Know your ABC’s

As we near the end of summer, be mindful of the damage the sun may have done to your skin. Do you know your ABC’s? (See chart below)

Here are some tips for detecting skin cancer.

When in doubt, check it out! Always be on the lookout for anything on your skin that may be cause for concern and if you notice anything abnormal or if you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to be on the safe side and call your dermatologist! 

Buddy up! Make a pact with a close friend or your spouse or whoever you’re comfortable with and check each other out! After all, you can’t see your own back. 

Speak up! If you see an abnormality on a friend, say something! You could SAVE their life! 

Be safe, stay protected with your favorite SPF and as always, stay pale followers.

Skin cancer


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Our Top 5 Favorite SPF Products

  1. Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen SPF 30
  • Water resistant
  • It comes with its own handy applicator
  • You can easily apply it on top of your makeup for continued sun protection


  1. Skin Medica Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 / 50+
  • Protects against infrared rays
  • Comes in tinted
  • Absorbs nicely without leaving residue
  • Keeps your wrinkles at bay



  1. Jane Iredale Lip Drink Lip Balm SPF 15
  • Delivers continued moisture to your lips
  • It’s rich in antioxidants providing a protective shield


  1. Eminence Organics Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF 30
  • Lightens & brightens hyperpigmentation while protecting against future damage
  • Evens out your complexion leaving your skin glowing
  • Contains a Natural Hydroquinone Alternative




  1. Eminence Organic Sun Defense Mineral SPF 30
  • Easy to use applicator & super handy. Throw it in your purse or beach bag
  • Comes in a variety of shades
  • Water resistant. Great for swimming or working out




Shop these products in our online store. SHOP NOW. 

Stay pale, followers.

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Tips for staying young

Written By: Ric Harrison

The sun is responsible for the majority of visible aging but there are other factors as well.

Smoking damages skin and cause wrinkles as well as excessive drinking. These are all things that we have control over so here a few things we can do to keep our skin beautiful;

· End the sunbathing, any suntan means skin damage.

· Always wear sunscreen. Choose a product with SPF 15 or greater. Don’t forget your hands, they are as frequently exposed as your face (if not more).

· Try to always wear a hat that shades your face.

· Stop smoking (yes you can, I know you can because I did)!

· Stop excessive drinking. Excessive drinking is more than one drink a day for women, two for men (not my opinion, a fact).

· Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. That is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate into our skin, causing damage. The rays damage the elastic fibers that keep our skin firm, allowing wrinkles to develop. The sun is also responsible for age spots or “liver spots” on the hands, face, and other sun-exposed areas.

A number of wrinkles that develop, and how prominent they are, are largely dependent on a person’s lifetime sun exposure. While we can’t go back and put sunscreen on our carefree 10-year-old selves, we can stop the damage that’s happening now.

Even with perfect sunscreen use wrinkles can’t be prevented completely. Some wrinkling is hereditary, and a certain amount of wrinkles are natural to aging. (Remember at Emerge Medical and Well Spa we have many options for getting rid of some of those wrinkles and looking younger.)

Effective use of sunscreens will not only limit skin aging but will also reduce skin cancer risk! Slow the aging process by eliminating these skin wrinkles!

Be Well & Be Beautiful

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What you need to know about Melasma

Written By: Belinda Stewart

Melasma is as tricky as it gets.  It appears when least wanted and takes time for it to go away.  Sometimes easily treated and sometimes a total bear.  What we do know is that prevention is key.  Let’s start with what this beasty bear is.

Melasma is a common unfortunate skin problem that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face and sometimes on the body.  Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It can also appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.  It is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes (cells in the epidermal layer of skin that produce a pigment called melanin) by the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to sun.

Genetic predisposition is a common factor in determining whether someone will develop Melasma and women are far more likely than men to get it.  Melasma is so common during pregnancy that some people call it the mask of pregnancy since hormones seem to trigger it.  There are many other factors that may contribute to this condition, but one thing is for certain.  Sun protection is key to prevention. 

Stopping the stimulation of the melanocytes will certainly reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.  So how do we do this?  Stay out of the Sun?  While this might be an easy answer, it proves to be quite difficult.  We get sun by driving our cars as the sun bounces off of our dashboards.  Walking in and out of grocery stores, into work, gardening, the list goes on and on.  We are not completely safe wearing a hat under an umbrella lying next to the pool.  There are so many ways the sun’s rays reach us even when least expected.  Prevention is primarily focused on sun protection and sun avoidance. 

