Long-term sun damage to the skin, known to dermatologists as ‘photoaging’, accounts for about 90% of the signs of skin ageing.
Let me repeat that.
The sun accounts for about 90% of the signs of skin ageing.
The effects of sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) light, include damage to skin cells and their DNA. Damaged cells cannot perform to their full potential which results in reduced cellular output.
When fibroblasts (which make our collagen and elastin) are damaged, production of these proteins is reduced. This ultimately leads to fine lines, wrinkles, thinned skin, decreased elasticity, larger pores and worsening of acne scaring.
Irregular pigmentation, age spots and visible vessels are also physical presentations of photodamage.
Understanding UV rays
Despite common misconceptions, this damage does not occur exclusively through tanning and sunburn. The UV rays that burn us (UVB rays) are blocked by clouds and windows so only pose risk to the skin when you are outside on a sunny day (sadly, a rare occasion in this part of the world).
The UV rays that tan and age us are UVA rays. They make up 95% of the UV rays that reach the earth and pass through clouds and windows, saturating the skin and posing a threat to skin health 365 days a year. Hence the huge percentage of ageing accounted for by unprotected sun exposure.
Photodamage and perceived age
If 90% of the signs of skin ageing is caused by daily sunlight, simple mathematics suggests that an aged person who has never worn sunscreen would (at any time of life) look 1/10th as old if they had used a sunscreen every day.
Despite this staggering fact, it is commonly reported during aesthetic consultations that patients reserve sunscreen application for situations in which they might get sunburnt, specifically the beach.
This flawed approach to sunscreen is arguably the sole reason behind the skin characteristics that help us guess a person’s age by decade.
In general, you can identify people in their 40’s by a common percentage of the signs of ageing mentioned above, this is the same with 60-year olds and 80-year olds.
What if everyone started wearing an effective sunscreen that blocked UVA and UVB rays from today onwards? Would today’s tweens look like today’s 50 something’s on their 50th birthdays? Or could we change the landscape of ageing as we know it?
What would 50-year-olds look like as a collective in 40 years time if we were able
Objections to daily sunscreen
Common objections to daily sunscreens include “it’s greasy” and “it makes me break out”. These concerns relate to chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and octinoxate . Chemical sunscreens are linked in an ever-growing body of scientific evidence to limited efficacy in sun protection. In the main, chemical sunscreen filters only protect you against UVB rays and breakdown within about two hours, reducing your protection further. They have also been linked to toxic loading in the human body and damage to our coral reefs. Read more on the perils of chemical sunscreens here .
Another complaint raised is around sunscreens causing whitening on the skin. This pertains to mineral sunscreen filters like zinc oxide.
The dermatological benefits of zinc oxide
Zinc oxide offers broad-spectrum protection. This means it protects your skin against UVB and UVA all year round. It has exceptional photostability which means it doesn’t break down in the presence of UV radiation and offers protection throughout the day. Furthermore, zinc oxide poses no risk to coral reefs or human health when applied topically and it allows the skin to breathe, so it doesn’t cause breakouts.
The efficacy and safety profile of zinc oxide is unparalleled and it is, therefore, the dermatologists’ go-to ingredient for sun protection.
Zinc oxide in its true form is white and chalky which can account for the whitening that might prevent you from wearing it daily. The presence of chemical filters in a sunscreen can make the formula sheer and silky meaning they glide nicely on the skin and leave no white residue.
Making an aesthetically acceptable and appealing zinc-based sunscreen without chemical sunscreen filters is an achievement which has seemingly evaded skincare companies to date.
Until now, consumers had to choose between using chemical sunscreen filters that looked and smelled nice whilst facing all the consequences that came with them…and a safe, effective yet white and chalky mineral sunscreen.
The scientific committee `AlumierMD did not believe that these limited options where good enough for you and your family.
AlumierMD enlisted a united team of experts in cosmetic science, including Dr. Mindy Goldstein and Dr. Karl Lintner, who set out to create a new choice. An offering of chemical free, zinc-based sunscreens which glide onto the skin beautifully, dry easily and protect you effectively, every day.
Through multiple testing phases and endless challenges over six years of research and development, our team did not give up when others would have. Driven by our unwavering commitment to deliver the cleanest, corrective skincare possible, they worked tirelessly to break the boundaries in sun protection and bring you the next generation of sunscreens.
This means you no longer need to choose between safety and efficacy and elegant formulations. However, the decisions you need to make now are still tough ones… Do you want a tinted sunscreen or untinted? Full coverage or sheer? A moisturising or oil-free formula?
Every time you do your morning skincare routine, you have one choice: use an effective, broad-spectrum, mineral sunscreen to defend against skin damage by the sun, or don’t and allow the damage to happen.
Do your 10-year-into-the-future self a favour; prevent up to 90% of the signs of skin ageing between now and then by using an AlumierMD sunscreen every day.
Whatever you want from a sunscreen, AlumierMD has you covered… against UVB and UVA.