Effects of Sun Exposure on Skin
There are many wonderful things about summertime, but unfortunately skin health isn’t one of them. Sun damage can lead to dark spots, skin that looks aged, and even more serious illnesses. The good news is sun damage is also easily preventable, even when you spend lots of time outside. Here’s an explainer on the best practices for skin and what happens when you avoid protecting yourself. Even when it's cloudy and you're outside you're getting exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Even if for a brief period of time, exposure can lead to premature aging of the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.
In fact, many negative effects of aging come from sun exposure. These detrimental effects include:
With prolonged sun exposure over time, the skin can become thick, wrinkled and leathery. Since it occurs gradually, often manifesting itself many years after the majority of a person’s sun exposure, premature aging is often regarded as unavoidable, normal part of growing older. However, up to 90 percent of the visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
Dark spots and an uneven complexion are often the result of too much time in the sun. Melanin in the skin increases at variable rates, so you’re left with certain “sun spots” that can be difficult to get rid of.
We probably don’t have to remind you that sun damage can have effects beyond an uneven complexion. Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to sun-induced skin cancer. If you notice changes in your skin, speak with your dermatologist.
Minimizing The Effects of Sun Exposure
Those who protect their skin consistently from a young age are more likely to enjoy more youthful, healthy skin than their peers when they are 40, 50 and into their golden years.
Still, it's never too late to start practicing good skin practices. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher regularly and as directed. If you buy a moisturizer that contains an SPF of 15, you will make sun protection part of your natural daily routine. Apply sunscreen on any exposed skin that is not covered by clothing, and re-apply at least every couple of hours - especially if you're sweating or doing a water sport. Look out for skincare products and makeup products that contain an SPF — like Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, which can help prevent premature aging of the skin due to sun exposure.