Each year, new prevention arrives in the form of lightening creams and ointments.  Hydroquinone has been around for quite a while and works great at bleaching those pesky spots.  However, it does not cure the underlying issue of production of the melanocytes.  SkinMedica released a skin brightening system in March that I have heard rave reviews about from our clientele.  Included in this system is the ever popular Lytera 2.0 that actually works on stopping the production of these said melanocytes.  All full-size -size products it includes a Retinol, AHA/BHA cleanser and cream, light moisturizer, and my personal favorite, the Total Defense  and Repair. This kit is called the Lytera 2.0 Advanced Pigment Correcting System.

Thru the years, I have tried many different products for my skin care regime, some working well and some not.  I have found in our practice, most clients absolutely love this product line and that includes me.  Being 44 years old suffering from the ill-fated dark spots, I don’t trust my skin to many over the counter skin care lines.  I love that these products are medically dispensed and formulated.  They are tried and true to their claims with statistical published reports saying so.  Not to be over the top or pressure selling, but as a nurse, this means something to me.  Are there other products out there that work just as well?  I am sure there are, but the SkinMedica line has proven to me to be the best for my skin. 

So protect yourself this summer with Prevention and Protection.  It is the number one way to prevent Melasma, dark brown spots, and signs of aging. 

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Why we crave the sun

Written By: Ric Harrison 

Now I know you’re probably thinking that SPF means “Southern Powerlifting Federation” (look it up if you care to know more). But that’s not what we’re talking about today, we’re talking about SUN PROTECTION FACTOR! Yes. Sun protection. Why is it important to talk about sun protection? I know that feeling of looking in the mirror and seeing that beautiful tan and thinking how nice I look. Jump ahead 10, 20 or even 30 years and that beautiful tan may now be showing as skin damage and wrinkles. 

However, many of us want to tan and not just for the looks but for that emotional feeling we get after being in the sun.

A chronic lack of sun exposure has been linked to many problems; several forms of cancer, general poor health and varying degrees of depression. People actually get depressed, with symptoms like sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness — from a lack of sunlight but let’s be practical, we know that the sun can cause damage as well as heal, Be Smart!  If you’re planning to be in the sun for a long period, PUT THAT SUNSCREEN ON.

Many skin care products, especially moisturizers, have SPF already added, look for one. My personal preference for a moisturizer is Total Defense with SPF 50 by SkinMedica. You can find moisturizers with SPF at most any price point you want, just find the one you like and use it and if you’re going to be in the sun for a long period, use extra sunscreen (all over your body that is exposed).

You know how I hate to brag (LOL) but I recently returned from a trip to the      Caribbean and I guarantee you that I wore more sunscreen than anything else.  Enjoy your summer, sensibly.

For more information about sun protection, treatments and appointments, contact Emerge Medical & Well Spa at 918.392.8606.

Be Well & Be Beautiful

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Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

It doesn’t take much to be exposed to the sun during the summertime (that was a mouthful), but here are some tips to help you protect yourself when that sun is shining bright!

Start your morning off with the right sunscreen

For me, that’s Total Defense and Repair by Skin Medica. It is a broad spectrum sunscreen that is also a treatment for your skin packed with antioxidants! Another great thing about it is it dries matte so you don’t feel like you’re melting on a hot day.

Or another favorite product of mine (and my MIL’s) is Jane Iredale PurePressed Powder. I love this product first of all because it has SPF 20 but I also like that it provides full coverage, which is what my face requires.

Grab your wide-brimmed hat and umbrella.

This one should work just fine…

Staying safe in the sun

I mean, this lady looks happy to be wearing one. This could be you.

Staying safe in the sun

And umbrellas aren’t just for the rain. Look celebrities do it too. 

In all seriousness though, you can still enjoy the great outdoors and protect yourself while you’re at it. 

I recently bought an umbrella for my lawn chair and debuted it during a Father’s Day picnic on Sunday and my brother made fun of me. I gotta tell ya, I’m okay with being that girl.

 Staying safe in the sun

Step into the shade

Since about the day I met my MIL she’s always expressed her distaste for her wrinkles and it wasn’t until I truly got to know her more that I understood the cause. The sun.

She loves playing golf, gardening and pretty much any other activity outdoors, which is great, but she doesn’t take the extra measures to truly protect herself from the harmful (yet beautiful) rays. 

We stopped in at Andy’s one time for a little mid-afternoon ice cream snack and when we got our treats we stepped out from under the awning and I immediately stepped into the shade of a nearby tree and what does she do…steps in the sun. I called her out.

Listen, if that’s you and you don’t ever plan on changing, that’s fine. You do you. But please, please, please…

Reapply, reapply, reapply 

My favorite for reapplication throughout the day is Eminence Organics Sun Defense Minerals. It’s super handy. You can just throw it in your purse, your beach bag or your gym bag and whip it out when you need it and best of all it’s water-resistant and great for the pool!

I hope you take away some tips from this blog but if not, I hope I was at least able to make you giggle. 

Stay pale, followers.

