Ageing is inevitable but we can do something every day to help keep our skin looking and feeling youthful. The number one cause of early skin ageing and skin cancer is the ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. It breaks down our skin’s connective tissues, damages DNA and contributes to wrinkles and sagging. There are two types of UV light that we think about with regards to our skin, UVA and UVB.
UVA rays cause the ageing effects (wrinkles and sagging) we see in our skin and can damage the DNA in our skin cells. They can also increase our skin cancer risk.
UVB rays can also damage skin cell’s DNA and they are responsible for that painful sun burn. UVB rays are normally the cause of most skin cancers.
The easiest way for me to remember which UVA rays are which is UVA = Ageing and UVB = Burn.
Sun damage is cumulative and doesn’t necessarily come from a sun burn. Much of the sun damage we receive comes from just living our lives. UVA rays penetrate glass so in our homes, at the office, and while driving we are exposed. The best way to prevent this UV damage is to avoid the sun. This is extremely difficult to do and not realistic or healthy. I don’t know about you but I love the outdoors, the beach and even the “deadly” sun. I want to live my life and be happy and for me that means spending time outside.
What’s the best way to protect our skin? Something very simple and relatively inexpensive. Wear sunscreen everyday rain or shine.