Summer Skin Damage

It’s that time, folks. Labor Day has come and gone, the new academic year is in full-swing, and we’re finding ourselves distracted by back-to-school sales and last-chance BBQs, right?

As we bid adieu to another beautiful Portland summer, let’s not forget that a season of sunshine, while giving you a happy, healthy boost of vitamin D, may have also done some unwelcome damage to that which we neglect most in “shorts-n-tank” weather- our skin! Sunshine, though it feels great, can do a number on our skin, even if we’re good about keeping it hydrated with a good moisturizer and protected with sunscreen.

Remember that our skin is an organ, and as a part of our body it’s main job is to be our first line of defense against the environment, including the sun! In sunlight, we find ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Though most UV light is blocked by the planet’s ozone layer, there is a percentage of UV, better known as UVA and UVB, that comes in contact with living organisms and is responsible for everything from superficial sunburns to premature aging.

In response to sunlight, our skin produces something called melanin, which absorbs UV light and prevents it from damaging the skin. We see melanin in many forms, including those pesky sunspots and scars from wounds and blemishes.
Other than causing pigmentation issues, prolonged sun exposure during the summer months can result in tissue damage. Some UV rays can penetrate the skin’s surface to the dermal layer, where collagen and elastin are found. These protein substances, which keep the skin firm, lifted, and contourned, weaken and break down at a higher and faster rate than natural aging when exposed to UV rays.

Now comes the good news! Though sun-exposure and sun-damage is inevitable, there are a variety of ways to help repair and reverse sun-damaged summer skin and keep you looking your best through fall. Stay tuned for all our tips, products, and services available here at Be Smooth this month!