The most obvious signs of aging are wrinkles and age spots. And one of the main culprits of premature aging is overexposure to the sun. Although there is a surprising extra factor which we’ll get to in a moment.
We shouldn’t be too critical of sun exposure however, because a little is good for us. Not only does it help moderate our mood – ever feeling blue, go for a short walk in the golden rays and feel the magic happen! The sun also triggers production of vitamin D in our skin.
Our bodies do not produce vitamin D on their own, but we do need it. Amongst other things it helps our body to absorb calcium – insufficient vitamin D can lead to brittle bones, and osteoporosis in later life. You can get some vitamin D from food such as fatty fish or egg yolks, but the best assurance is just to get a little sun every day.
So How Can Perfume Cause Our Skin To Age?
Consider the cocktail of chemicals that are in your typical perfume. In particular alcohol amongst many others. These are not ingredients you would knowingly apply to your skin if they were in your expensive moisurizer. Yet many of us have a habit of spraying or applying perfume to our wrists, chest, neck and even face (older men still have a habit of applying fragrance to their cheeks and neck).
These ingredients not only damage our bodies natural skin defences, but they can also break down your sun screen! So you may be getting a lot more sun exposure than you think if you are in the habit of applying perfumes directly to your skin. And this can lead to age spots, wrinkles and even skin cancers of course.
So be very careful where and/or when you apply perfume and fragrances. If you know you will be in the sun, then only apply to your clothing and not to your skin. If you know you won’t be in the sun (before going out for the evening for example) then the problem is greatly lessened, but you might still want to consider whether you really want those chemicals being absorbed into your skin!
How Much Sun Is Enough For Vitamin D?
It really depends on your skin type and where you live in the world. But as a general guide half the time it would take for your skin to begin to burn. So if you would normally start to see a minor sunburn from 20 minutes exposure, then 10 minutes is all you would need. Although bear in mind that the more skin that is exposed, the faster you will make vitamin D.
It will be obvious to some, but is wise to state anyway. If you always wear sunscreen on all exposed parts of your body whenever you are outside, then your body will not be making vitamin D. Sunscreen blocks the UV lights that triggers the production of vitamin D in the skin. So it needs to be outdoor sunlight on unprotected skin. Which is why you need only a little and not too much.