The Sun Damage Inn

My generation, the Baby Boomers, used Baby Oil and Ban de Soleil # 4 when we went in the sun. Sometimes we even added reflectors! Because of our youth and the promise of the future we thought we were invincible against the signs of aging! Now we know the causes of how we age and acquire wrinkles, lines, discoloration and skin cancers.

Fortunately, future generations and individuals are better prepared for the sun and its consequences. However, we all need to know where we are in terms of our past and future exposure and its repercussions so we continue to look and feel our best! 

With that being said, here are some guidelines, tips and some Sage Advice on how and when to care for your face and body skin!

The Fitzpatrick Scale

The Fitzpatrick Scale (also Fitzpatrick skin typing test; or Fitzpatrick photo typing scale) is a numerical classification schema for human skin color. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to estimate the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light. It was initially developed on the basis of skin and eye color, but when this proved misleading, it was altered to be based on the patient's reports of how their skin responds to the sun; The Fitzpatrick scale remains a recognized tool for dermatological research into human skin pigmentation.

CLICK HERE to determine which skin type you are.

Assess your risks: Which skin type are you?

Type I (scores 0–6) always burns, never tans (pale white; blond or red hair; blue eyes; freckles).

Type II (scores 7–13) usually burns, tans minimally (white; fair; blond or red hair; blue, green, or hazel eyes)

Type III (scores 14–20) sometimes mild burn, tans uniformly (cream white; fair with any hair or eye color)

Type IV (scores 21–27) burns minimally, always tans well (moderate brown)

Type V (scores 28–34) very rarely burns, tans very easily (dark brown)

Type VI (scores 35–36) Never burns, never tans (deeply pigmented dark brown to darkest brown)

Light Skin (skin type I II)

Light skinned people with low melanin are more vulnerable to the sun’s carcinogenic (cancer-causing) ultraviolet rays. They become more prone to skin damage, such as peeling, swelling, redness, hives, itching, as well as skin cancers. A study suggests that recurring occurrences of sunburn can lead to a higher risk of lethal melanoma. That is why sunscreen is imperative to light skinned people as it helps them fight off the harsh effects of sun damage and it will also help reduce the pace of aging. Sunscreen with SPF 27 is recommended as higher SPF offers greater protection.

Medium Skin (skin types III & IV)

Even medium skinned people sometimes get burned and get tanned in the sun. They are also susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer. So, it is necessary for them to use sunscreen when they go out.

Dark Skin (skin types V & VI)

Since melanin is responsible for how much sun damage the skin is able to withstand, it automatically means the darker the skin, the higher its immunity to sun damage and therefore aging. There is a misconception that dark skinned people need not use sunscreen because the melanin provides adequate protection. This is only partially true. Melanin provides protection, but only minimally. So, UV rays still have the potential to damage dark skin and lead to skin cancers. Although dark sinned individuals do not get burnt, they get tanned when exposed to sun. Even these people can get skin cancer and skin damage if they are careless with sun exposure, so they should also protect their skin with sunscreen, at least SPF 27.

People with all skin types and of all ages should use sunscreen to protect themselves from sun damage. Summer or winter, monsoon or spring, the need for shielding the skin from the UV rays is essential.

The Importance of Using Sunscreen with SPF 27 with all 6 types of skin!

As the color of the skin varies with each person, how the skin is affected and how it ages also varies. It also depends on their lifestyle and their environment. Dermatology has organized skin into six types. The lightest skin is type I and the darkest type VI. People who are four and above have a lot of melanin, which protects them from the sun. That is why dark-skinned people look younger than their lighter-skinned peers. However, more melanin means high risk of pigmentation problems and scarring. It does not mean that dark-skinned people are safe from sun damage; it is essential to use sunscreen, even if people have dark skin.  

What Is SPF Sunscreen?

