Spending some part of your day outdoors is a great exercise to stay physically active, get vitamins, reduce stress, uplift mood and for an overall healthy lifestyle. However, the unprotected exposure to sun can do more harm to your skin than all these physical and emotional benefits.
There is also a myth that the UV rays from the sun can only affect you during the summers, which is totally wrong. In fact, these beams can also penetrate into your skin when the day is cooler or even cloudy. In this post, you will be reading about some tricks and tips to reap good benefits from daylight without harming your skin.
What Are The Benefits of Sunlight?
Avoiding the sun altogether or staying indoors for the sake of your skin won’t be a wise idea either. This is because you will be missing out a lot of benefits it has to offer you. Have a look at some of them:
- A human body needs the vitamin D, and sunlight is a natural and free-of-cost source to get it.
- Research shows that spending an hour under the natural light, preferably in the mornings, helps in improving your quality of sleep by producing melatonin.
- The production of melatonin also aids in lowering stress level and fighting depression.
- Vitamin D is also great for preventing brittle, misshapen or thin bones by maintain calcium level in the body.
- Exposure of daylight boosts and strengthens immune system, resulting in decreased risk of illness, infections and several diseases.
What Are The Disadvantages of Sun Exposure?
We all know that too much exposure to natural light can cause sunburn, from mild to severe. However, the destruction can be worse than how it appears. For instance, if you observe your burnt skin under a microphone; it would be shocking for you to see the damaged blood vessels and cells caused by the UV rays.
Besides, the skin becomes dehydrated, discolored, leathery, bruised and wrinkled. In severe conditions, sun rays are a major reason of skin cancer, which is spread commonly these days. In the United States, around 5 million people get the cancer treatment every year. However, professionals believe that several types of skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding direct sunlight.
How To Avoid Damage Cause by Sun Rays
Do you know it only takes 15 minutes for your skin to get damaged by UV rays? Now imagine staying outdoors for hours every day without any protection. Well, that’s a hell lot of damage! The good thing is that; you can easily dodge the destruction by following some basic tips that are mentioned below.
1. Wear Proper Clothes
The less your body is exposed to the natural light; the less harm it can do to your skin. So, it is suggested to wear full clothes, like long-sleeved shirts, full pants and skirts, etc. In case you are not comfortable with the dress code; try wearing tightly woven fabric clothes for best protection. Moreover, a wet T-shirt absorbs less UV rays, unlike the dry ones. Thus, you can try this trick on a very hot beach day to stay safe.
It is a great idea to prefer darker colors over lighter ones as they cause less damage. You can also opt for a certified clothing line that is specifically designed to offer UV protection under international standards.
|For Your Information
The SPF rating of a normal T-shirt is lower than 15, which means it is not an ideal choice to wear on a sunny day. So, you would need other means to protect yourself, like shade, hat, sunscreen, etc.
2. Wear a Hat
Apart from style, hats also play an important part in providing a shade for your face under the sunlight. Luckily, you can get different types of hats and caps in the marketplace to choose from. However, for UV protection, you should consider the one that covers your ears, face and back of your neck.
- A tightly woven fabric works best in the sun, such as canvas.
- Straw hats should be avoided as sun rays can pass through their holes.
- Color of the hat is also significant; a darker one should be preferred.
- In case you are wearing a baseball cap, it is ideal to cover your ears, neck and other exposed areas, either with proper clothing or a sunscreen product.
3. Use Sunglasses
Protection of eyes from the harmful rays is equally essential. You have a lot of choices to save your body and face from the damage, but what about eyes? That’s when sunglasses come to the rescue.
- Sunglasses not only protect eyes from direct sunlight, but also cover the under-eye and surrounding area, which is more prone to wrinkles and fine lines.
- Eye wears are capable of blocking both rays, UVA and UVB to offer maximum safety.
- Wrap-around glasses are considered the best to block the way of UV rays from the sides.
4. Find Some Shade
If your clothing isn’t suitable for sunlight, and you don’t have a hat or sunglasses either; search for a shady area nearby, like under tree or building shade, etc. Besides, an umbrella can be useful in providing you a shelter and protection from harmful rays.
5. Always Use Sunscreen
This one is certainly the most significant step of all. No matter if your clothing is perfect, and you are under a shade; a sunscreen is a must for everyone in every situation. It has SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number, which helps in blocking UV rays. The higher the SPF number, the better the performance. It is suggested to choose a product with at least SPF 15 for daily use, even if the day is cloudy, rainy or windy.
