Why Your Skin Needs Protection From The Sun All Year Long

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sunWe all want healthier, younger looking skin, but as we age it gets harder and harder to achieve. One of the biggest factors that affect our skin over time is the sun.

Warm sunlight washing over our skin may feel nice; however, what’s happening under the epidermis isn’t. Years of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can kill or damage skin cells causing:

  • Uneven pigmentation
  • Skin discoloration
  • Rough texture
  • Sunburns
  • Reduced elasticity
  • Reduced collagen production
  • Acceleration of the aging process (photoaging)
  • Skin cancer

Sunlight helps us produce vitamin D, but just a little too much is enough to damage skin cells. This guide will help you better understand how to lessen the damage that’s already been done and better protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Correcting Past Sun Damage on the Skin

Chances are your skin has experienced some level of sun damage. Fortunately, doctors and researchers have discovered a number of natural ingredients that can help improve the damage that has already been done. They include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Peptides
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Many of these ingredients are found in top-rated skin care products. Lines like Dermaclara also combine multiple products to maximize the effects. Customer reviews of Dermaclara reveal that many users see improvements in the signs of sun damage. When all five products are used together customers note that brown spots, wrinkles and dullness are all reduced.

Skin damage from the sun accumulates every day, which is why it’s important to begin correcting damage and protecting skin as early in life as possible. Creating a routine that you can stick to daily is also important. Moisturizing and protection is needed during the day while cleansing, moisturizing and nourishment is needed at night.

What You Need to Know About SPF

Many people make the mistake of thinking sunscreen is only needed during summer beach vacations. Even in the winter when the sun sets earlier and we’re huddled inside by the fire sunscreen is still a daily requirement for healthy skin. The winter sun can actually be even more harsh because of dryness, windburn and reflection off the snow.

The truth is sun protection is a daily need throughout every season. But today there are so many products with confusing labels that the hassle of selecting a sunscreen is enough to keep some people from using it.

There are really just a few key things to look for, and one of them is SPF.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s a gauge of the percentage of UVB rays that are being blocked and how long the protection lasts. Theoretically the number indicates how many times longer the sunscreen protects the skin. For example, SPF 30 prevents UVB damage 30 times longer than the skin’s natural barrier of 20 minutes. However, experts suggest any sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.

As far as the percentage of UVB rays that are blocked:

  • SPF 15 blocks 93%
  • SPF 30 blocks 97%
  • SPF 50 blocks 98%

A one percent difference is actually quite substantial when you consider that every day the damage is adding up. Experts recommend that you use at least SPF 15 even if you plan to spend just a few minutes outside.

UV Blocking Ingredients to Look For

The main purpose of sunscreen is to block damaging UV rays so they can’t easily penetrate the skin. The FDA has approved a number of ingredients that are proven to block UVA and UVB rays. These include:

UVB ABSORPTION

PABA derivatives
Salicylates
Cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate and cinoxate)

UVB ABSORPTION

Benzophenones (oxybenzone and sulisobenzone)
Avobenzone
Ecamsule (MexorylTM)
Titanium dioxide
Zinc oxide

The best sunscreens are broad spectrum. That means they protect against UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause burns and skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate to deeper layers of skin causing wrinkles, discoloration and dullness. Typically, two to three of the ingredients above are needed for complete protection.

When in doubt, look for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval. This means that the sunscreen contains an ample supply of the UV-blocking ingredients above.

Nothing harms your skin more than the sun. Since forgoing the light of day isn’t a viable option, taking steps to reduce and prevent damage is a necessary part of your daily skin care routine. All it takes is a few extra minutes each morning and night to start seeing the skin you enjoyed in your younger, less sun damaged years.

– Submitted by Katherine Smith

Protection From Winter Sun

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

jogsnowDermatologist Dr. Robert Levine with Advanced Dermatology PC Offers Tips for Cold-weather Skin Safety.

Even if you’re not heading south for a vacation in the sun, winter is no time to bypass protective measures for your skin. “When we think of the effects of cold weather on the skin, we tend to think about frostbite, chapping, and windburn,” says Dr. Robert Levine of Advanced Dermatology, P.C. “But many people aren’t aware that the sun is as damaging on the ski slopes as it is on the beach. In fact, winter sun can be even more harmful, in part because we don’t feel the heat and don’t perceive the risk but also because the sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitudes and when they reflect off snow.”

The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun. As dangerous as it is, cancer isn’t the only consequence of sun exposure. Changes to the skin that are often thought of as a natural result of aging – wrinkling, sagging, leathering, and the pigmentation known as age spots or liver spots – are also the result of sun exposure. Two types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB, damage DNA in ways that cause cells to grow out of control and become cancerous; these rays also cause premature aging. And while UVB rays decrease during the winter months, UVA rays are just as intense. As Dr. Levine says: “We can’t prevent all damage to the skin from sun exposure – at any time of the year. But we can take steps to minimize the risk.”