Use the code: SPF on any of these products mentioned in this blog to receive FREE SHIPPING until June 30.


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Choosing the Right Sunscreen

Written By: Belinda Stewart

For many years most of us have become familiar with UV (ultraviolet) A and UVB sun rays.  UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin’s thickest layer, the dermis.  Exposure of these rays can lead to premature skin aging and wrinkling (photo-aging), and suppression of the immune system.  Who wants that?  UVB rays will usually burn the superficial layers of your skin and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.  Not so good! Now we are learning there are additional rays that we are susceptible to including but not limited to IRA rays.  Each year sunscreens get better; so make sure you are informed.  It will cost you less money in the long run when you protect yourself with the best

It’s important to know that when choosing the right sunscreen that SPF only applies to UVB rays. There’s no SPF equivalent for UVA.  Choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protects against both UVA and UVB.  You can look for additional ingredients in your sunscreen to protect you from UVA such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Realize however, there is no standard measurement for how long these ingredients will keep you protected.

Besides the sun (more than half of the solar energy skin gets are from IRA rays), these rays can also come from less-obvious places. Wait, What?  Yes, you are susceptible when you blow-dry your hair, or even get a gel manicure; your skin is exposed to these unfortunate rays.  IRA rays travel even deeper into skin than UVA and UVB rays, causing free radicals that further accelerate skin aging. What you’re left with are fine lines and wrinkles no matter how much sunscreen you’re putting on.

So what is your sunscreen missing? Potent antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E that can counteract those free radicals and keep skin looking rejuvenated. That’s why I love Total Defense and Repair from SkinMedica.  It has been scientifically proven to protect skin from harmful infrared rays (IR-A rays) with it’s advanced antioxidant complex, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin.  It is the next generation of super sunsreens and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

So keep on reading those labels and get the best protection for your skin.  We only have one skin and it has to last lifetime. 

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The Importance of SPF

Written By: Ric Harrison and Belinda Stewart

Why is it so important? What happens to our skin if we don’t wear it while exposed to the sun?

You’ve heard it over and over again, wear sunscreen!  And… more importantly all year -round!   In past years, we use to believe that wearing a moisturizer with sunscreen was all we needed and we would be protected.  As new research and studies have developed, we have learned it is much more than just that.  Choosing the right broad spectrum SPF will protect you more and if you start combining it with antioxidants, you now boost your coverage and protection.  I personally use SkinMedica Total Defense & Repair with SPF34.  It provides that broad spectrum coverage with incredible antioxidants that boost the performance of the sunscreen.  Along with all these wonderful things I just described, it is anti-aging!  Who does not want that?   Even a tiny bit of sun exposure can do damage. You may not notice it now, but the damage is accrued over a lifetime. You only have one beautiful face, so in the name of protecting it for the long haul, wear the broad spectrum sunscreen with antioxidants.

Why is it so important?                                                                                                                                                  

Let’s face it! UVA, UVB, and Infrared rays play a significant role in the development of skin cancer and are responsible for premature skin aging due to sun exposure.  Why do we need to protect against Infrared?   Infrared rays change the structure of the developing cell by damaging cell membranes, changing the skin’s elasticity by breaking down collagen and elastin. Wrinkles and sagging, anyone? 

Even a moderate tan is an injury to the skin.  Ever heard the saying “tanned skin is damaged skin”.  Well, we know this because this change in color indicates a permanent change to the cell’s genetic structures.   As cells replicate and regenerate, they continue to produce copies with this genetic change.  Skin that is further damaged becomes less and less likely to maintain health over a lifetime.   I’m not willing to let sun damage dictate the future of my skin’s health.  It just not worth it. 

This is why sunscreen is kind of a big deal.   There are good, better, and best sunscreens on the market these days.  Make sure you research which provides the best broad spectrum protection and have been actually tested against varying sunscreens.  There is not a one size fits all, but making sure you are protected the best way your skin needs is definitely a priority.

If you’re going to wear sunscreen and you absolutely should—here are a couple of tips to make the most of out of it.

If you’re taking the time to apply sunscreen, you might as well get as much protection as you can. Apply liberally at least a half hour before going outside.  Cover up as much as you can, and aim to stay out of the direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., especially if you live at a higher altitude. If you’re on antibiotics, birth control pills or other hormonal medications, your skin may be more sensitive to the sun and you may need more protection.  Check with your doctor to see if you should up your sunscreen game further, either by finding a higher SPF or skipping the trips to the beach until your course of meds is finished.  Remember, it’s just not worth the consequeses.

We’re not trying to nag you (well, sort of)

We just like you and want you to have all the information to make the best decision for your skin. Knowing the why and the how can help make sense of an annoying, time-consuming habit, and if you have a good motivator, no sagging! no skin cancer! no spider veins! you may be more likely to slather on the ‘screen before you head outdoors. We promise, it’s worth it.

