Importance of Sun Screen
The sun is finally shining, and you’ve probably switched over your closet from winter coats and sweaters to shorts and tank tops by now. Woo hoo! I think it is safe to say that we as Canadians are able to appreciate the change in seasons just a little bit more than the average Joe. The weather is so unpredictable so we need to take full advantage to soak in the sun. Of course, you can have fun in the sun, but it needs to be done appropriately. That means, protecting yourself from the harmful UVA and UVB rays.
What are UV rays you may ask? They are harmful ultraviolet rays that reach us from sunlight. UVA rays are known to penetrate the skin and reach the skin’s thickest layer. Left unprotected, the UVA rays can cause wrinkling of the skin and weakening of the immune system. Additionally, UVB rays reach the skin’s surface and cause the skin to burn, which is not better by any means.
That being said, it is vital that we remember sunscreen is our friend. Sunscreen should be used every day, rain or shine. However, realistically, people are generally more concerned with the UV rays more so during the hot summer months. It is said that even on cloudy days, UV rays can still penetrate one’s skin. Therefore, sunscreen is a must.
How much Sunscreen is eough?
There are dozens of different types of sunscreen products out there on the market. How do you know which is best for you? Studies show that you must look for three main items for choosing which is best for you: make sure it offers UVA and UVB protection, it is water resistant, and has 30 SPF or higher. Whether the sunscreen is a spray, lotion, cream, or gel is completely up to personal preference. The reason why having a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF is because it is shown to block out 97 percent of the sun’s rays. The higher the SPF, the more of the sun’s rays is blocked, however, only slightly more, given that no sunscreen can block out 100 percent of the sun’s rays. Furthermore, one must keep in mind that applying sunscreen once a day is not sufficient. People must follow the instructions and the label and reapply sunscreen every few hours; and no, the higher SPF does not mean that one can apply sunscreen less often.
If by any chance you do forget to use sunscreen and get burned, don’t fret, the pain will subside soon enough.
Treating and caring for Sunburn
- Wet your skin and apply moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help alleviate the discomfort.
- Take an ibuprofen, which will reduce the swelling and discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water. This will prevent dehydration.
- Avoid being outside in direct sunlight, which will aggravate your already burned skin.
- Consult a family physician if you feel dizzy, sick to your stomach, cold etc.
Being sun burned sucks. Not only is it painful, but it does have negative effects on the skin. It can cause wrinkling, weakened immune system, and may lead to skin cancer. Sunscreen is inexpensive and does not take long to apply. Think smart and protect yourself