How to protect your skin from the sun?
The sun is essential to life thanks to its draining and revitalizing actions on the body. It helps boost morale and better synthesize vitamin D, essential for preserving immunity and good bone structure.
From a beauty and aesthetic point of view, the sun allows you to look good and have a pretty tanned complexion. However, we must not forget that the sun can present major health risks. It has negative impacts on the skin, eyes, but also on the hair. It can dry out the scalp, cause dandruff to appear, and make hair drier and brittle.
80% of skin cancers could have been avoided by protecting yourself from the sun. There are three distinct ones which are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
These cancers cause more than 1,500 deaths per year . It is therefore important to be aware of the dangers linked to the sun and to adopt all sun protection measures.
Expose yourself for a reasonable amount of time
During summer periods, it is not recommended to expose yourself to the sun between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. During this time interval, ultraviolet rays are very intense. They are responsible for sunburn, accelerated skin aging and skin cancer. In the eyes, they can cause photokeratitis , cataracts and serious damage to the retina.
Among these ultraviolet rays, we distinguish UVB which penetrates the skin and stops at the epidermis, UVA which, for their part, penetrates much further and goes to the dermis .
In summer, the ideal is to expose yourself to the sun twice a week, for 15 to 30 minutes. This is sufficient to properly synthesize vitamin D. During this season, it has been estimated that the body can produce approximately 10,000 IU of vitamin D during 20 minutes of exposure to the sun.
In winter, it is recommended to expose yourself to the sun every day to avoid having vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.
Use sun protection adapted to your skin
What does sun protection consist of?
A sunscreen product is a cosmetic preparation containing chemical filters that absorb UV and mineral screens that reflect UV.
Some individuals are more sensitive to UV rays because they naturally have less melanin in their skin. Typically, they have a pale complexion, blue eyes, or blond or red hair.
For children, pregnant women and sensitive skin reactive to the sun, mineral screens should be preferred to chemical filters likely to cause allergic reactions.
The sunscreen product to protect the body comes in the form of milk, spray, foam, lotion or oil. It must be adapted to the exposure conditions (its duration and the power of solar radiation).
For the face, it is essential that the sunscreen is adapted to the type of skin (dry, normal, combination, oily, etc.).
Sunscreen should be applied evenly before exposure to the sun to all exposed parts of the body, including the hands, ears and tops of the feet. Its application must be renewed every 2 hours or after bathing.
What does the “SPF” indication on sunscreen mean?
The SPF (Sun Protector Factor) is the index found on the labels of sunscreen products, it represents its level of protection. It blocks UVB and prevents sunburn. However, it does not prevent all the dangers of ultraviolet light, so you must limit the duration of exposure and use other means of protection such as a hat, sunglasses or even light clothing.
There are four levels of protection : very high (SPF 50+), high (SPF 50 to 30), medium (SPF 25 to 15) and low (SPF 6 to 10). The choice of index depends on the person's skin type, the lighter the skin, the higher the index should be.
Prepare your skin well before exposure
To promote a tan and prevent sunburn, it is important to prepare your skin before exposure to the sun.
Make a scrub
Before exposure to the sun, it is advisable to exfoliate to remove dead cells and other impurities present on the skin. A massage lasting several minutes can help stimulate blood and lymphatic microcirculation, which promotes cell renewal.
After exposure, you should avoid taking a shower that is too hot and using products and treatments that are too harsh. A mask or natural treatment based on aloe vera, for example, is ideal for hydrating the skin and keeping your tan longer. Other tips to follow to maintain healthy skin.
Eat a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and beta-carotene
To ensure better exposure without getting sunburned, it is advisable to eat as many colorful fruits and vegetables as you like. Rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene and antioxidants, they help form a protective film on the epidermis. The skin thus becomes protected from oxidative stress , pollution as well as UV rays which cause wrinkles, spots and dryness.
In addition, they increase the production of melanin in the body, which is a dark brown pigment that colors the skin. This therefore helps to naturally accelerate the tan.
The foods to favor are carrots, oranges, mangoes, apricots, peppers, beets, or even tomatoes and watermelon which are rich in lycopene. It is a red carotenoid pigment that protects the skin against free radicals and protects dermis cells from oxidation.
Alongside a good diet, using beauty food supplements is an effective solution to properly prepare your skin before sun exposure. These products help prevent sunburn and stimulate a quick, even tan.
Drink enough water to stay well hydrated
Finally, when exposed to the sun, it is essential to drink enough water to rehydrate and be in good shape. Drinking less than 1.5L per day can cause dryness of the skin.
Certain drinks such as coffee, tea or sugary drinks should be avoided because they increase urine secretion and therefore increase the risk of dehydration.
Please note, alcohol is strongly discouraged because it increases the skin's sensitivity to light. A production of molecules will be generated and destroy healthy cells.
In the event of photosensitivity reactions (sun allergies), or if the skin has been severely damaged by the sun, you should promptly consult a doctor or dermatologist who will prescribe appropriate treatment.