When people discover that I’m an aesthetician who specializes in anti-aging treatments, usually the first question they will ask is, “What can I do to keep my skin from getting wrinkles?” My answer always surprises them: “It’s really quite simple.”
The best way to prevent premature signs of aging is to use a full-spectrum sun block, as it can protect your skin from harmful UVB rays, which burn your skin, and ultraviolet light, like UVA, that can contribute to skin aging and skin cancer.
Most of us are not aware of the damage caused by over exposure to the sun. Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin.
Such conditions that can all be traced back to sun exposure include:
- Age Spots
- Spider Veins on the Face
- Rough and Leathery Skin
- Fine Wrinkles that Disappear when Stretched
- Loose Skin
- Blotchy Complexion
- Actinic Keratosis (Thick, Wart-like, rough, Reddish Patches of Skin)
- Skin Cancer
Of course, genetics has a part to play in how quickly your skin will age as well, but there is no doubt that the sun attacks our elastin.
Sun-weakened skin ceases to spring back much earlier than skin protected from UV rays. Skin also becomes loose, wrinkled, and leathery much earlier with unprotected exposure to sunlight.
Sunscreens are either organic or inorganic. Inorganic sunscreens are also called “physical” sunscreens. Organic does NOT mean the sunscreens are naturally produced. Rather, an organic sunscreen is one that is composed of carbon and hydrogen (among other things).
Organic sunscreens are absorbed into the skin to some extent. Most organic sunscreens block only UVB rays. Organic sunscreens absorb the radiation and the body must get rid of it. They regenerate UV radiation as heat is retransmitted as infrared. In other words, they absorb light energy and then release it in the form of heat energy (infrared).
Organics get rid of UV by creating free radicals. Free radicals can also damage DNA, create age spots and wrinkles and depress the immune system, increasing the risk of skin cancer. Antioxidants help restore free radical damage. Some studies suggest that organic sunscreen chemicals pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.
Inorganic (aka physical sunscreens) contain inert, microscopic solid and particulate minerals—the most common being zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Most physical sunscreens are now micro-fine and contain particles so small that they are almost clear (unlike the thick white paste of past lifeguard fame).
Zinc oxide is generally considered very safe and causes very few allergic reactions, and zinc oxide blocks more UVR than any other single ingredient. Titanium dioxide blocks some UVA and most UVB. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide lie on top of the skin and are not absorbed. They work by reflecting and refracting the ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) rays away from the skin. They do not absorb into the body and create the opportunity for free radical scavengers.
Which Sunscreen is Most Effective?
That being said, I usually get the question, “So, what can I use to adequately protect my skin from all these damaging UV rays?" and my recommendation comes from 8 years of using a new sunscreen delivery system that is user-friendly.
SPF inorganic powders that are odor free, clear on the skin, waterproof and perspiration proof, won’t stain clothing and will wash off with soap and water. When spread on the skin, they reflect and refract almost all dangerous ultra-violet rays, and they do this on the surface of the skin preventing free radical damage. They will not burn the eyes when perspiring and are practically weightless, as if you are wearing nothing at all. One application can last for all day protection.
Additionally, Colorescience is the first-all powder, long lasting sun protection for everybody, men, women and children. It is rated 30 and 50 SPF.
For more information or for a free demo, contact Margaret Kabacinski, NYS Lic. Aesthetician at the Northport Wellness Center’s Northport Skin Fitness Inc., by calling (631) 262-1222 or emailing Margaret@northportskinfitness.com.