UVA rays from the sun are responsible for several skin diseases, premature aging symptoms and even skin cancers. Whereas, UVB affects the other layers of the skin causing burns and external damage. The good thing is that; a broad-spectrum sunscreen product filter out both of them and absorb only good nutrients from the natural light.
Make sure to cover your exposed body parts with a thick layer of sunscreen before heading out. Let’s read about this amazing product in detail to determine its significance in your life.
It is best to select a sunscreen with SPF 30 for better results. If you ever had a skin cancer; use a sunscreen with a higher SPF number than 30.
Types of Sunscreens: Which one is the safest?
Basically, you will find two types of sunscreens:
- Organic (chemical)
- Inorganic (physical)
Both of them are safe and offer protection against the sun damage, but in different ways. The level and intensity of their provided protection depend on their number of SPF. Have a look at the comparison chart for better idea:
|Absorb all the UV and turn it into heat||Absorb 95 percent and reflect 5 percent|
|Better UVA protection||White cast|
|Suitable for dry skin||Good for sensitive skin|
|Avobenzone, octinoxate||Zinc oxide, titanium oxide|
|Easy to blend and apply to the skin||Texture is thick enough to blend well|
|May cause allergic reactions||Less changes of reactions|
|Unstable components||Stable components|
It is always a great idea to consult to your doctor before trying out any product. Only a professional can suggest the best option to you, based on your skin. Don’t hesitate to ask questions; it is the matter of your skin after all.
Question To Ask Your Dermatologist
Below are a few questions that you need to ask a specialist about your skin and sun protection:
- What is the difference between sunscreen lotion and spray-on? Which one will suit your skin the best?
- Which SPF number is suitable for your skin? What SPF number should be good for your children?
- How to treat sunburn at home?
- Is the medication you are taking can make it dangerous for you to go in sunlight? Any possible reaction?
- What are the initial signs of skin cancer?
Who Should Be Using Sunscreen?
And the answer is Everyone and anyone who goes out in the sun. The list includes:
- Women, men and children
- Dark-skinned and Fair-skinned people
- People who don’t get tan and those who do.
- Gardeners, sunbathers, skiers, athletes and just above anyone.
Is Sunscreen Good for Children?
Yes. Sunscreens are not just safe but a necessity for kids over the age of 6 months.
- It prevents children’s skin from developing cancer in their later lives.
- According to a research, if a kid is using sunscreen on a regular basis till the age of 18; they are 72 percent less likely to get skin cancer later.
- For the kids under 6 months, you can use protective shade and clothing. As per American Academy of Pediatrics, it is harmless to apply a smaller amount of SPF 15 sunscreen on the face, back, neck and hands of your infant.
How to Apply Sunscreen Effectively?
Sunscreen can only give you a great outcome when you apply it properly. Follow the mentioned guidelines:
- Apply the product on your face and body at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors.
- Reapply sunscreen after every two hours, even if the product claims to stay put all day.
- If your skin is oily, or you sweat a lot, reapply sunscreen frequently.
- Make sure to cover all the exposed areas properly, including your ears, face, lips, neck, wrists, back of the hand, feet and arms.
- Apply a generous amount of the product and smoothly rub it all over.
- Women should use sunscreens before makeup application.
- Don’t wait to go on the beach first and use sunscreen on the spot. By then, you might already be perspiring, and it can make sunscreen less effective.
- Some places have more exposure to sunlight than the others. For example lakes, pools, oceans, concrete surfaces, beaches and even snow. Therefore, while visiting such places, you would need to reapply the sunscreen frequently and do all the precautionary measures to avoid any damage.
Sunlight can be extremely beneficial and dangerous for you at the same time. The harmful UV rays emitted from the sun can cause several skin issues, like sunburn, aging symptoms and even cancer. Fortunately, you can avoid any regretful circumstances by protecting your skin from direct exposure of daylight. For that, you can use sunglasses, wear hat, tightly woven fabric clothes, dark colors and apply sunscreen regularly.
From children to elderly and men to women; sunscreen is equally good for everyone who goes out every day. Are you one of them? Consult a specialist and get yourself a great sunscreen with SPF 30+. Don’t forget to do a patch test before applying any product to lower the chances of allergic reactions. You can also opt for the moisturizers with SPF to hydrate and protect your skin at a time.