As proven in a new study, the sun dramatically impacts skin aging. Surprisingly, women are exposed to the sun on average of 840 minutes a week — showing how sun exposure is always occurring, even if you don’t necessarily notice it! Here I’ve listed ten times Moms are being exposed to the sun without preparing for it:
- In the car. Whether you are driving or sitting in the passenger seat, the sun is often beating in.
- Chatting with the neighbours. Maybe it’s just me, but I can step out to say hello and end up hanging out for an hour!
- Picking the kids up or dropping the kids off at school. I spend about 30 minutes a day standing in the schoolyard.
- Walking the dog. Our dog decides when he wants a walk and then proceeds to harass everyone in the family until he gets what he wants. Planning for sun damage doesn’t come into play.
- Cutting the grass. In the hot summer months I do think about sunscreen, but when the grass is just starting to grow again each spring, it never crosses my mind.
- Running errands. In my small town, errands are often done on foot. I park the car somewhere downtown and then walk from one place to the next, never once thinking about the sun.
- Barbecuing dinner. I love the taste and convenience of using the BBQ, and we do it often in the summer.
- Watching soccer/baseball/etc while the kids play. I am totally guilty of putting sunscreen on the kids before their extracurriculars, then sitting in the sun and watching them without any sunscreen on myself.
- Reading on the deck. When parents find a few minutes to themselves in the backyard, they grab it!
- Taking the kids to the park. We do what we can to help them burn energy and have fun, and we often forget to take care of ourselves in the process.
Fortunately, Olay is launching two new SPFs this July – the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30 and the Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 30.
I have tried both products. Neither leaves your face feeling greasy and they both smell great. I’m partial to the Olay Regenerist because I feel it is the right product for my age and skin type. It fits into my daily skin care regime perfectly, and I don’t have to worry about skin damage from being outdoors without protecting my face.
Now that we know how often we are exposed to dangerous UV rays, it’s time to straighten out some common skincare myths.
Ask a Dermatologist*: Setting the Record Straight on Sun
The essentials to protecting your skin all year round
Even though we know the importance of wearing sunscreen, latest market data suggests many of us don’t walk the talk when it comes to embracing SPF. While 67% of women put “Contains SPF/UV to protect against sun damage” in the top 10 properties a facial moisturizer should have:
- Only 45% use a daily moisturizer with SPF
- 40% don’t use any SPF in the winter
Myth: Canadians spend less time in the sun.
Fact: While sun’s damaging effects on the skin are widely known, data from the Public Health Agency of Canada reveals that Canadians are spending an increasing amount of time in the sun, despite its known risks. Everyone flocks outside during the first warm day, but these sun seekers are also accelerating the aging process of their skin. As confirmed by Olay’s Multi-Decade and Ethnicity Study done in collaboration with Professor Alexa Kimball at Harvard Medical School, the sun is the number one cause of external skin aging, causing the degenerating of elastic skin tissue-which leads to deep wrinkles.
Myth: I don’t let my skin burn so my skin won’t be impacted by the sun.
Fact: Skin is affected by the sun every time it comes into contact with UV rays, even without a visible sun burn. In fact, up to 90 per cent of skin aging is due to the harmful effects of the sun. To see the effects of sun exposure, simply compare the skin on an area rarely exposed to the sun with skin on the face. You’ll see a difference in tone, colour and texture. The natural aging process is dependent on time and genetics, and is unchangeable. However, photoaging – the premature aging of the skin due to UV light exposure – can be avoided with good sun protection habits.
Myth: All SPF products feel greasy on the skin.
Fact: Concerns about a greasy feel are reported by women to be a top barrier to using a daily SPF product, but it doesn’t have to be the case. Innovation is making it possible for light weight, fast-absorbing facial moisturizers to offer both anti-aging benefits and Broad Spectrum sun protection. Dr. Pon encourages patients to use non-greasy formula products designed specifically for the face, to ensure daily use, and year-round sun protection.
Myth: SPF 30 offers twice as much protection as SPF 15.
Fact: In fact, standard math principles don’t apply when it comes to SPFratings. An SPF 15 blocks around 94 percent of harmful UV rays; an SPF 30 blocks around 97 per cent; and after that there is very little increase in UV protection. However, Dr. Pon recommends choosing higher end of protection and using an SPF 30 for daily use. This is also the recommendation of the Canadian Dermatology Association.
Myth: Sun damage to the skin is only a concern during the summer months.
Fact: Every season necessitates daily protection from incidental sun exposure – not just the warmer summer months. Most people underestimate the amount of sun exposure they get because it is often unintentional, especially in the winter. Your skin is like a memory bank – it remembers all your encounters with UV and adds them up. Even though sun damage is cumulative, it is never too late to start protecting your skin. Incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine is essential in protecting against sun damage.
Myth: As long as I protect the skin on my face from sun exposure, I’m okay.
Fact: While we’ve gotten better at remembering to protect our face, we need to pay special attention to ensure we’re protecting other exposed areas during our morning beauty routine. The ears, neck, lips and hands are often what people forget to cover and these areas are exposed to the sun as much as the face is.
*Dr. Kucy Pon’s Sun Protection Tips – Toronto-based dermatologist and special consultant to Olay
One of my lucky readers will win an Olay Summer Essentials Prize Pack.