The largest organ in our body is our skin, and it is constantly exposed to sunlight, pollution, dirt, and bacteria; hence we must take good care of it, not only focusing on the way it looks but also on its function.
One of the main enemies of the skin is prolonged sun exposure that leads to sun damage, and photoaging. These changes tend to be more severe than just genetics and chronological aging. Factors such as geographic location, lack of sun protection, diet and age can increase the risk of deterioration of the skin. The areas that receive the most sun damage are the arms, hands, decolletage, face, and neck.
Wrinkles and dark pigmentated spots are signs of sun damage. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and is mostly caused by excessive exposure to the sun.
What are the signs of photoaging?
Ultra Violet rays can decrease the quantity of elastin and collagen in our skin. The lack of collagen and elastin, along with dehydration all contribute to premature skin aging, sagginess and wrinkles. Photoaging leads to dryness, fine lines, and dark spots known as lentigos. Therefore sun damage can make you look older and prematurely age your skin.
Can sun damage be prevented?
Yes, sun damage can be prevented by modifying your damaging habits and having periodic consultations with a skin specialist. Most preventatives measures should be started during childhood, and the main reason is that sun damage is cumulative. However, it isi never too late to protect your skin.
Here are some recommendations to prevent sun damage:
· Never forget your sunscreen; make sure it is broad-spectrum and at least SPF 30. The most recommended sunscreens are made of Zinc Oxide and are alcohol-free.
· Apply sunscreen in exposed areas we usually tend to forget, like the back of the neck, ears, and hands.
· Wear sunglasses, hats, and clothes that can cover most of your body when you plan to be exposed to sunlight for long periods.
· Avoid prolonged sun exposure, especially between noon and four in the afternoon.
· Avoid wearing perfume and products with alcohol before sun exposure; most likely, they will cause pigmentation changes and reactions on your skin.
· Avoid exposing directly to the sun and stay in the shade when you can.
· Apply sunscreen to your entire body, and don’t skip any area. The right amount of sunscreen to protect your body is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons or 1 ounce.
· Apply the “two-fingers” rule to apply sunscreen on your face by applying a line of sunscreen to two of your fingers, from the fingertips until the palmar crease.
· Reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours, especially if you are doing outdoor activities.
· Keep yourself hydrated during sun exposure.
· Apply products containing aloe vera to maintain your skin hydration.
Add Hyaluronic Acid to your skincare routine; this ingredient not only will hydrate your skin deeply but also will prevent wrinkles, dehydration, and irritation.
Have skincare questions? The Park Med Spa will help you to bring your skin into a better condition with the professional skin treatments, provided in our medical spa in Central New Jersey, and will help you establish your daily routine with our effective skin products to use at home.