The sun makes us feel good, and in the short term, it makes us look good, but our love affair isn't a two-way street. Did you know that unprotected sun exposure is the top cause of premature skin ageing? The real culprit of aging is a combination of your age and the sun that dermatologists call photoaging. Consider this: One woman at age 40 who has protected their skin from the sun actually has the skin of a 30-year-old!
There's no getting around the fact that sunlight is hard on your skin, but how does this all work?
The sun gives off rays of light that can help and harm us, these are known as ultraviolet (UV) rays. Even though you can’t see UV rays, they can go through your skin. The outer layer of skin is the epidermis which contains a pigment is called melanin. People with light skin have less melanin than dark-skinned people, hence why very fair-skinned people burn easier. When your body defends itself against UV rays, your skin tans. So, while you’re walking around with a gorgeous bronzed tan, it’s actually a sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun.
Too much sun exposure can lead to:
Skin changes: The sun can cause freckles and moles to appear, this happens when melanin skin cells form a clump. Over time, these can develop cancer.
Skin cancer: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer
- Early aging: The amount of wrinkles that develop, and how prominent they are, are largely dependent on a person's lifetime sun exposure. The ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate into the skin. There, they damage the elastic fibres that keep skin firm, allowing wrinkles to develop.
Eye injuries: Sunlight can take a heavy toll on the eyes, resulting in blurred vision, sensitivity to the light, excessive tearing & blindness.
(Image above represents what 28 years of sun damage did to this truck driver)
Now don’t get me wrong, a small amount of sunshine is good for us. It creates vitamin D, which your body needs to build and maintain healthy bones. But, if you’re going out in the sun, you should follow these tips to avoid sun damage:
- Use sunscreen: The higher the SPF, the more it will protect against UV rays. You should apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and remember to apply in missed areas such as your ears, lips, and hairline.
Avoid the sun during the hottest hours of the day: Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m is when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Cover up: Wear clothing and hats to protect your skin from UV rays. Sunglasses are important to wear to protect your eyes from any damage.
- Take breaks: Don't stay in the sun for long periods of time, Take breaks by going indoors or moving into the shade.
It’s important to remember that there are safe ways to get a tan. Using sunless self-tanners means you can get a gorgeous bronzed glow, and no one will be able to tell that you haven’t just come home from a tropical getaway. TanOrganic is the safest way to tan! We have oils, lotions and mousses that will provide you with a radiant glow, without the risk of sun damage.
It's also worth checking out the TanOrganic Skin Magic Wonder Serum as it's packed full of antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the skin against environmental damage and boost the efficiency of your SPF product for sun protection.
So, how bad is the sun for you? The truth is, pretty bad, but only if you don't take the necessary precautions! Many of the sun damage horror stories are avoidable, so it's up to you to look after your own skin.