What is sun damage?
Sun damage, also identified as photo damage, refers to how the sun alters the look and feel of the skin. Sun damage is a form of extrinsic ageing. Extrinsic ageing is the collective effect that exacerbates with repeated and unprotected contact to the sun. To find out more about sun damage and prevention please read below:
What causes sun damage?
Sun damage is caused by frequent exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV is an undetectable form of radiation emitted by the sun. There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are the major source of early ageing and skin cancer. UVB rays primarily access the surface of the skin and are the key source of sunburns.
How often am I exposed to harmful UV rays?
Whether you are walking to your car, driving to work, or simply sitting near a window, you are exposed to harmful UV rays. This type of daily contact is known as secondary UV exposure.
Secondary exposure occurs where you least expect it. It can occur in the shade, on cloudy days, even while you are indoors. It is likely that the usual individual is exposed to more than 10 hours of indoor UV rays every week. Add to that over 7 hours of outdoor UV rays a week and without a suitable shield, your weekly UV-radiation exposure might total nearly 20 hours. That's like spending the weekend at the beach without wearing sunscreen.
Is sun damage dangerous?
The answer is yes. In addition to premature ageing of the skin, sun damage also increases your risk of skin cancer. The three common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Melanoma is the most dangerous of all types of skin cancer but is almost always curable when treated early. The cancer usually starts in or near a mole or other dark spot on your skin. While a normal mole is symmetrical in shape, has even coloration and border, an abnormal mole is asymmetrical in shape and has shades of various colors including brown, black, tan, white, blue, and red.
Am I at risk?
We are all vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun. However, some people may be more at risk than others such as those who have experienced sunburn in the past. The following is a list of other factors that could put you at risk:
- Where you live: The closer you live to the equator, the stronger the UV rays. The same principle applies the higher the altitude. Studies suggest that there is roughly an 8% to 10% increase in UV intensity for every 1,000 feet ascent.
- How you live: Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Remember, sun damage accumulates over time and the more you are exposed, the more damaged your skin becomes. It is therefore imperative to apply sun protection every time you venture out.
- Medication: Certain medication such as antibiotics can cause heightened sensitivity to the sun (also known as photosensitivity). Sun rashes and sunburns can indicate a problem. If you're on medication, it may be worthwhile to consult with your GP or pharmacist.
- Genetics: Are you fair skinned, have light, red or blonde hair or freckles? If yes, you are at a higher risk of developing sun damage and skin cancer. If you have a family history of skin cancer, take especially extra care and use daily sun protection.
How do you prevent sun damage?
It is important to protect yourself from the sun's damaging effects by applying sun protection at all times whether in direct contact or in the shade. Whatever your choice of product, it should contain an Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Sun protectant ought to be applied to the face, ears, lips, and neck. Do not forget to protect your scalp if you have bald spots or your hair is thinning. The cream should be applied 20 minutes before you go out. For extended or intentional exposure when you are working, exercising, or relaxing outdoors, sun protectant should be reapplied every 2 to 3 hours.
In order to minimise sun exposure, you should search for shade on every possible occasion and try to avoid the mid-day sun as UV rays are at its strongest between 11am and 4pm. To help avoid damage to your eyes, sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UV rays should be worn.
To aid in countering the effects of sun damage we suggest that you use a protective sunscreen daily. Please visit us in store for a selection of products to suit your needs.
When buying any sun related product always ensure it contains as many of the following ingredients as possible:
- Retinol - is pure Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a part of forming and maintaining healthy skin. Retinol encourages the production and elimination of skin cells and stimulates the renewal of keratinocytes, which is the cells that synthesize keratin. Keratin is also the protein that makes up the skin, hair, and nails. The effects of retinol include softer skin and reduced appearance of fine lines.
- Copper/Copper Peptides - is a necessary trace metal in the body that is responsible for power and flexibility of the skin. Copper is added to specific antiaging formulations to enhance the skin's elasticity and strength.
- Alpha Hydroxin Acids - AHAs remove dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin. This increases creation of new skin cells and controls moisture levels. That results in a smoother, more healthy skin tone. AHAs result from natural sources, such as fruit, milk and sugar cane.
- Antioxidants Vitamin C + E - oxidative stress, primarily caused by sun exposure, damages the skin's support formation, the collagen matrix, Vitamin C + E, fights oxidative pressure and helps cells mend prior damage. When applied to the skin, antioxidants can lower the appearance of wrinkles and skin discoloration, and enhance skin vivacity.
- Soy - the effective components of soybeans are mild and efficient additions to numerous skin care preparations. The benefits of soy consist of smoothing and moisturising the skin and evening the overall skin tone