Sunscreen is one of the very best anti-aging creams on the market. Sunscreen used to conjure up an image of a lifeguard with a white nose. It was heavy, unattractive, and only used after you developed a severe sunburn. Today’s best sunscreens are lightweight, won’t clog pores, and can be worn every day while offering multiple benefits, including looking younger and preventing skin cancer.
Let’s talk about the enjoyable aspect of sunscreen before we get to the much more serious reason for wearing it. Of course, we are referring to sunscreen’s ability to keep you looking younger. After spending time at the beach, you have likely seen the sun-worshippers with the deep, dark tan. Those same sun-worshippers almost always pay the price for their bronzed skin, as they are usually sporting an excess of deep lines and wrinkles. Many of us today are seeing the results of our teen years spent slathered in baby oil soaking up the sun, and now, we find ourselves at the other extreme - searching for solutions to “undo” the coveted tan. That golden glow has faded and we are left with discoloration, uneven skin tone, wrinkles, and large pores, caused by UVA and UVB exposure.
The good news is we can minimize future sun damage by using sunscreen daily (and no, it won’t make us look oily or give us acne). At Southern Dermatology, we are very selective in the choice of sunscreen products we carry. Whatever we offer in the office are products you can find most of our doctors, nurses, and staff wearing. Our patients (and team) have had great results with the following products:
- EltaMD sunscreens are formulated with transparent zinc oxide and are non-comedogenic, sensitivity-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free. This product is excellent when applied in the morning (even under make-up). When swimming or sweating, it should be re-applied every hour.
- Alastin’s HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum with SPF 36 is a lightweight, all physical, broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides daily protection from damaging UVA/UVB rays. The formulation is rich in antioxidants that shield against pollution-induced damage, with ingredients that improve skin hydration. HydraTint also has a hint of color which is compatible with all skin tones.
Proper application is critical. Sunscreen needs to be applied to all exposed areas for maximum benefits, including the hands, neck, and décolletage (this includes days when you are fully dressed).
Beyond the cosmetic benefits of sunscreen, remember the reason sunscreen was invented -
to protect the skin from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. When you work in a dermatologist office, you see skin cancer every day, and you learn just how indiscriminate this cancer is. A skin cancer diagnosis can happen to anyone, regardless of age, skin color, ancestry, or even where you live. The worst days in our office are when we have to tell a patient they have a severe type of skin cancer. While many interventions are successful at removing and treating skin cancer, the smartest thing you can do to help prevent skin cancer is to wear sunscreen daily.
Your nightly routine can make a difference. If you are serious about having the best skin, a nightly routine is vital. From cleansing your skin to hydrating, moisturizing and correcting, a tremendous amount of research has been done on the most effective ingredients to keep skin looking healthy and youthful.
Some of our favorites include:
- Revision Skincare; an industry leader with the science and proven results to address concerns about fine lines, sagging skin, and uneven skin tone.
- SkinBetter Science is another favorite among the dermatologists at Southern Dermatology. Our patients tell us they see improvements in their skin’s appearance within days of first starting the regime. Both the Daily Enzyme Cleanser and Refresh Oxygen Infusion Wash offer excellent results, and each are priced under $40.
Finally, early diagnosis can be a lifesaver. Please contact our office at (919) 782-2152 if you see anything on your skin that concerns you, and know the ABCDE’s of skin cancer:
A – Asymmetry: Different from one side to the next.
B – Border irregularity: Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.
C – Color: Variation and/or change.
D – Diameter: More than 6 mm (end of a pencil) and/or change in diameter.
E – Evolving: This has become the most crucial factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma. If a mole is changing, it’s concerning.
For all the young skeptics out there, trust us, your thirty or forty-year-old skin will thank you for daily sunscreen use! Call our Skin Renewal Center at (919) 863-0073 with questions about sunscreen. We are here to help you keep your skin healthy and beautiful!