1200x628 ASHLEY Article cover May 2021-2

I hear this a lot, “why do I need to wear an SPF?”, “I wear it on vacation,” “It’s in my makeup,” “I’ve been inside all day… so I don’t need to wear it”. It honestly shocks me when I hear that people still don’t wear an SPF every single day. Friend! SPF is your single most important age prevention product. It is NOT optional! If you start on ONLY 1 product during this pandemic, choose an SPF. 

We age in two ways:

Intrinsic Aging: This is your genes and inheritance, these factors we have no control over. It happens naturally and is mainly affected by things inside the body that you can’t see, such as hormone levels and the makeup of your cells and proteins. For example, the rate at which your skin cells turnover will be different from your best friends, and the rate at which this renewal process slows down as you age (which happens to us all) will also differ. The classic signs of intrinsic aging? Thinning, slack skin, fine lines, and dryness.

Extrinsic Aging: Also known as environmental aging or external aging. We have control over it. Extrinsic aging is driven by our environment, lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress, pollution, and of course, UV rays. All of these things will lead to cell deterioration which will result in aging. 70-80% of aging is due to extrinsic factors. UV rays are responsible for 80-90% of your external aging factors. It is the most significant single cause of skin aging. Isn’t that crazy?! That means that 80-90% of your external aging factors are in your control by wearing 1 product and 1 product only. If you are using good products on your skin but are not wearing an SPF, you might as well be pouring those products down the drain. You need to protect your skin every single day with sunscreen.

Before you tell me your excuses why you aren’t currently wearing an SPF…

*NO, the SPF in your makeup is not enough. It is great for added protection, but the amount of makeup you would have to wear to equal the amount of protection you need, your makeup would be dripping off your face. Invest in an SPF, then use your makeup as an added bonus.

*YES, you still need to wear it on a cloudy day. Clouds only block 20-30% of UV rays. This is not an excuse not to wear your SPF.

*YES, you still need to wear your SPF even if you are staying in the house all day, only going to the store or the mailbox quickly; UV rays can travel through the windows.

Now that you know why you need to wear an SPF every day ending in ‘Y’…

What to look for in a sunscreen:  You want to look for “broad spectrum” on the label, which means protection against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) radiation. Both types of UV rays penetrate the skin and cause skin damage which can lead to skin cancer. Also, look for a sunscreen that includes antioxidants and vitamins to support skin health, nourish the skin and protect against free radicals. I also look for one’s that are lightweight and don’t feel heavy on my skin. You can do tinted or sheer; it’s a personal preference. I prefer a slight tint to mine so I can go makeup-free but still have a bit of color to my skin. My personal favorite is the ToneSmart Compact SPF 68 by SkinBetter Science.  

If you are serious about protecting and supporting your skin against premature aging, we carry a variety of SkinBetter Science sunscreens. They offer the highest levels of UV protection and are amplified with ingredients to support the skin from a variety of environmental insults in multiple formats and finishes. To learn more, visit SkinBetter.com or come see me at the office, I am happy to help you choose & sample the right sunscreen!

Sunscreen is not an option when you want to age gracefully. Please do yourself a favor and invest in a high-performing sunscreen and wear it every single day. No buts about it, sister! Your skin, and I will thank you for it.


To healthy skin,

Ashley Gardewine, Licensed Esthetician