The Skinny On … Your Skin

With summer only moments away, there’s no more common topic under the sun than your skin. Oh, how we all love our moment in the sun, but unless you have been living under a rock, you know sun damage is real. Fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, leathery texture, loss of elasticity and overall premature aging signs – sun damage in all its misery accumulates over time, so it is Never. Too. Late. to start a sun protection regimen.

Your ABCs on SPFs.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, research from a 2013 study found that people who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24% less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily. The SPF number tells you how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to redden your skin when using the product exactly as directed versus the amount of time without any sunscreen. So ideally, with SPF 30 it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. An SPF 30 allows about 3 percent of UVB rays to hit your skin. An SPF of 50 allows about 2 percent of those rays through. That may seem like a small difference until you realize that the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (blocks both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. It’s important to apply one ounce (two tablespoons) 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Wear sunscreen every day in every season, even if it’s cloudy. And FYI, the sun’s UVA rays come through car windows, so you still need to apply sunscreen even if you’re only going to be driving.  Yes, really.

Fortunately, many products you are going to use already have sun protection in them. Many moisturizers, foundations and other make-up products offer UVA and UVB protection. Here are some tips,

  1. Apply sunscreen liberally on face, neck and ears. Let the sunscreen soak into skin.
  2. Layer a natural moisturizer with SPF15 or higher, which is light and smooth– good for dewy skin. Also try an SPF 15 eye cream.
  3. Apply a foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher.
  4. Apply compressed powder with a sponge –the powder’s particles provide some sun protection and will keep the sunscreen and moisturizer in place.
  5. Reapply sunscreen once during the day regardless of indoor or outdoor activity.
  6. Protect lips with an SPF 15 or higher lip balm

Throwing Shade.

Along with the appropriate level sunscreen applied as directed, clothing, hats and seeking SHADE (how easy and cheap is that?) …  are all your best friends especially between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun is strongest. Wide-brimmed hats (even better wearing those with SPF protection!) protect your scalp, your face, neck, ears and your eyes – and you will look very cool (and a tad mysterious, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses).

We know there are naturally occurring benefits of Vitamin D – nothing new under the sun about that.  But according to the World Health Organization, getting anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands and face without sunscreen) two to three times a week is sufficient to get the Vitamin-D boosting health benefits of sunlight.  But more than 15 minutes, bring on the sunscreen.

Face Up to It

Okay, so with prevention covered, what about damage control? Just maybe you have not done the best job protecting the human body’s largest organ (if it’s been a bit since biology, your skin is actually your body’s largest and fastest-growing organ). Hard to face it? Not at all.

Atlanta’s Queen of Faces, board-certified Dr. Elizabeth Whitaker, has some effective options for repairing and reviving sun damaged skin and other aging issues. Fractional Laser Resurfacing is a treatment using a carbon dioxide (CO2)  laser toremove sun damaged skin and stimulate healing, creating new collagen and elastin to form.Help reverse the sun damage that dulls and darkens your complexion with no-downtime Photofacials – alight-based treatment that helps to give you bright, even toned skin by removing pigmentation from age spots and sun damage. Liquid Facelift can restore fullness to your cheeks and “lift” the cheek area without incisions or surgery, adding more light to the face. Atlanta Face & Body also carries medical grade skin care. Let us introduce you to NeoCutis JOURNÉE Bio-restorative Day Cream Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30a multi-functional moisturizer that restores moisture, hydrates, nourishes, revitalizes. We also carry premier sunscreen brands such as Revision, Eta MD, Jan Marini and NeoCutis.  Learn more about these and other Beautifully You body products and procedures at Atlanta Face and Body. Call (678) 888-3223 or go online to schedule a FREE consultation. Our staff can help you evaluate which treatment is right for you.