Protect Yourself This Summer & Prevent the Signs of Aging

By: Dr. Stephanie Gan, MD
Topics: General


As we head into summer, it is important to consider protecting your skin with sunscreen from the sun’s harmful UV light which can cause wrinkles, fine lines, poor skin elasticity, broken blood vessels and brown spots. In addition, preventing signs of aging with BOTOX® is an effective way to rejuvenate your appearance.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

UVA and UVB wavelengths from the sun contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts) and skin cancer. UV radiation is considered the main cause of non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. 

Contrary to popular belief, a base tan does not protect against future sunburns. The tanning response results from injury to the skin’s DNA. The skin darkens to prevent further DNA damage. Cumulative sun damage over one’s lifetime with repeated DNA mutation ultimately may lead to skin cancer.

Choosing a sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher that protects again both UVA and UVB light is a critical component to sun safety. Sunscreen ingredients fall into two broad categories: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens, such as avobenzone, ecamsule, and oxybenzone, form a thin, protective film that absorbs UV radiation before it penetrates the skin. Physical sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are insoluble particles that reflect UV away from the skin. Our medical spa, Belleza Skin Care Institute, carries a variety of physician-grade sunscreen products to help protect your skin from the sun.

You should apply one ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass, (30 minutes prior to going outside) to all exposed areas of the body. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and after swimming or excessive sweating. 

As part of a complete sun protection regimen, you should seek shade outdoors during peak sun intensity hours (10am to 4pm) as well as wear broad-brimmed hats, UV-blocking sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing with a UPF (UV protection factor) of 50 or more. Finally, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist every year for a professional skin exam.

Prevent the Signs of Aging

Botulium toxin rejuvenation (BOTOX® Cosmetic injection) produces a more youthful appearance by softening dynamic wrinkles—those caused by repeated facial expressions. BOTOX® treatment involves injecting small amounts of the purified toxin into the tiny muscles responsible for the movements that create lines and wrinkles. This injection relaxes the muscles, reduces lines and wrinkles, and produces smoother skin in the treated areas.

Commonly treated facial areas include frown lines between the eyebrows, forehead lines and crow’s feet around the eyes. Other areas of the face and neck may also be treated with BOTOX® depending on the results you are trying to achieve. 

BOTOX®, and its alternatives Dysport® and XEOMIN®, all achieve similar final results. After a few injections in key locations, you can return to most activities immediately following the procedure. Results are seen within five to seven days, and tend to last three to four months. Studies have shown that as a method of preventing wrinkles, regularly scheduled BOTOX® treatments produce prolonged results.  

Although BOTOX® is a common treatment; it is by no means simple or fool-proof. For predictable, natural-looking results, you should trust only a highly trained, board-certified physician with extensive experience and training. An initial consultation with your provider will help to determine the best treatment approach and if BOTOX® is right for you.