Why Sunscreen Prevents Photoaging!

Woman With Sunscream
Remember all those times we told you to wear sunscreen every single day to prevent aging? We have even more research showing that you should slather up often. A recent study done in Australia has confirmed what studies on mice and dermatologists have been saying for years: Using sunscreen daily stops photoaging. And here’s a spoiler: If you’re using sunscreen, but not using it daily and reapplying after a few hours or after swimming or heavy sweating, you’re doing your skin a disservice. The best effects are seen with those who use sunscreen every single day and reapply often.

The Study: Daily Sunscreen vs. Discretionary Use

This study demonstrates that applying sunscreen every day is more effective than applying it only when it seems appropriate.The study had 900 white participants who were younger than 55-years-old. One group was randomly assigned to apply a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more to their head, neck, arms, and hands in the morning after washing, after spending several hours outside, or after sweating heavily. Another group was asked to use sunscreen at their discretion. Across both groups participants were also randomly assigned either 30 mg beta-carotene or a placebo pill (Annals of International Medicine). This amounted to four groups: regular sunscreen use with beta-carotene, regular sunscreen use with a placebo, discretionary sunscreen use with beta-carotene, and discretionary use with a placebo. The study took place between 1992 and 1996, and lasted a total of four-and-a-half years. Researchers took impressions of the participants’ skin at the beginning and end of the study, and had these impressions assessed by researchers who were not aware of who was using sunscreen or taking beta-carotene. These assessors gave a score from 0 to 6, with 0 being smooth, elastic skin with absolutely no photoaging, and 6 being wrinkled, inelastic skin with severe photoaging.

The Results: Daily Sunscreen Can Prevent Photoaging!

Those who used sunscreen every day with frequent reapplications looked younger after 4.5 years than those who used sunscreen at their discretion.

Those who used sunscreen every day with frequent reapplications looked younger after 4.5 years than those who used sunscreen at their discretion.

In the beginning, both groups had a median of 4. By the end of the study, the group who used sunscreen every day still had a median of 4, while a group who used sunscreen at their discretion had a median of 5. The group using sunscreen daily had 24% less aging than the group using sunscreen at their discretion. Researchers saw no difference between the beta-carotene supplement and placebo groups. And it’s worthwhile to note that neither group had bad habits in the sun, notes Dr. Barbara A. Gilchrist, dermatology professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and editor of The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, in this New York Times article. This merely illustrates the difference between groups who use sunscreen every single day, and those who use it at their discretion — but all of them use sunscreen. Some of the studies limitations were that about one-third of participants did not have molds taken at the beginning and end, the study did not investigate the effects on individuals over 55-years-old, and the study only looked at the effects of daily or discretionary sunscreen use light-skinned people, and the study was too small to be confident in the results on beta-carotene.

Which Sunscreen Should You Use?

Believe it or not: Up to 90% of visible aging comes from damage from UV exposure. This is particularly true in the case of premature aging.  As the study above indicates, the best protection from aging is sunscreen; but what’s the best sunscreen to use? Overall, I prefer physical-mineral sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (which physically stop the rays) over organic-chemical sunscreens like avobenzone and oxybenzone (which absorb UV rays and convert them into a less harmful form of energy). Both offer excellent levels of protection, but there are several reasons why physical-mineral sunscreens might be a better choice overall. Organic-chemical sunscreens are less photostable than physical-mineral sunscreens, and because of this, are more likely to cause irritation (Chemical Research in Toxicology). And organic-chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin more than physical-mineral sunscreens, which are too large to penetrate the past the stratum corneum (Journal of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Science, Toxicological Science). [Read More: Are Inorganic Sunscreens Better than Organic Ones?] And zinc oxide is a better physical blocker than titanium dioxide by virtue of having more broad-spectrum protection. There are two kinds of UV rays: UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays. Both block UVB rays, but zinc oxide blocks more UVA rays than titanium dioxide (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Here are some sunscreens that are either completely physical-mineral or a mix of physical-mineral and organic-chemical, along with the percentages of active ingredients in each, with high amounts of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Remember, the addition of an antioxidant serum, like our Vitamin CE Caffeic Serum, has been proven to help boost the effectiveness of sunscreen (Journal of Investigative Dermatology).Bottom LineIf you haven’t been wearing sunscreen every single day and reapplying it often, now is the time to start. This recent research study proves what past studies, dermatologists, and FutureDerm has been saying for years: Daily use of sunscreen will keep you looking younger longer, and will help prevent skin cancer. Thinking of sunscreen application like brushing your teeth, something you do regularly, can make a huge difference in your skin in the long run.

