Women are finally hitting that proverbial stride by the time they enter their thirties. They exude confidence and are at long last comfortable with who they are; they love themselves. The paradox, of course, is that as this happens women enter the first stages of aging, so it is imperative they start taking care of themselves by focusing on exercise, diet, and a good skincare regimen to stay looking and feeling vibrant.
“A good basic skin care routine is comprised of three main components: gentle cleansing, moisturization with adequate sun protection and increasing skin cell turnover,” said Corey L. Hartman, M.D., F.A.A.D., a dermatologist and owner of the Skin Wellness Center of Alabama in Birmingham.
Gentle, thorough cleansing without stripping the skin of essential oils is necessary for maintenance of a youthful complexion. Moreover, moisturizing with a product appropriate for one’s skin type will help maintain a healthy skin surface. Equally crucial is daily sun protection. It prevents the damage of free radicals and its effects: pigmentation changes, fine line development, blood vessel formation, sagging skin and possibly skin cancer.
That said, it is important to understand the meaning of the acronym “SPF,” or sun protection factor. Recent reports have supported claims that consumers have been misled about the efficacy of high “SPF” sunscreens against UVA rays from the sun. The FDA plans to change the way sunscreens are labeled because there may not be a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 100.
Dr. Hartman explained the different types of UV (ultraviolet) rays and how they relate to SPF: “UVA rays (in contrast to UVB and UVC rays) are the most harmful type due to their ability to penetrate skin more deeply than the others. UV rays are those in the visible light spectrum with longer wavelengths,” Dr. Hartman said. “UVA, UVB and UVC rays are distinguished only by their respective numerical wavelengths, with UVA having the longest and UVC the shortest.”