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Winter 2019 Newsletter

Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

This holiday season as you get ready for your beach trip over the cold Canadian winter what sunscreens do you choose? This question is becoming more and more complicated and no one answer is completely correct or supported by science.   

Sunscreen ingredients fall into two broad categories:
1. Chemical filters 
2. Physical filters (essentially titanium and zinc). In the US there are 12 recognized chemical sunscreen filters which is similar to Canada.  

In April of this year 2019, the FDA- Federal Drug Agency -in the US released a statement that all 12 chemical sunscreen filters available in the US require more scientific study. Interesting they did not remove any of the chemical filters. They are asking the companies for more study and research on their safety. This is an unprecedented action.  

A study in JAMA- Journal of American Medical Association published in May 2019 entitled: Effect of Sunscreen Application Under Maximal Use Conditions on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients A Randomized Clinical Trial looked at how much chemical sunscreen is absorbed into the bloodstream.

WHAT DID IT FIND? They looked at 4 chemical sunscreen products and had 24 participators apply sunscreen 4 times a day for 4 days then took blood samples. The results show blood concentrations that exceed the threshold established by the FDA for potentially waving some nonclinical toxicology studies for sunscreens.

BUT- there are several limitations to this study. First, the study was conducted in indoor conditions without exposure to heat, sunlight, and humidity, which may alter or modify the rate of absorption of sunscreen active ingredients. Secondly, there were only 24 participants. 


For myself, my family as well as my patients I recommend chemical/physical blends of sunscreens for intense sun exposure- ie., when you are on a beach south. 
While for day to day use I recommend sunscreens with only physical filters like zinc and titanium. This is a compromise.  

Finally, if you want to avoid chemical filters completely there are many fully physical sunscreens that are SPF 50+ which are excellent. Don’t forget sunscreen is only one way of UVL protection. Supplement sunscreens with hats, UPF clothing, shade and avoidance of high UV index times between 11-3 pm.

Beyond Soap: The Podcast
Offers the Latest Beauty and Skincare Intel

Deepen your understanding of skincare, beauty and self- care by subscribing to Beyond Soap: The Podcast, featuring Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, a renowned dermatologist and bestselling author of Beyond Soap, and Chantel Guertin, bestselling novelist and beauty expert.

When our two co-hosts get together, there’s no filter—motherhood, travel, love, but especially beauty and skincare—and the fight against ageing. Now, in a new and ongoing weekly podcast available everywhere on Mondays, Sandy and Chantel explore the subculture of beauty and respond to listener questions. What’s an overlooked oldie but goodie? The hot new product that should be in every purse? Sandy and Chantel tackle it all, including:

  • The latest buzzy ingredient, bakuchiol, a natural alternative to Retin A
  • Holiday beauty, and particularly, those expensive gift sets
  • Cryotherapy and frozen facials
  • The controversy around parabens
  • Microneedling sounds crazy—but Sandy says it works!
  • To learn about everything and anything trending in skincare, subscribe to Beyond Soap: The Podcast on: 
  • Submit listener questions by email at

This holiday season get your skin winter ready with some simple skin care tips to keep your skin healthy.

When the temperature drops outside and indoor heating increases this leads to dry air with less humidity. These changes can dry out your skin and cause winter itch.

To combat dry skin follow these simple rules:
  1.  Shower less often and keep them to under 10min
  2. Only wash your bits or use shower oils to decrease the drying effects that soaps and detergents on your skin
  3. Moisturize quickly after exiting the shower. When water drys and evaporates on the skin it has a drying effect. 
  4. Avoid true soap bars both commercial and homemade/natural. True soap is made with lye which is alkaline. Our skin is acidic and high pH soap bars disrupt the skin’s natural ability to act as a barrier and may damage our skin’s natural bacterial layer - The Skin Microbiome. 
  5. Limit baths as these dry out the skin
  6. Limit fragrances both natural and synthetic in your shower and bath products, particularly in children. 
  7. Cool mist humidifiers can increase indoor humidity and are helpful in the bedroom in the winter months. 

For more information on managing dry skin Dr. Skotnicki has contributed to creating a brochure  for the Canadian Dermatology Association

PDF Brochure: Dry Skin

Melasma can be very stubborn and resistant to treatment. It most commonly presents as brown patches on the upper lip, forehead and upper cheeks. Worse in the summer months and more common in women. A new treatment combing skin micro-needling with topical application of TRANEXAMIC ACID AND VITAMIN C has shown excellent results in CLEARING melasma. Tranexamic acid, a synthetic derivative of an amino acid that prevents activation of the pigment-producing cells in our skin- melanocytes in both ultraviolet light and the presence of hormones. By doing so it not only improves melasma but may help reduce its recurrence.

Topical Tranexamic acid is applied to the skin after micro-needling which improves its penetration.
Now available at Bay Dermatology Centre
Contact us for more information
Bay Dermatology Centre is now offering the new revolutionary AQUAGOLD® fine touch procedure. The newest exciting way to deliver neurotoxins (eg. Botox), hyaluronic acid (dermal filler), vitamins and minerals into the skin through a micro-needling device for overall skin rejuvenation.  

AQUAGOLD® does not require injections and the downtime is very minimal.

Please call us for a consultation at 416-515-8808
Call for a Consultation
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