While some people believe tanning makes them more beautiful, this habit can actually damage their skin in the long run, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin, says a study.
“Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and indoor tanning beds not only can increase your risk of skin cancer but also can contribute to skin ageing,” said Arianne Shadi Kourosh from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, US.
“Moreover, other forms of radiation, such as heat and visible light, can negatively impact the skin, as can pollution, so protecting your skin from the environment can benefit both your health and appearance,” Kourosh said in a statement released by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Since both types of UV rays — long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB) — can damage the skin, it is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection, with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher, Kourosh said.
Environmental factors can damage the skin in multiple ways, from UVB rays causing sunburns and uneven pigmentation to UVA and infrared radiation penetrating more deeply into the skin to damage existing collagen and reduce collagen production, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin, Kourosh said.
Habitual UV exposure can cause blood vessels to become more prominent, causing skin redness, while visible light and pollution can cause uneven skin tone, she said.