The Most Common Skin Condition and How to Prevent It

We asked some of our ZO skin health professionals what is the most common skin problem that they encounter in their clinics. The answer may surprise you…it’s sun damage. Yes, many dermatologists have expressed how sun damage and the multiple consequences it has on the skin is a primary issue for many patients. So we thought we’d give you some tips on how to prevent it.

What is Photodamage?

Photodamage also known as sun damage or photo-ageing is a skin condition that can affect any skin type. It develops when the skin is exposed to an overwhelming amount of harmful UV rays from sun exposure. It commonly begins to occur as young as two or three years old however it is still undetectable at this stage.  As a person grows older, and thus experience more sun exposure the damage caused becomes clinically significant. Pigmentation, wrinkling and loss of elasticity become more apparent.

It is imperative that early signs of photodamage be recognised and treated as this will help to avoid development of more severe and clinically challenging types of sun damage. Regrettably, the early stages of photodamage such as tanning, freckles, and lentigines are often ignored and treatment is only sought out when the condition becomes more severe, for instance when actinic keratoses and skin cancers appear.

Addressing Photodamage

The ideal way to tackle photodamage is to prevent it ever from occurring. This requires going beyond basic sun protection, and incorporating Dr Zein Obagi’s Key Principles of Skin Health Restoration:photodamage

  1. Avoid tanning entirely

Tanned skin is actually a display of DNA damage as well as a multitude of other unhealthy skin changes. These can have a significant negative consequence over time. Consequently, you should try to avoid excessive sun exposure. Wearing protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved tops, and trouser as well as avoiding outdoor activities during peak time (between 10am-4pm) is advised.

  1. Do not rely on sunscreens alone

Regardless of how high a level of SPF you have in your sunscreen; it inevitably comes off after only one to two hours. So you must reapply it frequently throughout the day. Additionally, even if you do consistently apply sunscreen, research has demonstrated that people do not actually apply enough. So make sure to use plenty of sunscreen and don’t forget to cover everywhere; including the ears, hands, back of the knees and feet.

  1. Implement a daily skincare routine to ensure optimum skin protection

Following a skincare program that provides stabilisation of the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and the dermis (inner layer of skin) will increase the skin’s ability to repair and renew itself. To promote and enhance the skin’s barrier function, use a suitable concentration of retinol and AHAs daily. Always apply sunscreen after these active ingredients.  In addition, the skin should be supplied with a formulation that consists of 4-6 types of antioxidants for DNA protection and to stimulate skin repair.

Product Recommendation

 ZO Skin Health’s Oclipse® Smart Tone SPF50 is a highly advanced, SPF 50 sunscreen with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB and HEV protection.  In addition, it is formulated to inhibit pigmentation. Furthermore, it has a sophisticated 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex to guard against photodamage. Plus, this sunscreen doubles as a sheer tint primer. Comprised of customisable colour-bursting beads to release a subtle tint for the appearance of a radiant and healthy glow.


Source: Body Language