Dr. Mok sheds light on a product that reverses sun damage, and you probably already own it.
In a 12 month study, scientists discovered that a product that you may already have around the house, one that is very inexpensive and readily available, also has the incredible capability to improve sun damage.
In a one year study scientists found that this product, when applied daily over 52 weeks, significantly enhanced the skin’s texture and clarity. It improved crow’s feet, fine lines, skin tone, discrete pigmentation, mottled pigmentation, overall skin tone, and overall photodamage. These improvements ranged anywhere from a shimmering 20% to 52%.
What is this miraculous-household-wonder that reverses sun damage? Sunscreen!
An evaluation for sunblock and its effects on the reversal of sun damage was published in the Journal for the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery in December 2016. We already know that sunscreens protect the skin from sun damage but this scientific research set out to determine if sunscreen could actually reverse pre-existing sun damage.
Sun damage and skin cancer are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This comes from light and there are two types — ultraviolet A, and ultraviolet B.
Here’s the difference. Ultraviolet B affects the outer layer of your skin. It’s what causes sunburn or redness after being in the sun. While ultraviolet A penetrates deeper into your skin, and is largely the main culprit for sun damage. This sun damage, known as photodamage, is what gives your skin discoloration, uneven skin tone, and ultimately skin cancer.
Treating photodamage is a multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry. As well as the topical preparations we offer, there are various lasers, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels, that can give you a real jump start on improving your skin.
We believe sunscreen is something everyone should put on when they go out in the sun. It’s called sunscreen, it just makes perfect sense.
But maybe we should all be wearing sunscreen a lot more often.
There’s a common understanding that being out in the sun leads to sun damage, but did you know that ultraviolet light also escapes from artificial and fluorescent lighting? The coatings on the florescent lights are designed to reflect the ultraviolet light, but some of it leaks. Ultraviolet light is the most harmful wavelength to our skin, but even a source of unnatural light can damage your skin.
Studies have suggested that protecting the skin from further exposure to light, particular ultraviolet light, can lead to the skin repairing itself. This is not been studied extensively, so the researchers undertook an investigation.
In this study there were 32 women enrolled in a 52 week study. They were between the ages of 40 and 55. They were classified as Fitzpatrick skin type I-III. There are six Fitzpatrick skin types. Fitzpatrick type I being very pale skin and Fitzpatrick type VI being the darkest skin. They undertook a study in types I to III, because people with this skin type have the most photodamage, and it would be the easiest to measure.
In this study they did not use any anti aging products such as creams and lotions. They applied daily SPF 30, and if they had recreational exposure to the sun, they were instructed to reapply the sunblock.
They measured improvement in:
The percentage of improvement are averages, so some women had more improvement than others. All women had improvement of texturing clarity, and the vast majority of women had improvement of all parameters measured over one year.
Additionally note things got better with time. The longer they used the sunblock the more the skin could repair itself.
So regardless of what you’re doing for your skincare right now, using a daily sunblock is step one.
This is the sun block I use every day. I like it because it is a spray, and it’s not greasy. It contains anti inflammatory green tea polyphenols, resveratrol, vitamin C, Co Q10, and emblica. It also uses a reflective type of block. Some of the store bought brands use sun blocks that absorb rather than reflect sun, and this leads to heat absorption and potentially doesn’t work as well for pigment improvements. I keep a bottle at my home, cottage and on my boat.
In the next blog, I’ll tell you what you can add to sunblock this winter to really brighten and refresh your face for summer!
Dr. Charles Mok