Without protection from the sun, even a few minutes per day can cause the skin to prematurely age and over time, the negative effects will be highly noticeable. Sun Damage usually presents as freckles, age spots, rough or leathery skin, broken blood vessels, blotchy skin, actinic keratosis and even skin cancer.
Photo Aging is a common term used by dermatologists, simply describing aging caused by sun exposure. The degree to which any individual experiences photo aging depends on their skin color, their lifetime of sun exposure, and their lifestyle history.
Those with fair skin typically present with signs of photo-aging sooner and with greater severity, than those with dark skin. This is not to say however, that dark skinned individuals are exempt from the negative effects of the sun!
Scientific research shows that with repeated sun exposure, the skin loses its ability to repair itself efficiently. UV exposure is known to break down collagen as well impact elastin, eventually resulting in skin with an inability to spring back, presenting with fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to affecting skin laxity & structure, the sun can discolor and create hyper-pigmentations.
The best line of defense against photo aging is comprehensive sun protection:
- Avoid deliberate tanning, including tanning beds
- Avoid sun exposure between 10 am – 4 pm, as this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, and long sleeves during the day with an awareness of body parts that might be exposed. Ie. Back of the neck, legs, feet, ears, scalp
- Apply sunscreen that is BROAD-Spectrum year round with an SPF of 30+. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going outside and reapplied after sweating or swimming
- Consider including an oral supplement prior to sun exposure such as HelioCare™ which helps protect your skin by building your body’s natural defense against UV. HelioCare has been scientifically proven to reduce free radical damage & photo-aging.
- Avoid skin care products that exacerbate free radical damage and move towards those that are free of suspect ingredients