The same world we all want to enjoy for as long as possible is the same world that ages us. Sad but true. If we all were able to live in a complete vacuum, completely protected from free radicals, with the proper nutrition and activity level, we’d all live exceptionally longer lives. But since you’re not going to lock yourself in a safe for the rest of your life, may we suggest managing the planet’s biggest aging factor – the sun. Skin is one of the areas where signs of aging are most noticeable and sun care is important at all ages.
When you look at the skin of children, you see this smooth, flawless texture and nice, firm tone. What you probably don’t notice is how fair their complexions are when compared to those of us in our thirties and older. This is because they’ve had comparatively little sun exposure, which leads to fewer signs of sun damage. Those freckles that were cute in your teens and that tan that looked great in your twenties are a big part of why you have those fine lines by your eyes or next to your mouth.
If you haven’t already, start using a daily sun block with an SPF of at least 30. Even overcast days can still present damaging conditions for your skin. A good rule is to walk outside and look for your shadow. If you see it – you need sun block. When there is enough sun to cast a shadow, there is enough to cause skin damage. And, if you live in a high-sun area like Florida or California, don’t be misled by the idea that you’re inside an office all day. Dermatologists agree that on bright days, you get enough sun just walking to and from the office and in the car to necessitate a sun block.
In addition to daily sun block, meticulous reapplication, and smart sun apparel like wide brim hats and long sleeve shirts, you can also work to reverse the many years’ worth of damage that has already been done. Topical treatments containing vitamin C, green tea, and anti-oxidants can help restore elasticity and firmness. Prescription retinoid (Vitamin A) creams can help repair texture and even out skin tone by boosting the body’s natural ability to produce collagen and elastin. Do an about-face on sun care and you won’t be the only one that notices the difference.