May 11, 2006

Sunscreen-the neccessity of summer

People indulge in a lot of travel, sports and outdoor activities in summer. But few of them know that it could have a devastating effect on their skin & eyes. The harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun have the potential to cause ageing of the skin, DNA damage and skin cancer. Scientists are of the opinion that both UVA & UVB can damage the skin. A sun-tan is the proof of the fact that the skin has suffered because of UV rays. (A simple home remedy for removing sunburn or a tan is buttermilk.) The strength or UVA rays remain the same throughout the year, whereas UVB is the strongest in summer months. So it is always better to play safe- always use a sunscreen or sunblock. It is simply a means of putting a barrier between the sun’s rays and your skin. 

Choosing the right sunscreenLook out for a product which has these features:
*A broad spectrum formula which protects against two types of ultraviolet radiation UVA & UVB
*A formula that does not cause irritation to your skin
* A product formula with an SPF 15 or higher.
* “Water resistant” or “Sweat resistant” sunblock product which lists an SPF for both before and after being exposed to water or sweat.
* One which has extra emollients to moisturize the skin also.
What is SPF?SPF 10…25….30… what do these actually mean? It is the sun block or sunscreen’s Sun Protection Factor. SPF indicates the level of protection it provides against sunburn. The higher the SPF the better the protection provided. Experts recommend broad spectrum products (protection against both UVA & UVB) with at least SPF 15 and suggest 30 as the upper SPF limit because anything above this offers little additional benefit and might expose people to an unduly high level of chemicals, which could prove to be dangerous.

Remember these points while applying sunscreen: * Always apply a sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before you expose yourself to the sun. That’s how long it takes to get absorbed.
* Applying too little will offer negligible results. That’s why it should be slathered liberally, and evenly on all exposed skin, including lips, nose, ears, neck, scalp (if hair is thinning), hands, feet, and eyelids. If you do apply on eyelids, take care that you don’t get it in your eyes because this might cause irritation. If it does get into the eyes then rinse your eyes thoroughly. 

* Refrain from using sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months because their bodies may not be developed enough to handle the sunscreen chemicals. Instead use hats, clothing and shading to protect them.
* Do not stop using sunscreen in winter or if there is snow around. Snow on the ground reflects UV rays which essentially increases exposure.

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  1. Navyashri4:20 PM

    The best thing that I do for my sensitive skin is to use a Tinted Moisturizer with SPF. I like either Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer or Clinique's Almost Makeup. This way, you get the sun protection and you have sheer coverage for your blemishes. Both of these are oil-free.

  2. Bhakti9:45 AM

    It will not prevent tanning but it will prevent aging. The higher number next to SPF the more it will prevent your skin from tanning. So buy sunscreen with very high SPF. But keep in mind that you will still tan, it will be just slower

  3. Mahesh9:46 AM

    it does prevent you from getting tanned but be sure to use a sunscreen of a higher spf. to lighten the darkened areas you can apply a paste of gram flour, milk powder, turmeric and can also use curds, milk or rose water as a substitute for honey...and lastly avoid going too much into the sun

  4. Prakash9:06 AM

    It is well known that sun light damages the skin, contributes to skin wrinkling and aging, as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. Therefore, whenever exposure to sunlight is expected, use a good sun screen after thorough cleansing and moisturizing.

  5. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Avoid the sun during high-intensity hours. The sun's rays are most damaging from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reduce the time you spend outdoors during these hours.Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also, keep in mind that certain clothing styles and fabrics offer better protection from the sun than do others. For example, long-sleeved shirts offer better protection than short-sleeved shirts do. And tightly woven fabrics such as denim are better than loosely woven fabrics such as knits.Use sunscreen.

  6. Anonymous4:31 PM

    To keep your face wrinkle free you must take a proactive approach. Sunscreens are essential for any prolonged amount of time in the sun. On hot, sunny days the sun’s rays can penetrate deep into skins tissues and destroy its natural binding elements, which keep the skin elastic.So if the climate and weather of your home town is very sunny and you spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure that you are using a daily sunscreen, you will be much happier in the long run. The tissues in your face are very soft and damage easily with prolonged exposure to UV rays. Sunscreens should be applied in the morning before leaving the house. Most products can be used by the whole family, however we suggest that you use a cream that is specifically for your skin type and that may not always work best to others in your home. Some creams can be used on all part of the body, or with treatments like laser, peels and acids. Find out the characteristics of your cream and try the one that works and is best suited for your lifestyle.

  7. Anonymous3:51 PM

    According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a non profit research organization based in Washington D.C., 4 out of 5 sunscreen lotions do not give adequate protection against the harmful rays of the sun or contain harmful chemicals.Most of these sunscreens seem to be effective for sunburns, but their efficiency in fighting skin cancer is under question. They seem to be having little effect on the prevalence of melanoma which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. The rate of contracting skin cancer remains steady.

