May 25, 2023

3 Things that Happen When You Don’t Protect Yourself from the Sun

While sun protection should always be a priority all year round, it’s especially important during the summer season when the sun is much stronger and hotter than usual. It’s probably something that you’ve encountered time and time again—and you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about it—but many people still forgo sun protection with the belief that the repercussions aren’t all that severe.

Here are three things that actually happen when you don’t protect yourself from the sun!

Sunburns and Pigmentation Issues

When you’re laying out in the sun for hours on end, you’re actually damaging your skin in more ways than one. The most popular sign of skin damage is sunburn, which is your skin’s natural reaction to too much sun exposure. When the UV rays become too much for your skin to bear, your skin can actually become inflamed, painful, and feel like it’s burning.

In case you didn’t know, the sun actually carries harmful ultraviolet rays that can negatively affect your skin. That’s actually why you tan and get darker after spending some time under the sun—your skin is actually producing more melanin as a way to try and protect itself from these harmful rays.

And while a light golden tan might just be what you’re looking for, the skin damage that you incur can actually lead to an uneven skin tone overtime as a result of this melanin production. When some areas and spots of your skin—particularly on your face—are darker than the rest, this is what’s known as hyperpigmentation, which is in itself a sign of sun damage that can take months or even years to fully remove.

Premature Skin Aging

Another adverse reaction of unprotected sun exposure is that you’re actually aging your skin from the damage. It’s believed that a whopping 90% of signs of aging are actually caused by sun exposure, and this includes the wrinkles, loss of volume and elasticity, and dullness that we observe in our skin overtime.

This is because some of the ultraviolet rays actually have longer wavelengths that are able to penetrate more deeply into the skin and cause much more lasting damage, such as the degradation of collagen, damage of DNA, and much more.

Other Skin Issues

The sun is also the culprit for the exacerbating of many other skin issues and conditions. You might not be aware that the sun can actually weaken your skin barrier and make your skin more susceptible to other concerns like skin sensitivity, acne, loss of hydration and much more. Apart from that, anyone with severe acne runs the risk of developing stubborn acne scars and hyperpigmentation on any existing blemishes and pimples, even after this heal.

Perhaps the most terrifying danger of excessive unprotected sun exposure is the increased chances of developing skin cancer. While a single sunburn might not seem like a big deal apart from the discomfort that it brings, this isolated incident can already severely increase your risk of skin cancer. This is because of the amount of damage that the sun can leave on your DNA, which can mutate and multiply before you even realize wwhat’shappening.

None of these consequences seem worth it when there are easy and convenient preventative measures that you can take. While sunscreen is the most common and encouraged form of sun protection, there are also other methods that you can adopt, such as investing in protective forms of clothing, wearing hats and sunglasses, and even just bringing an umbrella.

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About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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