Photo: Anne Adrian via Flickr
Q: I dread the thought of developing sun spots. What can I do to prevent them?
MyChelle Dermaceuticals licensed esthetician Catie Wiggy responds:
As the weather warms up, we find ourselves out and about enjoying the sunshine and all the beauty Mother Nature offers this time of year. Swimming pools, lakes, rivers and oceans are all calling out for us to swim and play. Being outdoors is wonderful, but you must remember skin care basics! With increased outdoor activity, remember that UVA/UVB rays from the sun contribute to more than half of the aging process. That’s right. The sun contributes to aging more than anything else. Who wants wrinkles, sun spots and sagging skin?
Prevention is key when it comes to staving off sun damage, so applying sun protection daily is the first step to stopping sun spots in their tracks! Let’s review some facts about sun exposure and sun damage:
What is sun damage? Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) rays damage fibers in the skin known as elastin. When these elastin fibers break down, the skin begins to lose firmness and will sag and stretch as well as lose its ability to go back into place. The skin also can become more easily damaged and take longer to heal.
What are sun spots? The sun’s rays can cause hyperpigmentation, or sun spots. They occur deep within the skin, and as we age they show up on the surface as dark, discolored and irregular spots. Darkening happens when an excess of melanin (the brown pigment that produces normal skin color) forms deposits within the skin. Hyperpigmentation affects the skin color of all ethnicities. Sun damage to the skin may not be apparent in younger people but, believe me, it will definitely appear later in life for everyone.
Yikes, right? Well, don’t worry. There is still plenty you can do. Follow these simple steps to best protect your skin and stave off potential sun damage:
- Start by seeking out the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV index is at its highest and you are more susceptible to the damaging effects of UVA/UVB rays.
- Always use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher—every day. For all of your fun outdoor activities, use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Check out MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut or Sun Shield SPF 28 Unscented, which provide chemical-free protection with ZinClear™ and titanium dioxide to shield against UV damage. These lightweight, easy-to-use products leave skin soft and smooth without tacky residues.
- Are you using the right amount of sun protectant? Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Are you reapplying? You should reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
Now that we have covered the basics for prevention, let’s talk about how to repair the damage you’ve already accumulated over a lifetime of sun exposure. A consistent regimen of cleansing, toning, nourishing and protecting — morning as well as evening — can rehabilitate weathered, dull and lifeless skin.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals offers bioactive and peptide-rich proven formulas to reverse the many signs of over exposure to UV rays. Check out our Apple Brightening Line which is designed to brighten, repair and protect sun damaged skin. The steps include the Apple Brightening Cleanser, Apple Brightening Peel, Apple Brightening Serum, Apple Brightening Mist and Apple Brightening Cream. This complete line will leave your skin looking youthful and refreshed.
Catie Wiggy is Innovative Programs Manager for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skin care industry for over 10 years as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.