96% Sun Damage on a 22-Year-Old Face

For a completely unrelated reason, I got connected with a “med-spa skin care clinic” aka Botox, Lip-fillers, that sort of stuff. They know that I’m trying out lash serums and asked if I wanted to come in for an analysis of my lashes; this would allow me to have real numbers to measure the thickness and length of my lashes. (More on that in another blog post…)

Once I got up to the analysis machine to do the pictures, I realized it would make more sense of my time to do the full facial analysis while I was there. This machine would essentially do an x-ray photo of my face to determine its hydration levels, brown spots, red spots, intensity of wrinkles, bacteria levels, UV damage, etc. It was amazing to see the photos showing how in-depth the analysis was.

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Long story short: I’m 22, so my hydration, wrinkles, and fine lines were totally fine, even good if I say so myself…(thank you to the 250 skin care products in my bathroom.) The big photos and scores even showed that my bacteria levels were good, which surprised me because sometimes I feel like I can’t escape a random breakout. However, I noticed a really low score next to the UV column, so I asked the esthetician about it, who told me that the test revealed that everything about my skin was exceptional, except for my sun damage…

The UV lights show pigmentation in your photos, allowing you to see the melanin in your skin. (See below picture for example.)

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I have 96% sun damage to my face… let me say that again for the people in the back…NINETY-SIX PERCENT. I AM 22 YEARS OLD.

I immediately back-tracked to the summer after 9th grade where I lived in the tanning bed. I immediately thought of every time I have laid out and only applied tanning oil to my youthful skin. I immediately regretted every second of not wearing sunscreen. The worst part? This is not reversible, you guys.

I immediately began to ask questions which were overrun by my shocked stares and squeals.

Best advise that I can relay: wear your sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. We only have one life, one face – don’t destroy it by trying to look tan.

I purchased two beauty products for this summer to try out: one of them is the Drunk Elephant Bronzing Sunshine Serum, essentially just to give a little color to my skin since I don’t apply self-tanner to my face; another is the Drunk Elephant SPF 30 Physical Daily Sunscreen. I’m going to begin applying this every day with my moisturizer.

Best part about the line: it’s a “clean” line, so it’s not filled with harmful chemicals and won’t throw off my skin’s natural balance. Best part about this particular product: it’s a physical sunscreen so it gives immediate protection. Normal sunscreens are chemical, meaning when you apply them or spray them on, they don’t start protecting you for another 20-30 minutes, because that’s how long it takes for the product to react with your skin to create a barrier between your pores and UV rays. While sometimes those are appropriate (for instance, I’ll be using these sprays at the beach in about a week) you have to be sure to apply them in plenty of time before getting out in the sun, because that 20-30 minute time span can do some serious damage.

As for my face, just think about it: we are exposed to the sun every single day. I spend a lot of time in the car, and the left side of my face was significantly more damaged than the right side because of the sun exposure in the window. Who thinks to put on sunscreen to go for a drive? Well, now I do.

I hope this provides some insight into something I naively had never thought about before, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Protect that sweet skin, y’all! You won’t regret the extra step in your regimen, trust me!

If you guys have any questions about the process of having this skin analysis done or questions about products to use, let me know! Have a fun and safe weekend! <3

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