When the weather’s nice, we’re all tempted to get out and enjoy a sunny day. And in fact, a certain amount of sun exposure is healthy for all of us. But while getting enough light is essential, too much or unprotected sun exposure can lead to premature ageing, wrinkles or even skin cancer. To reduce the risks of sun damage, here are a few ways to effectively protect your skin, hair and eyes.
Don’t Skip on the Sunscreen- The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. The UVA rays can burn your skin, while the UVB rays cause premature ageing signs such as wrinkles and dark spots. To protect your skin, it is very important to use a sunscreen that contains at least SPF 15, and preferably SPF 30 or 50. Apply about 30 minutes before stepping out into the sun, and reapply every two hours.
Get Fishy- Research shows that consuming omega-3 fish oils protect against sun damage and boosts immunity against the sun. These fatty acids safeguard skin cells from harmful radiation and control how the body responds to UV rays. In addition to taking omega-3 supplements, there are plenty of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, sardines, eggs, walnuts, soybeans and chia seeds.
All-In on Antioxidants- Spinach, cherries, blackberries and kale are all rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, which protect the skin cells from the sun’s harmful rays. Fruits high in vitamins C and E such as mango, papaya, avocado, pumpkin and guava can actually reverse the ageing effects of sun damage.
Eye Opener- Did you know that it’s equally important to protect your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun as it is to safeguard your skin? Strong ultraviolet radiation can damage the eyes’ sensitive cells and affect the vision. Long-term exposure to the sun can result in serious eye problems such as cataracts. To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses that transmit no more than 1% UVB and 1% UVA rays. And always remember to choose sunglasses that cover the sides of your face, so that the ultraviolet rays do not reach your eyes.
Mind Your Minerals- Another factor that can play a role in preventing sun damage is eating foods that are rich in minerals. Zinc and magnesium deficiencies can result in photosensitivity and sun rashes. Zinc oxide offers a broad sun protection from both UVB and UVA rays. To protect your skin from the sun, consume more foods that are rich in zinc, such as lamb, dark chocolate, chicken, toasted wheat bran, pork, nuts, beans and legumes. Foods that are high in magnesium include almonds, pumpkin seeds, black beans and yogurt.
Hold onto Your Hat- In addition to protecting your skin and eyes, it is essential to shield your hair and scalp from the harmful rays of the sun. The sun’s rays can be harsh on the scalp, causing dryness and sunburn. The heat from the sun also makes your hair dry and it loses its moisture. The best way to protect your hair from further damage is to always wear a hat or scarf before stepping out. Using hair products that contain good amounts of SPF also helps.
Cover Up- Before stepping out, make sure you cover yourself with long-sleeved clothing that shields your skin from the sun’s rays. Darker clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks the sun’s ray more than white or loosely woven fabric. For extra protection, choose clothing made with special sun-protective materials.
So by all means, get out and enjoy the day. But keep these simple tips in mind to stay healthy and make sure your skin looks its best! – Akhila