Being outdoors and active is part of a healthy lifestyle. However, a tan is not a sign of skin health! In fact, a suntan or sunburn are signs that skin has already been damaged.
Of course we can’t totally avoid sun exposure, but a little goes a long way. Harmful exposure can happen after just 10 minutes in the direct sun, especially between 10AM and 4PM.
What’s Harmful About Sun Exposure?
By harmful exposure, we are talking about more than sunburn. There are several additional ways that too much sun exposure damages the skin. It causes:
- Dark blotches / age spots
- Loss of elasticity
- Premature wrinkling
- Premature sagging
- Increased risk for skin cancer
That’s why I believe everyone should protect the skin with sunscreen, especially during the summer. Here are my top 5 reasons why sunscreen is the most important skincare product for you.
Top 5 Reasons To Use Sunscreen
1) Prevent Sunburn
Sunburn is the redness caused by enlarged blood vessels, and inflammation as the body responds to skin cell damage. It can be painful! People of all skin types and skin colors can get sunburn.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays causes damage to skin cells and DNA within the layers of skin. When damage is severe enough, the skin can blister, dehydrate, die off and peel.
Two types of UV rays cause sunburn and sun damage: UVA and UVB. UVA waves are long waves, and pass more deeply into the skin. UVB waves are shorter, and they do most of their damage to the skin’s surface.
Why is it important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days? UVA rays pass through windows, clouds, and bounce around even in the shade. So even if you’re spending lots of time in the shade, get your lotion on.
The damage of sunburn will heal, but unfortunately, the body will still have to deal with the long-term harmful effects of UV rays.
2) Help Prevent Age Spots
Also called liver spots, these dark patches start showing up around age 50. For some people, they appear earlier — even decades sooner — especially for people who have spent more time in tanning lights or in the sun.
Age spots form when areas of melanin — naturally formed by the body — build up with repeated UV exposure.
Age spots settle in with time. They do not go away on their own. While not medically harmful, they cause an uneven, blotchy or speckled complexion that many people don’t want.
Prevention is the best way to avoid age spots. But, it is possible to lighten age spots effectively, with new treatments including:
- Skin Pen: gentle micro-needle procedure that helps improve the absorption of skin lightening formulas, and stimulate the growth of healthier skin
- Skincare Products: In the Vitamin A family, retinol helps the skin renew itself by enabling older, top layers of skin to slough off and stimulating new skin cells to grow beneath this layer. (We found these can help: Enriched Restorative Night Time Therapy, Enriched Restorative Night Time Therapy, Enriched Restorative Night Time Therapy and Retinol Renewal Treatment Pads.)
3) Help Prevent Premature Wrinkling
Skin’s texture changes naturally as we age. But sun exposure can speed up this process drastically. Sun exposure is linked with the appearance of deeper creases and lines on the face: around lips, eyes, brows and forehead.
Creases form naturally when we smile and use our facial muscles. Younger skin becomes smooth again, thanks to collagen, a protein that supports the skin like a scaffold.
Collagen helps skin keep its shape and look continuous and even. As we get older, we have less and less collagen in the skin, because our bodies make it more slowly after age 20. UV rays break collagen fibers apart as they pass through the skin.
The more sun exposure, the more collagen breaks down. The body cannot naturally repair this fast enough. And so, creases and wrinkles begin to show where the collagen is too damaged to provide enough support.
4) Help Prevent Premature Sagging
As we age, skin becomes thinner and the youthful layer of fat below the skin tends to shift downward. Also, the skin naturally becomes less elastic with age. Elastin is a protein that helps restore the skin’s shape after stretching. Our body makes elastin more slowly, and replaces it more gradually as we age.
Over-exposure to sun degrades and weakens elastin much faster than the normal rate.
Sagging, sun-damaged skin causes many people to look much older than their real age. Unfortunately, the aging difference shows up many years later after the original over-exposure. A good sunscreen is one of the best things you can do to prevent long-term damage and keep your skin looking younger for years to come.
5) Help Prevent Skin Cancer
Protecting yourself from sunburn and harmful sun exposure is more and more important to help prevent skin cancer. Unfortunately, the rate of all forms of skin cancer is on the rise. Most notably, the rate of new melanoma cases in the US has tripled between 1975 and 2013, says the National Cancer Institute.
Melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — is related to UV exposure. Both UVA and UVB rays can contribute to melanoma, as a number of studies have shown.
Two other forms of skin cancer — basil cell and squamous cell — are not usually life threatening, but they do cause unwanted changes in the skin’s appearance. They are also related to sun exposure, and are very common. Between 40-50% of people aged 65 or over will be diagnosed with one or the other of these types of skin cancer, says the National Cancer Institute.
Make Sunscreen Part of Your Healthy Skin Lifestyle
Sunblock is not a magic cure-all, but it can help prevent a host of skin problems from sunburn to premature wrinkles, dark spots, sagging, and skin cancer.
It is important to include sunblock in your healthy skin strategy. Remember that UVA rays pass through windows, clouds, and even enter the shade. Wear sunblock, protective hats, and plan indoor activities during the most dangerous hours of the day.
Now is the time to start protecting your skin. New sunblock formulations are available to help you care for and nourish your skin. I want to encourage you avoid harmful sun exposure, and enjoy your healthiest skin. You can do both with these quality sunscreen formulas and treatments available here at the Optimal Wellness Center.
Skin Care Products
- Age Defense Antioxidant Sunscreen Moisturizing Formula
- Age Defense Antioxidant Sunscreen Sensitive Skin Formula
- Tinted Antioxidant Sunscreen
Treatments To Rejuvenate Sun-Damaged Skin
Visibly and painlessly slim your waist, hips and thighs, reduce cellulite, and firm loose skin anywhere on the body – without surgery. Find out about Venus Legacy.
Skin Pen works by stimulating new collagen and elastin production, reversing years of sun damage, improving acne scars and enhancing the skin’s overall appearance. Discover Skin Pen.
Lift and firm skin around chin and eyes; reduce wrinkles and fine lines. This ancient healing treatment improves the complexion and leaves the entire face a fresher-looking. Get Details