It might still be cold and grey outside but the days are starting to get longer and lighter. When the sun does put in an appearance, don’t be fooled by the mildness of its rays as while they may not be strong enough to tan, they can still damage your skin.
“Protecting your skin from the sun is the biggest thing you can do to combat the signs of ageing,” says Amanda Combes, Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner.
The sun gives off two types of Ultra Violet (UV) rays: UVB rays are those that cause redness and burn the skin, while UVA rays penetrate through the epidermis (top layer) of our skin into the dermis, causing permanent damage to its structure. Both types of rays can cause visible damage to the skin, including:
Wrinkles and sagging – the UV rays damage the skin’s elastin and collagen which keep the skin taut and supple. Without these tissues, the skin will sag and wrinkles will appear, particularly on the face.
Sun spots and patches of discoloration – melanin is the pigment that causes us to tan and is produced by the skin to protect itself from the sun’s rays. But spending too much time in the sun may cause you to develop darker patches where uneven amounts of melanin have been produced.
Broken blood vessels – the UV rays can damage blood vessels, causing a reddening of the skin, on the face in particular.
No matter what time of year make sure you use a product that:
- Contains a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
- Offers UVA and UVB protection
- Is within its use-by date – the protective ingredients diminish with age
Our top tip is to use a daily moisturiser with SPF 30 and UVA and UVB protection such as Obagi Hydrafactor Broad Spectrum SPF 30 then you’ll be protecting your skin without having to think about it too much.
Finally, don’t forget about your hands as they are exposed to the elements almost as much as your face. The sun can damage the skin on your hands and cause visible signs of ageing on your hands such as liver spots, wrinkles and redness. Use sun cream or a hand cream with sun protection and if you do a lot of outdoor sports and activities consider wearing gloves, not just to keep warm but to keep your hands looking youthful.
Cooden Medical Group has a range of treatments and products to help rejuvenate sun damaged skin. If you would like to find out more please make an appointment for a free consultation with one of our aesthetic practitioners.