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Watch: When It Comes to Sunscreen, This Video Will Scare You Straight

Two related studies conducted in 2014 showed that, when it comes to sunscreen use, people are motivated more out of fear of cancer — and losing their looks — than they are by statistics. In light of this finding, we’d like to present Exhibit A: portrait photographer Thomas Leveritt’s 2014 video How the Sun Sees You. Prepare to feel immensely guilty about every instance in which you’ve forgotten to wear sunscreen. Since the day you were born. As Starcadian’s remix of Freedom Fry’s “Summer in the City” mocks you, proclaiming in ethereal vocals, “What you see is what you get.”

The project documents men, women and children of all ages as seen through an ultraviolet lens, which detects the sun’s UV rays as they reflect off of skin. In so doing, the camera reveals freckles, age spots and other blemishes (not necessarily caused by sun exposure) not visible to the naked eye. Participants (especially those who obviously eschewed sunblock) received a humbling preview of possible coming attractions. Kids appeared just the same under the unforgiving light.

“I was working with an ultraviolet camera and one of the most interesting things to look at is the human face,” Leveritt told the Daily News. “People see themselves and they are fascinated or horrified (among other emotions)…It shows you a deeper truth about yourself.”

In addition to highlighting skin’s vulnerability (and our vanity), the UV camera also demonstrated just how effective sunscreen really is. When the subjects lotion up before the ultraviolet camera, the product appears as an opaque guard against UVA and UVB rays. The lesson? “What people need to take away from this is that sunscreen is an important thing,” Leveritt cautioned. Don’t dismiss SPF as an extraneous daily routine, akin to dry shampooing or face-misting. You — and your skin — will live to regret it.

[ via Popsugar ]