Sun damage, suntans, your skin and your future with Dr Holmes

It’s so HOT and this is when we go harping on about sun damage – and that’s because its real and its results are visible, with skin cancer and lines and wrinkles. But those changes might seem vague or far in the future for some younger people. But there is an immediate visible evidence of sun damage – a SUNTAN In just 10-15 minutes you can achieve a lot of harmful skin damage. In less time than washing your hair, you can see permanent negative skin changes.

A tan is a visible signal that skin is distressed and has turbocharged melanin production to try and protect itself from further devastation. Although Social media seems to focus on caramel skin as the beauty goals, it wasn’t always like this. In Ancient Greece and Italy, the aristocracy used to lighten skin, and in 8th century Japan, women painted their faces white. Even today many Asian countries, like Korea go to great lengths to preserve flawless fair skin. In Victorian Britain, sun tanned skin was associated with the lower working classes who were forced to be outside from long periods doing physical labour. THEN we got the Industrial Revolution and work moved indoors to factories, and the rich and famous had more money for fancier more frequent holidays. In 1923, a landmark event – Coco Chanel went on a yachting holiday and returned to Paris with a tan. So, tans went from working class to a sign of privilege.

This ramped up through the 60s and 70s where sun-kissed skin became “ healthy”. Beauty Salons sold tanning bed sessions. Even though we now know that dangers, it seems some groups of people are still chasing tans. TikTok searches for tanning tips is still high. Yet 2 out of 3 Aussies will get a skin cancer diagnosis in their lives according to the Cancer Council. So is fear of cancer, wrinkles, and pigmentation isn’t working to reduce Australians sun worshipping, what about the money it costs you?

If you’re spending good money on great serums and moisturisers for plump springy youthful skin, the sun is actually reversing all the benefits that they are doing for you. The only thing sun is doing for you is making you look older faster. And remember, those incidental moments outside with unprotected skin all add up. So, get in the habit of broad-spectrum sunscreen every single day of the year.

And if you can’t get past the idea that you feel healthier/slimmer/more attractive with a tan – well, that’s why fake tanning products exist! Now – if you are thinking – Oh it’s too late for me now – no – it’s never too late. If your skin is protected it will try and heal itself. AND of course, there is skin care and treatments we can prescribe for you to repair sun damage.

Come and see us at the Mayah Clinic for a consultation and learn about what you can do to future proof or repair your skin.

Dr Kathryn Holmes


Our approach is centred on personalisation. An initial consultation will ensure we can offer you bespoke, medically-backed guidance around which customised treatments will enable you to achieve long-lasting natural, targeted results, and healthy glowing skin.