A viral video, seen over 10 million times, answers the question: What does our skin look like in ultraviolet? In other words, what does the sun see after it has converted 120 million tons of matter – per minute – into energy and radiated the earth with dangerous ultraviolet A (long-wave) and ultraviolet B (short-wave) emissions?
Writes SkinCancer.org: “Our understanding of exactly what kinds of damage each causes to the skin, and how best to protect ourselves, seems to shift every year as new research comes out… Both UVA and UVB, however, penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in conditions such as premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts), and skin cancers. They also suppress the immune system, reducing your ability to fight off these and other maladies.”
Award-winning, London-based artist and videographer Thomas Leveritt’s new video is taking over the Internet by graphically addressing those concerns. Using an ultraviolet camera, he showed individuals on video, and us, what exactly is happening under our skin’s epidermis. The freckle-busting, pock-marked surprises ranged from odd to almost grotesque, and gives new meaning to the benefits of sunscreen.
Writes Leveritt on his YouTube video’s “About” page:
We showed people what they looked like in ultraviolet, and wondered aloud if they wanted to put on some damn sunscreen already.
Leveritt’s video shows us what our skin may look like in the future, after corruption from the sun has made sunspots and other aging marks a permanent part of our face. Many were shocked; some instantly covered over their faces in shame.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one out of every five of us will develop skin cancer in our lifetime. Those who spend a lot of time in the sun or use tanning beds are more likely to develop cancer, and certain risk factors – smoking, previous sunburns, 50 or more moles on our body, light complexion– all increase those odds.
Leveritt’s video also made something else quite clear – the moment we add sunblock, our skin turns black as night to UV rays, illustrating the importance of slathering on the sunscreen or sunblock.
So unless you want your face to look like a dried out catcher’s mitt, take the matter to heart, and save face – literally.