You don’t get lot of guarantees in life. Not any that are worth the price of admission anyway. But when it comes to aging a ‘100% guarantee to prevent it cream‘ would be amazing, right?
Well, we have found the best anti-ageing cream that works for 100% of humans, 100% of the time, no matter your age, skin tone or skin concerns. We have known about this amazing anti-aging cream for quite a long time. Guess what, so have you.
The anti-aging cream that works every time for everybody? Is sunscreen. Sun exposure damages and ages your skin more than all other ‘skin aging’ factors combined. The best anti-aging cream in the world without exception is sunscreen.
Great news, right! I’m not kidding. There are wonderful skin care ingredients that can do amazing things for your skin. But the best thing to combat the march of time is keeping your skin protected from the sun.
Our Skin And The Sun
All life on earth needs the sun, and humans are no exception. Yet our relationship with the sun is both good and bad for us in equal measure. We need it to grow our food and our skin uses it to make Vitamin D, which we need for lots of bodily functions. To much sun and we get burned, literally.
So what the deal? Why does the sun affect our skin so negatively?
Particles of sunlight, are called photons. Photons leave the suns surface and travel through space to earth. That in itself is amazing. The sunlight photons that touch your skin differ depending on their wavelength. They are either UVA or UVB beams of light.
You can tell when your skin has interacted with UV rays on a sunny day because you can see slight sunburn as redness on your skin.
These particles of sunlight that cause the sunburn are invisible to the human eye.
The majority of UV particles that reach the earth are UVA. UVA rays can penetrate the epidermis(top layer) of skin and damage the deeper layers called the dermis.
Over time this UV damage weakens the skins support system, namely collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles, dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
This process is called photoaging because photons from the sun cause the damage to your skin and make it age.
What’s The Difference Between UVA and UVB Sun Damage To The Skin
UVA rays are not responsible for burning the skin, and they used to be thought of as ‘safe’ which is why they were used in sunbeds. But there is evidence that they accelerate cancer and rapidly speed up the aging process.
UVB is the more notorious of the suns photons. UVB is responsible for the good and the bad that we get from the sun. As a high-energy particle, it hits the epiderms and slices DNA apart. The immediate response from the skin is inflammation AKA sunburn.
Sunburn can vary from painless slightly pink, all the way through to firey red swollen blistering agony.
By splitting DNA UVB also chops up the precursors we need to make vitamin D.
Precursors are inactive forms of a compound that release an active substance when broken up in a specific way. As a result, UVB radiation is one of the more important sources of vitamin D.
UVB is the main contributor to skin cancer.
But it is UVA the causes the most aging effects on our skin. It can travel deep into the dermis. It is in the dermis that most of the skin action happens. This is where collagen and elastin and all the stuff that supports and plumps the skin outside of the skin cell happens.
UVA damages the dermis by causing inflammation that also releases molecules that break down collagen. If that’s not enough, these molecules slow down the rate your skin can make new collagen. It’s a collagen double punch.
UVA also breaks blood vessels in the dermis, which causes the thin red veins called ‘spider veins’ that appear on the nose and cheeks.
UVA destroys retinoic receptors. These receptors are responsible for detecting and using retinol (vitamin A) in your skin. If the receptors are destroyed, then your skin becomes vitamin A deficient.
Retinol/retinoic acid is one of the holy grail ingredients, and one of the ingredients that every dermatologist and skincare nerd agrees is vital to healthy, glowing skin.
RELATED ARTICLE: Retinol Friend With Benefits
The problem with UVA and aging is that because it doesn’t cause sunburn, we can’t see it affecting our skin. It does all its damage under the surface. This UVA damage can take years to show up at the surface of your skin.
UVA can penetrate glass, UVB can’t so while you won’t get a sunburn through a window skin aging is happening to your skin as long as you are in sunlight.
Why Does Skin Tan?
We have these really extraordinary cells called melanocytes. These are tiny cells in the epidermis of our skin. They produce a pigment called melanin. When they detect the UV ray, they fire off a proton that turns the UV ray into harmless heat – all in under 1/1000000th of a second.
A tan develops over 2 – 3 days as a protective cover to the damage that UV rays cause when we are unprotected in the sun.
Even though a suntan is our original sunscreen, it is in no way a form of sunscreen. A suntan provides an SPF of only 3 or less and leaves a trail of ageing destruction behind it.
A healthy tan is a myth. A tan is sun damage, and there is nothing good about sun damage.
How Does Sunscreen Stop Aging?
You cannot live your life out of the sun; it’s not practical or desirable. What you do need to do is protect your skin from the damage that the sun causes.
Sunscreen protects your skin from sun damage.
Sunscreens can be effective against either UVA, UVB or both. If sunscreen is protective against both type of rays, it is called a ‘Broad Spectrum’ sunscreen.
Sunscreens can be physical or chemical.
Physical sunscreen contains Titanium Oxide and/or Zinc; they form an instant barrier on the top of your skin. They don’t absorb into your skin (the particles are too big), they form a shield stopping UV rays from reaching your skin.
Chemical sunscreens penetrate the surface of the skin and interact directly with the UV rays. They disable the harmful UVA and UVB photons turning them into harmless heat.
Be careful with chemical sunscreens, as many of them contain environmental and reef harmful ingredients.
You should wear sunscreen on all the skin exposed to the sun but its particularly important for your face.
How Much Sunscreen Should I Put On?
For your face neck and ears about 5 grams or one teaspoon full. This is a lot of sunscreen. Also, it wears off so you should apply it twice a day and after swimming or exercise.
According to Dr Davin Lim, board-certified dermatologist – “Half the amount of SPF equals half the amount of sun protection” so if your foundation has SPF 20 and you put on under half of the recommended 5mls your only getting an SPF of 4 – 8!
This is also why a foundation that contains SPF doesn’t provide you with enough sun protection because the average amount of foundation you wear is around 1 – 2 MLS.
There are brands which make hybrid sunscreen such as my favourite by La Roche Posay. Hybrid sunscreen contains both physical blockers and chemical ingredients.
RELATED ARTICLE: La Roche Posay Athelios Sunscreen.
You’re probably familiar with a sunscreen being an SPF 20, 30 or even 50 plus. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, but this is where it can get confusing.
SPF is a UVB measurement of how long it would take you to burn. A SPF of 15 gives you 15 times more protection against burning than being in the sun without sunscreen. SPF is only protection from sunburn. If you use an SPF with only UVB protection, you get no protection from the aging effects of UVA.
This is why it’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection.
If you want the best anti-aging cream in the world suitable for every skin type, 100% guaranteed its sunscreen. Find one you like and use it every day even when you’re not going out in the sun.