Startling video shows how our skin is more sun-damaged than we think

Perhaps you’ve heard of UV rays, those high-frequency light waves that cause all kinds of skin damage, and are the reason we wear sunscreen. It’s hard to imagine a UV ray, because our eyes simply can’t comprehend what they look like.

In a shocking video aimed at raising awareness about sunscreen, artist Thomas Leveritt outfitted a camera with a special filter that shows us what we’d see if UV rays were visible. He then stopped random pedestrians in Brooklyn, New York, to show them what their skin really looks like.

This is what they saw:

This May Be The Most Convincing Sunscreen Advertisement We've Ever Seen

The dark spots are freckles that are not yet visible to the naked eye. And freckles are caused when skin is damaged by the sun. It’s amazing how people with clear complexions and alabaster skin are revealed to have comprehensive damage to their face. In comparison, babies and young children appear remarkably similar in both versions.

The pedestrians are then encouraged to apply sunscreen, which appears pitch black to the special camera. It’s a powerful reminder of how important skin protection is, and how proper application of sunscreen can preserve your face in the decades to come.

For more information about how to properly apply sunscreen, check out this informative guide by the American Society of Dermatology.