It’s almost daily that I have clients come to me requests to turn back signs of aging. It might be a dark spot, some fine lines, some less than fine lines, premature aging, irritation, you name it.
What’s my secret against almost all of these things?
Sure, a synergistic blend of amazing treatments also helps, but if you truly want your skin to live in the prime of its life as long as possible, nothing will aid in this quite like sun protection. Dark spots are largely related to an overproduction of melanin in your skin caused by sun exposure, premature wrinkles in your skin are also caused in part by our lovely UVA rays, and sensitive skin types can even experience redness and inflammation long before a sun burn. So your first stop in keeping your skin gorgeous should be shielding it from further damage, that way any of your favorite skincare stands a fighting chance through the day.
Now, this is when I usually get a pushback from clients.
"I’m so sensitive, I just can’t wear sun screen"
"It makes me so oily, I’ll breakout"
That last little treasure of an answer I’ll touch upon another day entirely, but the fact of the matter is we all need sun screen. Now, the crappy part is that not all SPF is created equal. There’s the debate against powder vs cream, chemical vs physical, and it goes on an on.
Personally I wear a fantastic spf from Algenist called Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF50 which you can purchase from any sephora. It’s like a silky, almost invisibly veil of sun protection. I suffer from hypersensitivity to many common ingredients but this product is just an absolute dream for me. And with that high SPF, my skin hardly suffers from an overexposure to UVA/UVB. And right about now is when I can hear that same client.
"I wear and SPF 100 and I still burn"
Truth be told, an spf of 30, 45, 50, and even 100 have almost no difference, unless you’re one of the few chosen fair skin clients with hypersensitivity to sunlight. For most, anything beyond SPF30 will barely give you more than a few extra minutes of sun protection. And even with an SPF30 you can still burn, the trick to avoiding this is as simple as three basic rules.
- Reapply approximately every 2 hours
- Reapply after swimming or wetting the skin.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to sun.
Now after you established your desired level of sun protection, you need to consider your texture preference.
Shiseido practically corners the market in lightweight fluids and creams. Peter Thomas Roth does some fantastic brush on SPF in both an SPF30 and SPF45. There’s also some rather respectable formulas in your local drugstore from Target’s store brand, as well as No7.
If you follow those rules and pick up at least an SPF 30 that suits your skin type, you can prevent anything from dark spots from sun damage, premature aging, redness, and so much more. I’ll touch back upon this topic again because there’s much more to it. Think of this as a long winded PSA until then.