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The Skinny On Sun

September 22, 2019

The Skinny On Sun

Hey, is your house burning down? Well, I don’t mean your house but, your skin. The most visible and largest organ of the human body is essentially your house t that encloses the rest of you. Are you sunbathing? Basting under those hot rays? Most people sunbathe or tan without even realizing the damage that they may be actually be causing to their bodies. Soaking up the sun without protection? Most of us do it automatically as if the sun is constantly saying, “Hey look at me!” Well, it is practically looking through you.

Many of us are not aware of how enormously harmful the sun ultraviolet rays are to us and that it actually is doing damage underneath our skin, even on a cloudy day, driving in your car or playing in the snow. Even though summer is dying down, we should not forget to protect ourselves from the sun. Let's get the skinny on sun exposure.

How does sun damage occur?

Sun damage is caused when we are exposed to ultraviolet rays. Whether we are at the going for a walk or gardening, we expose our skin to the harmful effects of the sun, especially if we are not protecting it. Getting sunburn is similar to getting burned with an object, but different. When we get burned with an object, our skin cells become damaged but, unlike a burn from an object, the sun UV rays cover a larger area and can actually cause mutations in the DNA of our skin cells due to radiation. This skin cell damage occurs hours before it visibly shows up. When skin cell damage occurs your body produces warning molecules that signal an inflammatory response sending an influx of blood cells to stop and repair any damage. This influx of blood, is what causes redness that we typically see in a sunburn.

We have pigment in our cells called Melanin. They are present in our skin cells all the time. When UV radiation hits our skin, the Melanin in our skin absorbs it and protects our DNA from damage. It is created by special cells called Melanocytes. The Melanocytes then distributes to other cells called Keratinocytes which is responsible for tightness and elasticity, causing a decrease in it. That’s why our skin might get tan or darker if we’re out in the sun as well as become more prone to wrinkling.

Unfortunately, this protection is not guaranteed. Sometimes, UV rays might pass through the Melanin in our cells and permanently damage the DNA.

What is the worst time to be out in the sun?

Honestly, anytime out in the sun is not ideal but, if you must, it is best to avoid sun exposure in the middle of the day. The rays of the sun are strongest from 10 am - 2 pm. It is hard to stay out of the sun for that long but at least try to stay under the umbrella  during those times and try to reapply your sunscreen.

What are the best ways to treat sunburn?

One of the best ways to treat sunburn is to prevent it in the first place. Prevention is your best policy. If sunburn does occur, applying aloe vera or cool compresses will help alleviate and soothe the skin. Most importantly, don’t forget to call your Dermatologist.

What are the long term effects of skin damage?

Our bodies create enzymes that have the ability to repair the damage, as well as destroy and remove any harmful cells that might have mutated due to skin damage. Sometimes, some of these mutated cell can be left behind, and which over time can multiply and develop into skin cancer. If we get a sunburn once every two year, you may triple your chances of developing skin cancers in life.

How to protect yourself?

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, is to use sunscreen. Arm yourself with good skin protection. It is vital for protection and healthy growth of skin cells. Generally it is recommended to use an SPF of 30 - 50. Physical blockers with ingredients such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide are generally healthier for your skin and better for the environment.

What products can you use?

Here are some of our favorite products that are cruelty free and natural based.

Antioxidant serums can offer further protection from the suns rays as well as help prevent and reduce the pigmentation that may arise aka sun spots. The Illuminating Booster Serum offers a cocktail of antioxidants and skin brightening agents such as Ferrulic Acid, Vitamin C, Bearberry extract and  Kojic Acid that leave your skin with an even and refreshed skin tone over time. 

Consider the Illuminating UV Defense Phyto Creme that contains Zinc Oxide. This provide a physical barrier for protection as well as antioxidants that help breakdown free radicals that may be caused by sun exposure. This is a lightweight yet moisturizing delicate cream which has a floral aroma. It drys fast and sheer making it great under makeup.  

When it is hard to reapply a sunscreen in the middle of the day or on top of make up, consider Zinc It Over Facial Mist by Seriously Fab. It is a makeup setting spray that is light weight and sheer, offering an SPF of 25. This also offers antioxidants for protection and burst of hydration. 

So go ahead, enjoy your sunny days, but be a protector of the biggest organ in your body. Take care of it! Due diligence is the recipe for great skin for years to come.

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