This week, the discussion is about the adverse reactions to hydroxy’s in conjunction with the sun. The A’s & B’s of hydroxy’s are important enough to warrant their own series but for now, let me tell you that hydroxy’s are a must in your tool box to prevent aging and fight acne. Modern science works diligently to keep up with the demands of today’s quest for perfect skin and everlasting youth. I hear my young ones say, “if only I could stop breaking out, I’ll do anything to have perfect skin”. While those who are in the anti-age arena are continuously asking for ways to keep the skin they had ten years ago; let me add here that I’m asked this from men and women as early as in their 30′s. In my opinion, the earlier you begin the better off you will be later. Invest in your skin now.
There are two hydroxy’s, alpha (aha) and beta (bha). Alpha Hydroxy (AHA), is the warrior in the anti-age battle, while beta hydroxy is most commonly used to fight excessively oily skin that can be prone to breakouts, comodones &/or milia.
While the alpha’s job is to generate skin cell turn-over, beta hydroxy, in addition to fighting an acneic condition, can also be an excellent treatment for sun damage, (known as photo-aging or hyper-pigmentation). The irony here is that while the beta’s can be of aid to the damaged area, it can actually exacerbate or create this condition when sunscreen is neglected. It’s as simple as this… Alpha & Beta = “acid”. Hear the word people? “Acid”. What happens when an acid comes into contact with skin?? That’s right! It burns! It irritates! It leaves behind a sensitive, highly reactive situation. Using the hydroxy’s in a controlled manner can be beneficial to maintain and correct our skin issues but if the Sun’s UVA & UVB rays are added.. guess what? You burn, not only do you burn, but you can create deeper trauma that may not be fixable. The skin is susceptible as a result and adding sun to unprotected skin is “danger, danger, Will Robinson!”, which can lead to melanoma – Major Danger.
My message here is to be sure to use the best broad spectrum sunscreen available. Be certain you have a fresh tube because, yes, its efficacy can dwindle over time. Be certain to reapply hourly and protect yourself by wearing a hat, sunglasses & clothes with a high Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating. Also.. seek out shade, keeping in mind that if you happen to be sitting under an umbrella at the beach, you will still receive UVA’s & UVB’s as a result of reflection from sand and water.
Here’s a final statistic for you, UVA’s & UVB’s can reflect 30% off of Concrete, 40% from white sand and a whopping 80% from new snow
Be smart, protect your skin. Sun and hydroxy’s just don’t mix!