Don’t Forget Your SPF!

Posted on January 16, 2018

You should be wearing sunscreen every day — rain or shine. While at first this may sound excessive (cue memories of a neurotic mother wagging her finger at you as a child), but there is actual reasoning and science behind the importance of sunscreen.

Lets start with UV radiation — yes, RADIATION (primarily UVA and UVB). You may remember from your high school physics class that energy (e.g. radiation) can neither be created nor destroyed (the law of conservation of energy) …just converted from one form of energy to another. These UVA and UVB energy waves shoot down invisibly through the sky (all the time, sunny days or cloudy days) and they target your skin DNA, lipids, and proteins!

This energy causes damage — mutates DNA, degrades collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the ultra-structural proteins that make your skin supple, smooth, and taut (e.g. youthful). And, over time, mutated DNA that evades our body’s defense mechanisms causes cancer. Scary, right? It’s no wonder our human ancestors had UV protective fur.

Physical sunscreens (zinc and titanium dioxide) work by reflecting this damaging energy away from your skin, conferring protection. I can hear your inner monologue — sunscreen is sticky and white, and, well, just kind of gross. Sunscreen has come a long way since your childhood pool days. Micronized zinc and titanium are easily rubbed into the skin and confer the best protection (minimum SPF of 30) and are the least allergenic.

At CDAM, we carry cosmetically elegant sunscreens that really just feel like nice moisturizers. Newer sunscreens like SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair even have antioxidants (primarily Vitamins C and E, among others) to prevent free radical / oxidant damage produced by UV radiation. Many sunscreens also come in tinted forms to help even out your skin tone. Remember, re-application is key (roughly every 80-120 minutes). We love Color Science Sunforgettable Sunscreen Powder for reapplication, which lends the skin a beautiful matte finish.

Stop by the Center for Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine for a complimentary consultation with one of our board certified dermatologist to learn more about the importance of sunscreen and to formulate a customized skin care routine to maintain beautiful, radiant skin.