The story of a 25-year-old British beautician went viral when the skin on her forehead began to look like plastic after prolonged exposure to the sun. This case highlighted the importance of sunscreen for skin protection. It’s essential to go out in the sun, whether it’s for daily chores or work, but prolonged exposure to the sun can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to some serious conditions.
Beautician Sirin Murad suffered ‘plastic skin’ after sleeping outside in the 21C sun without sunscreen on a Bulgarian beach.
Therefore, it is important to know the measures to take to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.
Health Shots contacted skin specialist Dr. Anupriya Goel, Berkowitz Hair and Skin Clinic, to learn about the harmful effects of sun exposure and the necessary precautions.
Harmful effects of direct sunlight
According to experts, direct sunlight can expose you to UV-A and UV-B rays.
UV-A radiation can cause premature aging of the skin. It also causes changes at the level of the deeper layers of the skin, which damage collagen and reduce skin elasticity.
UV-B rays cause skin tanning and may also be responsible for skin cancer. Fortunately, Indians have high melanin cells in their skin, which makes us less vulnerable to skin cancer.
Keep these things in mind before going out in the sun
Sunscreen is very important
Sunscreen is your real weapon to protect you from the high risk of sun exposure. It goes without saying that your beauty vanity or everyday bag should never be without sunscreen. The most important thing to remember before you go out is to use sunscreen on your face, whatever the weather.
Dr Goyal says, “Make sure you always choose a sunscreen that should have at least SPF-30. The star rating category PA helps protect skin from UVA rays, while SPF protects skin from harmful UVB rays. The PA star category should have at least three stars. Also, make sure you apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. If you are in direct sunlight, you should reapply every 2 hours.
Pro tip: Another thing to watch out for is the amount of sunscreen you apply daily. You should apply at least half a teaspoon or 3 ml of sunscreen to your face.
Wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the strong rays of the sun
In addition to applying sunscreen, you can also wear covered clothing to protect yourself from sunburn in the scorching heat. So you can wear a cotton shirt with full sleeves, a summer hat or an umbrella to beat the heat. Covering your body can go a long way to protecting your skin from the harsh rays of the sun.
On the other hand, if you can’t wear a full-body cover, you can apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your body, such as your arms or neck.