The Holy Grail of Anti-Aging
On the left side of the picture you’ll see a woman who has had little exposure to the sun, in contrast to her twin sister on the right side!
In the medical field, we say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same goes for anti-aging. We are so fortunate to live in a time where skincare products are readily available and accessible. We know we cannot stop the aging process; we can however, with correct information and a simple skincare regime, transition gracefully into our 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s looking fresh-faced and youthful.
Now, being a big advocate for SPF, I am so excited to share with you some news hot off the medical press. A clinical study was published June 3rd in the Annals of Internal Medicine which makes the ostentatious claim that “Regular sunscreen use retards skin aging in healthy, middle-aged men and women.” This study is gathering international attention, as it should.
We know sunscreen reduces our risk for skin cancer exponentially, but *surprise* it is also your secret weapon against the signs of aging! The dermatology field has been saying this for years, but scientific studies have not been conducted to document this as fact, until now. According to the study, sunscreen is perhaps the most important beauty investment you can make – the holy grail of anti-aging. “We now know that protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen has the added bonus of keeping you looking young.”
Let’s break it down. Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation from the sun is thought to be responsible for “photo-aging” and wrinkling of the skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, while ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are the main culprit behind sunburn. Both increase your risk for skin cancers including deadly melanoma. Reality check: 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are over two-million diagnoses each year in the US alone. 3 out of every 4 of these diagnoses will end in death.
Slather up, my beautiful friends! And, not just while you’re in the swimming in the pool! Did you know that sun exposure is cumulative? This means that one year of casual sun exposure (like 30 minutes of daily walking, commuting, etc.) is roughly equivalent to 22 straight 8-hr days of full exposure. Just because you don’t feel the sun, doesn’t mean the harmful UVA/UVB radiation is not wrecking havoc on your precious youthful skin. “The only time you don’t need sunscreen, is when you need a flashlight!” (That’s for FREE, right out of the mouth of Linda Parker this morning!) With this in mind, we should all be slathering on SPF as often as we walk outside, and year-round to prevent photo-aging. Or, as
“Photo-aging” refers to skin changes such as fine lines, wrinkles, mottling and pigmentation of the skin, and skin roughness brought on by chronic exposure to sunlight. These changes are usually associated with chronologic aging (calendar years). However, sun-damaged skin is not a good indicator of actual age. With photo-aging we end up looking much older than we really are.
A new striking image of a 69-year-old truck driver shows just how much damage the sun can do. The photo-aging is confined primarily to one side of his face, which is explained by the fact that his sun exposure was had primarily though the truck window during most of his adult life. Sadly, he never wore sunscreen. Documented in the New England Journal of Medicine.
I am passionate about sunscreen. You see, in my line of work, I see people with very damaged skin. so many people are dealing with the unflattering effects of photo-aging caused by unprotected exposure to sunlight. The take-away is this: with very little effort, we can ward off this evil villain of aging. SPF products are so inexpensive and easy to get our hands on; we are overlooking what is possibly the #1 youth-preserving product of our time.
I’m thankful to have good skin, but I also work to stay educated and maintain healthy habits, including use of broad-spectrum sunscreen throughout the day. I coat my kids when we swim, and I remind my husband to apply and reapply (he has a perfect bald head and I want it to stay that way!). I’m obsessive. Even the mineral makeup I wear has a SPF of 26. Props to Mineralogie! I use sunscreen morning and evening as part of my daily beauty regime. I carry sunscreen in my go-to-the-pool bag. There’s a bottle in the console of my SUV for emergencies. I even have an extra tube of SPF in my purse that I use as hand cream throughout the day. Which brings me to share a little-known secret…
SECRET BEAUTY TIP: Don’t forget your hands! Hands are a dead give-away when it comes to age. In fact, many dermatologists will tell you that your hands show age much faster than your face. Ladies, it does NOT have to be this way. So, next time you are watching the View, notice where the celebrities keep their hands. Usually they are out of sight, under the table, or far, far from their face. This is on purpose, because middle-aged women don’t want you to see their hands. Many women spend bookoos of money to keep a young face, but they don’t put effort into their hands.
Showing their age? Angelina Jolie (left) and Madonna have the tell-tale thin and wrinkly hands of much older women.
Personally, I look at my hands as an extension of my face. Everything that goes on my face… well, it also goes on my hands. So, when it comes to sunscreen, slather up every part of your body that will be exposed to the sun – including your hands.
So, this is what I use. Jan Marini’s Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant This brilliant product (and I cannot re-iterate that adjective enough) is an invisible, hydrating and weightless sunscreen that feels amazing and smells great. It has SPF 33 and is fast absorbing. It’s a sunscreen you’ll love to wear. There is no sticky residue (like many over-the-counter brands), and it provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection to defend against the evil villain: aging. And if that isn’t enough, check this out: this stellar SPF actually creates the perfect base for your foundation. It’s truly something to ‘oohh’ and ‘ahh’ about!
For those of you that love to hear about celebrity happenings, I’ve heard Anne Hathaway and Naomi Watts also use this sunscreen. Khloe Kardashian is also a believer following her skin cancer diagnosis in 2008. If it’s good enough for the stars, it’s definitely good enough for us!
Daily broad-spectrum sunscreen protects us against skin cancer, and now we know that it had the added benefit of helping us maintain youthful, vibrant skin. A quality SPF product should be non-negotiable in your beauty régime. Let’s transition gracefully into old age because we use sunscreen: the holy grail for maintaining youthful vibrant skin.
What are your biggest concerns when it comes to sun exposure? Why? And what are your favorite SPF products?