How to Prevent and Correct Sun Damaged Skin
Why you need a customized “in home” skin care regime with broad spectrum sun protection
Robert G. Anderson, M.D., Fort Worth Plastic Surgery Center, LIVING WELL Magazine (formerly SENIOR Magazine)
Q: What happens to our skin as we age?
Smoking, sun exposure, hydration, skin color and pigmentation, as well as heredity all play a role in skin aging. I sometimes see 80-year-old patients who look 60 and 40-year-old patients who look 60. Nonetheless, we all age, and the aging process is consistent.
The skin is made up of two layers: the outer epidermis and inner dermis. Subcutaneous tissue (fat) lies deep to the dermis. As we age, the dermis and fatty layer beneath the skin progressively thin. This becomes more noticeable after the age of 40, due to the slowed production and replacement of collagen fibers in the dermis. This is why we begin to notice fine lines, deeper wrinkles, relaxed neck skin and early jowls in our mid 40s and early 50s.
Q: What are the options for treating an aging face?
Think of the two Qs: quantity and quality of skin. As we age, we end up with too much poor-quality skin. We treat excess skin with surgery by lifting eyebrows, removing upper eyelid skin and bags from the lower eyelids, and tightening the cheeks and neck. But the remaining skin is still thin, sun damaged and of poor quality. Surgery does nothing to improve the quality of our skin.
To prevent and correct sun damage, a good, customized skincare regimen with broad spectrum sun protection needs be a part of your everyday routine. Medical-grade products, or cosmeceuticals, are created with the purest functional and performance ingredients, to not only repair damage, but also activate the skin’s natural ability to replenish and revitalize itself.
Q: Why medical grade products versus over the counter?
These products are formulated to penetrate deeper into the skin to the dermis, to revitalize connective tissue, which includes elastin and collagen, two parts of skin that deteriorate as we age. Cosmeceuticals also reach areas of the skin where new cells are produced, thus increasing cell turnover, which produces younger looking, softer, plumper skin. Numerous over-the-counter products claim to have the same effect as medical-grade solutions; however, there are differences between pharmaceutical grade (used in medical-grade products) and cosmetic grade products. Cosmeceuticals use ingredients that have been more rigorously researched so that the results are medically and scientifically proven. The ingredients are more concentrated than over-the-counter products and are produced with higher standards to work at the cellular level. The development and production of the products is too expensive to be used in over-the-counter solutions.
Q: Why is it important to consistently include a broad spectrum sunscreen with your “at home” customized skincare regimen?
So often we hear medical spas discuss the importance of maintaining a skin care regimen with a good sunscreen. Our skin is sensitive to changes in chemicals, pH, and moisture among other things. When we begin using specific skin care products it may take two to three weeks for our skin to adjust and begin absorbing and reacting properly.
Using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more with UVA & UVB protection every day is imperative to the prevention of skin damage. People often think that the SPF in sunscreen is the amount of protection they are getting but actually it is the measurement of how long it will take the UVB rays to delay the sunburn. For example, If you apply a sunscreen with SPF 20, it will delay the sunburn caused by the UVB rays 20 minutes. UVA rays accelerate the ”aging” of the skin; they are less intense than UVB rays but penetrate through glass and clouds, which is why it is very important to wear your sun protection every day even if you are going to be indoors.
Q: Does it matter what kind of makeup I use?
Investing in a high-quality mineral makeup line is a fundamental part of maintaining healthy, uncongested pores. Not all mineral makeup lines will do this; inert minerals are minerals that do not carry or support bacteria, assisting in an enhanced complexion. Look for a makeup line that is non-comedogenic (will not clog pores), talc free, and FDA approved. I recommend Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics because it has all of these qualities in addition to UVA and UVB protection with SPF 15 or more in many of their products. Jane Iredale also has the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation. Remember, the cosmetics you use can be an effective aid in maintaining a glowing complexion and assist in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin, including sunburn and premature aging.
To schedule a complimentary consultation, or to learn more about a customized skin care regime at The Robert G. Anderson, M.D. Medical Spa, call 817-870-4616 or visit www.FortWorthPlasticSurgeryCenter.com.