With summer just around the corner now is a great time to freshen up on the do’s and don’ts of caring for our skin. I asked the team at Prescription Skincare to share with use the most up-to-date advice on caring for our skin and preventing sun damage. Remember it’s never to late to get sun smart.
TIME TO GET SUN SMART
Wrinkling and thinning of the skin and uneven motley pigmentation is often considered part of the natural ageing process, but as we know, it is sun-damage that causes the majority of ageing to skin. As summer approaches very few people truly understand how they should be protecting their skin. The common misconceptions are;
- The SPF in you makeup is enough
- You only need to wear sunscreen in summer or when going to the beach
- You don’t need a sunscreen because you rarely go outdoors as you work in an office or inside
- SPF is the most important factor when selecting a sunscreen
All of these points are incorrect.
As Prescription Skin Care is a medical skincare clinic working alongside plastic surgeons, we are very aware that the surgeons have to remove far too many skin cancers. We need to have confidence in the sunscreens we recommend to our patients, which is why we have
researched a huge number of brands available on the market worldwide and are able to offer the most effective products.
One of the most popular sunscreen brands we sell is Elta MD® Sun Care. Elta MD is a 25-year-old company that originally developed wound healing and skin care products for acute care needs. They offer a complete spectrum of sunscreen products designed for every skin type and lifestyle, including oil free formulas, chemical free sunscreens and all over body
sunscreens. At the same time these products can treat skin conditions such as acne or very dry skin.
If you want to prevent skin ageing and skin cancers, applying a zinc based sunscreen
(in particular to the face, neck and backs of hands) every day and year round is mandatory.
Sun facts you should be aware of:
Certain diseases and medicines make you skin more sensitive to sun or prone to skin cancer
More than 90% of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure
UV reflection from water doubles the amount of ultraviolet exposure
Any skin type regardless of colour can burn, suffer sun-damage or sun related cancers
Two million people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer every year.
Approximately 3.3% of Australasian women and 5% of men can expect to develop melanoma within their lifetime. The high incidence rates of melanoma puts Australians and
New Zealanders at substantially higher risk of developing this type of skin cancer than people from all other reporting countries worldwide.
Stay out of the sun between 11am and 4pm. When this is not possible wear a broad spectrum sun block, stay in the shade; wear a hat, sunglasses and tightly woven clothing that will protect you from the sun.
Sunscreens have been shown to decrease the incidence of some skin cancers (squamous cell carcinoma) and also lesions called actinic keratosies. The lesions appear pink and scaly, and can occasionally become skin cancers.
The effectiveness of a sunscreen depends on the amount applied and the regularity with which it is replaced.
Exposure to UV as a child increases the chance of skin cancers later in life.
The SPF rating on sunscreens can be misleading – The SPF (sun protection factor) only relates to UVB protection and does not address a sunscreen’s protective capabilities from harmful UVA radiation and therefore simply looking at the SPF on a sunscreen product is not enough.
UVA radiation (ageing rays) account for 95% of our sun exposure.
UVA vs UVB rays
UVA: (Think A for Ageing)
Penetrate deeply into the skin layers, damaging collagen and cells
Cause wrinkling, pigmentation and loss of elasticity
Can penetrate glass and cloud
Are present all day, every day of the year
Are up to 50 times more prevalent than UVB rays
Increase the risk of skin cancer and is linked to Melanoma
Because UVA rays are constant throughout the year and during the day, we are exposed to them continually whether it is a cloudy winters day or a mid summer day. The SPF (sun protection factor) number of a sunscreen indicates only the level of protection from UVB, not UVA
UVB: (Think B for Burning)
Mostly affect the outer layer of the skin
Causes sunburns and tanning that increase the risk of skin cancer
Vary with time of the day and seasons, and are stronger in summer
We are protected from these rays by the Ozone, but in New Zealand this protection is greatly reduced due to the ozone hole.
Elta MD sun care products:
Provide true broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection
Contain micro fine transparent zinc oxide
Do not interfere with make up application
Contain safe ingredients
Offer skin –type and lifestyle specific formulas
Information provided by Prescription Skin Care. For more information go