Having visited my Dad and wife in Florida for the past couple of weeks in the Sanctuary, a 55-an-older community (I am "legally" not allowed to stay here unattended and considered a whippersnapper by the residents), I have learned many lessons from the women about ageless beauty, sunscreen being one of the most important ones.
I love these ladies of the Sanctuary, but unless things change quickly in the United States, on my 55th birthday, I am moving to Okinawa. Aging is actually celebrated by the Japanese. In Okinawa, Japan, you are considered a “child” until you turn 55. Studies have shown that when you maintain a positive outlook in your later years, your entire attitude, mind, and body will follow. Those who get crotchety with each birthday that passes only make it easier for the signs of aging to appear. Leading an uplifting lifestyle where you welcome the natural aging process has been shown to be so effective in aging women, that the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, can be drastically reduced.
Well, the women of the Sanctuary (aptly named) have not only welcomed the aging process, but live an uplifting lifestyle that includes golf, tennis, swimming, and surrounding themselves with friends, all contributing to their ageless beauty. That's not to say that the ladies wouldn't prescribe beauty products or cosmetic procedures in their ageless beauty prescription. One woman said with a twinkle in her eye, "A girl has to do what a girl has to do." I later discovered that the twinkle in her eye was the result of a Botox injection inserted over her eyelid. Other women remorsed about returning age spots. Many had tried laser or Fraxel to remove the "da*n" spots, but once back in the sun, the offenders returned.
All Sanctuary ladies wear sunscreen now and wished they did in their youth. Below are the four best sunscreens on the market today according to the latest research and my dermatologist. I carry all four of these in my beach bag: span class="fullpost">
Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 30 (Sephora $30)
Instant Mineral SPF 30 What it is? A talc-free, transparent matte, SPF 30 mineral powder in a convenient brush applicator. What it is formulated to do? Works immediately to block out the sun's harmful UVA/UVB infrared rays to help prevent sunburnn, skin damage, freckling, and uneven discoloration as it creates the illusion of smooth, radiant skin.
Containing titanium, zinc oxide, willow bark extract, and vitamins A, C, and E, I never leave home without Peter Thomas Roth's convenient and easy-to-apply mineral powder. It is transparent so it doesn't change the look of your makeup. I even apply it to my hands when I get in the car.
Lancome UV Expert 20 Sunscreen (Lancome $35)
FDA APPROVED FOR THE U.S. Extraordinary Protection from UVA rays. Fight the rays that cause 90% of skin aging.1- Minimizes the effects of daily UV exposure, the # 1 cause of wrinkles, age spots and loss of firmness.- UV Expert with MEXORYL™ SX helps protect skin from UV rays that cause premature aging.- This lightweight shield invisibly defends skin 365 days a year.
As discussed in Is Pale The New Tan, according to dermatologists, Mexoryl SX is the most effective UVA-blocking ingredient currently available. It has been used in Canada and Europe since 1993 but approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. in July 2006. Sunscreen products containing Mexoryl SX have been slow to enter the U.S. market.
Both Lancome and La Roche-Posay (see below) contain mexoryl and are ideal as a beach and pool sunscreen, but in my opinion, the cream is too thick and greasy to wear under makeup. (The larger glob is Lancome, the smaller glob is La Roche-Posay.)
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer and Sunscreen SPF 15 (SkinCareX $29)
Anthelios Suncreen Cream is a light, non-greasy moisturizing cream with SPF 15. It's fragrance-free formula is allergy-tested, PABA-free, suitable for sensitive skin and offers 24 hour hydration. It has the most complete broad-spectrum protection available. The best way to fight fine lines and wrinkles is prevention. 3.4 fl. oz. Ideal for sensitive skin. Moisturizing and protecting skin from the sun.
Although La Roche-Posay reports that Anthelios is "ideal for sensitive skin" and causes no reaction on my skin, some of my friends have experienced a sensitivity to their eyes after application.
New: Journee Bio-Restorative Day Cream with PSP (Dermatologist RX $120)
JOURNÉE is the only Day Cream that combines PSP® technology with antioxidants and broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. Elegantly formulated JOURNÉE revitalizes the skin while guarding against premature aging.Years of research enabled the bio-engineering of Processed Skin Proteins (PSP®). PSP® is a naturally balanced mixture of essential skin nutrients that nourish and revitalize the skin’s outer layer. This clinically-proven ingredient beautifully rejuvenates the appearance of aged and stressed skin.The light, non-greasy formulation is fast absorbing and fragrance free. Green tea extract and melanin provide optimal antioxidant protection.
Ah, you ask, "What is PSP"?
In a nutshell, processed skin cell proteins are obtained from fetal skin cells to create a balanced mixture of cytokines, growth factors, and antioxidants. Through years of research, physicians discovered fetal skin has a unique ability to heal wounds without scarring. Inspired by this, medical researchers at the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland created a biotechnology process to extract the rich proteins responsible for scarless wound healing from cultured fetal skin cells. A dedicated cell bank was established for developing new skin treatments using a single biopsy of fetal skin. Originally established for wound healing and burn treatments, today this same cell bank also provides a lasting supply of cells for producing NEOCUTIS's PSP. PSP provides the most complete and balanced combination of human growth factors and cytokines currently available.
How Does PSP Work?
Recent studies suggest that aged or photoaged (sun-induced skin aging, the primary factor that causes fine and deep wrinkles and loss of elasticity) skin has the same needs as wounded skin, and PSP has been found in several clinical studies to initiate and coordinate the wound healing response.
Journee was recommended by my dermatologist at my appointment two weeks ago. There is no doubt that this a pricey beauty product, but with the combination of ingredients -- green tea extract, melanin, cytokines, growth factors, other antioxidants, and SPF of 30 -- it's the only product currently on the market that contains all the ingredients in one bottle. Although Neocutis hasn't discovered the fountain of youth, it's getting closer. It is also fragrance-free, thus phthalates-free, and safe for your skin.
The formula is lightweight and application feels like a primer. Although the color is that of a foundation, it quickly turns to clear. Having only used Journee for two weeks, I will continue to evaluate it and report the findings to you in a couple of months.
Since both Skin Medica TNS Recovery (Skin Store $141) and Journee contain cytokines and growth factors, my network partner at TotalBeauty.com, Future Derm, did an informative review comparing Skin Medica TNS Recovery to Journee. Future Derm chose TNS Recovery over Journee. Having used TNS Recovery for two years, at this juncture, I will continue using Journee and will compare the two beauty products again in a few months.
Brains on ageless beauty: So heed the sage advice of the beautiful and ageless women of the Sanctuary: Stay active, stay positive, keep laughing with girlfriends, and use sunscreen. "A girl has to do what a girl has to do."
Sources: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology , National Institutes of Health