Happy 4th of July, friends! I thought I’d share another quick post today, before I run off to spend the rest of the afternoon with my family. I constantly preach the importance of sunscreen on this blog, but for most of us who grew up unaware of the dangers associated with tanning, the damage has already been done. One of the most common “side effects” of unprotected sun exposure is called actinic damage, which accumulates over the years.
WHAT IS ACTINIC KERATOSIS?
Actinic keratosis is a result of DNA damage to the skin, caused by UV radiation from unprotected sun exposure. This UV damage builds up over the years and eventually leads to actinic damage. Less severe forms of actinic damage may appear as wrinkles and dark spots, which some miscategorize as age spots [there’s no such thing, it’s just plain old sun damage]. More severe forms include scaly growths and itching, called actinic keratosis or non-melanoma skin cancer. Yep, I just dropped the dreaded C-word there.
“Experts estimate that, for each visible actinic keratosis spot, there are up to 10 lesions in the neighboring area which aren’t yet visible, making up what is known as the cancerization field. The skin may look normal, but the sun has caused changes on the inside that will most probably end up turning into new actinic keratoses.” – ISDIN.com
ISDIN is a professional cosmeceutical brand from Spain on a mission to help their customers prevent early signs of skin aging, and improve the condition of the damage that already exists. I had the opportunity to try ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF50+ ($50 for 3.4 fl. oz.), an award-winning, dermatologist-recommended, 100% mineral sunscreen that not only provides broad-spectrum sun protection, but helps prevent the formation and spread of actinic damage in the skin.
- Zinc oxide creates a flexible protective barrier, effectively blocking the UV rays from penetrating deeper into the skin.
- DNA Repairosomes reverse existing sun damage and boost the skin’s natural recovery process. [clinical study]
- Vitamin E keeps the skin moisturized and defends against free radicals, elements, and environmental damage.
I was pleasantly surprised with ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF50+. In my experience, most of the Zinc oxide sunscreens are extremely heavy, and tend to create unsightly white streaks on the skin, that are very hard to remove with conventional cleansers. I remember having to scrub my skin with a dry loofah and coconut oil to get the last bits of that Avene sunscreen off, and it was not pleasant [to be fair, they’ve improved a lot since then]. This formulation comes in a runny, serumy, almost liquid form, which spreads on the skin like milk and does not create streaks on the surface. It does make the skin look a tad whiter, especially when using flash photography, but such is the nature of Zinc oxide.
The sunscreen absorbs very quickly, so you can slap it on and go about your day. I have combination skin, and one of my biggest problems with some sunblocks is that they can clog the pores, causing breakouts later. Eryfotona Actinica did not suffocate my pores, if anything, it actually made my face appear more matte than usual, which is a nice bonus in the summer.
Some of you might also wonder about the fragrance. Eryfotona Actinica does have a faint powdery scent typical for Zinc oxide, which to me smells like baby powder. The fragrance disappears within minutes after the application and does not linger on the skin.
You can purchase ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF50+ here.
What is your favorite sunscreen product? Have you heard of actinic damage before? Let me know in the comments below!