Enjoy the sun safely!

We are all aware of the sun’s beneficial impacts to our health. However, during the last decades, it has become more and more hazardous, since the ozone’s layer diminution has decreased the filter of ultraviolet’s radiation, so we end up receiving more of it.

The radiation we receive every time we are exposed to the sun, acts cumulatively, so we either see harmful impacts on our skin immediately after exposure, or long after. If you have had more than 5 sun burns by the time you reach 20, then it is way more possible to develop melanomas at an older age.

Some of the immediate reactions are sun burn or redness, melasma, photo-irritation and photo- dermatopathy (pathological skin sensitivity to the sun). Those that show up later in life are more serious and consist of photo-ageing (i.e. wrinkles, dark sun spots, vascular lesions – spider veins, skin thickness etc.) and photo- cancer.

Importance of sunscreens

Sunscreens protect us through their sun filters and are able to alter UV radiation’s penetration into our skin. Those filters are categorized into two sections:

  • Chemical filters, which absorb harmful rays.
  • Natural filters, which reflect harmful rays (i.e. titanium dioxide, zinc oxide).

So, it is very important to protect your skin by using a -right for your skin- sunscreen and, of course, to use it in a proper way.

Here are some tips that indicate how to do it correctly:

  • Apply the sunscreen evenly and thoroughly to your skin.
  • Apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Do not forget to put sunscreen in areas like the ears, neck, the inside of your arms, fingers etc.
  • Reapply the sunscreen every two hours and always after swimming, athletic activities, when you sweat etc.
  • Do not use last year’s sunscreen. After opening, they are conserved for 12 months. After that, their power diminishes in more than half.
  • Apply sunscreen to your head if you are bald.
  • Do not sunbathe between 11am to 4pm, since the sun radiation at that time is 150 times more powerful.
  • Do not expose kids under 3 years of age to the sun, because they a lot more sensitive and prone to sun burns.
  • Protect any parts of your body that are exposed, even when you are in a shady place.
  • Keep away from solariums, since they emit almost 15 times more UVA radiation that the sun does in the noon, so the possibilities for skin cancer are multiplied.

Lastly, choose a sunscreen that is ideal for your skin, according to your phototype, your skin type, the activities you do, etc. Keep away from mass market products and, instead, opt for selected professional sunscreens.

Enjoy the sun safely, ALWAYS using your sunscreen!!