by Patti Rice, Owner, The Spa ~ Los Gatos
As the owner of a well known day spa, I am often times asked, “What is the most important thing you can do to help your skin stay younger looking?”
There is an extraordinary variety of products, technological breakthroughs, and treatments employed in the battle on aging skin, but I would have to honestly say the number one thing you can do is use sunscreen. Yes, that simple. Preventing damage caused by the sun by using a powerful, effective sunscreen is the singular most important anti-aging habit you can cultivate.
These days there are some excellent choices in facial sunscreen; it’s no longer necessary to have a nose covered in glaring white zinc oxide. Now you can choose from a variety of SPF levels, tinted lotions, physical blocks, and luxurious smelling options – for both men and women. (Yes, it is just as important for men to use sunscreen as it is for women.) I cannot stress it enough – get a good quality sunscreen and use it every day. Every single day – rain or shine. My personal favorite is Jan Marini’s Daily Face Protectant, SPF33. Smells wonderful, luxurious feeling as you put it on and is actually provides a very nice base for make up. It is my husband’s first choice as well. Many people also like the Epicuren line as it is all-natural and feels nice (not greasy or heavy) on the skin.
For those of us who already have sun damage (I do, from growing up in Santa Cruz – where baby oil for the skin and lemon juice for the hair were standard beach supplies), quality skincare products at home are powerful tools to help reduce the visual effects of damage already done.
With so many product lines to choose from – drug store brands, department store lines, professional brands at spas and skin care stores, the latest fads touted by celebrities – it could be a full time job figuring out which one would work best for you. My recommendation is to stay away from fads and trust well-established, researched professional lines. The cheapest choice isn’t always the best value. The most substantial difference between professional skin care and drug/department store lines is the percentage of the active ingredients. The professional lines usually cost more because there is a much higher level of active ingredients and this usually ends up being a better value because you actually use less and get better results.
By all means, get outside and enjoy the day, but please remember to make sunscreen a part of your every day skin protection ritual!