Getting a suntan could prematurely age your skin

Posted on 07 Aug, 2012

Many people believe that a golden suntan is a sign of health, and others also see it as a sign of beauty. However, a sun tan is actually a sign that your skin has become damaged by the sun.

A sun tan is a sign of the skin deploying its natural defence mechanisms against the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation stimulates the cells in the top layers of the skin, known as melanocytes, to produce more melanin.

Melanin refers to the pigment or colour in your skin. It protects your skin from exposure to the sun, but over time, the melanocytes can become damaged.

Long term effects of sun overexposure

Extended overexposure to the sun can cause serious problems, such as skin cancer, for example. By far the most common effect for most dedicated sun worshippers, however, is prematurely aged skin. This is because the sun, as well as affecting the pigment in your skin, also reduces its ability to heal itself and lowers collagen levels.

Rejuvenate your skin

Luckily, there are several techniques available to treat prematurely aged and sun damaged skin. These include laser treatment, microdermabrasion, ultrasound therapy and photo rejuvenation treatment, all of which can make a marked improvement in the appearance of your skin.