Protect yourself over the summer to banish wrinkles.
Looked in the mirror recently and noticed wrinkles around your forehead and by the corners of your eye? Blame the sun for it. According to recent research, the sun is responsible for the vast majority of visible ageing – the development of wrinkles. UV rays, which include UVA, UVB and UVC rays, account for 80 per cent of wrinkles by causing the breakdown of the collagen fibre in the skin.
A study of almost 300 women has found that a two per cent increase in sun damage can age a face by three years. Furthermore, long-term UV – especially UVA exposure – can also lead to the development of pigmentation in Asian skin types as the deep penetration of the light causes tanning of the skin in the long run. Prolonged sun exposure can also reduce skin elasticity and result in a degradation of skin texture, including yellowing. While other factors can also affect the ageing of the skin, the study reported in the medical journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology solely focused on the effects of the sun alone on the skin for the first time. The researchers also worked out what they call a “sun damage percentage” and calculated that the sun is responsible for 80.3 per cent of skin ageing. They also found that women with 80 per cent damage look their age, while those who have 82 per cent damage look about three years older, and those with 78 per cent damage appear three years younger.
With Oman and other Gulf countries enjoying sunshine all year round, it’s important for residents and visitors to ensure they have adequate protection from the sun. This is particularly important now during the intense Omani summer.
“Effective use of sunscreens will not only limit extrinsic skin ageing but will also reduce the risk of skin cancer,” says Dr Dalia Ibrahim, a cosmetologist and laser therapist at Bloom Aesthetic and Laser Clinic in Dubai.
“When looking to buy a sunscreen, make sure it is broad spectrum and offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Also, do ensure the brand of sunscreen you choose has a high SPF value. During the course of the day, reapply sunscreen every two hours – you can use half a teaspoon on small areas such as the face and neck and more than a full teaspoon on larger areas such as the arms and legs,” Dr Dalia continues. “When going out in the sun, wear tinted glasses and cotton clothing and also carry an umbrella or wear a hat for optimum protection from the sun.”
Various other factors can also change the skin’s appearance and structure, including gravity, the natural ageing process, pollution, diet, tobacco, illness and stress.
“For this reason, we advise clients to adopt a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and encourage them to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water a day,” says Dr Dalia.
To minimise the effects of wrinkles and improve the skin, Bloom Aesthetic and Laser Clinic has a range of treatments.
“The Ultra lift is a non-surgical face, neck and body treatment that uses high-focused intensity and ultrasound beams to lift and tone loose skin without any downtime making it the perfect choice for a quick fix before a party,” says Dr Dalia.
Another one of the state-of-the-art treatments is Exilis Elite, which uses ultrasonic energy to both shrink loose tissue immediately, as well help as long-term collagen production, which lifts and tightens the face and body, and loose skin over time.
“Another treatment effective for the management of wrinkles is mesotherapy, which allows for the restructuring of the skin tissue. Microinjections, consisting of hyaluronic acids, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, coenzymes, nucleic acids, stem cells and growth factors, are injected into the skin to hydrate and build the skin structure,” says Dr Dalia.
A treatment series consisting of two to four sessions spaced out over a two to three week period is recommended.
“The effects of the treatment are cumulative,” explains Dr Dalia.
“Your body will slowly develop collagen and elastin over time and most patients will notice a visible improvement in the tone, texture and hydration of the skin immediately after the first treatment.”