Sunburn: The Dark Side Of The Sun
With the arrival of daylight savings this week, the air is filled with prelude to summer feels. That annual loss of an hour in your day is a significant reminder that long balmy days are just around the corner, one of the next big nudges towards summer is an unexpected dose of sunburn.
You know the one. The sneaky back of the neck burn, or driving arm redness that catches you by surprise after a long lapse in the application of sunscreen anywhere but your face. The redness and sting are annoying. So to is the judgement fail as you realise your complete disregard for the fact that the sun doesn’t even need to appear particularly strong to scorch your skin which, until now, has been hidden below winter layers. But, aside from being annoying, there are a whole lot more significant side effects to sunburn that can accumulate to contribute to the slippery slope towards skin disease.
APART FROM OBVIOUS UNSIGHTLY REDNESS, WHAT ARE THE OTHER MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS OF SUNBURN?
While sunburn, is an obvious indication you’ve spent too long exposing unprotected skin to the sun, skin disease is the invisible but much more concerning sidekick of that red tinge. When we get sunburnt, a number of things happen. When ultraviolet radiation (UVA & UVB rays) reaches the skin it damages the skin cells and causes mutations in their DNA. This sets off a chain reaction where blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow and bring immune cells to the skin to try to rectify the situation. This is the bodies way of naturally fending off sun exposure but, if we give it more than it can bear, those cells start to die off. As the redness fades, some damaged surviving cells can carry on with mutations that can ultimately lead to all sorts of sinister skin disease's and cancer.
SIDE EFFECTS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT
In Australia our outdoor lifestyle and significant sun exposure not only gives us the (concerning) highest rate of skin cancer, it also causes us to age far more rapidly. In a recent study led by Monash University and our very own co-founders, Assoc. Prof Greg Goodman and Dr Katherine Armour, found that “Australian women reported more severe signs of facial ageing sooner than other women, and volume-related changes up to 20 years earlier than those in the USA.” Australian women reported “significantly more severe facial lines” and “volume related” features like tear troughs and nasolabial folds than women from other countries.
Sun damage via VISIA camera technology.
PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION (& some treatment)
The most obvious way to avoid sunburn and subsequent ageing is to ensure exposed skin is always protected using both clothing and sunscreen. Especially those containing zinc. The clincher though, is knowing how much sunscreen to use and how often. The general rule is that the average adult needs 1 teaspoon for the head and neck, another teaspoon for each limb and another for both the front and back of the body. About a shot glass’s worth overall. This needs to then be reapplied every 2 hours.
As much as avoiding significant sun exposure is essential to slowing ageing there are some new technologies that help to stimulate collagen; Ultraformer III - ultrasound skin tightening, and Tixel - fractionated cautery, are gaining significant buzz. However, if you are choosing to invest in treatments, it is important your skin care supports and builds on the results achieved.
Skin care that is particularly combative includes some specific and powerful ingredients that primarily work to stimulate and protect the bodies natural collagen Some of these are;
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
- Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and
- Alpha and poly-hydroxy acids (AHAs and PHAs)
- DNA Stabilising enzymes
SKIN CARE PRODUCTS WE LOVE…
Rich in Vitamin B3, zinc, antioxidants and DNA repair enzymes - Complete Daily Armour