Protect Yourself From Too Much Exposure To The UV Rays:
Sunlight is the primary factor in aging. The UV rays damage the skin by inducing following changes:
- Makes the skin dry, thin and fragile.
- Causes patchy darkening.
- Leads to fine wrinkles.
- Causes loss of elasticity and toning resulting in sagging.
1. Who Needs A Sunscreen / Sunblock? At what Age Should One Start Using It?
Everybody needs a sunscreen / sunblock. It should be used right from childhood.
2. How Does One Select A Suitable Sunscreen? How Often Should It Be Used?
There are so many types of sunscreens that selecting the right one can be quite confusing. Is it better to use a lotion or a cream? Should it be water resistant or not? Sunscreens are available in many forms such as gel, cream, lotion, etc. The type of sunscreen you choose is a matter of personal choice. All sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or strenuous activities. A perfect sunscreen is the one you like enough to use and which suits your skin type.
3. What Is SPF And What Role Does It Play?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. Sunscreens are rated by the strength of their SPF number. The SPF number gives you some idea of how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, SPF 15 should protect you for 150 minutes. Sunscreen with an SPF of more than 15, say 30, may work better for people who are fair skinned, work or play outdoors much of the day (sportsmen, film stars), or perspire heavily.
4. How Should Sunscreens Be Used?
Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15-30 minutes before going outdoors. When applying sunscreen, pay particular attention to face (also lips), neck, arms and hands, and coat the skin liberally.
Sun Danger – Features Of UV Rays:Here are some dos and don’t s under the sun:
- Apply sunscreen in large quantities all over the exposed areas uniformly. Repeat application (every 2 hours), particularly after bathing or profuse sweating.
- Avoid all exposure to the sun between 12 noon and 4 pm.
- Do not think you are protected if you are not sunbathing: all outdoor activities (sports, walking, gardening) expose you to UV light.
- UVA radiation can also pass through the tinted glass of your car. So, even if you are in an air conditioned car with the tinted glass rolled up, you are still getting the harmful UVA rays damaging your skin.
- Be careful if it is cloudy: clouds are not a barrier against UVA. Beware of reflected light from snow, sand, water and grass.
- Take particular care while swimming and at high altitudes. Do not forget to pack a high-SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen if you are holidaying in snow, on the beach or on higher altitudes.
- If you are pregnant, avoid the sun as it may cause chloasma. Use a high0index sunscreen as a preventive measure.
- Do not stop protecting your skin once you have obtained a tan. It’s a myth that tanned skin does not require a sunscreen as a protective shield.
- Beware of certain medicines which may be light-sensitive – eg., medicines for the treatment of acne.
- Select a sunscreen which is broad spectrum and suits your photo type. Make sure your sunscreen has an SPF and UVA index.
- Check the texture of your sunscreen and make a choice according to your requirements – fluid, spray, cream or milk. Go for sunscreens which spread easily without leaving white residue.
- Look for the mention non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic.
- Certain products do not resist water and sand friction. So, look out for water and sand-resistant sunscreens. Water-resistant sunscreens protect the skin for 40-45 minutes of water exposure (while swimming).
- No exposure to the sun for children below the age of three years. Children over three years should be protected using a maximum sunscreen, as well as a hat, T-shirt or shirt sunglasses. Adults must do the same, so as to set a good example.
- In the event of burns, repeated sunburn or suspected moles, consult a dermatologist.
- Drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration in summer.
- In summer, washing of the face is equally important. Use a face wash which thoroughly cleanses and sufficiently moisturizes the face. The sun tends to have a dehydrating effect on the skin. This can be prevented by using a suitable face wash.