When it comes to preventing and even correcting signs of age like lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and skin laxity, every woman or man should include broad-spectrum sunscreen and retinol in their anti-aging arsenal. Sunscreen protects skin from UVB rays, responsible for sunburns, and UVA rays, responsible for causing premature development of lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and discoloration.

When purchasing a sunscreen, make sure it is broad spectrum, providing protection against UVA and UVB. All sunscreens sold in the US must be broad spectrum now, thanks to a recent FDA regulation. Sun protection is a full time job, so use one with SPF 15 or higher every day. If you are at the beach, pool or playing outdoor sports, an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended, and it must be reapplied every two hours especially when swimming or sweating.

The second of this one-two anti-aging punch is retinol, an ingredient found in many skin care products and recommended by dermatologists and skin care providers for fighting lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Like its cousin retinoic acid, a prescription treatment that is marketed as Retin-A, retinol is derived from vitamin A. It works by stimulating new collagen formation and protecting existing collagen. Much research has been conducted on retinol, which in part, works so well because its small molecular structure can penetrate the skin’s outer layer.

Retinol is available in a plethora of skin care brands, and comes in a wide variety of concentrations. If you are new to retinol treatments, Dr. Rebecca Kazin advises that minor redness and flaking may occur, which is normal. Just increase the amount of product you apply gradually and you will soon develop the necessary tolerance.

For more information on what anti-aging skin care regimen is right for you, come in to talk to Dr. Kazin about your skin.