What’s Better? The sun or sunless tanning products?

Sunless Tan

Since we have become more aware of the dangers of exposure to ultra-violet light, the Sunless Tan has become more and more popular.

Sunless tanning comes in a variety of different forms:

Tanning Pills: Tanning pills contain a form of carotene and claim to create a healthy looking, golden bronze tan any time of the year, with or without the sun! However, the use of canthaxanthin pills has been linked to cases of hepatitis, as well as retinopathy, a condition that causes yellow deposits on the retina of the eye. The FDA has not approved the use of canthaxanthin as a tanning agent.

Topical Sunless Tanning: Sunless tanners actually stain the skin to make it look tan and fade as skin cells slough off. Products usually come as lotions, spays, or creams. These products contain a chemical called dihydroxyacetone which works by reacting with the amino acids found in the dead layer of the skin resulting in tan-colored skin. DHA has been known to cause contact dermatitis, a rash or irritation of the skin. Contact dermatitis can cause large burning, itchy rashes.

Cosmetic Bronzers: Cosmetic bronzers will stain the skin to appear tan, but will wash off just as your makeup does.

Remember, all of these products will also cause moles and skin lesions to darken and appear more noticeable. And they can actually stimulate your own melanin to cause long lasting hyperpigmentation as well.

My recommendation is always “Smart Sun.” Enjoy the sun in moderation using and REAPPLYING your Academy sunscreen.


What Beautiful Women Have in Common

What do some of the most beautiful women in the world have in common?

The key to perceived beauty is usually the face. When we meet someone new, a first impression generally is about looks; only later does talent, personality, intelligence, character and kindness begin to play a role in our perception of these women.

Let’s look a few women I personally think of as “beautiful.”

First, Katharine Hepburn: an American actress in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and more. At first glance, she has a beautiful face, high cheek bones, sparkling eyes, a perfect mouth, gorgeous hair, and slim figure. Overall, she is very pleasing to the eye. But for me, what made her beautiful was her spunk. She was known for her fierce independence and spirited personality. That personality, talent, kindness and the care-taking role she took on in life, especially for her family, is what made her “beautiful!”


Next, a look at Audrey Hepburn’s face clearly personifies beauty. Again, high cheekbones, luscious lips, and if one believes that “the eyes are the mirror to the soul,” just take a look at Audrey’s eyes. This British Actress, who starred in the famous “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” has a perfect face. However, despite the fact that she had won an Emmy, an Oscar, and a Tony, she retired from acting to do relief work for UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund works for children’s rights, survival, development, and protection). Imagine, even as a child, Audrey Ruston Hepburn helped in The Resistance during World War II. I ask you, was beauty really just in the eyes of the beholder?


Fast forward to the 21st century and let’s consider Lady Gaga. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. This woman is brave, bright and talented. In addition to her self-empowering messages, fashion, and live performances, she is noted for her philanthropic endeavors and social activism including LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the Born This Way Foundation. No perfect features say it all about her face. So why is she so beautiful?


In my opinion, these women have “Timeless Elegance” in common. Their extraordinary power and beauty comes from within. It is women such as these who have influenced my philosophy of life and my opinion of beauty, as emphasized in my book Timeless Beauty Inside and Out. At Academy by Candy, you can find so many easy tips to enhance your appearance, and in turn your self-esteem so you too may feel like a living legend!



Featured Academy by Candy Customer: Kath Gregitis

Our loyal customer since 2000, Kath Gregitis, honored us with a surprise this month!

At 58 years young, she has been featured in Vintage Magazine July 2016 issue as beauty-reader of the month. Wow! She’s a retired teacher and now a professional belly dancer who loves to dress in vintage clothing. And look at her skin! We asked Kath about her skincare routine.

“Fifteen years ago, I began getting glycolic peels, and followed up with Academy’s Glycolic Hydro Light Plus-10 lotion at home. I found that my pores were considerably reduced, and fine lines were diminished. My complexion has more of a healthy glow, rather than the dullness that it previously had, especially in the winter months.

I have recently started using the Academy sunscreen, since I spend a lot of time outdoors in the summer. It is a light lotion with a pleasant coconut scent, and is easily absorbed into my skin.

I am so happy that I started this skin regiment so many years ago, because I believe it really has slowed down the aging of my skin. I’m told all the time that I don’t look my age!” -Kath Gregitis

Check out these photos of Kath. (Photo credit: Bettina May, a burlesque performer who runs “Pin-up Girl” workshops.)


Strength Matters: Why You Need to Know More About Ingredients in Your Skincare Products

How much do you know about the strength and quantity of the ingredients in your skincare products?

Sure, you may read articles that tell you what ingredients to look for, but what about how much of that ingredient is in the product? Or what other ingredients are in that product that may counteract it?

A study reported from Italy titled “A Prospective Study of Anti-Aging topical therapies using a Quantitative Method of Assessment” concluded that the value of “unbuffered” (aka: low pH) Glycolic Acid has been verified and scientifically substantiated to be more beneficial compared to: Vitamins A, C, E, Coenzyme Q10, Lipoic acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Kinerase and Pyruvic Acid.


Because the antioxidant Glycolic Acid, in its proper strength, has the smallest molecular size, enabling it to penetrate the skin the deepest, rendering it the most effective!

Another study performed on burn patients proved that Glycolic Acid decreased the healing time by 50%. Once again, proving that the antioxidant Glycolic Acid not only protects against free-radical damage, but stimulates new cellular growth faster than any other skin care ingredient.

Be mindful however that the FDA study indicated that all ingredients are not equal. The strength of these products vary dramatically by not only percent but even more importantly by pH.

More is not always better. Here at Academy by Candy, we are always open and honest about the strength of our Glycolic Acid. We use 10% unbuffered Glycolic Acid with a pH of 1.5 in our products. This is why our customers get the best results. (In-office Glycolic Peels are 70% unbuffered Glycolic Acid with 0.5 pH.)

How to Make Your Pores Look Invisible

This is the million dollar question! So let’s talk about why your pores are big, how to reduce the size, and how to make sure they stay that way.

Why are our pores so big?

When our oil glands make too much oil, our pores enlarge. When our pores are enlarged, they clog. The clogged pores then enlarge even more. This vicious cycle creates an unsightly appearance of large pores, which then often fill with debris—becoming white heads or even blackheads.

How do we reduce the size of our pores and keep them that way?

The goal is to first unclog these pores, reduce blackheads, and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. Next, and most importantly, a good preventative skin care regime must become a routine.

  1. A strong (50%) unbuffered (0.5 pH) glycolic acid peel should be performed first, including a gentle lifting out of the debris, one by one. (No extractor or squeezing, please. This causes scarring.)

2. A daily routine must be implemented of gently cleansing and exfoliating the skin.

3. Use a salicylic acid combined with a low pH (unbuffered) glycolic acid toner. This will be your best preventative solution.

Click here to look at a special kit containing all of these products.

What should we avoid?

Stay away from:

  1. Oily skin care moisturizers
  2. Oily sunscreens

Remember to stay hydrated and healthy, drinking at least two liters of water per day and eating a balanced diet of natural foods. What you eat does affect your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body.