Smart Sun Protection: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes That Cause Skin Sagging & Burning

Spotted, saggy skin. That’s not precisely the image that a soothing day at the beach congers up. But that’s precisely how ill-protected skin ends up after years of fun in the sun gone wrong. You can fend off unwanted solar lentigines (those pigmented spots and freckles resulting from sun exposure) and lose, wrinkled skin by avoiding the four most common suncare bloopers.

For starters, Dr. Ara DerMarderosian, professor of biological science at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia suggests using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) higher than 15 to shield the skin from UVA and UVB rays. DerMardersosian explains that, “UVB is what gives the burn. The UVA is more powerful and is what penetrates the skin. This can lead to more deep seeded problems such as cancer.”

Regardless of how simple applying a sunscreen seems, a lot can go wrong with this simple act. It’s these innocent mishaps that allow skin damage to sneak up on even the most devote sunscreen users.

1.Not applying sunscreen soon enough

One of the first foul ups with sunscreen is waiting too long before applying it. For example, one summer, researchers examined the sun protection activities of 352 families as they arrived at the beach. Ninety-eight percent of the families using sunscreen applied it after arrival at the beach. Moreover, the typical delay time for rubbing on sunscreen after arrival to the beach was 51 minutes.

For optimal protection, apply sunscreen at least twenty minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply the agent every two hours or has directed by the label.

2.Not laying sunscreen on thick enough

The next sun care folly is not applying enough sunscreen to the skin. The United States Food and Drug Administration suggests applying 2 miligrams of sunscreen per each centimeter squared of skin. Yet, when forty-two volunteers applied sunscreen to their bodies while enjoying the sun, scientists observed that the bathers slathered on less than half of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

Don’t be stingy with your sunscreen. Coat your body with a thick layer of sunscreen that the skin absorbs in about one to two minutes.

3.Deceived by clouds

Have you seen those red, confused beach goers duped by clouds? I happens all the time in during overcast San Diego days. That’s why DerMarderosian recommends using sunscreen even on cloudy days. DerMarderosian notes, “Some people don’t know that the sun’s rays can penetrate through the clouds, and they may get a pretty good burn, even though it’s a cloudy day.”

4.Not using food to bolster sun protection

Who says sunscreen only comes in bottles? According the a report in Biomedical Papers, some foods contain agents called phenolics that may protect the skin from UV-induced free radical damage, photo-aging and skin cancer. Phenolic containing foods include: cherries, cocoa, berries, apples, citrus fruit, plums, tomatoes, olives, broccoli, lettuce, soybeans, artichokes and wild rice. Pack some of these solar protecting foods along on your next outing.

Years from now, as you gaze over your family photos featuring your days at the beach, I hope you will be able to congratulate yourself for avoiding these four sun-fun-foul-ups, and instead enjoy your tight, lesion free skin.

Sources:

Bech-Thomsen N & Wulf H. Sunbathers’ application of sunscreen is probably inadequate to obtain the sun protection factor assigned to the preparation. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine; December 1992-1993, vol 9, no 6, pp 242-4.

Bickers, D & Athar M. Novel approaches to chemoprevention of skin cancer. Journal of Dermatology; November 2000, vol 27, no 11, pp 691-695.

Mitani, Hiroaki1et al.Topical application of plant extracts containing xanthine derivatives can prevent UV-induced wrinkle formation in hairless mice. Photodermatology Photoimmunology & Photomedicine; April/June 2007, vol 23, no 2-3, pp 86-94.

Robinson, June & Alfred Rademaker. Sun protection by families at the beach. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine; May 1998, vol 152, no 5, pp 466-470.

Svobodová, Alena; Jitka Psotová & Daniela Walterová. Natural phenolics in the prevention of UV-induced skin damage: A review. Biomedical Papers; 2003, vol 147, no2, pp 137-145.

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Protect Your Skin from the Sun. Newswise; June 28, 2007.