New York, NY (September 11, 2009) – Overexposure to the sun changes the texture and weakens the elastic properties of the skin, causing wrinkles, leathering, brown or “age spots,” precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses), and potentially skin cancer. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the following beauty strategies to help stop or even reverse summer damage:
Use Sunscreen – Judicious use of sunscreen, even through the fall and winter months, is one of the keys to more youthful, radiant skin. Be sure to apply an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day to all exposed areas and reapply every two hours.
Exfoliate – The buildup of stratum corneum (the dead outermost skin cell layer) can make skin appear blotchy and uneven. Use a loofah, scrub, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) cleanser or a home microdermabrasion unit to exfoliate skin.
Lighten the brown spots – Use an over-the-counter product that contains kojic acid in combination with Hydroquinone, Retin-A and a mild steroid cream. This is very useful for stubborn brown spots and blotchy brown discoloration. Skincare products that are not sold over the counter can also help. Look for products with Vitamin C to even tone and lighten sun spots.
Hydrate – Using a moisturizer with AHAs or a facial serum with hyaluronic acid can plump up dry skin around the eyes, making skin instantly appear less dry, less wrinkled and less parched. Continued use may also help promote increased collagen formation.
Wear a Hat – In addition to being a chic fashion statement, wide-brimmed hats provide an especially effective means for protecting the head and face.
Check your skin monthly – For more information on how to perform a self exam, visit www.skincancer.org. Combined with a yearly skin exam by a doctor, a self-exam is the best way to detect the early warning signs of skin cancer.