There can be both positive and negative effects of the sun on our health. While they provide us with the goodness of Vitamin D, prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. To protect ourselves, it’s important to adopt healthy habits, including wearing sun protection clothing, seeking shade during peak hours, and applying SPF 30 sunscreen.
Let’s learn more about how the sun affects you and what you can do about it.
Why Does Our Skin Need Protection from the Effects of the Sun?
Our skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful effects because prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. The sun emits two types of UV radiation – UVA and UVB. UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin and cause premature ageing, wrinkles, and skin damage, while UVB rays can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer.
When our skin is exposed to UV radiation, it triggers the production of melanin, which is the pigment that gives our skin its colour. This is what causes our skin to tan. However, tanning is actually a sign of skin damage and repeated exposure to UV radiation can cause long-term damage to the skin.
By protecting our skin from the sun, we can reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer. This can be done by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, seeking shade during peak hours, and adopting healthy habits. It’s important to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful effects, while still enjoying the outdoors and getting the benefits of Vitamin D.
Signs Your Skin Needs Protection from the Sun
Here are some signs that your skin may need protection from the effects of the sun:
Sunburn is a clear sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun’s UV radiation. If you have a sunburn, it’s important to protect your skin from further damage by staying out of the sun, using a sun protection cream, and wearing protective clothes (Full sleeves and pants to protect the area).
2. Changes in Skin Texture
Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause changes in skin texture such as roughness, dryness, and wrinkling. If you notice changes in your skin texture, it’s important to protect your skin from further damage by using a moisturising sun protection cream.
3. Changes in Skin Colour
Sun damaged skin may develop discolouration, such as dark spots, freckles, or a yellowish tint. If you notice changes in your skin colour, it’s important to protect your skin from further damage by using a sun protection cream and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
4. Skin Sensitivity
Prolonged exposure to the sun can make your skin more sensitive, which can lead to irritation, itching, and rashes. If you notice that your skin is more sensitive than usual, it’s important to protect your skin by using a gentle sun protection cream and avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours.
5. Increased Risk of Skin Cancer
Long-term sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer. If you have a history of skin cancer or are at high risk, it’s important to protect your skin from further damage by using a high-quality sun protection cream and seeking shade during peak hours.
Tips to Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Here are some essential tips to protect your skin from the effects of the sun:
1. Wear Protective Clothing
Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. Choose fabrics that provide UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) such as cotton, polyester, and nylon.
2. Seek Shade
Stay in the shade, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest, typically between 10 am and 4 pm.
3. Wear a Hat
Wear a wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck, and ears from the sun. A hat with at least a 2-3 inch brim is recommended.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
5. Apply Sunscreen
Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen or higher, at least 20-30 minutes before going outside. Re-apply every 2 hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
6. Avoid Tanning Beds
Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
7. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from drying out.
By following these tips, you can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun and maintain healthy skin.
Best Products for Effective Sun Protection
There are several products available in the market that can provide effective sun protection. Here are some of the best products for effective sun protection:
A broad-spectrum SPF of 30 sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. When looking for sunscreens, choose a product that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are physical blockers that sit on top of the skin and reflect UV rays.
2. Sun Protection Clothing
These are specially designed to block UV radiation and protect the skin. Look for Sun protection clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50 or higher, which blocks at least 98% of UV radiation.
Sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays can protect your eyes and the skin around them from UV radiation.
A wide-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck, and ears can protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
5. Lip Balm
Lips can also get sunburned, so it’s important to use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect them.
6. After-Sun Products
If you do get sunburned, after-sun products containing aloe vera or other soothing ingredients can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.
It’s important to choose products that are appropriate for your skin type and lifestyle. Make sure to read the labels and follow the instructions for proper use. By using these products, you can effectively protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
Home Made Remedies for Skin Protection
While the best way to protect your skin from the sun is to use sunscreen and wear protective clothing, there are some homemade remedies that can help soothe and protect your skin. Here are a few:
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe sunburned skin. Simply apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected area and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
2. Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants that can help protect the skin from UV radiation. Brew a pot of green tea, let it cool, and then apply it to your skin with a cotton ball or spray bottle.
Cucumbers have a cooling effect on the skin and can help soothe sunburned skin. Simply slice a cucumber and place the slices on the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
Yogurt contains lactic acid, which can help soothe and exfoliate the skin. Apply plain yoghurt to your skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
It’s important to note that these remedies should not be used in place of sunscreen or protective clothing. They can be used in conjunction with these measures to help soothe and protect your skin. If you have severe sunburn or skin damage, it’s best to consult a medical professional.
Protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun is essential for maintaining healthy skin and reducing the risk of skin cancer. To effectively protect our skin, we can use a combination of sun protection clothing, SPF 30 sunscreen or higher, sunglasses, hats, and lip balm. It’s also important to seek shade during peak hours, especially during the middle of the day when the sun’s UV radiation is the strongest.
By adopting healthy sun protection habits, we can reduce the risk of sun damaged skin and skin cancer, while still enjoying the outdoors and getting the benefits of Vitamin D. It’s important to be vigilant about protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful effects and to choose products that are appropriate for our skin type and lifestyle. With the right protection and habits, we can maintain healthy and radiant skin for years to come.