APRIL 1 LIFESTYLE    SKIN CARE   

What is the best anti-aging cream? — Sunscreen

By Victoria G. Belo, M.D.
Belo Dr

I find it fascinating that women are willing to spend thousands of pesos on the latest anti-aging cream, the new miracle laser or radio frequency device.

However, they refuse to apply sunscreen, which can prevent many of the wrinkles in the first place. Photoaging is the medical term which refers to a person’s aging prematurely secondary to sun exposure. It is characterized by fine lines, crepe-like skin, some brownish mottling and waxy skin that is rough to the touch.

The treacherous thing about the sun is that it’s sneaky. It feels warm and comforting and actually makes people happy. What is not obvious is the cumulative damage it creates to the DNA of our skin.

Just imagine, every time you expose yourself to the harsh sun, hundreds of protein-eating “pacmen” are born. In the beginning, maybe they’re not enough in number to mount an obvious attack. But over the years, they multiply with every sun exposure until they become a huge army of collagen and elastin munching monsters called “free radicals.”

Have you noticed how Caucasians look so good in their teens and early twenties then, seem to suddenly age in their thirties? That’s the effect of DNA damage years before.

I must confess though that I used to not apply any myself. It’s a classic case of “Do as I say, don’t do as I do.” When my daughter, Cristalle, in one of our bedroom meetings asked me why, I came up with a litany of reasons.

First of all, I hate using sunscreen because they’re sticky and heavy. This, coupled with the humidity of the Philippine weather, makes it untenable. Secondly, I usually breakout with pimples, whiteheads and blackheads because they clog my pores. Thirdly, I also sometimes get rashes and itchy because I’m allergic to benzophenones, a common ingredient of most sunblocks.

Cristalle looked at me quizzically and asked, “Why don’t you come up with your own sunblock?” I was stumped. Why not, indeed?

Well, it took us two years to develop my ideal sunblock, one that offers exactly what I was looking for in a sunscreen and much more.

Belo SunExpert provides broad spectrum protection against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A and B rays. It is in fact rated PA+++, the highest rating given for UVA protection found locally. It also has Cell Protect® technology that works at the cellular level to strengthen the skin’s defense system. It is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and hypoallergenic. My favorite thing about it is that it is lightweight and non-sticky, so it doesn’t have that heavy, greasy feel.

Belo SunExpert has been tested by independent non-Belo dermatologists who are accredited by the FDA. The one for the body has SPF 60, while the face sunscreen has SPF 40 (which is better suited to the sensitive skin in our face). We’ve also recently come up with a spray version to make it even easier to apply.

One more tip: using sunscreen should be a daily habit and not just a “beach” thing. Many are unaware that there are other hidden causes of UV radiation damage. For example, sitting in front of a computer all day and the heat from cooking can cause melasma. Bright lights, even the ones use for reading, is enough to harm the skin.

So remember, to help prevent skin aging, you don’t need to look further. Sunscreen everyday keeps the wrinkles away.



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