I’m passionate about encouraging my clients to use sunscreen on a daily basis. No matter the season…winter, spring, summer and fall! As a matter of fact, sunscreen is a woman’s #1 best anti-aging product. There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan. Any change in the color of your skin (whether suntan or sunburn) indicates damage from UV rays. Plus, sun exposure is known to be one of the greatest inducers of premature aging!
Perhaps you are wondering how my husband’s nose ties into this post?! Well… Over the years, his skin has been subjected to countless sunburns. Even with my urging, he has been less than cooperative about applying sunscreen or even wearing a hat. Fast forward… This past summer, a tiny growth appeared on top of hubby’s nose which he determined to be a mere pimple. However, this was no ordinary “pimple” as it grew rapidly to the size of a pencil eraser. Ugly! (And especially embarrassing for me as the wife/esthetician to be seen in public with my man and his nose embellishment!)
Months later, it was diagnosed as a squamous cell skin cancer known as keratoacanthoma. The dermatologist said that this type of cancerous growth is directly related to damage caused by the sun. Thankfully, it was easily and completely removed in one quick visit with the doctor.
Now we’re up to the part of the story that introduces my sweet younger daughter modeling her brand new sunhat! My girl is a quick learner and wants no part of either premature aging nor skin cancer. She’s already prepared for her February trip to Florida and will also be ready for when summer returns to New York. At 26 years of age, she’s doing all the right things to keep her skin youthful. She diligently applies sunscreen and follows a daily skin care regimen prescribed by me, her esthetician mother.
I’m including some information on how sunscreen works to help you better choices when shopping for a product. NOTE: All skin colors must be protected from the damaging effects of both UV-A rays as well as UV-B rays!
- SPF (Sun Protection Factor) refers only to protection from UV-B rays. Products labeled with SPF’s as high as 100 are now available. You may believe that a higher rating is better. However, a higher SPF gives a false sense of security when sunbathing, plus it also introduces more potentially harmful chemicals into one’s body. SPF 30 has only 2% more protection than SPF 15, and SPF 40 has only 1% more than SPF 30. The higher you go, the smaller the difference becomes.
- To protect from UV-A rays, choose a sunscreen that contains either Zinc Oxide (also called micronized zinc) or Titanium Dioxide. These ingredients create a physical barrier that blocks the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. Protection from UV-A is referred to as “Broad Spectrum.”
In summary, use a sunscreen product labeled as “Broad Spectrum” with an SPF of 15 to 30. Be mindful of expiration dates and use daily on your face to prevent premature aging. Maybe you will be motivated to buy yourself a pretty sunhat like my daughter did!
If I haven’t fully convinced you about the importance of daily sunscreen usage, please be sure to view the following short video: How the Sun Sees You. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment in the box below this article.
Lori Weintraub is a licensed skin care therapist, holistic health coach and a hair removal expert. She offers online consultations, skin care lessons, exceptional products and hand-holding guidance to help women over 40 regain their youthful glow. Learn more here.