We all know we need to put sunscreen on before going out into the sun, but why is it so important to incorporate this into our daily regime?
Sunscreen absorbs UV light to prevent the skin tanning and burning. Both UVA and UVB rays are harmful to the skin. UVA causes premature aging in the form of wrinkles and age spots, while UVB will burn your skin. This sun damage will not be seen instantly (although you will see and feel sunburn straightaway). Sun damage has an accumulative affect, every exposure to the sun will add to the damage at a cellular level and once burnt the damage will stay with you.
So what does sunscreen do….?
• Appling sunscreen before exposure to sunlight will help prevents skin cancer, this is the 5th most common cancer in the UK.
• Protects the skin proteins Collagen, Keratin and Elastin, these proteins are broken down by the exposure to UV light and will cause premature aging, by the onset of wrinkles and skin sagging.
• Keeps skin smoother and looking younger. If the skin proteins are protected the appearance of your skin is protected too!
• Prevents discolouration from brown spots, age spots. Again linked to the over exposure of UV light, skin discolouration is accelerated by over exposure to UVA.
• Sunscreen is therefore anti-aging.
Other things to consider are:
• Sunscreen needs to be applied at least 20mins before exposure and reapplied at least every 2 hours for optimum protection and sooner if you are swimming or perspiring.
• Wearing clothing will help to protect your skin i.e. long skirt/trousers, long sleeves and a wide brimmed hat, but don’t for get to apply a sunscreen too. Not all fabric is a sun block.
• Try to avoid the sun during its peak. That is between the hours of 10am – 2pm, no matter what the season is.
• You can still tan on a cloudy day! The cloud may block out the sunshine, however is won’t block out the UV light and it is this that will damage your skin.
• Quite worryingly there is no such thing as a safe suntan and you can’t build a tan safely. So that ‘healthy natural tan’….. no such thing!
Protect and love your skin!