Get layering and start boosting the effectiveness of your sunscreen!
A teaspoonful of a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 is said to guard against 97 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, if your concern is to guard against UV damage as well as the various other associated effects of the sun’s rays on the health of the skin – including how the skin ages, UV rays aren’t the only thing that you need to be concerned about.
In addition to UV rays the sun also emits infrared rays (IRAs), which sunscreen agents are not formulated to protect against. Like with UV rays, elevated or prolonged exposure to IRAs may result in the formation of free radicals – unstable atoms or ions that attack long-lived proteins in the skin such as collagen, primarily responsible for giving the skin its strength, and elastin, which gives the skin the ability to maintain its shape, form and tone after being stretched – much like the bounce-bank action of an elastic band. Both collagen and elastin contribute to the skin’s youthful look, and though they naturally break down over time with age, prolonged exposure to free-radicals, especially the ones caused by the sun’s rays can greatly accelerate this process.
Antioxidants are agents that have that special ability to neutralize the action of free-radicals produced by these IRAs, and as a result help to slow down the cascading damage that can be caused by them. In the same way we are encouraged to eat antioxidants for better health of our internal organs, antioxidants should also be used topically to protect the skin – the largest organ that we own!
Antioxidant ingredients such as white or green tea (camellia sinensis) extracts, rooibos, and the “FACE” vitamins (Vitamin F, A, C, and E), along with peptides such as arginine/lysine polypeptide are some examples of ingredients that may be used in these layering products, to help boost the effectiveness of sunscreen agents.
Layering a hydrating mist, toner, or serum packed with anti-oxidants and peptides before the application of your sunscreen can go a long way in boosting the effectiveness of your sunscreen to guard against the many factors that may lead to sun damage and premature aging.
Let’s get layering!
Written by: KoKo Fernando | Hand & Stone Bloor Street
KoKo Fernando is a qualified chemical engineer, cosmetologist, and professional skin therapist with a background in education & training, sales and operations management within the energy, manufacturing, fashion and beauty industries. Her passion for health and wellness, combined with her chemical engineering training, fuels her fascination for how product ingredients affect the body and mind. She currently teaches courses in the Cosmetics, Esthetician/ Spa Management and Fashion Arts programs at a College in Toronto, Canada.