As we settle into the middle of summer, we are going to the beach more, catching more rays and, of course, tanning.
But is today's tan worth your tomorrow? Videographer Thomas Leveritt decided to find out by documenting just how badly the sun's UV rays really damage the skin in a video paid for by Nivea Sun, a company that sells sun care products.
"Over the course of a year, I was able to photograph people from all over the world, to watch, in ultraviolet, how skin ages," Leveritt writes in his video description. "What's striking is how early the effects of overexposure to UV can be seen."
We all start with a clean slate.
But when we start getting exposed to the sun, something begins to happen ...
Our skin begins to work hard to protect itself from the sun — an important function of the body, given that overexposure to the UV radiation can cause sunburn, but also other more serious longterm issues such as cataracts and skin cancer, according to University of California, San Francisco.
One way the skin protects itself is by freckling.
While freckles may be adorable, they also can represent something a little sinister.
Freckles mostly appear beneath the surface of the skin, which is why we can't see them unless viewed under ultraviolet light. Only when freckles get dark enough do they begin to show through the outer layer of skin.
"They're like dead pixels, a sign that the skin's ability to handle UV has become overwhelmed, and that the underlying collagen is taking damage," writes Leveritt. "That's not to say that freckles aren't cute —they totally can be! — just as smile lines and greying temples can be cute. But they are a sign that the skin's ability to defend itself has maxed out."
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Wear sunscreen, people. Lots of sunscreen.
After watching the video below, you'll never forget to apply.
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