Staying away from too much sun may offer you a Fountain of Youth
It is important to protect your skin from too much exposure to the sun to slow down signs of aging.
Most everyone seems to love the opportunity to spend time relaxing in the sunshine and getting a suntan. However, this is not always the safest thing to do. Too much sun can cause sunburns which may even lead to skin cancer. All of this wear and tear on the skin makes us look older.
There are great risks associated with being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and indoor tanning beds
The American Academy of Dermatology reports sun protection can slow down signs of aging. Arianne Shadi Kourosh, MD, MPH, FAAD, who is director of community health and co-director of the multiethnic skin clinic in the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a board-certified dermatologist, says that there are great risks associated with being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and indoor tanning beds. This exposure can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer and can contribute to aging of the skin.
Dr. Kourosh has gone on to say that there are other forms of radiation such as heat and visible light which can also have a negative impact on the skin. Pollution can also adversely effect your skin. Therefore it is clear that you can benefit greatly from protecting your skin from the environment. This can benefit your health and your appearance.
There are many ways environmental factors can damage the skin
It has been explained by Dr. Kourosh that there are many ways environmental factors can damage the skin. UVB rays can cause sunburns and uneven pigmentation. UVA and infrared radiation can penetrating the skin more deeply and cause damage to existing collagen and decrease collagen production which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.
She has gone on to explain that blood vessels can become more prominent from habitual UV exposure which can cause skin redness. And uneven skin tone can result from visible light and pollution. This is particularly true in people with darker skin.
The cornerstone of good skin care is protective measures
Even though there have been strides in the area of anti-aging treatments, the long-term effects of poor skin care can not be reversed with any one product or procedure. The cornerstone of good skin care is protective measures according to Dr. Kourosh. There are many different types of sunscreen on the market. A dermatologist can help you determine the unique needs of your skin and help you choose the best sunscreen for you.
Use broad-spectrum sunscreen which provides both UVA and UVB protection
Remember to use broad-spectrum sunscreen which provides both UVA and UVB protection, with an SPF of 30 or higher. This is because both types of UV rays can cause damage to the skin. It has been observed that the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide offer a good source of broad-spectrum protection which is suitable for sensitive skin. Also antioxidants may offer some protection against uneven skin tone and aging which is caused by free radical damage due to infrared light, visible light and pollution.
Protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses should be used
It is also recommended by Dr. Kourosh that protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses should be used. If you are spending a long time in the sun, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, and after swimming or sweating. Sand, water and snow reflect the sun's rays which can make exposure intense. But even on a cloudy day UV rays can penetrate the skin. It's also a good idea to stay away from indoor tanning. This exposes users to harmful UV rays which can increase the risk of skin cancer and accelerate aging of skin.
Prevention reports that researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia have discovered that daily use of sunscreen can actually stop skin aging for up to four and a half years in healthy middle-aged men and women. In a study of 900 participants Caucasian adults between the ages of 25 and 55 there was no detectable increase in fine lines or wrinkles in those who used sunscreen daily.
It's a good idea to remember that as Dr. Kourosh has said it is better to prevent now than to attempt to correct later if you really want skin that is healthy and younger-looking. Interestingly sunshine does not offer us a Fountain of Youth, but staying away from sunshine may.