Sunscreen is Your Defence Against Ageing
Effective sun protection is your best defence against ageing
Prevention is the best strategy for ageing skins. Using a sunscreen everyday will help prevent, repair and maintain good skin health. To learn a bit more about sunscreen use, ageing and what my skin is in for (I just turned 30 and have wrinkles already), I interviewed my Mum. I was quite shocked at what she told me.
Ethnicity: NZ European
Did you use sunscreen growing up?
No. We grew up with no sun protection. We used to plaster coconut oil on our skin which smelt delicious but offers no protection whatsoever*.
When I was a teenager I thought it was more attractive to be red, burnt from the sun to be pale. I have mostly Scottish ancestry and yearned to have a tan but now I have extensive skin damage.
*Coconut oil actually has a natural SPF of about 8 however it does not provide adequate SPF protection (Kaur and Saraf, 2010). BEWARE of “natural” sunscreens that claim to offer protection solely relying on natural SPF factors such as red raspberry or carrot seed oil.
Describe your worst sunburn
I was about 14 years old and spent the whole day at Mission Bay in Auckland, unprotected. I was so burnt I cried all night from the pain and developed nasty blisters.
Even as an adult in Israel many years later the same thing happened. It was my last chance of sun before going back to the UK and I was determined to get a tan. I was in agony front and back, I plastered myself in moisturiser to try to counteract the burns.
How has your skin has been impacted?
Huge, irreversible damage. I developed early wrinkles and many sun spots. My doctor constantly zaps patches of skin keratosis as a result of the many years of neglecting to protect my skin. I’ve been advised that this is the alternative to developing melanoma later on down the line.
It’s sad because there was a lack of information and knowledge about sun damage back in the day. I just really didn’t want pale white skin so I went to extreme lengths to get a tan.
Tell me about your sun care skin routine now
Whenever i’m outdoors I cover myself in Seasick Sunscreen. It’s gentle on your skin and provides great protection. I can rely on it and have never been burnt since starting to use it back in 2019. I also use it on my 2 year old grandson who will actually sit still and let me put Seasick on!
Thanks to my great Mum for sharing her experience with suncare and ageing. I hope that by sharing her experience this blog inspires you to take up a daily sun protection routine!
Kaur, C. D., & Saraf, S. (2010). In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy research, 2(1), 22–25. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.60586