There is Nothing Shady about Sunscreen!

26 May

     With Memorial Day being the official summer kick-off, everyone is officially excited. Not only are we psyched, so is our skin! The skin is our body’s largest organ and is responsible for various essential functions, including protection, sensation, and water regulation. One of the important roles the skin plays is the synthesis of Vitamin D; the skin does this by absorbing UV rays from the sun and converting cholesterol in our skin to vitamin D. This is why it is advised that we include Vitamin D rich foods (i.e. milk, fish, cheese, etc) in our diets, because we simply don’t get enough sunlight. However, excess amounts of UV rays from the sun are harmful because they increase risks for skin cancer and damage your skin in the long-term. Therefore, it is important that our skin is adequately protected from the sun and practice safe habits while enjoying the rays.

            There are many brands and varieties of sunscreen. Essentially, sunscreen is composed of compounds that can absorb those extra rays for you, instead of your skin taking the direct hit. There are two kinds of harmful UV rays, UV-A and UV-B, and different compounds are better at absorbing the two kinds of rays.  UV-A causes cellular damage and speeds up skin ageing and UV-B generally causes sunburn. SPF is a measurement of how effective sunscreen is because it indicates the level of protection a particular sunscreen offers- therefore, the higher the SPF, the longer your skin is protected in the skin. A generally recommended SPF level is 30 for the summer months; higher levels are more appropriate for high amounts of sun exposure. Make sure to read the labels of any sunscreen to ensure you are well protected. Sunscreen should be reapplied throughout the day, especially if you sweat or go in the water as this removes the sunscreen and decreases protection. Be sure to apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes prior to being out in the sun and to all body parts that will be exposed; it would be wise to also invest in lip balm that come with SPF protection.

            If you have any other questions about which sunscreens are right for you, the internet is a great place to start and educate yourself on options. Also, your physician or dermatologist is an excellent source for information on the sun and your health.

            Other helpful tips for being protected in the sun, in addition to sunscreen include the following:

  • WEAR SUNGLASSES. Your eyes are also sensitive to the intensity of UV rays in the summer months. Make sure that any hot shades you are sporting are certified UV-ray  protected.
  • WEAR HATS. Hats with brims help to further protect your head and face from sun exposure. There are many trendy, comfortable hats out there that keep you stylish and protected. 

Sources: 

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/protecting-your-skin-from-the-sun-topic-overview

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunscreen

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One Response to “There is Nothing Shady about Sunscreen!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Product Review: Rx For Brown Skin « Masque Magazine - June 6, 2009

    […] had serious skin issues lately (see here, and here, and…here ), so I was incredibly relieved to hear of Rx for Brown Skin. I had the pleasure of trying two of […]

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