What are the Effects of Not Wearing or Skipping Sunscreen?


While we know how important daily sun protection is, there are also times when we think that skipping it for a day is not that big of a deal. Sun damage, however, can happen any day of the year, even with moderate UV index between 3 and 5. And it only takes 15 minutes out in the sun to damage your skin.

Skipping Sunscreen What Happens to Your Skin Without UV Protection

Everyone at our aesthetic clinic in Singapore is a big proponent of wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen all year round. This is because apart from the sun promoting premature aging, too much exposure can also lead to skin cancer, skin damage, and eye injury. Continue reading as we explore more on the effects of skipping sunscreen or sun protection.

Protection from melanin may not be enough

Melanin is the natural skin pigment that gives the skin its color. Exposure to UV rays increases the production of melanin to protect the skin from serious damage. What melanin does is absorb UV rays, but only up to a certain amount. When the degree of UV damage exceeds the protection capabilities of melanin, sunburn develops.

It is worth noting that a suntan is your skin’s response to injury from UV radiation. It is your body’s way of trying to protect itself from further damage. This is why there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning only puts you at risk of sunburn, damages your eyes, ages your skin, and raises your risk of developing skin cancer.

Weakens skin barrier

Also referred to as the moisture barrier, the skin barrier is the protective film on the skin’s outermost layer. It is the body’s first line of defense against irritants and is made up of cells that are joined by lipids. Lipids coat the skin and provide structural support, serving as a glue that keeps the skin cells intact.

UV rays put a strain on the lipids, drying the skin out and reducing the skin’s strength. What the radiation does is alter the structure of lipids and cause the cells in the skin barrier to become weaker or less cohesive. This then compromises the skin’s barrier and structural integrity, making it more susceptible to damage.

Damages collagen and elastin

Essential skin proteins, such as collagen and elastin, give the skin a supple, youthful appearance. Collagen provides strength and structure, while elastin allows the skin to be flexible and snap back to its original place. UV exposure is also one of the factors that can lead to collagen and elastin degradation, as well as speed up its breakdown. 

With less collagen and elastin, the skin may look wrinkled or sagging. And along with aging, the skin becomes thinner and less elastic, resulting in a dull and tired-looking appearance. You can reduce the negative effects of the sun with daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen and practicing other sun protection measures.

For further reading: Less Effective Sunscreen? Stop Doing These Things When Applying SPF

Can damage the DNA in skin cells

When unprotected skin is exposed to UV rays, DNA changes at a cellular level are likely to happen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, DNA damage in skin cells can produce genetic defects or mutations that can result not only in premature aging, but also in skin cancer. 

And while the body can repair some of the DNA damage in your skin cells, it cannot repair all of it. Unrepaired cell damage can accumulate over time and trigger mutations that can lead to tumors. The degree of the damage, of course, depends on the UV rays’ intensity and the length of time unprotected skin has been exposed. 

Protect yourself with sunscreen and other sun protection measures

  • Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day, even when it’s cloudy. Reapply every two or after sweating, swimming, or toweling off. Dr. Sylvia’s Sunshield SPF 45 provides broad-spectrum protection, as well as moisturizes, soothes, and calms the skin. 
  • Seek shade in trees or shed structures, or use an umbrella. This helps reduce your exposure to UV rays, but don’t forget to use it along with other sun protection measures. 
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or any type that shades your face, neck, and ears. You may be able to go for regular caps and sun visors, but do know that they don’t offer enough protection. 
  • Cover up with protective clothing, like pants or shirts with long sleeves. Darker colors, such as black or blue, absorb more UV rays than lighter hues, which means that UV rays are less likely to reach your skin. 
  • Wear sunglasses, particularly those that are labeled with 99% to 100% UV light protection. Go for a wraparound style, which is designed to protect the entire eye area from harmful UV rays. 
  • Limit exposure during the sun’s peak hours, between 10 am and 4 pm. If you need to be outdoors during this time, don’t forget to wear SPF, seek shade, or use an umbrella. You can also choose to wear a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses for added protection. 

Don’t neglect sun protection. Browse through our blog for more skincare tips and recommendations or if you have skin concerns you want to address, contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor.

To share, click on the Icon.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here