In this “DID YOU KNOW…” series, BeautyMedix dermal & medical staff will share pearls of knowledge & experience around skin healthcare, the causes of premature aging & health span. We will address both prevention (“Prejuvenation”) as well as treatment (“Rejuvenation”) to elucidate worthwhile and low-risk habits.
Environmental Versus Biological Causes of Skin Aging
DID YOU KNOW the primary cause of premature skin aging is not the DNA cards you were dealt, nor your biological age? Rather, it is the extent of unprotected UVA/UVB (sun) exposure of your skin. Whereas a simple SPF skin protection routine represents the single best bang-for-your-buck investment to preserve one’s youthful appearance regardless of your DNA predisposition. If used routinely SPF skin protectant can help delay premature signs of aging as well as delay and minimise the cost of interventions, including the need for premature aesthetic treatments and surgery.
As we head into the festive season most of us will undertake at least one aesthetic treatment, such as, resurfacing (peel) or possibly even more invasive such as ablative laser treatments. Without a considered and effective SPF routine short-term vibrant skin may manifest as irreversible aging of the skin in the medium to long-term.
As members of an affluent country, we should expect continued improvement in health span and lifespan. Health span means we can expect to live longer productive lives than our forebears. If the preceding statement is true, then the importance of arresting premature visible signs of skin aging becomes a paramount lifestyle consideration.
The Sun: Omnipresent Healer and Culprit
The sun offers various health benefits, including boosting immunity and overall well-being. In this blog, we delve into the paradox of sunlight, to understand how UVA/UVB exposure can damage the skin and accelerate aging whilst simultaneously contributing to improved physical and mental health and support of ones immune system. Paradoxically the UVA/UVB rays from sun exposure provides numerous health benefits but also leads to premature skin aging (photoaging).
“Among harmful environmental factors that contribute to extrinsic aging, long-term effects of repeated exposure to ultraviolet light are the most significant and are referred to as photoaging. Photoaging is a multi-system degenerative process that involves the skin and skin support system. It is a cumulative process and depends primarily on the degree of sun exposure & skin pigment. The epidermis and dermis are both affected by UVB, but the dermis is also affected to a significant extent by UVA. Photoaging affects the sun-exposed areas and is characterised clinically by fine & coarse wrinkling, roughness, dryness, laxity, telangiectasia, loss of tensile strength & pigmentary changes. There is also an increased risk of development of benign and malignant neoplasms on photoaged skin…. UV irradiation invokes a complex sequence of specific molecular responses that damage skin connective tissue. Restriction of UV irradiation and the use of high-protection, broad-spectrum sunscreens may slow progression of photoaging. I. Sjerobabski Masnec and S. Poduje, Photoaging, Coll. Antropol., 2008, 32, 177–180.
Unprotected sun exposure leads to host of
premature degenerative effects including:
- Wrinkles and Fine Lines: Exposure to UV radiation leads to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, proteins responsible for maintaining skin's firmness and elasticity. As they deteriorate, fine lines and wrinkles start to appear.
- Age Spots and Hyperpigmentation: Prolonged sun exposure can lead to the overproduction of melanin, resulting in uneven skin tone and the dreaded age spots.
- Sagging Skin: Weakening of the skin's underlying structure due to UV damage can cause sagging, leading to a loss of facial contours and definition.
- Skin Cancer: The most severe consequence of excessive sun exposure is skin cancer, including melanoma, which can be life-threatening.
On the other hand, the sun provides a host of health benefits including;
- Vitamin D Production: Exposure to sunlight triggers the body's production of vitamin D, an essential nutrient that supports overall health. Vitamin D plays a vital role in strengthening bones and teeth,boosting the immune system, regulating mood and combating depression and aiding in the absorption of other crucial nutrients.
- Enhanced Mood and Mental Health: Sunlight has a positive impact on mental health. It boosts the production of serotonin, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter, helping reduce stress and improve mood.
- Immune System Support: Sunlight has the power to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are integral to the body's immune response. A well-functioning immune system is essential for defending against illnesses and infections.
- Regulation of Biological Rhythms: Exposure to natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythms. A well-regulated internal clock contributes to better sleep patterns and overall well-being.
The Balance: Sun Protection + Health Maximization
The key to reaping the benefits of sunlight while minimizing its harmful effects is balance and moderation. Here are some practical tips:
1. Use Sunscreen: Always apply sunscreen when spending time outdoors, even on cloudy days. This protects your skin from UV damage.
2. Limit Sun Exposure: Avoid prolonged sun exposure during peak hours, typically from 10 AM to 4 PM.
3. Wear Protective Clothing: Cover your skin with clothing, hats, and sunglasses when spending time in direct sunlight.
4. Supplement as Necessary: If you live in an area with limited sunlight or have limited outdoor exposure, consider vitamin D supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider.
