Every summer we find ourselves battling the power of ancient folklore at the clinic in which sunshine is the enemy of youth, and procedures to help maintain skin health and elasticity are going to destroy your face and turn your looks into highly-pigmented dust.
All of which is kind of true and kind of not true.
However, before you buy yourself a coffin and shut the blinds, I want you to take a good look at my face. Look at the skin tone. What you are seeing there is a TAN.
For those of you who don’t know, my family and I live in Cyprus because it’s a gentler pace of life for the children and we get, on average, 320 days of sunshine a year. All of which means, I am almost in a constant state of tanning, which is good.
Sunlight triggers the release of a compound in the skin that rids the body of the inflammation that causes eczema. Sun exposure can also help with skin conditions such as psoriasis, jaundice, and acne.
In short, sunshine is GOOD for you.
Of course, UNPROTECTED sun exposure is also bad for you and will eventually:
- Destroy elastic and collagen fibres;
- Cause pre-cancerous lesions and cancerous skin lesions;
- Brings wrinkles, lines, sagging and leathery skin;
- Dilates small blood vessels under the skin;
- Causes dark spots, freckles and discolouration.
And I know what you are going to say next – but, Michael, you hate shop-bought sunscreen. And indeed, I do. Chiefly because they are a soup of chemical toxicity, but also because they work on the premise of SUN AVOIDANCE.
Chemical sunscreen sits on top of the skin, acting as a barrier for a set time against all the bad things that UV rays cause, but also the goodness that sunshine brings. They also cause free radical damage, which is possibly the reason why most people suffer from pigmentation even though they use copious amounts of, unfortunately chemical, SPF.
So, instead of sunscreen, I use a top-quality antioxidant serum and day oil, and because I only put the best products on my face – which is my fortune – I use my own Urban Protect Antioxidant Serum with Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid followed by Urban Protect Day Oil with Vitamin C and Pure Gold Flakes.
Sunscreen v Antioxidants
While physical and chemical sunscreens sit on the surface of your skin to block UV rays, antioxidants protect your body from the effects of UV rays, specifically free radicals.
Many antioxidants occur naturally within your body, such as coenzyme Q-10, melanin, alpha lipoic acid, and glutathione, while vitamins C and E are sourced from food.
These antioxidants help protect skin cells from free radical damage when you’re in sunlight. However, because these antioxidants get rapidly depleted when you’re bombarded with sunlight you MUST apply antioxidants topically and frequently when outdoors. That way your skin enjoys all the benefits that the sun can bring it while avoiding the damage caused by free radicals.
And, of course, the secret to all of this is quality products. I cannot stress this enough. And it isn’t marketing. It’s fact.
If you protect your face with the right products, you can live a life out of the shadows and enjoy all the skin procedures you might usually devote to the winter months. And yes, I am talking about skin resurfacing treatments.
Skin Resurfacing in Summer
Again, this is one of the most common concerns we hear in summer – that resurfacing treatments are a no-go. Which is kind of true and kind of not true. It all depends on where you go and how you prepare and protect your skin.
In all honesty, there’s no reason on earth why you can’t have a skin resurfacing treatment in summer if you prepare your skin prior to, during, and after any procedure.
While it’s correct that skin resurfacing in summer carries a risk of increased pigmentation, this is not the case if you are a client of ours. While most clinics rely heavily on IPL or laser for skin resurfacing programmes, at The Prager Clinic, we have received far better results with skin resurfacing treatments that don’t light sensitise the skin.
As we also have a 15-year head start on this approach, trust us when we tell you it’s fine to have skin resurfacing, even in the midst of summer.
All you have to do is follow the rules – and they are rules because that’s the only way we can guarantee skin-safe results.
- Use the Prager Urban Protect skincare range every day, two weeks before treatment, particularly our antioxidant serum.
- Continue to use the Prager Urban Protect skincare range following treatment.
Why do we insist you use Prager? Because it’s the only way we can guarantee that you have what you need to protect, restore and heal your skin.
So, relax. Eat the garlic, look in the mirror, sit in the sun. We are not vampires, we are fabulous, sun-kissed gods and goddesses with excellent skin.