Everyone loves the feel of sunshine on their face. But as you probably already know, too much sun exposure will spell big trouble for your skin and overall health.
So what exactly is so wrong with soaking up a few rays? It all comes down to ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Exposure to this damaging radiation will cause sunburn in the short-term, and wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone (and even yellowing… yikes!) in the long-term. In fact, researchers blame the sun for 80% of visible aging in our skin.
Not to mention the bigger health risks of spending too much time getting a tan -- like eye damage, immune system repression, and the biggie -- skin cancer.
You’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do to undo the damage of all those hours you’ve logged on your favorite beach towel. Unfortunately, the sun damages the DNA in your skin cells -- and it’s not easily reversible once the damage is done.
The best thing you can do is treat your skin to some preventative measures, ASAP. Here are the best things you can do:
- Wear sunscreen. Yes, we know your mother has probably told you a million times before, but this really is the biggie. Go for a full-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every hour.
- Set up an umbrella. While it definitely helps to sit in the shade, keep in mind that it doesn’t prevent UV exposure from all angles. Double up on the good stuff and wear sunblock too.
- Get your vitamin C. Research shows that the antioxidants in vitamin C can help fight the damage caused by free radicals. Sadly, your body doesn’t produce any of this crucial vitamin on its own, so be sure to get your fill. You can get it through your diet with foods like citrus fruit, kale, and broccoli. You can also apply it topically by using skin products that contain ascorbic acid (the uncharged version of vitamin C) or Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (its stabilized form).