As all of Dr. Baldwin’s patients know, beauty is a combination of style, confidence, diet and, of course, products. The right products can help target fine lines and that dreaded “w” word – wrinkles.
Under a microscope, a biopsy of a wrinkle exhibits no telltale signs that reveal it to be a wrinkle. So what causes the skin to look wrinkled? It is a multi-factorial process of intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging is the natural process that takes place over the years regardless of outside influences. After the age of 20, your skin produces 1% less collagen a year resulting in thinning and fragility. There is also diminished functioning of the sweat and oil glands and less elastin production.
Extrinsic aging occurs as a result of sun and environmental damage. It shows up as actinic keratosis, skin cancer, freckles, sun spots and exaggerated loss of collagen and elastin.
The neck ages differently from the face and requires its own unique, topical anti-aging technology. Prevention is key to minimizing wrinkles and Dr. Baldwin suggests two products to help.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair has accelerated Retinol SA, the fastest retinol formula available, and is clinically proven to show results in a week.
Nectifirm is the only product available that addresses all the changes that occur. Clinical trials show that it firms the skin up to 40% with tripeptide. Nectifirm specifically targets the different symptoms of the aging neck versus exfoliating the top layers of the skin.
If you have questions about how to turn back the clock on your skin, please ask Dr. Baldwin or Brooke. Both are ready to help!
SPF 101: The Truth in Numbers
If adding sunblock to your morning regimen feels like an unnecessary step, consider this statement from the Skin Cancer Foundation: “More than 90% of the visible skin changes associated with aging are caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.” Okay.
10 … 15 … 25 … 30?
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin and can contribute to skin cancer. The SPF rating is a measure of two things: 1. If your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 15 sunscreen would allow you to stay in the sun without burning for approximately 150 minutes (a factor of 15 times longer). 2. SPF is a measure of protection from amount of UVB exposure.
After reading that, it would seem a higher SPF is the way to go. However, the SPF scale is not linear. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays; SPF 30, 97%; SPF 50, 98%.
Products with higher SPFs often create a false sense of security and discourage other photoprotective behaviors, like seeking shade or wearing hats. This is why many dermatologists suggest wearing an SPF of 15 – 30.
Application by the Rules
The real cause of burns, however, is not choosing the wrong SPF but incorrect application. Follow these rules to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit from your sunscreen:
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Apply one ounce of sunscreen — the size of a golf ball — to cover every part of your body exposed to the sun.
- Remember your neck, ears and feet. Apply a lip balm with SPF 15 to your lips.
- Reapply liberally every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
The Results are In
Starting in March, Dr. Baldwin began conducting a sunscreen survey with our patients. We wanted to know what sunscreen you use for face and body and open a dialogue about skin protection. What have we found so far? Drumroll…
Everyone is different! Most patients do use some sort of daily sun protection on their face whether that is in their foundation or a separate product. Some even use a spray sunscreen on their face!
The key points we’d like patients to remember when selecting a sunscreen:
– Use protection that is SPF 15 – 30, is water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage.
– Sunscreen comes in creams, lotions, sprays, gels, wax sticks and wipes. Buy one with a texture you like, you’ll use it more often.
The Golden Rule though is to use it!