by BETHANY LU Staff Writer
The wondrous season of summer brings many things – no school, shorts, flip flops, the beach, and of course, the sun. Especially after this year’s hot spring, it is only reasonable to keep yourself sun-safe.
The sun’s UV rays are never your best friend. In fact, they are a threat to your health, and they are the main reason why you are becoming a shade darker or why those small brown dots are appearing on your face. In other words, these harmful rays are able to penetrate deeply through your skin, damaging layers of healthy skin cells.
The effects include sunburns, eye damage, premature wrinkles, and many types of skin cancer. Like most doctors would say, it is better to protect yourself now rather than suffer the long-term consequences.
And they are right.
“I know [going out in the sun] has a probability of causing skin cancer and I don’t want a harmful illness like that to affect my life,” says freshman Pari Pandey.
We have been told countless times to put on sunscreen because it protects us. Sunscreen includes a material called UVB, which absorbs all those ultraviolet rays and reflects them out to prevent these harmful chemicals to come into our bodies.
Most sunscreen bottles label the sun protection factor (SPF) on the front, allowing buyers to see how effective the UVB is against rays. Higher numbers guarantee better results, so it is important to choose based on effectiveness.
“I’ve been told many times to wear sunscreen before I go outside to keep me safe from the sun. I usually wear sunscreen with SPF 30 because it’s what my doctor recommends,” says freshman Bria Singh.
As much as we love to lie down on our beach chairs on an 80 degrees day while hoping for a “natural-looking” tan, it is not in our best interest to go overboard. Half an hour is tolerable, but tanning for more than an hour can cause serious skin damage.
Try to limit your direct exposure with the sun, especially between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Have a cover up, a hat, sunglasses, fifteen minute breaks under the shade, and anything that prevents damage. Do not worry about not having that golden looking skin. Rather, think about the condition of your health.
After your daily dose of sun, there are still musts to avoid further skin cell damage.
Exfoliation is a key method because it removes the dead and damaged skin cells laying on the surface on your skin. That is the place where you are most affected by the sun. By doing this once or twice a week, you are ensuring that these sun-injured cells will leave your skin, slowly fading those unwanted dark sunburns. It may take weeks, but give it a go.
Feeling confident? Then start these preventions and get to your sun activities. Remember to put your health as first priority rather than the “golden skin.”
What do you do to stay sun-safe?