious sun protection with natural-looking makeup coverage in a handy compact. It is perfect for touching up all day. The compact comes in two shades that should work for most skin tones. If you have sensitive skin that reacts to most sun screens, you may find a mineral sun protection less irritating.

I have tried many types of makeup /sun screen combinations and this one remains on the top of my list for appearance and protection.

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 is a pure mineral sunscreen with powerful antioxidants. It provides protection against both UVA and UVB (we think of UVA

UVA as “aging-rays” and we call UVB the “burning-rays”). The Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 also carries the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Active Seal of Recommendation!

Avène Ultra-light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ (Face) is a 100% mineral sunscreen for the face with broad spectrum SPF 50+ UVA/UVB filters. It also contains anti-oxidants, as well as being very hydrating and water resistant.

I love the Avène line for the same reason many dermatologists recommend it; this line is very gentle, non-irritating and effective.


Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad spectrum SPF50+ is a favourite of beauty editors and with good reason. From the Korean skincare line that has a cult following, this light weight cream really does almost perfect the skin. The anti-oxidant, hydrating formula floats over imperfections and gives the skin radiance while providing UVA/UVB protection. The compact formula is convenient for the woman on the go! I am addicted.

Note: I use an obscene amount of sun screen. I am fair skinned

person  and religious about applying it. I don’t use chemical sunscreen

– even so-called organic sunscreens like Octisalate.

I react to them after a few days and I prefer not to slather chemicals on

my skin day after day. I like to keep it all as natural as possible.

In my own experience, physical sun screens made from minerals protect my skin

better and are less irritating. It is a personal choice.

For inexpensive, all mineral sun screen try looking at those made for babies. But always check the labels.

I find more and more products for children now contain chemicals.



Real acne advice!

BBL AcneClick the topmost title to open

Some acne advice such as treating pimples with toothpaste, alcohol and other harsh agents is just plain scary and can damage your skin.  Stripping skin and applying harsh, or even toxic chemicals like acetone to your skin, can make acne and oil worse. 

In honor of Acne Awareness month try these MD-approved blemish beaters from our experts: 

 Image: Sciton’s Forever Clear Broad Band Light (BBL) Before and after treatment

Tretinoin: This prescription retinoid helps to regulate the skin cells, decrease oil production, and even lightens the dark stains that acne can leave behind. 

If you want an over-the-counter solution to try Benzoyl Peroxide is an oldie but goody! This tried and tested anti-acne topical helps kill bacteria on the skin that is related to acne formation. 

Cure Adult Acne at the Speed of Light with an IPL facial.

 “Not a week goes by when I don’t hear several patients complaining of adult acne breakouts,” says Mark Schwartz, MD, FACS, NYC Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. “My patients have been getting great results with Sciton’s Forever Clear Broad Band Light (BBL). It is a really innovative alternative to topical treatments. In a 15 minute session the blue light wavelength (420 nm) is passed over the affected areas to attack the acne producing bacteria in the pores.” 

Nix the Alcohol – Steer clear of preservatives such as parabens, and alcohol-based acne medications. Parabens can trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible people, and cause an irritating, itchy rash. Alcohol is drying to the skin and because the other active ingredients are already somewhat drying, the combination of those ingredients and alcohol can be doubly tough for skin to tolerate. 

Ditch the white stuff!

Diet doesn’t cause ace but Research indicates that processed foods like white breads and sugary drinks are thought to trigger the production of androgens, a hormone responsible for oil production. A low glycemic index will help decrease breakouts.



Safe “spa” tips

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I agree with , you can’t be too careful about  safeguarding your health even at – or maybe especially at – a spa.

Dr. Papantoniou is an expert who specialises in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology.  She is also clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City with locations on Long Island and Queens.

Dr. Papantoniou is also a woman. She recounts, “I recently was in a large shopping mall, and was quickly approached by a kiosk worker who started to buff my fingernail before I could say yes or no to his administration. After I walked away, I was preoccupied with the thought that the very same nail file had been used on countless other people, and I could potentially develop a wart on that finger now!”

