London: Think you only need to wear SPF in the summer? A Harley Street skincare expert has revealed that 90 percent of visible skin aging is caused by the sun – even in the winter. The facialist, Emma Appleby, co-founder of the L’Atelier Aesthetics clinic on Harley Street, London, says that the sun exposure, all year round, can cause dryness, wrinkles, sagging and pigmentation.
Sharing advice on her Instagram account, she says that we should be wearing SPF all year round and use at least factor 40.
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MAKE SPF A PRIORITY:
You may spend hundreds on face creams, but Emma says that you should prioritise SPF over anything else. ‘I am always telling my clients that SPF is the most important skincare product for their skin. If you can only afford one product for your face, make it an SPF.
‘Approximately 90 per cent of visible skin ageing is caused by the sun, including dryness, wrinkles, sagging and pigmentation. It’s by far the best product to hold back the signs of skin ageing. ‘Don’t make the mistake of thinking you only have to wear it in the summer sunshine either. UV rays can wreak havoc on your skin all year round, so wear it 365 days a year.
‘I’d recommend a factor of at least 40. A product like AlumierMD Sheer Hydration SPF 40 Versatile Tint is perfect and it has a slight tint too, so you don’t get that very pale look that comes with some others.’
Emma explains that UV radiation causes damage to the skin in many different ways, all of which contribute to the appearance of ageing skin. ‘These include an increase of the breakdown of collagen leading to wrinkles and skin sagging, damage to the melanocytes (cells that produce pigment in the skin) causing age spots and irregular patches of pigmentation and even skin cancer.
‘When buying your year-round SPF you must always make sure it offers both UVA and UVB protection. This will be indicated on the bottle as ‘broad-spectrum’. And remember to wear it every day – reapplying more often in the summer months.’
DOES SAD AFFECT OUR SKIN?
The seasonal affective disorder affects our moods, but does it affect our skin? Emma says: ‘A 2014 study* published in the journal Medical Hypotheses suggested that low vitamin D could contribute to the development of SAD. ‘Vitamin D plays an important role in protecting the skin and encouraging healthy cell turnover. In its active form, vitamin D contributes to both skin cell growth and repair.
‘It also optimises natural skin function and can help boost its skin’s immune system. This helps in the destruction of the free radicals that can cause unwanted premature ageing.’
PREPPING SKIN FOR WINTER:
Emma says that the most common problem she sees in the winter is extremely dry skin. ‘Skin may also become more sensitive and prone to redness during the winter months. Battling the effects of cold weather in between blasts of central heating can leave your complexion looking dull and in dire need of a hydration boost.
‘You can help keep skin functioning healthily by using a gentle cleanser- be very gentle when you cleanse too. Use fingers rather than cloths and tools and avoid foam cleansers altogether as they can strip the skin and leave it even more dehydrated.
‘Avoid using hot water and stay out of the sauna! Both can exacerbate skin dryness. You might find your skin benefits from a more super-charged moisturiser in winter too. Use something nourishing and hydrating.
‘Key ingredients to look out for are niacinamide and ceramides, which help support your skin barrier against the elements and keep it functioning naturally. Gentle exfoliation will help maintain healthy skin cell turnover. Avoid grainy scrubs and stick to chemical exfoliation ie. glycolic, lactic and Salicylic acid.
‘Removing dead skin cells is key to a glowing complexion and I’d recommend a light peel at this time of year too. Something mild won’t cause your skin to flake so anyone really notices but a peel does effectively lift dull, dry skin to reveal more vibrant, youthful new skin cells. Just be sure to apply plenty of SPF afterwards as it will be more UV-sensitive.’ via dailymail