Sunlight is a blessing to humanity. It gives us warmth, provide us with Vitamin D, and above all, it is the primary source of light.
But over the years, research has found that the sunlight is responsible for a lot of bad than good when trying to ensure a healthy, good-looking skin. The effect of sunlight can be evident on your body part…
Take a look at those parts of your body that are always receiving sunlight as to those areas that you regularly cover with clothes; you’ll notice a whole lot of difference. Those parts that you cover are always lighter, fresher, more elastic, firmer than the parts that regularly receive sunlight. This is because the sun tans the exposed parts, leading to wrinkles, skin discoloration, and severe cases like skin cancer.
My advice. Keep away from the sun as much as possible, or try to use a well-formulated sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Types of Ultraviolent (UV)
The sun’s Infrared does the work of keeping us warm, and the visible rays provide daylight. But the sun does more bad than good to the body, and the effect is compared with the problems caused by environmental pollution and smoking.
There are three types of UVR. They are the UVA, UVB, and UVC.
- UVA (315 to 400 nm): UVA ray reaches the earth in a significant They are silent rays of the sun. You don’t feel them, but their impact on the skin is grievous. They are responsible for causing free-radical damage, skin tan. UVA are weaker when compared to the UVB, but the amount present is enough to do an accumulated damage to the skin.
- UVB (280 to 315 nm): UVB rays reaches the earth too, although the ozone layer blocks most of them. UVB radiation is more destructive to the skin than the UVA…even the small amount that finds its way to the earth can leave a damaging effect on the skin. UVB ray is responsible for sunburn, mutations, abnormal growth patterns, and it has a considerable capacity to cause instant skin damage.
- UVC (100 to 280 nm): Almost all UVC radiation is filtered by the ozone layer and none actually reaches the earth’s surface (but the ozone depletion has a lot of people worried about the UVC getting to us).
What You Can Do To Reduce The Risk Of Sun Damage
Can you avoid the sunlight permanently? How I wish it were possible. Even if you decide to stay indoor or in your car all through, the UVA can still penetrate through the window and the screen of your car, causing the same damage to your skin as walking directly under the sun.
Since avoiding the sun is not entirely possible, the next best thing is for you to apply a well-formulated sunscreen. But like I said, the sun also has its own benefits on the body, like the production of vitamin D which regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintains healthy teeth and bones, and protects against multiple conditions and diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. The sun also improves the mood and increase melanin production.
But the damages that the sun rays do to the skin, like genetic mutations, premature skin aging, immune suppression, eye damage, tanning, sunburn, melanoma (skin cancer) make it expedient for you to apply your sunscreen on the areas that you expose to sunlight before going out in the morning.
So you should:
- Wear a hat and cover your body with adequate clothing
- Keep your children away from direct sun exposure
- Use sunscreen on the parts of your body that are likely to get exposed to the sunlight. Make sure your sunscreen or sunblock has a minimum Sun Protecting Factor (SPF) of 15.
- Try to avoid direct sun exposure between 10 AM to 3 PM. That is when the sun’s intensity is at the peak.
Apart from following the above tips, we have some people that are more prone to the effect of the sun-related skin damage. We’ll look at some of the factors.
Factors That Increase The Risk Of Sun Damage
- Post-dermatological Treatments – Laser treatment and chemical peels can leave your skin very sensitive to the sun and your skin feeling red.
- Medication – Some antibiotics and birth control pills can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the effect of the sun’s ray.
- Age – The older you become, the more prone you become to the effect of the sun rays.
- Genetics – If any of your parents has a skin cancer, that puts you at risk.
- Hormonal Influence – Chloasma or melasma is most common in women. It occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin, caused by the female sex hormones when the skin is exposed to the sun.
- Existing Conditions – People suffering from Atopic Dermatitis or Psoriasis tends to have sensitive, dry skin that needs sun protection.
- Skin Color – People with pale skin tone, light or red-blonde hair are more likely to suffer from sunburn than those with dark skin and hair.
Other Protective Options
- Take oranges, eat yellow and red fruits and vegetables (diets rich in carotenoids). These can strengthen your skin’s natural defenses when you eat them for a long time. Also, diets rich in omega fats (oily fish, olive oil, etc.), high in vitamin E and C, dairy, and low in red meat can have the same positive effect.
- Wear a hat or a cap
- Try to wear more of long trousers and sleeved shirts
- Use a sunscreen protection with either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
The best you can do for yourself is to minimize your stay under the sunlight. See, the sunlight is never your friend. You might be concerned about shielding yourself entirely from Vitamin D when you regularly apply sunscreen. But that’s not true. SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVA and UVB radiations, SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 97% of the sun rays, and on and on. So you still have minimal exposure to the sunlight.
If you want to prevent sunburn, wrinkles, skin discoloration, and other skin conditions, you need to start avoiding the sun.