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The Truth About Looking Good – SPF and Retinol

Tuesdays BBC One documentary ‘The Truth About Looking Good’ explored the importance of two of the most important products to have in your skincare routine in preventing ageing. They were Sunscreen -SPF and Retinol, the only over-the-counter product scientists would use on their own wrinkles.


SPF – Sunscreen


As all of my clients will know I am a great advocate of sunscreen – SPF for everyday use to protect against the UVA (ageing) – ageing- computers, lights, pollution,smoking etc) as well as well as UVB (Burning).


In the BBC TV programme Claire, a bus driver for over 40 years, had her face analysed with results showing her right side of her face had more skin damage, more wrinkles, than her left side. This is because the UVA rays penetrate through glass of her coach. Claire did not realise this and obviously has not been advised to wear an SPF daily.


Also there was a programme a few years ago about an American truck driver, Bill McGelliott, who suffered similar, but worse, conditions. The Huffington post still reference this report and it can be found here:


Thorntonhall Therapies - SPF , Sunscreen and Retinol

The effects of UVA through the windscreen



Do you find SPF numbers confusing or does your experience of sunscreens relate to a heavy, cloying and irritating product that has made your skin breakout, whilst using it? If this is the case no wonder you don’t want to use one every day. Elizabeth Arden PRO, Medik8 and Vitage®, depending on your budget, all produce professional sunscreens that are water based and will treat your skin with potent antioxidants and skin conditioners as well as protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays.


Which SPF ?


A sunscreen SPF 30 is widely regarded as the optimum level of skin protection.  Below SPF 30 the protection becomes barely worthwhile particularly if it is not applied in enough quantity. Ideally an SPF 30 daily is the best option to reduce irritation and give optimum protection against ageing.


UVA penetrates deeper than UVB (the burning ray) and therefore is actually more ageing, damaging the vital structures in the Dermis.  All of Elizabeth Arden PRO, Medik8 and Vitage® sunscreens have maximum UVA protection and this is denoted by the UVA symbol on the front of all packaging; this independently tested guide is the EU standard to denote UVA protection.


All Elizabeth Arden PRO sunscreens have been awarded the Skin Cancer Foundation recommendation which is a great accolade. I have blogged about SPF quite a few times and you can find my other articles below:


Vitage Skin Defence SPF30 Review

Winter Skin Care

The Best Protection a Girl Can Lay Her Hands On




Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and is an active ingredient in good skincare products. As Consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto in the BBC programme said retinol is the only over the counter product they would use.


Retinol helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, increase skin firmness and fight the effects of environmental aggressors.


The beneficial effects of retinol on the skin depend on its concentration and presentation and the selection of the correct formula is vital to ensure you have the right strength for your skin concerns.


From experience it is definitely worth starting slowly, with a low dosage of Retinol. Even a 0.01% retinol is very effective for improving the overall health and appearance of your skin. Combine retinol with other antioxidants and most definitely an SPF and you have a great combination for anti-ageing.


Worried about Skin Damage ?


If you would like to find out more or you are worried about skin damage please do not hesitate to contact me and I can help you choose a great product and recommend corrective action for your skin concerns. Please note that there are many different forms of retinols on the market and if you require help to choose the correct one for you please do not hesitate to contact me.


Book a free no obligation consultation and we can discuss your skin concerns.

  • Posted by Trisha Harvey
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