Standing in the bathroom, I moved closer to the mirror. “There,” I murmured, finding the dark spot near my right eye. “And there and there and there,” I continued, pointing to the pigmented markings that were dusted across my cheeks and nose. “Age spots,” I sighed in defeat.
Freckles. Age spots. Sun spots. Liver spots. No matter what you call them, they’re essentially the same thing: collections of pigment, also known as melanin, that often appear after exposure to ultra-violet light.
Naively, I thought I was immune to the effects of the sun. Being of South Asian descent, I’ve always believed that I have a “built-in SPF”, allowing me to skip a daily application of sunscreen and occasionally, tan with reckless abandon.
Technically, I’m not completely incorrect; darker individuals have a higher natural SPF thanks to the increased amounts of melanin in our skin. However, no one’s natural SPF is enough to keep the effects of sun damage at bay, which includes, but is not limited to, skin cancer, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Back to those age spots.
You have to look closely, but you can see them. Scattered across my nose and cheeks; the darkly pigmented spots that seem to increase with gusto as I get closer to age 40. To me, they represent years of taking my skin for granted; a lax skin care routine coupled with sporadic sunscreen use.
And they represent my genetics, too. Although my darker complexion makes me prone to hyperpigmented age spots, there is one surefire way to slow the visible aging process: a recent breakthrough study by Olay, entitled “Multi-Decade and Ethnicity (MDE)”, revealed biological commonalities among a unique subset of women who look exceptionally younger than their age. The Coles Notes version? Women who avoided or protected themselves against the sun were more likely to be “exceptional skin agers” – women who look ageless despite never having a cosmetic procedure.
However, the study also found that across ages and ethnicities, the most significant contributor to the look of aging skin is sun damage. So, whether one boasts an olive skin tone or is as fair as porcelain, in the end, sun damage will be our undoing in different ways, at different points in our lives.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Let’s be completely honest; the majority of women I know associate sunscreen usage with a trip to the beach or a day spent outdoors. According to Olay Principal Scientist, Dr. Frauke Neuser, one of the most popular myths about sunscreen is the belief that it is only necessary during extended, direct sun exposure. However, incidental sun exposure, caused during driving a car, sitting by a window at work, etc., can cause UV damage which may lead to deep wrinkles. And on average, women are exposed to the sun 840 minutes a week, no matter the season.
Fact: At age 40, skin could look up to 20 years younger if sun protection was used every day.
Let’s be honest once again; it’s not always easy to change our daily habits. That’s why it’s important to find a reputable skin care product that fits our lifestyles while offering tangible rewards, such as moisturizing, anti-aging and sun protection benefits.
The new Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30 is an easy way to incorporate SPF into our everyday routine – all year round. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing and non-greasy to instantly protect skin from UV rays, helping decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and boosting hydration and skin firmness.
Key ingredients include:
Vitamin B3: Helps maintain skin’s moisture barrier and increases natural exfoliation rates
Amino-Peptide: Helps decrease appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Olivem: Helps increase the penetration of anti-aging ingredients
Lys’lastine: Helps improve skin’s hydration and elasticity
Glycerin: Powerful humectants with moisturization properties
SPF 30: Provides UVA/UVB protection with Advanced SolaSheer Technology
Most importantly, the lightweight moisturizer immediately leaves skin hydrated while absorbing completely with no chalky residue. That makes Olay Regenerist’s new Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30 perfect for use in the morning, under makeup. And, according to Dr. Frauke Neuser, if you don’t swim, bathe or sweat profusely after application, you’ll have a full 8 hours of protection throughout the day.
I can’t change the choices I made in the past. But I can take a look at that gorgeous face in the mirror and do what I can from this day forward to be an exceptional skin ager. I can choose to be ageless.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30 will be available nationwide where Olay products are sold beginning July 2016, for a suggested MSRP of $33.49-$38.99.
This post is sponsored by P&G. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.