Soaking up the sun is one of the most relaxing activities that you can participate in. The warmness soothes your mind so much that some people even fall asleep. If you happen to doze off, you want to make sure your skin is protected so it doesn’t suffer. If you’re unaware, extensive exposure to the sun doesn’t just give you asunburn; so many other things can occur.
Why do I need to protect my skin from the sun?
I am totally aware that you look best with a golden glow, but if the sun is your source be very careful. Sittingin the sun without proper protection can bite you in the butt, in fact, the sun is the highest contributing factor to how our skin ages. The sun has Ultraviolet rays that venture from the sun to the earth’s surface and they aren’t very friendly.
Ultraviolet A or UVA raysare responsible for aging the skin. The reason our skin stays plump and supple is because to materials called collagen and elastin. Our skin naturally produces them and as we age the amount we hold begins to decrease. When UVA rays penetrate the skin, they inhibit the production of collagen and elastin so you age faster than you normally would. If you are exposed to UVA rays for too long, your skin will lose its firmness and begin to wrinkle. About 90 percent of all sun rays are UVA rays.
Ultraviolet B or UVB rays are responsible for sunburn. They don’t penetrate as deep as UVA rays, but they still have the power to destroy valuable components in your body. Your melanin can be destroyed if you are exposed to UVB rays too often which makes your skin more sun sensitive. UVB rays aren’t all bad; they are the reason your body receives vitamin D from the sun.
Did you know?
Almost 80% of the way our skin ages comes from the sun.
- Exposure to UVB rays can cause eye cancer,wearing sunglasses is a great way to prevent this from occurring. The sun can also give you skin cancer which is slowly becoming the most common type of cancer.
- Effects from the sun can begin to surface at as early as age 20.
- Ultraviolet rays can pierce through windows so don’t think you’re exempt from sun protection if you work inside.
- Moles can be a sign of skin cancer so pay attention to how they develop.
How sensitive am I to the sun?
It is true, the darker your skin is, the less susceptible you are to the sun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be burned. Melanin is what protects the skin from burning and the more melanin present in your body, the more color your skin has. Thomas Fitzpatrick came up with the FitzpatrickScale, which ranks skin color by sun sensitivity, Fitzpatrick says:
- Type 1s are extremely fair skinned, they commonly have red or blonde hair, light eyes, and they may also have freckles. When this kind of person is exposedto the sun, they always burn and have a hard time tanning.
- Type 2s aren’t as fair as type 1s, but their skin is still very light, they also have light eyes and hair. Type 2s will burn quickly if exposed to the sun.
- Type 3s are where most people fall so their appearance may vary. Most people will slowly tan and depending on how much sun they get they can burn, but it isn’t guaranteed.
- Type 4s describe a Mediterranean caucasianskintone. This skintype doesn’t burn quickly and will tan much easier than types 1-3.
- Type 5s are typically from the Middle East, they aren’t very sensitive to the sun and are susceptible to tanning.
- Type 6 describes black or African skin. This skin tans relatively easily but isn’t very sun sensitive.
How can I protect my skin from the sun
Wearing a sunblock is the most common way to protect the skin from the sun. Sunscreen works by reflecting ultraviolet rays away from the skin. If you’ve ever worn sunscreen and then took a picture with flash, you’ll notice that the light bounces right off of your face making you look pale. Your sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more to ensure complete protection.
Sunscreen has its own set of rules and if you want to reap all of the benefits remember these few tips:
- Apply two layers of sunscreen on your skin so that you don’t miss a spot.
- If you are going to be sweating or swimming invest in a waterproof sunscreen. The waterproof feature only lasts for 80 minutes and after that you’ll need to reapply.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, so it is always present on your skin, remember that your skin absorbs theproduct.
- If you want protection from both UVA and UVB rays, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Avoid peak hours
The sun it at its peak between the hours of 10am and 3pm try to avoid the sun at these times.If you have children, try to keep them from the sun during these times as well. If they must be exposed to direct sunlight, make sure they wear sunscreen. Never expose your child to the sun if they are younger than 6 months.
Grab a few accessories
Wearing an enormous floppy hat may look silly but it will ensure you are protected from the sun. You can also carry an umbrella or wear clothes that completely cover your skin.
Facekinis are a new product introduced in Asian countries. It looks like a swim cap, but it fits over your entire face. People have been spotted wearing the Facekini to the beach, family outings, and even in fashion magazines. The material is similar to a wetsuit, and they are manufactured in several colors and designs to match your ensemble!