Natural sunlight can be beneficial to the body as it triggers the production of vitamin D. The “sunshine vitamin” helps lower high blood pressure, protects against inflammation, and improves brain function.
Sunlight also helps keep our sleeping patterns in check which can be highly advantageous in the winter when seasonal affective disorder is at an all-time high.
While the benefits of sunlight are undeniable, there are certain risks to be aware of. Damage can occur when the skin is not properly protected while exposed to the sun’s UV rays.
Science Behind Sun Damage
Skin’s outer layer, known as the epidermis, contains black and dark brown pigments called melanin. Melanin in the skin helps protect against skin damage from the sun. Some people have more melanin, and others have less.
Without an adequate amount of melanin, the skin is able to burn easily. Other side effects of sun damage can also occur, such as premature aging in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.
Over time, exposure to sunlight causes the skin to darken due to the production of more melanin. As these cells migrate to the top layer of skin and are sloughed off, your tan will gradually fade.
When the skin is exposed to ultraviolet sun rays without protection, sunburn can occur. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is most commonly associated with sunburn, although both UVA and UVB rays can contribute to the development of skin cancer.
Sunburns usually develop when UV rays penetrate the outer layer of skin and passes into the deeper layers. When this happens, the sunrays can damage and kill skin cells. Prolonged and frequent exposure to UV rays is one of the most common causes of skin cancer.
Importance of Using Sunscreen
Sunscreen has the ability to protect the skin from harmful UV rays which are commonly associated with premature aging of the skin. You are not only affected by ultraviolet rays when you’re outdoors, but also when you’re indoors.
UV rays can pass through glass, meaning you can suffer skin damage when standing by a window or when driving in your car. Your skin can burn no matter your age, skin type, gender, or darkness of your skin.
By applying sunscreen before exposing your skin to sunlight, you can help prevent sunburn, reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer, and lessen premature aging.
Dr. Sylvia Skin Care carries several sun protection options designed to protect your skin against sun damage.
Clear Defense SPF 45 with Broad-Spectrum. This lightweight SPF 45 prevents UVA, UVB, and infrared damage to the skin. It also reduces redness and hyperpigmentation, while improving the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Sheer Defense SPF 46 with Broad-Spectrum. Lightweight and oil-free, Sheer Defense SPF 46 with Broad-Spectrum is fast-absorbing and contains beneficial antioxidants. It’s also universally tinted making it suitable for most skin types.
Sun damage can build up over time. Fortunately, sunscreen can help prevent painful sunburns, dangerous skin cancer, and premature aging of the skin. Always apply sunscreen before going outdoors and re-apply every couple of hours.