We all love the summer. It’s the time of year when we expose our sun-starved skin to the rays, on holiday, in the garden or just out and about. I love the sunshine myself; but I do see the results of too much, or unprotected sun exposure on a daily basis in my skin clinic in Needham Market. Sun exposure has some very beneficial effects of course. It raises our mood because it stimulates the production of serotonin, along with helping us to manufacture the vitamin D we need (sadly most of us in this part of the world don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight and have to get it from food or supplements.) At the same time, sunlight triggers the production of melanin, which is your skin’s natural sunscreen, but too much exposure can cause skin cells called melanocytes to ramp up their activity, which causes them to go into overdrive, mainly on the areas of your body that are more exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, décolleté, and hands. You’re likely to notice the signs of sun-related pigmentation showing up as darkened patches or spots on your skin and might hear them described as ‘age spots’. Well, they aren’t compulsory! You can reduce your chances of developing pigmentation by being careful; using a good quality SPF sun screen daily and without fail, even on cold winter days. You need to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging UVA rays all year long and not just when they are especially warm. While natural sunlight has benefits, I always advise my clients to avoid using sunbeds. I’m not alone; The British Skin Foundation recently found that 77% of British dermatologists think that they should actually be banned. The facts are scary; a massive 94% of dermatologists believe that unregulated tanning salons are even contributing to skin cancer. British Skin Foundation communications manager, Lisa Bickerstaffe told Aesthetics Magazine “We know that there is no such thing as a safe tan from UV rays, therefore, the British Skin Foundation, in line with other health organisations does not recommend sunbed use.” If you have sun damage that you’d like to minimise, of course I am here at Crystal Rose Skin Clinic to help you with both long- and short-term fixes. I’m happy to help you improve the look of your skin and rejuvenate it with some of my treatments. I have a great selection of options on hand to help, including medical grade skincare products, powerful and effective chemical peels and high-tech skincare equipment like Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and if you would like to chat about which solution would be best for you, I’m always delighted to talk skin care with anyone.