Excessive exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays can lead to long-lasting damage, but sun damage is very easy to prevent.
UV Rays Wreak Havoc on Your Skin
The UV rays in sunlight can result in a host of problems for your skin. Different kinds of sun damage are summed up as follows:
- Elastosis, or the lost of skin elasticity
- Hyperpigmentation and brown spots
- Rough-textured skin
- Skin cancer, the three major kinds being basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma
- Skin growths like actinic keratoses (which are precancerous), sebaceous hyperplasias, and seborrheic keratoses
- Tinea versicolor
Protecting yourself from sun damage is simple. Using sunscreen with a high-enough SPF for your skin type is all it takes. You may also use skin-care products that contain chemical absorbing sunscreen ingredients, which absorb and neutralize ultraviolet light. These ingredients include:
- Methyl salicylate
- Octyl methoxycinnamate
- Octyl salicylate
- Padimate A
- Padimate O
- Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Sunscreens and products that combine a number of these ingredients to shield from UVA and UVB rays are considered broad-spectrum sunscreens. These sunscreens would protect your skin better than sunscreens or products that contain ingredients that only screen parts of one spectrum.
While chemical absorbing sunscreen ingredients are easy to use in higher SPF sunscreens, they may irritate sensitive skin or even result in an allergic reaction.
Physical sunscreen ingredients are another option to consider, especially for those with sensitive skin. Instead of absorbing ultraviolet light, these reflect ultraviolet light. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which may be referred to as sunblocks, may be better options for those with sensitive skin. They can also be combined with chemical absorbing sunscreen ingredients to provide broader protection across the spectrum.
Physical sunscreens usually take the form of opaque screams unlike chemical absorbing sunscreens, which can appear invisible against the skin.
Depending on your skin type and genetics, you may need a sunscreen with a higher SPF or you may need to apply your sunscreen more frequently. As a rule of thumb, a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 is generally enough to prevent sun damage. (1)
If you'll be participating in water-related activities while in the sun, it may be best to use water-resistant sunscreen. Water-resistant sunscreen, however, can clog pores and may be problematic for those with oily skin. Those with oily skin could instead use sunscreens made specifically for oily skin. These noncomedogenic sunscreens are usually not water-resistant, so they would have to be applied more frequently.
It's important to wear sunscreen whenever possible, even when it's cloudy and even if it's not summer. (Yes, UV rays reach us at all times of the year!) But there are times when the sun's UV rays are at their strongest. It's generally considered that we should avoid being in the sun between 10AM and 4PM, as the sun can do the most damage to our skin within this timeframe. (2)
We Could Support Your Sun Damaged Skin
If your skin is suffering from sun damage, Ecobeautica has some options to reverse some of the signs of sun damage and give your skin back its healthy, glowing appearance.
Our brown spot removal will do just as the name implies: remove or lighten brown spots. We can do this through medications, pulsed and laser light therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), dermabrasion, and chemical peels depending on what your individual skin needs.
Microdermabrasion uses a machine designed to exfoliate and buff the skin, brightening its appearance. It can soften wrinkles, smoothen coarse skin, and lighten brown spots and hyperpigmented patches of skin. It will make your skin look smoother and younger.
We also offer a Guinot facial designed specifically strengthen the skin against sunlight, the Hydradermie Sun Preparation/Repair facial. This facial uses ingredients intended to boost your skin's production of melanin, making it easier to tan, and also supports your skin's natural defenses against sun exposure.
If you would like to learn more about these services and schedule an appointment, book an appointment online or call us at (718) 382-9200 ext. 1.