Around this time every year, we find ourselves preaching about sun protection. Some might call it harping… we call it being your skincare anti-cancer, anti-wrinkles advocate. 🙂
The springtime blossoms are beginning to fall off the trees, each day is getting a little warmer and pretty soon we’ll be in maximum summer heat….and sun.
Poolside thoughts enter our minds and the thought of a walk along the river after a picnic starts to sound mighty nice.
But before you get too far into that daydream – remember this: according to the World Health Organization’s report called “Sun Protection: A Primary Teaching Resource,” up to 90% of visible signs of aging (wrinkles, sunspots, sags and bags) are caused by sun exposure.
This report found that consistent sun exposure negatively affects all 5 layers of the skin: the epidermis (actinic keratosis), dermis (solar elastosis), blood vessels (telangiectasia), sebaceous glands (solar comedones), and melanocytes (diffuse or mottled brown patches). The cosmetic effects of sun damage include wrinkles, leathering of the skin, sun spots and more while the medical effects include significantly increased rates of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Just a gentle reminder that every melanoma has the potential to become deadly.
There are 2 types of aging, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging relates to one’s natural aging process based on their genetics. Extrinsic aging is based on external aging factors such as one’s lifestyle, diet, tabacco/drug use, pollution, exercise and sun exposure. In this study, researchers found sun exposure was the most significant factor in creating visible signs of aging. They also found that darker colored skin was less susceptible to sun-induced damage. Additionally, when analyzing people from high sun vs low sun environments, the researchers found that the number of wrinkles was highly correlated with the total hours of life spent outside.
Here’s a real doozy for you: the study showed that women from low-sun environments appeared 8-16 years YOUNGER than their female counterparts in high-sun environments.
We could go on and on with what this study found – very fascinating and full of information. But the bottom line is the sun CAUSES the signs of aging to appear faster than ANY OTHER ELEMENT of your life and lifestyle. So when we say “Wear your sunscreen!” “Wear a wide-brimmed hat!” we are saying that for MANY reasons. 1/ We really hate preventable skin cancer. 2/ We don’t love our wrinkles and think you might not love yours either. 3/ Sun damage/tans/burns leads to future acne breakouts.
So please heed our advice and always wear your sunscreen. Even in the winter. There is no harm wearing it to avoid the potential harm from NOT wearing it. You won’t regret it, ever!