The Best Wrinkle Cream? Stay Young with Sunscreen!

The most effective anti-aging treatment is a very ordinary product: a sunscreen! The art is to choose it well… 

I have already told you in previous papers of this American reflex to protect your face with sunscreens throughout the year. They have been well educated by their dermatologists. They know that 80% of skin aging is not genetic but caused by environmental aggressions (a large part is endorsed by UV rays, the rest by pollution…), but also food, stress, etc. In summary, all these external and internal factors to which one is exposed throughout one’s life and which doctors call “the exposome”. “Their effects on the skin are cumulative. So if you don’t want to age, you have to arm yourself ” Says Dr. Thierry Passeron, professor of dermatology. It starts with a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, quality sleep, minimal stress. However, the most important source of aging remains that induced by solar radiation and in particular UVA rays, which deeply penetrate the skin and damage its youthful fibers (UVB rays cause sunburn). Infrared, through the heat they generate in the skin, also play a role in skin aging. A majority of dermatologists, therefore, recommends the application of sunscreen 365 days a year. It may seem extreme but you should know that UVA rays are present in the sky all year round, including in winter and that long UVA rays (75% of UVA radiation) pass through the windows. If your office is located near a window or if you drive a lot, you pay the daily costs. The result? Dry skin, dull complexion, early wrinkles, spots. In truth, you don’t need to grill on a beach to age faster. The proof in pictures.

The Best Wrinkle Cream
Binoculars, one lives in the sun and smokes, the other does not.
The Best Wrinkle Cream
A truck driver. Which window side cheek do you think?

Sunscreen to stay young, yes, but which one?

  • The texture of the cream of sunscreen

Since it is a question of applying the product every day and not only at the beach, its galenic is of capital importance. It must be fluid, light, transparent, non-greasy, non-sticky, unscented. It is therefore better to target sunscreen products with the words: “bare skin sensation” “dry touch”, “mattifying”, “anti-shine”, “invisible finish”, “daily anti-pollution protection”, etc. The inscription “anti-aging” is a plus (it indicates the presence of antioxidants which are excellent active ingredients to combat oxidative stress, assuming that they penetrate the deep layers of the skin which we do not ever have too much evidence). What counts above all is a pleasant texture that you will not be reluctant to apply daily. So you’re going to tell me, ” And why not prefer a day cream or a foundation with a protection index? “. It could be an idea. However, these cosmetics do not always offer as effective protection as a first-line sunscreen (we explain this below).

  • Solar filtration in sunscreen

To choose the protection index correctly, you must take into account your skin type (clear skin is always more fragile to UV than dark one), the degree of sunshine (it is clear that in winter, there is no ” does not need a protection index as strong as in summer) and your lifestyle (work in the office or outside, lunches in the canteen or on the terrace in the sun, etc.).

Related: The Best Moisturizer?

Where it gets complicated is that the protection index written on the tube (SPF) corresponds to UVB protection (the rays that give sunburn) and not to UVA (which age the skin). Yet it is precisely those, in daily protection, that we strive to fight. It is therefore very important to choose a “broad spectrum” protection (= anti UVB + UVA). In Pakistan, we can be reassured, this recommendation of the Asian Commission is generally respected. But it is not the same in all Asian countries. A brand is perfectly entitled to market sunscreens without UVA filtration. It is, therefore, better to trust products from known brands. The mention UVA in a circle indicates that the manufacturer also respects the recommendation of a ratio of 3 between UVB and UVA filters (in other words, an SPF 30 has a UVA index of 10). Look for them.

However, if you have dark spots, a formula with a UVA 15 index is recommended by dermatologists all year round, which is equivalent to an SPF 50.

On the other hand, for day creams and make-up products with sun protection, no recommendation from the Asian Commission. Brands are therefore free to include or not UVA filtration and to respect the ratio. Hence my warning earlier regarding the use of these formulas on a daily basis. All of them (unless there is a specific indication on the packaging) are not reliable (on the other hand, the products that I present to you below in this paper are, a priori).

  • How to properly apply sunscreen

UVA protection protects (as much as you can) from damage to the collagen and elastin fibers. However, certain conditions of use must be observed. Sun filters degrade over time, you must remember to reapply the products. In very sunny weather and outside (sporting activity, walk, lunch on the terrace, etc.), it’s like at the beach, every 2 hours. Otherwise, you put your product in the morning before leaving the house and reapply it in the middle of the day, and each time you expose yourself in full sun. Insist on the areas that the aesthetic doctor is used to injecting (forehead, crow’s feet, nasolabial fold …) since these are the ones that fold the most quickly and do not forget the pschent on the neck, neckline, back of hands, even the arms (the small pleating of the internal face is hardly improved by the sun) and the legs. It is the best way to keep your skin smooth, firm and without spots throughout your life rather than ruining yourself with peeling, radiofrequency, or laser sessions that will never replace this precious prevention. If you are wearing make-up, equip yourself with a mini-spray, more practical for touch-ups during the day. If your skin is dark and has spots (solar lentigines, pregnancy mask), be aware that there are sunscreens that protect against blue light (the short wavelengths of visible light), involved in their formation. On the other hand, the radiation emitted by your computer screen is a priori insufficient to have an impact. Remember, however, that dark spots are a sign that the skin has exceeded its sun quota. Therefore, it should no longer be exposed. In very sunny weather, it is best to seek shade.

What is the benefit of applying sunscreen all year round?    

Well, quite simply that of gaining the most wonderful skin, soft, with a clear, radiant, uniform complexion, half the spots, the minimum of wrinkles. In short, the result that we all seek to obtain when we make peels at the dermato. Except that there, it is a very simple treatment and which costs nothing at all. ”  In fact, if we really wanted to do well, we would have to protect ourselves from this daily damage from adolescence. However, it is never too late to act! Even at an advanced age, sunscreen is useful to limit skin damage, ” concludes Dr. Thierry Passeron. CQFD.

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