Despite your past transgressions and sun worshipping days, it's not too late to put the brakes on (or at least slow down) the effects of sun on your aging skin.
Thinning skin, increased dryness and reduced collagen levels can contribute to wrinkles after age 50, but it doesn't mean it's too late to protect from further damage. Simple things like wearing sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat outdoors (even on cloudy days) can keep you looking more youthful. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants or other protective clothing is also important.
Since about 87,110 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society, it’s time to take your sunscreen seriously. Follow these tips for buying and applying sunscreen:
1. Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin, not just your face and arms.
2. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to block 97% of the sun's UVB rays.
3. Look for the words "broad spectrum", which indicates the sunscreen will protect against both UVA rays (which cause premature skin aging) and UVB rays (which cause sunburn). Both types of UV rays can lead to skin cancer.
4. Check for the term "water resistant" to provide maximum protection for sweaty or wet skin up to 80 minutes (or as indicated on the sunscreen's label).
5. For sensitive skin, choose a sunscreen with the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Also avoid products that contain fragrance, oils and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).
In addition, skin-care products such as those containing retinoids can help reduce the risk of more wrinkles, as can eating foods rich in vitamin C.