Sun Exposure in Later Years

by Ruth
(New York, NY)

My question has to do with tanning and sun exposure at a later age. Also, I'm interested in what remedies are available to prevent or reverse whatever bad effects the sun may cause.

I am in my forties, and have not spent an enormous amount of time in the sun. But as most of us agree, a nice tan can be very flattering. I've heard the most dangerous time to spend a lot of time in the sun is the teen years.

Since I didn't get a lot of sun exposure back then, I'm wondering if it would be okay to do some tanning now.

How much time can I safely spend in the sun?

Must I use a sun block, and if so, what's the minimum strength I can safely use?

Are moisturizers good at restoring smooth skin after sun exposure?

What about Vitamin-E?

Anything else?

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Sep 08, 2009
Sun Exposure in Later Years - Providing Protection
by: George Parigian Jr.

Dear Ruth,

Thank you for posting. These questions are good ones.

First, I am not a skin expert so the best I can do is an educated opinion.

If you want to do some tanning now, I think it’s ok as long as you are careful not to overdo it.

The best way is to spend a short amount of time outdoors (10-15 minutes) each day over a period of several weeks. Your skin will adjust to the sun exposure and you will tan but not burn.

I have a web page on which I have covered this topic as well as sun exposure. Check it out at this link:

Moisturizers are good at keeping skin hydrated, but you also need products for protecting healthy skin and repairing damaged skin. Repairing skin can actually be done by products containing Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid), which among other things act to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover in skin.

DMAE (a membrane stabilizer) helps to maintain the structural integrity of your skin by protecting collagen from free radicals.

Vitamin-A (Retinoic acid and its analogues) help by stimulating cell division and stimulate epidermal growth factor binding to your skin.

Antioxidants like pycnogenol, vitamin-c, vitamin-e, and others work best synergistically to preven skin damage from free radicals.

Hyaluronic acid also helps to keep skin soft and supple by increasing concentrations of manganese and glucosamine in your skin.

Ceraphyl GA-D is a very effective moisturizing agent that prevents the upper levels of skin from drying out. It holds water in your skin by maintaining the integrity of the skins fatty acids.

NaPCA (sodium pyrrilidone carboxylic acid) is a salt that also keeps moisture in your skin by pulling to your skin from the air around you. It is applied topically, and can be found in a spray product called NaPCA by Twinlab.

Moisturizers help by holding water in the skin, and of course hydration is necessary for the health of your skin. In that way moisturizers are somewhat protective of skin from the elements like sun, wind, and cold.

The bottom line is that you can tan safely and effectively by limited and gradual sun exposure, and by using a high quality sunscreen that not only protects your skin from excess sun damage, but also contains ingredients that promotes the health of your skin as well.

Click here to check out Cellular Laboratories De-aging Sunscreen

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