Tanning might allow you to get that perfect bronzed look in the short run, but it can cause a lot of irreparable damage in the long run. When your skin gets exposed to the UV rays of the sun or tanning beds, it begins to produce a pigment known as melanin. This melanin is responsible for darkening your skin. What most people don’t know is that any sign of melanin in the body is effectively the body’s way of saying that it is under threat from sun damage. The reason that sun damage and tanning beds are so dangerous is that they can lead to a range of negative effects such as wrinkles, accelerated skin aging as well as cancers. Therefore, you must ensure that you follow a proper skin care routine that offers you with sun protection as well. Vine Vera reviews a sun protection guide that helps you understand the various ways by which you can reduce and prevent your skin from getting damaged because of exposure to the UV rays.
How can clothing help in sun protection?
Approximately 3.7 million people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. For most of these people, sun damage is the main reason behind skin cancer. The UV rays can also cause significant skin problems such as sagging skin, aging, brown spots and wrinkles. Your clothing is the best way of protecting your skin from the sun. It acts as the first line of defense against the UV rays of the sun and helps to prevent skin diseases that can be attributed to sun damage. The basic rule is that the more you cover yourself, the better it is for your skin. Yes ladies. Long sleeve shirts replacing your short tees, high necklines replacing your low cut tops and long pants replacing those mini shorts hardly sounds attractive, but they can actually help you protect your skin from the sun.
The story behind your clothing and its UPF
UPF, also known as Ultraviolet Protection Factor, indicates the percentage of UV rays that can penetrate the fabric to reach your skin. For example, a shirt that offers you with a UPF of 25 allows 1/25th of the UV rays to reach your skin. The UPF should never be confused with SPF. UPF is a rating system used for your clothes while the SPF is normally used to rate cosmetic products and sunscreen lotions. In other words, UPF denotes the amount of UV rays that can penetrate into your skin while the SPF denotes how long you can stay out in the sun for.
- Tightly woven or closely knitted fabrics – Tightly woven or closely knitted fabrics such as wool and denims have smaller holes between the threads. As a result, choosing such clothes helps you to offer better UV protection.
- Synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers – Choosing synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers such as rayon and polyester is the best option available in terms of clothes that offer sun protection.
- Heavier and denser fabrics – Heavier and denser fabrics like corduroy allow you to block out more sunlight when compared to lighter materials such as bleached cotton or silk.
- The UPF label – Make sure that you check the UPF label of the clothing to check out what level of sun protection it offers.
- Color – Bright or Dark colors such as red or black can offer a better defense because they have a more intense hue.
Do Wristbands Really Help with Sun Protection?
You can always expect science and technology to keep coming up with a range of gadgets that seem wondrous and manage to defy logic at the same time. One of the most talked about gadgets in recent times is that UV measuring wristband. Manufacturers claim that these wristbands allow you to understand when you need to apply more sunscreen if you still wish to stay outdoors.
Most people apply sunscreens in the morning before leaving their homes, believing that they are set for the day and their skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun. However, applying sunscreen once is not going to be enough. You need to keep applying sunscreen at regular intervals if you plan to stay out in the sun for a long period of time.
These wristbands are basically wearable devices that have been designed to alert you when it’s time to apply the sunscreen by keeping a track of the UV rays hitting your body and the time interval since the last sunscreen application.
As with any new technology, these fancy bracelets have been received with open arms by some and raised eyebrows by others. According to Dr. Barney Kenet, a dermatologist in NYC, these bracelets should allow people to keep a track of their sun exposure so that they can limit the exposure when required. However, Dr. Kenet also stated that these bracelets should be able to take skin types into account as well because those with fairer skin are likely to need more protection. Several experts have also raised doubts about the effectiveness of the bracelet. One of the biggest issues is that you should be wearing SPF 30 sunscreens every day, irrespective of the weather outside. Experts are concerned that the device might just end up making people more casual about the entire issue. Furthermore, these bracelets imply that there is no use for sunglasses at certain times. On the contrary, UV-protective sunglasses are considered to offer a huge advantage throughout the day.
Debates are likely to continue on the effectiveness of these wristbands in terms of sun protection for your skin. However, whether they offer the proper sun protection or not, they can definitely help you set a major fashion statement.
Sun Protection Supplements for your Body
You can follow a specific diet to help your body fight sun damage from within as well. There are a range of nutrients and compounds that can help to improve the sun tolerance of your skin and reduce inflammation as well. Here are a few supplements that are particularly beneficial for your body during those hot summer months.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C acts as an excellent anti-inflammatory for your body and it is also known to be highly beneficial for your immune system. You should be consuming about 2000 IU of Vitamin C on a daily basis during the summers. The most common sources of Vitamin C are oranges, yellow bell peppers, guavas, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, strawberries, cooked tomatoes and papaya.
- Vitamin D3 – According to reports, Vitamin D3 can help your body to fight against skin cancer and sunburns. Experts believe that consuming around 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 on a daily basis is the ideal way of approaching the summer months. The most common sources of Vitamin D3 are sunlight, cod liver oil, beef liver, fatty fish and orange juice.
- Cod Liver Oil – Cod Liver Oil is considered to be one of the best supplements in terms of sun protection. It also helps in remineralizing your teeth and improving your digestive health. You can easily choose one of those cod liver oil capsules in accordance to the prescribed dosage.
