Summer is here! The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up which means more time outdoors. Time to talk SUNSCREEN!
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen every day that you plan to be outside. While sunscreen protects against sunburns and skin cancer, there is another benefit: It helps reduce signs of skin aging.
Reduce Skin Aging with Quality Sunscreen
Did you know that ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause more than 90 percent of the visible signs of aging, which includes wrinkles, rough patches, sagging and hyperpigmentation?
The most important product in ANY skin care regime should be sun protection. Make SPF your friend by incorporating it into your morning skincare routine. We advise our patients to use sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection and has a minimum SPF of 30, which blocks about 97 percent of UV rays.
The Two Types of Sun Rays
There are two types of sun rays that can damage your skin in different ways. UVB rays are responsible for sunburns, while UVA rays can lead to aging and the development of skin cancer.
Skin damage from sun exposure occurs for a few reasons.
- Sun exposure depletes collagen, which keeps the skin smooth and firm.
- It can dilate blood vessels to give skin a red tone.
- And, it causes the brown pigment in the skin to be more pronounced, which can make the skin look blotchy.
- It also creates something called elastotic material, which creates a cobblestone appearance in the skin.
What Sunscreens are Best?
When it comes to sunscreen, a broad spectrum sunscreen works best because it protects you from UVB and UVA rays, that is from sunburn and skin cancer. A lot of people are unaware that there are two types of sunscreen:
Chemical and Physical Sunscreens – What’s the difference?
Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. Chemical sunscreens are absorbers of UV rays as they attempt to enter the skin.
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect damaging UV rays away from the skin.
When choosing a sunscreen, you have a few decisions to make.
First, are you slathering up with a physical or chemical sunscreen?
Does it even matter which one you use?
Well, it might. There are pros and cons to both, which we will cover below. Sunscreen itself is non-negotiable, of course, but we’ve got all the info you need to choose the best option for your sun protection needs:
- Less is needed to protect the skin because there is no risk of spaces between the sunscreen molecules after application
- Tends to be thinner and spreads more easily on the skin
- Requires about 20 minutes after application before it starts to work
- Increased chance of irritation and stinging due to the multiple ingredients combined in order to achieve broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
- The higher the SPF, the higher the risk of irritation for sensitive skin types
- The protection it offers gets used up more quickly when in direct UV light, so reapplication must be more frequent
- May clog pores for oily skin types
- Less irritating and a better fit for sensitive skin.
- Can rub off, sweat off and rinse off easily, meaning more frequent reapplication when outdoors as needed
- May leave a white film on the skin, making some formulas incompatible for medium to dark skin tones
- Can be less protective if not applied and re-applied generously and accurately since UV light can get between the sunscreen molecules and get into the skin.
Make Sunscreen Part of Your Daily Skincare Routine
Regardless of which sunscreen you choose, it’s important to make it a part of your daily skin care routine. When you apply sunscreen you should use about one ounce to cover up ANY exposed skin. This is the size of a standard shot glass and will fill up your palm.
If you choose a sunscreen that’s broad-spectrum, water-resistant, and SPF 30 or higher, you should apply your sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading outside.
It’s important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days since UV rays can go through clouds and reach your skin. Because of this apply generous amounts to your face, neck, and ears each time you go outside, EVERY DAY.
Sun Protection Recommended by La Bella Vita Medi Spa
Here are our Go-To’s for sun protection at La Bella Vita Medispa:
Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield®. This 100% chemical-free sunscreen is a wonderful option for those looking for a quick and easy SPF on the go. Powered by EnviroScreen Technology®, this all-powerful, all-mineral skin shield provides complete protection in one convenient, on-the-go application, alone or over makeup. It’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, water/sweat resistant (80 minutes), hydrating and antioxidant rich, and has antimicrobial bristles. A must-have to carry in your purse, car, or even your golf bag. Great for men too! Perfect Easter basket goody for all!
Tinted Antioxidant Sunscreen Moisturizer and Sheer Brilliance Sunscreen. Same medical quality grade as the big names without the big name price! It can be applied over makeup! Our Sheer Brilliance Sunscreen is SPF 50, and is waterproof, weightless and safe to reapply over makeup without that oily feeling. Plus, it’s a Physical sunscreen, which means that it does not allow the sun’s rays to creep into your skin, like a Chemical sunscreen does.
Journee Revitalizing Day Cream SPF 30. This powerful day cream provides four benefits in one: skin revitalization, antioxidant care, broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, and lasting hydration.
Questions About Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is THE #1 anti-wrinkle, anti-dark spot, anti-sagging product you should be using EVERY Day! If you have any questions about our sunscreens or are interested in undoing the damage that years of unprotected sun exposure has done to your skin, give us a call! (916) 624-4959.
Enjoy this beautiful Spring weather. Protect your skin from skin cancer and prevent aging before you have to! What sunscreen are you wearing today?
(sources: Healthline, WebMD, MayoClinic)