By Phillipe Smith
Over the last 5 years, much debate has raged about the use of sunscreens. Groups for and against have debated the safety and commercialization of sunscreens and lotions. So here are the top 10 tips you can follow to help you protect yourself.
Tip #10 - Never follow the old rule of calculating SPF and exposure time. If your skin burns in 5 minutes, an SPF of 30 will NOT allow you to stay in the sun for 150 minutes. As a general rule, apply every 2 hours. If you are exposed to water, apply after every dip in the water. Not just because many ingredients are affected by moisture, but also because reflective water can magnify the UV exposure.
Tip #9 - Always be mindful and know how 'hot' the sun is. On some days, there maybe more cloud cover, but the UV rays may still be penetrating through. On some days, there may be clouds that completely cover the sun, so causing less UV damage. If in doubt, be conservative.
Tip #8 - Discover what ingredients are suitable for you in lotions. There are hundreds of ingredients that go into making the 1500 different brands of sunscreen on the market. By using only trusted brands that have been dermatologist tested, you are minimizing the potential allergic reactions that may occur from any particular ingredient.
Tip #7 - Be aware of how the Sun Protection Factor actually is measured. SPF 100 is not twice as better than SPF 50.
Tip #6 - If you do happen to get burnt, apply remedial action straight away. Aloe vera based lotions are not only soothing but will help alleviate the stress in your skin cells.
Tip #5 - Check that your lotion protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Since in many countries, this is not regulated, you will need to manually check the lotion.
Tip #4 - Eat plenty of antioxidants. Overlooked, but true. What you eat on the inside, shows through on the outside. If you have Vitamin D deficiency, then supplement your diet with Vitamin D.
Tip #3 - The best UV protection is still using clothing. So if you get the chance, slip on a shirt, a hat and something to protect the sensitive areas like around the back of the neck. Tip #2 - Generally it is accepted that a little bit of sun is good for the skin as it promotes vitamin D production. Based on this fact, give your skin a few minutes of sun every day. Do not just hide indoors!
Tip #1 - Know your own skin. If you know that you will burn in 5 minutes, then make sure you get yourself under shade before that time. Even the most trusted sunscreen cannot be beat with real shade.
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