Oftentimes, aging skin equates to sun spots, wrinkles, and sagging — all of which are natural and definitely don't need to be stopped. Still, if that's not what you want, then take heed before you go sunbathing: Using sunscreen on mature skin will help protect your skin all year long.
According to dual board-certified dermatologist Dr. Keira Barr, 90% of the visible signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and texture, are attributed to ultraviolet (UV) exposure. “SPF should play a role in your daily skin care routine, just like brushing your teeth: consistent, habitual, rain or shine,” she tells TZR. SPF protects from the harmful UVB rays that cause skin cancer, and also protects against the aforementioned UV rays, which can penetrate deep into the layers of your dermis — contributing to wrinkles and visibly aging skin. Taking preventative measures to protect your complexion will help to keep your skin healthy, but only if SPF is consistent in your routine.
While sunscreen is important for skin of all ages, mature skin may be more susceptible to damage due to the natural decline in skin’s DNA repair and immune functions over time, Dr. Craig Kraffert, board-certified dermatologist and president of Amarte Skincare, tells TZR. The skin also thins and becomes more delicate over time, resulting in increased susceptibility to further sun damage-induced functional decline. Adding protection to your skin will slow thinning and help it to withstand future damage.
If you have mature skin, selecting an SPF (or Sun Protection Factor) with a higher number is also important. The number indicates how long it would take you to burn. So, if your skin burns in 15 minutes without sunscreen, you could stay in the sun for 450 minutes longer with an SPF 30 applied on your skin (that’s 15 multiplied by 30). An SPF 30 is actually what Dr. Jeaneen Chappell, a board-certified dermatologist based in Texas, recommends (at minimum) for mature skin. According to Dr. Chappell, very few people apply sunscreen in the manner in which it was tested in a laboratory — this is where the higher SPF actually makes a difference.
As for daily application, Dr. Naissan O. Wesley, M.D., FACMS and Arbonne Scientific Advisor, says to add an SPF in the morning before leaving the home, after topical moisturizers but before makeup, and be sure to reapply the sunscreen every two hours.
Ahead, see 25 sunscreens specially for mature skin, recommended by the experts.
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