Did you know the #1 skin concern of Australian’s is sun damage?
Sun damage and ageing: what’s the connection?
“Sun damage”, “premature ageing” – while it goes by many names, the fact remains that sun exposure can rapidly accelerate the ageing process.
80% of our ageing is directly linked to UV exposure, while only 10% is related to our genetics and how we are predestined to age.
When we think of ageing, we typically think of wrinkles, however, young skin can have expression lines or wrinkles present and still look young! This is because a younger skin is generally in better condition, with little to no signs of pigmentation, thickened skin or laxity. According to dermatologists, most aged skins exhibit a combination of wrinkles, loss of volume or elasticity, hyper-pigmentation along with redness and texture changes.
So, why the accelerated breakdown?
Our collagen starts breaking down with sun exposure in less than 1/10th of the time it takes to get sunburnt; meaning collagen breakdown starts with general sun exposure.
While UVB is the form of UV that burns the skin, is strongest when it is hotter and has strong links to melanoma, it’s actually UVA that is primarily responsible for accelerated ageing.
UVA is at the same intensity all year round, penetrates deep into the skin (affecting the elastin in the dermis) and leads to wrinkles and sun-induced ageing as well as skin cancer.
What is SPF and how does it work?
Contrary to belief, SPF does not completely block the sun. Many people will wear sunscreen and still report getting tanned and/or getting sunburnt. This is because the sun protection factor only adds to your natural burn time.
Let’s say it takes you 10 minutes of sun exposure to burn. If you wore an SPF of 30, your sun protection factor would be multiplied by 30. So 10 minutes x 30 = 300 minutes of sun exposure until you burn.
Once you have exceeded this time it does not matter if you re-apply, your natural burn time has elapsed and the skin will again be open to both tanning and burning.
The reason it is recommended to re-apply every few hours is to replenish what has worn off, what has come off in water or what has come off with sweat, rather than start the clock again.
What is the difference between SPF 15 and SPF 30?
When wearing no SPF protection, your skin is susceptible to the full force of the sun; 100 photons of light entering the skin.
Wearing a SPF of 15 will provide 93% protection from the sun, allowing 7 photons into the skin, and an SPF of 30 provides 97% of protection, allowing only 3 photos enter the skin.
This is typically why your clinician will recommend an SPF of 30 or greater be worn, as this will provide the skin with the longest and best form of protection.
Physical and broad-spectrum sunscreens also work to block both UVA and UVB rays, making this the most ideal sunscreen to incorporate into your routine.
Addressing sun damage with oxygen facials
Think about cutting an apple in half and leaving it on the bench. It quickly gets brown and wilts. This is exactly what our skin does when exposed to the environment. Not only does UV exposure lead to accelerated aging, but pollutants from the ambient air also leave the skin susceptible to oxidative stress.
Treatments like Pollogen’s Geneo replace the oxygen molecules in our skin that have been taken by free radical damage, and also work to exfoliate existing damaged skin cells and pigment simultaneously.
Using the combination of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid capsugen mixed with an active ingredient gel base, their interaction creates a reaction called the Bohr Effect. This creates CO2 microbubbles in the skin, which quickly converts to oxygen, oxygenating the skin from the inside out.
Addressing sun damage with IPL Pigmentation Correction
IPL Pigmentation Correction works to remove the pigment you have accumulated from sun damage.
Freckles, sunspots and age spots are shattered by a targeted IPL wavelength strongly attracted to melanin. The shattered pigment will then make its way out via the surface of the skin via a process called micro crusting. Any pigment underlying in the skin that has been successfully targeted will make its way through the lymph system and gradually lighten, leaving the skin looking even and pigment-free in as little as 4 weeks.
What makes IPL so effective on pigmentation is its ability to scatter through the skin and target not only the obvious surface pigment but the underlying pigment that can cause a general unevenness to the skin. This gives clients an instantly clear appearance, but also provides longevity from their treatment.
Addressing sun damage with Laser Facials
Laser facials use a fast pulsing q-switch laser at a deep 1064nm to break down and shatter less obvious, underlying pigmentation and uneven skin tone.
Q-switch lasers use a photoacoustic mechanism which helps to shatter deep underlying pigment, without heating up the surface of the skin, making it perfect for even dark skin types. It also has no downtime associated with the treatment.
Most q-switch lasers, however, have a 532nm wavelength incorporated with the device which can be used in conjunction with the 1064nm treatment to target the odd age spot and freckle within the same treatment.