Study shows sunlight continues to harm skin long after exposure

A new study, conducted by researchers at Yale University, in the United States, has shown that the effects of the sun’s rays on our skin carry on for several hours after we have been outside, and in fact much of the damage is done hours post exposure.

Half skin damage happens in the dark

The scientists exposed melanocytes (the cells that produce the melanin in our skin) to UV radiation and watched what happened to them. The radiation caused a type of DNA damage known as a cyclobutane dimer, or CPD. To their surprise, the cells not only produced CPDs immediately on being exposed to the radiation, but continued to do so hours after the exposure ended.

They then tested the cells to find out how much of the damage had occurred after UV exposure, and discovered that 50% of the CPDs were created in the dark.

Ray of hope

Although this research uncovered some worrying news about sun exposure, the scientists pointed out that the long duration of the process of skin damage or pigmentation changes could open the door for a new generation of ‘evening’ sunscreens that can be used after exposure to the sun, to prevent further damage.

What to do now

Here at Dr Joney de Souza Aesthetic Clinic in London, we believe that everyone should be using a high factor sunscreen (SPF30+) every day, rain or shine. Any cosmetic doctor in London will tell you that the sun is one of the biggest enemies in the fight against ageing, and when you add in the carcinogenic risk, it just isn’t worth the tan.

We stock a range of cosmeceuticals and high factor sunscreens at our Mayfair aesthetic clinic, and any one of our team of highly trained and experienced aestheticians will be happy to talk you through the options and work out which product would be right for you.

Until the evening sunscreens come onto the market, the best way to avoid damage caused the sun’s harmful rays is to keep your skin protected in the daytime. For more information, please contact us.

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