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ANTIAGING SKIN CARE

PHOTODAMAGE PREVENTION

 

Photodamage

Ultraviolet radiation damages your skin. The aging cost of that gorgeous tan is damage caused by UV rays. These rays create free radicals:

UVA - damages the inner layers of the skin and causes wrinkles and lines, and skin cancer.

UVB - the most damaging radiation, burns the skin and damages the skin cell DNA, resulting in long term skin disease .

Reducing exposure to these damaging rays is critical in your skin antiaing program as no level of antioxidants will reverse the impact of these sunlight induced free radicals. In fact, sun exposure reduces your level of antioxidants, weakening your immune system and promoting risk to diseases such as cancer.

If you cannot avoid exposure to the sun, at least avoid it during the hottest and most damaging hours [between 11:00AM to 3:00PM] and use a high grade sun block. Notice I said sun ‘BLOCK’ not sun ‘SCREEN’

  • A sunblock prevents both UVA and UVB rays from being absorbed by the skin.
  • A sunscreen is effective against UVB only.

As with any dermatological product, you need to find a sunblock that best fits your skin type.

 

Effective Sunblocks

Sunblocks are rated by SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of relative protection, not absolute length of time.

How long it takes you to burn without sun protection is dependent on your skin type: the fairer your skin the more quickly you burn.

An SPF 15 sunblock will provide 15 times the protection compared to that if you had no sunscreen applied to your skin.

 

Types of Sunblocks

There are two basic types of sunblocks:

  • Absorbers - act by absorbing UV rays through a chemical reaction within the skin following application e.g. Octyl Methoxycinnamate (OMC) and oxybenzone.
  • Reflectors - act as a physical barrier to the UV rays which reflect them away from the skin.

 

Antiaging Sun Block Levels

To prevent photodamage, use a minimum SPF 30 for moderate climates and SPF 48 sunblock in sunny or equatorial regions.

Product Example: Coppertone SPORT® sunblock 48 SPF.

Recommended SPF
Skin Type 1 hr 2 hr 3 hr 4 hr 5+ hr
Very Fair /
Very Sensitive
15 30 30 45 45
Fair / Sensitive 15 15 30 30 45
Fair 15 15 15 30 30
Medium 8 8 15 15 30
Dark 4 8 8 15 15

 

Use a sunblock every day – even when it is cloudy. UV rays still penetrate clouds. In New Zealand, this is particularly severe, where the UV level is 27 times the international average due to the thinning of the protective ozone layer around the South Pole. Unfortunately the countries doing the most harm will not suffer the consequences until the thinning expands further North. So please do your bit for anti-aging of our South Pacific nations and get environmental conscious!

 

Sun Protection in cosmetics

Cosmetic products that claim to contain sun protection, usually only offer a sunscreen. These products are ineffective as a separate sunblock because they do not contain significant amount of active screeners.

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