Skincare tips to help your skin look its best - even when the paparazzi sees you at your worst

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What Does The Sun Do To Our Skin? & What Are Its Long Term Effects?

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The other week I watched The Doctors show and there was a woman on there that loved to tan. She was literally orange and still didn't want to give up tanning. And get this, she puts butter on herself while she sunbathes.

Sure, dark tans can be sexy now... but what about later?
Skin damage accumulates over time and it will ultimately affect how we age and look.

Bad Tan - Image from GettyImages
Photo from Getty Images

Let's explore and see what happens to your skin when you tan:

1. When you're outside and you notice that your skin is red (even a little), it means your skin is working to protect you from UV damage.

2. Melanin (skin colour pigment) protects our skin from UV rays by absorbing them before they reach the deeper layers of the epidermis [outside layer of skin] and dermis [inside layer of skin].

3. UV rays injure and then kill skin cells in the epidermis and damage the tiny blood vessels underneath that nourish the skin.

4. The bronzed tan we admire so much is actually a sign of skin damage from too much UV.

Ok, so time and time again, I've mentioned that sun exposure has an effect on how our skin ages and here are some examples of visible sun damage:

1. Of course, wrinkles. Many scientists believe wrinkles have more to do with sun exposure than chronological aging.

2. I always spot older people who obviously love to tan and their skin definitely reflects that - leathery skin. And it's not rude, leathery rough texture is what the book used!

3. Age Spots. The colours of age spots depend on your skin tone and can range from beige to black. They also grow darker with time and sun exposure.

4. This one surprised me - dull complexion. The skin of African-Americans appear ashy while Caucasion and Asian skin have a "yellowish sallow tinge."

5. As mentioned above, UV rays injure and then kill skin cells in the epidermis and damage the tiny blood vessels underneath that nourish the skin. This leads to the tendency to bruise easily. As the sun injures these blood vessels, they become fragile and break more easily than before.

Stop premature aging by taking care of your skin - wear sunscreen!

Advice: Look for sunscreens that contain Parsol 1789 aka Avobenzone. It effectively neutralizes the damaging effects of both UVA and UVB rays in the skin which cause wrinkles and hyper pigmentation.


About Paparazzi Skin

A blog that explores skincare and the truth behind product claims.

I am not a dermatologist nor do I claim to be. I extract information from books and the internet that I believe will help educate readers and myself about skincare.

From time to time I will do makeup-related posts.

paparazziskin [@] gmail . com

Toronto, Ont., Canada

Skincare Books

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beautiful Skin
by Marsha Gorden and Alice E. Fugate

Future: Product Reviews