Five surefire steps to prevent sun-damaged skin

August 8, 2011

Sun screen is most crucial at the end of the summer when UV indexes peak.
Sun screen is most crucial at the end of the summer when UV indexes peak.

Facial exposure to ultra violet rays causes dull skin, breakouts, fine lines and brown spots. A weathered appearance may make you look like the outdoors type, but if you fear skin cancer and aging skin, leave the leathery-look to your sofa and read on.

Cosmopolitan, August 2011, after interviewing top dermatologists and plastic surgeons, recommends five surefire steps to protect your skin. This may sound like a lot of products and a lot of work, but if you can put off the expense of treatments such as microdermabrasion, injectables and chemical peels, your time and money is well spent.

In the AM: (1) First, apply an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals, which break down collagen. Use a vitamin C-spiked serum because it penetrates better than a thicker lotion. Apply it to clean, dry skin. (2) Rub on a quarter-size dot of SPF 30 sunscreen (at minimum). Reapply every three hours. Ironically, sun screen is most crucial at the end of the summer when UV indexes peak and most of us slack off.

In the PM: (3) Surprisingly, you need extra exfoliation in the summer. Sun exposure slows your skin’s natural ability to shed its dead top layer, so you’ll see a duller complexion, more breakouts and a freckly uneven tone. Lather up with a 2 percent salicylic acid wash and leave it on like a mask for 60 seconds. (4) Then, let your face dry for 5 minutes and apply retinol. Retinoic acid triggers the growth of skin-smoothing collagen and increases cell turnover. You can get prescription-strength Retin-A from your dermatologist or plastic surgeon or use a milder over-the-counter product if your skin is sensitive. If your skin gets red, alternate retinoic acid with a moisturizer. (5) Finally, UV rays plus chlorine and salt water can leave your skin feeling and looking as dry as it looks in winter. Parched skin also prompts your body to produce more oil (leading to breakouts) and more than doubles the rate of wrinkle formation. Five minutes after applying retinol, slather on a hyaluronic spiked lotion. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the air into the skin and absorbs 1000 times its weight in water.

If you already have considerable sun damage, there are many treatments that can improve the appearance of your skin. Contact a board-certified plastic surgeon at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

WE ARE AESTHETICS.

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