Learn How to Shield Skin from the Harmful Effects

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It is almost inevitable that during the course of our lives, we will receive some skin damage from the effects of the sun. Even if you don’t feel the sun is exceptionally bright, it can still be causing damage, and the only way to totally avoid this is to stay out of the sun is not particularly practical. There are other things you can do to help protect yourself, including avoiding the sunlight when it is strongest, which is during the middle of the day and wearing protective clothing. We’ve also put together some more information to help you learn how to shield your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.

Benefits of the Sun

There are some benefits to exposing your skin to the sun, fresh air and being outdoors is good for the body and also the mind. Being outside generally means being more active, and of course, this is good for your body. Vitamin D is also the first thing people think about when it comes to getting some sun, and of course, this is true, but there are other ways to ensure you get enough vitamin D including many of the foods that we eat which are fortified with vitamins and minerals. You are unlikely to be able to avoid the sun altogether, so moderation is key.

Dangers of Exposure

Getting too much sun can be dangerous, and of course, one of the most immediate signs that we have been out in the heat for too long is sunburn. Like any burn, sunburn causes damage to the cells and blood vessels of the skin. If you are continually getting sunburnt, the skin will be unable to recover and will be wrinkled, leathery and discoloured. While this may look like the skin has become thicker, it is actually weak and more susceptible to being bruised. Skin cancer is not something you can immediately see but is caused by too much sun, and by the time it is discovered you can be seriously ill so avoiding this risk is a better tactic. 

Avoiding Skin Damage from the Sun 

One of the simplest things you can do to help avoid damage is to use sunscreen. It should actually be a daily habit because even in the winter, the sun’s rays can do damage. The sun is strongest between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, and this is when the ultraviolet Rays are most likely to catch you out. If at all possible, avoid the sun during these times. We have some really great UV protective clothing on offer, and if you do need to go out into the sun for long periods, you are advised to cover up with these special garments that do not overheat you but protect from the damaging UV rays. Wide-brimmed hats are also recommended, and this will also help avoid sunstroke. You should also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that have a UV light filter. 

Choose High SPF Factors

Each sunscreen comes with an SPF rating, and this indicates the efficacy of the product when it comes to protecting from UVB rays, these are the rays of the sun that burn you. Sunscreens are also designed to absorb UVA light. So logically, the higher the SPF number, the better the product is going to protect you. Even if you don’t burn quickly, you should still look to use a sunscreen that has an SPF factor of at least 30. If you have ever been diagnosed with skin cancer or precancer cells, you should aim for something that is even higher. 

Skin That Doesn’t Burn

People who have skin that doesn’t burn often think they can get away with using low SPF factor sun cream. However, it is not just about ensuring we don’t burn. Some of the damage from the Rays is not immediately seen, and there is no apparent adverse effect. But later in life skin cancer or precancerous cells can be detected and cause a lot of long-term damage. No matter what sort of skin you have, it is much better to protect yourself from the sun at all times even if you don’t burn so no matter what SPF 30 and above is recommended.

What About Children?

Sunscreen is vital for children, once they are over the age of six months, getting them used to regular skin cream use can really help protect them against cancers in later life. Studies have shown that if children applied sunscreen from the age of six months to 18 years, skin cancer cases and later life would be cut by about 72%. Children under the age of six months should be kept in the shade and wear protective clothing

 How to Use Sunscreen

You should look to apply your sunscreen at least half an hour before you plan to go out of the house, especially if you’re going to be exposed to the sun for more than 30 minutes. While you are out, you should also reapply your sunscreen every two hours. If you get very wet because you have been swimming you should actually reapply your sunscreen on a more regular cycle. Any exposed area of skin can burn, people often forget their ears, backs of the hands, face and lips. Be generous with your sunscreen and smooth it on, for women who wear makeup the sunscreen should go under your makeup. Sweating makes your sun cream less effective, so factor this in and if needs be, apply more regularly.

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