The warmth of the sun and a golden tan are two very good reasons for spending your time by the pool this summer. However, the fact that 80% of visible aging is caused by the sun is the best reason to avoid hanging out on the sun-drenched patio. Hot weather is made bearable by days at the beach or lounging in the pool, the damage that you could be doing to your skin interrupts the fun you may think you are having. This is especially true if you have taken an interest in anti-aging strategies and are working to preserve your youthful good looks. Sure, a nice bronze color goes a long way in the appearance department, but as they say, tans fade and wrinkles are forever.
You probably aren’t purposely trying to make yourself look older. After all, why do you shy away from all those candles on a birthday cake?. Too much alcohol, too little sleep, too much stress, and a terrible diet are often the first to be blamed for your age line and skin spots, but the origins of their appearance can probably be blamed on the sun. In fact, you shouldn’t even consider putting on wrinkle cream or spot-lightening toner if you aren’t going to protect yourself from the sun. The sun gives off harmful ultraviolet rays that damage the very DNA of your skin cells. The defects can cause mutations, leading to cancers, loss of pigment, and premature aging. In fair-skinned people, it only takes between 5-10 minutes for damage to start occurring. Embracing the sun (and its damaging UV rays) throughout your whole life can create irreversible conditions.
Even though summer is coming, your skin can suffer UV damage at any time throughout the year. Solar radiation reaches the earth all year round, so protection is needed at all times. If you already have a skin condition, the rays can make them worse. The sun creates dark marks when acne blemishes clear in those who deal with hyperpigmentation conditions. Your skin treatments can also make your skin more subject or sensitive to sun damage as well. So how do you help your skin survive? The key is a skin routine that incorporates good habits and the right products.
First of all, remember that sun damage occurs below the surface, and cumulatively speaking, it is lethal. A sunburn is the least of your worries. Tanning habits, in the sun or under artificial lights is always a bad idea because of the destruction of cells and tissue deep below the surface. You can’t avoid going outdoors altogether, so you need to get in the habit of covering up either with clothes or sunscreen. The sun’s rays are the most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., so limiting your time outdoors between this time frame can protect your skin. If you do end up going outside, wear heat, sunglasses, and protective clothing. The FDA also recommends wearing sunscreen.
You might be looking to a healthy dose of sunscreen to save you from skin damage, but in reality, you are probably not using enough to prevent signs of aging or using one strong enough to fight off the UV rays. SFP ratings for sunscreen are based on the application of the product where 2 milligrams are applied per square centimeter of skin. Converted into normal application routines, that would be like using ¼ of a teaspoon just on your face. Using a lotion that has a minimum of 30 SPF is a good start, but you need to make sure you are putting enough on as well. You also need to frequently reapply when swimming. Don’t think that you only need to apply this much sunscreen when by the pool. Anytime you are going to be outside (cloudy or sunny), you need to protect your skin.
Sun Damage Solutions
You may not have the best track record in sun protection, and your youthful looks have already started to show signs of aging. While prevention is more effective and easier than reversal, you can still have success turning the clock back on sun damage. You can find a lot of these ingredients in treatment formulas found at beauty counters or recommended by dermatologists. Niacinamide is good for reducing the appearance of dark spots, and azelaic acid can lighten marks that have been left by acne. Tretinoin can help with clogged pores and improve skin texture. Vitamin C repairs existing damage and has antioxidants that fight off the free radicals threatening your skin with cancer and cellular breakdown.
The sun may be one of the most powerful elements of the earth, but it isn’t worth the attention that you give it. The increased risk of skin cancer and damage, not to mention the loss of your youthful looks, should be good enough reasons to leave well enough alone.
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