Sun Protection - Shahnaz Husain

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Sun Protection

by Shahnaz Husain

Categories:   Body Care , Blogs
Sun Protection

Exposure to the sun leads to sun tan, sun burn and many other effects. Apart from tanning, the skin is exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, which has several long-term effects, like early formation of lines and wrinkles on the skin. Sun-exposure can also lead to dark spots or patches.

The skin must be protected with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which provides protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. What are UV rays? The sun gives off ultraviolet rays. We divide them into categories based on the wavelength. There are UV-A, UV- B and UV-C rays. UVB affects the outer layer of skin and is mainly responsible for sunburns. UVA rays were once thought to have a minor effect on skin damage, but now studies are showing that UVA is a major contributor to skin damage. UVC rays are almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer and do not affect the skin. However, with the depletion of the ozone layer, sensitive skins may be prone to UV ray allergies and other disorders.

At the moment, we can provide physical protection to our skin by using sunscreens and sunblock products. Sun exposure can also cause loss of moisture from the skin. However, most sunsceens have built-in moisturizers. So, it is not necessary to apply both moisturizer and sunscreen, unless the skin is very dry. It is essential to apply sunscreen, not only on the face, but also on all exposed areas. The back of the neck and arms are extremely vulnerable to sun damage too.

The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before sun-exposure. If you happen to be in the sun for more than an hour, you should re-apply the sunscreen. A sunscreen with SPF 20 is adequate for most skins, but if the skin is more sensitive and tends to burn easily, one should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

For dry and dehydrated skin, apply a sun block cream. For normal to oily skin, choose an oil-free sunscreen or a gel based products – a sunscreen gel. Remember to apply sunscreen while swimming, holidaying by the sea or in the hills. Reflective surfaces, like water and snow actually increase the effects of UV rays.


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