The Importance of Sunscreen for Skin Aesthetics and Health

Monday 30, 2019 | by Mira Piroshenko

Being sun smart is key for skin health and a smoother look

As a dermal clinician and dermatoscopist at FACELAB I perform many of laser treatments for various kinds of pigmented spots and generalised pigmentations. Most pigmentation issues and either caused by sun exposure, or exacerbated by this.

The colour of our skin is influenced by a substance called Melanin, which is a natural pigment produced by skin cells as a response to UV radiation. It protects the underlying structures and prevent damage to the DNA of skin cells from the sun and other sources of electromagnetic radiation by absorbing the light energy. Individuals, who are exposed to UV light, such as the sun, will produce more melanin for protection.

Excessive exposure to the sun can over time result in cumulative damage to the DNA of cells, rand cause skin cancer.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world due to the presence of a higher level of UV radiation in our sunlight as a result of a depleted ozone layer. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Being sun smart is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Sun protection

Regular exposure to UV radiation causes harmful effects on the skin, eyes and immune system. Choosing protective clothing with long sleeves and long pants, sun hat and glasses as well as staying in the shade are simple and effective ways to protect the skin from sun damage.

Sunscreen is one of the important protections from UV radiation, and it’s important to know when and how to appropriately use it.

Not all sunscreens have the same ingredients and there are two different types of sunscreen:

Chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin and then absorbs UV rays converting them unto heat and releasing them from the body. It feels more pleasant on the skin but has a higher risk of being toxic to the skin due to nano-particles that can react with the heat.

Physical sunblock sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. The minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main active ingredients in physical sun block and its safer for skin.

Pick a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UV-A and UV-B rays with protection factor of at least 15 (SPF 15). Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplication should be performed every 2 hours.

Sun burns can lead to skin cancer which is why it’s important to wear some protection whether it’s at the beach or on a stroll down the street.

Apart from caring for our own skin, one of the most important things we can do is also teach our children to be sun smart for their long term skin health.

At FACELAB we can help with any advice about ways to smoother and more even appearance of your skin, or best kinds of sun protection for your work and leisure.

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