Forever Young? Not If You Absorb UV
The skin as a living tissue, goes though natural phases of maturing. But premature skin signs are nearly always connected to sun exposure. The UV light which the sun sends along the visible light, is the number one reason for rapid skin aging and skin disorders.
The UV light which can make furniture and flooring color fade, can do much more damage o our skin. The UV rays intensity change throughout the year. In the summer and spring, there is more UVB – short UV rays, which cause tanning and skin burns. Through the year there are constant levels of UVA which are the longer rays 320nm-400nm (nanometer), these rays cause deep skin aging, wrinkles and spots.
Both UV types A+B have a direct impact on the risk for developing skin cancer in general and Melanoma (which is the third most deadly type of cancer) in particular. But in his post we will focus on the non lethal skin changes caused by the sun.
Sun Cause Pigmentation
The UV rays can interrupt the natural melanin production. Melanin is the natural color cells which makes our eyes blue, and skin tan. When the melanin production is messed, excessive melanin production begins. Dark skin pigmentation appears on the skin. Large areas turn darker in an uneven patches. This is called Hyper-pigmentation. It can be treated with laser light removal or exfoliating creams, to remove the dark skin.
UV Cause Premature Wrinkles
The UV can damage the elastic skin tissue, causing loss of collagen.
Dermatologists examined the faces of 298 women, aged 30 to 78, with 12 experts studying photographs of individual faces on a screen.
Another panel of volunteers also viewed the women’s faces and estimated their age.
The results show that the effect of UV exposure increases with age. Significant differences were seen in wrinkles and skin-texture quality after the age of 50, with the sun-seekers looking older than their real age. Read more.
Exposure to UV light for long period can break down skin’s connective tissue. The UV has an effect on collagen and elastin fibers. Both collagen and elastin fibers can be found at the deeper layer of skin called dermis. The decreasing of the supportive connective tissue causes the skin to lose strength and flexibility. The result is that skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
How To Slow Down Visible Skin Changes
All researchers, doctors and dermatologists are united about the fact that UV cause visible skin changes (along with skin cancer). But the visible effects can be slowed down, and sooner is better.
Stay away from direct UV light – The most important thing is awareness. Be aware that direct sun light carries with it UVA and UVB, which together with warmth penetrates to the skin and breaks down the elastic fibers and tampers with melanin production.
Sit in the shade, walk in the shade, wear a hat and sunglasses. Wear long sleeve when outdoor during sunny days.
Apply ‘broad spectrum’ SPF creams – Note that the sunscreen MUST be broad spectrum in order to filter UVA. Regular SPF creams can filter only UVB (short rays) and will not slow down collagen loss caused by UVA. FDA recommendations are to apply a teaspoon of sunscreen lotion per arm or leg, and a teaspoon for the face. Reapply every 2 hours to maintain the UV protection level expected from the cream.
Wear UPF Clothing – To slow down rapid aging processes and block UV by nearly 98%, the most advanced solution is wearing UPF clothing (Ultraviolet Protective Factor). These are casual apparel items, T shirts, pants, buttoned shirts and dresses, which are made by new technology which makes them UV resistance. Regular cotton shirts filter 5% of UV, a UPF shirt can filter 98% of UV. There are dozens of designs, colors, manufacturers of UV protective clothing. All you need to do, is to pick 3-4 items so you can mix & match your daily or weekend wardrobe.
High Preference UV Blocking Apparel
Men’s UV Long Sleeve Shirt
- Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
- Omni-Wick moisture management
- Quick drying for extra comfort
Women’s UV Blocking Long Shirt
Combining a tight-weave construction, UV reflectors, and UV absorbing technology.
These features not only prevent sunburns and long-term skin damage, but they also protect the wearer from UVB rays in addition to UVA rays.
Women’s Sun Protective Wrap
- Sun Protective ZnO SUNTECT Cotton/Spandex blend
- Pull On closure
- Rated UPF 50+
- Soft, lightweight, breathable with a stylish shawl collar
- Packable design; great for travel
- Highly breathable, cotton/spandex blend