When I say sun damage I mean the negative impact too much unprotected exposure to sun light can have on the look, feel and health of our skin. This sun damage is caused by UV rays. Sun light consists of two different kinds of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the cause of sunburns. UVA rays however, are not only responsible for excessive skin aging, but can also lead to skin cancer.
Unfortunately, most people will not give up tanning, outdoors activities or go outside only with all their skin covered despite the risks involved. We love the sun.
Sunlight can have a damaging effect on your skin, but you can prevent it. There are several ways you can protect your skin from sun damage such as premature aging, wrinkles, sun blotches and changes in the pigmentation. Especially if you spend a lot of time exposed to sun light, like spending your days at the beach, running marathons or working outside you should heed the following advise.
- Always use a sunscreen, sun blocker or sun crème. Ask your pharmacist or dermatologist which UV protection your skin needs. A thumb rule is: the lighter the skin type, the higher the protection needed to prevent sun damage.
- Enrich your diet and use skincare products that have soy components in them. Soy can smooth and moisturize the skin and also helps against sun blotches by evening the overall skin tone.
- The sun can damage the skin by causing so called oxidative stress through free radicals. This can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. After exposing your skin to sunlight you should use an after sun lotion or similar skincare product that contains the vitamins C and E. These vitamins counter oxidative stress and help the skin repair previous sun damage.
- Chemical Peels: skincare products that help the skin rejuvenate and regenerate itself by shedding its’ outer layer. The skin is noticeably smoother and softer after a peeling. However, you should not do a peeling after a long day in the sun as the skin is already stressed.
There are more invasive measures that can be taken in order to treat sun damage. These include non prescription and prescription medication and cosmetic treatments such as laser treatments as well as BoTox, collagen and fat injections. Personally, I am of the opinion that the less medication the better, no matter if it’s over the counter or not. Enjoy the sun, but with care, and use natural, non-invasive ways to help your skin protect itself from sun damage. Prevention is always better than treatment.
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