Here comes the sun! The Beatles put it beautifully, and Los Angeles will now be bathed in sunshine for a while after what seemed to be a never-ending downpour. Although the sun may feel amazing right now, it is still important to exercise caution when you are exposed to it for any length of time. Not only can the sun cause skin cancer down the line, but long-term exposure may also increase the likelihood of brown age spots on the most exposed parts of your body such as face, neck, shoulders, forearms, and the backs of your hands.

Brown age spots or hyperpigmentations are caused by an increased production of melanin, a dark pigment excreted by cells called melanocytes in the skin to protect its deeper layers. Any type of sun exposure, even sitting near a window or driving in a car can stimulate melanin production. Hormone fluctuations and birth control pills can also increase more melanin production especially on the face, which is a condition called melasma.

Also called “liver spots” or “solar lentigines”, brown age spots usually develop over years of sun exposure, rather than over night. They can crop up anywhere from the size of a freckle to the size of a dime. Fairly harmless for the most part, the spots can sometimes darken, increase in size, or have irregular borders. If the spots change in size and color in a short period of time, please go to your dermatologist to have it looked at, it may indicate melanoma, a form of skin cancer that needs treatment immediately.

To prevent the appearance of hyperpigmentations, you need to start early in life and use sunscreen or sunblock such as non-toxic zinc oxide. Apply it daily on your face, chest, back of hands and anywhere else you are exposed and pretty much use it for the rest of your life. Supplements with super antioxidants such as glutathione, lipoic acid, tocotrienols and sulforaphanes will also help your skin from discoloring and aging rapidly. If you already have developed hyperpigmentation, I recommend using PurGlo Discoloration Corrective Therapy (DCT), which contains clinically proven skin healing antioxidants and the nutrient extract Rumex Occidentalis. This all-natural cosmeceutical formula is a lightening serum that is not harmful to your liver like harsher chemicals such as hydroquinone.

The best way to prevent exposure while you are in the car is to wear a hat or visor tilted to the left while driving, as the sun tends to creep in through the window and burn the left side of your face. As always, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

BTW: You may ask then how will I get my daily dose of Vitamin D if I am all covered up with sunscreen? Your arms and legs do not discolor the same way as your face and hands, so break out the short sleeve shirts and shorts! Don’t forget to wear your hat, scarf and gloves; it is still pretty cold outside! Better yet, take a healthy dose of Vitamin D with your breakfast.


As our weather gets colder, and the day gets shorter, the last thing on our mind is to apply sunscreen to protect us from the harmful sun. Most people feel that sunscreen is akin to a summer accessory that simply isn’t necessary during the cloudier months. While it makes sense, this is not true. Ultraviolet rays during the winter will definitely damage skin and cause premature aging.

There are three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays- UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC is the strongest of the three and most dangerous. UVC is not one that we need to worry about since this type of radiation is blocked by earth’s atmosphere; it never reaches the surface of our planet. UVB is much stronger than UVA, more damaging to skin causing premature aging and possible cancer. It is most powerful during the summer and especially between the hours of 11 AM to 4 PM. UVB is completely blocked by glass (windows) where as UVA radiation penetrates through glass and windows and will cause most damage to the skin during cloudier days.

Taking care of your skin all year long is essential. Every time we step outside during prime time hours (11 AM to 4 PM), the harmful UV rays can affect any area that is directly exposed to sunshine including our face, hands, arms, and neck, causing premature wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots.

Luckily, there is a wonderful solution in the form of a topical mineral formula. Zinc oxide sun block works well with the skin because it acts as a barrier, and it literally blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. My second choice of sun block is titanium dioxide. If you are a highly sensitive person, zinc oxide is the least irritating.
My least favorite is the chemical sunscreens that may contain some of the following toxins: oxybenzone, aminio benzoic acid, avobenzone (parsol 1789), diobenzone, menthyl anthranilate, benzophenone, ecamsule, meradimate, octocryline and octisalate. These chemicals are made to penetrate the skin and neutralize either UVA or UVB rays. They have the ability to enter the bloodstream and generate free radicals in the body, causing irritations as well as allergic reactions.

My favorite daily sun block for the face and body is made by Epicuren; Zinc Oxide SPF 20. I find that it is gentle, blends well and will not create any white streaks on my skin. Now if I am outside stand up paddling, snorkeling or snow boarding I won’t go without my PURGLO Element Protection Stick (EPS). It is formulated with zinc oxide, comfrey leaf and jojoba oil- all naturally blended to create a SPF of 27. It is waterproof, windproof, snow proof and also a great sun block! It will not sting or bleed into your eyes and the large stick makes it easy to apply without getting your hands sticky. Perfect for chapped lips and young athletes love it too!

Please Note: During the winter months I do recommend everyone to go outside in the morning (low in radiation intensity) for thirty minutes for some direct sunlight to help with the winter blues and prevent a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (please check out last Monday’s blog on this condition). At the same time you may be producing plenty of Vitamin D, a very important nutrient that is essential to optimal health!