We’ve discussed the various factors that cause our skin to show signs of aging, so it only seems natural to talk about anti-aging sun protection since regular and prolonged sun exposure is the number one factor. It is widely agreed on between dermatologists that 90% of visible signs of aging are caused by the sun’s intense UV rays. In as little as fifteen minutes outside without protection, your skin can be burned and damaged by the sun. Fortunately, anti-aging sun protection practices are simple!
First, let’s break down the difference between UVA and UVB rays and how we can prevent them from harming our body’s protective layer. UVA rays are what cause your skin to tan and in turn develop sun spots, wrinkles, and a leathery texture. UVB rays are what cause your skin to burn and in turn, increase your risk of developing skin cancer. As you can see, both types of rays are harmful, and for this reason, it is vital that you use a sunscreen that is broad spectrum. The American Association of Dermatology recommends that you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. If you have very fair or sensitive skin, you should opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of 50. Anything higher than that doesn’t make much of a difference. The most effective way to reduce premature signs of aging is to protect your skin against those UVA and UVB sun rays.
At Parker Dentistry, we love MD SolarSciences and ColorScience sun protection products. Both brands make several high-quality, mineral-based sunscreens, anti-aging serums, concealers, bronzers, blushes, and moisturizers with at least SPF 30. Ask Honi or Ivonne to fill you in on our favorite anti-aging sun protection products.
Important anti-aging sun protection practices
Limit sun exposure between 10 AM and 2 PM
ALWAYS wear sunscreen, moisturizers, and cosmetic products with SPF 30 or higher
Don’t forget to protect your lips
Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating
Invest in a pair of polarized sunglasses
Wear a sun shirt, hat, and seek shade when spending time outdoors
Be careful when taking medications that increase sun sensitivity
Drink plenty of water
Retinol has long dominated the market as one of the best skincare ingredients to ward off wrinkles and fine lines, correct hyperpigmentation, improve skin texture, unclog pores, fight breakouts, and promote the production of collagen. Until recently, no other active cosmetic ingredient was capable of doing all of the things, especially promote collagen production. While some swear by certain products that contain retinol, for many, this ingredient causes dryness, flaking, and redness. Retinol is a potent chemical derivative from vitamin A and is not suitable for all skin types, especially if you have sensitive skin or are pregnant.
Bakuchiol is the new rave! This botanical extract comes from the seeds and leaves of the babchi plant, which has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is the only extract that has been scientifically proven to do what retinol does but without the dry, red, or flaky skin side effect that some experience when using retinol. Bakuchiol is an excellent alternative for those who are seeking plant-based skin and beauty products, have sensitive skin, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Other active plant-based ingredients that you should look for when looking for your perfect skin care products are beta-carotene, calendula, black cumin seed, grapeseed, moringa, rosehip, and shea butter. The same way that your body needs specific vitamins and minerals to function properly, your skin needs to be adequately supplemented too if you want your skin to age gracefully. This is where extracts like Bakuchiol come in!
Your skin needs to be cleansed, exfoliated, moisturized, protected and nurtured. Everyone has a different skin profile, and different skin types require different vitamins, minerals, and extracts. If anti-aging is the name of your skin care game, high-quality products that contain retinol or bakuchiol can do wonders. These two potent ingredients can help reverse the wear of time on your skin and slow down the appearance of aging.
There is no way to turn back time. There is no way to stop time. Time is both our friend and our enemy. The collective fear of aging is one that has created a continual growth in the anti-aging product and procedure market. It seems every year there are new studies and conclusions made about how to reverse and slow down the wear of time on our skin. To age gracefully, it is valuable to understand what causes our skin to lose its elasticity, smoothness, and dewy glow.
Some factors are intrinsic while others are extrinsic. The more you understand the aging process, the better suited you will be to make decisions that are best for you and your skin. Intrinsic factors that affect our individual aging process are the factors that are out of our control; mainly genetics. Extrinsic factors, as you can probably guess, are external factors that affect the health and appearance of our skin.
