The Sun and Your Skin

Not Best Pals!

The days of dark tans are over. We used to bake ourselves in the rays with little or no sunscreen hoping to deepen our skin tones. It makes you shudder to think of how you used to lather up with oils and sizzle at the pool or beach! This trendy but bad behavior can have consequences much later in life – like the appearance of skin cancer. Your chances are greatly increased when you subject yourself unprotected to the harsh ultra-violet (UV) rays of the sun. Put protection between the sun and your skin. We may not have known all the facts then, but we do now.

It has now been proven that the effects of aging for the skin are most likely the result of accumulated exposure to the UV rays of the sun. Wrinkles, looseness and discoloration can all be attributed to this prolonged exposure. The sun and your skin are not best pals! You must practice diligence in protecting your skin throughout your life. The use of sunscreen has been proven to reduce the chance of actinic keratoses, which can develop into a type of cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. However, basal cell carcinoma seems to be a result of a lifetime of unprotected exposure. So use that sunscreen consistently!

If you suffer from acne, you may have heard the myth that getting out in the sun will help clear your skin. To restate, it is a myth! The sun and sweating can actually increase the instances of acne by stimulating the oil glands responsible for the condition. Increased activity by the sebaceous glands for any reason has been shown to increase the risks of increased acne presentations. If you are using topical treatments on your skin, contact between the sun and your skin may be exactly what you do not need. Benzoyl peroxide, for example, carries a side effect of increased sensitivity to sunlight. This will do nothing but further your skin conditions with a rash.

If you have ravaged your skin with those years of UV exposure there are creams and treatments available on the market to assist with the reversal process. Vitamin A (Retinol) has proven effective with improving the overall health and appearance of sun-damaged skin. Alpha hydroxy acids found in milk, fruit and sugar cane add increase the production of new skin cells. Vitamins C and E improve collagen that is the skin’s support matrix. Soy has been found to smooth and moisturize the skin. Prevention is still the best measure to keep the relationship between the sun and your skin on healthy terms.