Sun damage is the result of years of cumulative exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Sun damaged skin is defined as wrinkles, uneven skin tone, brown spots, broken blood vessels, thinning and sagging skin. The ultraviolet rays from the sun, are two types, UVA rays, and UVB rays. UVB rays are a shorter wavelength and are responsible for tanning and sunburn. They are strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. UVB rays are mainly responsible for the development of skin cancers, usually many years later after the tanning and sunburns.
UVA rays are a longer wavelength, and they penetrate deeper into the skin causing damage in the dermis, by destroying elastin and collagen, which give our skin firmness and tone. This type of sun damage causes loss of firmness, thinning of skin and weakens superficial blood vessels. UVA rays penetrate the windows of cars causing damage on the left side of the face and arm, while sitting in the sun.
Sun damage is most prominent in sun-exposed areas, such as the face, scalp, hands, and chest. The effects of sun exposure are cumulative. Sun exposure does not just mean sunbathing. Years of sports and outdoor activities can add up to a significant amount of sun exposure.
How to prevent and minimize sun damage:
1. Use a UVA/UVB micronized zinc or titanium sunscreen daily.
Sunscreen should be an SPF 30 for daily use and reapplied every 4 hours. The face is the most important, as well as other chronically exposed areas of skin. For active sports with profuse sweating or swimming, reapplication is recommended every 2 hours
2. Be a shade seeker.
Try to exercise before 7:00 am or after 5:00 pm. UVA rays are the same from sunrise to sunset, rain or shine. The sun’s UVB rays are strongest between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Choose to sit in the shade and avoid direct sunlight as much as possible.
3. Sun protective clothing.
Sun protective clothing has significantly improved over the past few years. They have become more lightweight, practical and stylish. Wide-brimmed hats and surfing hats are also available. Comfortable, tight-fitting, lightweight rash guards with SPF 30 are great for snorkeling, swimming, and water sports. There are also sun-protective gloves and sleeves for golfers. Children’s sizes are also available and very helpful for outdoor play time. Save the children and start early!!!
Click on the following links if you are interested in the latest sun-protective clothing:
4. Use topical antioxidants.
In addition to wearing daily sunscreen, several excellent antioxidant topicals help prevent sun damage by scavenging free radicals caused by suns exposure and environmental pollutants. Our brand of sunscreen
(Critelli MedX Skincare) is loaded with additional potent antioxidants such as green tea phenols, Vitamin C, Co-Q10, and reservatol.
Finally, staying well hydrated and drinking a lot of water is useful for preserving the skin. Chronic dehydration lessens the ability of the cells to function and leads to dry, wrinkled skin.