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From the Blog

Glutathione IV for skin lightening?

Over the past year, intraveniously injecting high levels of glutathione has been trending at skin spas around the UK and, to a lesser extent, the US, with the promise of lightening hyperpigmentation faster and with fewer side effects than the traditional topical lighteners, such as hydroquinone.
But is glutathione really a panacea for sun and acne damaged skin?

First, what exactly is glutathione, anyway? Glutathione is a powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to find its way into the cells and block or breakdown the pathway that leads to pigmentation. Sounds good, right? Well, not so fast. Once in the body, IV glutathione has no way of identifying areas of excess pigment, as caused by the sun or injury. So it actually lightens the entire skin, resulting in all over lighter pigmentation. It may not cause a big change in fairer skinned folks, but for more highly pigmented skin, the results can be permanent and catastrophic.

In addition, high levels of glutathione in the body can cause multi-organ toxicity, headaches, and rare skin conditions, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

The bottom line: If you have areas of hyperpigmentation that cause you concern, stick with topical ingredients such as hydroquinone, Vitamin C, retinol, and kojic acid. Glo Brightening Serum and Glo Lightning Serum are two great ways to brighten your skin without the risks of IV glutathione.

There's no such thing as a safe tan.

From US News and World Report: The International Agency for Research on Cancer – an affiliate of the World Health Organization – has categorized indoor tanning devices in its list of Group 1 carcinogens. Other group members include plutonium exposure, ultraviolet radiation from the sun and cigarette smoking. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration changed its categorization of indoor tanning devices from Class 1, which is low risk, to Class II, which suggests a moderate to high risk. Many state governments have gone further and passed legislation limiting access to indoor tanning devices for people under 18 years of age, plus imposed regulations like requiring parental consent. Shockingly, data suggests that more people will develop skin cancer from ultraviolet radiation exposure than the number of people who will develop lung cancer from cigarette smoking.

Bottom line: Wear your sunscreen every day. Choose one with a minimum of SPF 30 and reapply liberally. Choose one that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Remember: No matter what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as "safe sun". Or "safe tanning". And it doesn't matter your ethnicity. African-Americans and Latinx persons get skin cancer too.
In addition, limit exposure from 10 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are the strongest and most direct. Finally, do frequent self-checks of your skin and see your dermatologist 1x per year for a full check. Skin cancer kills. Protect yourself!

Are Your Make-Up Brushes Making Your Skin Worse?

Our skin is positively teeming with bacteria, some beneficial, some not so much. We keep this in check by using appropriate cleansers and through serums and creams that add an oxygen molecule to the area (the bacteria found in acne lesions is anaerobic and HATES oxygen).
But those steps can be rendered ineffectual if you don't clean your make-up brushes. 
A recent test by the beauty and lifestyle website Byrdie showed that make-up brushes, even ones thought to be clean, hold bacteria and fungus that can worsen the condition of the skin.
How do you combat it? Regular (and I mean a cursory cleanse daily and a deep cleanse at least once per week) cleansing of your brushes can help. It is also wise to replace brushes every few years as it has been shown that the older the brush, the more bacteria and fungus it holds, even after regular cleansing.
The good news is that you don't have to spend money on expensive brush cleansers in order to maintain good brush hygiene. I love using Meow Meow Tweet bar soap on a daily basis and Johnson and Johnson No More Tears Shampoo weekly on my brushes. The key is to use gentle, non drying formulations as too harsh soaps and chemicals can make your brush bristles brittle (try saying that 3 times fast!).

Are you overdue for new brushes? The Gilded Girl carries the finest brushes at affordable prices. Check them out HERE!

Retinol Skincare Products With Fewer Side Effects Are All The Rage

Interested in retinol and what it can do for your skin, but worried about sensitivity? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Style Editor, Sara Bauknecht, recently asked our own Liz Quesnelle and 2 other experts on this subject:

Retinol skincare products with fewer side effects are all the rage

Many view retinol as royalty in the skincare world for its effective, smoothing properties. For others, it’s synonymous with red, achy, flaky skin. 

Now a fresh bunch of products on store shelves claim to deliver results with few or no side effects.