I am often asked, “What is the best anti-aging thing I can do for my skin?” Without hesitation, the answer is SUN CREAM. The sun is responsible for approximately 80% of the signs of aging. Blame it on sagging skin and wrinkles; brown spots (hyperpigmentation); white spots (hypopigmentation) and skin cancer. We love the feeling of the sun on our skin and that glamorous complexion, but it is really a time machine for fast forwarding. In fact, it is unfair to blame all the sun’s rays because UV rays are the real culprits.
So what is UV light anyway?
Ultraviolet (UV) light, what is it? First and foremost, it is a type of electromagnetic radiation with enough energy to break the chemical bonds of all types, including living tissue. Most ultraviolet light falls in wavelengths between visible light and X-rays, and reaches the Earth at wavelengths between 400 nanometers and about 180 nanometers. UVA, or close to UV, has a wavelength of 315 – 400 nm, and UVB, or medium UV, has a wavelength between 280 – 315 nm. There is even a third UV band called UVC, or far UV, which is between 180-280 nm. UVB penetrates the upper layer of the skin (epidermis), and tanning is a reaction to exposure to harmful UVB rays. UVA penetrates deeper and can injure living tissue, such as collagen and elastin. I think about it like this – UVA, A for aging, UVB, B for baking.
Is there a healthy tan?
“But I always feel healthier when I tan!” This is probably because your body has produced a good dose of vitamin D along the way. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Sun exposure is the best way to get vitamin D because it is difficult to get vitamin D in large amounts through food. But a tan is a sign of injury afterthe damage was done. Tanning is the result of triggering the body’s natural defense mechanism. Melanin, a pigment produced by cells in the skin, absorbs UV light and scatters it in the form of heat. When the body feels sun damage, it sends melanin to surrounding cells to protect them from further damage, and this pigment causes the skin to darken and look like a tan.
It is clear that we all know when we had “too much sun”, but the insidious part of this is that radiation is bioaccumulative. Repeated exposure increases the harmful effects on our skin. For those of us who drive, have you ever noticed that you have more damage on the left side than on the right? We are exposed to UV light from many sources, including our TVs and phones! And I won’t even run into the dangers of tanning beds.
How do I get vitamin D without sun damage?
So, what are the best ways to get vitamin D and protect this fragile shell that is our face to the world?
Well, it is obvious that avoiding the sun helps, although UV rays penetrate the glass and are reflected from the surfaces, so it is impossible to avoid them completely. Wearing a hat helps, as does clothing that protects from the sun when we are outdoors. However, in the end, sunscreens are the best the sunprotection for our faces and hands that are always exposed to UV radiation.
Which sunscreen should I use?
Then the next question is, “What are the best sunscreens?” In the end, you will like it the most, which means that you will use and use it more often. The US FDA recommends the use of broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or more. No sunscreen is perfect and you will have to reapply it every two hours, or more if you are sweating or swimming.
Chemical and physical ingredients for sun protection, what’s the difference?
Sunscreen protection takes place on the surface of the skin, but there is evidence that some active sunscreen ingredients can be absorbed through the skin and enter the body.
You will often hear that there are two types of active sunscreen ingredients: chemically active ingredients and physically active ingredients. The chemically active ingredients work by absorbing the sun’s rays, converting them into heat, and then releasing heat. Some people experience irritation with chemically active ingredients, and the risk of irritation increases significantly when applied in the area around the eyes.
We have always chosen to use physically active ingredients for sun protection: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The physically active ingredients in sunscreen come from minerals, and the minerals are too large to be absorbed into the skin. Minerals lie on the surface of the skin where they act as hundreds of thousands of mirrors that reflect and refract the sun’s rays. If you are sensitive to chemicals, physical sunscreens are a good alternative, as they are less likely to cause irritation to the user.
We incorporate these ingredients into ours SPF pigment for makeup so they are the last layer you apply, not the first. Ours sunscreen they are also waterproof and safe for ridges.
Last but not least, which SPF should I use?
And which SPF should you wear? First, the SPF rating applies only to the sunUVB protection. You need to look for the words “broad spectrum protection,” which includes UVA. All sunscreens with an SPF value greater than 15 sold in the United States must be broad-spectrum.
There is a misconception that the higher the SPF number, the better. This is not true. SPF 15 protects against 93% of UVB rays. SPF 30 protects against 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 protects against 98%. Confusing, but true. So if you wear a chemical sunscreen that claims to have a high SPF, you also carry more chemicals and get very little money for your money. My recommendation is to choose a mineral base with an SPF of 20 – 30, then you are covered, literally and figuratively! And rememberIt is important toto wear suntan cream throughout the year, sodon’t forget to sign upSPF in winter!!
Enjoy the summer!