Via Future Derm

How Much Sunscreen Should You Be Applying?

Be sure you’re applying enough sunscreen with a shot glass and a teaspoon!

 

Apply a shot glass of sunscreen to your entire body (4 oz.) and a 1/4 tsp of sunscreen to your face to ensure you’re getting the right amount.

How Long Does Waterproof Sunblock Last?

A “water-resistant” label means the sunscreen works in the water

for about 40 minutes – 80 minutes in the water, no sunscreen is

completely waterproof.  Like all sunscreens, water-resistant

products should be reapplied after two hours, regardless of water

exposure, and after toweling off.

oceanocean (Photo credit: Stephen Edgar – Netweb)

The 3 Biggest SunScreen Mistakes You Are Making!

Credit: Thinkstock

You weren’t born yesterday, so you already know that the sun is bad for you. Sure, it facilitates life on earth, but it also wreaks hyperpigmentation-havoc (among other things, psst wrinkles) on your skin. And if the sun is the enemy in this little metaphor, consider sunscreen to be the soldier that shields you and goes to battle against harmful UV rays.

While SPF is a hero for sure, it can only really protect you from the aforementioned skin horrors if you are using it correctly. And most dermatologists agree, women, despite their best intentions, continue to make big mistakes when it comes to correctly using and applying sunscreen. Because the efficacy of sunscreens is directly related to how they are used, this is a big deal. So what are these big blunders? So glad you asked.

Not reapplying

It’s great you remember to put sunscreen on in the morning, however by the time the sun goes down at night, your one application in the morning has totally worn off. If you are in the sun, you need to be reapplying sunscreen every two hours, says New York dermatologist Rebecca Baxt, MD.

Layering SPFs

Using two products, say your moisturizer and foundation with sunblock in them, is fine, but thinking their SPF factors combine to be one larger, more powerful SPF is not. “Women think that the SPF 15 in their makeup plus their SPF40 in their sunblock, equals a 55, which is just not true,” says Dr. Baxt. In reality, the most you are getting is the highest level you apply, and that’s it.

Relying on SPF in makeup

Sunblock in makeup is usually enough to prevent a burn when used properly, but it isn’t enough to prevent all the harmful rays that age the skin and cause skin cancer, says Baxt. “Makeup products with SPF are usually between SPF 5 and 15, which is not appropriate for direct sun exposure. I always encourage my clients to wear a minimum of SPF 15 when exposed to the sun, and the higher the better!” adds New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD. “Makeup is also not applied everywhere that sunscreen should be, and we often miss the neck, ears and hairline,” he says.

UV Index App By Coppertone!

Diane Bondareff / AP Coppertone’s newly released “MyUV Alert” iPhone mobile app can be used to to look up a local UV index forecast. The free service also provides customizable sunscreen reapplication reminders and personalized suncare recommendations.

Android App

Apple App

When parents have to worry about sun protection, it’s no day at the beach. COPPERTONE® MyUVAlert™ to the rescue! This handy application helps you with sun protection information for your whole family, offering local UV index forecasts, custom sunscreen reapplication reminders that you set, individualized product recommendations, coupons, sun protection tips and more.

The COPPERTONE® MyUV Alert™ App offers:
• Custom reapplication reminders, which even allow for more frequent reminders when swimming or sweating. You can set reminders that work for you and your family, based on activity or personal preferences. Customize with choice of sounds.
• Sunscreen product profiles and recommendations tailored to each family member. You can even generate a recommendation list for the whole family at once, making shopping simple!
• Local UV index and weather forecasts, so preparing for your vacation (or staycation) becomes a breeze.
• Sun protection tips from the COPPERTONE® Solar Research Center.
• Valuable coupons for your favorite COPPERTONE® products.

