SUMMER SKIN

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With all of the amazing technology available today, women around the globe are treating their skin and bodies like Etch-A-Sketches.

Liposuctioning the adipose tissue out of the hips and transferring it to the breasts is a popular means of contouring and enhancing, while still having their cake and eating it, too.  Literally.

Money spent on corrective treatments like IPL lasers, injectables and epidermal resurfacing goes down the premature-aging-drain after just a few summer romps outside without proper protection. Apologies for abuse and neglect will most likely be accepted by the skin in the form of antioxidants and SPF, as these are the skin’s greatest weapons against aging via free radicals and sun exposure.

The skin is one of the most vital organs, and the first means of protection for the body.  Yet it is the last organ to receive nutrients internally.  Compensating for this faulty engineering includes providing the skin with topical treatments in order for it to work properly and fend off environmental aggressors.  These usually come in the form of free radicals, which target connective tissueS and attack healthy skin cells, resulting in Elastosis and collagen breakdown.

In order to prevent this damage, it’s necessary to anti-oxidize, or neutralize the unbalanced oxygen molecules.  The most common antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E and they provide assistance in the skin’s repair of itself, thus helping to slow the aging process.

Vitamin C is perhaps the most multitasking of the antioxidants, and can be used on almost every skin type and condition to brighten and tighten, reduce hyperpigmentation, synthesize collagen and act as an anti-inflammatory. Unstable free radicals won’t even see it coming.

Ultraviolet rays go hand-in-hand with free radicals when it comes to aging and damaging the skin. One may say these two bullies share friendship bracelets and make prank calls on their days off. UV rays not only cause hyperpigmentation on the surface of the skin, their penetration to the Dermis  layer also results in damage of collagen and elastin fibers.

Tanning beds have gained much popularity within the past decade, and cases of skin cancer have risen.  It’s common for consumers to deem the sun “germicidal” and a healer of skin lesions.  However, most tanning beds specifically operate on UVA rays, which kill immune cells, connective tissues and important mechanisms in the most active layer of the skin.

Ironically, as popular as deep-colored complexions have become, sun blocks are finally sitting at the cool kids’ table.   With all the SPF options out there, the best choice depends on one thing: Ingredients.   Physical sunscreens include Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, and although they may appear white on the skin and take a little more effort to rub in completely, these ingredients literally block the sun’s rays without irritation.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens bind with the skin to absorb (rather than block) harmful UV rays.  They have a lighter wear and may be more effective when swimming or sweating since they’re not merely sitting on the surface to be easily washed away.

However, these ingredients are notorious for their irritating nature and often confuse consumers into thinking they have overly sensitive skin.  Chemical ingredients include Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, 4-MBC, Octisalate, Octyl Methoxycinnamate and Avobenzone.

Someone climbing the StairMaster while noshing on a glazed doughnut has yet to be deemed practical.  Laying down a hefty coin for Laser resurfacing treatments right before vacationing in the Bahamas also seems impractical, yet one should never underestimate the hypocrisy of vanity.  Protection, assistance and nurturing of the skin is necessary when trying to slow the aging process and maintain healthily functioning skin.  A combination of topical antioxidants and sun block are a fail-proof means of being the ultimate caregiver.

So go ahead, have a doughnut after applying your sunscreen.  It’s much deserved.

 

Written by Noelle DiLeonardo, Medically Certified Licensed Esthetician