Is sun exposure the reason behind the wrinkles on your face?
As we say goodbye to summer, it is important to know that we are in no way saying goodbye to applying SPF! (unless you do not really care about premature signs of aging, of course).
Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight, no matter the season, applying SPF is advised. And to make things even simpler, it is advised to wear SPF 365 days a year!
Now, let’s dive in to our first question:
Q1: Is skin aging preventable?
The sad answer is NO. We cannot stop our skin or bodies from aging. Our bodies (including our skin) suffers a natural wear-and-tear and thus it will go through different stages that can slowly affect how it looks.
As we age, our skin loses its plumpness and it becomes thinner as it loses its supporting fat structure. Collagen and elastin, proteins that give the skin its firmness and elasticity, also suffer from decreased production.
BUT WAIT, do not be alarmed, you can still be one of those lucky ones that look 50 at 80 years old!
The amazing truth is, WE CAN PREVENT PREMATURE SIGNS OF AGING! But what does this really mean? What it means is that while we cannot stop our skin from going through its natural cycle, we can either slow or expediate the aging process.
I will not go into too much details about how eating right, hydrating our skin & using the right products contribute to how quickly our skin ages. But I will discuss one thing that I believe to be the biggest contributor to PREMATURE SKIN AGING, which many people tend to forget, well not forget, underestimate.
Who doesn’t love the sun? I have only heard about those mythical creatures who shy away from the sun. Most people are fans of sun bathing and tanning beds.
Q2: But what is so harmful about the sun?
Ultraviolet rays from the sun are absorbed by the surface of the skin and are able to penetrate into the skin causing damage to the cells.
In fact, UVB & UVA rays can generate free radicals causing cell damage. Imagine cutting an apple in half and exposing it to oxygen-filled air. Oxidation causes the apple to turn brown. Oxidation caused by free radicals has a similar effect on our cells.
Q3: Is there anything we can do about it?
YES, THERE IS!
- Choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from UVB & UVA rays. It is advised to choose a sunscreen that has added antioxidants to help with free radical prevention & repair.
- Antioxidants: Exposing yourself to the sun decreases your skin’s supply of antioxidants. Therefore, supporting your skin through a healthy diet and topical treatments rich in Vitamins C and E (both are super antioxidants) can eliminate free radicals and repair free radical damage.
- Nutrition: An easy place to start would be to get your antioxidant supply from fruits and vegetables (preferably organic). Eating five to seven servings of fruit & vegetables rich in Vitamin C, E, A & B will positively contribute to a healthy skin and hair. Examples of great skin foods are: tomato, carrots, leafy greens & blueberries.
You can now rest assured and look forward to looking and feeling 50 in your 80’s! It is never too late to start taking care of your health!