“It starts when children are young. The moment a child is born, relatives start comparing siblings’ skin colour. It starts in your own family. But people don’t want to talk about it openly.” Kavitha Emmanuel is the founder of Women of Worth, an Indian NGO that is standing up to an ingrained bias toward lighter skin. The Dark is Beautiful campaign, launched in 2009, is not “anti-white,” she explains, but about inclusivity – beauty beyond colour. It carries celebrity endorsement, most notably the Bollywood actor Nandita Das. A blog provides a forum for people to share their personal stories of skin colour bias. And the campaign runs media literacy workshops and advocacy programmes in schools to convey messages of self-esteem and self-worth to young children. This is to counteract what Emmanuel says she has seen even in school textbooks, where a picture of a fair-skinned girl is labelled “beautiful” and a darker one “ugly”. … [Read more...] about How our obsession with whiter skin became dangerous
Anti skin cancer cream
Having had skin cancer twice — once on her arm as a teenager and another on her back, four decades later — Lavinia Newlands was understandably nervous when, two years ago, she developed a raised brown patch just above her lip. There was also a smaller rough patch under her right eye (which she could feel but was difficult to see in the mirror). They’d slowly emerged over months. Neither looked like the skin cancers she’d had before: these had been basal cell carcinomas (BCC), which typically form red, scaly patches that can ulcerate and scab. But Lavinia, 62, was concerned, and feared more bad news — not least because she’d often had sunburn as a child. ‘I grew up in a generation who didn’t know about sunscreens,’ she says. ‘I spent summers on British bucket-and-spade holidays, running around all day outside without any form of sun protection. I remember peeling off my swimming costume and howling as my skin was so sore from … [Read more...] about Is this proof the NHS wonder cream can reverse sun damage?
The warmer months are the prime time for a host of skin problems, from sunburn and insect bites to prickly heat. But a range of new products claim to help. We asked Dr Justine Hextall, a consultant dermatologist at the Tarrant Street Clinic in Arundel, West Sussex, to review a selection. We then rated them. PREVENT SUN DAMAGE Institut Esthederm Sun Intolerance Protective Body Spray Institut Esthederm Sun Intolerance Protective Body Spray, 150ml, £48, spacenk.com CLAIM: This promises to ‘reduce the sensitivity of skin that is ultra-reactive to the sun’ and is said to be ‘rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients’. Apply daily two weeks before a holiday, hourly for the first three days in the sun, then every two hours for the rest of your trip. EXPERT VERDICT: On the plus side, this contains glycyrrhetinic acid (liquorice extract), which can help fade sun pigmentation, plus marine extracts (from a type of shrimp) and laminaria (a type of seaweed), which some … [Read more...] about From treating spots to bites: How to save your skin this summer
Harnessing the power of diet and lifestyle is the most effective way to improve the look and feel of the largest organ in your body: your skin, writes Dr Rupy Aujla Most people aspire to have glowing, wrinkle-free skin without any flaws and they try to achieve it by any means necessary. This desire has fuelled a multi-billion-pound global industry that capitalises on people’s beauty ambitions – or a belief that there is some sort of hidden beauty secret that only those ‘in the know’ have access to. Before you save up to buy yet another anti-ageing cream, let me make it clear to you; harnessing the power of diet and lifestyle is the most effective way to improve the look and feel of the largest organ in your body: your skin. And the health of this complex, protective layer is heavily influenced by food, micronutrients and how you live your life. Of course, your skin’s role is more than simply aesthetic. It’s there to protect you from excessive light … [Read more...] about Try these anti-ageing recipes which can help you roll back the years
Skin is our largest organ and something we may take for granted when it's healthy. As an academic dermatologist I frequently hear misleading 'facts' that seem to be stubbornly enduring. Here are some of the most commonly shared myths that can be cleared up immediately, and some truths you can rely on. The skin provides a barrier between your body's internal environment and the outside world The amount of water you drink does not directly affect your skin TRUE - Skin constantly renews itself The skin provides a dynamic barrier between your body's internal environment and the outside world. Cells called keratinocytes in the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) are constantly dividing to produce a supply of cells that move up through this layer and are shed from its surface. Skin is a rich source of stem cells with the capacity to divide and renew themselves. FALSE - Drink two litres of water a day for healthy skin The amount … [Read more...] about Revealed: The SEVEN myths and truths about healthy skin