Spring is finally here and the sun has started to recharge our souls. This time of the year I always realise how vital the sun is to us. Not only does it boost morale but it also plays a crucial role for your vitamin D production. (Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and keep your bones strong and healthy). However, as with everything, there is a balance. Hours and hours of sun exposure can lead to sunburn and premature ageing (so called photoageing.). In fact, sun exposure is the main cause of premature ageing. So enjoy the sun with caution.
There are two main types of sunlight (UV light). UVA and UVB. UVB is high on energy and causes sunburn. UVA has longer wavelengths which means it can penetrate deeper into your skin and reach your collagen and elastin, i.e. the proteins that creates the underlying structure of your skin. Once the UVA hits these proteins it starts a downward spiral. The light breaks down the collagen fibers; which leads to an increase production of low quality elastin. This then leads to an increase of enzymes called metalloproteinases, which break down your collagen even more. Overtime this leads to wrinkles and sagging.
This is why you want a good sunblock. Remember that SPF only indicates the level of protection from UVB. To find out the level of protection from UVA you need to look at the sunblock’s 5- star rating. (The more stars the better protection.) Finally, UVA and UVA light will reach your skin even on a cloudy day. So if you want to minimise photoageing, use sun protection as part of your daily skin routine, regardless of season and weather.