The Secret to Successful Aging
Written by: Lauren Ramey, Holistic Esthetician
Esthetic clients are always asking two questions, “What causes us to age?” and “What is your best anti aging product?” These questions are not seasonal, but as summer draws near it is more essential that they be addressed -even if we don’t like the answer.
What causes us to age? Many factors affect our aging process: hereditary factors, the environment, health habits, and general lifestyle are just a few. One factor in particular is always watching us, the sun. The sun causes approximately 80% to 85% of our aging. As we age, our collagen and elastin in our skin naturally weakens. This weakening happens at a much earlier and faster rate when we frequently expose ourselves to ultraviolet radiation. Not only is the sun the #1 external factor for limiting our youth, but also skin cancer is the most common of all cancers (American cancer Society). We don’t realize that our bodies are being affected at all times by the sun, when we are outside or in our automobiles. The UVA (aging rays) as I like to call them, can penetrate through glass and clouds. Take a look in the mirror; is there any clear indication as to what side of your face is your driver’s side? Or maybe you can tell what hand is your dominant hand you like to drive with? Ultraviolet radiation can be reflected off water, sand, pavement, grass, clouds, glass and snow, which can double UV exposure. It is important to protect ourselves from the sun even on that quick trip to the grocery store -even when we don’t think we need it.
What is your best anti-aging product? Prevention in the first place is always key, so do yourself a favor and purchase that #1 anti-aging product of facial sunscreen! Not only will you be protecting your collagen and elastin, but also you will be protecting yourself from the promotion of skin cancer. Note, when applying daily facial sun block don’t forget your ears! They have skin too! Tips for what to look for when purchasing sunscreen: Look for sunscreens that read broad-spectrum on the front. Meaning that it is a physical sunscreen that deflects both UVA and UVB rays. Products that just read SPF mean that they only protect from UVB rays. UVA rays are what cause wrinkling, pigmentation, loss of elasticity and they increase the risk for cancer. A key ingredient to look for in sunscreens is zinc oxide. It is a natural substance that is good for the skin, helps calm the skin and takes redness out of the skin. If your sunscreen has Zinc, it means it is a Broad-spectrum sunscreen. I recommend taking daily precautions from the sun by adding facial sunscreen into your morning homecare routine.
I, too, have a love affair with the sun and I am a big believer in its natural affects of vitamin D. My rule is to soak up all the good rays either before 10am or after 4pm. In between those times, the sun is at its high point in the sky, equaling more intense UV exposure on the body. Prior to my esthetics career, I never wore facial sunscreen. After, becoming an esthetician and realizing how truly powerful the sun is a quality sunscreen is a part of my everyday regimen.
Final notes: If you are going to be outside between the hours of 10am and 4pm find some shade, shield your skin with clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and do not forget to put on your sunglasses to protect our most cherished of senses, our vision!
Peace, love, protect,
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