Spring is here, and Summer is just around the corner. Everyone is dying to get outside! So what’s the big fuss about the sun? A little sun on the face is a good thing…..isn’t it?
It is a well known fact that the sun causes the skin to: A) burn, B) burn and then tan, or if you are one of the lucky ones, C) just tan. But why does this happen, and why is this important to actually prevent? UVA and UVB rays from the sun actually damage the skin and thus cause an inflammatory response. This response in return stimulates melanocytes (specific cells found in the skin) to produce melanin which pigments the skin to make it look darker. This is why if you have any type of inflammation of the skin (e.g. acne breakout), that area of the skin may darken in response to the inflammation. But there’s more to the equation than just making the skin darker. The skin actually begins to look older. Yes, older. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear, and the skin can take on a leathery appearance. Age spots begin to show, and collagen and elastin, two proteins that give the skin its strength and elasticity, begin to breakdown.
We can’t stop time, but we can certainly slow down the aging process with a few preventative measures. Experts recommend that it is important to wear sunscreen everyday, all year round. In fact, the recommended amount of sunscreen to use based on one study was 2 mg/cm2, which is approximately 2 tablespoons for an adult Neale et al Arch Dermatol 138:1319, 2002. This study also showed that the average amount used by most people was less than half of the recommended amount. In other words, most people don’t use enough sunscreen!
What can you do if your skin is already sun damaged? Again, we may not be able to restore the skin to its original youthful appearance, but we can use corrective or medical skincare products to help rejuvenate the skin. These products are different from what one finds in the major department stores or even the big retail make up/skincare stores. Day spas also do not carry these product lines. In general, physician offices or med spas carry these types of products. They are indeed top of the line in which a little goes a long way. A few skincare lines we highly recommend include the following: ZO Skin Health http://www.zoskinhealth.com, Skin Medica http://www.skinmedica.com and SkinBeautica http://www.skinbeautica.com. So, enjoy the warm weather, and enjoy the sun! But remember to arm yourself with quality skincare products to protect your skin health!