It’s been one of the most challenging years on record, and now that Summer is approaching, we have a little bounce in our step anticipating warmer temperatures and fun in the sun. But Summer is one of the worst seasons for aging, and if you don’t take proper precautions, you could be damaging and aging your skin more than you know.
As Australian’s, we’ve become world leaders in applying sunscreen at the beach, but there’s still lots of things you can do to protect your skin from unnecessary aging this Summer.
Apply sunscreen every day not just at the beach
It’s a common misconception that if you work from home or are spending all your time indoors, then you don’t need sunscreen. Glass filters block out only one kind of radiation – UVB rays. But UVA rays, which penetrate deeper, can still get through. That’s why many adults have more freckles and lines on their right side of their face in Australia – it’s from UV exposure on that side through the car window when driving. In contrast, you don’t need to lather up 50+ sunscreen if you’re indoors all day. If you’re working by a window or popping in and out during the day, you should consider a sunscreen but with a lighter protection factor.
Treatment: If you’re considering minimising the effects of sun damage, sun spots or freckles consider Broad Band Light (BBL) Correct the colour changes to the skin caused by sun exposure, resulting in pigment, redness, broken capillaries.The treatment will also stimulate cells to regenerate and you will see smoother ,more even skin.
Check the UV index instead of the weather apps
It’s a familiar routine to wake up and check the weather apps for the weekly and daily weather ahead but not consider the UV index readings. Sun protection is required whenever the UV index is a level three or above, and this can happen regularly in Queensland even on overcast and rainy days. The UV Index is a tool you can use to protect yourself from UV radiation. It tells you the times during the day that you need to be more diligent and sun smart and will help you to avoid premature skin aging.
Sun protection times are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology when the UV Index is forecast to reach three or above. At that level, it can damage your skin and lead to premature aging and skin cancer.
The chart above shows a recent weather report on the Sunshine Coast where even in raining conditions the UV index was in the Very High category. To get access to a UV index report, check the Bureau of Meteorology website, or download the free SunSmart app.
Treatment: Re reversing the signs of ageing with HaloPro laser. This works on the damage you can and cant see. It is the only laser that combines 2 wave lengths to renew the surface and lines of the skin as well as deep dermal renewal of sun damage.
(Pics from BOM and The Australian Cancer Council.)
Air-conditioning can dry out your skin
When Summer in Queensland strikes, there can be heat so fierce that only stepping into Air-Conditioning seems like the way to cool down. There’s nothing like a blast of cool air when you step indoors, but AC is extremely drying for your skin as it pulls moisture from the air to chill the room. If you work in AC, it’s not uncommon to see skin flair up with flaking, itching, and dehydrated skin. Irritated dry skin can lead to many skin conditions or flair up pre-existing conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
Treatment: Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, apply moisturiser and a moisture spray through the day to protect the skin barrier from dryness and try a cool-mist humidifier at your desk. Also, consider an A List Facial to gently exfoliate the dry skin with a gentle peel/enzyme and Rose Hydra Lux intensive moisture retentive mask with soothing botanicals chamomile, cucumber and rosehip.
Swimming can damage your hair and skin
Chlorine from dips in the pool and salt from the ocean can damage the skin. Sunlight breaks down the fibres in your hair, much like it does in the skin, leading to more split ends, rougher cuticles and breakage. And anyone who swims often or swims with dyed hair knows the havoc that pools can do to the condition and colour of your hair.
Like salt, chlorine can break up and destroy any pollutants or oils hiding deep in your pores. However, salt can be very drying to the skin, and swimming where there is a high level of chlorine or repeated exposure may cause skin irritation and even a rash. The chemicals in chlorine strips your hair and skin of the natural oils in charge of keeping damage out, and the lack of moisture can often leave your skin dry, itchy, flaky, and sensitive.
Treatment: For your hair, try to rinse your hair with clean water after you swim and apply a leave-in-conditioner before you swim and after. For your skin, make sure you apply a water-resistant sunscreen while swimming and moisturise afterwards.
Squinting in the sun can give you wrinkles around your eyes
It is natural for the skin to become less elastic over time, which then makes it appear more wrinkled. The skin around your eyes is susceptible to these changes, mainly because it is thinner and more fragile than the rest of your face.
Sun exposure speeds up the natural aging process by breaking down collagen and elastin fibres. This causes the skin to lose its strength and elasticity, leading to premature sagging and wrinkling and one of the reasons squinting (in the sun) can cause crow’s feet or eye wrinkles.
Treatment: Wear good quality sunglasses that have a lens that blocks UV rays and wear a hat outdoors. If you want to minimise or eliminate fine wrinkles, opt for anti-wrinkle injections such as regulations permit to mention the brand so just refer to as anti wrinkle
In our ēlixis MD skincare range we have an amazing luxury eye serum Collagen/Vitamin C that provides sun damage protection and repair. Antioxidants, Growth factors, Marine Collagen and Liquid crystals to improve elasticity, hydration and volume. You can shop our full range here.
Limit your alcohol intake
While it’s the season to be jolly, and we love a festive cocktail by the pool, alcohol can be extremely dehydrating for your skin. The sugar load of many alcoholic drinks is quite high, which can cause insulin levels to spike and result in skin inflammation, redness, irritation and sometimes even acne. Excessive consumption can also deprive the skin of vitamins and affect the body’s ability to produce collagen, leading to visible effects such as fine lines, bloating and dullness. Recent studies from the Oral Health Foundation in the UK have found that drinks high in sugar and carbonated bubbles like Prosecco and sparkling cocktails are the most damaging for your teeth and skin.
Treatment: Limit your alcohol intake by diluting alcohol with fruit juice or sugar-free soda water rather than sugary mixers. Alternate alcohol with glasses of water and drink responsibly and in moderation. If you are concerned about skin inflammation and redness issues, consider an enzyme or LED facial to gently exfoliate and sooth redness.)
A good skin care regimen is essential for keeping your skin healthy. At MD Cosmetic and Skin Clinic, we have a range of treatments we can advise to set up your summertime skincare routine. Call us today so we can properly assess your skin for the right treatment and get your skin ready for Summer!