Overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, dilated blood vessels and changes in skin texture. Basically, it can age you. Sun protection can help reduce these effects.
To understand sun damage, it is essential to break down and understand how your skin is affected by the sun. Your skin has cells called melanocytes, which are stimulated to produce melanin.
Melanin is a complex polymer that determines skin and hair color. Once melanin is exposed to UV light, it oxidizes or turns darker, and the result is a tan and or sunburn.
The darkening of the skin is the skin’s way of protecting itself against too much UV light. Sunburn is your body’s way of responding to cellular damage caused by UV radiation. Sunscreen works by absorbing and scattering the sun’s rays on the skin. The higher the SPF, the greater protection you will get from sunburn.
A good, basic sun protection regimen to follow starts with choosing a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher. SPF numbers indicate the length of time one can be exposed to the sun without getting sunburned.
Here are a few technologies available for skin protection this summer:
1) A rather pricey, yet stylish, way to fight against sun exposure, was created by a French woman named Marie Spinali. It's a new-age bikini that tells you when it is time to reapply sun screen.
Spinali worked with French researchers specializing in nanotechnology to design a smaller UV sensor that can be successfully embedded into the bikini.
The consumer will get a two-piece swimsuit with a small detachable ultraviolent sensor that will send sun screen alerts through their smart phone or tablet. The detector is calibrated to the individual’s skin type and how much of a tan is desired.
The bikini costs 150 euros, or about $168 dollars.
2) Violet is a clip-on device that pairs with an app to measure and track UV exposure and daily vitamin D production. The device is waterproof, as well as iOS- and Android-compatible. It is ideal for parents, because it allows the user to have multiple profiles on the same device.