We’re all aware of SPFs and when the sun is at its strongest nowadays, and we’re especially aware that we use sunbeds at our own risk, but there are still many people who are experiencing the results of long-term sun damage, and have spent a week in Ibiza with only an SPF of 8 on their skin all day every year for quite a while.
Your annual summer holiday starts to have much bigger implications, and with 37 people being diagnosed with skin cancer every day, maybe we don’t quite understand the damage we could be doing.
From the moment we’re exposed to the sun, our skin is reacting to it, often negatively if we don’t have adequate SPF protection on our skin. “There’s a meter in your skin. Every minute you’re out in the sun, your body registers it,” according to Dr Neal Schultz, a cosmetic dermatologist. We don’t see much of a summer in the UK, which is perhaps why we often lose ourselves on a summer holiday, crave that golden brown tan, and ignore the damage it’s doing.
What does sun damage look like?
Sun damage makes itself known in a variety of unpleasant ways. It causes premature ageing in the form of lines and wrinkles, drying out the inner layers of skin, particularly around the eyes and mouth. Discolouration and sun spots are also common, which can vary from shades of red to dark brown.
It also makes the skin appear to have a different texture as the outer layer becomes thinner with more and more UV exposure. As well as this, the deeper layers of skin become thicker and tougher, losing a lot of elasticity and giving older, sun-exposed skin that ‘leathery’ look.
It’s simple – the more your skin is damaged by sun exposure, the faster and the more severely you will age.
It’s never too late…
Some damage may have been done already, and it’s likely you’ve been burnt at least once, but the sooner we start covering our skin in proper protection and taking a bit more care when out in the sun, the less of a toll it will start to take.
For those who take their skin very seriously indeed and want to start protecting themselves even when they’re nowhere near a beach, an SPF of 15 on the face is perfect. For long periods in the sun it’s a minimum of 30. If you’re particularly sensitive to the sun, or want to make sure your children are fully protected, an SPF of 50 is pretty essential. Some of us will burn rather than go brown, if you’re one of those people, consider buying your next tan in a bottle instead and cover up in a high SPF!
Can you turn back time?
It’s thought to be impossible, but you can actually make a big difference with a variety of treatments.
Skin lightening creams can be a temporary option for some dark spots, but for larger areas and more severe sun damage, there are a variety of laser and exfoliation treatments available.
Skin lightening creams can be a temporary option for some dark spots, but for larger areas and more severe sun damage, there are a variety of laser and exfoliation treatments available. Serum-Infused Microdermabrasion exfoliates the outer layer of skin with a diamond hand piece and also penetrates through to be infused deeply into deeper layers of the skin – targeting both areas of sun damage.
Rejuvenating, rebuilding collagen strands and fighting pollutants in the skin, microdermabrasion is painless and side-effect free.
For something that can make a difference to you whole face at once, try IPL Skin Rejuvenation, a procedure which can eradicate a multitude of sins, from rosacea to age spots, and of course sun damage. Your skin is exposed to intense light pulses, targeting unwanted cells that cause blemishes. Dark spots and redness from those holidays in Marbella don’t stand a chance.