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Aging Effects of Sun Tanning

Aging effects of sun tanning take place on two different levels in the epidermis - causing premature aging of the skin and many skin cancers.

Sun tanning can help you to look wonderful - tawny, glowing and healthy, but too much sun will do your skin irreparable damage, the aging effects of sun tanning also deplete your body of vitamin B.

How can something that looks so good be so bad for you?

Prolonged sun exposure, year after year, is responsible for both premature aging of the skin and many skin cancers. The damage is cumulative so if you sun bathe every year you are causing more and more skin damage that will get worse over time.

It is only about one per cent of the sun’s radiation that affects the skin and all the burning and tanning is caused by the invisible short-wave ultra-violet rays.

Everyday exposure to sunlight accounts for up to 80% of the signs of premature skin aging. Many of these signs of 'photo-aging' can begin to develop as early as in our 20's.

 

The Aging Effects of Sun Tanning

First, the pigment-bearing cells, tucked away on the underside of the epidermis, are activated by the ultra-violet rays – only the shortest of these rays are strong enough to penetrate the cells making them produce melanin (the brownish pigment).

The aging effects of sun tanning cannot be seen for about two days, but it is this action that produces a long-lasting sun tan.

Meanwhile the longer-wave rays work on the melanin granules that already exist in the upper layers of the epidermis, turning them a dark brown. The reason why the long-lasting sun tan is slow in coming is that the lower melanin granules gradually work their way to the surface.

Sun tan disappears not because it ‘fades’ but because the pigmented cells naturally flake off. Preserving a sun tan, involves controlling this natural shedding of cells. This can be done by using oil in your bath and a body lotion afterwards. But this same action slows down the rate your skin cells regenerate and the older dead cells clog the surface of your skin.

 

A Sun Tan is a Natural Defense Mechanism Against the Effects of the Sun

The granules of melanin act as a screen on the surface of your skin, filtering out harmful rays and protecting the delicate under layers.

If this were the only effect of the ultra-violet waves, there would be few problems, but they also release a chemical that penetrates the skin’s inner layer. It is this that causes the blood vessels to dilate, accounting for a lobster red color. Some hours later the dilated vessels allow serum to enter the damaged tissues.

This leads to swelling, pressure and irritation on nerve endings; peeling follows and in severe cases, blisters.

Damaged skin cells work their way to the surface, become harder and thicker, forming a tough outer layer.

This is the second line of defense for the skin, as it reflects and scatters light, but it is also the aging effects of sun tanning because the skin becomes leathery and dry.

Whether you live under the sun all the time, or whether it is a transient exposure, anti aging protection is essential. If you want to acquire a sun tan, you also need patience.

 

Sunburn Protectors Come in Varying Strengths

The most effective being the opaque sun blocks. These reduce the likelihood of skin damage and premature aging, but also reduce the likelihood of sun tanning. Some sun tan lotions are only moisturizers or greases which attract the rays and prevent drying. Be cautious, read labels. Quick natural protectors are cocoa butter, or a mixture of salad oil and cider vinegar.

A protective sun screen must be used all over exposed areas. The most vulnerable parts are the face, nose, shoulders, upper-chest, midriff, backs of knees and backs of hands.

If you are in the sun for the first time for several months, take it slowly. The first day sunbathe for only half an hour in the morning, keep in the shade until the late afternoon, then take a little more sun.

Slowly increase your time in the sun each day; always use a high SPF factor sun screen, avoid midday rays, strong reflection from the water and the combination of sun and wind.

 

Some Skins Burn Easily and Dry Out, While Others Tan

Generally the color of skin and eyes determines the effects of the sun on your skin. The lighter your skin tone, the more cautious you need to be.

The very fair skinned with little melanin can’t expect a deep tan ever.

Redheads who sit in the sun often go freckled instead of brown. Both types should use a strong sun block.

It has been reported that some people susceptible to sunburn have been able to take more exposure by supplementing the B vitamin of PABA (Para - Aminobenzoic Acid, Vitamin B complex) to the degree of 1.000 milligrams a day; also applying it as an ointment will allow some delicate skins to tan.

People with olive to caramel skins need a sunscreen too, a stronger one if you don’t want to deepen the tone.

People with brown to black skins are still susceptible to sun damage and the aging effects of sun tanning. It is true that dark skin does not burn as easily as fair skin, and can take more exposure, but this does not mean it doesn’t suffer from premature aging of the skin and many skin cancers.

Any skin is at risk of premature aging from the aging effects of sun tanning without proper protection.

 

 

How to treat sunburn

If you do get sunburn and it is red and painful, try these home remedies for sun burn:

1. Mix equal parts of baking soda and water, pat onto the sun burnt skin and leave on for half an hour. Rinse off with tepid water.

2. Beat the white of an egg with 1 teaspoon of castor oil, smooth this over your skin as a lotion.

3. Cover your sun burn with a mashed pulp of cucumber.

4. Soothe sun burn with a strong solution of ordinary tea or sage tea.

5. A diluted solution of vinegar and water brings relief.

6. Mix ¼ cup of buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of rose water, splash over skin and wait until it dries, then rinse off.

 

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