The Australian Sun, Friend or Skin-care Foe?
It’s Obvious – The Suns Effect Can Impact In The Negative
Australia, it’s a beachgoer and outdoor activities paradise. Each year, Australians enjoy the warm, pleasant effect of the sun, which provides over 8 hours of direct sunshine per day. But you do know it’s no secret that that beautiful orb in the sky can play havoc with your skin right? The warm, friendly and inviting climate does play a more significant effect on your appearance than most people realise.
The importance of skin to the body
First of all, be aware that your skin is the largest organ within your body and plays many essential features to your overall health. Besides holding the rest of your body in place and protecting against physical and chemical injuries such as burns, your skin produces Vitamin D, regulates temperature, provides your sense of touch, and protects you from ultraviolet rays from the sun. So your skin operates as a multi-effect player on your body.
What is Tanning, and How Does it Work in The Body?
One of the features most observable on the skin is the bodies reactions to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
The sun produces two types of ultraviolet rays, UVB and UVA. UVB radiation produces sunburn, and primarily affects the outer layer of the skin, while UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the skin.
When the body detects UVA radiation, it responds by producing melatonin, which is the dark pigment responsible for the tanning of the skin. But potential sun damage from the body extends way further than merely browning your skin.
According to Web MD, associated with The United State’s famous Mayo Clinic, excess exposure to the sun can:
- Lead to skin lesions
- Produce tumours
- Produce freckles
- Discolour the skin
- Dilate fine blood vessels underneath the skin
- Destroy the collagen and elastic tissues of the skin, forming wrinkles.
Tanning is a cultural thing
In many countries, notably South East Asia for example, having white skin is a prized ideal. In Thailand, China, and Malaysia for example, having dark skin is associated with having to do farm work or other manual labour jobs to make a living. Consequently, not only is tanning discouraged, but there are tons of beauty products said to keep skin white.
On the other hand, in Australia, the United States and many Western European countries, having a brown appearance, particularly among young people and those in early adulthood is encouraged and craved. So ubiquitous is the tanned look that in the same countries tanning beds and salons, as well as “instant tan” products generate revenue in the billions for many savvy entrepreneurs. Many health clubs and gyms, offering to help you produce a fit and trim body, also provide tanning booths to help you complete the look. Although it should be noted Solariums (sun beds) are illegal in Australia.
Skin Cancer, The Number One Danger
We’ll discuss more how exposure to the sun tends to age one and produces leathery skin and a more wrinkled appearance, but no article would be complete without addressing skin cancer, the number one danger to getting too much sun.
First, it’s important to understand the following risks:
- People with fairer skin are more at risk of getting skin cancer than those who don’t.
- Men are twice as likely to get skin cancer than women.
- Your risk of getting skin cancer drastically increases as you get older.
- Smoking, without question, accelerates the chance of you getting skin cancer.
- If you have had other skin diseases such as psoriasis or suffer from a weakened immune system, these are all signs to be careful.
How common is skin cancer in Australia?
According to the cancer council in Australia, over 80 per cent of all cancers detected in Australia relate to skin cancer. Statistics show that by the time they are 70 years old, 2 out of three individuals in Australia can be expected to be diagnosed with the problem.
Ways to protect yourself from the sun?
According to the American Cancer Society, methods to protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun include:
- Stay in the shade whenever possible
- Wear protective clothing
- Wear a hat
- Protect your eyes with quality sunglasses
- Liberally wear a high-quality sunscreen. (Note, most people put on too little sunscreen, and a high SPF sunscreen does not mean it is safe to stay out in the sun longer)
Dermatologists often caution against young children (or anyone) being exposed to sunburn. They note that getting a sunburn, just once every two years, can increase the risk of you getting skin cancer three fold.
Finally, they urge you seek out a dermatologist if you experience any bleeding, crusty or scaly patches of skin, or have a sore on your skin, particularly on your nose, forehead, lips or hands that seem not to heal. These may be the early signs of skin cancer.
How to treat your skin
Dermatologists and skin care professionals highly recommend limiting exposure to the sun, avoiding smoking, eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water.
Do skin care products work?
The answer is yes, with reservations. First, skin care specialists recommend you start taking care of your skin as early as possible with a good quality skin care product and have a regimen. Most dermatologists, for example, sensitive to how their patients may feel about their skin, have a daily, morning and evening, and sometimes a mid-day routine.
Skincare pros recommend that you test and experiment with different skin care products, but when you find one, stop the experimentation and stick with that one. Simplicity is preferred over complexity.
One quality product that professionals and users alike often mention is Neora. Around five years on the market in Australia, Neora Anti-Ageing Skin Cartsie products, extensive scientific testing has been done by various universities on its ingredients including:
- Green tree leaf extracts
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
The full range of Neora including extensive customer reviews can be found on this website.
Ultimately, you can reduce fine lines and wrinkles up to 50 per cent, but you do need to treat your skin wisely and gently.