Utah Facial Plastics Talks Sun Aging and Sun Protection
Up until a few years ago sunbathing and tanning beds were the way to get ready for summer. Today we definitely have a more clear understanding of just how dangerous the sun can actually be. Being exposed to the sun without protection is what leads to sun aging and skin cancer.
Overtime, the UVA (aging) rays can cause sunspots (hyperpigmentation) and even fine lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure causes the majority of visible changes that are common to skin aging. Thankfully, we do offer a variety of medical grade products and treatments that can treat wrinkles and reverse sunspots. Repairing sunspots is not as simple as textural issues. However, treatments like IPL and chemical peels are extremely helpful but typically have to be done in a series to see noticeable results.
Sunscreen and caring for your skin are by far one the greatest “trends” we’ve seen. Over the past few years, influencers have really emphasized on the importance of healthy skin. Applying sunscreen daily and physical sun protection is the most beneficial way to combat skin cancer and maintain healthier skin.
Each year in the United States, 5 million individuals are affected by skin cancer. Skin cancer is commonly found on the scalp, face and hands but can affect many areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Skin cancer and skin aging can both be prevented by wearing the correct SPF.
What to look for in sunscreen?
When looking at sunscreen there are a few important things to look for. We recommend that you always read the ingredient labels. The ingredients in the sunscreen will determine whether you are getting a chemical or mineral sunscreen, and yes, they are very different from one another. Mineral sunscreens are generally the best because they sit on the skin’s surface and create a physical block. Next, you want to make sure it is broad spectrum, meaning its ability to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays and is anywhere between SPF 30-50.
Chemical sunscreens usually include ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens do not reflect the light like mineral sunscreen. Instead, the UV rays are absorbed and release heat from the skin. Chemical sunscreens are effective, but are typically not ideal for individuals who have melasma.
When looking at a mineral sunscreen’s ingredients you will always see either zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or a combination of both. Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and block UV rays. We call mineral sunscreen a physical barrier against the UV rays. It actually protects the skin from both aging rays (UVA) and burning rays (UVB).
Whether you are applying a chemical or mineral sunscreen, always check out the instruction label to ensure you understand the recommended wait time and reapplication time. Most sunscreens recommend that you are reapplying at least every 2-3 hours. This is especially important if you are going to be outdoors or exposed to the sun directly.