A tan is a sign that there is irreparable damage being done to your skin. In spite of the evidence that tans are damaging to the epidermis, the media continues to portray glowing good health as a unnatural brown tan. The Ultraviolet light that we are exposed to every time we go into the sun exposed us to damaging rays. Sun exposure caused the skin to wrinkle in the following ways, per Leslie Baumann, M.D., in her recent book “The Skin Type Solution”.
Wrinkling of skin is caused by:
Breakdown of collagen. Collagen is the skin’s supporting structure.
Breakdown of elastin. Elastin gives the skin resilience and bounce.
Loss of hyaluronic acid. This substance holds water, which give the skin it’s volume.
DNA Damage. DNA Damage causes the skin cells to go awry, which causes cancer.
Disdisintregation of the enzymes necessary for the production of the components of skin cells.
Tanning is she skin’s defense against UV Rays. when ultraviolet light hits the skin it increases the production of pigment. In addition to tanning the skin, the UV Rays worsen melsma and causes sun spots.
There are two different types of ultraviolet rays to be concerned about. UVB Rays cause immediate sunburn. UVA Rays cause long term damage. Most sunscreens do not protect against both types of lights. Even the broad spectrum sunscreens do not protect completely form both types of lights. If you are going to be outdoors, in the sun, it is a good idea to layer the sunscreens, using two different types, to get broad coverage and to best avoid sun overexposure.
Most people do not use sunscreen correctly. Sunscreen should be applied to all types of the body, especially the often neglected neck, chest and hands. These areas are often neglected and give away age most quickly. Sunscreen should also be applied under clothes. Many people overestimate how much protection their clothing gives them. A T-shirt only gives a SPF of 5, much less the the recommended SPF of 15.
Following are tips for sun protection:
1. Wear broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 45 to 60.
2. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, so that t has a chance to penetrate skin.
3. Reapply sunscreen every hour, as it tends to come off during the day.
4. Avoid the strong mid day sun. When possible go outside before 10 am and after 3 pm.
5. Carry an umbrella when possible. Use the umbrella to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun.
6. Wear sunscreen protective clothing. One supplier of this type of clothing is sun precautions.com.
7. Apply sunscreen to all areas of the body, including clothed areas. Clothing provides less protection than people realize.
8. Don’t sunbath immediately after swimming. There is a synergistic effect with the water and the sun, increasing the susceptibility to sunburn. This synergistic effect occurs with fresh and salt water. After swimming, dry off, apply sunscreen, dress and wait 20 minutes before sun exposure.
Using these sun protection tips will allow you to enjoy some time in the warming rays of the sun without frying your skin. You will be living in the skin you are in for the rest of your mortal life. Protect it and treat it well now so it will look young and healthy for many years to come.
The Skin Type Solution by Leslie Baumann M.D., Published by Bantam Books.