#1 Cause of Aging Skin — the Sun

With Summer right around the corner, we want to make sure that our patients are on top of their sunscreen protection. We all know it’s important to wear sunscreen, but how critical is it to look our best? Well, it turns out that more than 80% of skin aging and wrinkles come from UV rays. The sun makes us look older, faster and we want to help you age gracefully!

Sun exposure damages our skin on a cellular level. UVB rays are the main culprit behind sunburns and skin cancer; but, UVA rays are responsible for what we see as visible photoaging. We like to think of the pneumonic UV ‘B’ is for burning and UV ‘A’ is for aging. Absorption of UVA rays, which can pass through windows and windshields, leads to free radical damage (breakdown of collagen fibers) and production of abnormal elastin (elastin is a key protein that helps tissue keep its shape). When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, wrinkle and lose its ability to bounce back. The skin also develops accelerated sunspots, discoloration, red patches, and easy bruising.

The good news is that sun damage is completely preventable, and we want to help you protect against UVA and UVB rays, to keep your skin looking youthful, bright, and skin-cancer-free! Here are some sun safety tips to prevent skin aging:
- Avoid sun exposure, especially during peak hours when the sun is overhead, from about 10am-2pm.
- Use sunscreen on your face daily, all year round. Apply it to your neck and chest as well on sunny days.
- If you’re going to be in the sun, wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and seek shade whenever possible.
- Use more, not less (i.e. increase your frequency of application, not amount!). Most of us need an ounce of sunscreen (that’s a whole shot glass full!) to protect our entire bodies.
- For a day at the beach, wear a rash guard. These stylish surf shirts have high necks and long sleeves that provide maximum protection.


Product Recommendations for Sun Protection:
- Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours while in the sun. We recommend Raw Elements Sunscreen Stick or Colorescience SPF Brush for easy re-application. (found on our online store here <https://shop-zanddermatology.square.site/>)
- Don’t rely on sunscreen in your makeup alone. Opt for a base layer of physical sunscreens containing zinc and titanium. This provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. We recommend our Zand Derm Tinted Mineral Sunscreen with SPF-30. This product also has a luxurious, matte-tinted finish, you may even be able to skip your liquid foundation entirely! (found on our online store here <https://shop-zanddermatology.square.site/>)
- Coat your body with sunscreen before you put on your clothes, you’ll be less likely to miss a spot. We recommend Raw Elements Body Sunscreen or Elta MD UV Lotion for larger application areas. (found on our online store here <https://shop-zanddermatology.square.site/>)
- Don’t forget about your scalp - mist your scalp and hairline with a spray sunscreen. We recommend Elta MD UV Aero Spray. (found on our online store here <https://shop-zanddermatology.square.site/>)
- Protect your hands at all times, like when you’re driving, gardening, walking the dog, or pushing a stroller. I like to keep a tube of Raw Elements Sunscreen Stick or a Colorescience Sunscreen Brush in my purse, glove box, and stroller so I never forget to apply it. (found on our online store here <https://shop-zanddermatology.square.site/>)

With these tips, the sun can continue to be your friend- not your foe! We at Zand Dermatology want to support you in your sun protection, to help you age gracefully, and help you be skin-cancer-free!

Author
Dr. Zand

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