Video: How the sun is thrashing your face

Ultraviolet camera shows premature aging as well as benefits of sunscreen

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What you don't see

The ultraviolet camera reveals that although someone can look blemish-free (left), the sun’s rays are always at work and can cause premature aging and melanoma.

Cyclists spend an inordinate amount of time outdoors and in the crosshairs of the sun’s potentially damaging ultraviolet rays. And while we all know we should wear sunscreen, some of us aren’t as disciplined about it as others. A new video from artist and filmmaker Thomas Leaveritt that uses an ultraviolet light-detecting camera shows that even apparently healthy skin can be aging faster than we think. Thomas Leveritt’s explorations with an ultraviolet camera graphically shows how prolonged, unprotected exposure to sunlight can prematurely age skin.

Under Leaveritt’s camera we also see the ability of sunscreen to block those damaging rays, underscoring how important its use is in preventing premature aging, melanoma and skin cancer.

Shield's up

In ultraviolet light, sunscreen looks almost like mud—a good thing since it blocks the sun’s harmful rays.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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