In our society, tanned skin is often synonymous with healthy, young and beautiful skin. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to the sun leaves indelible marks, even on the most perfect of skin.
Regardless of whether you skin has burnt, reddened or tanned from the sun, they are all symptoms of your immune systems response to ultraviolet radiation, which is a consequence of RNA damage to skin cells.
Ultraviolet rays are divided into three categories, according to their wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC rays are not a problem, thanks to the atmosphere that filters them. However, UVA rays can still penetrate the dermis, while UVB rays reach the surface layer of the skin and discharge all their energy (higher than UVA) into epidermal cells and especially DNA. The sunburn you experience is caused by UVB rays. Nevertheless, though UVA rays do not cause sunburn, in the long run, they can lead to a degeneration of elastic fibres and collagen in the dermis, which results in a loss of elasticity in the skin.
The target of solar radiation is cellular DNA and can cause a considerable amount of damage to the double helix. In response, your body begins the production of free radicals, releasing destructive enzymes called hydrolases. This phenomenon is called photo-ageing, the biological process by which the sun’s rays causes premature ageing at the deepest point of the skin.
It is important to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays with a good sunscreen. If the skin is sensitive it will require a cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.