According to Dr. Papantoniou, “Sometimes the more you know the worse off you are. However, this is just an example of how you can Dr kally Ppick up a skin virus or infection without even knowing, and may not present for weeks. A similar incident occurred during a massage when the masseuse began to use a cactus bristle brush against my skin as part of her routine.  The entire time I was concerned about the reuse of the tool, and was too polite to request that she not use it”.

Dr. Kally Papantoniou  image on the right

“I have many patients that have acquired warts from nail salons, the gym, and even from facials or waxing. Young women who come see me to treat tiny warts disseminated over the face or body commonly have a history of frequenting a spa or salons. When you are using instruments on patients and not properly sterilizing them, it can lead to the transmission of diseases. While these skin conditions aren’t life threatening in the cases I have presented, they are often difficult to treat and unpleasant”, Dr. Papantoniou concluded.


I couldn’t agree more about with her concerns. I always place a small clean towel on my own yoga mat to protect my face from any virus or bacteria my feet might have transfer to the mat. I will also be using also of her tips anytime I visit a spa.

Here are Dr. Pap Antoniou’s 5 Tips for A Safe Spa Experience

Seek out a salon or spa that uses a heat autoclave to sterilise their instruments.

You can ask directly if the instruments are autoclaved and they should be able to answer this question. Establishments that use autoclaves will often have their instruments in sealed bags. Other spas or salons will use an alcohol-based solution to clean their instruments, this can be helpful, but is inferior to heat autoclaving. Autoclaving entails placing instruments inside a machine utilising intense pressure and high heat to destroy all organisms on tools. It is the gold standard for sterilising even medical and surgical instruments.

Don’t soak your feet in the foot-bath in the nail salon.

Unless a disposable liner is being used for each customer, I cannot think of a dirtier place to soak your feet. As appealing as a nice warm soak might sound, I have seen some terrible infections that were picked up at nail salons. One such customer had suffered an amputation of one of her toes due to a salon-acquired infection. The issue is that you never know who is going to pick up an infection. The vast majority of people who have these services have no such serious complication, but very commonly will develop a wart or athletes foot.

Bring your own nail filers/emery boards, and/or other nail tools if you desire.

When in doubt, you cannot go wrong by being prepared and bringing in your own supplies. You may get a few looks by other customers, and cause the employees to talk a little, but is it worth it to have fewer worries about your health? Absolutely! It is not uncommon for many salon goers these days to come prepared with their own equipment.

Do not permit the use of any reusable instruments that are not sterilised.

For example: getting a massage and being scrubbed with a brush that is used on other customers. Do not be shy, and don’t let anyone use something that has not been properly sterilised. A nice way of avoiding this awkward moment is to actually be up front and direct with your question before having a service.

Seek care quickly!

If you do pick up what appears to be a wart, nail fungus, or another skin infection, do not delay seeking dermatological care. The earlier you start treatment, the easier it is to fully resolve. There are many treatment options available and your dermatologist can advise which one will work best. In addition, holding off treatment can result in the development of more warts and spreading warts or fungus to your loved ones at home.

Twitter @drpderm



Make mine mineral!

Mad-Hippie-Facial-SPF-30Click the topmost title to open

Our skin is our largest organ and it is more absorbent than you might think.

This is how transdermal medicine works. It is also one reason

I don’t like to cover mine with chemicals. I prefer mineral sun screen

that acts as a physical block against damaging rays. Also, my sensitive skin

breaks out after a few days of chemical sun screen. It hurts and it doesn’t look nice.

Mad Hippie is a chemical-free, all natural 30+ Facial SPF.

It contains zinc oxide combined with naturally photo–protective oils

such as red raspberry seed oil, avocado oil & carrot seed oil.

Mad Hippie also added their powerful vitamin C + Vitamin E + Ferulic acid

blend, offering a broad range of antioxidant protection from photo aging.

Mad Hippie Facial SPF 30 contains none of usual skin irritants and

dangerous chemicals, such as nanoparticles, parabens, PBA,

petroleum, Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, or titanium dioxide and

chemical absorbers, you find in many sun screens.