5. Practice Skin Care: Maintain a skincare routine that includes moisturizing and anti-aging products to mitigate the effects of sun-induced skin aging.
Now that you're aware of the culprit and the extent of the sun’s effect on skin, it's time to introduce the hero. Sunscreen, particularly SPF (Sun Protection Factor), acts as a protective shield against harmful UV rays. Here are some of the merits and benefits of using SPF skin protectants:
- Prevents Premature Aging: Applying SPF daily reduces the risk of wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, keeping your skin looking youthful for longer.
- Maintains Even Skin Tone: SPF helps in preventing the formation of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, giving you a more uniform complexion.
- Preserves Collagen and Elasticity: By shielding your skin from UV radiation, SPF helps maintain the structure of collagen and elastin, keeping your skin firm and supple.
- Reduces Skin Cancer Risk: Regular use of SPF lowers your risk of developing skin cancer, ensuring both your beauty and health are protected.
- Minimizes the Need for Expensive or Invasive Procedures: With SPF's protective qualities, you may find yourself needing less invasive procedures to maintain your youthful appearance.
- Integrates With Various Lifestyles: it is possible to select multiple SPF sunscreen products to support integrate into ones various lifestyle without compromising ones look or being burdensome.
Choosing the right SPF
To maximize the benefits of an SPF skin protectant, it's essential to choose the right sunscreen for your needs. It may also be appropriate to select numerous sunscreen products for various lifestyle activities, whether it be a formal or business occasion and even a day hiking or on the beach with family and friends.
Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Higher SPF ratings offer increased protection, but an SPF 30 or higher is generally recommended.
When selecting sunscreens for face, neck and decolletage to be used daily you may consider;
Physical Sunscreens; If you have sensitive skin or prefer to avoid suspicious ingredients consider the following suncreens;
- Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, typically zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
- These ingredients create a physical barrier on the skin's surface, reflecting and scattering UV rays.
- They are often preferred for their broad-spectrum protection and suitability for sensitive skin.
OUR PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS
We use in-clinic & recommend...
2. These compounds absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, then release it from the skin.
3. Chemical sunscreens tend to be more cosmetically elegant and less likely to leave a white cast on the skin.
4. They offer effective broad-spectrum protection when applied and reapplied correctly.
OUR CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS
We use in-clinic & recommend...
- If you are not sure whether a particular sunscreen will suit your skin or complexion please visit BeautyMedix to sample the sunscreen options.
- For liquid sunscreens please note coverage is crucial to achieving protection from UVA/UVB damage. Apply around 5 to 6 ml for face + 5 to 6 ml for neck and decolletage depending on extent of exposure/clothing.
- Physical sunscreens offer protection as soon as applied but chemical sunscreens like the Jan Marini Antioxidant Face Protectant SPF33 require up to 30 minutes to activate.
- When outdoors remember to reapply every 90 to 120 minutes.
- Gently cleanse before bedtime to allow the skin and pores to recuperate and apply a face cream which will work together with your skins circadian healing cycle to improve skin health for the long term.
- If you utilise an at home blue light LED please consider that blue light LED’s operate in approximate 415 to 460 nanometres (nM) wavelength. The suns UVA radiation is approximately 320 to 400 nM wavelength. UVA is often referred to as "aging" rays causing photoaging, wrinkles, and age spots. If the blue LED wavelength of your home device happens to be out of specification by as little as 5% then you are treating your skin with UVA light. Please also consider - blue light LED mask, if used without appropriate eye protection may also be damaging to certain peoples eyes.
In the world of aesthetics which encapsulates regenerative aesthetics, plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures and neurotoxins the infinite benefits of prevention (a.k.a., Prejuvenation) should never be underestimated or overlooked. While aesthetic and surgical enhancements may have their place a thorough SPF routine is your best investment to delay early onset signes of aging. Adopting a rigorous routine for protecting your skin with SPF is the single most cost-effective, non-invasive, and natural way to preserve your youthful look and glow. By incorporating SPF into your daily skincare routine, you're not only investing in your beauty but also in your long-term health.
Be prepared and seize the day by matching the perfect SPF product to your day’s activities;
- Formal/work day - "nude" chemical sunscreen or the physical sunscreen compact both look and feel great under make-up or instead of make-up, and
- Casual days - tinted or untinted physical sunscreen or physical sunscreen for ultimate and guilt-free protection.
Want to enquire?
To provide you with a bespoke experience and outcomes, your journey at BeautyMedix will begin with a consultation with either our experienced clinicians or our Cosmetic Doctor.
The consultation will help identify and prioritise your concerns.
A treatment or product regime will be established based upon your goals, budget and schedule constraints.
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