Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
Summertime is around the corner, and it’s certainly going to bring the heat, along with the harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Oxford Dermatologist, Lyndsay Shipp, says that sun avoidance is the best way to take care of your skin.
“Sunscreen, of course is a great thing, avoiding tanning beds, avoiding laying out in the sun even though it makes you feel good. If you ever love to tan, I highly recommend spray tans,” stated Shipp.
Choosing the right sunscreen is also important for skin protection.
Shipp says she prefers physical blocking sunscreens over chemical blocking sunscreens because “physical blocking sunscreens have zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which actually block the sun from hitting your skin as opposed to the chemical, which absorbs it, so you’re getting more sun exposure with the chemical.”
Shell Plastic Surgery aesthetician, Anna Thames, agrees that one of the best ways to take care of your skin is “sunscreen, sunscreen sunscreen.” She also recommends “a good diet, lots of water, eating clean, because everything you put in your body reflects on the outside as well.”
Each year in the U.S., nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer, according to SkinCancer.org. The site also states that 90 percent of non-melanoma and 86 percent of melanoma skin cancers are due to UV radiation from the sun.
When it comes to the use of tanning beds, Thames says using them is much worse than laying out in the sun for a few hours.
“It’s more direct; I think people have a tendency to stay much longer than they ever should, and they’re getting the combination of UVA and UVB rays, which are very concentrated. So, you’re getting the burning and the aging rays 10 times more than you would out in the sun,” stated Thames.
Thames says she also uses sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
“I wear sunscreen almost every day and I am probably one of the most tan people in our office. You’ll save your skin,” stated Thames.
Another way to keep your skin in good health is to use light therapy, or “light boxes,” as Shipp calls them. “They’re used for different medical conditions such as psoriasis, or vitiligo. The good thing about those [boxes] is that they are tailored towards a certain wavelength, that’s tailored towards a certain disease.”
Although there are no clinical light therapy beds in Oxford, there is a “red therapy bed” located at The Nail Shop.
“I’ve seen results on me personally, as well as some of our staff, and some of our clients. It’s designed to help fine lines, wrinkles, pore shrinkage and acne,” said Mary Mills, co-owner of the Nail Shop. “I call it the healthy bed and I love it.”
Shipp states that light therapy beds are better for you “as opposed to going out in the sun, or a tanning bed where you’re getting a mixture of certain wavelengths, like UVA or UVB.”
As far as starting an anti-aging routine goes, Thames states that, the younger you are, the better. “Really focusing around that 25-30 year age mark, because you’re still producing a lot of collagen at that time so you can actually have some corrections.”
In order to maintain healthy skin well into your older years, Thames says that anti-aging products containing retinol are the most effective. “Retinol is going to help for stimulation and for turning over the skin cells faster.”
Thames says her philosophy is “if you only have three products in your cosmetic bag for anti-aging they should be: A great sunscreen, a good vitamin C and a retinol.”