While the summer months are finally here and with longer exposure to the sun and heat, keeping your skin safe and healthy should not only be a major priority in order tomaintain the appearance of fresh and younger healthy looking skin, but for the protection from skin damage that could ultimately result in skin cancer as well.
With the UV radiation emitting from the sun, skin is exposed to many different effects that can change the skins appearance or worse. For the sun worshipers who like to spend hours basking in the warmth, this can be an alarming fact if one does not protect them-self from prolonged exposure to the sun. Studies have shown that years of unprotected sun exposure will in fact change the look and quality of your skin over time.
The three types of UV radiations are UVA, UVB and UVC. The first two penetrate through the ozone layer while the third one listed still gets absorbed which prevents it from reaching the earth's surface. UVC is the most harmful of the three however, we are fortunate enough for the time being that we are not exposed to it. Both UVA and UVB do in fact penetrate the ozone layer and we are exposed to this harmful radiation which can be devastating to the human skin if not properly protected.
The UV rays can cause damage to the epidermis (The Skins Outer Layer), which causes increased production of free radicals. The body naturally produces and clears itself of these molecules that contain oxygen, but cannot defend itself from the free radicals in such excessive amounts that are caused by sun damage and prolonged exposure to the sun. If the UVA rays penetrate deep enough into your skin, it can damage the collagen. Collagen is a protein that keeps the skin firm, smooth, and intact. Once the breakdown in collagen occurs, the end results are wrinkling of the skin. Collagen cannot rebuild itself once damaged, and over 80% of the appearance of wrinkles and aging are caused by many years of sun exposure.
Some of the effects that can occur to the skin if it becomes damaged by the sun include premature wrinkling, freckles, sun spots and different types of skin cancers. Approximately up to 90% of skin cancers are caused by the sun. Eye damage can also be a factor from over exposure to the harmful UV Radiation. Prolonged exposure to the unfiltered UV (Ultraviolet) radiation can cause damage to the lens and the retina that can create problems with the eyes.
Some helpful tips to avoid harming your skin and body include proper UV protection, reducing exposure to the sun between the hours of 9am and 4 pm, seek shade during the midday hours, Wear clothing to protect as much of your skin as possible, hats with a wider brim to shield the head, face, ears and neck, sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection, apply sunscreen as frequently as need with a sufficient SPF covering both UVA and UVB, and avoid the use of indoor tanning.
Remember to keep hydrated, and to take care of your skin through a healthier diet, and follow a proper skin regime.