Does This Tan Make Me Look Old?
You’ve seen them around the pool at the gym. Splayed out on the beach. Sporting rhinestones at the resort. Exiting the tanning salon at the strip mall. They are the super tanners. The people who believe that looking like a Rodin sculpture, or in some cases a Cheeto, is the epitome of youth. You know they are making a mistake. But know this: you don’t have to be a super tanner, to be doing super-sized damage to your skin.
The obsession with tanning can be traced to a glamorous weekend on the French Riviera in the 1920s when fashion icon Coco Chanel got a bit too much sun. She went back to Paris with a bronzy glow and ignited an obsession.
Of course, the shift in attitude was due to something far bigger than Coco’s fashion choices. Everything was shifting at the time. Women were embracing all kinds of daring new behavior, shorter skirts, bobbed hair, cigarettes, and suffrage. Gone were the bonnets and parasols of the Victorian era. Skin was in, and bronzy was better.
Today, beach vacations rank the most popular in the world and thirty million Americans visit a tanning salon (the absolute worst idea ever) at least once a year fueling a multi-billion dollar industry that’s given rise to everything from bikinis to bronzers.
The consequences of all this sun worship run deep. Premature wrinkling, age spots, leathery texture, sags, bags, loss of elasticity (not to mention skin cancer, but that’s another blog post).
Solar UV radiation is the single largest factor responsible for skin aging. Up to 90% of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging may be caused by sun exposure, according to the World Health Organization. UV radiation triggers a cascade of free radical activity in the skin. Those free radicals bind to, and break down, protein in the skin, weakening skin’s structural support. Hello, senior discount.
You don’t have to spending hours in the sun to be experiencing damaging UV radiation. Even your drive to work is exposing you to harmful radiation because your car window does not block UVA rays. That amount of exposure is insignificant, right? Don’t be so sure. Researchers have found asymmetric photodamage (sun-induced skin damage) on the face, with more brown pigment and deeper wrinkles on the left. What? Yes. And the more time subjects spent driving a vehicle, the more severe the photodamage on the left side.
Aside from the obvious, wearing sunscreen daily and limiting your exposure, you have a powerful ally in the fight against the premature aging brought on by photodamage: Vitamin A therapy.
Vitamin A (aka retinol), is the chief architect of smooth, youthful skin. One of the most potent and transformative ingredients for skin health, vitamin A is capable of reversing and preventing photodamage from UV exposure. Antioxidant vitamin A works at the cellular level increasing cell proliferation, which thickens the epidermis; compacting the stratum corneum, which gives skin a firmer appearance; synthesizing glycosoaminoglycans, carbohydrates in the body essential to the maintenance and production of collagen. The Journal of Dermatological Science confirms “a significant positive correlation between the amount of newly regenerated elastic fiber and the wrinkle improvement caused by topical application of retinoic acid to chronically photodamaged skin.”
No other ingredient has proven as successful in repairing, regenerating and retexturing skin to promote resilience and radiance. For minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, discoloration, scarring and blemishes, nothing compares.
So as winter fades from your memory like an episode of “Doubt,” it’s time to step up your efforts and start planning your summer sun protection strategy. Hats, sunscreen, limited UV exposure, sun protective clothing, sunglasses (one word: cataracts), and a good skin care routine that includes vitamin A therapy.
Because wrinkles, sag and skin cancer are not glamorous. But firm, healthy, glowy skin is.
Derm-A-Gel daily vitamin A serum. A targeted concentration of corrective and photoprotective power perfect for skin new to vitamin A therapy.
Derm-A-Renew, the transformative strength of Vitamin A with the added boost of collagen-producing peptides for a potent dose of prevention and cure.
Spin Trap Antioxidant Serum, synergistic vitamin C and E therapy to protect, correct, and prevent environmental damage.