This is the second in our three-part series on taking care of your skin during summer. Our first post covered how summer heat affects your skin, and in our third post we discuss how to choose the right sunscreen.
Summer 2017 is here! While enjoying the outdoors with sports, beaches and holidays, you must remember to stay protected from the intense summer sun. Excessive sun exposure, especially between 10am – 5pm can potentially cause harmful effects on your skin.
The spectrum of solar induced damage extends from non-threatening conditions like tanning of the skin, pigmentation, freckles, light eruptions and photo-ageing to more severe conditions such as sunburns, photo-toxic reactions, solar induced growths, changes in skin immunity, and even skin cancers.
The sun emits various types of rays, including ultraviolet (UV) and infrared. To learn more about these, check out our previous blog post. In view of these, it is important to understand how to stay “photoprotected”
The ozone layer, along with clouds and pollutant matter in the sky scatter direct rays of sunlight, thus reducing their impact by the time they reach the surface of the earth and your skin.
Darker skin tones tend to be more naturally photoprotected due to the increased melanin content in the skin.
Enhancing your photoprotection
Besides nature’s own ways of keeping your protected from the harmful rays of the sun, there are a handful of things you can do to provide yourself with additional protection.
- Summer tends to bring out light clothes but when out in the sun, keep your skin covered up as much as possible. Darker and thicker – but comfortable — fabrics provide better protection.
- Wear sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, scarves, and UV-protected sunglasses, as these are all photoprotective. (Follow our blog for more on sunscreen in our next blog post)
Also, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- If you are reading this from up in the hills and mountains where there are cooler temperatures, you may assume that the summer sun does not affect you as much. However this is not necessarily true. In fact, the burning effect of the sun can be higher at greater altitudes, since light is not naturally scattered as effectively (we explained this scattering effect earlier). You should also note that if you are in very high altitudes, snow reflects large amounts of light from the sun, which can cause photo damage.
- Similarly, you may assume that being indoors, you are completely protected. While we definitely recommend staying indoors in the middle hours of the day during summer to help minimize the harmful effects of the sun, you can still suffer damage. The sun’s rays are strong enough to hit you through your windows, especially when left open. You can minimize this by using translucent curtains in your home, and applying sunscreen, even if you’ll be inside all day. Tinted windows can also help with blocking UV rays, and darker tints are the most effective.
Stay protected this summer, and keep your skin radiant and healthy. In case you experience any skin issues, or simply want more advice, start your consultation now by clicking: