If you are a client of mine, you will know I preach sunscreen use quite a bit. Actually, I’m rather fanatical about it, and have been called, The Sunscreen Nazi! Furthermore, I recommend sunscreen AND a hat, if you’re doing a walk-about on a sunny Miami day.
I believe I owe my relatively healthy-looking facial skin to the late and great, dermatologist, Dr. Louis Skinner, my mentor, and whom I was lucky enough to work for in the early 1970s. as his medical assistant and later as his “acne nurse.” (What a perfect name for a dermatologist!) Early on, I would show up on Mondays newly baked from a weekend at the beach. Actually, “fried” might be a better description since I (and everyone else in those days) doused my skin with baby oil before lying on the beach towel for hours. Consequently, Dr. Skinner would lecture me about how I was ruining my beautiful skin, and that I was on my way, if I didn’t change my ways, to prematurely aging my skin. He would even point out to me sun damaged skin on his patients right in front of them, saying things like, “look Isa, that’s how your skin will look if you keep sun bathing like you do!” I would be horrified that he would do this in front of patients but they adored him and he could do no wrong. (Well, maybe a few never returned after that…)
In time I began to take sun protection more seriously. Of course, the older I got, the more I became aware of wrinkles and sun spots on others and Skinner’s words rang in my ears louder. Yikes! I wanted my skin to look youthful as I age.
Here is an article I found on WorldHealth.net:
“The daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen slows, and may even prevent, sags and wrinkles – the hallmarks of aging skin. Maria Celia B. Hughes, from the University of Queensland (Australia), and colleagues asked 903 Australian men and women , ages 55 years and younger, to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, and/or to consume a dietary supplement of beta-carotene (30 mg) daily. Subjects were followed for a four-year period, with dermatological assessments conducted to analyze changes in skin appearance. The researchers found that the daily sunscreen group exhibited no detectable increases in aging at the end of the study term. Further, the subjects who used sunscreen daily showed 24% less skin aging, as compared to those who used sunscreen periodically. No effect was seen for beta-carotene supplementation.”
There are those who worry about chemicals in sunscreen. I generally recommend ones that are chemical-free with active ingredients of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These sit on your skin and do not penetrate. Chemicals to watch out for are Oxybenzone and Retinyl Palmitate. It is also important to take VITAMIN D for bone and heart health. 1000mg a day should suffice. You may want to ask your doctor to check your Vitamin D levels next time you have bloodwork done to make sure you are not deficient.
Lastly, this just in from Prevention magazine: Skin cancer may have met its match in Milk Thistle (MT), a Mediterranean flowering herb. A recent study at U of Colorado Cancer Research Center showed that silibinin, a compound in MT protects skin cells against UVB-induced cell death and speeds up the repair of cells that have been damaged by UVB rays immediately after exposure to the compound in a lab setting. “The compound reduced cell death by over half…” Twenty years of studies have shown that the herb can ward off sunburn, and it’s already an anti-aging ingredient in some products, and topical milk thistle supplements may be in stores soon. (Actually, I believe they already are.)
Enjoy our hot, sunny summer! Buy a nice big hat! Use Sunscreen!
Check out: Great Inexpensive Sun Hats