Nothing makes a person feel younger than a healthy-looking, fresh-from-the-beach tan, right? Wrong. While a tan might feel and look good initially, the long-term effects will outweigh any short-term benefits you might experience from a day at the beach. It’s not fun to be so serious about the sun. But understanding exactly how the sun’s rays can damage and prematurely age your skin might just inspire you to cover up and consider a spray tan next time instead.
How does UV light affect the skin?
Your skin is built with a natural barrier against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Melanin is created by your skin to protect the body against these harmful rays—this chemical reaction in the skin is a tan. However, repeated exposure to UV rays can cause collagen found deep in your skin’s dermis to break down and eventually reduce the elasticity of your skin. With enough exposure to the sun, fine lines, deep wrinkles, age spots, permanent discoloration and thicker, “leathery” skin results. UVA rays penetrate your skin the deepest, causing your skin to tan and age prematurely. Meanwhile, UVB rays cause the skin to burn and can significantly increase your chances of skin cancer. Neither result is ideal.
How can I protect my skin?
• Sunscreen. Start now by investing in a high-SPF sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Find a daily facial moisturizer with at least 30 SPF and don’t forget to apply it to your neck also. Be sure to apply sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun.
• Sunglasses. Those big sunglasses that are so fashionable right now have one major advantage. If they have 100% UV protection, they will protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them from damaging sunlight.
• Hats. Don’t forget to protect your scalp and areas exposed to the sun that you may forget about—like the part in your hair or the backs of your ears. Find a fantastic hat that looks great and screens your face, ears and neck.
• Cover-ups. Throw on an adorable, airy cover-up next time you are at the beach. You’ll look good and your skin will be protected.
• Hydration. Be sure to moisturize your skin inside and out. Apply moisturizers every day and drink plenty of water to help your skin maintain its tone and elasticity.
Does your skin appear to have sun damage or signs of premature aging? There are ways that we can help undo what the sun has done. Please call our office at 813-874-2332 to schedule a free consultation. For a list of our services, please visit our website.
The Aging Effects of UV Rays
Understanding UVA and UVB