S.O. Sun Safe Tips
UV RAYS: THE RISK IN A NUTSHELL
UV rays penetrate your skin even when you are not aware of UV exposure because UV rays are invisible to the naked eye. Even on rainy days when the sun is not visible, UV rays still penetrate through the clouds. Moreover, UV rays are not only found in direct sunlight, but also in all reflected light.
UV exposure causes the generation of free radicals both inside and outside of cells. Your skin stores a memory of exposure over time and this type of harmful, cumulative UV damage surfaces as signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots. When cellular DNA is damaged byUV rays or free radicals, there is a risk of cell mutation and even skin cancer. Additionally, exposure to UV rays damages langerhans cells which are responsible for triggering immune function and activating lymph nodes when foreign substances are detected. This prevents the body from properly maintaining its defense systems, thereby decreasing immune function.
UVA rays: weaker and longer wavelength – cause premature aging, wrinkles, eye damage and skin cancer.
UVB rays: stronger and medium wavelength – responsible for sunburn and skin cancer.
UVC rays: shortest wavelength – most dangerous, but do not penetrate ozone layer and do not reach the Earth.
Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays in all directions by blocking these rays at the surface of the skin.
- Apply sunscreen generously with minimum SPF 15 and UVA/UVB protection to exposed parts of your body daily. Reapply every 2 hours if you’re in direct sun, especially after perspiring, swimming or towel-drying.
- Use mineral sunscreens (titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide), avoid chemical sunscreens (anything containing oxybenzone, avobenzone/parsol 1789, octocrylene, octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, paba, padimate o). Mineral actives reflect and scatter rays without penetrating healthy skin, providing the most effective and stable UVA & UVB protection. Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin in relatively large quantities and can disrupt the body’s hormone system.
- Take the time to properly apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Mineral sunscreen is naturally thicker in consistency and texture, so application takes a bit longer, but the results are superior and healthier to the chemical alternatives. The virtue of patience!
- Reducing the quantity of application will lower the level of protection significantly. A sufficient amount for your entire body is 1 ounce, or about 2 tablespoons.
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure, even when using a sunscreen product.
- Over-exposure to sun is a serious health threat.
- Try to stay out of the sun between 10AM and 4PM, the hottest hours of the day.
- Wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
- Keep newborns out of the sun and only use sunscreens on babies over the age of 6 months.
- Examine your skin thoroughly and regulary and see your physician annually for a professional skin exam. Early detection is best.