Summer’s coming!! And, happily, we’ll be able to enjoy all that a Sydney Summer has to offer us. Yay!
But before we get too excited, I thought I’d take a moment to remind you of what happens to your skin when exposed to UV sunlight and why we need sun protection every day of the year.
Impaired natural sun protection: Vitamin A depletion
One of the most critical nutrients found in the skin is vitamin A.
Vitamin A provides your skin with natural sun protection.
However, every time you expose your skin to the sun, UV radiation breaks down your natural supply of vitamin A.
Without adequate vitamin A, the skin shows signs of dysfunction, from pre-mature wrinkling and sun damage to sensitivity, dehydration, dryness and hyperpigmentation.
You can reverse this deficiency by including some form of topical vitamin A in your daily skincare routine and apply an adequate amount of broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
Dry and dehydrated skin: A loss of moisture.
Without adequate sun protection, daily exposure to UV light will activate free radicals. Which, if left unchecked, will degrade your lipid barrier and the skins ability to retain natural moisture leaving the skin dry, parched and dehydrated, no matter how much moisturiser you apply.
Wearing well-formulated sunscreen every day will improve your skin natural moisture content.
Wrinkles and sagging skin: A breakdown in collagen
UV sunlight activates free radicals which oxidise the skin. Just like the oxidation that occurs when you cut open an apple; once exposed to light and air, the apple becomes brown and dehydrated.
Over time without adequate sun protection, your skin does the same.
And, damaging enzymes activated by sun-induced free radicals will break down your skin’s collagen. What follows is a loss of strength and structure in the skin, which will appear as wrinkling and sagging.
Altered cell function: Damaged DNA
Your DNA is the blueprint of every cell in your body, including your skin cells.
UV sunlight wreaks havoc with your DNA leading to a mutated replication of the cell.
DNA damage leads to skin replicating in a damaged condition which will appear as far less than luminous. Instead, you’ll find your skin is dull and slow to respond to skin care and treatments and with a much higher risk of skin cancer.
Cancer and viruses: Lowered skin immunity
When exposed to extended periods of UV sunlight, your cells of immunity known as Langerhans cells, will retreat. This action leaves the skin without natural immunity protection and susceptible to skin cancers, viruses and slower healing processes.
Nutrient deficient: Reduced skin nutrition
UV radiation destroys essential nutrients. Vitamins A, B3, C and E, are all diminished, leaving your skin in a constant state of vitamin deficiency.
Without these essential nutrients, your skin will suffer the longterm consequences of skin damage and dysfunction.
How to protect your skin from UV Sun Damage
Choose a well-formulated broad-spectrum sunscreen, moisturiser or foundation designed to protect your skin from both UVB and UVA sunlight.
For excellent sun protection, one of our favourites is Aspect Hydrating Face SPF 50+
Apply it liberally, and if you’re exposing your skin for more than two continuous hours, we strongly recommend re-application or, even better, retreat from direct sunlight.
If you’re going to be in the sunshine for extended periods, then be sure to include a wide brim hat, and UV protective sunglasses and clothing.
In other words? Cover up!
Take an oral supplement rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins to give your skin the best chance of staying rich in essential skin nutrition.
Use topical serums rich in the vitamins A, B3, C and E.
Environ’s Focus Care Radiance+ Intense C Boost Mela Even Cream ensures you have plenty of vitamin C under your sunscreen to protect the skin from the heat of the sun and protect your protective lipid barrier.
By adding vitamins in your skincare routine, you’ll be giving your skin much better protection against the long-term damage of daily exposure to UV radiation.
If hyper-pigmentation is starting to appear, then it’s an excellent idea to include serums specifically
designed to target and minimise the enzymes that activate inflammation and pigmentation.
Aspect Pigment Punch is full of botanical antioxidants to keep blotchy pigmentation at bay.
Do all these things, and you can rest easy you’re doing the very best in protecting your skin from the longterm damage caused by the sun.
MEL | DIRECTOR & DERMAL CLINICIAN OF SELECT SKIN