This week in Your Healthy Family, we are focusing on protecting your skin from damaging UV rays from the sun.
In this story we are reminding you about some of the basics of sunscreen and exactly how it works to protect your skin.
The first reminder especially if you are new to living in southern Colorado at elevation is how much more sun exposure we get.
Registered nurse Andrea Tankersley with Rejuvenate Med Spa in Colorado Springs says,
“Sunscreen is really important in Colorado because we are closer to the sun. Our high altitude gives us more ultraviolet (UV) exposure that is about 36% higher than what we are exposed to at sea level. So it's really important here because our skin needs to be protected from the damaging ultraviolet rays that we get.”
We always talk about sunscreen in terms of avoiding sunburn, but UV rays can also take a cumulative toll on your skin even if you're not getting burned.
Andrea says, “These damages rays affect the aging of our skin and can cause wrinkles, discoloration and eventually sagging of the skin. The sun is damaging not only in terms of skin cancer but also aging.”
The basic must haves when it comes to sunscreen is to only use SPF 30 or higher, that has broadband protection from both UVA and UVB. Inside those guidelines Andrea says there are two types of sunscreen that work differently. “One creates a physical barrier and the other creates a chemical barrier from the sun. The physical barrier sunscreens reflect the damaging rays of the sun away from your skin. The chemical barrier absorbs and prevents the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin.”
No matter which type of sunscreen you choose the most important thing is to use it. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and if you're out more than an hour or two at the most re-apply.
Andrea says to reapply, “Every two hours typically if you are at the beach or pool and out of water, if you’re exercising and sweating reapply every hour. The important thing is applying it liberally and evenly on clean dry skin. If you want a visual about a shot glass full of sunscreen on the average adult body. For the face and neck you want to do 2 to 3 strands on your finger to cover your face and neck and don't forget about the backs of your hands because we have a lot of sun exposure when we are driving. That where we find those age spots that people talk about and sometimes we forget about wearing sunscreen when we are in our cars.”
Andrea also says while the brand name sunscreen products you find in retail stores will protect your skin, but there is a difference in medical grade products, like those generally sold at a med spa.
Andrea says at Rejuvenate Med Spa you will can purchase higher quality product skin care products, including sunscreen. “When you come here, you will also get the education from an esthetician about all of the skin care products we have available, like peels and facials, botox and fillers. The advantages of a med spa versus over the counter sunscreens, is that many of the name brand sunscreens and skin care products contain a lot of fillers, so you you really want to pay attention to the ingredients and what order they are listed in. Our products are medical grade and are studied and tested to ensure they are high quality. Medical grade products are clinically studied and proven to work.”
And while skin care in a med spa environment can help to improve the health of your skin and how it ages, they should never be treating any type of suspicious sore or lesion that won't go away.
Andrea says, “Typically you want to see a dermatologist once a year. Here at Rejuvenate we help you with the care of your skin and the aging of your skin here. We also have four amazing plastic surgeons in Golden and Cherry Creek, but if you have something that is suspicious, please go see a dermatologist.”
In our next story, we’ll introduce you to a Colorado Springs man, Vic McMillan who is now in his late 70’s and is a big proponent of daily sunscreen use. He’s been battling skin cancer for most of his adult life, and is willing to share his cautionary tale we should all pay attention to.
Rejuvenate Med Spa is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family