Related Links:

 

Dietary Lycopene to Help with UV Rays

Via BBC

Tomatoes and Skin Protection

Can tomatoes protect your skin?

There is a magical component in tomatoes that research is beginning to show could protect our skin from UV damage from sunburn. It’s called lycopene and it is a very effective antioxidant.

About 85% of lycopene in the western diet is obtained only from tomatoes and the best place to find it is in tomato paste.

Our test was to establish whether eating tomato paste could help protect the skin from UV damage and UV-induced reddening. We took 23 women who were used to burning merely at the sight of the sun and asked half of them to eat 55g of tomato paste every day for 12 weeks (giving them 16mg of lycopene).

“an unbelievable 30% increase in skin protection”

As a defence against UV rays, the body tans when exposed to moderate levels of radiation. This helps to block UV penetration and prevent damage to the vulnerable skin tissues deeper down. In order to test the efficacy of tomatoes on our guinea pigs we tested the lowest dose of UV needed to provoke a visible response on their skin. Then we exposed them to a range of UV radiation and compared the damage done to those who ate tomatoes and those who didn’t.

After 12 weeks of rigorously following the tomato paste diet we brought our women back to the lab and burnt them all over again. Was it all in vain? When tested again our volunteers on the lycopene diet had a 30% increase in skin protection.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop using sun block but it’s good to know that simply by increasing tomatoes in your diet you can help protect your skin from the daily sun damage which happens without us even realising.

______________________________________________________________

More reading Via The National Center for Biotechnology Information (USA)

How long Can I stay in the water with water-resistant sunscreen on?

A “water-resistant” label means the sunscreen works in the water

for about 40 minutes – 80 minutes in the water, no sunscreen is

completely waterproof.  Like all sunscreens, water-resistant

products should be reapplied after two hours, regardless of water

exposure, and after toweling off.

ocean

ocean (Photo credit: Stephen Edgar – Netweb)

 

African-American Skin Care

How to Keep Dark Skin Looking Gorgeous!

 

Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

Michelle Obama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Darker skin tones do not require special skin-care products, because skin color is not a skin type!  Darker skin tones do have some physiological differences from lighter skin tones; it’s just that those differences don’t impact what products you should be using.

 

Skin Care is Color Blind

 

When it comes to skin care, skin is skin. Think of it like your diet: we all need the same nutritious foods (that supply antioxidants, fatty acids, protein, vitamins, etc.) to be healthy. The exact same concept applies to skin.  Skin is the body’s largest organ which is why everyone’s skin needs the same ingredients depending on their skin type or condition. Everyone’s skin also needs the same basics to care for it:  cleansing, sun protection, and products for their skin type.

Skin Types:

  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination (oily on the forehead, nose and chin; normal to dry cheeks)
  • Normal
  • Sensitive (can also be a condition)

Anything else acne, aging, pigmentation, dehydration, etc. is a skin condition.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

  • Always use a cleanser for your skin type (avoid bar soap they can clog pores and cause skin to look ashy and feel dry).
  • Always choose products that are appropriate for your skin type (i.e. gels and serums for oily or combination skin; creams and lotions for dry skin).
  • Always use a well formulated sunscreen spf 15 or higher that is full or broad spectrum during the day (the most typical cause of uneven skin tone for women of color is sun damage).

 

How is African-American Skin Different from Other Skin Tones?

 

Although basic skin-care needs are the same for everyone, there are some issues that darker skin tones are more likely to experience. Such as skin issues like keloidal (raised) scarring, pronounced hyperpigmentation, and ingrown hairs.

 

The keloid is defined as an abnormal scar that grows beyond the boundaries of the original site of skin injury. Keloids have the appearance of a raised growth and are frequently associated with itching and pain.

