Sunlight still damages skin hours after exposure
A new study conducted by researchers at Yale University and published in the journal Science found that sunlight may still damage your skin hours after you’ve gone back indoors.
The research team wanted to know what happens to the sun’s energy after the skin’s defense system, melanin, has absorbed it. In studying the chemical process of how melanin breaks down UV radiation, they found that damage to the skin was still happening four hours after UV exposure ended. That, they said, suggests that we’re only damaging about half of our DNA when we’re outside on the beach – the other damage happens later on.
The researchers hope their learnings can help them develop a more effective sunscreen. But they pointed out that it reinforces the warnings that sunscreen should be used with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and that you should try to limit exposure to the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.