The pending summer months bring barbeques, time outside by the pool and glorious long days of sunshine. We will no doubt spend countless hours enjoying the warm weather, but, without the correct protection, dangerous rays from the sun could be causing irreversible damage to your skin - making you look decades older!
Shockingly, only 14.3% of men and 29.9% of women regularly practice a correct sun protection routine when exposing themselves to the sun . Considering the lasting damage that can be caused, it is no wonder so many of us worry about our fine lines, wrinkles and skin health. After all, overexposure to UV light is one of the biggest causes of skin cancer, and it's responsible for over 90% of all skin aging, so why do so many of us risk it?
Applying sunscreen with a high SPF is incredibly beneficial, not only to avoid sunburn but to keep the fine lines and wrinkles at bay - and is one of the simplest ways of avoiding a life-changing skin condition. Here at Cel, we know how important it is to look after your skin, but how do we know we are doing the right thing? The answer is simple - applying a sun protector can help your body in more ways than one…
We face threats to our skin daily, whether it is pollution, free radicals, a change in season or dangers from the sun's UV radiation. You see, when we apply sunscreen to our bodies, it acts as a barrier between the harmful ultraviolet rays (UV Rays) emitted by the sun and our skin. These rays are extremely powerful and dangerous - known to penetrate heavy cloud, causing damage to your skin if left unprotected. That is why we must always make sure that we look after our skin, even on a rainy day!
There are many different types of UV radiation, but it is understood that there are two types of UV that we need to be mindful of when it comes to protecting our skin; UVA and UVB. Both of these rays, after long exposure, have proven to have large correlations with premature aging and skin conditions such as melanoma (skin cancer).
It is important to understand how these two different types of UV rays attack and damage your body;
UVB – This type of radiation will harm the skin by causing blistering, burning and absorbing moisture from the surface of your skin. Remember ‘B’ for burning.
UVA – Now, UVA affects the skin differently. This type of UV ray can trigger premature aging of the skin, creating deep lines and wrinkles on the surface of your skin. ‘A’ for aging.
Not every sun protecting cream in the drug store has the properties to protect from both of these types of radiation, so it is paramount that you find and purchase a sunscreen or sunblock that will cover both. The more protected you are, the lower your chances are of seriously damaging your skin – simple math.
Related: The Science Of Sunscreen
Cancer, one of the most daunting words we can hear. It is something that has affected everyone in some way or another, whether that be personally, or through a loved one, causing fear and life-changing results - but some cancers can be prevented. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, with around 9,500 people being diagnosed every day in the US alone  – with the number only continuing to rise.
This type of cancer is due to uncontrolled growth of abnormal and healthy cells developing, resulting in tumors; either malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). When the epidermis layer of skin is damaged by UV light, the natural cell regeneration is unable to perform correctly, causing the cells to divide and grow in an uncontrolled manner.
UV radiation exposure is the cause of over 90% of all cases of skin cancer, either from the sun or other sources like sunbeds or sun lamps.  So, the importance of sunscreen is paramount when looking after your body.
Skin cancer is non-discriminate, affecting anyone regardless of age, gender or skin color. The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to protect their skin either by wearing protective clothing, keeping well shaded and applying a sunscreen that is both water resistant and an SPF of 30 or above. Protecting your skin when out in the rays of the sun could be the difference between developing skin cancer or not.
Anti – Aging
As said above, overexposure to UVA rays can induce premature aging if you do not protect your skin sufficiently. Most of the changes in your skin that you commonly believe to occur due to natural degeneration as time passes, is actually due to sun exposure. Over time, UV rays damage the fibers in your skin called elastin – produced by collagen within the epidermis and dermis layers of skin. When the elastin in your skin is weakened, due to slower production of collagen, your skin will begin to look wrinkled and aged, struggling to ‘bounce’ back to a youthful state.
However, sunscreen can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from rapidly and prematurely appearing. Unfortunately, a lot of skin damage will happen when you’re younger; only becoming apparent when you reach the later stage of life.
Just think of it like this; look after your skin while you’re young and reap the benefits when you’re older. Instead of having the skin of a 40-year-old (when you’re 40), you’ll instead have the radiance and youth of a 30-year-old all thanks to a little drop of sunscreen!
Making sure your skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun is imperative, not only to prevent burning but to reduce early signs of aging and illness. Once you’re more aware of the vast dangers, it will make you more conscious of the damaging effects caused by overexposure. Your skin needs extra protection when it comes to sun damage; applying some extra cream on every day could be the difference between youthful, healthy skin and a higher risk of cancer. Be wise, apply the lotion and protect yourself from the negative effects of the sun.