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Your guide to ageing, UV Rays and how to protect yourself
Skin Institute
August 14, 2020

What is ageing?

The change or deterioration of cells, body functions and the skin over time due to environmental conditions and the chronological passing of time.

Pollution, gravity, repetitive muscle movements, sleeping position, smoking and UV exposure are all environmental factors that age our skin. The principal etiologic factor of premature skin ageing is UVA.  Unlike UVB, UVA is not dependent on time of day or season, and it is able to sneakily penetrate through clouds and window glass. Up to 90% of visible skin changes attributed to ageing are caused by sun exposure. Everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity is vulnerable.

Here in New Zealand, we sit directly under the hole in the ozone layer, and even on a cold winter’s day, you still need to protect your skin from UVA. Incredibly, because of that hole Kiwis age ten years faster than Europeans!


Largest organ in your body

Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and needs to be treated right. Recently, gut-health has become a big issue in the industry, with the idea that taking probiotics and supplements can give you a healthier skin. While it’s true a good diet is important, but when applying topical active ingredients they go directly to the targeted source, rather than through your body internally.

Vitamins for your skin

Along with boasting some major health benefits, Vitamin C is also good for your skin. Vitamin C not only helps repair free radical damage, but it brightens the skin and helps fade dark spots.  Vitamin C gives us that anti-oxidant protection, which helps defend against environmental factors such as pollution and sunlight. Our hero ingredient, Vitamin A helps cells communicate with each other, accelerating cell turnover rate and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and fading acne marks, discoloration and blemishes in the process.



What are sunscreens?

This time of year, sun protection is top of mind. Sunscreens absorb, reflect or scatter the sun’s rays on the skin. Broad spectrum reflects both UVA and UVB rays. You can purchase ointments, creams, gels, lotions and sprays all labeled with a sun protection factor. SPF 15 gives 94% protection, SPF 30 will provide 97% protection, no SPF gives complete coverage against the sun’s rays.


Sun protection differences

Differing sunscreen ingredients prevent different wavelengths of light from reaching the skin. Chemical (organic) and physical (inorganic) sun protection ingredients deflect the sun’s rays and appear to be safe as well as effective.


Prevention is the best strategy for ageing skins. Using a sun protection everyday will help prevent, repair and maintain good skin health.


Effective sun protection is your number one defense against ageing!



The most dangerous period for UV rays is between 10am and 3pm – these are the hours when skin damage can occur the fastest. Even on a cloud-free day you can get skin damage from ultraviolet rays as the levels are not related to the air temperature and on cool days the UV rays will still reach the Earth’s surface. Even when spending most of your time inside, you should still apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin, especially if you’re going to be spending time right by a window.



Here’s a good way to remember the different UV rays.

UVA – this strands for ultraviolet A or you can think about it more easily as ‘ageing rays” because they cause long term skin damage, premature ageing, wrinkles and sun spots. UVA is the deeper ultraviolet ray, the one that goes into the dermal layer of your skin so it pays to get into a habit of using a SPF moisturizer every day, no matter what time of year

UVB – this stands for ultraviolet B and is referred to as “burning rays” as they cause sunburn. Unlike UVA they have different strengths throughout the year. UVB are the most common cause of skin cancers.

UVC – stands for ultraviolet C – this is the strongest and deadliest of solar rays and the ozone layer prevents these rays from reaching the Earth. However, research has provided evidence that the ozone layer is being depleted and this means the surface of the Earth is more exposed giving us cause to be doubly concerned.

Products we recommend:

DermaQuest ZinClear SPF30
This soothing physical sunscreen harnesses the power of Zinc Oxide to guard and protect your skin. Ensuring UVA and UVB protection without white residue, this mineral based sunscreen absorbs quickly, working to elegantly shelter your skin. A brilliant sunscreen for sensitized and acne-prone skin, also available in tinted shades for a natural look.
Benefits: Protects the elastin protein form UV damage and protecting these skin proteins from being broken down.

IMAGE Prevention+™
Moisturizers with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection.

Daily Matte SPF32 – oil-free, broad spectrum UVA/UVB moisturizer incorporates micro-sponge technology to absorb skin’s surface oils to leave skin with a matte, non-greasy, shine-free finish. Matte Moisturizer SPF32 contains potent antioxidants, as well as free radical scavengers to protect against environmental exposures. Suitable for oily and acne prone skin.

Ultimate Protection SPF50 – the ultimate in protection against the ageing effects of environmental exposures. Plant-derived stem cells extend the longevity of skin cells, as well as potent antioxidants to reduce the risk of free radical damage caused by the sun.

Daily Hydrating SPF30 – Lightweight, ultra-sheer and moisturizing. Contains potent antioxidants as well as other essential vitamins to prevent free radical damage caused by the sun and environmental exposures. Suitable for Rosacea, sensitive, dry and dehydrated skins.

Daily Tinted SPF30 – provides an even skin tone and healthy glow while protecting against the damaging effects of the sun. Tinted Moisturizer SPF30 is enriched with essential vitamins and potent antioxidants as well as free radical scavengers to protect against environmental exposures. All skin types.