There is enough “Mad Hippie” in me that I love added Jasmine oil.

As the company says, Jasmine oil has been “shown to have an uplifting, energising effect”.

This sun screen is pricey at $24.99 (US) for 2.1 ounces or 60 grams

but it is also full of ingredients that are good for your skin. It just may be

the thing you wear under makeup or alone most of the summer.


Manners can make or break a new relationship

Annie waitressClick on the topmost title to open

How you behave on a dinner date can make or break a budding relationship — according to many surveys. International Etiquette Expert Sharon Schweitzer, founder and CEO of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide, offers these tips to help men and women date and dine to win and woo.  Most of these tips are also good to remember when dining with friends.


Most people won’t date anyone who is rude to a server.


Dining out tips for polished manners:


Soup: Differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack – remember the proverb, “Just like ships that sail out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me.”


Invitations: The person extending the invitation is the host and is responsible for payment of the bill. When extending invitations; inquire about special dietary requests such as food allergies or kosher, halal, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free diets. Book a restaurant that accommodates these needs. Guests don’t split the bill.


DolceDolce tip: When dining with friends is clear about invitations and then spilt bills fairly and neatly. Don’t over-charge anyone but don’t be nit-picky – and never forget the tip. And if a woman invites a man she can also arrange to pay the bill.


No table additions: Keep your smart phone, wallet, keys and glasses off the table.


Pre-arrange payment: If you want to be a sophisticated host, arrive early and provide a credit card, or call the restaurant ahead of time to pre-arrange payment. Your date will appreciate that everything is handled seamlessly.


Napkin knowledge: As the host, place your napkin in your lap first. If you must leave the table between courses the napkin is placed on the chair seat soiled side down. At meal’s end, place your loosely folded napkin on the left of your plate. Don’t refold it.


Please take my guest’s order first: Polite comments to the server such as ‘Please bring my guest…’ or ‘my guest will order first, please,’ let the server know that you are the host.


Sommelier: For a pleasing pairing, tell the sommelier what you like and the entrées you and your date ordered. You can provide an idea of your price range by pointing out 2-3 wines in your price range. The sommelier will stay within those ranges. Don’t say how much you want to spend.


Avoid a catastrophe: Alert the server to allergies and sensitivities such as eggs, gluten, salt, sugar, and spice. If the server lists 4 types of dairy as part of a secret specialty sauce and doesn’t mention eggs, protect you. Say: “I’d like the house specialty, but I can’t stand eggs. You didn’t mention eggs, but I know sometimes there are hidden gems.”


DolceDolce tip: If allergies are serious, I suggest calling ahead to make sure the restaurant can handle your requests.


How many courses? Order the same number of courses as your date. This avoids awkwardness and allows you to pace yourself with your date or companion.


Pacing the meal: Make sure to take your time eating and pause after every few bites. You don’t want your date or dining companion to feel rushed during the meal.

Sending food back: If you must send your food back because it is not cooked to your liking, it’s your responsibility to insist that your date or companion start eating.


Silent service signals: If you are resting between bites, place your fork, with tines up, near the top of your plate. To signal the server that you’re finished, place your fork and knife across the center of the plate at the 5 o’clock position.


Silverware savvy: Once silverware is used (including handles), it must not touch the table again. Rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate. Unused silverware stays on the table.


Refreshing beverages: Don’t pour yourself a drink first. If there is a carafe of water or beverages on the table, always pour for your date or companion.


Sharing food: Depending on how well you know your date, you may unobtrusively pass a bread plate for a sample before a first bite.


Eating difficult foods: Boiled lobster? Artichokes? Avoid panic attacks by planning what you’ll order ahead of time. Read the online menu, call the restaurant about daily specials and do your research beforehand.


New serving trend: Traditionally, professional wait staff have served food from the left and removed food from the right. Beverages are poured and removed from the right. Be aware of a new trend of serving from the right and removing from the right.


