The sun can do lots of good things. It stimulates the body’s processing of vitamin D, controls sleep cycles, and increases feelings of welfare. But unfortunately there’s also a disadvantage: exposure to sun can lead to skin cancer, wrinkles, and age spots.
As a matter of fact, sunshine is considered the single biggest cause of external signs of aging.
There are two types of UV radiation:
- Ultraviolet A (UVA). UVA radiation is able to go through glass and may cause early aging and wrinkling of the skin.
- Ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB radiation causes sunburn and does not pass through any types of glass. It is more likely linked with the causing effect of skin cancer and melanoma.
How can we protect ourselves from the harmful radiation of the sun?
Limit sun exposure between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provide protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Other types of sunscreams may help prevent sunburn, but they will not protect against skin cancer. Sunscreen creams are better for dry skin. Gels are better for the scalp or hairy areas.
Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and every time you go out especially during summertime. Reapply sunscreen to your entire body every 2 hours however use it every hour if you are swimming or sweating. Do not use sunscreens if they have expired.
Do not forget to protect your lips as the skin there is very thin. Use a lip balm or lipstick that has an SPF of at least 30.
Be careful around water, sand or snow. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, rising your risk of getting sunburned.
Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption. They will give optimal protection for the eyes and the skin around them.
Sun damage builds up over time so it is important to use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy.