With the arrival of spring, the sun starts to shine stronger and we all welcome it by enjoying more time outside of the house, in the fresh air. The sun, the nature, the warm weather – it's the perfect time for picnics and soon enough it will even be the perfect time for beach and tanning. As our skin replenishes with the D vitamin the sun rays provide us with, not all of us grasp the actual danger we are exposing ourselves to. You've probably all heard about the threat that ultraviolet rays pose to your body. But are you fully aware of the jeopardy? Here are some facts: excessive exposure to sun's ultraviolet rays causes permanent skin damage, premature skin aging, eye damage and can also lead to skin cancer which can cause death. So, yes, everything they warn you about is actually true and can happen to you.
There are three types of UV radiation:
- long-wave UVA rays that penetrate deep in the thickest layer of the skin and damage the DNA in the skin cells. They also induce premature skin aging and photoaging. Furthermore, a great amount of UVA rays is found in tanning beds, so your skin will be thankful if you avoid them. Until recently the scientist reckoned that UVA rays don't lead to serious skin damage, but lately, it has been proven that their role in skin cancer development is significant.
- even more harmful short-wave UVB rays which burn the superficial layer of the skin so those are the actual reason for your sunburns during summer. Suntan is the skin's natural reaction to exposure to the UVB rays which is caused by the pigment called melanin. The melanin protects skin cells from being damaged by the destructive UVB rays, so it's rightfully called "natural sunscreen". The problem with sunburns is that, although it will get better after a few days, the damage accumulates in the skin over years so you never actually get rid of it. You just don't acknowledge it's there.
- UVC rays that are consisted of more energy than the last two, but are not harmful to human body since they don't reside in the sunlight and can't get through the atmosphere.
All that being said, you should definitely consider listening to some tips to keep you safe from the UV harmfulness:
- use sunscreen! When outdoors, exposed to the sun, remember to bring your sunscreen. Here are some brands we recommend: Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50; La Roche-Posay ANTHELIOS XL velvety milk SPF50+; Bioderma Photoderm MAX Cream SPF 50+; Heliocare Gel Ultra SPF 90, etc.;
- seek shade, at least during the most dangerous time of the day – between 10 am and 4 pm;
- protect your head wearing a hat, your skin with clothing and your eyes with sunglasses;
- avoid visiting tanning beds and sun lamps.
Consider everything that is said above and keep yourself safe and especially your children, since their skin is very sensitive to UV radiation. Respect the sun and keep in mind that sun rays are healthy but only in a certain amount and with particular rules obeyed.