Monday, 23 June 2014

The Sun and UV Radiation

I am going to address an issue that I believe is known however is not acknowledged enough. This is the sun and the ultraviolet rays from the sun and the effects it has on the human body.

This post falls under the category of human, health and beauty as I am going to address the effects it has on our body and what beauty products we can use to prevent and reduce the harming consequences.

My mum, dad, grandparents and now my boyfriend's parents tell me that I should never stay in the sun for too long and to always wear sun cream if I am outside in the Summer.

My family is very aware of this subject. This is because my Granddad has skin cancer. He explained that as a child he would play outside all day during the Summer without wearing any sun protection, as it was not available where he lived. As an adult, he and my Granny lived in Bermuda. He further explained that while he was there, he did not take enough precautions to the dangerous UV rays.

Adding to that, my Granddad comes from Ireland. In Ireland skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. It is common as there are human traits that naturally increase the chances of getting skin cancer. These are: fair hair, light skin (with moles and freckles), light eyes (blue, green, grey). There are other traits that can also increase the risk. One is if you have a history in sunburns or a near family member suffered or currently suffers from any form of skin cancer.

Due to my family’s awareness for this subject and what I have learnt from their understanding, the dangers the sun can have became obvious to me. However, it unfortunately also because apparent to me that not everybody is as aware, perhaps due to their background and the way they have been brought up with the subject.

I went to Portugal last week with some friends of mine. While on days out to the beach or near by towns, the amount of people with sunburns shocked me. Understandably, when it is Summer or when it is lovely weather, we want to appreciate it, enjoy the outdoors and perhaps get a tan! Some find this easier than others which is hugely due to their genetic background and how much exposure to the sun their skin is used too.

UV Radiation: Health Effects

Too much exposure to the sun results in too much exposure to ultraviolet rays.

There are countless effects the UV rays can have on our body. Here, I am going to address the ones I believe are the most common and the ones that people may not be aware off.

1.     Skin cancer
The first ones are non-lethal and lethal skin cancer. One form of skin cancer is Melanoma that is lethal between 15-20% of the cases. An early detection of the illness is a vital factor in recovery.

2.     Sunburns
Next are sunburns. The enlargement of the blood vessels causes the reddening of the skin. If the burn is severe, some cells in the epidermis layer of the skin die and peel off. This clearly shows the damaging consequences as your skin cells are in fact dying!    

3.     Cataract
Lastly, the UV rays can cause cataracts in your eyes. A cataract is the clouding of the lens that causes loss of vision. Anyone who is exposed to the UV rays is at risk of damaging their eyes as well as their skin. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection is a brilliant investment. Also, a fashionable sun hat that covers your face is a good idea!

4.     Vitamin D
There is one advantage of the exposure of the UV rays. This is your vitamin D! In the epidermis layer of the skin there are cells that are able to synthesis the vitamin for your body. This does not mean you need to stay in the sun all day to get enough vitamin D. 20 minutes, two times a week during the hottest time of the day will provide your full vitamin D uptake. Ultimately, you do not need to be in the sun very much and if you are try to stay in the shade.

Beauty Products With SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

As I am aware of the risks the ultraviolet radiation has on the human body, I take several precautions concerning my beauty product routine.

Clinique 'City Block Sheer'
A very delicate part of the human body is the face. It is my face that I try to take good care of. One product I use is the Clinique City Block Sheer, with an SPF of 25. I use this oil-free daily face protector daily during the warmer months of the year. There is no oil so it sits comfortable on the face. I am not one to wear foundation during this time of the year. However, the City Block Sheer has a moisturizing foundation consistency and thus gives the small amount of coverage I prefer.
Rituals 'Sun Protection Face Cream'

Another face protector you could use is the Rituals ‘Sun Protection Face Cream’. This is a face moisturizer that leaves your face feeling smooth and safe from any harm. It has a SPF of 30, which is high for a face product. 
Palmer's 'Cocoa Butter Formula'
The part of the body that people tend to forget is the lips, which too is extremely delicate. During the very cold and very hot months my lips dry out and begin to chip, which is why I always make sure I use lip balm to keep them soft and succulent. During the hotter months you must incorporate a lip balm with SPF into your beauty routine. The one that I have been using is the Palmer’s ‘Cocoa Butter Formula’ with a SPF of 15.I love this product! The taste is yummy and feels amazing on my lips.
Mac 'Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation'
For those of you who do like to have some coverage on your face during the summer, there are plenty of foundations that offer SPF protection! Two that I currently use throughout the year are ‘Studio Sculpt’ by Mac with an SPF of 15. Another is Benefit’s ‘Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow’ with an even higher SPF of 25. 
Benefit 'Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow'
It should be noted that foundations with SPF tend to be pricier than those without. I however do believe it is worth the investment, as it will keep your face protected. That said, make sure you purchase the product as a foundation that works for you before you buy it just for the SPF!
Garnier 'Milk Anti-dehydration'
For the rest of my body, I use a sun cream, lotion or spray. To start of the day I apply a sun cream. In this case I am using a sun cream with a SPF of 30, by Garnier. I suggest to use a thick sun cream in the morning. This is because it can be a little messy to apply if done during the day, however it will give a thick safety coverage. 
Garnier 'Transparent Body Spray'
For later on in the day when your protection needs touching up, I suggest using a sun spray. These are not messy at all and are great for putting in your beach bag or hand bag when on a day out for that must needed touch up spray. This is a Garnier liquid spray that I used whenever I went out in Portugal. A handy and safe purchase. 
Rituals 'Sun Protection Lotion'
Another sun protection lotion is this one by Rituals, with an SPF of 30. Like the face cream up above, this is a very light and moisturising lotion. This a small gift size version that is perfect for slipping into your hand bag.
Garnier 'Aftersun'
When I get home after a day in the sun my skin feels very hot. This is the time when you must rehydrate and moisturise your skin. To rehydrate your skin, you must use after sun, which brings your skin back to life and leaves it feel cool and replenished. At the moment I am using another Garnier product, their aftersun. I love this product as it has a fresh and yummy smell. I find that this spray is an all in one aftersun and body mist!
Rituals 'Aftersun Hydrating Lotion'
Another product that you can use is this aftersun lotion by Rituals. This is a lotion rather than a spray. It is perfect if you want to massage the life back into your skin. 
Be sure to click the link below to watch my video on this matter over on my YouTube channel! Give a thumbs up if you like the video and you are welcome to subscribe and follow this blog. Come back from more blog post on health, beauty and style related posts! xoxo

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