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You are here: Skin Protection

Skin protection

Just as cardiac bypass should not be a substitute for the prevention of heart disease, rejuvenating treatments should not and cannot replace prevention of premature skin aging. In fact, protecting your skin from damage remains the single most effective (and cost-effective) thing you can do to retain youthful appearance as you age.

Sun exposure (ultraviolet radiation) is the primary cause of skin damage and skin cancer. Oftentimes it is a greater contributor to skin aging than all other factors combined, including the intrinsic aging of skin cells. Therefore, consistently preventing skin damage from the sun's UV rays (in not just outdoors in summertime) should be the single most important aspect of your skin care strategy. Meticulous UV protection may not only prevent premature skin aging but also facilitate the reversal of some of the existing signs of aging.

However, getting your sun protection right is not as simple as it might seem unless you plan to live in a windowless cellar. (And even then you need to know about maintaining your vitamin D status.) This section contains the articles and resources you need to optimize your skin protection.

Sun protection basics

Sun sensitivity by skin type (phototype)

Ultraviolet radiation: the sun's death ray

Ultraviolet radiation indoors: What you don't know can hurt you

Sunscreen fundamentals: how sunscreens/sunblocks work

The eternal quest for a perfect sunscreen. And how to pick a good one.

Gauging sunscreen effectiveness against UV light: SPF, PDP and more

How to apply sunscreen

The dark side of sunlight avoidance -- and how to escape it

The dark side of chemical sunscreens. Should you be concerned about photosensitization?

Infrared light and skin aging: UV shielding is not enough

Index of widely used UV-blockers by type and range

Physical:  zinc oxidetitanium dioxide

Chemical:  avobenzone (Parsol, Eusolex, Escalol)bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S)benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone)benzophenone-4 (sulisobenzone)ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (ensulizole)homosalateoctyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate)octyl salicylate (octisalate)octocrylene

Hybrid:  bisoctrizole (Tinosorb M)

UVB blockers:  phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (ensulizole)homosalateoctyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate)octyl salicylate (octisalate)benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone)benzophenone-4 (sulisobenzone)

UVA blockers:  avobenzone (Parsol, Eusolex, Escalol)ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)

UVA+UVB blockers:  zinc oxidetitanium dioxidebisoctrizole (Tinosorb M)bemotrizinol (Tinosorb S)octocrylene


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