When summer approaches the days are longer and we can enjoy more hours of sunlight. Terraces, walkways and streets are packed with people. When the good weather arrives everybody runs outside to enjoy the sun but is your skin ready for that? We are pretty sure you’ve heard millions of times that it’s very important to protect your skin and use SPF lotion when you go to the beach, but maybe you don’t pay that much attention to it in your daily life. Truth must be said reality is that we must take care of our skin not only when we overexpose to the sun but also everyday.
Our body needs the sun
In spite of its bad reputation, sunbathing also has very positive effects on your body and skin and if you are prudent and responsible, it should not be banished from your life. More than sunbathing we should talk about being lit or illuminated by the sun. Many experts explain the importance of expose ourselves to sunlight everyday, since humans and all the life on earth has evolved around the presence of sunlight:
- It promotes and helps to synthesize vitamin D
- It helps to regulate our circadian rhythms
- It promotes the release of oxytocin, serotonin and many other hormones that regulate sleep and mood
- It protects our eyes from myopia and eyes disorders
- It reduces blood pressure producing nitric oxide
The dangers of over exposing to sunlight
Like in many other situations in life, the dose marks the risk. That means that an over exposition to sun can transform the benefits in damages to our body. And in the case of sun, the consequences of this over exposition are not immediate but appear in the long term.
You have probably sunbathed more than once without protection, you may even have gotten burned, and all you have noticed is that you have peeled. However, the skin has ‘memory’ and the excess of sun rays and will appear over time. The first and most common effect of the over exposition to sun light is premature skin ageing.
Our natural protection from excess of sun: melanin
When you sunbathe, your body’s cells activate the production of a pigment called melanin, which is responsible for the skin’s tan and protects it from UV rays. However, this natural defence mechanism of our body is not enough to counteract all the harmful effects of the sun in the case we overexpose to it, or when we expose the skin to sun but the cells haven’t had time to protect themselves by creating the needed melanin.
Premature skin ageing
Besides the worst consequence you can suffer if you abuse of sun exposition, (melanoma or skin cancer), you may notice some other effects at medium or long term:
- Your skin loses elasticity with time
- You will be more prone to wrinkles
- Spots and freckles will appear
- Your skin will look toneless and dull
The face is the area of the body most exposed to sunlight and therefore we should always wear protection to minimize this damage if we are going to be exposed to sunlight for more ours than normal.