- Coralee Shaman LPN
Here comes the sun: Are you ready?
Even though the temperature is just 11 today, the sun is shining. Most of the snow has melted and it’s beginning to look a lot like spring. We’ve patiently waited for it and when it’s finally here, spring fever will take over with a vengeance. Make sure you’re armed and ready!
Although I love the result of Botox and filler, cosmetic injectables will not prevent or undo sun damage. Most of you already know that the sun is not our friend because it causes signs of premature aging. Ultraviolet rays damage elastin. As the UV penetrates the skin, we start to lose elasticity, resulting in wrinkles, bags and sags. We also put ourselves at risk for skin cancer. That’s why getting in the habit of wearing sunscreen every day, even in winter, is essential for our health and our appearance.
You should be wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you both against both UVA and UVB rays. Although there’s some controversy about whether a product with an sun protection factor (SPFs) higher than 15 really offers more protection, I recommend going with a high SPF. Most experts say that an SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93 percent of UVB radiation and an SPF 50 blocks out 98 percent. I don’t want to gamble with my skin, so I’ll take all the protection I can get.
My personal favourite sunscreen is SkinCeuticals’ Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. It is a weightless fluid that combines 100 percent mineral filters with translucent color spheres for effective broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and an even, radiant finish. This high-protection zinc oxide sunscreen also contains artemia salina, a plankton extract known to increase skin’s resistance to UV- and heat-induced stress.
I prefer the mineral sunscreens because they create a barrier, reflecting sun away from your skin as opposed to the chemical-based ones with ingredients such as benzone, avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene that absorb UV radiation and dissipate the harmful effects. You’ll also want to wear an SPF lip balm or lipstick to protect your lips.
If you’re out in the sun, you should reapply your sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or doing another form of exercise. I also try to limit my time in the sun between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. That’s when the sun’s rays are most intense.
I also recommend wearing sunglasses. That will protect the delicate skin around your eyes and help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. When you’re shopping for shades, make sure you select sunglasses that offer 100 percent or total UV protection.
Lastly, don’t forget about your neck, your décolletage and any other exposed body parts. Did you know that your décolletage is more delicate than your face because it produces less oil? It’s often the first place to show signs of aging. Don’t skimp on sunscreen on your neck and décolletage.
If you're still not convinced that a powerful sunscreen is an essential part of your daily health and beauty routine, check out the photograph of a 69-year-old man who drove a delivery truck for 28 years. You can clearly see damaged skin on the left side of his face where the sun shone in through his window.
Source: NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE
Please give me a call to discuss more ways that you can protect your skin and reverse sun damage.
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