Sun & Skin-Sav­ing Sci­ence

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - —Liza Herz

CALL IT MAG­I­CAL THINK­ING sum­mer edi­tion, be­liev­ing that you only need sun­screen when you’re out­doors in a bathing suit.

“Peo­ple un­der­es­ti­mate the in­ci­den­tal UV ex­po­sure they get ev­ery day,” says Dr. Frauke Neuser, prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist at Proc­ter & Gam­ble. “They ap­ply sun­screen on hol­i­days but not in their daily lives.”

In fact, we get ap­prox­i­mately 18 hours a week of in­ci­den­tal UV ex­po­sure both out­doors and in (yes, UVA rays pen­e­trate glass), mak­ing us more sus­cep­ti­ble to melanoma, which is in­creas­ing two per cent an­nu­ally as we spend more time in the sun. Un­like UVB’s burn­ing rays, which cause sun­burn and play a key role in the devel­op­ment of skin can­cer, UVA have al­ways been con­sid­ered merely “aging” rays, but there is now ev­i­dence that UVA can also con­trib­ute to melanoma.

Un­like car­ci­noma from chronic sun ex­po­sure that af­fects peo­ple who work out­doors or even gar­den, “Melanoma is linked to ex­treme sun­burn, af­fect­ing peo­ple who work in­side and go out­side and burn,” says Mon­treal-based on­co­log­i­cal der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr. Joël Claveau. “It’s very deadly and can metas­ta­size to the brain.”

“Melanoma oc­curs more fre­quently with age,” says Neuser. “DNA dam­age and mu­ta­tions ac­cu­mu­late over time as the skin’s re­pair mech­a­nism slows down,” mak­ing sun­screen ar­guably more im­por­tant now than in your youth.

Claveau rec­om­mends avoid­ing the sun be­tween 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and to wear sun­glasses “to pro­tect against UV and cataracts,” a brimmed hat, and broad-spec­trum sun­screen.

All This Goes Dou­bly for Men

For men, the risk of melanoma dou­bles at age 50, dou­bling again at 60. (For women, it dou­bles at age 40, then re­mains rel­a­tively flat.) Ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics Canada, melanoma af­fects more men than women, with 3,500 cases re­ported for men in 2014 ver­sus 3,000 for women. But men tend to be sun­screen-averse and “dif­fi­cult to con­vince,” says Claveau, not­ing that melanoma is most of­ten found on men’s backs (on women, it’s arms and legs).

For them, a dry-touch for­mula ( Vichy Idéal Soleil SPF 60, $29 [1]; La Roche-Posay An­the­lios Dry Touch SPF 60, $29) is nearly im­per­cep­ti­ble while a spray ( Cop­per­tone Clearly Sheer SPF 50 spray, $10) is speedy to ap­ply. Or try a clear swivel-up stick, Shi­seido Clear Stick UV Pro­tec­tor 50+ Wet Force, $37 [2], which is wa­ter-re­sis­tant and easy to swipe on.

SPF in Makeup and Skin Care

Us­ing skin care with added SPF means you won’t for­get your sun­screen. Olay Re­gener­ist Lu­mi­nous Bright­en­ing & Pro­tect­ing Lo­tion, SPF 30, $42 [3], tack­les dark spots; Neu­tro­gena Hy­dro Boost Wa­ter Gel Sun­screen SPF 50, $20 [4], pro­vides non-oily hy­dra­tion with added hyaluronic acid. For sun pro­tec­tion with cov­er­age, try IT Cos­met­ics Your Skin But Bet­ter CC+ Cream SPF 50, $49, or El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Pre­vage City Smart Broad Spec­trum SPF 50 sun­screen, $85.

Darker Com­plex­ions Need SPF, Too

A Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy study found that while melanoma is less com­mon in Black peo­ple, it still poses a threat and those with “intermediate pig­men­ta­tion” (His­pan­ics and Asians) are sus­cep­ti­ble to basal cell car­ci­noma, the most com­mon form of skin can­cer, caused by UV ex­po­sure. Tinted sun­screens in deeper shades blend seam­lessly into dark skin with­out leav­ing the white cast.

Try Clin­iqueFit Work­out Makeup SPF 40 in Deep, $39; Sis­ley-Paris Tinted Sun­screen Cream SPF 30, in Deep Am­ber, $190; Avène Com­plex­ion Cor­rect­ing Shield Mineral Sun­screen, SPF 50+ in Dark, $35.

Van­ish­ing Act

Mineral sun­screens are a fave for those who don’t want chem­i­cals, but they used to leave a ghostly pal­lor. New im­proved for­mu­las blend eas­ily into skin, pro­vid­ing mois­ture while still giv­ing full pro­tec­tion.

Try In­sti­tut Es­the­d­erm UV Pro­tect SPF 50 Daily Sun Fluid Broad Spec­trum Face Sun­screen, $39 [5]; or Garnier Om­brelle 100% mineral sun­screen SPF 50+, $18.

Hair Care

The sun’s UV rays can “dry out and open the cu­ti­cle (hair’s outer layer), mak­ing it dry or dam­aged,” ex­plains Mar­il­isa Sears, artis­tic di­rec­tor of Marc An­thony Hair­care. Phy­to­plage Pro­tec­tive Sun Veil, $29, guards against UV dam­age while Marc An­thony Grow Long Su­per Fast Mir­a­cle Treat­ment, $4 [6], re­pels wa­ter or chlo­rine that can fade or al­ter hair colour.

Fake Bake

Con­vinc­ing a gen­er­a­tion raised on Bain de Soleil ads that even a light tan is a sign of DNA dam­age is not easy. Go faux with pig­ment mixed into your mois­tur­izer like Dr. Hauschka Translu­cent Bronz­ing Tint, $49 [7], or for bronzed limbs, try easy-to-ap­ply foam like Jer­gens Nat­u­ral Glow In­stant Sun Sun­less Tan­ning Mousse, $14.

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