06 August 2010

Sun-seekers are being urged to protect themselves against harmful UV rays this summer, which can have lasting damage on their complexions as well as increase their risk of skin cancer.More than 10,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year, according to The Sun - and 80 per cent of those cases could have been prevented by applying adequate sun cream. Several celebrities recently explored the extent of sun damage to their complexions with VISIA cameras, which took photographs of their faces and analysed the UV damage beneath the surface of their skin. Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna revealed that she bowed to peer pressure as an impressionable teen and used sun beds, but now takes greater care of her fair skin. "I'm really careful about looking after my skin and use factor 30 every day," Gemma said. "The Visia is really thorough and seeing is believing when it comes to the effects of the sun on your skin. "I'm happy with my results. I dread to think what the results would have been if I'd have had my skin analysed a few years ago." Analysing the results of Gemma's photo skin analysis, Lesley Ainsworth of Harley Medical, Liverpool, explained: "Gemma has some sun damage that I suspect was caused while she was using a sunbed. "However, because she has used sun block for the past few years, she has managed to keep her skin in good condition. "It's important to remember you can do a lot to help your skin recover from sun damage. This result proves that. "The most important thing is to use at least a factor 30 every day, reapplying if you are outside. "To give skin an extra boost, try an antioxidant cream with vitamin C. This will speed up skin rejuvenation and get rid of dull, dead skin cells quicker."