Who doesn’t know by now how damaging the sun’s UV rays are and that the best, most effective way to protect our skin from them is to wear sunscreen daily? Yet, many people start to wear sunscreen late in life, or skip it when the weather is gloomy and they stay indoors not knowing that UVA rays can penetrate through clouds and windows, or simply prefer to stick to cosmetics with SPF erroneously assuming they provide adequate protection on their own.
These bad habits can harm skin. However, that can be hard to realize because, unlike a sunburn, the other damaging effects of UV rays, such as wrinkles and sun spots, don’t show up straight away. Instead, sun damage accumulates overtime and starts to show up years later. When to be exact? According to Dr Schultz, “sun damage from unprotected sun exposure only takes one to two decades to show up, so beginning in anyone’s 20s and early 30s you can start to see the effects of unprotected sun exposure from childhood”!
We commonly think that wrinkles only begin to appear in our 30s and sun spots even later, but that’s not always true. I’ve started developing fine lines, especially around my eyes, in my mid-20s and I believe that was due to the fact that I never wore sunscreen as a child. Italian springs are very nice and warm, and in the summer the sun can hit pretty hard. I was always playing outside with my sister and my mum never thought of applying sunscreen on us. In the 80s sunscreen was believed (at least here) to be something to use before going to the beach only.
Of course if you live somewhere where the weather is often gloomy and the sun sets early, then the damage caused by the sun will be limited in comparison to someone who lives in a hot and sunny country or is an avid user of tanning beds (which should be avoided as they cause wrinkles and skin cancer too), but that’s not a good reason to skip the sunscreen. No matter where you live or how young you are, you should always wear sunscreen to prevent further damage. It’s the best thing you can do to help your skin stay younger for longer and age gracefully.
Have the effects of sun damage already started to show up on your skin? If so, when?