A 2015 Yale University study published in the Journal of Science revealed UV damage to the skin continues for hours after you have left the sun. It seems that melanocytes (or melanin), the pigment that gives skin its color, may be contributing to this damage indoors because the DNA in melanocytes is changed. The damage caused to the melanocyte can be a source of many types of cancer: This is why Spafinder Wellness is committed to sharing melanoma awareness.
Almost as important as prepping your skin for sun exposure (vis-à-vis slopping on a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen, using a full “shot glass amount” per application, and re-applying every 2-3 hours), is caring for your skin pre- and post-sun exposure. This is where antioxidants play a vital role in skin’s appearance and health.
Dr. Dendy Engelman, dermatologist to the stars, shares 4 tips for finding the perfect balance between SPF protection and antioxidant prevention from your skincare:
1. Layer it: No matter what city you live in, or whether the sun shines daily, you are being exposed to UVA/UVB, pollution and smoke. Eighty percent (80%) of all signs of skin aging are due to the environment. Protecting your skin DAILY with antioxidants and SPF is crucial to maintaining healthy skin. The best protection is layering them, antioxidants first, then your SPF. This combination is most effective and great for overall skin health. “I prefer a physical block with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, those are the gold standard sunscreen ingredients in my opinion. However, depending on the formulation, they can leave a greyish cast on the skin. So, when you are sitting in direct sunlight, they offer the best protection no matter what. Chemical sunscreens look better under makeup as they tend to be invisible on skin,” says Engelman. If you plan to be in direct sunlight, physical blockers are best. By neutralizing the impact of environmental and oxidative stress on the skin, sunscreen and antioxidants effectively keep it looking younger, smoother, brighter and protected.
Dr. Dendy recommends: Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense & Elizabeth Arden’s new City Smart MINIMUM SPF 30 (in accordance with AAD recommendations.)
2. Prevent future damage: Antioxidants protect against free radical assaults (oxidative stress) caused by sun and other environmental factors. Some proven antioxidants include: Vitamin C, Green Tea, Idebenone and Vitamin E. Using antioxidant-rich topical products can help restore and prevent daily damage from these inevitable skin offenders.
Dr. Dendy recommends: Prevage Antiaging daily Serum, Nerium Age Defying Eye Serum and Derm Institute Antioxidant Masque
3. Eat healthy: Berries are great for the skin because they are packed with antioxidant vitamins. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils, as well as avocados and walnuts, are also great skin foods.
Dr. Dendy recommends: blueberries, cranberries and raspberries, fatty fish like salmon and sardines, and a handful of walnuts daily.
4. Body basics: As summer approaches, more of our body will be exposed to the sun. In addition to sunscreen, you can apply topical products to hydrate, moisturize and tone your skin. Soothing ingredients, that help counteract inflammation, are ideal.
Dr. Dendy recommends: Nerium Firming Body Contouring Cream, which packs some powerful ingredients to help smooth and tighten skin for a more toned appearance, while helping with the look of cellulite and dimpled skin. It’s derived from Nerium Oleander and Aloe Vera, an antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and even out discoloration which are among the sun’s effects on the skin.