The truth about sunscreen: Use It, Don’t Abuse It!

Here’s an important fact, the role of sunscreen in sun protection is limited! Yes, you heard correctly. There is no good scientific literature proving that regular sunscreen application  prevents basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. The same can be said for its role in preventing skin aging a.k.a. photo-aging. Mind boggling, right?!

So what is sunscreen good for? Preventing sunburn. For this purpose, the prevention of sunburn,  sunscreen must be applied generously and frequently. In this regard, the recommendation of dermatologists and the MInistry of Health is to apply sunscreen every two hours when being exposed to the sun. Water activities reduce the level of sunscreen protection, therefore, while swimming in an outdoor pool, or at the beach, sunscreen should be applied more frequently. It is also recommended that the initial application of sunscreen be applied 15 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow the sunscreen to be properly absorbed into the skin.   

So how do you protect your skin from the dangers of skin cancer and restrict photo-aging?

First, it is important to limit exposure to the sun’s harmful rays by choosing the ideal hours to be out. Here’s a fact, the risk of exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays at 12 noon is four times greater (!) than exposure at say; 8am or 4 pm. In other words, it is best to hang out at the beach or pool during the early morning or late afternoon, avoiding the midday (10am-4pm) sun.

Secondly, when you are out and about during the midday sun (siestas seem to be a thing of the past…) optimal sun protection is achieved with clothing and broad brim hats. General rule of thumb, if you can’t see through the fabric or hat  neither can the sun! Sunscreen should still be applied to the areas of skin not protected by clothing to avoid sunburn. But don’t be fooled, preventing sunburn does not equal preventing sun damage. 

The lack of sunburn caused by sunscreen can lull us into a false sense of security. To use sunscreen alone on areas that should be protected by clothing is sunscreen “abuse”!

Last fact, most of the damage sustained by sun exposure occurs before the age of 18 and only manifests itself in our later years. Therefore, it is highly recommended to see a dermatologist for routine skin examinations. One should also pay attention to one’s moles and beauty spots and report any changes to one’s dermatologist. Early diagnosis of melanoma is life saving, and early diagnosis of skin cancers like BCC and SCC can significantly improve their treatment. 

Source: International Cancer Association

Avoiding and Treating the Wrinkles in Time

Wisdom comes with maturity, but so do the natural signs of reasonable wear and tear. Typical signs of aging are dryness, roughness, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and an uneven skin tone. While there is no magic elixir that can turn back time, and who’s to say we would want to relive the follies of our youth,modern science has given us the opportunity to age with grace, dignity and at a more acceptable, gradual pace.

Understanding  the aging process-

The progression of age is established in the different layers of skin. The outer layer of the skin called the epidermis gets thinner; the middle layer of the skin – the dermis, decreases in elastin and collagen; and in the hypo dermis or subcutaneous layer of the skin, there is a decrease in the amount of fat cells. Wrinkles are formed as a result of the thinning of the epidermal layer, and a loss of volume in the dermal layer, causing the skin to become lax.

Various factors cause the skin to show signs of age, including; genetics, environmental damage, sun damage and increased dryness. It is not surprising,  that should we compare the areas of our bodies ordinarily covered by clothing  to the areas that are generally exposed, such as the face and arms, there will be significant differences in skin texture. The covered skin will be smoother, more uniform in color, less dry and flaky and appear more firm. 

So how do we combat the inevitable ravages of time?- Prevention and repair.

Prevention. Research has shown  longtime sun exposure to be the  leading  cause for damaged skin. We cannot  realistically avoid the sun but we can engage in  precautionary measures. The best way to protect oneself  is to; minimize exposure to direct sunlight, such as spending time outdoors only in the early morning or late afternoon hours, or when spending time in the midday sun to defend yourself  by wearing clothing with adequate coverage  and a wide brimmed hat.

But no worries, for those of us who spent our prime soaking up the brilliant sunshine, there is no need to give up just yet.

Repair. By regularly moisturizing and applying products containing active ingredients tailored towards repairing damaged skin and taking the time now to engage in  precautionary measures we can prevent and restore further damage. 

So what should you be looking out for?

Products containing high concentrations of antioxidants, ceramides, peptides and humectants.

Antioxidants– Antioxidants are recognized in medical literature for the ability to slow down the natural aging process and improve the texture of skin.

A known superhero of the antioxidant world is Glycolic AHA (alpha hydroxy) acid. Since the 1970’s studies have shown that alpha hydroxy acids are effective in treating and restoring moisture, smoothing out the skin tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Do note,  greater concentrations of Glycolic acid do indeed yield greater results such as the 10% Glycolic Acid Revitalize Facial Cream.

Another notable component are Green Tea Polyphenols. While there are many antioxidants available, few are capable of affecting the skin at an actual biological level. Green tea polyphenols have the unique ability to combat cellular skin damage and effectively regenerate the skin from the matrix, in essence creating actual baby skin!

Ceramides- ceramides are lipids that are found naturally in the outer layers of the skin, age and sun damage reduce the effectiveness of your skin’s natural ceramides—and can eventually deplete them, which weakens your skin’s barrier. Ceramide derived serums aid your skin in holding in moisture , rebuilding collagen and fortifying the skin’s protective barrier against pollution and free radicals.

Peptides- peptides are made up of amino acids, and have been shown to have a beneficial role in slowing down the aging process. The most popular peptides include collagen building peptides which benefit skin health and can reverse the signs of aging  and creatine peptides which build strength and muscle mass thus combating and preventing fine lines and wrinkles.

Humectants- humectants are like magnets that attract water, pulling moisture from the air and into the upper layer of your skin and then retain the moisture, providing a long term moisture effect.

The anti- aging skin care products, available at our clinic, have been specifically selected by Dr Goldenhersh himself with your utmost care in mind. Created using the highest quality, effective ingredients available in today’s market, we are geared towards helping you achieve your best standard.