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The warming rays feel good to our bodies but are not good to our skin. The high dose of vitamin D is something our bodies crave and need but the sun is, unfortunately, not the place to get it. While the sun may make for a perfect day in the park, it does not make for healthy skin and can cause more problems by damaging our skin. Here are the five ways that the sun impacts our skin.

1. Color

It wasn’t until Coco Chanel came back from her holiday sporting a suntan that this look was popular. In fact, before Ms. Chanel donned a tan, it was considered to be a sign of being lower middle class. People that had to work in the fields or outdoors all day were the only people who had the unfortunate look of a suntan.

However, times changed and so did the sales of skin care products. Before people began tanning, the skin care industry was basically made up of soaps and light moisturizers. Now that our skin has suffered decades of sun exposure and damage, in the hope of a suntan, products like anti-wrinkle creams and collagen boosters are selling like hotcakes.

The sun, sadly, does not only give a smooth and even suntan. The after effects of a tan are freckles, sun spots, age spots, blotchiness and dark patches. All of which are neither fashionable nor attractive. Now, thankfully, there is a return to the peaches and cream look. People are realizing that a lack of sun damage in skin equals a younger looking person.

2. Health

The Mayo Clinic Reports that skin cancer will affect 1 in 5 people.

There is still hope of lowering these numbers through educating people on the damage of the sun on skin. Over 90% of all cases of skin cancer are caused by sun exposure. This is a staggeringly high number that can be reduced if people simply use a wide spectrum sunscreen of 30 or higher on their face, neck and arms.

Many people claim they wish to reap the vitamin D benefits of the sun. Unfortunately, there is no healthy and safe way to reap the vitamin D benefits from the sun. This is because the only safe way to spend time in the sun is to wear a wide spectrum sunscreen. However, the sunscreen will block all the healthy doses of vitamin D from penetrating the skin. A daily supplement of vitamin D must be used as a substitute for direct sunshine.

The good news is that if a person covers up in sunscreen and heads out for a day in the sun, they will feel much happier and healthier. The way sunshine effects moods and feelings of well being have been scientifically documented. Lack of sunshine for prolonged periods of time have also been shown to promote depression in what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D.

3. Dryness

The sun is many things, but moisturizing it is not. The sun goes to work to dry out any moisture in its path. Therefore, skin must be constantly moisturized from the outside and from within.

Yes, from within. The sun does not stop at our skins when it goes to work to dry up moisture. Our bodies are under attack as well. Since our bodies are made up of about 70% water, dehydration can occur within an hour of being in the sun. Drinking a gallon of water for every two hours in the sun is mandatory to prevent dehydration. This amount can be doubled if demanding physical activity is being performed in the sun.

4. Elasticity

Skin has collagen in it which makes it supple and firm. The collagen in our skin will eventually decrease with age, environmental pollutants, not moisturizing each day, poor diet and most of all, excessive sun exposure. The sun is the biggest culprit to depleted levels of collagen in skin.

There are a few ways to reverse this process. Since the cellular structure of our skin repairs itself almost constantly, it is never too late to regain elasticity and firmness in skin. It all comes down to preventing the sun from penetrating the skin. Using a parasol, wide brimmed sun hat and a wide spectrum sunscreen all work to reverse the loss of elasticity.

5. Texture

A rough skin texture is another way of talking about wrinkles. Smooth skin is possible for all. However, some people have to work harder at it than others. Wrinkles can be erased over time by using a lotion that contains retinoids. Retinoids gently remove a layer of skin with each application. Since the layer of skin is removed, a very high SPF sunscreen is mandatory. Otherwise, raw new skin will be exposed directly to the sun.

Wrinkles can also be prevented by daily moisturizers and, of course, refraining from sun worshipping. In fact, it is not just the sun worshipers that have to take heed. People can get a sunburn just from walking in and out of buildings from their cars. Sunburns are even possible while sitting in one’s car.

Sun Damage Removal Treatments

It can’t be said enough: sunscreen must be a part of everyone’s morning skin care routine. It helps to reapply sunscreen in the afternoon, just to be on the safe side. However, if everyone makes sun protection a priority, we can see a significant reduction in skin damage in regards to wrinkles, loss of elasticity, dryness and most of all, skin cancer diagnosis.