With the climate changes, it is becoming more and more important to protect our skin from sun damage. Before, it was only necessary to do so, during the sunny summer months, but nowadays it is necessary to protect our skin year round. Our body’s skin provides a protective barrier around our body, for this reason it desires tender care to keep it healthy. We need to give extra attention to our skin whenever we are exposed to the sun, which includes even during the winter months. The solar rays are not affected by the bitter cold, so they can still be aggressive and harmful.
One of the reasons that it is recommended to take care of our skin is because it is the biggest organ in our body. It performs three main duties. First, it is a protective barrier against external factors. Secondly, it can sense different sensations and lastly, it controls our bodily temperature. Our skin is made up of two main parts: the outer cover that is called the epidermis and the inner layer that is called dermis.
Solar light produces infrared rays (heat), visible light (colors), and ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB). The latter is responsible for giving us that nice tanned skin and for transforming cells that could cause skin cancer.
The greatest amount of radiation from the sun is between 10am to 4pm. Exposure to the ultraviolent light during these hours is the most aggressive and carcinogenic.
Sun block or sunscreen can only provide protection from these rays for a specified amount of time (specially is exposed to UVB rays) and do not erase all of the sun’s affect on us.
Sun block should be applied about 30 to 45 minutes before being exposed to the sun. They are easily removed by sweating and contact with water. For this reason, it is necessary to reapply frequently, every 3 hours, and most importantly, after getting wet or swimming.
Newborns and babies under the age of 6 months should not be exposed to the direct sunlight or you should not apply sun block on their skin. Only after 6 months of age should you begin to apply sunblock, this will get them used to the habit of wearing sunblock from their infancy onward.
Only use sunblock that has been solely designed for use on babies or small children.
Adults need to be exposed to direct sunlight daily, as it is one of the main sources of vitamin D. But we should avoid trying to achieve that deep dark tan and of course, sunburns. But caution is needed because an adult’s skin is very sensitive to solar exposure and radiation, which can buildup in our skin’s cellular composition, leading to a higher risk of skin cancer as we age.