Primp & Polish: Zoomer’s Weekly Beauty and Grooming Picks

Thought you knew everything there was to know about protecting your skin from the sun? Think again. And just because summer is almost over, don’t think you’re safe.

The spectrum of sun damage is wider than previously thought, and it seems those years of slathering on sunscreen wasn’t enough. According to SkinCeuticals consulting scientist Dr. Nadim Shaath, infrared radiation will soon be the major focus of sun protection. In the past, scientists concentrated on UVA and UVB rays, but new studies suggest infrared radiation penetrates the skin more deeply than either of these solar wavelengths, causing free radical damage and accelerating signs of aging. Where UVA and UVB only make up seven per cent of the total solar spectrum reaching the skin, infrared radiation accounts for 54 per cent.

There are three types of infrared radiation: IRA, IRB and IRC, but the one causing concern is IRA, which penetrates down to the dermal layers, where you find the structural support for skin cells and dermal fibres like collagen and elastin. Studies show that IRA causes free radicals to form and diminishes the skin’s antioxidant capacity. Free radicals induced by IRA have been shown to affect genes responsible for the skin’s structure and signalling pathways. Where traditional sunscreens do not protect against IRA, products rich in antioxidants have been clinically proven to prevent damage caused by IRA.  Shaath recommends SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($152, whose blend of antioxidants “neutralize free radicals, suppress radiation-induced oxidative reactions and inhibit UV-induced melanogenesis.” Another brand that is rich in antioxdants is Elizabeth Arden’s PREVAGE® Triple Defense Shield SPF 50 Sunscreen ($80,

And what about the damage already done  by years of exposure to IRA? These products rich in antioxidants, like the Skinceuticals serum, boosts collagen synthesis to help diminish existing fine lines and wrinkles. For ultimate sun protection, pair  this serum with a broad spectrum sunscreen like the ones above.

Editor’s Picks Aveeno Positively Ageless Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($31 at drugstores) Kibio Solaire 50 SPF Suncare Face Lotion ($22 at Shoppers Drug Mart and Murale) Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 110 ($17 at drugstores)

-Athena McKenzie