Monday, Jan 2023

As another Niagara summer season ramps up and the weather gets warmer, it is so important to continue to take great care of your skin – even when there aren’t any dry spots to worry about anymore. There are some important skincare products to keep up with during the summer so that you can protect your skin, and keep it looking and feeling its best!

What skincare products should you prioritize in the summer?

Sunscreen

Experts have known for years that wearing sunscreen daily, year-round is the best way to ensure slower visible aging of the skin. Despite the presence of sunlight throughout the entire year, our Canadian Summer seasons bring in more light than ever, making sunscreen most essential in this time of year. Ultra-violet (UV) Rays are the largest concern in sun exposure, as they have been proven to cause an overproduction of melanin, a natural skin pigment, in cells that receive more sun exposure1. This results in dark spots, sometimes called age spots, as well as early appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In more frequent, prolonged exposure to UV rays over many years, it is also common to become more susceptible to skin cancer2

It’s important to remember though, that not all sunscreens are exactly alike. Local skincare specialist, owner of Aegis MD in St. Catharine’s and Canada’s only Integrative Aesthetic Medical Practitioner, Dr. Christina Plaskos recommends different types of sunscreens according to skin type.

Mineral sunscreens employ ingredients like Zinc Oxide that work to physically block UV rays from penetrating the skin, deflecting them entirely, while physical sunscreens absorb the UV rays3. She believes that “…for reactive skin that’s sensitive, mineral sunscreens are better.” Whereas “someone with a darker skin type can actually do better with a chemical sunscreen because they often help prevent the pigmentation better.”

However, there is no reason to complicate your choice of sunscreen, as it is most important to wear it properly. Dr. Plaskos says that “The best sunscreen is the one you’ll wear.” As long as the SPF (Sun- Protection Factor) is above 30 in the winter and 50 in the summer and reapplied every two hours, she recommends simply wearing whichever sunscreen works for you!

Vitamin C

On the opposite end of the summer-skin-protection spectrum, Vitamin C is believed to be a very beneficial ingredient to incorporate into a summer skin routine. While sunscreen creates protection from UV rays, Dr. Plasko says that Vitamin C “…provides an antioxidant, so when you do have some UV damage penetrate through, you can fend off resulting damage.”  These antioxidant properties of Vitamin C allow it to topically reduce harmful effects from free radicals in UV rays, which are unstable molecules that commonly reduce collagen production and cause damage to the skin’s cells4.

The combination of sunscreen and Vitamin C create what Dr. Plaskos calls “the perfect pair.” When properly used together throughout the summer, you prevent damage from UV rays throughout the day while fending off any leftover damage through the night! Most importantly, Dr. Plaskos encourages people to see a specialist to see what can work best for them and any potential skin conditions.


Expert Contribution:



Dr. Christina Plaskos, Founder, AEGIS MD

Dr. Plaskos is an experienced and trusted practitioner determined to ignite change within her community and the wellness industry.


Sources:

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, February 11). Age spots (liver spots). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/age-spots/symptoms-causes/syc-20355859

S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Sun's effect on skin - health video: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia. MedlinePlus. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/anatomyvideos/000125.htm

Franciscan Health. (2019, June 24). Is mineral sunblock better than chemical sunblock? Franciscan Health. Retrieved June 16, 2022, from https://www.franciscanhealth.org/community/blog/is-mineral-sunblock-better-than-chemical-sunblock

Vitamin C and skin health. Linus Pauling Institute. (2022, January 3). Retrieved June 16, 2022, from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C

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