Nonverbal cues: Oh server? A closed menu indicates you are ready to order. If you or your date are browsing an open menu, the server has the impression you aren’t ready. Catch the eye of the server if you need assistance, or slightly raise your index finger pointing up. If she is busy, softly call their name or “server”?


Conversation: As the host, it’s your job to keep conversation going during the meal. Don’t hog the conversation—ask your date questions, light topics include books, travel, vacation, movies, pets; avoid politics or religion.


Fete accompli: When you place your loosely folded napkin on the left side of your place setting, dinner plate, dessert, or coffee, the dinner is concluded.


Tipping: Always leave a tip at restaurants: bartender: 10-15% of bar bill, valet: $2.00- 5.00, coat check: $1.00 per coat, server: 15- of the bill before coup



Less stress in the New Year

Firouze Zeroual and Michele PeriquetDouble click the topmost title to open

Stress is part of life but too much stress can be deadly. Health coaches Firouze Zeroual and Michele Periquet

have easy tips to help reduce stress.

To reduce stress they suggest:

Top up your Zinc Levels

Zinc is known as a sedative for its calming, anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

It protects against oxidative stress and is necessary for DNA repair.

Zinc rich foods include: chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range eggs,

sunflower and pumpkin seeds, unpasteurized dairy and sea vegetables such as kelp & dulse.


Try foot reflexology

Foot reflexology is an excellent way to relax the mind and body and it is easy to do at home.


It calms the nerves and helps restore the natural energy flow in the acupuncture meridians of the body.

Rub both feet with your hands, for at least five to ten minutes each.


Rub all the toes, the top of the foot, the heel, ankle — and your calves for a few minute also.

( tip: You can use lotion if you like or do this in the bath.) Pay more attention to any tender or painful area. 



Avoid stimulants before bed, keep your bedroom dark and free from electronics, and be consistent; try going to bed and waking up at the same time daily. Our bodies function best on a regular schedule.



Try meditation as a way of relieving stress, calming your mind and encouraging a sense of tranquility.




Beat “single” holiday blues

Click the topmost title to open97b09398-7fba-428a-b8b1-2b5781cf9267

If being single over the holidays has you feeling blue then

, you need some help from Marni Battista,


How to Effortlessly Have Men Pursue You,

Treat You like a Goddess & Commit to You for Life,

90-Minute Books.


Thousands of smart, successful women have used Marni’s Supermen System to attract their relationship-ready quality men.

If you are single and would like to change your dating style to attract relationship-ready, quality men then take Marni’s challenge.

Take the 20 Interaction Challenge

Get out of your head and out of that place of focusing on who you’re going to kiss under the mistletoe. Move into a place of interaction and eye contact with people — not just with men you want to date, but with everyone — to practice getting out of your comfort zone and meeting people.

At the coffee shop, ask a guy if he prefers the mocha mint Frappuccino or the pumpkin spice latte.

In the grocery store, ask if he’s ever cooked a turkey or has a secret method. Always make eye contact and smile.

 If you do this 20 times, you’ll start to get your feminine juju going, and soon it will come naturally to you.



Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sex y.

JJVirginSexweekstoSleevesClick on the topmost title to open


Many women dread having to bare their arms,

but they don’t want to give up wearing sleek, sexy sheaths,

especially for the holidays.  Arms are tough to tone

but celebrity trainer JJ Virgin has answers.


JJ has spent 25 years working in health and fitness. 

 She is the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sex y.

 We are bringing back her tips because they work! 

Start right now you have time to get your arms ready to wave hello to the New Year!



Here are JJ’s no-nonsense tips:


Build muscle on your plate with protein, good fats, and fiber. Unhealthy eating will derail even the best workout regimens.


High fiber carbs and non-starchy veggies slow down digestion and tell your brain you’re full. You will eat less and burn more fat.


Ditch the bread for a protein appetizer.


Get to bed! Lack of sleep ups stress hormones and hunger, decreasing insulin sensitivity. In short, it makes you fat and cranky.


Eating soluble fibers and increasing exercise is a sure-fire combo to burn belly fat.


Never skip breakfast. It sets your metabolic tone for the day and triggers fat burning.