As a facial plastic surgeon in Washington DC, I often see patients who have concerns about keeping their skin youthful and wrinkle-free. While I offer many methods to reduce wrinkles, surgery can be expensive, and non-surgical rejuvenation methods often require multiple visits. Consistent skin care throughout your lifetime is the simplest way to fight off those early signs of aging and even protect the results of facial surgery. Here, I’m continuing my previous post of tips for preventing wrinkles with sunscreen.
Waterproof Still Needs To Be Reapplied
Waterproof and water-resistant sunscreens can still break down under UV light and need to be reapplied. Generally, water-resistant sunscreen protects for 40 minutes and waterproof protects for up to 80 minutes. But, when in doubt, reapply.
Insect Repellents Reduce Sunscreen’s SPF
Some experts believe that wearing insect repellent actually lowers the SPF of sunscreen, so if you’re out in the sun and there are bugs, it’s a safe bet to wear a higher SPF sunscreen and reapply more often. Also, the combination of the two products can also be more effective if you apply the sunscreen first.
The Right Sunscreen For Your Skin
Sunscreen, and especially sunblock, can be a little messy at times and can make your skin greasy or cause acne. If you’re concerned about the negative effects sunscreen and sunblock might have, try choosing a type of sunscreen that is more suited to your skin type. If you have:
- Dry skin: choose a sunscreen that is a cream or lotion to moisturize your skin.
- Oily skin: choose a sunscreen that is oil free.
- Eczenma or rosacea skin: avoid alcohol-based sunscreen since the alcohol can dry your skin and worsen skin conditions.
- Sensitive Skin: choose a sunblock with only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which reflect the sun rather than absorb UV, making it gentler on your skin.
Wear it Daily—Sun or No Sun
You may have heard that it’s best to wear sunscreen even if the sun isn’t out—and it’s true. UV rays can still harm your skin even with consistent cloud-cover. The best way to protect your skin and to prevent wrinkles is to wear sunscreen daily – which really isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Many facial moisturizers have at least SPF 15, but remember from my previous post, SPF 15 still blocks out 92% of UV rays—a very significant amount. Additionally, non-greasy, easy-to-apply sunscreen for your body is available from skin care companies like Neutrogena or SkinCeuticals. Meeting with your facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or family physician is a great way to find the right sunscreen for you.
By following these simple tips, you not only diminish your chances of having UV-related wrinkles, you also reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, age spots, and other skin conditions. Consistent use can also greatly increase the effectiveness of sunscreen and help keep your skin looking young and healthy.