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SPF - The Ultimate Anti-Aging Tool

Protect your skin from UV Rays

Skin is the biggest organ of the body, and it can reflect your health and general well-being just as your stomach would react to bad food or your muscles to poor movement.

One of the biggest dangers to your skin is the type of exposure to powerful UV rays that is common in day-to-day life, causing damage that is potentially lifelong.

The sun is essential to sustain life, but it can be an enemy for your skin. The sun can impact your skin without your knowledge as you pop out for groceries, stand watching a football match, or even while driving around in your car.

Leathery skin, dark spots, and wrinkles are all symptoms of sun damage, and one of the best things you can do to make your skin appear younger for longer is to have a comprehensive sun protection plan in place. Being smart with your skincare can result in smoother, younger-looking skin for longer, and it all begins with SPF.

Regular daily use of at least an SPF 15 rated sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and lower your melanoma risk by 50%, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Early prevention is key

The time to start caring about your skin begins earlier than you may think. According to the Cancer Council, sun safety habits formed in childhood will significantly reduce the lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. In terms of beauty, it is the habits formed in your 20s that will determine your future complexion.

Despite what many skincare marketing schemes will tell you, the main cause of the symptoms of premature aging such as sagging, age spots, and wrinkles, is the sun. Therefore, the best way to prevent these concerns is by regular use of SPF.

With so many options for sunscreen available, it can be difficult to select the best option for your particular skin and level of sun exposure.

The Skin Cancer Foundation supports the notion that the best type of sunscreen is the one that you are most likely to use, as long as it is at least SPF 15, in order to promote a consistent habit. As with any health or beauty product, the more you enjoy using the product, the more likely you are to remember to use it.

How will SPF aid in anti-aging?

a lady wearing a towel applying sunscreen on her face

Being informed about the ins and outs of sunscreen can help to clarify your decision and to ensure you are investing in the right active ingredients to make a difference.

The most common ingredients in sunscreen include physical mineral ingredients and chemical ingredients.

The mineral ingredients include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which work to block the sun's rays before they penetrate your skin. Chemical sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone and octisalate absorb the UV rays before they can cause damage to the skin.

If you have sensitive skin, physical sunscreens may be less likely to cause skin irritation, however, both types are safe and effective. Many modern sunscreen products use a combination of the two to form a powerfully sun-resistant product.

The sun protection factor (SPF) number informs you of how much longer the sun's UVB rays would take to redden your skin than if you weren't wearing sunscreen (ie. SPF 15 = 15 times longer). This number is only relevant if you use the amount specified on the instructions with reapplications as necessary.

Many beauty products including foundation are available with an SPF rating. It's important to note that the SPF in these products is only relevant if the right amount is applied.

Generally, people don't apply enough foundation for the SPF to be active, making the importance of a base coat of sunscreen higher. If you're spending the day indoors and there is a low UV rating predicted, you will likely be protected by sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or even spend your day next to a sunny window, you will need SPF that is rated 30 or above. No matter which SPF you use, reapplication every two hours is key to achieving proper protection.

What to look for in sunscreen...

sunscreen being squeezed onto someone's hand

With the rise of sun safety awareness, sunscreens are becoming more comprehensive in both their protection and their labeling. Nowadays, it's easier to find sunscreens that clearly describe whether they have both UVA and UVB protection, otherwise known as a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Despite popular myth, you still need sunscreen if it's a cloudy day or you're spending the day in the office.

An SPF rating of 15 is suitable for every day, occasional exposure, however, an SPF of 30 or higher is needed for extended outdoor exposure sure as running, hiking, swimming, and working outdoors. Some sunscreen is waterproof or highly water-resistant for swimming or intense exercise, yet all sunscreens will eventually wash off.

All sunscreens will need reapplication every two hours, and the best practice is to apply 30 minutes before venturing outside or swimming. Applying a layer of sunscreen to your entire body before you get dressed or as a base layer under makeup will set you up well if you remove layers or venture outside without a hat. Don't forget easy-to-miss places such as behind the ears, in between the toes, and back of the neck.

Keep your skin healthy & protected

Doctor giving a Mole Check

With regular and effective sunscreen use, you don't need to blow your budget or follow a rigid skincare regime to prevent aging and maintain youthful skin. However, as important as sunscreen is, it's not enough for complete sun protection.

A hat, shade, UV-blocking sunglasses, as well as annual skin checks, are all part of a comprehensive skin protection routine. The daily sun protection guide from the Skin Cancer Foundation is a good resource to build your routine.

The best path toward clear, beautiful, and plump-looking skin starts with sun protection. To tick off an essential part of your sun protection routine, book an appointment with our knowledgeable team for a comprehensive skin check. Click here for more information on our services or to book your appointment online.

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