Inexhaustible source of energy and life, the sun is related with the most carefree and happy time of year, the summer. Without overlooking the unique benefits of sunshine for the overall well-being, provided a rational and controlled sun exposure, we need to emphasize that the sun poses several risks in cases of prolonged exposure. The most common effect of solar radiation on the skin is redness.
However, excessive and chronic exposure may have serious health effects, e.g., premature skin aging, even skin cancer. Depending on skin type and other factors, the exposure time, in which ultraviolet radiation can cause the serious aforementioned situations, differs from one person to another.
ULTRAVIOLET RAYS (UV)
UVA radiation penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB, while its action is continuous throughout the day and year. The UVA rays are responsible for premature skin ageing, while long-term exposure – especially since childhood – can lead to skin cancer.
UVB radiation is most intense during summer months, with the intensity peaking during early afternoon. UVB radiation is responsible for burns and rashes on the skin caused by sun exposure. Chronic exposure to this type of ultraviolet radiation can also lead to skin cancer.
UVC radiation is the most threatening kind. However, it is absorbed by the ozone layers and thus does not reach the earth’s surface.
VISIBLE LIGHT (VL)
Visible light is defined as the wavelengths that are visible to most human eyes. In other words, it comprises all the colors that a human sees with the naked eye. It is connected to oxidative stress and persistent hyper pigmentation.
INFRARED RAYS (IR)
Infrared radiation is invisible to the eye, it can be detected as a sensaion of warmth on the skin.
… AND THE SKIN
The skin is a vital organ of the human body, as it protects all the internal organs from the external environment. The outer layer of skin is the epidermis, below which lies the corium, the inner skin layer. A very important skin function is protecting the body from the harmful effects of UV radiation through melanin, a pigment produced by melanocytes.
Τhe skin is also involved in a process of great importance for the good health of the human organism: the formation of vitamin D.
TIPS FOR HOLISTIC SUNCARE PROTECTION AND A GLOWING TAN
…FOR THE FIRST DAY
- Sun exposure should not exceed 30 minutes, the first few days, if you want to avoid sunburn. Slow tanning is better, lasts longer and is safer, healthwise.
- If you have very light – sensitive skin, the initial sun exposure time should be about 15-30 minutes. The duration can be increased by 10 minutes, every two days of continuous exposure.
- If you have light skin, usually with freckles, that gets sunburned almost always and never tans, experts recommend an SPF 50/SPF 50+ sunscreen, for the first few days of sun exposure.
- If you have skin that burns occasionally and tans easily, usually brown hair and eyes, typical Mediterranean skin type, experts recommend, initially, an SPF 20-30 sunscreen.
- If you have dark – brown skin that never burns and tans very easily, experts recommend an SPF 15-20 sunscreen, for the first few days of sun exposure.
…FOR THE WHOLE SUMMER
1. Sunscreen should be applied at least half an hour before expected sun exposure, applying adequate quantity all over the body.
2. Avoid exposure to the sun during midday hours (11am – 4pm). Over-exposure to the sun, even while using a sunscreen product,
is a serious health threat.
3. The type of the sunscreen and the SPF selection should be based on the skin type.
For light skin tone choose an SPF 30 – 50.
For medium skin tone choose an SPF 10 – 25.
4. Babies and small children should not be exposed to direct sunlight. They should be protected with a hat, sunglasses and a light cool t-shirt.
5. Repeat often, especially after swimming, toweling and perspiring.
…FOR THE DESIRED TAN
1. Get prepaired with a facial and body scrub. Smooth skin is the basis of an even tan result.
2. Apply the sunscreen on face and body, at least 15-30 minutes before expected sun exposure and reapply frequently, especially after swimming, towelling and perspiring.
Remember that, according to skin type, it is wise to start with a higher SPF product and work your way down as your tan progresses.
3. Spread your sunscreen evenly. Don’ t neglect areas like inner knees and wrists, the upper side of the feet, shoulders and bust. Pay attention to body parts with excessive perspiration, since the latter liquifies the sunscreen, weakening its effectiveness.
4. Go to the beach without make-up. Cosmetic products prevent the skin from sweating and might cause discolorations or rashes.
5. Once at home, take a cool or lukewarm bath. Cleanse your face thoroughly, using a lotion. While applying your body moisturiser, let a rich layer of a hydrating mask replenish your face. Keeping your face and body moisturised. It is vital not only for the battle against dehydration and appearance of wrinkles but to the preservation of your tan, as well.
6. Carrot juice is a valuable ally, ready to help you get the tan of your dreams!
1.Do not use perfume or cologne before and during sun exposure, to avoid the occurrence of photo allergies and skin discolorations.
2.Get hydrated! Prefer water and make sure you drink about 2 liters per day. Sweat and sun exposure tend to reduce moisture in the skin, which is essential for the complexion’s good health and youthfulness.
3.The skin needs water just as the rest of the body. However, exposure to the sun reduces natural moisture levels. Therefore, every day, especially after sunbathing and showering, it is a good idea to apply an after sun lotion or cream. Thus, the skin retains its elasticity and softness.
4.To help your skin and keep it bright and youthful, remember that the consumption of fresh juices, fruit and vegetables improves its quality and healthy appearance.