If you’ve read the about section of my blog, you’ll be aware that my skin reaction to sunscreen in my early 20s is the reason why I am passionate about everything skincare related.
Sun protection is a big thing for me. I have been postponing writing about this since I first started blogging. Here I am, sitting on a plane to Sri Lanka which means there is no better time to tackle this topic #holidaymodeon.
I wear sunscreen all year long. Every. Single. Day. Some of my friends call me the SPF nazi :). Others just ask why.
This post is for the latter…
There are many misconceptions about the damaging effect UV rays can have on your skin. The majority of people still believe that wearing sunscreen is a “holiday thing”, simply to prevent potential sunburn. “Oh, I tan really quickly, I just need something for day one!!!”
One of my collagen cells dies every time I hear something like that. It’s not as simple as it seems.
There are 3 main types of UV rays, classified according to their wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. (UVC never enters the earth atmosphere, so we don’t need to worry about that..)
UVB rays make us TAN or in worst case scenarios, BURN. They are much stronger during the Summer between 12 and 4 pm. The good news is that there are many different ways to protect ourselves from UVB rays ranging from quite reliable sunscreens to big hats, sunglasses and clothes. UVB rays kick off our melanin production and make our skin become darker to prevent sun damage. The bad news is that tanned skin is damaged skin!! Let alone sunburns. I won’t even go there.
Tan lines and maintaining a holiday tan are not the topic of this post!!
Making sure that you include products with sun protection in your skincare routine is the biggest game changer. Did you know that 80 – 90% of all changes on the skin are the result of sun damage? Yep, all ageing signs, hyperpigmentation, dark spots … everything.
All of this is down to UVA rays. These are the real bad boys! They penetrate deeper into our skin, all the way to the dermis and mutate cellular DNA. UVA rays break down elastin and collagen and liberate free radicals – ageing, ageing, ageing.
I get it. It’s very difficult to adopt a new product into your routine, especially because there are no immediate results. however, the long-term results are terrifying. If you already haven’t stumbled across a photo of Bill McElligott, the truck driver, who spent 28 years behind the wheel – this is what happened.
Photo credit: thestar.com
Through the truck window! You can’t get tanned/burned through the glass, but UVA rays are pretty unstoppable. Even if it’s cloudy, rainy or you are sitting in a shadow under the tree.
This is why I wear SPF every day – at least on my face and hands. And so should you. The consequences of UVA damage is delayed and as such we underestimate their power.
Mini tip: If you don’t protect your skin beyond a sunny beach holiday, there is no product in this world that will be able to reverse the damaging effects of UVA rays.
Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. There are many unanswered questions regarding sun protection. Vitamin D deficiency, how to choose the right product for your skin type, are all sun protections safe?
Sun care saga continues. Soon.