UV – Myths and Facts
THE DO’S AND THE DONT’S!
A lot of skin care products out on the market, including cosmetics i.e. lipsticks, mascaras foundations etc now contain sunscreens. This is due to the fact that research has shown that ultra-violet exposure is the main cause of premature skin aging.
POTENTIAL DANGERS AND RISKS OF OVER EXPOSURE TO UV RADIATION
1. SUNBURN: If when in exposure to sunlight, your skin becomes red this is an indication the skin has been over-exposed to ultra violet, it will often blister and shed itself
2. VITILIGO: This is when the skin has a lack of pigment and it can occur with any skin colour, however it is more noticeable on darker skins. Darker skins should avoid ultra violet lights as it does not have melanin protection
3. KERATITIS: An inflammation of the cornea (the transparent front to the eye)
4. SKIN CANCER: More common in fair skinned people and people who have always suffered with sunburn or who have had sunburn often. It takes years to develop
5. SKIN AGING: The connective tissues within your skin change and it makes your skin less elastic therefore showing more wrinkles and creases.
6. ALLERGIC REACTIONS: Exposure could trigger off allergic reactions such as prickly heat which is a burning sensation followed with a rash, which is itchy red blisters
Of course sunlight is vital in human maintenance and is essential for the production of Vitamin D. However precautions should always be taken whether you are exposed to the sun naturally i.e. sunbathing or other ways i.e. sun beds.
1. Always use sun protection in the form of SPF. This is a must even in the winter months as UV rays, whether from the sun or other means, as it is always around and your skin is always exposed to it. Using a sun bed for example for 10 minutes will only in truth give you 4 minutes of actual tan as your dry skin will actually reflect the tanning rays and its not just dry skin you should be concerned about, it’s the actual detrimental effects UV has on the skin. The dermis (a layer of your skin) contains a network of fibres called your reticular layer let your skin expand and contract; it is composed of 2 types of protein fibres, elastin and collagen. The more your skin is exposed to UVA and UVB rays without adequate protection, you are heading for premature aging and possible skin cancer as ingredients in SPF (Sun Protection Factor) help fight away these harmful aspects. One good ingredient to look for in SPF is Titanium dioxide as it kills away UV rays as soon as it touches your skin
2. Always stay out of the sun when it is in its peak in the summer months
3. Wear a sun hat if possible if you are in a warmer climate.
4. Learn to love your skin and look after it. It’s the first thing people see and it looks after you so why not return the favour!
1. NEVER use oil on the beach or on a sun bed. You are in reality cooking your skin and you might as well just not bother putting anything on at all.
2. Never stop applying sun protection. If you are out in the sun do not think that if you have applied sunscreen you will be fine for the whole day. Sweating, swimming and being under the sun, eradicates it all away and needs to be applied at regular intervals.
3. Never just rub in sun protection lightly, ensure you rub it in completely and the second application should be rubbed in more gently to be left to sink in itself.
If you follow these rules and make it a daily habit, you could possibly have a longer time in the sun and enjoy your days lazing under it without having a nagging feeling (or a guilt feeling!) that you haven’t protected yourself enough!