GNcareers, from Gulf News

Health & Beauty tips: Time to lather up on sunscreen

Overexposure to sunlight can be more harmful than beneficialImage Credit: Supplied

After an exhausting week, it feels amazing to laze on a beach soaking up the warmth of the sun. However, with summer at its peak, overexposure to sunlight can do more harm than good. Besides minor sunburn, you could end up with serious complications like premature skin aging, a compromised immune system, and skin cancer. 

One cannot stress the importance of wearing sunscreen enough. Essentially, a sunscreen works towards blocking the two harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiations of the sun: UVA and UVB. The sun protection factor (SPF) in the sunscreen is a measure of the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting sunburned, e.g. an SPF 15 sunscreen will prevent sunburn 15 times longer. Generally, sunscreen with an SPF of 15-30 is considered standard with higher potencies recommended for the fair-skinned. 

Experts suggest applying sunscreen diligently and generously. The rule of thumb is to coat all exposed body parts 30 minutes prior to stepping out, and every two hours thereafter. This applies to both adults and children above the age of six months. Infants should be kept away from direct sunlight due to their sensitive skin. 

Even after taking the necessary precautions, carefully examine your skin for possible sun damage from time to time. If you notice any significant changes in appearance, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist right away. 

Handy Hints

 * Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out

 * In hot countries like UAE, use an SPF 50 sunscreen

 * Regularly check your skin for possible sun damage

 Source: Priyanka Wade, Special to Classifieds

 The writer is a freelancer