 

A45-299-3

A45-299-3 (Photo credit: otisarchives4)
Keloid

 

Hyperpigmentation in skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for color (pigment). Certain conditions, such as pregnancy or Addison’s disease (decreased function of the adrenal gland), may cause a greater production of melanin and hyperpigmentation. Exposure to sunlight is a major cause of hyperpigmentaion, and will darken already hyperpigmented areas.  Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by various drugs, including some antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, and antimalarial drugs, and some medical/skin care treatments.

 

 

Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into your skin instead of rising up from it. An ingrown hair irritates the skin. It produces a raised, red bump (or group of bumps) that looks like a little pimple. Sometimes an ingrown hair can form a painful, boil-like sore.  Ingrown hairs can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you’ve got a lot of them. You may notice pus inside the bumps. Or you may see the hair that’s causing the problem.  Sometimes dead skin can clog up a hair follicle. That forces the hair inside it to grow sideways under the skin, rather than upward and outward.

 

 

Research shows that the only real difference between skin tones is the amount, size, and distribution of melanin (the cells which produce our skin’s pigment).

 

Sun Damage

 

Having more melanin gives darker skin tones an added advantage when it comes to how their skin handles sun exposure and how soon the damage becomes visible. Meaning the more melanin your skin has, the more natural defense your skin has against the sun. It doesn’t however mean damage from unprotected sun exposure isn’t happening! Uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and slower healing time (particularly for scars) is primarily a result of sun damage. Even though it takes longer and more intense sun exposure for visible damage to occur on darker skin it does happen unless it is properly protected. All skin, no matter what color, can be damaged by the sun and everyone needs to reapply broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and at regular intervals during long days outdoors, especially after swimming or perspiring.

 

 

The 3 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes You’re Making

 

Credit: Thinkstock

You weren’t born yesterday, so you already know that the sun is bad for you. Sure, it facilitates life on earth, but it also wreaks hyperpigmentation-havoc (among other things, psst wrinkles) on your skin. And if the sun is the enemy in this little metaphor, consider sunscreen to be the soldier that shields you and goes to battle against harmful UV rays.

While SPF is a hero for sure, it can only really protect you from the aforementioned skin horrors if you are using it correctly. And most dermatologists agree, women, despite their best intentions, continue to make big mistakes when it comes to correctly using and applying sunscreen. Because the efficacy of sunscreens is directly related to how they are used, this is a big deal. So what are these big blunders? So glad you asked.

Not reapplying

It’s great you remember to put sunscreen on in the morning, however by the time the sun goes down at night, your one application in the morning has totally worn off. If you are in the sun, you need to be reapplying sunscreen every two hours, says New York dermatologist Rebecca Baxt, MD.

Layering SPFs

Using two products, say your moisturizer and foundation with sunblock in them, is fine, but thinking their SPF factors combine to be one larger, more powerful SPF is not. “Women think that the SPF 15 in their makeup plus their SPF40 in their sunblock, equals a 55, which is just not true,” says Dr. Baxt. In reality, the most you are getting is the highest level you apply, and that’s it.

Relying on SPF in makeup

Sunblock in makeup is usually enough to prevent a burn when used properly, but it isn’t enough to prevent all the harmful rays that age the skin and cause skin cancer, says Baxt. “Makeup products with SPF are usually between SPF 5 and 15, which is not appropriate for direct sun exposure. I always encourage my clients to wear a minimum of SPF 15 when exposed to the sun, and the higher the better!” adds New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, MD. “Makeup is also not applied everywhere that sunscreen should be, and we often miss the neck, ears and hairline,” he says.

 

UV Protection in Sunglasses!

Light-colored glasses can be just as effective as dark glasses at blocking UV light. Look for labels that say “Meets ANSI UV Requirements” or “UV absorption up to 400 nm,” which means the glasses will block 99% of UV rays, compared with about 70% for most cosmetic glasses.

 

Sunglasses are an important aspect of sun safety.

Why?

The eye area is a frequent site of skin cancer (5% to 10% of all skin cancers) and sun exposure can contribute to wrinkles around the eyes, hyperpigmentation, cataracts, macular degeneration, sunburn of the cornea also known as keratitis and several cancers of the eye.

 

sunglasses

sunglasses (Photo credit: Judy **)

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