Sun Damaged, prevention is worth a pound of cure

Sun burn fades
Sun damage lasts

Do you want to know how to prevent sun damaged skin?

Cover up and wear sunscreen, whether it is rain, hail or sunshine and seven days a week please.

Because chances are you don’t live in a windowless cave.


Did you know there is no such thing as a healthy tan?

It is simply a defence mechanism activated by your skins cells.

Did you know that sun damaged skin starts much earlier than you think? It occurs the MINUTE you get your FIRST TAN, which doesn’t become apparent until after the real damage is done.

Exactly how quickly, depends on your skin type and the level of exposure your skin has been exposed to.


Slip slap slop; no truer words have been spoken, when you are planning to go out in the sun.

Besides avoiding sun exposure, using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above, is the NUMBER ONE skin CANCER PREVENTION technique.

Unfortunately I find many of my clients only use sunscreen when they go to the beach, they mistakenly believe, that they only need to wear sunscreen when they are sun bathing.

But as discussed above, the real damage comes from cumulative sun damage done over a lifetime.


Sun exposure causes the formation of free radicals in the skin and oxidation.

These wild oxygen molecules are very unstable; they go on a frantic search to find electrons to help them become stable.

They steal these electrons from important structures in our skin like DNA and cell membranes, which are vital for skin health.

When our DNA gets altered, this changes the blue print for cell replication, when this happens it changes biochemical reactions in the skin, heightening the risk of skin cancer.

The bottom line, free radicals are dangerous.

They cause a dance of destruction in the skin, creating inflammation and enzymes that destroy healthy collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, vital skin components, that leads to symptoms we relate to as premature ageing.

This damage doesn’t show up until years later, and the cumulative effects of sun exposure can be terrible.

Think sagging skin, wrinkles, rough texture, abnormal growths and hyper pigmentation, the list is endless.

Phew who would of thought the sun could be so damaging.


If you rarely venture outdoors and think this information won’t affect you, please think again.

Whilst its true that UVB which causes sunburn rarely gets indoors, UVA the wrinkle causing UV light does, and with relative ease.

But wait I hear you say doesn’t glass protect from UV? Whilst it will block UVB, it won’t allow UVA to pass, the percentage all depends on the type of glass and coating.

  • 90% of UV passes through laminated and UV coated glass
  • 75% of UV passes through clear glass
  • 25-50% of UV passes through tinted glass

On a normal day, you go from your house to the car, to work, or the shops, all of which leads to AMBIENT SUN EXPOSURE.

Even short exposure times over the years, can add up to a great deal of free radical activity and a lot of sun damaged skin.


But stop don’t panic, there is good news on the horizon.

If you start today by putting these preventative tips in place, you can stop many of the troubling side effects of the sun in its tracks.

And believe me, your skin will thank you for it in many years to come, after all it’s the only one you have.

  • Slip, Slap, Slop and never stop, come rain or shine
  • Use a water resistant sunscreen if you plan to swim
  • Don’t neglect UV protection when indoors or driving
  • If you plan to do activities, avoid stepping out in the sun between  the hours of 11 and 3 pm
  • Regularly eat lycopene and drink green tea, this will protect internally against UV damage
  • Wear sunglasses that protect you from both UVA and UVB, and cover as much of your face as possible
  • Cover up with hats and clothing made of dark tightly woven material, which absorb ultraviolet light
  • Apply your sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before you want to expose your skin and reapply regularly
  • Don’t be fooled, even cloudy days aren’t enough to stop UVA rays, so make sure you religiously apply your sun block, even during the winter months

The skin cancer foundations prevention guidelines, is a really useful read.


Photoaging is the biggest contributor to ageing and sun exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer

Protecting your skin from damaging ultra violet light, is the single most effective thing you can do to retain your youthful appearance.

The easiest way to prevent premature ageing, is to get in the habit of applying your sunscreen a few times a day daily, to all exposed areas of your body including your neck, hands and shoulders

If you suspect any changes in your skin, moles that change colour or shape or won’t heal, or even itchy flaky patches of skin that just won’t go away, this may indicate possible melanoma or skin cancer, so be sure to make an appointment to see a doctor.

It’s better to be safe than sorry and it may just save your life.


3 thoughts on “Sun Damaged, prevention is worth a pound of cure

  1. Hila Head says:

    One of my dear clients is traveling to Central America for a wedding. She is worried about sun damage and wants to buy the best SPF available. Could you please recommend a safe effective body sunscreen_
    I so appreciate any advice you can provide!! Thank you, HH

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