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The sun's rays damage the skin. Although we have known it for a long time, we like tanned skin tone and basking in the sun. Is every dose of UV rays harmful? And how exactly do they work on our skin, hair and eyes?

Sun damageis the number one cause of wrinkles, aging, andskin cancer . You don't need to read scientific research to prove it - just look at the inside of the forearms or breasts, places that are rarely exposed to the sun. You will not finddiscoloration , wrinkles, dry, thin skin there. On the other hand, the skin often exposed to the sun looks older. Note - the test will only work if you are over 30 as sun damage will show up over time.

Some facts about solar radiation

Ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun is divided into: UVA, UVB and UVC.

  • UVC raysare dangerous (large doses of it cause skin inflammation, painful burns, damage to DNA chains and damage to the cornea), fortunately they are completely captured by the ozone layer of the atmosphere. They are useful, they are used to disinfect or kill bacteria.
  • UVB radiationreaches the Earth (5% of all radiation penetrating the atmosphere). Part of this radiation is absorbed by the ozone layer. UVB causes immediate damage: erythema, burns, changes in the genetic structure resulting in mutations. They also contribute to cataracts and weaken the immune system of the skin and the entire body (which is why herpes occur more often after sunbathing). In addition, these rays cause pigmentation, i.e. a tan.
  • UVA raysare the silent enemy of our skin. They account for 95 percent. all the radiation reaching the Earth. We do not feel their destructive effect, this radiation does not cause redness or burns, the only immediately visible effect is a tan. Therefore, at the beginning it seemed that the solarium was a wonderful invention - "stinging" UVB rays were eliminated, and tanning UVA rays were left. The effects of UVA radiation, however, are visible for years - it is the main cause of photoaging and neoplastic changes in the skin.

The sun or the passage of time - what isthe cause of wrinkles?

It is impossible to look young and attractive without protecting the skin from the sun. Creams with the most modern ingredients, surgeries or injections will not help. Damage caused by UVA is very difficult to undo, and skin repair is possible to a limited extent. The epidermis under the influence of the sun becomes thick, wrinkled and marked with spots, the deeper layers of the skin are slowly destroyed - they become thinner and wrinkles appear. UVA rays reach the dermis, where they cause negative changes in fibroblasts, cells responsible for the production of collagen and elastin.

The functions of melanocytes, cells that produce melanin, and the skin pigment, are also disturbed. There are dark discolorations, but also lighter spots on the skin. The blood vessels near the skin become thin, burst, and become visible (especially on the cheeks, nose, and chin). Worse still, UVA rays are responsible for attacking free radicals and damaging DNA. These changes can result in melanoma, a malignant neoplasm of the skin. All of this damage doesn't just happen when you fry brown on the beach or you burn your skin. Any exposure to the sun without protection allows UVA and UVB rays to penetrate the skin, even on cloudy days (up to 50% of UVA rays penetrate the clouds, while UVB rays do not). Remember that glass blocks UVB rays, but not UVA rays. A tan does not protect against the sun either - its SPF value is only 2.

You must do it

The sun adds years

Photoaging isn't just an accelerated, natural skin aging process. As a result of the sun, processes occur in the skin that would not be possible without it. So people who sunbathe and avoid UV filters are wrong, saying that "they will get old anyway, and now they will at least look effective". Yes, by avoiding the sun they will also get old, but he althier and prettier. The external factors, including the sun, are more important than genetic factors - 80 percent. changes described as aging are his fault.

Filters that will protect your he alth

The degree of protection against UVB rays is indicated by the acronym SPF (Sun Protection Factor). SPF, or "sun protection factor", means the ratio of the minimum dose of radiation causing erythema on skin protected with a filter to the minimum dose of radiation causing erythema on unprotected skin.

SPF determines how many times more energy must reach our skin to cause redness / burn that lasts overnight. Regardless of the amount of SPF, the application should be repeated every 2-3hours as this indicator is not time dependent.

The degree of protection against UVA rays in the European Union is indicated by the UVA marking in the circle. The UVA in the circle means that the UVB / UVA protection ratio is a maximum of 3. The less the better.

Protect your eyes and hair

UVB rays contribute to cataracts. Therefore, the eyes must be protected with glasses from the optician, with a clear marking of anti-UV protection. Dark lenses without filters are only harmful because the pupils will dilate and receive more harmful radiation. The rays also have a negative effect on the hair: they cause the cuticles to open up, and they damage the cortex. Protect your hair with a hat or cosmetics with UV filters (no rinsing). In the composition, look for not only the same filters as those for the skin (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone 3 and 4), but also special ones for hair (polyquaternium-59, quaternium-64, polysilicone-15, polyamide-2).

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