With the weather whipping up a storm it's easy to forget that this year we have enjoyed the hottest summer on record. We all feel a little bit better when the sun is shining. Who doesn't enjoy a carefree day on the beach with family or a barbeque with the friends in the back garden? But are the memories of those long balmy days written all over your face? Are you ready to embrace an Autumn Skin Care regime to help tackle some of the signs of premature skin ageing?
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 90% of the signs of skin aging are caused by the sun!
Some of the most common signs of sun damage that I see in my clinic are:
- Dark spots and melasma (grey-brown patches)
- New lines and wrinkles
- Increased sagging
We all know that prevention is better than cure when it comes to sun damage, but that doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do to combat the visible signs of ageing, whether caused by sun damage or not.
Chemical Skin Peel
As we get older our skin's ability to effectively shed old skin cells reduces and the build-up of dead skin cells can leave the skin looking dull and lacklustre. Sun exposure can make the problem worse. Chemical Peels help to clear away the top layer of old skin to reveal the younger fresher-looking skin beneath. They also stimulate the fibroblasts (cells responsible for generating connective tissue and allowing the skin to recover from damage) deep within the skin to produce new collagen and elastin, which together form the mesh that gives the skin structure, strength and elasticity.
Some people are reluctant to try chemical peels due to the expected downtime after treatment but not all peels have long recovery times.
LED Light Therapy
LED Light Therapy has become increasingly popular as a skin rejuvenation treatment, not least because it is completely non-invasive. Just one treatment can revive a tired and dull complexion.
At my clinic, I use Dermalux® LED Phototherapy. It uses 3 different light-waves (Red, Near Infra-Red and Blue Light), each of which has very specific skin healing properties. For sun damage, the Red and Near Infra-Red light is particularly effective:
LED Red Light helps to increase hydration and stimulate circulation in the skin.
LED Near Infra-Red is the most deeply absorbed wavelength and works effectively with Red Light to help promote the production of collagen, elastin and other growth factors in the skin to help counteract the visible signs of ageing and skin damage.
As we age and the production of the 'scaffolding'; proteins of collagen and elastin within our skin starts to reduce, many people find that skin becomes lax and wrinkles appear more visible. The overall texture of our skin is also negatively affected by the physical ageing process, with many people complaining that their skin appears dull, dry and lacklustre. All these issues are made worse or accelerated by exposure to the sun.
Profhilo is designed to tackle these problems through effective skin bio-remodelling. Unlike the ordinary dermal fillers, Profhilo makes use of patented technologies that are particularly engineered for skin rejuvenation. Rather than filling your wrinkles, it stimulates natural production of elastin and collagen in your body for skin renewal. The treatment procedure ensures slow release of Hyalonuric acid in the body.
The key benefits are:
- Improves your skin's texture, tone, hydration and radiance
- Skin retains its natural firmness and elasticity, making it appear softer and healthier
- Makes your face appear fuller with a tightening and lifting affect
A Final Tip
Whatever you decide to do, if you are not already using a face cream with sun protection, start now and use it all year round. Make sure that you chose a cream with both UVA and UVB protection. Whilst UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn, UVA rays penetrate more deeply into the dermis. Unprotected exposure can lead to premature skin ageing and wrinkling, and suppression of the immune system. Unlike UVB rays, UVA rays can penetrate clouds and glass so present a risk all year round.
Not all creams are created equal so chose carefully. SPF (sun protection factor) provides the simplest measure of how good a cream is in protecting against sunburn. The SPF rating only refers to how well the sun cream protects against UVB Rays, not UVA. The British Association of Dermatologists recommends an SPF of 30 as a minimum. The UVA protection is shown through a star system. On any sun cream packaging you should see a UVA star rating from zero to five. Now this is where it gets a little tricky! The rating refers to the protection offered relative to how well it protects against UVB. So five-star UVA protection might not be all that great if the SPF is very low. For adequate protection, aim for an SPF of 30 and a star rating of four or five to ensure protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
A great cream will not only help to prevent further damage but will also ensure that you get the most from any aesthetic treatment you may choose.