Now that the weather has cooled down, there is nothing quite like having a lazy day outside in the sun. Whether you head to the beach or sit out in your garden it’s important to be protected especially when it comes to your face. “The number one reason to avoid putting your face in the sunlight is the risk of skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun induces mutations in the DNA of the skin that can lead to skin cancers,” warns Dr. Lana Kashlan from CosmeSurge Dubai. “In fact, the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is found most often on the head and neck because of the sun exposure to these areas,” she adds.
The key to protecting yourself is sunscreen. “Always use sunscreen. Make sure you are covered for UVA and UVB rays,” says Rebecca Treston the Founder of Rebecca Treston Aesthetics. It is important to understand the difference between the two. “UVA rays penetrate the skin fairly deeply, altering your pigmentation to produce a tan. UVB rays are the primary sunburn rays,” explains Treston. Even if you’re only planning on spending a short amount of time in the sun these rays can still cause harm, especially the former. “UVA rays even in small amounts can cause photoaging and cause damage to the dermis layer of the skin. Damage to the dermis causes collagen and elastin to shrink which causes wrinkles to appear on the top layer of the skin,” explains Dr. Jaffer Khan the founder of Aesthetics International and Nova Clinic.
For those still relying on slathering on the SPF, Dr. Khan adds, “Overexposure to the sun with or without protection can also lead to sunburn, which can cause the appearance of sunspots and freckles.” A trend in recent years Dr. Kashlan warns, “While some people find freckles to be cute, we consider them to be markers of sun damage and when you have too many they coalesce into larger brown patches that make the skin look dull and less radiant.” The best way to protect your skin is to stay indoors between 10 am and 2 pm. “It’s when the sun’s burning rays are the strongest,” says Treston and for those looking for A+ marks from their dermatologist, “Always protect your skin with clothing, a hat, and sunscreen if you go outside,” advises Treston.