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The Most Important Step In Caring For Your Skin

Michele Fieldson September 2020

Beauty Kuel Category Expert: Michele Fieldson

I know you saw this coming – sunscreen.  Sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging of the skin; i.e., wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.   But caring for our skin is about so much more than outward visible signs of aging. 

Let’s Talk About Two Kinds Of UV Rays:

“Think of collagen as the mortar between bricks.”

UVA rays (A = aging ) are the rays the cause the most damage to our skin. They penetrate the dermis (middle) layer of the skin. This is the layer that contains collagen, blood vessels, and nerve endings that support and protect the skin. In fact, the dermis is 70% collagen.

Think of collagen as the mortar between bricks. Once the mortar weakens, the bricks start to lose structure and weaken. This equates to sagging skin, loss of elasticity, and wrinkling. 

This damage is happening simply by exposure to UVA rays. It is being done whether or not you see any tanning or burning. UVA rays are present throughout the year, rain or shine, cloudy or sunny. 80% of UVA pass through clouds.

UVA rays also penetrate through glass. Putting tinted UV-protective film on windows can block up to 99.9 percent of UV radiation. Without this protection in your car, you are being exposed to the sun’s damage.

UVB rays, on the other hand, are the burning rays (B = burn). UVB rays are responsible for skin reddening and sunburn that damages the skin’s more superficial layers. Also, UVB rays are a major cause of skin cancer. When we talk about avoiding sunlight between 10:00 and 4:00, it’s because UVB rays are at their strongest then.

Skin Cancer Is The Most Common Cancer Worldwide

The main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (the most common), squamous cell carcinoma (second most common), and malignant melanoma.

According to the Skin Care Foundation:

  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour
  • In the U.S., more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
  • About 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

This is a topic very close to my heart. Our family has fair skin and light eyes. I burn at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, as an adult I haven’t been a sun worshipper. My mom is 87 years old and just underwent her second Mohs procedure within one year, both basal cell carcinomas. This is a procedure done by a specialist where they remove the tumor and use an in-house lab to make sure the margins are clear. Depending on if they remove it all the first time around, you can expect to be in the dermatologist’s office for 2 – 4 hours. 

“I remember my high school days of laying in the sun all day with baby oil on.”

I couldn’t begin to count the number of carcinomas my mom has had removed over the years, from her lip, her nose, her ears, her foot, her calves, her arms, her legs. You name it. All us kids played sports, and she sat in the hot sun hours on end watching us for years. 

Of course, back then we didn’t fully understand the damage the sun could cause. I remember my high school days of laying in the sun all day with baby oil on. It makes me cringe at the thought. So much more than cringe.

But we know better now, and while we know that sun produces visible signs of aging, this is so much more than our looks. 

Skin Care

To help your skin look its glowing best, look for skin care products with Vitamin C. A powerhouse anti-oxidant, it helps protect the skin against damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. It brightens, evens skin tone, plumps and softens for healthy-looking, rejuvenated skin. 

You can find Vitamin C along with additional anti-oxidants and vitamins in a moisturizing base of tropical oils in our customer favorite Illuminating Serum.

To protect yourself, wear a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Also wear clothing with SPF protection and a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18. So it’s never too late to start!!

For more sobering statistics about skin cancer, please check out these skin cancer facts and statistics from the Skin Care Foundation.

About the Author:

Michele Fieldson feels most centered when she’s beachside. Here she finds a place of tranquility and calm. One of her favorite spots is a trip to her local dog beach (pre-COVID, that is). At age 59, Michele became an entrepreneur, launching her skincare line, Laurmé Skin Care. Her goal with her business was to help women who also struggle with skin sensitivities by offering products that focus on returning nourishment and radiance to their complexion, using only the most gentle, nontoxic ingredients for long-term skin health. You can find Michele at Laurmé Skin Care or @laurmeskincare on SM. You can purchase Michele’s skincare line in the Kuel Life Shop!