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Safe Sun Protection Part 2

The sun provides some wonderful health benefits, but as I’ve recently shared in previous blogs, there is good reason to protect yourself from its skin damaging UV rays. Here are the main ways to protect yourself when in the sun.

Sunscreen
Sunscreen can definitely be helpful in protecting your skin from the UV rays, but some sunscreen has toxic chemicals that should be avoided. For example, a recent study published in Environmental Science Technology has demonstrated that the common sunscreen ingredients, methoxycinnamate, oxybenzone and PABA are estrogenic chemicals linked to cancer.

Mineral sunscreens are preferable, as they are considered “broad spectrum” and protect against both UVB and UVA rays. They contain titanium or zinc, which do not breakdown in sunlight and are therefore more effective at also blocking UVA rays. These minerals are non allergenic and not usually absorbed into the bloodstream so they don’t affect the body’s hormones.

Clothing
You can’t go wrong by wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing when in the sun. There is even special clothing that is enhanced with greater protection against UV radiation and laundry detergent that adds sunscreen to your clothes. The laundry detergent doesn’t add much, but a plain white Tshirt that normally only provides 8 SPF can be boosted up to 15 SPF with a sunscreen detergent. The main benefit to SPF laundry detergent is that it’ll help keep some SPF in the garment for longer, as it does tend to start to slowly wear off after 3 or 4 washings.

UPF vs SPF
Most commonly you’ll see the terms UPF (Ultra Violet Protection) on sun protective clothing, while the sunscreens say SPF (Sun Protection Factor). UPF measures a fabric’s protection against both UVA and UVB. Sunscreen’s SPF only rates its protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn.
What does the number mean?

A UPF rating of 25 means that only 1/25th (or 4%) of the UV radiation can penetrate the fabric, giving a 96% protection against both UVA and UVB rays. A minimum UPF 15 clothing is good (94% protection), but 50+ (98%) is excellent, especially considering the effectiveness of sun protection will lessen over time, you’ll have longer lasting protection.

Regarding the measurement of sun protection, SPF is a bit more variable as the number is calculated based on increasing the amount of time you can spend in the sun before getting sunburned. For example, if the average person would burn after 20 minutes in the sun, a sunscreen with SPF 30 is supposed to protect against sunburn for about 10 hours. This effectiveness varies widely because some people’s skin burns more easily, the mid day hours have more intense UVB rays, and even most water repellant sunscreens wear off with sweat and water. Also, the SPF calculation does not account for the UVA rays.

Diet

Most people haven’t considered that foods and supplements that can actually help protect your skin, too. The American Cancer Society states that oxidative damage can increase your cancer risk, including skin cancer. Fortunately, there are lots of delicious, healthy foods that help reduce oxidation.

These are some suggestions for foods and the antioxidants they contain that help your skin:
Salmon and fish oil contain astaxanthin and omega 3 fatty acids.

  • Green and white tea contains catechins.
  • Red wine, blueberries and red grapes contain resveratrol.
  • Almonds, asparagus and pumpkin seeds contains Vitamin E
  • Carrots and red bell peppers contain Beta carotene.

I hope you take these sun protection tips and have a safe, fun summer!

Steven Davison M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moisture – for Healthy Winterized Facial/Body Skin

It’s About Moisture…

Cold, dry winter weather can really cause irritation, discomfort and… can age the skin if proper care isn’t taken. You invest in your skin with cosmetic surgery and non invasive procedures, so it is important to take extra care of your skin…especially when the weather is extreme.  Here are some age defying tips to help you keep your skin healthy and feeling great in all kinds of weather!

Conserve Moisture
There are many habits that can strip out the moisture from your skin. This dryness can be painful, itchy and contributes to skin-aging by stripping moisture. So – work on replenishing this lost moisture using a few simple steps:

First…some habits to avoid – and some to do:
….Hot showers or baths removes the natural lubrication and oil on the skin. Although a hot shower always feels good after coming in from the cold, try to keep it short and not too hot.
…..Cleansers and toners, containing harsh ingredients, strip your skin of natural oil. Real sudsy cleansers usually have a surfactant like sodium laurel sulfate, and the acetone in many toners can be too harsh, along with already dry conditions.

…..Use mild cream or gel cleansers and toner with no alcohol this time of year.
Sipping hot coffee and tea is so comforting when it’s cold out, but beware the dehydrating effects they can have. Most people only think to drink lots of water when they’re sweating and hot, but cold, windy air can be just as dehydrating for your skin. So, drink lots of pure water everyday!

Moisture Reinforcement
Not only do you need to be on the defensive when it comes to protecting your skin (during the winter) by not participating in certain drying habits, but you need to be on the offense to add the extra help it needs this time of year. Here are some ways to add moisture reinforcement for your skin:

…..Running the heat in a home strips the air of any moisture -counter this by adding a little water vapor back to your home’s air with a humidifier.
…..Diligently use moisturizer morning and night… your face and hands are most exposed to the elements, but don’t neglect the rest of your body.
…..Exfoliate gently to remove the dull dead skin build up … then you must moisturize that fresh new skin to keep it healthy and glowing.
…..Continue using sunscreen. Snow can actually reflect up to 80 percent UV rays. As skiers and snow sports enthusiasts know, you can get a sunburn in the winter.
…..Eat foods that encourage your skins moisture retention... rich in essential fatty acids like salmon and other “healthy fats” found in avocados and coconut oil.

I hope these tips help you save your skin this winter. We also offer medical grade, physician prescribed skincare, SkinMedica, which effectively addresses many skin issues and is essential for healthy skin maintenance. Stop by our office or visit our website www.davinciplastic.com to learn more.

Steven Davison, M.D.

Board Certified Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Davison

The initial consultation with your surgeon is critical! It should always be face to face with your surgeon during which time he/she listens closely to your concerns. Dr. Davison believes this time spent with you is critical to both you and to him. It is during the consultation that he comes to fully understand your concerns, evaluates them correctly and is then able to make the recommendations and develop the treatment plan thats right for you. Dr. Davison invests the time to sit down and talk to you face-to-face.

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3301 New Mexico Ave. Suite 236

Washington D.C.