Wrinkles? Age spots? Leathery skin? Simple precautions can help.
Be aware that there are some factors which are inevitable.
- natural gravitational pull on the skin and
- loss of subcutaneous fat (which may make the skin seem to sag) and
- loss of muscle under the facial tissues.
Other factors are preventable like exposure to ultraviolet rays and the elements.
Research shows the worst culprit in skin aging is ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). Both UVA (which causes aging) and UVB (causing sunburns) rays are harmful. Long-term sun exposure causes loss of elasticity of the skin, discoloration, brown spots, increase blood vessels, wrinkles, facial volume/fat loss, and skin cancer. Sunscreen is the best defense.
There are two types of sunscreens–physical and chemical screens. Physical blockers contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The UV rays are scattered from the skin. They contain safer ingredients for children (6 months and older). Chemical screens absorb UV rays and offer high SPF for protection from both UVA and UVB. The drawbacks of chemical screens is that it may cause allergic skin rashes and may wear off earlier than physical blockers.
Many sunscreens contain both physical and chemical screens. Some brands are Neutrogena with Helioplex and Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours when in the sun
- Reapply after exercise or swimming
- Avoid outdoor activities between 11 am and 3 pm as the UV rays are the strongest during this time
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Wear long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat (which is better than a baseball cap due to increased coverage)
As the daughter and sister of two plastic surgeons, I have heard about sunscreen’s benefits since I was a child. My advice is to pick a sunscreen that feels and smells good and use it daily. Amp up the usage depending on the situation and skin being exposed.
Hope this helps!