How Ultraviolet Exposure Ages the Skin

Aging is due to ultraviolet (UV) exposure emitted by the sun or indoor tanning beds. Wearing of sun screens daily and the avoidance of tanning booths is the most effective way of preventing sun damage that leads to wrinkles, loss of skin tone, elasticity and skin cancer.

Wear a sunscreen daily, in particular a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least a 30. This SPF protects you for at least 3 to 4 hours, after which you must reapply. Sunscreens with higher SPF's do not protect you any longer or better.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiates from light sources, wither it is outdoor or indoor. There are 2 wavebands that we are concerned with, namely UVA and UVB. Therefore the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect you from both UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet A or B is non-ionizing radiation. What does this mean and how does this it differ from ionizing radiation such as x-rays? Suffice to say that non ionizing radiation damage consequently does not kill your cells, but UVA does penetrate your skin causing damage below your skin surface. UVA leads to wrinkles, loss of elasticity (bounce), skin discoloration, age spots, freckling, etc. All the signs we associate with aging. Wouldn't we like to have the skin "where the sun doesn't shine" soft, no age spots or wrinkles?

There are also other factors that can influence how wrinkled your skin becomes, namely a chronic history of exposure to UV radiation.

People with genetically fair skin are particularly susceptible to skin damage. UV radiation, out doors or indoor tanning beds, damages the cell's DNA leading to structural damage of collagen and elastic tissue, premature skin aging and possibly cancer.

In my practice recently, I had a 24 year old who frequented tanning booths and developed a melanoma on her buttocks. If not for the skin-screening exam that identified it, she probably would have died of her melanoma.

Age spots are flat brown marks on the skin, similar to freckling, but are usually larger and are called lentigines. Freckling, tanning and lentigines are your body's attempt to protect your skin. This is a natural adaptation. However, this is not the adaptation that we would want because it is associated with premature aging and skin cancer.

While there are effective ways to treat aging, the avoidance of the sun and sun protection are the obvious solutions. Our Hydrating Facial Lotion has a broad spectrum SPF of 30, also containing antioxidants and emollients is the most effective way of combating aging and skin cancers.

Glycolic and salicylic acids in Active Purifying Cleanser reduces rough texture and fine lines also by increasing the skin's turnover time.

Kojic acid, one of the components in our skin lightening products: Vu Lighten Up and Vu Lightening Toner have been clinically proven to lighten discoloration and age spots in 85% of the women volunteers examined over a 6 week period.

When using skin care products follow these simple rules:

  • Depending on your skin tone, using a cleanser such as Vu Deep Pore Cleanser which is mild yet very effective in removing make-up, leaving your skin ready for moisturizing application of the Vu Replenishing Night Creme or Vu Revitalizing Balm with Green Tea containing soluble hyaluronic acid and emollients repairs your skin while you sleep. 
  • Discontinue using any products that sting or burn. 
  • Limit the number of products you use. Using too many products may be counter productive. 
  • Shop smart - more expensive or large brand name products aren't necessarily more effective. 
  • Give the product time to work. some may take as long as 6 weeks. 

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