Nail Clinic: How Sun Affects Skin


Take a good look at your clients! Whether clients come in for a manicures, haircuts, facials, or other services, you and/or your colleagues have the perfect chance as salon professionals to spot the early signs of skin damage, aging, and even melanoma up close.


The Effects

Despite our society’s focus on obtaining perfectly tan skin, there are a multitude of negative effects from sun exposure, including fine lines, wrinkles, liver spots, and skin cancers. Most skin cancers develop on the parts of the body exposed most to the skin, such as the arms, backs of hands, face, chest, and even on the head underneath hair. A slow-growing translucent spot on the skin may be basal cell carcinoma; melanomas are often dark irregular-shaped moles. On a positive note, some sunlight before or after peak hours (which are 10am-4pm) can be beneficial. The sun encourages the body to increase more Vitamin D, promotes calcium absorption, and boosts mood.



Advise your clients to select a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB absorption, and to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater everyday. Let your clients know they should apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun, and to reapply it every 1-2 hours when swimming. Even during the winter months, sunscreen should be worn on the face (or any other exposed extremities), as light reflects off of snow, ice, and water. You can also assure clients fearful of curing that your UV light will not increase their risk of skin cancer. In order to develop a significant risk of exposure, a salon client would need to use UV nail lights weekly for 250 years, which just isn’t possible. Sun can also fade or discolor some nail polishes. If your client has had trouble with this, make sure you seek out a product with ingredients that protect color from the sun. You can even use a lotion with a SPF of 15 or higher on clients’ hands to help limit wrinkles and other signs of aging.


[Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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