The single most important thing to delay ageing is sunscreen. Sunscreen also protects from sun rays induced allergy and tanning.
Sunlight contains UVA and UVB rays which account for 90% of photo-ageing. The ultraviolet rays lead to the formation of free radicals which breaks down collagen and elastic fibres present in skin; these are responsible for maintaining the integrity and smoothness of your skin. Over a period of time, due to everyday sunlight exposure, these break down pre-maturely and hence lead to formation of wrinkles, open pores and sagging of skin. Sunlight also leads to formation of melanin in excess which leads to spots such as freckles and age spots.
However, one can delay the process of ageing just by application of a good quality sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Some points to remember about a sunscreen application:
1. Apply at least before 20-30 mins before stepping out as it takes time for the sunscreen to penetrate the skin in order to start working.
2. Apply a generous amount so that your face skin is covered completely. Apply ok your hands also to avoid tanning.
3. Do not massage it in. Instead, use gentle patting movement and spread it using your fingers only. If you feel that you have applied too much, wait for 2 mins and then dab off excess using a tissue paper.
4. Reapply if you are out in the sun for more than 2 hours; as the effect of sunscreen wears off slowly.
5. Always wash off sunscreen before going to bed.
6. Even on a cloudy day, apply sunscreen. Remember, the UV rays penetrate through the clouds; and even though you may not feel the warmth of sun, the UV rays continue to damage your skin.