Sun Damage & Your Skin

It’s no secret that the sun is our skin’s worst enemy when it comes to causing signs of premature aging. Its ultraviolet rays are the most active culprits in triggering free radicals.

Photo aging, a result of sun exposure, is a slow process and it may take several decades before it becomes fully noticeable. In fact, 90% of sun damage occurs by the age of 20s, only becoming visible in your early 30s and onwards.

UV rays and pollution speed up the aging process because they promote the production of free radicals. Sun exposure gives you wrinkles and make you look old. Other effects include uneven texture, brown and white blotches on the skin.

The absolute easiest and least expenisve way to prevent photo aging is to use a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday and apply it properly. So far, broad spectrum sunscreen is the most beneficial sunscreen that offers to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which are both detrimental to skin. It is very important to know that sunscreen is a daily necessity just like brushing your teeth and washing your face and hands.

Always apply sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen must be reapplied every two to three hours when you’re outside. It degrades in sunshine and heat and stops working. You need at least an SPF of 30, whether you’re playing golf or walking to the store. Doubling the dose of a product with an SPF of 15 will not give you the protection of a 30. But if you’re prone to breakout, stick to SPF 20 or lower or try a gel formula.

Always remember that sunscreen is an absolute must after any dermatologist treatments, such as lasers, IPL and microdermabrasion, when skin is usually more sensitive. This is also applies if you take prescription retinoids, as the sun can intensify their side effect, leading to intense dryness, redness and flaking.

Repeated sun tanning will also age skin. There is no such thing as a safe suntan. Sunlight or UVA-induced tans will increase skin ageing, sunspots and skin cancer risks.

It is known that exposing the skin to ultraviolet or sunlight will help to form vitamin D, which is important for some diseases. All you require is a very small amount (less than 20 minutes) of sun exposure to produce vitamin D. However, all sunscreens filter and do not completely block sunlight, hence even the most protective sunscreens allow small amounts of ultraviolet through to give you adequate vitamin D synthesis.

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3 Comments on "Sun Damage & Your Skin"

  1. kate says:

    Hi Shirleen,

    do you know any sunscreen will be best for face during time at the beach? any water risitant


  2. Shirleen says:

    Hi Kate,

    I can’t find any sunscreen that is water resistant. I will advise you to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours at the beach.

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