Aging has less to do with age and more to do with sun exposure. An estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun. The powerful aging effects of UV exposure means that you have a powerful ability to stop aging in its tracks. Better skin can be as simple as changing your sun habits.
Here are our best tips for minimizing sun damage and maximizing your skin’s health and beauty.
Get in the Sunscreen Habit
Do you put on sunscreen every day? We’re not just talking about the sunny days, but those rainy and cloudy ones too.
If you’re not in the sunscreen habit, buy a bottle and change your ways. You see, even when you’re mostly inside, your skin gets sun. That walk from your house to the car or that lunch in the park adds minutes of sun exposure and cumulative damage to your skin.
We recommend using a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every day. Let us know if you need product recommendations for your skin type.
A Little Sunscreen Does NOT Go a Long Way
Generosity is always a good thing, especially when it comes to sunscreen. Most people don’t use enough to achieve optimal sun protection levels. For your face, apply a hearty dollop that is approximately the size of a nickel. If you’re doing a full-body application, you’ll need a lot more— approximately one shot glass full.
Seek the Shade
When you do need to be outdoors, look for the shady areas, and stand/sit there if you can. Shade cuts down on sun damage.
Also, shade quality matters. The darker the shade, the more sun protection it offers.
Avoid Peak Sun Times
The sun is at its strongest between the hours of 10-3. If you can, avoid scheduling outdoor activities during this time. Early mornings and late afternoons offer lower levels of UV exposure and sun damage to the skin.
Layers can be your best friend for sun protection. When you’re outside, wear lots of lightweight layers (long sleeves, wide-brimmed sun hats, sunglasses, etc.) to give your body an extra layer of protection.
I’ve Already Got Sun Damage… Help!
We’ve all made mistakes. If your sun habits were lacking in the past, it isn’t too late to make a change. Start practicing better sun hygiene now and come see us to address aging and sun damage that has already occurred.
One of our favorite treatments for sun-damaged skin is IPL (intense pulsed light). This treatment is a type of skin resurfacing that uses intense light to target skin damage.
After a few treatments, patients can remove years of sun damage resulting in a significant reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. We typically recommend 3-5 initial treatments, spaced about a month apart.
Recovery after IPL is usually mild. You may have redness on the skin for a few hours. Dark spots may temporarily darken and usually fade within a week. After IPL, the skin is very susceptible to sun damage, so put your new healthy sun habits into practice.