- Resveratrol – Resveratrol has been creating a hype in the skin care and cosmetics industry for quite some time now. There are a number of skin care and health benefits that Resveratrol has to offer. Apart from helping you solve a range of skin care issues, Resveratrol offers you with an excellent natural sunscreen as well. A study published by the National Institute of Health in 2005 stated that the topical application of Resveratrol on lab animals successfully helped them to protect themselves from the UV rays that they were subjected to. Even though Red wine is an excellent source of Resveratrol, it hardly gives you the quantities that the human body requires. The best way to consume Resveratrol is by way of topical application. There are a range of skin care and anti-aging products that are known to be extremely rich in Resveratrol.
Choosing Sunblocks and Sunscreens
With every one out of five people in America being diagnosed with skin cancers, the issue has become as prevalent as ever. In most cases, the issue of skin cancer can directly be related to unwanted exposure to the UV rays of the sun. Luckily for people, advancements in the skin care industry have made it possible to protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunblocks and sunscreens.
However, with the various types of sunscreens available in the markets, choosing one that suits your requirements and your skin type can turn out to be a complicated process. According to Henry W. Lim, MD at Henry Ford Medical Center, even though choosing the right sunscreen is important, what is more important is using it correctly, something that many people fail to do. Before we proceed with explaining the various types of sunscreens and sunblocks available for you to choose from, it is important to understand how they work.
A sunscreen helps you to protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun. There are two ways by which they accomplish this. Some reflect the rays away from your body while others absorb the rays before they reach your skin. Moreover, there was a time when choosing a sunscreen was just about choosing the desired SPF factor. However, that’s not the case anymore. One of the biggest choices that you need to make is between chemical sunscreens or mineral sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens contain octinoxate, avobenzone and octocrylene while mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. The chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays and release them in the form of heat while the mineral sunscreens reflect the UV rays away from the body. Chemical sunscreens have been commonly used by people over the years while mineral sunscreens are normally used by those who have sensitive skin and those who are averse to chemicals. Both options have been endorsed by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).
Choosing the Right Sunscreen
The main question when choosing among sunscreens is which sunscreen is right for you? Your babies and toddlers are likely to require different types of sunscreens and people with different types of skin also need different solutions. This guide shall help you in choosing the sunscreen that is right for your skin.
- Intense Vs Incidental Exposure – The kind of sunscreen that you use depends on the amount of exposure that you expect. According to some, a sunscreen that offers an SPF of 15 should be enough for people planning to stay in the sun for a few minutes only. It is said that SPF 15 helps to filter out 93% of the radiation and that this should be more than enough. However, we would always suggest you to use sunscreens that offer an SPF of 30. This helps you to block out 97% of the UVA and UVB radiation and helps to keep your skin safe. SPF 50 sunscreens are available as well.
- Sunscreens for your children – Chemical sunscreens can cause irritation to your child’s sensitive skin. Ingredients such as oxybenzone and PABA are commonly associated with skin problems in those with sensitive skin. Make sure that you keep those chemical sunscreens away from your kids. Mineral sunscreens offer a much better alternative as they consist of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, ingredients that don’t cause skin issues and reactions.
- Sunscreens for those suffering from acne, rosacea and allergies – People with allergies and skin issues such as acne and rosacea should avoid fragrances and preservatives at all costs. Ingredients such as oxybenzone and rosacea are also known to be equally harmful. Other things to avoid are sunscreens that consist of alcohol and greasy sunscreens.
- Sunscreens for people with dry skin – The best solution for those suffering from dry skin is to use moisturizer based sunscreens such as Dimethicone.
- Sunscreens for people with fair skin – Those having very fair skin and those suffering from melasma should always use SPF 30 sunscreens. Frequent reapplication (once in every two hours that are spent outdoors and immediately after exercising or swimming) is also important.
- Sunscreens for people with dark skin – Those having dark skin might feel that they hardly require the services of a sunscreen. However, even if you have dark skin, you are still affected by the negative effects of the UV rays. Your skin might not tan easily, but the UV rays definitely lead to a range of skin care issues and lead to aging. Darker skinned people should use chemical sunscreens as the mineral ones can give them a chalky appearance.
- Sunscreens for older people – Even though your skin has already received its fair share of UV rays by the time you become old, you still need to protect whatever is left. Unprotected exposure to the sun at any age can lead to skin care problems and skin cancers. The best solution for older people is to use spray based sunscreens as they might find it difficult to apply sunscreens on their legs and their backs.
Choosing the Right Accessories
Whether you visit a beach or the nearby supermarket, whether its summers or winters, whether you live close to the coast or high up in the mountains, you need to protect yourself from the UV rays of the sun. Apart from using sunscreens and wearing proper clothing, the best way to do so is to accessorize yourself. In fact, accessories are considered to be as important as sunscreens because they help to protect the sensitive areas on your face from direct sunlight. Here is a guide that should help you choose accessories that are important for sun protection.
- Hats – A hat is your first line of defense against the rays of the sun. It prevents the UV rays from reaching the sensitive skin around your eyes and protects your head as well. Make sure that you wear hats that have a three inch brim. This should help you cover your ears and the nape of your neck.
- Sunglasses – Sunglasses are also known to be extremely essential for sun protection. They help you to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes. It is said that almost 5 – 10% of skin cancers originate from your eyelids.
- Swimwear – You shouldalways choose high-UPF swimwear and also select styles that cover more of your skin. Even though you might think that one piece suits are out of fashion, they can really do wonders in terms of skin protection when compared to two piece suits.