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#LiveBright: Sun Protection & Anti-Aging Q&A with Dr. Caroline Chang

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we are launching our #LiveBright campaign to share sun safety tips, positivity and, of course, our original prints. We are collaborating with leaders in the sun safe community throughout the month to bring further awareness to skin cancer beyond sun protective clothing & swimwear.

Cabana Life is passionate about sun protection, and to give you the best information, we reached out to experts in the field, our favorite dermatologists! We are so excited to feature Dr. Caroline Chang. She is a Board Certified Dermatologist & founder and CEO of RI Dermatology Institute. You can find @drcarolinechang on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter; and her practice @riderminstitute on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Read below to learn Dr. Caroline Chang's tips on sun protection & aging.

What are your recommended treatments for sun spots, or to reverse sun damage?

"The best way to treat sun damage is to prevent it from occurring!

While we have ways of reversing sun damage - to an extent - most of those ways require downtime and can sometimes be aggressive.

Laser skin resurfacing can remove superficial sun spots and also improve fine lines and skin texture. It comes with a 1-2 week down time depending on the type of laser.

Chemical peels can remove superficial to middle layers of the skin to slough off sun spots and give your skin a dewy complexion. Peels can have a 1-2 week downtime depending on the type of peel. The deeper the peel, the more downtime, but also the more clearance of brown spots.

Spot removal of sun spots can be performed with a number of devices if you only have a few spots to treat. Expect any treatment to cause crusting to the spot for about 1 week."

I spent my childhood tanning. How can I improve & protect my skin now?

"It's never too late to start protecting your skin! While the damage from your childhood cannot be reversed, protecting your skin going forward will help to slow the damage process and also give your skin time to repair. Wear sunscreen on your face daily even in the winter and protect your body with sunscreen or sun protective clothing. Seek shade whenever possible and do not lay out to tan."

Is it true 90% of aging is caused by sun exposure?

"Since ambient sunlight consists of 90% UVA rays, and since UVA rays mainly contribute to skin aging, then I can understand where that statistic comes from." 

How do UVA rays contribute skin aging?

"Ambient sunlight consists primarily of UVA (90%–95%) and UVB (5%–10%). UVA rays have the longest wavelength of the three and therefore can penetrate the skin more deeply to damage the dermis. Due to the deeper penetration into the skin, UVA is directly related to the premature skin aging, oxidative stress to DNA, and skin cancer formation."

What is a good skin care routine for people concerned about UV damage or prevention?

"You want to both protect and repair the skin. Protect with sunscreen, SPF 50 or higher, use it daily on the face Repair with Antioxidants such as Vitamin C which scavenges free radicals. Free radicals are formed when UV light penetrates the skin and is what causes DNA damage and breakdown."

Does sunscreen prevent skin aging?

"Yes! Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light."

What forms of sun protection do you recommend? 

"The more the merrier when it comes to sun protection! For your face: sunscreen daily even in the winter. You can also wear a hat and sunglasses for additional protection. For your body: apply sunscreen about 20 minutes prior to going out. Add sun protective clothing for additional protection."

What do you do to protect your skin from the sun?

"All of the above!"

What is the most important advice you give to your patients regarding aging and sun protection?

"Protect your skin early and often. It is much easier to prevent damage than to reverse it."

Two women standing in Garden wearing Cabana Life Preppy Palm Tunic Dress and Aruba Blues Embroidered Maxi Dress

Photo via : @drcarolinechang

We hope these tips remind you to stay sun-safe, and love the skin you're in!

For more Dermatologist Q&A's look out for our next #LiveBright blog & follow along on our Instagram.

And if you want to add sun protection to your wardrobe check out our new arrivals for all things sun safe & stylish.