24th February 2015
Many people associate sun damage with the most obvious sign of holiday skin, sunburn.
Whilst this is a contributing factor to skin cancer, it’s not the only characteristic that we need to consider. A golden glow can be just as bad.
Many perceive tanned skin as being youthful and healthy, yet the opposite is true. In fact, any change in skin colour is a sign that your skin is desperately trying to recover from the harmful UV rays that it’s absorbed.
So which is worse, sunburn or suntan? The answer is both. Whilst childhood sunburn has been closely linked to melanoma, it’s the cumulative exposure to UV throughout a person’s lifetime that will eventually lead to premature ageing, thinning skin, dark spots and ‘broken’ capillary veins. The good news? You can turn back the clock.
Over the years, studies have identified a ‘switch’ mechanism inside the skin’s cells that are triggered by DNA damage. Once the switch has been activated the cell will start to repair the harm caused by UV radiation. However, repeated exposure to UV rays can prevent the skin from completing the healing process, which allows cancer to form. So, by maintaining a year-round tan you’re actually hindering your skin’s ability to repair itself.
So how can you help? A daily sunscreen not only helps to prevent skin cancer, but it’s the best anti-ageing product you could ask for. Why? Most signs of ageing are actually symptoms of years of sun damage, and sunscreen protects the skin from absorbing the sun’s damaging UV rays.
This means that even if your skin has suffered from years of neglect, sunscreen can still help prevent further ageing by protecting the cells while they recover. So show your skin some love today by ditching the UV tan, and introduce an SPF into your daily skincare ritual.
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