When it comes to health, many of us will likely have heard lots of rumours, old wives’ tales and tips passed down from friends and relatives, and if you’re anything like us you’ll have heard the most of these tips and tales about skin, acne and keeping your face spot-free and healthy.
Whether it’s not touching your face, steering clear of dairy or even avoiding exercise, we hear these kinds of things everyday. The problem? Well, it’s really hard to know who’s speaking with sense and science to back them up and which of these are just not true or only applicable to a teeny number of people.
Here at Works With Water we’re dedicated to bringing you well-researched advice from all over the internet and tips from our expert team. And because it’s Sun Awareness Week here in the UK, the topic today is: sunshine.
In a way it’s strange that Brits love the sunshine so much, get out into it at every opportunity and could talk about the weather for days on end, and yet there’s a huge recent health concern regarding the direct link between sun damage and skin cancer in people from the UK later in life.
Not only that, but many people claim the sunshine can have a hugely positive effect on your skin, including clearing up acne and curing those who have long suffered with psoriasis and other dry skin conditions – what a contradiction!
So, does sunshine help to ease acne and improve the condition of your skin?
The answer is, possibly, but there are many better options!
The reason it’s hard to talk about sunshine and acne is it’s really a mixed bag, because some people go on holiday and come back assuming their skin has been ‘cured’ when really it’s because the sun can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your usually stressed-out skin cells and a tan can cover scarring and work to counteract any redness you usually experience because the melatonin your body produces darkens the colour of your skin.
The problem is, over-exposure to sunshine doesn’t stop your skin cells from producing sebum (the oil that can mix with bacteria and cause acne) in fact it can increase its production, so some people sit out in the sun and notice an improvement in their skin and others feel oilier and more spot-prone than ever.
Experts are agreed that some sun exposure could help reduce acne and get rid of dry skin, but many believe it’s rare and could actually be down to melatonin production, less stress and increased vitamin D production instead of a more direct and obvious link. They also recommend that there are many more ways to get rid of acne and improve the quality of your skin that are easier, more rewarding and most importantly, a LOT safer.
Regardless of how you react to the sunshine, you need to be smart about the time you spend in direct sunlight and limit your exposure to avoid a multitude of complications later in life – including cancer and a rapid increase in your skin cells ageing process. Even if you’re only going to be outside for half an hour in the UK, skin experts recommend you wear a low SPF to avoid gradually exposing your skin to the harmful UV rays within the sunlight.
So in a nutshell, a little smart sun exposure could have an anti-inflammatory effect and increase production of Vitamin D. But (and it’s a big but!) you have to be wary about how much time you spend exposed to sunlight, you have to protect your skin even in the UK and there are much more effective ways to treat acne that don’t pose other health risks.
How do you find your skin reacts to sunlight during the summer months? Everyone is different, so we’re interested in hearing your story!