And on a last note, I spent my birthday in the Caribbean and did not get a noticeable tan at all! I wore plenty of sunscreen and found ways to not expose myself to as much sun. Here are some helpful idea’s to not get excess sun exposure;

(1) spend more time in the casino (BTW- they were good to me),

(2) if you rent a car, don’t rent a convertible (we rented an air-conditioned Jeep),

(3) were a hat to cover your face, and when you’re at the pool stay close to an umbrella!

Have a great summer and as always, Be Well & Be Beautiful!

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What Is SPF and The Difference In Strengths

Written By: Belinda Stewart

I get this question quite frequently as I practice Aesthetic Nursing.  As summer is approaching and we have become a society that realizes how important it is to protect our skin, understanding this is paramount. 

What Is SPF?

SPF (sun protection factor) is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) B rays.  The primary cause of reddening and sunburn, UVB rays tend to injure and damage the epidermis, the skin’s outer layers.   Thank goodness looking like a lobster is no longer in.  The epidermis is where the most common (and least dangerous) forms of skin cancer occur. Those cancers are linked to sun-accumulation over the years.  Remember the Iodine and baby oil days?  If you were part of this generation, we are certainly battling the consequences now.  Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is thought to be caused by brief, intense exposures, such as a blistering sunburn.

Related Post: The Importance of SPF

Understanding SPF and the Number That Follows

Lets now try to understand what the difference between SPF 15 verses SPF 50.  This all-important number allows us to estimate the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned. For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection. So, if your skin starts to redden in 20 minutes without sunblock, applying a product with SPF 15 increases that time by a factor of 15, meaning you could stay in the sun for 300 minutes.

Keep in mind that a higher SPF is not necessarily better once you hit the upper limit according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  It recommends choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, after that you start to get diminishing returns with an SPF above 50 says Sean Dunn, a One Medical physician assistant on the virtual care team. “Higher number SPFs offer slightly more protection, but also contain more chemicals — and no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s rays.” Dunn also states that there is no scientific evidence that using a sunscreen with a 50+ SPF is better than a sunscreen with an SPF of 50.

Related Post: Choosing the Right Sunscreen

Reapply Your SPF Sunscreen

But sunscreen is only part of the big picture. A multitude of reasons affects how well you are protected from the sun.  Sunscreen can be easily washed off by water or sweat.  This can leave parts of your skin vulnerable to UV rays. Applying your sun protection unevenly or not reapplying sunscreen often enough can also reduce its effectiveness.  So remember, if you are on the beautiful scenic lake, or working in the yard all day, make sure to reapply your SPF sunscreen and protect yourself from the blistering sun!

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Intro to SPF

Sing it with me…”Summa, Summa, Summa tiiiiiiime…” That Will Smith really knows what he’s talking about. Doesn’t that song just make you want to smile though? Summer is almost here and now that we’ve wrapped up injectables, let’s dive into SPF.

Who doesn’t love being tan, right? Being tan can make you feel more confident, boost your mood and can sometimes even make you feel slimmer. Having a tan is somewhat magical.

Listen, there’s no shame in wanting to be tan, there’s even no shame in having a tan, but you just need to do it safely to avoid serious problems in the future. Not to mention how it also puts you on the fast track for aging. So let’s take a quick poll. Raise your hand if you’ve ever laid in a tanning bed.

I’m raising one hand and typing with the other because I’m guilty myself. If only I knew what I know now.

Well, that’s not entirely true, even when I tanned I knew how bad it was but having a nice dark tan to impress the hot guy in my math class meant more to me than the dangers of skin cancer in my future. I thought to myself “it’ll be years before I have to really worry about that.”

I don’t mean to speak ill of tanning beds, but let’s get real, they’re no good. Not only do several people use them and abuse them, but extreme exposure to UV rays like that is problematic.

After growing out of my tanning phase, I thought I deserved a gold medal. “I’m so amazing. Look at how pale I am. I haven’t tanned in a year. Go me.” But little did I know it takes a lot more than that to really protect you from harmful rays every single day.

So now, the 31 year old me wears SPF on my face, neck, décolleté and the back of my hands all day er’day, but with summer around the corner it’s time for me to really step up my SPF game and you probably should too. It’s always good to have little reminders.

And if a tanned bod is what you’re after, then get yourself an airbrush tan! There are safe options out there to give you dark, glowing skin!

In the coming weeks, we’re going to talk about what SPF is, how it protects you and what extended exposure to the sun can do to your skin and health. We’re also going to give you the scoop on what products we carry that you can grab in a pinch that will give you lasting coverage while keeping your wrinkles at bay.

See you next week, followers.

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