Tips to Avoid the Harmful Effects of the Sun on Your Skin

Medical science says that over 90% of skin cancers are due to sun exposure. It is true that exposure to sun’s UV light causes premature skin aging, sunburn, skin cancer and skin damage. Skin cancer and skin damage risk are associated with the number of sunburns an individual experiences during his or her life time. Physical characteristics such as freckles, blond or red hair, green or blue eyes, moles and fair skin also increase the risk for skin damage, sunburn and skin cancer. However, it is essential that everyone, no matter whether they possess these characteristics or not, must protect their skin from the sun to reduce the harmful effects of UV rays.

Rachel Tate, DO, a member of the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas and a Clinical Practitioner at Arthritis Care and Research Center, grew up with a clinical dermatologist mother. She shares her valuable sun protection tips with us.

      1. Go for sun protective clothing: Earlier, chemical sunscreens were the most commonly available sun protection options. And if it was clothing, hats were the only things that one could imagine. However, today, things have changed. There are fashionable clothing and hats with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) features available.Further, there are also Sun Protection Factor (SPF) athletic wears, swimsuits, and accessories like gloves and scarves available in many retail stores. These provide excellent protection from sun, and can be used by people who want to avoid sunscreen. The only disadvantage with these is their high costs. You can overcome high costs by shopping for these clothing during end-of-season sales when you get good deals.
      2. Go for mineral powder sunscreens: Those who avoid conventional sunscreen due to its greasy feel on the skin, can now opt for powdered mineral sunscreens. These translucent powder sunscreens come with broad spectrum SPF 30. Both females and males can use these. Those who part their hair can use these on their scalps too. People can even apply these on their hands when they are driving vehicles.Some brands of powdered mineral sunscreen are available in tinted colors and shimmers, and these are ideal for makeup coverage and style touch ups. These grease-free sunscreens are skin friendly, especially for people with sensitive skin, and patients with skin conditions like rosacea or lupus. The only disadvantage with using mineral powder sunscreens is that no clear info is available on the amount of these needed to block harmful UVA/UVB. So, it is advised that these are used along with conventional sunscreens to get “double coverage”.
    1. Makeup products with SPF: Certain makeup products containing SPF are effective when applied along with sunscreen. These are available both from costly brands and in drugstores. Further, these are non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic. These come as tinted moisturizers, foundations, compacts, non-tinted “sport” lip balm, and tinted lip balms; and have SPF ranging from 15 to 30. However, while using these you need to reapply these throughout the day to give your skin a complete SPF coverage. This is because sunscreen ingredients are broken down by sweat, water and sunlight.By using these sun protection tips from Rachel Tate, you can protect your skin from the harmful effects of sun. We suggest that you consult a skin specialist before buying and applying any sun protection products on your skin.

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