The role of the sun in our skin

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The importance of the sun on our skin is so great that we must take into account how to take advantage of its benefits while protecting ourselves from it so that it becomes our greatest ally rather than our worst enemy.

Sunlight emits ultraviolet, infrared and, of course, visible light radiation. The effects on our skin depend on the type of radiation, its range and wavelength.
Thus, we know that ultraviolet A radiation (UVA) is responsible for both tanning and premature ageing. This is the first example of how the sun can bring us both benefits and harm. As for ultraviolet B, it can cause erythema and burns due to unprotected overexposure, as well as most skin cancers. Fortunately, one of the most dangerous radiations, UVC, is not able to reach the earth’s surface as it is retained by the ozone layer. Infrared, on the other hand, emanating from solar radiation, is responsible for the thermal sensation generated by exposure, which in most cases leads to congestion and flushing due to dilation of the blood capillaries. Visible light, which as its name indicates is responsible for us being able to see objects and distinguish colours, together with the previous one, enhances the effects caused by UVA and UVB and also includes the already famous blue light, whose exposure seems to be associated with a certain type of ageing and loss of skin elasticity, caused by the formation of free radicals.

It is therefore important to find ways to take advantage of the benefits of sun exposure while minimising the risks mentioned above, as radiation is responsible not only for a nice tan, but also for many other factors:

  • It stimulates the production of vitamin D and the consequent metabolisation of calcium, which ensures proper growth during childhood, prevents disorders such as rickets and improves the evolution of conditions such as osteoporosis in adults and the elderly.
  • It is psychologically responsible for generating positive emotions by increasing serotonin levels.
  • It regulates sleep cycles by reducing melatonin levels, which helps us to feel more awake in daylight.
  • It has an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and healing-promoting effect, thus improving the condition of skin with microbiota-related disorders and certain skin lesions such as acne, psoriasis or dermatitis.

For all of these reasons, it is advisable to have a controlled exposure to the sun, about 15 minutes a day, outside the central hours of the day and always with protection against harmful radiation. You can apply your sun protection in a specific product for this purpose, or you can include protection factor in your day cream by selecting this option in our diagnostic questionnaire.


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