The combination of fresh air and the sunlight’s warm glow on the skin can tempt many of us to spend more time outdoors. There is nothing wrong with this, but do take note that too much of anything can be a bad thing. Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure can damage your skin, increase your risk of skin cancer, and speed up premature aging.
The good and bad thing about the sun
A moderate amount of sun exposure benefits your health by helping the body create essential vitamins and even treat certain health conditions. It allows us to naturally get vitamin D, which is a nutrient that helps with calcium absorption, normal development of bones and teeth, as well as strengthening the immune system.
Other benefits include:
- Boosts mood (by increasing serotonin levels in the brain)
- Helps stave off seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Improves sleep and regulates sleeping patterns
- Helps reduce stress
- Provides an anti-inflammatory effect that may help improve certain skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
Too much exposure to ultraviolet or UV rays can be harmful to our skin and overall health. It can damage the DNA of your skin cells and cause sunburn, with effects that appear within a couple of hours of exposure. Common symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, and blisters.
Other harmful effects include:
- Premature aging (wrinkles and sunspots)
- Accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin
- Worsen the look of lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging
- Increases your risk of developing skin cancers
- Can damage eye tissues, blur your vision, and cause other problems such as redness, light sensitivity, and general pain
Learn more about photoaging and what you can do about it.
How to protect your skin while enjoying the sun
You can still have fun in the sun, but make sure to prioritize sun protection. Here are a few things that can help.
- Always use sunscreen – Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30. If you’re in the market for a new face sunscreen, we recommend Dr. Sylvia’s Clear Defense SPF 45 with Broad Spectrum or Sheer Defense Tinted SPF 46 with Broad Spectrum.
- Apply and reapply – Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors. Be sure not to forget overlooked areas such as the ears, lips, hairline, eyelids, back of the hands, and tops of your feet. You should also reapply every two hours and after sweating or swimming.
- Limit and plan your exposure – Avoid or try to stay out of the sun when UV rays are the strongest – between 10 am and 4 pm. It is also important to be extra careful in areas that are closer to the equator.
- Cover up and accessorize – Wear sun-protective clothing or those made from tightly-woven fabric to protect your skin from UV rays. It is also recommended to choose lightweight fabrics and darker colors. You should also wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV protective sunglasses when spending time in the sun.
- Take breaks – Don’t stand under the sun for too long. Take breaks by finding areas with shade, staying indoors, or using an umbrella. You can also look for a tree to cool down under, as well as organize activities indoors, especially during the sun’s peak hours.
What can you do about sun damage on the skin?
Staying out of the sun and following other sun protection measures are necessary to prevent existing signs of sun damage from worsening. At Cutis Medical Laser Clinics, we have several non-surgical procedures that can help reverse or improve some of its effects and rejuvenate your skin. Here are a few procedures worth considering:
- Laser Genesis – uses an innovative laser technology to stimulate collagen regrowth and promote healthy and vibrant skin. It gently heats the upper dermis well below the skin surface to help with new collagen production. It can improve the look of enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, and skin redness.
- Pearl Fractional – is a fractional ablative treatment that can improve sun damage, deeper wrinkles, acne scarring, and aging skin on the face. It selectively removes columns of damaged tissues and stimulates the body to create collagen. You can also combine Pearl Fractional with Pearl Resurfacing in a procedure called Pearl Fusion. It offers a two-in-one solution for treating sun damage and aging concerns in the skin.
- Limelight IPL – uses intense pulsed light (IPL) technology and targets pigmentations, drawing out dark spots on the top layers of the skin. The light that passes through the skin surface also stimulates collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores. It helps repair sun-damaged skin, as well as diffuse facial redness and treats tiny facial veins.
- VI Peel Precision Plus – is a specific type of VI Peel for hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and melasma. It contains a special formula that inhibits melanogenesis or the production of skin pigment or melanin. It repairs problems at a cellular level and can penetrate damaged areas and diminish pigmentation and skin textural damage.
Read our previous post to learn more about VI Peel Precision Plus.
Enjoy the sun safely with the tips mentioned above. Don’t hesitate to consider aesthetic treatments if you’re dealing with sun damage, dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which treatments or combination procedures suit you best.