Understanding Sun Damage: Protecting Skin During Summertime - For Estheticians
During the summer months, it is easy to enjoy the extra doses of the sun's warm embrace, but it's essential to be mindful of the potential risks it poses to our skin. Increased sun exposure can lead to various skin issues, such as sunburn, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging.
Fortunately, we are well-versed in tackling these issues and have a range of treatments and products to repair and protect the skin from harmful UV damage. Every client's skin is unique, and before customizing the treatment approach for each client, it is important to understand the physiological impact of sun damage, identify who is most at risk, and determine effective solutions for maintaining healthy and radiant skin throughout the summer and beyond.
Sun damage occurs due to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The two types of UV rays that affect our skin are UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply, causing premature aging, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and more superficial damage.
Sunburn: When the skin is exposed to excessive UVB radiation, it triggers an inflammatory response, resulting in sunburn. The skin becomes red, sensitive, and painful.
Hyperpigmentation: Prolonged sun exposure can lead to an overproduction of melanin, causing dark spots and uneven skin tone known as hyperpigmentation.
Premature Aging: UVA rays break down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature aging signs like fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.
WHO IS MOST AT RISK
While sun damage can affect anyone, certain individuals are more vulnerable to its effects:
Fair-Skinned Individuals: Those with fair skin have less melanin, making them more susceptible to sunburn and UV damage.
People with a History of Sunburn: If you've experienced sunburn in the past, your risk of skin damage from the sun is higher.
Outdoor Enthusiasts: People who spend significant time outdoors, whether for work or recreational activities, face increased sun exposure.
Individuals in High Altitude or Near the Equator: UV radiation is stronger at higher altitudes and closer to the equator, posing a greater risk in these regions.
Fitzpatrick Scale is categorizes skin types based on their response to sun exposure. It helps to assess the skin's sensitivity to UV radiation, likelihood of tanning or burning, and susceptibility to sun damage. The scale is widely used in dermatology, esthetics, and other fields related to skin care and sun protection. It is named after its creator, Dr. Thomas B. Fitzpatrick.
The Fitzpatrick Scale is divided into six skin types (I to VI), with each type having specific characteristics related to skin color, hair color, eye color, and sunburn/tanning tendencies. Below is a detailed chart explaining each skin type on the Fitzpatrick Scale:
|Fitzpatrick Skin Type||Skin Color||Hair Color||Eye Color||Sunburn Tendency||Tanning Tendency|
|Type I||Very Pale||Red or Light||Light Blue/Green||Always burns, never tans||Extremely limited tanning, if any|
|Blonde||Highly sensitive to sun exposure||Prone to freckles|
|Easily develops sunburns||Sun damage risk is very high|
|Type II||Pale||Fair||Blue/Green||Usually burns, minimal tanning||Limited tanning with difficulty|
|Light Brown||High sensitivity to sun exposure||May develop freckles|
|Tends to develop sunburns||Significant risk of sun damage|
|Type III||Light to Olive||Dark Blonde to||Light Brown/Hazel||Sometimes burns, gradual tanning||Moderate tanning with time and effort|
|Light Brown||Moderate sensitivity to sun exposure||Tends to tan rather than burn|
|Occasional sunburns||Risk of sun damage is moderate|
|Type IV||Olive||Brown||Brown||Rarely burns, quick tanning||Easily tans, rarely burns|
|Dark Brown||Low sensitivity to sun exposure||Usually has no freckles|
|Sunburns are uncommon||Risk of sun damage is relatively low|
|Type V||Brown||Dark Brown||Dark Brown||Very rarely burns, fast and deep tanning||Very quick and easy tanning|
|Black||Minimal sensitivity to sun exposure||Rarely has freckles|
|Skin hardly ever burns||Relatively low risk of sun damage|
|Type VI||Deeply Pigmented||Black||Dark Brown||Never burns, immediate tanning||Very dark complexion that rarely changes|
|Skin is highly resistant to sun damage||No freckles|
|Very low risk of sun damage|
SOLUTIONS TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Thankfully, we can offer our clients effective tips and solutions to protect the skin from sun damage:
Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen: Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or higher, like the award-winning Soy Doctor Ultralight Moisturescreen SPF 30 before going outside. Reapply every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
Protective Clothing: Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that covers the arms and legs. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can also provide additional protection for the face and eyes.
Seek Shade: Whenever possible, stay in the shade during peak sun hours (10 am to 4 pm) to reduce direct UV exposure.
Avoid Tanning Beds: An obvious one, but believe it or not, they are still around. Tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation, contributing to accelerated skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Antioxidants: NATPURE creams and serums are all abundant with antioxidants like vitamin C and E to neutralize free radicals generated by UV exposure. Skin Lightening Botanical C Serum is one of the most potent holistic brightening formulas to correct existing sun damaged darkened areas.
Hydration: Keep your skin hydrated from the inside and out by drinking plenty of water and using a moisturizer rich with humectants and lipids, like HydraVita Skin Restoring Gel or Advanced Repair Complex.
Keep Track of Changes: Monitor the presence of any spots on the skin for changes. If something looks concerning, refer the client to a dermatologist.
Help your clients have a sun-safe summer by teaching them how to keep their skin healthy and protected while embracing the sun's warmth. By educating your client's about the practices necessary to prioritize their skin's well-being, you will be your client's indispensable partner for years to come, on their journey to maintaining a radiant and youthful complexion.
Prevention is key, and their skin will thank them for the care they invest in it.