Who does not love a warm, sunny day? The first thought that will come to your mind is to bask. It is the perfect time to get a suntan while enjoying endless hours outdoors. Now is the perfect time to bring out sleeveless shirts or dresses. After all, you want the sun to reach every part of your body.And yes, we cannot forget that the sun is an excellent source of vitamin D. It is critical for better calcium absorption which leads to strong healthy bones. But, talk to any esthetician or cosmetologist and you will get a very different picture. The truth is that the sun is not your skin’s friend.
Yes, we have dared to say it, time to rethink some of the things you have been doing. And we will show you why in our article.
What You Need To Know About The Sun On Your Skin
Are you taking a cosmetology class with a focus on skincare? One of the subjects you will cover is the impact of UV rays from the sun or tanning beds on the skin. But, for now, we will not take away all the tanning options from you. So, we will only focus on sun damage for this article.
Ultraviolet radiation is how the sun’s energy reaches the earth. But it will have significant effects on the skin. Some of them include:-
- Depletion of the skin’s natural lubrication. What you get is a flaky, dry skin
- Stay too long in the sun and you can be sure of sunburn. The next day you will have to deal with blisters, red skin, or bumps that are full of fluids. Sunburn happens when the melanin in your skin is not able to take on the amount of UV
- The sun will affect the collagen in the dermis. The resulting loss of elasticity leads to fine lines, wrinkles, or changes in skin texture.
- Actinic keratosis is a result of long-term exposure to UV rays. The skin looks scaly or bumpy. You will also notice it has a brown, yellow, pink, or reddish tint. It is important to take care of this condition immediately. The small pimples can become squamous cells resulting in cancer of the skin.
For cosmetology students, you can expect this to be one of the areas the final tests will cover. Take advantage of some of the best cosmetology practice tests to prepare. You have the option of taking the free practice tests as many times as you want.
The tests are state board certified. The multiple-choice questions are easy to do. When you finish, you get instant results. It allows you to see areas of weakness that you may need to work on.
How To Protect Your Skin From The Sun
Are we saying that you should stay away from the Sun completely? The answer is no. As we have already stated, you need vitamin D for proper calcium absorption.
But, you can do the following to stay safe,
1. Use Sunscreen
One of the skincare routines you must incorporate is the use of sunscreen. When shopping, look for broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) should be at a minimum of 30.
Use sunscreen anytime you need to leave the house. It does not matter whether the day is cool or cloudy. Anytime you go out, the sunscreen must be on. Any child above the age of 6 months must use sunscreen.
If you can, get someone to help you apply the sunscreen on the hard-to-reach areas like your back. A good tip is to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you go out.
If you sweat a lot then apply it after every 2 hours. You will also need to apply sunscreen if you have been swimming.
Sunscreen does not only apply to your skin. You need the same protection for your lips. So be careful about the type of lipsticks or lip balm you use.
Check the expiration date when shopping for sunscreen. Do not buy any near the expiry date.
Even if you have to be outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible.
2. Protective Clothing
Do you know the sun is hottest between 10 am and 4 pm? Keep away from the sun unless you need to be outdoors. Do not expose your skin to the sun more than you need to. That means short-sleeved clothing is out of the question.
Opt for shirts with long sleeves, pants, and hats with a wide brim that cover your ears, face, and back of the neck. The clothing fabric should have a tight weave for better protection. You can also look for those that have UV protection factor (UPF) as an extra measure. Throw in a pair of sunglasses as part of your ensemble.
Do not forget your feet. There are instances when you will need to wear flip-flops or sandals. That is fine, but remember to slather on a layer of sunscreen.
3. Examine Your Skin
Make sure that you look at the skin on your whole body regularly. Watch out for any signs or changes, bleeding, dark spots, or pimples. Knowing your skin could help you avoid skin cancer.
Seek medical advice instead of going for over-the-counter medications. Some of them may increase skin sensitivity to UV rays. Some prescription medicines for high blood pressure, heart failure, allergies, and acne can exacerbate UV damage.
Prescription skin care products that have alpha-hydroxy acid are also quite dangerous.
Basking in the sun can be quite pleasurable. But, you could be causing serious damage to your skin. In the worst-case scenario, you could end up with skin cancer. Our article has shared some of the effects of sun damage.
We have also looked at some of the things you can do to keep your skin safe. Stock up on enough sunscreen because it must become a part of your daily routine. Ensure that the SPF levels are 30 and above.
Cover your skin as much as possible with the right kind of clothing. And, it is also important that you examine your skin regularly. If you notice anything of concern, please consult a doctor. You want to arrest any issues before they get out of hand.