Just because you’re not outside sweating in the sun doesn’t mean you’re not causing skin damage, wrinkling and other visible signs of aging. As a nation we’ve gotten much better about summer sunscreen at the beach or while skiing in the mountains. But many of us are still not using adequate sun protection in our daily skin care routine.
Most of the skin changes we associate with aging (fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, drying, thinning) are actually caused by exposure to UV light. Called photo-aging, UV radiation damages the DNA of your skin cells, disrupting the ability of your skin to heal itself, causing lasting damage to your skin’s healthy function. There is no such thing as a healthy tan; any tanning will cause skin damage and accelerated aging. And even if you’re not outside for long periods, you’re still exposed to incidental UV rays every day; going to and from the car, home and office, even sitting near a window. This constant exposure over the years eventually adds up to all those nasty telltale signs you see in the mirror – crow’s feet, discoloration, brown spots, sagging skin. Even if you’re already starting to see damage, daily UV protection gives your skin some breathing room to start recuperating; skin can recover and improve once it’s protected from further exposure. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!
So what to keep in mind?
- Your hands and face are exposed year round and are the first places you’ll show signs of aging. Most of us tend to develop brown spots on the left side of our face first. Why? UV exposure occurs through windows and even light clothing – and we rarely guard against sun exposure through the driver’s side window.
- For daily coverage use a sunscreen with Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or higher.After extensive research, I recommend using sunscreens primarily featuring Zinc Oxide, (yes, the white stuff we used on our noses as kids, but a new sheer version). Unlike many of the drugstore products that contain cheaper chemical sunscreens which absorb UV, Zinc Oxide is a physical sunscreen that blocks UV and in my view is the best option for all around protection, safety, efficacy and silky texture.Our Age Prevention Protection Extreme SPF 45 and our Colour Vérité Real Skin Flawless Facial Tints SPF 45 all feature sheer Zinc Oxide, are non-greasy, blend beautifully and are perfect for daily use.
- DO NOT rely solely on foundation makeup for adequate protection! Most foundation makeup, even with SPF typically does NOT provide broad spectrum UVA/UVA protection and may fade and lose potency throughout the day; so if you must use foundation, combine with sunscreen or use over top.
- Alpha hydroxy acids and retinoic acids may increase sun sensitivity; if you’re using either, daily sun protection is an absolute must.
The Good News!
You can halt photo-aging and prevent up to 90% of the visible signs of aging skin just by using the right sun protection –all year around, EVERY, SINGLE DAY!