What you can do to protect your skin

Weather probably has a double effect on the skin: It is a direct irritant that dissolves the upper layers of the skin and makes the skin more vulnerable to harmful UV rays.

Have you ever noticed the faces of people involved in the sea? Fishermen, surfers, sailors? People after a long trip by bike or motorcycle? The same goes for winter skiers. Their face is probably red. And the culprit is not only the sun, but also the wind. Wind can reduce the skin’s natural sun protection, allowing more UV rays to penetrate and damage.

According to dermatologists at the Skin Cancer Foundation, air has a dual effect on the skin: It’s a direct irritant that dissolves the top layers of the skin and makes the skin more vulnerable to harmful UV rays. Two main types of UV rays can cause DNA damage in your skin, even in the short term. UVB rays cause sunburn, while UVA rays cause tanning, skin aging, and wrinkles. Over time, damage from one or both types of radiation accumulates, causing DNA mutations that can lead to skin cancer.

In all of these, the outer layer of the skin, the so-called stratum corneum, plays a key role. It provides a protective barrier while allowing things like air, light and your humidifier to penetrate. This layer also contains urocanic acid, a natural sunscreen that helps absorb some of the UV rays that cause skin damage. Although urocanic acid has a sun protection factor (SPF) of only 1.5, a 2011 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reported that it can reduce DNA damage from the sun by up to 33%.

Air + Sun

However, according to a study summarized in the medical handbook “Environmental Hazards to the Skin,” exposure to wind can reduce the skin’s natural defenses. Exposure to air can cause dryness and weaken the outer layer of skin. And the force of the wind can then blow away dry, broken skin cells. Losing part of this outer layer of skin reduces the sun protection effect of the stratum corneum.

When this happens, more UV rays from the sun penetrate our skin, and the immune system in this outer layer has a hard time recognizing and repairing all the damaged cells so it doesn’t turn into skin cancer. A 1977 study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that rats exposed to UV rays and wind developed more skin cancer than those not exposed to the air.

If the weather can reduce your skin’s natural sun protection, it can also affect your topical sunscreen. When you apply sunscreen, it covers the surface of the stratum corneum. If your skin is exposed to the air for long periods of time, the stratum corneum will dry out and peel off along with your sunscreen, making the skin more susceptible to UV rays and the damage they cause. Therefore, full sun protection is more important than ever in windy weather.

Protect yourself on windy days

Even if the winds are strong, get outside, do the activities you want, and have fun. Just follow these simple precautions.

Reduce your sun exposure. Limit or avoid sun exposure on windy days. Don’t let the wind fool you: If it’s cool, you’re less likely to feel or feel the sun’s rays when you get sunburned.

To cover up. If you must be in the wind, the best thing you can do to avoid the combined effects of wind and sun is to wear clothing that provides effective UV protection: long sleeves, pants, gloves, windbreakers, sunglasses, and a hat. fits comfortably and does not blow away. For water sports or boating, a waterproof suit or sun protective clothing will help. If you’re a motorcyclist, consider investing in a full-face helmet with sun protection in addition to wearing your leather jacket.

Use a rich and moisturizing sunscreen. It is very important to reapply your sunscreen frequently, at least every two hours, when you are outdoors. A rich cream or oil formula may be better than a light lotion or “dry spray” when windy. By adding more moisture to your skin, you’ll reduce dryness and roughness that make it more sensitive to UV rays.

Leave a Comment