Just as you wouldn’t leave your house with a broken umbrella while it’s pouring outside, you shouldn’t leave your skin vulnerable to dangerous UV rays. Now that it’s almost summer—when UV rays are at their most potent—you need to be extra aggressive about protecting your skin. In fact, dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen even when you’re indoors. No joke.
Not scared enough? Check out some of the most common skin problems caused by excessive exposure to the sun.
SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF SUN DAMAGE
Even though sunburn usually only lasts a few days, exposing your unprotected skin to harsh rays could lead to severe damage. Bad sunburn almost always has your skin turning red and feeling a little painful. Eventually, it’ll start to itch and peel.
You get freckles when your skin produces too much melanin after being exposed to sunlight. They mostly appear on the face.
3) Age spots
These may look like freckles, but they’re not. These tend to be darker and most individuals get them naturally with age. It’s important that you keep your eye on these spots, especially if they change in look and texture.
When you blush, fluid leaks out and causes red bumps to appear on your face. This happens because the sun is strong enough to penetrate your skin and affect your blood vessels.
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF SUN DAMAGE
Sun exposure greatly affects the fibers in your skin that keep it tight and firm, which then speeds up the aging (and sagging) process.
2) Pre-mature aging
This is sort of the same thing as getting wrinkles—the fibers weaken and break and lose elasticity.
3) Skin cancer
Skin cancer is, unfortunately, the most common type of cancer. And that’s because of how little regard people have for their skin.
1) Don’t just rely on your clothes to protect you.
Your shirt only has an SPF of around 5. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. The good news is that there are certain clothes with a built-in SPF of 30, the recommended amount needed for proper protection from the sun. Want to know if your clothes have enough protective properties? Hold the fabric near a lamp. The less light that shines through, the better.
2) Wear enough sunscreen
According to dermatologist Tom Rohrer, most people only use a quarter of the recommended amount of sunscreen, when in fact, “you should try to use roughly a shot glass of sunscreen for each application.” For your face, apply 1.5 teaspoons of sunscreen.
3) And, please, apply more than once
Guys, like many things, sunscreen isn’t forever. Even ones that are marked “waterproof” or “sweatproof” wear off. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you leave a shaded area; that’s how long it takes for your skin to fully absorb it. And, get this, it should be reapplied every two hours. So keep slathering, boys.
4) Don’t forget to protect your eyes and lips
You know how some people put sunblock all over their face, but avoid the eyes and lips? Don’t make that same mistake. If you don’t want to put product on your eyes, invest in a good pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection. You also need to use lip balm with a SPF of 30 or higher.
5) Watch the time
According to SHAPE, and Manila’s unbearable heat these days, “UV rays are strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.” Give your skin some extra love if you’re spending a large chunk of that time outside.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN’S SKIN CONCERNS
Dermatologist Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations says that “men, in general, have thicker skin and bigger sebaceous glands, which means that they have a tendency to produce more oil. Reyes also shared that there’s been an increase of guys who care more about skin maintenance: “More and more men have been joining races and marathons, so naturally, they ask us how they can effectively protect their skin. They ask for more preventive measures like oral sunblock pills that provide 33% protection from the sun.”
When it comes to products, Reyes notes that men ask for more straightforward products: “They focus more on cleaning and moisturizing the face. A stronger cleanser combined with an ultra lite hydrator moisturizer would be more appropriate for men.”
IS THERE A CURE?
While most people immediately reach for a bottle of aloe when they’ve been exposed to the raging heat of the sun, it doesn’t actually cure you. Aloe vera can calm the burn and irritation, just like how lightening serums can attempt to correct your age spots, but they don’t “address the deeper cellular impairments resulting from sun exposure.” If you have enough money, however, you could always consider laser therapy or products that contain DNA repair enzymes.
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