Dr. Levine’s Sun Protection Tips for Winter

* Sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more that is “broad spectrum,” meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Choose a moisturizing sunscreen that contains lanolin or glycerin to protect against harsh winter conditions. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, especially the face, and slather it on liberally – use at least a teaspoon on your face. Sunscreen isn’t just for days when you are engaging in winter sports. Use it any time you will be outdoors for fifteen minutes or more, even when the skies are overcast. Apply sunscreen fifteen minutes before going out and reapply every two hours, more often if you’ve been sweating or if you’ve been out in strong wind, which can reduce its effectiveness. Every time you apply sunscreen, also apply lip balm with SPF of 15 or above.

* Protect your eyes from both the brightness of the sun’s reflection off snow and from ultraviolet radiation. Wear sunglasses or goggles that provide 99% protection against UV rays and that have wraparound frames that cover the largest possible area. Moisturize the skin around your eyes carefully; that area is particularly susceptible to dehydration in cold, dry weather.

* Clothing: Cover up as much as possible, for warmth as well as sun protection. When a broad-brimmed hat isn’t feasible, make sure your neck is protected by a ski mask.

* Avoid the sun at midday, especially at high elevation: Try to stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are strongest. And keep in mind that UV radiation increases by 4% for every thousand feet above sea level. At elevations found on many ski slopes, UV radiation is about 30% more intense than at sea level.

“Most people know that they must protect their skin from the sun’s burning rays when they head to the beach,” says Dr. Levine. “But the risk of damage from UV radiation is as great in the winter when the sun doesn’t feel as hot and we’re not as conscious of the danger. The good news is that less skin is exposed in colder weather so there is less to protect. Armed with properly applied sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or mask, you can enjoy outdoor winter fun while minimizing damage from the sun.”

– Robert Levine, D.O., F.A.O.C.D., is experienced in many areas of medical and surgical dermatology with a particular interest in cosmetics. Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com

Bright Ideas For Sun Protection And Skin Care

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

sunSun Protection Factor (SPF) is not the only factor to consider when protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

“We all know SPF is important, but it extends beyond that,” said Dr. Ida Orengo, professor of dermatology and director of the Mohs/Dermatologic Surgery Unit at Baylor College of Medicine. “Diet, clothing and familiarity with your skin type all factor into sun protection.”

Diet

Diet can play a role in preventing skin cancer, Orengo said. The following items have been proven to reduce the growth of malignant cells and skin tumors:

* Omega-3 fatty acids

* Green tea

* Resveratrol (an ingredient in red wine)

“We have also conducted a study that proved low-fat diets play a role in preventing skin cancer,” she said.

For those looking to increase their skin’s threshold for sunburn, Heliocare® sun pills can help and, according to Orengo, a recent study showed that nicotinamide, a type of B vitamin, also may reduce the number of skin cancers one gets.

She recommends vitamin D supplements for people who are experts at avoiding the sun.

“It’s important to remember that we do need sun,” she said. “When sun hits the skin it transforms vitamin D into its active form. We need about 10 to 15 minutes of daily sun exposure for proper vitamin D levels. Vitamin D supports healthy brain, heart and immune system function.”

Your physician should be consulted before changing your diet or taking supplements. Orengo warns that diet alone cannot prevent or cure skin cancers, only help aid in the process.

Clothing

For long days out in the sun you’ll need more than sunscreen. Orengo suggested tossing out the baseball caps with ventilation holes and opting for a hat with no holes and at least a 3-inch brim.

“Consider buying lightweight clothing that properly covers and protects your body from the sun’s rays,” she said. “Many outdoor stores now sell sun-protective clothing. There also are products that will add SPF to your own clothing.”

Types of skin

Another tip to protecting your skin is to know your own skin type, said Orengo. The Fitzpatrick scale is a numerical classification system that recognizes how varying types of skin respond to sun exposure. Orengo said dermatologists are familiar with the scale but individuals should also take time to understand their own risk. .

Type 1: burn all the time

Type 2: burn every time, then turns into a light tan

Type 3: burn but get a good tan

Type 4: sometimes burn, always tans

Type 5: rarely burns, always tans

Type 6: never burns, always tans

“Types 1, 2 and 3 are more likely to get skin cancer,” she said. “Types 4, 5 and 6 can get skin cancer, but it’s less likely. They should still protect themselves from the sun.”

For some types of skin, sunblock may work better than sunscreen because it physically blocks ultraviolet radiation from penetrating the skin. This is especially true for people who have sensitive skin, Orengo said.

Regardless of your skin type, Orengo said skin health should be everyone’s concern and following these tips, as well as seeing your doctor regularly for skin checks, is a good way to prevent skin cancers.