As we age, our skin will naturally lose dermal collagen, melanin, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. The decrease in these four components cause your skin to sag, wrinkle, and dry out. Fortunately, there are you amazing products out there to help combat these noticeable symptoms of aging skin. Products that contain retinol are particularly effective at combating wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation and stimulating collagen production. Oils and creams that contain moringa oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, shea butter, vitamin C and E are also powerful natural ingredients to help revive and revitalize your skin.
The beauty of extrinsic factors is that for the most part, you have control over them. These factors include unprotected exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun, smoking, dehydration, chronic stress, insufficient sleep, and an unhealthy diet. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and our internal body’s shield. It is essential to take care of your skin the way you would take care of your heart, brain, or mouth. Stop smoking, drink more water, eat more real, unprocessed food, manage your stress levels, and treat yourself to eight hours of rest every night. This is the unkept secret to a long and healthy life and for vibrant and healthy skin.
Bad breath, or halitosis, is never pleasant! It is probably safe to say that everyone has had an experience with bad breath at least once, but likely many times before. Bad breath can be caused by cavities, gum disease, inflammation, malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, an infection, an intestinal disorder, as well as from smoking and consuming garlic, onion, coffee, or alcohol. While brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal, drinking plenty of water, and getting your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year are the main ways to fight halitosis, there are also some natural methods you can use in between to keep your breath fresh.
Gum or mint that contains xylitol (very toxic to pets!)
Plain fortified yogurt
One cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda and a few drops of peppermint essential oil (don’t swallow!) *This homemade and alcohol-free mouthwash recipe makes enough for several rinses.
If you are keeping up with your oral hygiene and you have tried these methods and find that you still have chronic bad breath, make sure you bring that up next time you are in the office. It’s essential to be proactive about your health, and persistent bad breath could be a sign of a bigger underlying problem.
While it’s great to have choices, sometimes having too many options can quickly become overwhelming. When you walk down the aisle of oral hygiene supplies at your local grocery store or pharmacy, you won’t be able to ignore the seemingly countless options of toothpaste, mouthwashes, floss, tongue scrapers, and toothbrushes. Even within one brand, such as Colgate or Crest you will notice nearly a dozen varieties of products. The good news is there is a brand and a product for every personal preference and particular concern. How do you decide though, which brands and products are best for you?
In this particular article, we are going to break down how to choose the perfect toothbrush.
Here’s what you need to consider…
Soft, medium, or hard? While you might think that using a hard-bristle brush is better suited to removing plaque and stains, you are better off opting for a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard bristles and hard brushing can actually lead to teeth sensitivity, enamel erosion, and receding gums.
If the head of your toothbrush is too big, it will be challenging to reach way in the back of your mouth and to maneuver your brush in tight spaces. While there are large-head toothbrushes available, a small to medium-sized one will likely help you do a better job at keeping every one of your teeth clean. A toothbrush head that is around a half-inch wide and one-inch tall is pretty standard for an average adult mouth.
Manual versus electric
This is totally personal preference; however, the entire Parker family uses a Sonicare electric toothbrush. Sonicare makes a variety of electric toothbrushes for all different budgets and toothbrush preferences. But, they all have been proven to remove up to ten times more plaque than a manual toothbrush, leads to up to seven times healthier gums, and removes a significant percentage of surface stains in just three days.
If you decide to go with a manual toothbrush, make sure you choose one that is backed by a reputable brand. Your toothbrush is something you put in your mouth at least twice a day, and you want to make sure that it is made properly and using safe materials. There is also a great selection of non-plastic disposable toothbrushes. Many of these new eco-friendly toothbrushes are made out of bamboo.
Seal of approval
You are probably wondering how to know if you are purchasing a reputable brand of toothbrush or other dental products. If you see the ADA Seal of Approval on the packaging, you know you're buying a product that is safe and high quality.
Make sure that you change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. If you have any questions about what toothbrush you should be using, don’t hesitate to ask your hygienist or Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve. Using the right toothbrush is key to maintaining your beautiful and healthy smile.
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