Sun Exposure: Does it Improve Your Acne Scars?
Summer wouldn’t be complete without basking in the sun by the beach. Imagine lying on the sand as the sun hits your face, tanning your skin. If you experience frequent breakouts and you think that tanning can camouflage your acne scars temporarily, then you should do it with caution. Otherwise, the sunlight can worsen your condition.
A Certain Amount of Sun Benefits the Skin
Sun exposure can be beneficial to your health, particularly for your bone health. The sun provides Vitamin D, which is a critical nutrient. It promotes the absorption of calcium, the mineral responsible for keeping your bones strong.
Apart from promoting healthy bones, sunlight can also improve your overall health. Spending time under the sun can provide the following benefits:
- Lower blood pressure
- Curb appetite
- Lower risk of obesity
- Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and other autoimmune diseased
Additionally, more sun exposure can extend your lifespan from six months to two years. Ten minutes a day is the recommended amount of sun exposure to gain its benefits. This allows you to produce around 5,000 IU of vitamin D to maintain normal blood levels.
For some people, 10 minutes can be too long or too short. Researchers explain that determining the right amount of exposure can be hard because skin pigmentation affects how much UV rays the skin absorbs. Ten minutes, however, decreases your chance of getting a sunburn.
Despite these health benefits, sun exposure longer than the recommended period can result in more skin problems.
Excessive UV Rays Exposure Can Damage the Skin
Although the sun provides vitamin D, the ultraviolet (UV) radiation it emits can also cause damage to the skin. Keep in mind, however, the sun is not the only source of harmful UV rays. They can also be present in artificial sources, such as:
- Tanning beds
- Some fluorescent, halogen, and incandescent lights
- Mercury vapor lighting
- Certain types of lasers
UV rays come in three classifications: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). Each group has a different amount of wavelength, which affects their absorption level and impact on health.
- UVA (315 to 399 nanometers wavelength) – the ozone layer doesn’t absorb this type of UV rays, so the earth receives nearly all of it. UVA can go deeper to the skin and you can absorb it throughout the year.
- UVB (280 to 314 nanometers wavelength) – the ozone layer absorbs most of the UVB, but some of it makes it to the Earth’s surface. Like UVA, it can pose a risk to your health.
- UVC (100 to 279 nanometers wavelength) – the ozone layer completely absorbs this type of UV rays, making it safer than UVA and UVB.
Exposure to harmful UV rays can darken your acne scars, making it more noticeable. It can also cause premature aging and certain types of skin cancer, like melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.
If your goal is to reduce or minimize the appearance of your acne scars, there are treatments designed for this purpose. Acne scar treatments, however, depend on the type of acne scars you have.
Understanding the Formation of Acne Scars
Some people don’t develop acne scars despite experiencing frequent breakouts. But there are also those who are prone to acne scarring. Several factors can increase your chance of developing acne scars, including:
- Having swollen, reddish, and painful acne
- Delaying the treatment of inflammatory acne
- Picking, popping, and squeezing acne
Acne breakouts can damage the skin and the tissue underneath it. The body repairs the damage by producing collagen, which gives support to the skin. The amount of collagen is crucial because too little or too much of the substance can create a scar.
Types of acne scar fall into two categories: depressed or atrophic scars and raised or hypertrophic scars.
- Atrophic scars – these scars develop due to lack of collagen production during the healing process. It also has different types, such as:
- Boxcar – they’re U-shaped scars that have sharp edges. These scars can be shallow or deep, but the shallow ones respond better to skin resurfacing treatments.
- Ice pick – these scars form into a V shape that can go deep into the skin, making them challenging to treat.
- Rolling – they are wide scars with round edges and rolling appearance.
- Hypertrophic – these scars occur because the body produces excessive collagen when the acne was healing.
Skin Care for Managing Acne Scars
Your choice of skin care products plays a role in managing your acne scars. As you spend more time under the sun during summer, don’t forget to apply sunscreen both on your face and your body. It can protect your skin against the harmful UV rays.
Consider consulting your dermatologist, as well, to help you identify the right products that suit your skin. Local drug stores also carry skin care products for acne-prone skin.
When you’re shopping for skin care products to reduce your acne scars, you may look for these ingredients:
- Salicylic acid – this is a popular ingredient that combats acne. It helps clear pores, exfoliate the skin, and reduce swelling and redness. You can find it in various topical creams, facial cleansers, and lotions.
- Alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) – they can remove dead skin and clogged pores. AHAs can also exfoliate the outer layer of the skin, making acne scars less evident. This mild acid is present in acne-fighting products.
- Lactic acid – it can improve the pigmentation, texture, and appearance of the skin as well as lighten acne scars. This ingredient is available in various serums, ointments, and facial peels. But diluted apple cider vinegar used as a toner can also treat acne scars.
- Aloe Vera – the gel from this plant can help reduce the appearance of acne and it’s gentle on the skin. Pure aloe vera gel has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. You can use also mix it with other natural ingredients.
- Asian Centella – also known as, Gotu Kola, this herb is rich in antioxidants and has saponins that enhance the appearance of the skin. It is a popular ingredient in many cosmetic products due to its ability to minimize the appearance of scars, blemishes, and wrinkles.
Linovera Oil, for example, contains a combination of aloe vera and Asian Centella extracts that help in skin regeneration and stimulates the synthesis of collagen. It works with all skin types, especially with sensitive skin. The product is easy to absorb, leaving the skin soft, smooth, and not greasy.
Don’t let the sun ruin your skin while you achieve the perfect tan. Practice proper skin care to reduce acne scars and keep your skin healthy. Shop here and add Linovera Oil to your skin care arsenal.