  8. Bharati10:13 AM

    Protecting the skin from sun is vital in skin care routine. An overexposure to the sun can do a great deal of damage to the skin. It leads to sagging skin, wrinkles, sun burn, sun tan, heat stroke and also skin cancer.Wear sunscreen as part of skin care, to protect the skin from these skin damages.

  9. To alleviate the pain of sunburn, apply cold compresses by taking a cool bath or soaking a towel in cool water and applying it on the affected area.It is also essential to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated all the time. This helps to maintain moisture levels in the skin and avoid sunburns.

  10. Anonymous11:50 AM

    I have to say that putting on sunblock since I was a kid is what has helped me preserve healthy skin. My mom got skin cancer as an adult so I have always made skincare and protection a top priority. I think sunblock is they key to a great complexion!

  11. Varsha6:12 PM

    Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Look for the words "broad spectrum protection" or UVA protection in addition to the SPF of 15 or greater. Select a sunscreen that says "nonacnegenic" or "noncomedogenic" on the label to help keep pores clear. The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, so make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently and take breaks indoors if you can. If your shadow is longer than you are tall, then it's a safer time to be in the sun (you should still wear sunscreen, though).

  12. Sugita3:21 PM

    The sun has many benefits, but too much sun without correct guard can be harmful. Being tanned not only hurts, but also damages skin and encourages wrinkles and cancer. Even 10 minutes, protect skin with sunscreen for both UVA and UVB rays.

  13. Madhukar3:52 PM

    Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you're exposed directly to the sun. It needs to be reapplied as often as every two hours, and right after swimming or heavy sweaty.

  14. Use a sunscreen that is factor 15 or over for adequate protection from UV. Reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Go into the shade between 12 noon and 3pm, as this is when the sun is at it's most damaging. Don't binge tan (sunbathing for intense periods). A tan will build up gradually through normal sun exposure.Don't intentionally try to get burnt - a lot of young people believe that burning = tanning. But sunburn is not necessary for your skin to get a tan.

  15. Bhavini3:27 PM

    Without sunscreen you can end up experiencing a severe burn, or in the worst case skin cancer can develop

  16. If you're going to be outside in the sun, a parasol, visor or floppy hat makes a big difference for staying cool.

  17. Mithun9:16 AM

    Thank you so much for doing this post! All the information out there about sunscreen is rather overwhelming.

  18. Kokila3:10 PM

    Just be cautious about sunscreen because the sun is actually cooking the ingredients of it into your skin. What affect is that having? Maybe skin cancers come from using too much sunscreen?
    stevemark122000 profile image

  19. Avatar9:47 AM

    , I think sunscreen is essential. It blocks out the harmful UVA, UVB rays. Putting on sunscreen doesn’t mean you won’t get your daily dose of Vit.D. so do slap some on before u step out :)

  20. Aakriti9:08 AM

    Well, i know that sunscreen is important, but i HATE the touch of putting it on… it’s just too sticky, and most sunscreens smell bad~
    What can i do…?

  21. Abhijna8:33 AM


    Actually vitamin D is absorbed only through skin that does not have sunscreen applied. Experts recommend 10 minutes of outdoor time per day for adequate vitamin D absorption. But you can probably wear sunscreen on your face, but absorb the vitamin through other unprotected areas, like your arms.

  22. Harshita10:30 AM

    Apply sunscreen every morning to balance out the skins increased sensitivity to sunlight from using exfoliates

  23. Shailaja6:00 PM

    If you choose to use sunscreen opt for the safer choices.

  24. unknown9:11 AM

    Do: Wear a broad- spectrum sunscreen every day. Don’t believe all the hype that lots of sun is good for you. See my post on tanning for much more detail.

  25. Sunscreens give a false sense of security. Designed to block sunrays for short periods of time to prevent burning, they cannot extend the duration of your exposure to the sun. Protecting the skin from burns inflicted by the sun takes more than just sunscreen.

  26. sun's always dangerous no matter how cold or hot it is. you need sunscreen 12 months of the year, no matter where you live. Oil of Olay makes a nice face moisturizer called "Complete" that comes in SPF 15 or SPF 30. It's not greasy.

  27. Some of my skincare and all my make-up stuffs have this SPF. I'm using LANEIGE sunscreen. It's of thick texture so I'm using it not on the whole face to avoid clogging. FYI - I'm combating acne so am avoiding to put on too many unnecessary layers before the concealer and powder.

  28. Vihari10:15 AM

    You should wear sunscreen everyday to prevent sun damage unless the makeup you wear has sunscreen in it.
    You would cleanse and tone your skin first and then apply a moisturizer before the sunscreen. Make sure you use a gentle makeup that won't clog your pores.

  29. Pavitra10:15 AM

    You should definitely use an SPF everyday, even during winter. There is a great foundation we stock at our salon called Inika that contains its own SPF, so its a one step process. Just moisturise and then apply your Mineral Foundation. Our clients find it flawless coverage, you don't feel like you have anything on your skin, yet you get full sun protection.
    If your using a separate sunscreen cream then yes, moisturise first, then apply sunscreen, then foundation over the top.


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