Is tanning good or bad? Bad. But what about sun exposure in general? The sun may not burn you instantly, but the collagen damage happens- even through windows.
Do naturally darker people have more protection against wrinkles? Nope. Dark skin has an SPF rating of 2. Read on to learn how it works, and how you can help yourself;
UVR rays are split into three categories; UVR UVA AND UVC.
UVC are mostly depleted through the earths atmosphere, needless to say that UVA and UVB reach our skin in large amounts and are the ones that cause the most harm. UVA rays are what age you essentially.
UVB rays are the ones that burn the skin, it has considerable capacity to cause harm in the form of blisters. However the earth is bombarded with 100 times as many UVA rays as UVB, so while UVA is weaker, it has an enormous impact.
The sun is the strongest between 10am and 2pm so try to avoid being outside at that time and remember that clouds filter some, not all, of the UVR rays. Cement, water and snow reflect UVR rays giving your skin a double whammy.
Interestingly enough, UVB rays cannot get through glass so you can’t get burnt near a window or in a car. However UVA rays do get through, so sitting next to a window during the day offers no UVA protection at all. Sunglasses are different (explained later).
There is no such thing as a safe tan. Actually all exposure to the sun damages the skin. Most people think that sun damage only occurs when you lay out and get a deep, dark tan. That is only part of the problem. Sun damage occurs the second you leave the house. It may take some 20 minutes to get burned, others an hour, but the UVA rays that cause cancer and skin wrinkling will attack as soon as you are exposed to sunshine. It is the repeated sun exposure 365 days a year, just for a few minutes a day, that causes damage physically and aesthetically.
Back to tanning. Maybe you are fair or dark, but any shade darker than your natural colour is harming your skin. A tan is the skin’s response to sun damage, and while you may think a tan looks nice, it is not nice for the skin. Melanocytes are the skin cells than contain the browning pigment, melanin. These brown cells determine a persons natural skin tone. Surprisingly, the difference between the lightest skin colour and the darkest is only a tiny amount. With exposure to the sun, the melanocytes produce more melanin, and the tanned skin is the result. A tan provides an SPF of only 2. So there isn’t any way a tan can be considered healthy. Because melanin isn’t a very reliable sunscreen, dark skinned people will suffer negative effects from sun exposure. Skin cancer is less likely, but wrinkling and ashen skin colour is certain. Tanning beds are just as bad as the sun if not worse, by the way. Isn’t that self evident anyway? If the skin is brown, it’s trying to protect itself. The same cells are being attacked and activated hence the pigmentation. It doesn’t matter what marketing ploys the tanning salon owners will tell you. It’s about money to them, not your health.
You can tell the people who have spent time in the sun (Layne Beachly, surfers) from the ones who haven’t (usually europeans) by the time they are in their late twenties and hit the 30 mark. It hits them like a tsunami, and as the collagen decreases naturally, the history of sun damage appears. I’d rather be young looking and pale (or fake tanned) than blotchy and tanned when I’m 28. There is a limit to how much you can tan anyway, since the melocytes cells can’t be activated over and over, and it eventually becomes discoloration.
CELL MUTATION AND IMMUNITY DAMAGE.
The most damning result of sun exposure is that it does damage to the entire system, beyond the problems that eventually take place on the skins surface. The Langerhans cells in the epidermis prevent bacteria from attacking the system and prevent cell mutation, making these cells indispensable to good health. Yet a few minutes of sun exposure can damage the L cells in ways that last for weeks.
In addition to damaging the immune system, the sun directly attacks the collagen structure of the skin, changing it from a cohesive network of support into a disorderly, weakened mass. While the sun is busy destroying collagen and the L cells, it thickens the skin, chokes off the blood supply and reduces elasticity.
SO…. HOW TO APPLY AND WHAT TO BUY
So sunscreen is the first and foremost best defense against wrinkles Period. Let me say that again: It’s important! Daily application of a sunscreen (whether it’s in a moisturizer or a foundation) rated SPF 15 or greater is critical to preventing new wrinkles and keeping existing lines from deepening each year. Ignoring this fundamental principle and focusing instead on the myriad anti-aging claims on product labels is an open invitation for more wrinkles, skin discolorations, and potentially, skin cancer. No anti-ageing products for your skin will work if you ignore the importance of or are not diligent about applying sunscreen daily. On your arms, chest and neck, always. Apply it twice. People often don’t apply it thick enough.
Ongoing use of an effective, broad-spectrum sunscreen allows skin to reap maximum benefit from “anti-aging” products. Skin is also better able to repair itself, has a stronger immune response, and will maintain its firmness years longer than it will for those who disregard sun protection or, even worse, continue to tan, whether in the sun or in a tanning salon, and the latter is much worse than getting a tan from the sun.
When applying makeup with sunscreen, surprisingly sunscreen should be the last thing you apply- after moisturizer and foundation, otherwise you break the protection apart.
I also strongly suggest avoiding sunscreen with Nano-particles, and opting for ones with mostly Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. I’ll dedicate a post to that very soon but basically Nano particles do to your skin basically what happens to the inside of an apple when you break the skin open. Because the chemicals are so tiny and absorb into the skin, the UV rays mix and mutate with the cells in the skin, sort of “oxidizing” your skin. The right sunscreen should sit ON your skin in a whitish layer, not be absorbed. Invisible Zinc is a great brand if you don’t know which is best.
APPLY IT 20 MINUTES PRIOR TO SUN EXPOSURE
SUNBURN ON THE SKIN CONTINUES TO DEEPEN FOR 12 TO 24 HOURS AFTER THE BURN OCCURS
BABIES AND CHILDREN ARE EVEN MORE PRONE TO SUN DAMAGE
LOOK FOR SUNSCREEN WITH PRIMARILY ZINC OR TITANIUM DIOXIDE
IF YOU WANT A TAN, BUY SOME MODEL CO OR LE TAN. IT’S THAT NOW OR A FACELIFT LATER… & YOUR BODY-WRINKLES CAN’T BE HELPED.