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What is the number one thing you can do avoid premature ageing?  Wear sunscreen!!  You have probably heard it a million times but a million and one can’t hurt!

We must accept that ageing is unavoidable due to intrinsic factors, internal ageing that is biologically occurring naturally throughout one’s lifetime, but we are not powerless to slow the ravages of time.  The greatest cause of the visible signs of ageing is environmental or extrinsic ageing, ageing based on the external environment, and it is avoidable!!

Intrinsic ageing is thought to be responsible for roughly 15 percent of the visible signs of ageing.  The other 85 percent is due to the avoidable extrinsic factors.  Let me repeat that because it is that important:  we have the power to control the visible signs of ageing!!

Those extrinsic factors that cause the majority of the damage we see on our skin include sun exposure, pollution, smoking, and irritation/inflammation.  It goes without saying that if you smoke you should quit for more reasons than premature ageing but what I really want to focus on is sunscreen.

The most important thing you can do every day is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.  Look for a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.  Keep in mind that SPF only refers to how much of the UVB rays are blocked.   We want to block UVA in addition to UVB ( UVB rays = burning, UVA rays = ageing).  So you want to look for ingredients like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, oxybenzone, stabilized avobenzone, or ecamsule (Mexoryl TM).  The labels should say something like broad spectrum, multi spectrum, or UVA/UVB protection.

Sunscreen should be applied every morning 365 days a year and reapplied roughly every 2 hours.  If you are swimming or sweating then it should be reapplied every hour.  Those UVB rays can pass through clouds and windows so don’t think you are covered just because its winter or you are driving in your car.

I wish I could go back in time to tell my teenage self to wear sunscreen and stop slathering on baby oil and laying out in the sun for hours.  Do your skin (present and future) a favor and go out and get some broad-spectrum sunscreen.  Don’t forget to use it on your neck, chest, and hands too.

Interested in what I am using right now?

For my face and neck:

For my lips:

For my hands:

  • I love Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream. I keep travel sizes of the Supergoop in my purse and a bigger size next to my sink so that I always have sunscreen to apply to my hands.

For my body:   

 

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