by Indira Kasaeva
Hear me out, I’m not saying you should never tan…however there are way too many people slathering themselves in tanning oils and heading out into the scorching MIDDAY sun, and here’s why you really shouldn’t be.
The unrelenting desert climate of the UAE and constant sun exposure holds a series of serious health risks. Exposure to ultraviolet lights consisting of UVB (shorter wavelength) and UVA (longer) suppress the skin’s immune function. Tanning is actually physical evidence of DNA injury to your skin – let that sink in for a moment.
“The danger of unprotected exposure includes sunburn, phototoxic reactions, wrinkles and accelerated ageing, pigmentation and skin cancers. There are also several skin inflammatory conditions that can be aggravated by sun exposure,” said Dr. Umesh, Dubai London Clinic’s, Specialist Dermatologist.
Here’s what you think, and what you should actually know…
Common misconceptions and the facts:
- Tanning is safe if protected. In reality: tanning is physical evidence of DNA injury to your skin
- A few minutes in the sun do you no harm. Hard truth: each dose of ultraviolet radiation, large or small, adds up, leading to skin damage
- If it’s cloudy or you’re indoors you don’t need sunscreen. The fact is, ultraviolet rays are not filtered by clouds, and indirect rays coming through glass still cause damage
- Applying sunscreen once a day is enough. Reality: sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, and even more if swimming or sweating
- A small amount of sunscreen is enough for protection. In fact: an average adult person needs 6 teaspoons of sunscreen lotion applied on all exposed areas.
- Excessive sun protection leads to Vitamin D deficiency. In truth, you need only five minutes (10 minutes for darker skin types) of sun exposure on a small part of your body like the arms and legs, to get your daily vitamin D requirement.
- The best time to tan is when it’s hottest: Actually, that’s the worst time: the harmful UV rays from the sun are strongest when the sun is at its peak in the sky. This is between 10 am and 4 pm – so this is the time you should avoid tanning to save yourself from the harmful effects.
Here’s what you SHOULD be doing to protect your skin:
- Always use SPF, even on cloudy days and throughout the winter on the face & body
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen, as it protects against both UBA and UVB rays
- Apply your protection 30 minutes before exposure, re-apply at the point of sun exposure, and then every two hours. When sweating and swimming, it should be reapplied more often.
Why? Because using sunscreen prevents sunburn, and skin cancer, and delays the ageing process. So, lather up ladies!