Skin protection should be daily habit
Posted May 13, 2010 4:48 p.m. EDT
Updated May 13, 2010 6:33 p.m. EDT
Constant sun exposure is one of the top causes of increased risk of skin cancers, premature aging, sun spots and wrinkles.
People can get too much sun exposure simply by being outside, even without sunbathing, so for many people, protecting their skin has become a daily habit.
"Sunscreen is No. 1," esthetician Sigrid Yorke said.
Various sun protection products are the front line of defense that Yorke recommends for all her clients.
Client Kaye McCaskill said she used an intense pulse laser to get rid of sun damage spots. Now she wants to prevent further problems.
"I'm able to manage my outside with good sunscreen," McCaskill said.
Defense against the sun starts with sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or better, Yorke said. They serve as a chemical barrier which absorbs and disperses ultra violet light.
"Then you have sun blocks which act as a physical barrier, and they reflect the UVA and UVB light away from them," she said.
New sun block products are an answer to a common complaint of slimy sunscreen. The new products are "more fluid and micronized so that you get a more sheer application," Yorke said.
She recommended antioxidant serums that come in liquid form and offer eight times more protection when used under sunscreen around the face and neck – "which helps prevent ultraviolet light damage by removing the free radical damage caused by UV light."
Other products combine sun protection with makeup.
"They have a makeup in one and a little bit of sunscreen as well," Yorke said.
She cautioned that chemical sunscreens break down after about 80 minutes. Swimmers should use waterproof or water-resistant screens and will need to reapply it more often.
Experts recommend applying the lotions 20 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Clothing with sun protection factors and broad-brimmed hats are also a valuable protection for skin.