Welcome to the Coastal Laser and Aesthetics blog! Here, you’ll find articles about laser treatments, skin rejuvenation, body contouring technologies, wellness tips, and more! Our clinic is committed to providing high-quality results using non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed with the latest skincare technology. Refreshed, healthy skin is an important aspect of optimal health and self-esteem. That’s why we’re happy to help our patients achieve their aesthetic goals! Most of our procedures are quick, with minimal downtime and side effects. Our site features a full list of services, active promotions, discounts, and reviews. We encourage you to take a look around and familiarize yourself with our highly-trained staff.

Our last post talked about cosmetic ingredients you may want to avoid. Since everyone’s skin is different, the list of what to avoid will likely be different for everyone. However, we took a look at some of the most commonly problematic ingredients including alcohol, parabens, BHA and BHT, fragrance, and sulfate. If you are interested in learning more about why these ingredients may be bad for your skin, we encourage you to check out our last article!

Today, we’ll be discussing sunscreen and its importance. Also known as sunblock, sunscreen is a topical product that utilizes an SPF rating to block or absorb some of the sun’s rays. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it measures how well a sunscreen will protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are a form of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun. UV rays can also be emitted by artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While UV helps produce Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, it can also have harmful effects on the skin, including cancer. It is extremely important to protect your skin from the sun year-round– Not just in the summer months. If you want to learn more about the importance of sunscreen, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.

We’ve all been told not to forget our sunscreen, especially before spending a day at the beach. And more than likely, we’ve all experienced a sunburn at some point in our lives. But what’s the big deal? Well, getting a sunburn is only a sign of short-term overexposure to the sun, but it adds up over time. Overexposure to the sun over prolonged periods can cause premature signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, and even skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States; It is estimated that 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. While anyone can get skin cancer, it is more common in people who spend a lot of time in the sun, have been sunburned, and have light colored skin, hair, and eyes. With that being said, it is still possible for people of any skin tone, race, or gender to get skin cancer. It is important to note that even if you don’t burn, your skin is still being damaged by the sun over time. 

Luckily, there are many ways you can protect yourself and your skin from the sun. The first, and possibly most effective way, is the use of sunscreen. But with so many sunscreens on the shelves, how do we know which one to choose? There are a couple of things to look for. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection. This means it protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA rays have a longer wavelength and are commonly associated with skin aging. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and are associated with skin burning. While UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply, both cause harm– They can damage the DNA within skin cells, leading to genetic defects that can lead to skin cancer. (UV exposure also increases your risk of potentially blinding eye diseases and eye damage, so don’t forget your sunglasses!) Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from both of these types of rays.

It is also recommended that you use a sunscreen that has an SPF rating of 30 or higher if you will be spending the day in the sun. If you are simply going outside to walk your dog, SPF 15 should suffice. Typically, the sunscreen packaging will mention if it is for “daily use” or “active use.” Additionally, your sunscreen should be water-resistant, to prevent it from melting off in the pool or with sweat. Keep in mind, though, that no sunscreens are waterproof– Some are just made to last longer than others.

Spending the day at the beach or the pool is not the only time you should be wearing sunscreen. In fact, you should be wearing sunscreen every day. This might come as a surprise to some people, and maybe you’re asking, “What if it’s cloudy out?” Well… The truth is, even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of the sun’s radiation reaches the Earth. The sun emits UV rays year-round– Even in winter! Have you ever looked at the snow and had to squint because it was so bright? That’s because UVB rays are easily reflected off of snow and ice. So, if you are spending time out in the snow or hitting the ski slopes, you’ll still want to protect your skin. The bottom line is that it’s important to protect your skin every day, even on overcast days. 

Once you’ve chosen a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with the correct SPF that works for you, you’ll want to make sure you’re applying it correctly. As tempting as it may be to put a little on your face and call it a day, there is more to it. Here is a step by step guide on how to properly apply sunscreen:

  • Apply your sunscreen indoors, 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. It typically takes 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen, so you want to make sure you are protected before venturing out. (Check the expiration date on your sunscreen before using it!)
  • You should apply approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen to cover your entire body. 
  • Sunscreen should be applied to all parts of your body that will not be covered by clothing. Don’t forget spots that are easy to miss, such as your ears, the back of your neck, the tops of your feet, and behind your knees.
  • Rub the sunscreen into your skin thoroughly! 
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

It is also important to protect your scalp from the sun. This can be done by applying some sunscreen to the part line of your hair, or by wearing a hat. You should protect your lips as well by using a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. 

For everyday activities, there are many moisturizers, serums, and other cosmetic products out there containing SPF. Not only will this help you incorporate the use of sunscreen into your daily skincare routine, but it also won’t feel as heavy on your face. If you don’t want to find an SPF-infused moisturizer, there are facial sunscreens available that are formulated to be lightweight and can be applied over your regular moisturizer. Keep in mind that sunscreen alone is not enough to fully protect your skin from the sun. When going outdoors, consider wearing a hat– Especially a wide-brimmed hat, to protect your head and face. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses and seek shade whenever possible. 

The skin is our body’s largest organ, and protecting it from the sun is just one way to keep it looking its best. Using sunscreen protects the skin from signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, and also reduces your risk of skin cancer. We hope you found this article informative and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding skincare. At Coastal Laser and Aesthetics, we sell the full range of Epionce skincare products, which are paraben, fragrance, sulfate, and gluten-free! We also offer skin resurfacing treatments, laser hair removal, chemical peels, Botox, dermal fillers, and more! Beautiful, radiant skin begins with a strong foundation of skincare fundamentals and a set of trusted skincare professionals. You can book your free consultation, read up on our services, and browse our active promotions all on our site! Until next time—thank you for reading!