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The #1 Skin Ager

I was a die-hard sun worshipper, always in search of the perfect tan, I felt that I looked healthier with a tan. Summers were spent on a boat, on a lake, slathered in suntan lotion with no SPF or even baby oil. Fast forward to my 40’s when I realized that what I thought made me look healthy was actually aging me. This is when I learned that approximately 80% to 85% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure.

There are 2 different types of UV rays that we need to be concerned with, UVA and UVB

UVA radiation, also known as aging rays, contribute up to 95% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays that reach the Earth’s surface. These rays can penetrate deep down into the skin, cause damage to the skin cells DNA and cause cell death. They are called aging rays because they weaken collagen and elastin fibers causing wrinkling and sagging, the signs of aging we don’t want.

UVB radiation, also known as burning rays, causing burning, tanning, aging and cancer of the skin. UVB rays don’t penetrate as deep as UVA rays, but they are stronger and more damaging to the skin and eyes as well.

ANY sunburn you have EVER had in your ENTIRE life INCREASES your chances of getting SKIN CANCER. Please read that again…EVER!

All this being said, UVB rays contribute to the synthesis of vitamin D and other important minerals.

As I mentioned, I always thought I looked healthier with a tan, but a tan is actually a sign of DNA damage—the skin darkens in an attempt to prevent cell injury, which can lead to the cell mutating, this is what causes skin cancer.

When I think of all the damage that I’ve done to my skin and the potential for skin cancer, quite frankly, it makes me sick and scares the crap out of me.

If I only knew then what I know now…

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