How to protect your skin against sun

Published 27.08.2017 22:34
Updated 27.08.2017 22:35
How to protect your skin against sun

Despite the widely accepted consensus that sunblock creams are the most effective agent in fighting the sun's harmful UV rays, you must remain extremely cautious when applying these creams, which can be counter-reactive to sunlight when applied on top of perfumes and deodorants, especially those that contain bergamot, lavender or rosemary

A study by the Washington University Department of Dermatology has revealed that sunblock creams are more effective than sun lotions in protecting your skin from the damage of sun exposure. While many prefer creams rather than lotions due to various factors regarding our many different skin types, the widespread consensus is that sunblock creams provide better skin protection and must be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours. However, many people are unaware that applying these products on the skin after applying perfume or deodorants could cause these sunblock creams to lose their effectiveness. The reason for this is that some perfumes and deodorants contain active ingredients that react on exposure to UV rays. Therefore, it is safe to say that no matter how effective your sunblock cream may be in protecting against sunburn, there are some points to take into consideration before you apply sunblock to your skin.

Citric acid causes skin sensitivity

While citrus fruits are widely known for their antioxidant, immune-boosting properties and vitamin C content, which protects the body against flu and other illnesses that threaten our health during winter, these fruits offer a wide range of additional health benefits in protecting the body against cancer while lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits and mandarins – all citrus fruits – were first produced in South and Southeastern Asia as well as Australia. Now, these citrus fruits are grown in greenhouses worldwide (including Turkey) and are highly regarded for their health benefits and delicious taste. One of the most widely produced citrus fruits, the orange, has been the subject of numerous studies that have revealed the fruit is effective in preventing cancer thanks to the flavonoids and phytochemicals it contains. Citrus fruits also have a purifying effect on the skin and the human body and, as we all know, the role that Vitamin C plays in ridding the body of toxins is undeniable.

Consuming Vitamin C is known to provide the body with numerous health benefits. However, you must be careful when consuming Vitamin C during the summer months. Taking Vitamin C just before sun exposure or while you are under the sun, could result in serious burns to the skin, known as "phytophotod hermatitis," which causes painful rash, irritation, papilloma and even nausea. According to studies conducted at the DC Sinai Hospital, the citric acids found in citrus fruits (especially lemon) can exfoliate and purify the skin. However, this renewal also makes the skin dermatologically vulnerable to the sun's UV rays and can lead to severe sunburn and sunspots. The same study revealed that citric acid also causes furanocoumarin disease, which leads to a painful skin rash and causes a dermatological reaction to UV ray exposure. Dermatologists advise you to wash your skin immediately after coming in contact with citrus especially prior to sun exposure.

Be careful while using perfume and deodorants

Sweating is a common problem that can signal the presence of various illnesses. On the other hand, excessive sweating can also be triggered by psychological factors, increasing basal body temperature and extreme heat during the summer months. Regardless of the cause, people are always looking for a solution for the malodor of sweat that comes from years of dealing with bodily perspiration. While doctors offer a range of surgical solutions and medications for the issue, most people prefer to use perfumes and deodorants at home. However, you must be extremely cautious when using such products in summer, as they contain numerous substances that belie the alluring essences of their scents. These substances both irritate the skin and react to UV ray exposure. Studies conducted at Baylor Science College revealed that perfumes that contain the bergamot plant, lavender or rosemary can actually make the body vulnerable to the sun's harmful UV rays. Hence, you must be careful while choosing and applying perfume. In addition, apply perfume to your clothing rather than directly to the skin before going outside. If you are going on a vacation or carrying any luggage with you, it will be healthier to apply it on your bag, hat and similar accessories.

Some medicines may leave skin susceptible to burns

Medicine used during summer months also requires attention as some medicine like analgesics, common cold medications, acne toner and skin care products may weaken your skin against the sun. Some medicine also leaves you more exposed to the sun as they contain photosensitization substances. According to a report prepared by the American Skin Cancer Foundation (ASCF), compounds found in some medicines cause your body to absorb the UV rays from the sun and will harm your skin by returning them to your body. After taking or applying such medication, try not to be exposed to sunlight. However, if you have to go out, protect your skin with a sunscreen with SPF 30. Studies show that sunscreens containing an SPF 30 or higher will prevent 97 percent of UV rays, while those with SPF 50 can prevent 98.5 percent of the sun's rays. While 30 SPF is regarded as the ideal level of protection for adults, the number should be increased a bit for children. Another common harm of sunlight is that it causes early aging. The elastin layer, which contains fibers making the skin more flexible, wears off when it is exposed to sun and causes the skin to sag much earlier than normal. If you do not apply the necessary protective creams, sunlight may leave you with permanent scars and sun spots. These spots generally arise on the face and neck area and all your beauty efforts may be concluded with irrevocable disappointment. While UVB rays cause skin rash and sunburn, UVA rays may result in skin cancer, sun spots and deep skin damage. To effectively protect your skin against UVA and UVB rays, you need to use a broad-spectrum sunblock cream. While buying sunscreen, you must definitely analyze the product content and be sure that it will protect you from UVA and UVB rays. Those with sensitive skin must definitely see the doctor before choosing a sunblock cream.

Drink enough water

Inflammation and irritation developed due to sun burn may lead to dehydration by distorting the outer layer of your skin. Especially in acute burn cases, dehydration and electrolyte disturbances may arise. When you experience skin inflammation or damage, aches and itching may become a burning sensation over time. All these issues are closely related to water consumption. During skin renewal, dehydration may arise due to evaporation. The skin, which loses its moisture equilibrium, becomes more and more vulnerable to UV rays. Hence, to be able to sustain moisture equilibrium in your skin, you should drink a minimum of eight glasses of water in a day.

Take a warm shower

Enjoying a hot shower and vapor bath can have purifying effects on the skin and rid it of dead cells. However, a warm shower may be harmful to those with heart issues, breathing problems or lung disease. A warm shower, especially taken during summer months, makes the skin more prone to sun and cause skin burns. So, you have to be careful about the warmth of the shower especially during the summer months. It should be also kept in mind that a cold shower decreases stress and help a person to be heartier.

Home remedies for sunburn

Mix a cup of apple vinegar with warm water to soothe the skin.

Place oatmeal in muslin cloth and put it under running water to soften. When it becomes soft, apply it to your sunburn every two hours.

Avoid using harsh soaps on your skin as it causes drying of the skin and can increase pain associated with sunburn.

Apply tea bags to the skin. Tea contains tannic acid, which has a soothing effect on painful sunburns.

Mix corn starch with water and apply it to the sunburned area for relief.

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