Yes, soon it’s gonna be that time of year again when there’s quite a ray of Vitamin-D laden sunshine, which is great for the complexion. But, it’s associated impact damages far exceeds the pleasures!
Though the sun’s rays are filtered by the earth’s protective ozone layer, the harmful UV rays aren’t. The UV rays, namely UVA and UVB, are known for their harmful impact. While UVA rays were previously presumed innocent because these so-called ‘tanning rays’ don’t burn, they still do cause long-term damage. UVA penetrates right through the dermis, causing changes in the cell’s DNA and undermining the skin’s elastic support.
The result: Premature ageing. There is also evidence that UVA in implicated in skin cancer. Experts stress that using a sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays is vital in helping prevent the development of skin cancer— the incidence of which is rising faster than any other type of cancer and is increasingly prevalent among women in their 20’s.
Time to stop beating about the bush: Cover up or stay out of the sun when it’s directly overhead.
While dermatologists have tried to ram home the high protection message for years, it has taken time to filter through that sun damage is insidiously cimulative, leading to a host of other skin problems. The growing concern has made skincare products necassry, rather than cosmetic. The increased SPFs now available reflect this. However, high SPF products are not a miracle barrier— their purpose is to extend your skin’s natural protection time. What SPF to use depends on your skin type and where you are in the world.
However, a sunscreen’s prime function is to shield the skin from burning UVB rays, not UVA— a vital point considering Indian skins are more susceptible to damage caused by UVA rays. Moreover, Indian skin types don’t burn easily. Instead, they tan profusely— not the case with the fair-skinned people. So, does it make sense to use products meant for Caucasian skins? No. Indian skins need products specially formulated to protect from both UVA AND UVB rays.
SAVE YOUR SKIN (SOS)
What’s the ideal sunscreen for Indian skins? One that is non greasy, maintains skin’s pH balance and keeps skin from getting tanned (UVA) and sunburnt (UVB). More important is the degree of tan calculated as Tan Protection Index (TPI) and SPF. TPI is a measure of darkened skin when avaluated against unprotected skin.
Think of how smooth and unlined the skin that hasn’t been exposed is— lie on your behind. With adequate sun protection, you can delay the signs of ageing for longer.
So Symphonites, remember! The secret of summer beauty lies in having perfect, glowing skin from head to toe.