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Summertime Care for the Skin

The Summer is a popular time to spend outdoors with our friends and family. However, in terms of fighting premature advanced aging of the skin, the Sun is not our best friend. Yes, a little early morning (before 10:00am,) or late-day (after 4:00pm,) sunlight can help our body product much-needed Vitamin D. However, we must always be mindful of our exposure to sunlight, as it can actually be fighting against any of the measures we take to address aging of the skin, professional treatments included. Scientists have found that incidental sun exposure (walking to from our car etc.,) is often sufficient enough to give our body the Vitamin D it needs.

It's true that our ancestors were able to spend much more time out in the sun, and there are a few reasons for this. Our Earth's ozone layer is responsible for filtering out the harmful Ultraviolet rays from the sun. Now that it is thinner than ever before more UVA and UVB radiation reaches us. Anyone who has had a bad sunburn has felt the effect of strong UVB radiation. And that beautiful tan we like? It is actually our skin producing more melanin in an effort to protect itself from the sun.

But what about UVA radiation? And what can it do to us? UVA radiation is a long-penetrating wave, it penetrates deep down into our Dermis; the base layer of our skin. In doing so, it can cause damage to the DNA of the cells, thus breaking down our collagen and elastin (the "youth proteins" of our skin that keep it young looking and firm). UVA rays also "let loose" the free radicals Collagenase and Elastase, which attack our collagen and elastin even more. Thus, by exposing our skin to extended sunlight, we are actually fighting against any measures we are taking (skincare regimens, spa treatments, etc.,) to keep our skin looking young.

Of course we are not going to avoid going outside or enjoying Summer fun because of these factors. But now, more than ever before, we have to take certain precautions. I always suggest that clients use a daily SPF of at least 50- even if they will not be out in the sun for long periods of time. Sunlight hits us everywhere, including through our car windows. I've always liked the La Roche-Posay Anthelios collection of sunscreens. Make sure your sunscreen is rich in antioxidants as well; they will fight the free radicals. And don't forget your neck and chest! A hat is always a good idea to wear. And consider the use of sunless tanner instead of "laying out". There are so many on the market and the days of the orange sunless tan are long gone.

Wishing everyone a fun and skin-safe Summer!

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