In a study conducted by the World Health Organization, researchers found that 80 to 90% of the visible changes in the skin attributed to aging may actually be caused by the sun. The ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun cause increased wrinkling, dark spots, and reddening, and can also cause the skin to become leathery. In fact, researchers found the number of wrinkles a person has is significantly related to the total hours of sun exposure.
So what can you do to prevent premature aging of your skin, especially on your face? The best protection is to spend less time out in the sun. You may have heard to avoid peak times, between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the summer months. This is because UVB rays are the strongest at these times. But UVA rays are always present in a consistent manner. When you do go outside, clothes and sunglasses can serve as some protection. You should also look for shade. And most importantly, always wear sunscreen. Dermatologists recommend sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day, rain or shine.
Sunscreen: Getting it Right
While sunscreen doesn’t provide 100 percent protection, it is a great barrier to sunburn and sun damage. Look for a sunscreen that is labeled Broad Spectrum. This means it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Always wear SPF 15 or greater. Higher SPF numbers are great, especially for fair-skinned people. However, keep in mind that the higher SPFs bring smaller increases in benefit than you would think. For example, SPF 15 protects against 93 percent of UVB rays, where SPF 30 protects against only 97 percent of UVB rays.
You can research your favorite sunscreen brands on the Environmental Working Group website. This group has spent a significant amount of time researching a large number of sunscreen products and evaluating the ingredients and effectiveness.
Once you’ve purchased a good sunscreen, be sure to follow these tips for the best protection:
– Use at least 2 tablespoons to cover your entire body appropriately.
– Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun.
– Look at the expiration date and make sure it’s still effective.
– Apply sunscreen on your face every day, even if it’s cloudy.
Sunscreen use can help slow down the signs of aging. But there is also hope for those who have been sun worshippers in the past and have suffered skin damage from the sun. If you have wrinkles, age spots, or melisma (patchy brown discoloration), make an appointment for a consultation with PENTA FPSC today. Our experts can talk with you about options such as chemical peels and Botox that will help reduce or erase the signs of aging.
Make an appointment for a consultation today by calling 336-768- 3361 to go over what treatments or procedures would be best for you.