Why use SOLAR F/X?

The power of the sun is not something we can take lightly. The sun after all is the worst enemy our skin faces everyday. Losing the battle means premature aging, sunburn and worse, skin cancer. The sun, along with stress and environmental factors such as pollution and smoke create a barrage of free radicals which attack, weaken and damage our skin on a cellular level. In order to preserve our looks and live well, we must be willing to defend our skin everyday from the ravages of the sun and damaging free radicals which accumulate as we age.

•Skin Cancer
Most skin cancer is caused by repeated exposure to the sun. Over a period of time, the sun’s UV rays weaken and damage the skin, which can result in skin cancer. Recent studies have provided the first evidence that links UVB to the evolution of malignant melanoma. Researchers believe that development of skin cancer may be linked to a combination of genetic susceptibility and UV exposure. The skin has a memory, upon which new sun damage builds, which is why it's critical to use sun protection methods every day.

More than 90% of all skin cancers occur on parts of the body exposed to the sun every day. The face, neck, ears, forearms and hands are the most common places for skin cancer to develop. Skin cancer can be minimized by the use of a good sun protection program that includes the daily use of sunscreen.

Good skin care is confusing with all the claims and counter claims that you hear and read about almost daily. Which sunscreen is the best? Dermatologists tell us there is not yet a perfect lotion that does it all: reliably block out UVA and UVB, quench free radicals, and mend DNA damage. However, they suggest a simple rule of thumb. For everyday life, like going to the office and running errands, use a product that has a sun protection factor of at least 15 daily. Taking into account any loss of potency and the possible misapplication of a product, using an SPF 15 product will ensure that you're getting at least a Sun Protection Factor of 4. That can make a world of difference. As one noted dermatologist states:

"If everyone received a real SPF of 4 everyday, all year round, the amount of skin cancer in the country would plummet." The most important thing is to be consistent.

•Premature Aging
Factors contributing to skin aging can be divided into two components: genetically programmed factors and a process known as photo-aging. Photo-aging is responsible for changes in the skin due to chronic sun exposure, and accounts for 90% of unwanted age-associated changes in the skin's appearance. Some easily identified signs of aging skin include: lines and wrinkling; blotches and discoloration; surface roughness; scaly growths (solar keratoses); and loss of elasticity and firmness.

A good sun protection program and the proper use of sunscreen are the front lines of defense against photo-aging of the skin. Regular use of sunscreen helps prevent this damage and gives the skin protection so the natural ability of the skin to heal itself can take place.

Overexposure to the sun's UV rays causes inflammation of the skin. The affected area becomes red, hot, tender and swollen, and, in severe cases, blisters may form. Sunburn can result without being directly exposed to the blazing sun. Even on a cloudy day, 80% of the sun's UV rays pass through the clouds. In addition, water, sand or snow may reflect UV rays and cause sunburn.

Repeated sunburn breaks down the elastic tissues in the skin, making it look prematurely old and wrinkled. Additionally, it can cause solar keratoses (roughened red patches of skin) to appear on the exposed areas, especially in fair-skinned people. Solar keratoses are a precursor of skin cancer. Regular use of sunscreen helps prevent the formation of these precancerous lesions and can cause many solar keratoses to disappear before they become cancerous.

Many people associate tanning with good health and looks. Dermatologists know that a tan is a sign of skin damage. A tan does not prevent sun damage, it is sun damage. Tanning occurs when the sun's UV rays penetrate the skin and injure the pigment cells. The damage is cumulative and increases with every tan.