Too much sun can cause wrinkles and other aging effects. Learn all of the aging effects of UV rays in this guide, and how to protect yourself.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you may be wondering what is happening to your skin. What do UV rays do to the skin? Does the sun make you age badly? It turns out UV rays can actually damage your skin. You might think that sunburns aren't that bad, however, having five or more sunburns throughout your life can double your chance of developing skin cancer.
Continue reading to learn the aging effects of UV rays. You'll also learn how to protect yourself from permanent damage.
What Do UV Rays Do?
Ultraviolet radiation is so potent that it can change your skin's DNA. In fact, it is possible that prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays can:
- Cause premature aging of the skin
- Lead to skin cancer
Of the three types of UV rays, two of them can cause damage to the skin. UVC rays are the least dangerous because they have the shortest wavelengths and get absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere before they make it to us.
UVB light also has short wavelengths meaning that not as much of it gets through the Earth's atmosphere. This type of UV ray damages the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). It's more potent than UVA light and causes photo-aging and precancerous cells to form on the epidermis.
UVA light is the most common type of UV rays that might shine down on you when you are outside. It goes through the epidermis into the dermis and causes damage throughout the layers of the skin. With UVA light, collagen, elastin fibers, epidermal cells, and capillaries can become damaged.
Certain risk factors may cause damage to your DNA, including:
- Light hair, eyes, and skin
- Family history of skin cancer
- Repeated, unprotected exposure to the sun
When DNA is damaged from sun exposure, it triggers mutations in the skin. After years of unprotected sun exposure, this damage becomes irreversible.
Effects of UV Ray Exposure: Premature Aging
UV rays are proven to cause premature aging of your skin. Some of the most common premature aging from sun exposure include:
- Wrinkles and fine lines
- Age spots, liver spots, and freckles (discoloration and pigmentation)
- Uneven, rough skin texture
- Redness and blotchiness
- Loss of elasticity in the skin
You can prevent these problems by protecting yourself from exposure to direct sunlight. Try to avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time if you don't have a hat, sun protective clothing, or sunscreen to protect your skin from exposure.
Skin Cancer From UV Ray Exposure
Over time, the damage from UV rays exposure can cause cancer. Your body can repair some of the damage, but after a certain point, the damage is too great. These damaged skin cells trigger mutations and the mutations multiply rapidly. Eventually, this leads to malignant tumors.
Types of skin cancer that come from exposure to UV rays include:
- Basal cell cancer
- Squamous cell cancer
You might like getting tan every summer. However, there is no such thing as safe tanning. Using tanning beds and getting constant sunburns over the course of your life will dramatically increase the odds of getting skin cancer. It's crucial to take care of your skin to minimize the chances of this happening to you.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
There are a ton of things that you can do to protect yourself from these skin issues. There are both preventative and proactive ways to do so.
See a Dermatologist
Once the damage has been done, you might find yourself in a bit of a situation where you don't know what to do. A dermatologist can help you to minimize the damage caused by the sun. They can do this with certain treatments like:
- Chemical peels
- Photodynamic therapy
- Topical medications
Your dermatologist will be able to examine any questionable skin issues and give you treatment options before they become a problem to protect you from permanent damage.
Avoiding sunburn can help you to decrease the odds of getting skin cancer or dealing with sun damage. Wear sunscreen whenever you know that you will be in direct sunlight for an extended length of time. Your sunscreen should be:
- Broad-spectrum (covering UVA and UVB rays)
- SPF 30 or higher
Sunscreen should be applied liberally before going into the sun, and then every 2 hours after that while still in the sun. It's a good idea to apply it more often than that when you are swimming or sweating. Using a moisturizer that has a sun protection factor can help you to avoid the burn when you forget to grab your sunscreen or your hat on your way out the door.
Wear Protective Clothing
It's important to cover up your skin when you know that you will be in direct sunlight for more than a few minutes. This means sunhats to shade your face and long-sleeve shirts to protect your arms from blistery sunburns. However, normal cotton clothing only blocks up to 5% of harmful UV rays.
At BloqUV, we've created a clothing line with BloqTek which has a minimum UV Protection of 50. It can block up to 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Our entire line is available to men, women, and children. It's crucial to take care of the skin you're in to make sure that you don't end up with premature wrinkles or skin cancer. Best part UV protection doesn't wash away with launderings.
The Aging Effects of UV Rays
Now that you understand the aging effects of UV rays, you can make sure you are doing whatever it takes to protect yourself from damaging your skin while in direct sunlight.
Check out our complete line of clothing for every summer activity to protect the skin that you are in. Contact bloquv.com for more information about BloqUV and how we got started.