Things to Know for a HEALTHY Summer Glow 🌞
Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It protects us from sunlight, heat, injury, and infection. There’s no other season that makes us more susceptible to overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation than the summer. So, let’s take a moment to consider the necessity of protecting our skin from the dangers of exposure to UV radiation.
Most of our daily UV exposure comes from the sun, but some may come from indoor tanning beds and sun lamps. Even though UV rays make up only a very small portion of the sun’s rays they are the main cause of the sun’s damaging effects on our skin. UV rays damage the DNA of skin cells which is how long-term skin conditions can occur.
Overexposure to UV radiation causes negative health consequences from sunburns to long-term skin conditions, as well as cause eye damage, eye cataracts, skin aging, growths on the skin, and suppression of the immune system.
The strength of UV rays reaching the grounds depends on a number of factors from the time of day (UV rays are strongest between 10am to 4pm), the season (spring and summer), altitude, and cloud cover. Sometimes cloud cover blocks some of the UV rays from the sun and lowers our overall exposure, however UV rays can still get through even on a cloudy day.
By learning the risks associated with too much sun exposure and taking the right precautions, you can help ensure that everyone can enjoy the sun and the outdoors safely.
Stay in the Shade - Since the UV rays are most intense at midday, staying in the shade, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm will help protect your skin.
Cover Up - Wearing shade-protective clothing like a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses are a great (and stylish!) way of partly shielding your skin. Consider wearing a rash guard the next time you hit the beach, your skin will thank you for it!
Choose the Right Sunscreen - In case you ever wondered, SPF — a labeling you often find on a sunscreen bottle — stands for “sun protection factor.” This measures the sunscreen protection we get from UVB rays. It’s important to choose a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 15. Darker skin types can use these lower level SPF sunscreen because they have more melanin in their skin which does give some protection. However, most, if not all, should start with SPF 30s to limit the amount of UV rays absorbed.
Apply the Right Amount of Sunscreen - No sunscreen can block all UV rays. SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Every bit of extra protection can be beneficial. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people only apply about 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it’s important that you apply at least one ounce, or a palmful, of sunscreen every two hours. And importantly, apply it more often if you are sweating or swimming even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
Take supplements - UV overexposure causes wrinkles and brown spots. Oligonol, a type of polyphenol from a class of antioxidants found in green tea, chocolate and berries, has been found to lessen wrinkles and brown spots, especially among ages 40-plus.* This antioxidant helps improve skin elasticity and slows aging.* Stock up now with QOL’s Oligonol supplement!
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