We know ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin and increase the risk for skin cancer. However, UV rays can really age your skin.
Everyone likes to get a nice tan in the sun. Some even use those tanning beds (which can really damage your skin and increase risk of skin cancer).
The latest release from the American Academy of Dermatology cautions against ultraviolet radiation from the sun and indoor tanning beds.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is made of two types of harmful rays.
UVA rays are called long wave ultraviolet A radiation. They can penetrate deep into the dermis of your skin. UVA rays can damage existing collagen and reduce collagen production, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin.
UVB rays are short wave ultraviolet B radation. They are the rays that cause sunburns and uneven pigmentation of your skin.
Too much exposure to UV rays can cause blood vessels to appear more prominent and the skin to become red. Regular visible sunlight and even pollution can cause uneven skin tone, especially in darker skin types.
How Do You Protect Your Skin?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher.
Here is what is effective in a sunscreen:
– has broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays (SPF of 30 or higher)
– contains active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
– contains antioxidants to protect against uneven skin tone and aging caused by free radical damage from infrared light, visible light and pollution
Other Simple Skin Protection
Just wearing protective clothing like hats and sunglasses also goes a long way to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, reapply your sunscreen about every two hours.
Also watch out for areas with lots of sand, water or snow. These areas will reflect the sun’s rays. Even on cloudy days, 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate your skin.
If you’re the type that use tanning beds, consider stopping. These beds expose you to harmful UV rays that can increase risk of skin cancer and accelerate aging.
Treat your skin like a precious commodity! Protect it from the sun’s harmful rays and keep it looking young, beautiful and healthy for a long time.