SPF or sun protection factor is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect the skin from UVB rays, which cause sunburn, skin damage, and contributes to skin cancer. It does not take into account UVA rays, which can penetrate the skin more deeply and cause damage to keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis where most skin cancers occur. However, there are several sunscreens available today, which combine active chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum protection. Sage Skin Care’s SPF 27 does provide broad-spectrum protection. The four active ingredients include:

  • Octinoxate 7.50 % UVB
  • Octisalate 5.00%    UVB
  • Zinc Oxide 3.00%   UVA
  • Avobenzone 2.00% UVA

How Much Sunscreen?

If your skin normally burns after 10 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 27 sunscreen will allow a person to stay in the sun without burning for approximately 180 minutes. However, this is a rough estimation that depends on skin type, intensity of the sunlight and the amount of sunscreen used. (If you take your skin from Chicago to Florida’s tropical sun in February you will be more sensitive to the sun as your body has been covered with clothing for months.)

For the best protection, experts advise to apply the proper amount, approximately one ounce for the whole body, of sunscreen and reapplying every 2-3 hours.

SPF 27 should be applied at least ½ hour before doing outdoor activities every time you will be outside in the sun!  A hat or visor and appropriate cover-ups are always essential when outdoors so that when your body has received enough exposure you can continue your activity without risk of more exposure. Remember that 90% of all discoloration, irritation, lines, wrinkles and skin cancers appear on the left side of the face, neck and arm in the USA and on the right side in the UK. This is simply from driving your car twice a day.

UVA travels through awnings, shade, windows, etc. Always wear your SPF on any area of your body that is exposed to the sun even in winter!.

When you are finished in the sun please cleanse with your Facial Shampoo and ice your face. Apply Gelloid Moisturizer and Mask to replace moisture loss from the elements and then Apply SPF 27 to damp skin and the rest of your regime! 

Skin Aging

Human Skin Aging is also comprised of other aging factors in addition to sun exposure. 

Human skin is comprised of three layers:

  1. Epidermis
  2. Dermis
  3. Fat

Cells in the epidermis called melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their color. The more melanin the melanocytes produce, the darker and more even the skin pigmentation. Melanin helps protect the skin against sun damage, such as premature aging and skin cancers. 

Sun Damage

Unfortunately, sun damage is not only skin deep. UV radiation alters the actual DNA of the skin cells, causing lines, wrinkles, discoloration and even cancer. The sun’s ultraviolet light damages elastin, the skin fibers, and this causes skin sagging. Melanin plays a major role in blocking out the damage causing UV rays up to a certain extent and that is why dark-skinned people are less prone to get sunburned. 

Aging Skin

The skin changes as people get older. It becomes fragile and dry, because skin’s inner layer thins out. Fat that is beneath the skin in starts to disappear and makes skin sag. As people age, their body slows down the production of elastin and collagen, which leads to wrinkles of the skin and fine lines. Gravity and sun exposure adds to this, which results in sagging skin. Skin aging varies depending on the skin color; as the melanin protects them from sun damage to a certain extent. Oily skin can handle wrinkles better and keep the skin moisturized and smooth. Studies show that people who used  SPF 27 or higher that works on UVA and UVB rays had 24% lesser chances of developing signs of aging skin than non-sunscreen users. 

Skin Cancer

About eight to nine skin cancers in 10 are thought to be caused by excessive exposure to the sun. In particular, episodes of sunburn greatly increase the risk. Damaged skin cells are a greater risk of becoming abnormal and cancerous. People of all ages and with all types of skin should protect their skin. Although skin cancer is rare in children, the amount of sun exposure during childhood is believed to increase the risk of skin - cancer in adult life. Wearing sunscreen daily, shields the skin from the risk of various types of skin - cancer. 

Skin Types

Certain types of skins are more at risk to develop skin cancer and sun - damage. Skin is divided into six photo types going up from light to darker skins. While individuals falling under type I and type II face a high risk of skin cancer, type V and type VI are at low risk. 

Rio, Gypsy & Barbara BFFs

32 year and 69 year old friends. Both wear SPF 27 every day (even in the summer and winter) including the doggies nose :)