You May Never Need Sunscreen Again
If you know anything about skin care, then you have probably heard that sunscreen is a vital part of your daily skin care regimen. Exposure to the sun is one of the most damaging things that can happen to your skin, so it is very important to insure that you are properly protecting your skin by using sunscreen every day. Sun damage is one of the leading causes of wrinkles and lines on your skin. Overexposure to the sun may also contribute to the development of melanoma, or skin cancer. Other damage that can occur from the sun includes broken blood vessels on the skin of the face and chest, brown spots, white spots, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. You probably don't want any of these sun damage side effects, so you consistently and persistently slather sunscreen on your skin every day. However, there is some debate about whether or not sunscreen is always effective against these problems and confusion about what level of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is necessary to give you the protection that you need. As science progresses, these problems might gain a new solution and you may never have to use that pasty, white sunscreen again.
This kind of technology is in the preliminary stages, but there was a study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine that discovered an alternative to protect skin from ultraviolet rays. In the study, subjects' skin was pre-treated with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs are used commonly in every day items such as Christmas tree lights and the brake lights on your car. After the LED treatment, subjects were exposed to ultraviolet light B (UVB), which is the most skin-damaging ultraviolet ray. The researchers found that the skin that had received the series of LED treatments was less red and was not as damaged as the skin that went untreated. The results seemed similar to the subjects applying an SPF 15 sunscreen to their skin.
Before you run out and make your husband hold the brake pedal down on the car so that you can treat your skin with the LED light from your brake lights, you should know that there is still more research to be done to be sure this is a truly effective way to protect your skin against the sun. It is hard to say how different skin types will react to an LED treatment, and therefore difficult to guarantee efficacy of the procedure. It is exciting to know that science is working to find a more effective alternative to sunscreen, when we know the bad effects that sun damage can bring to our skin.
While you wait for science to perfect a sunscreen alternative, be sure to work with what you've got and wear an SPF 15 or higher every day. For healthy skin and additional protection against skin cancer, take 1,000 IU of Vitamin D every day. Exposure to the sun creates Vitamin D in your system, and this is actually good for your body, but by taking Vitamin D in the form of oral pills, you can save yourself the need to spend time unprotected in the sun. Go ahead and spend time outside being active and enjoying sunny weather. There is no reason to give up gardening, water sports, hiking, biking or pool time because you are afraid of sun damaging your skin. Make sure to wear a good sunscreen with SPF 30 when you are going to be in the sun for a long time. If you have extra fair skin, consider wearing a hat to shield your delicate facial skin.