Get sun smart this summer, and your skin will thank you decades later. Here is a bit of news that you will find hard to believe but is true: 90 per cent of the things that depress you when you look in the mirror are caused not by age but by ultraviolet light-creases, blotches, little white sports, thickening, sagging, wrinkling, and swallowing.Years of sun exposure can devastate and dramatically age even the finest and healthiest of skins. Fair skin gets parchment-thin with freckling, dilated broken capillaries, age sports, and rough, red patches. Those with brown skins have a decade’s grace before they stat wrinkling, but even they don’t get by unscathed, dark skin becomes coarse-looking with deep furrows. The sun’s cancer-causing UV-B rays are, for the most part, blocked by the ample stores of melanin in dark skin. But the longer UA-V rays, which may not directly, promote cancer but do cause wrinkling, penetrate to the dermis regardless of skin color.How, then, can you prepare your skin to weather the season and avoid long term damage? The answer is quite simple: Choose a good sunscreen (it is the only over-the-counter product that truly helps prevent premature wrinkles!), and take steps to block out the sun. Here is how you begin.Toss out your old sunscreen. Most people start thinking about sunscreens only when they begin to feel the heat of the harsh summer sun. But make no mistake: you need sunscreen throughout the year, more especially in a country like India where the sun reigns high no matter what the season. So, if your cabinets are harboring relics from last summer-half-empty bottles of outmoded, decomposing sunscreens, check the expiration date , and dump any that sells odd, looks curdled, or has separated,
as well as any that is too irritating or iily for your complexion. Also chuck those that don’t limit damage from both kinds of ultraviolet light, UAV and UVB.Pick the best SPF. You’ve heard it a million timesUse a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. But after that , the guidelines get sketchier. Meanwhile, stores are swimming in foreign sunscreen lotions with SPF 30,45, even 60. Which one’s best for you?Before you decide, you need to understand what SPF means. The term, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Is designed to help you figure out how long a product will letyou stay in the sun before you burn. An SPF 15 lotion lets you linger there 15 times longer than if your akin were unprotected; and SPF 8 sunscreen, eight times longer.The sky variable: Your coloring, if you’re very fair and burn after ten minutes of sun, SPF 15 gives you about 150 minutes of protection: if you take 20 minutes to redden, it protects you for 300 minutes, or five hours(SPF refers only to UVB light)Thus SPF 15 is fine for olive-skinned people, blocking about 94 per cent of UVB. Darker skins on the other hand can get away with SPFs of 8 to 12. Melanin, the pigment which gives skin its color is a natural sunscreen, which is why few ASIANS get skin cancer. But dark skin does get lines, and furrows, so if you want to prevent wrinkles you should always wear sunscreen, no matter what the season.
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