How to Protect Your Skin Against Wrinkles and Damage

What’s the #1 mistake people make when applying sunscreen?

Research suggests that a large number of skin-medicine professionals believe most people use sunscreen improperly – by not applying enough. Unknowingly, people tend to apply only 25% to 50% of the recommended amount. Sunscreen should be applied liberally enough to all sun-exposed areas that it forms a film when initially applied. It takes 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin, so it should be applied at least a half an hour before going out in the sun. Sunscreen should also be the last product applied especially on the face since some sunscreens can break down in the presence of the water contained in water-based foundations and moisturizers.

Will a budget Sunscreen product protect me as well as an expensive brand?

There are so many sun-protection lotions and creams on the market. Knowing which is best for my family can be a challenge.

Most budget sunscreen products with these ingredients will protect equally as well as more expensive brands; our research indicates that a good broad-spectrum sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 15 and contain avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide

Should I be concerned about your Freckles? Ever since I moved to a sunny location four years ago, I noticed that my back has become covered with freckles. Is there a cause for concern?

A freckle is the most noticeable sun-induced pigment change. Light-skinned people tend to freckle more noticeably. A freckle can be caused when the melanin-producing cell, or melanocyte, is damaged causing it to get bigger. Large freckles, also known as, ‘age spots’ or ‘liver spots,’ can sometimes be seen on the backs of the hands, chest, shoulders, arms, and upper back. These are not age-related but actually sun-damage related. In future, use the preventative measures described in this report and see your doctor if you are concerned.

How Often Should Sunscreen be Reapplied?

Sunscreen should also be reapplied after swimming, excessive sweating, or towelling the body dry. Remember, many waterproof sunscreens may begin losing effectiveness after perhaps 80 minutes in the water, so reapply sunscreen before this time for maximum protection, especially if you have towel-dried.

Most instructions on sunscreen labels recommend reapplying sunscreen “frequently,” but the definition of “frequently” is vague. A common instruction is to reapply sunscreen after 2-4 hours in the sun. However, one study has shown that reapplying sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes after being in the sun is more effective than waiting 2 hours. It is possible that this time period is more effective because most people do not apply enough sunscreen initially, and this second application approximates the actual amount needed.

Are You Safe from the Sun in Water? I know that you’re not supposed to stay in the sun between 10am and 3pm, when it is at its strongest, but will it be OK if during that time you stay in the water?

No! Water offers no protection from the sun; it may even contribute to making the damage worse. I found this out the hard way when I was in Hawaii and believed because I was in & under the water I would be somewhat protected – big mistake. The fact that we are kept cool by the water can reduce awareness that those damaging rays are out there in the water (after all, the sun is shining on the bottom of the pool too, right?).

That mistake cost me a lot of pain, several layers of skin and a trip to the doctor to have a large mole removed from my back that erupted after the encounter. Even when out of the water and in the shade between 10 am and 3 pm when them sun is strongest, we should still apply sun screen – because sand, concrete and water can all reflect harmful rays.

What’s the Best Way to Treat Sunburn?

Immediate self-care should be aimed at stopping the UV radiation; get out & stay out of the sun. Cover exposed skin.

Next, something is likely to be required to reduce pain and itching. Many people raised in a beach community know the secret of aloe-based lotions. Tearing apart your aloe plant in the garden and applying the cool jellylike substance inside the leaves is no longer necessary, as there are many commercially available types. Ask the pharmacist at your local chemist.

In the hours and days following exposure, dermatologists suggest cool (not ice cold) baths may help. Avoid bath salts, oils, and perfumes because these may produce sensitivity reactions. Avoid scrubbing the skin or shaving the skin.

Use soft towels to gently dry yourself. Don’t rub. Use a light, fragrance-free skin moisturizer. Some dermatologists recommend avoiding lotions that contain topical anaesthetic medications because you can become sensitized and then allergic to that particular medicine.

Medical attention should be sought in more serious cases. Conditions that should motivate you to go to a hospital’s emergency department include the following; severe pain, severe blistering, headache, confusion, nausea or vomiting, fainting or an acute problem with another medical condition.

Background Info; Sunlight has a profound effect on the skin causing premature skin aging, skin cancer, and a host of skin changes. While a limited exposure to sunlight may be necessary for a healthy life, we must remember that exposure to ultraviolet light (UVA or UVB) from sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of skin damage and premature skin aging – including wrinkles. Both UVA and UVB radiation cause damage by breaking down collagen, creating free radicals, and inhibiting the natural repair mechanisms of the skin.

Cover up in the sun with sun and swim wear made from UV-protecting fabric, a hat and sunglasses with UV protection. This is of particular importance for children. After protecting by covering-up, the most important skin-care product available to prevent skin damage and future wrinkles is sunscreen. But remember, most people do not use sunscreen correctly.