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Sun Exposure and Protection

As you prepare for your well deserved #summer get away there is a good chance you will be getting an extra dose of #sunshine. Whilst on the positive side we know #UV improves our mood by releasing #tryptamines and is vital for #Vitamin #D production on the negative side it leads to #premature #ageing, #reduces #immune #function of the #skin, can lead to #sunburn and the worst case scenario, #skin #cancer.

It is vital that you #protect your #skin this can be achieved by staying inside, not much fun if you are on #holiday seeking the #sun or by #wearing #adequate #sunscreens. When choosing your #sunscreens you should be looking for what #level #of #protection it will provide #low, #medium or #high. Low is generally anything with an #SPF of 6-10, medium is an #SPF of 15-25 and high is an #SPF of 30 and above. The higher the #SPF the more #protection you will be giving to your #skin and the less chance of #burning.


#Sun #Protection #Factor (SPF) indicates how #long you can #stay in the #sun before you #burn. Many of us don’t know nor want to find out how long it will take us to fry our #unprotected #skin. If your skin burned after 15 minutes in the sun by wearing an #SPF of 10 you could stay in the sun for 15 x 10 = 150 minutes/2 and half hours before burning. However, there are many other #environmental #factors we have to take into account. #Altitude, #proximity to the #equator, #air #humidity and #pollutant #levels as well as #cloud #coverage will affect #SPF. We also need to take into account #sweating, #swimming and even the #skin’s #acid #mantle will greatly reduce the #effectiveness of any #sunscreen.

You also need to consider the #type of #sunscreen you use. #Sunscreens are classified into two categories, #physical and #chemical. Physical sunscreens are either #Zinc #Oxide or #Titanium #Dioxide and sit on the #surface of the #skin and provide a #physical shield that #reflects the #UV rays away from the #skin. They are #broad #spectrum #sunscreens meaning they #protect from both #UVA rays and #UVB rays. All other sunscreens are classed as #chemical. These sunscreens work by #absorbing the #UV #rays and #neutralising them. Chemical sunscreens must be combined in a formula to provide broad spectrum coverage.

The sun emits three main types of #Ultra #Violet #Radiation, #UVA, #UVB and #UVC. UVA: A stands for #Aging. UVA radiation penetrates deep into the skin and is responsible for premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.  UVB: B stands for #Burning. UVB radiation is stronger than UVA radiation. It mainly affects the outer layers of the skin, causing sunburn, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancer. UVC: UVC radiation is the strongest, most dangerous form of UV light. However, they are stopped by the earth’s atmosphere and do not reach earth’s surface. Knowing the effects of the different rays can help you understand why you need broad spectrum sunscreens.

So while #SPF does give you a guide to the amount of protection it could offer you, by practising the following suggestions you can ensure you keep your skin as healthy as possible.

1) #Apply sunscreens 30 minutes before going into the #sun.

2) #Reapply every 2 hours when outdoors.

3) #Sit in the #shade whenever possible.

4) #Limit exposure during the hottest part of the day.

5) #Use a #broad #spectrum #sunscreen.

6) #Wear #sunglasses with #UV protection.


Sadiah x


*credit Eve Taylor

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