The sunlight comprises of infrared, visible and ultraviolet rays which penetrate through the earth’s atmosphere to reach us. Beside, giving warmth and light to us and the plants for photosynthesis the sunlight has multiple other benefits.
Sunlight helps in synthesis of vitamin D in our body. It also enhances our focus and alertness as compared to artificial light. Due to its analgesic affect it acts like a natural painkiller. Sunlight also makes our body release serotonin which helps in improving our mood.
But where sunlight is beneficial, it comes with its fair share of disadvantages. The harmful UV rays of the sun causes photo aging; skin becomes coarse and wrinkled, appearance of brown spots, barrier lipids are destroyed resulting in inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that effects healthy cell growth and stimulation of collagen harming enzymes.
The common signs and symptoms of a heatstroke include:
• Skin that is too hot to touch
• Excessive sweating
• Dizziness or disorientation
• Rapid heartbeat
• Nausea or vomiting
Before exposing your skin to the rays of the sun you need to take some precautions to avoid long-lasting adverse effects on your skin.
1. Avoid The Sun
It is best not to go out in the sun from 10 AM to 4 PM because the sun is hottest meaning the UV rays are also at its highest. Even if you are out in this time period try to remain in shades as much as possible or you could probably use your own shade like a hat or an umbrella.
Preferably, heavy physical activity should be done in the morning and evening. But if you have to work in the midday then be sure to have one cup of water every 15-20 minutes.
2. Hydration Is Essential
Water is required to maintain body temperature otherwise one might suffer from headaches and dizziness. Hydration helps improve mood, aids in transport of nutrients and cleanse the body of toxins, helps in digestion and weight management.
On an average a male should have 13 cups of water and females should have 9 cups of water per day. Sports drinks are not advisable even though they are high in electrolytes; because ofthe presence of sugar that increase the calorie content. Caffeine and alcohol are to be completely avoided in the summer heat as they can dehydrate us.
Cool off if you feel overheated. A revitalizing toner, or cooling off with a wet towel, a shower or a swim are great ways to beat the heat.
Exfoliation means removing dead skin which is most likely to build up in the summer heat. It helps in improving hydration from toners and moisturizers and prevents the skin from clogging and acne breakouts. Using an exfoliating glove, pumice stone or toner keeps our skin soft and firm and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It also prevents skin discoloration and uneven tones speeding up your skin’s renewal process.
Exposure to the sun too often causes sunburns, wrinkles, premature aging and even skin cancer. To minimize the effect of UVR you must apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun. Sunscreen should be of a high SPF number and applied frequently so that it does not wear out completely. You can also choose a sunscreen according to your skin type. Spray sunscreens are preferred because it can be applied on the scalp and ears also which we usually leave out.
In summers never leave your skin directly exposed to sunlight. Wear light layers of cotton clothing, preferably full sleeves and pants. Dark colored clothes provide more sun protection than light clothing even though they are good absorbers of heat. Always keep an umbrella with you and wear hats in the sun with a 3-inch brim all around as it also protects the neck.
Check the UV index and wear sunglasses to avoid the sun’s glare. Wear dark shades that keep out UV rays and also block light from the sides. Long time exposure to UV rays can cause eye cataracts.
Certain cosmetic ingredients such as retinol and AHAs can cause photosensitivity. Also, some medications are known to have photosensitive or photo allergic effects, hence it is advisable to consult the doctor if rash or dermatitis occurs on exposure to the sun.
Zyana Morris is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently working for Centra Care Florida, a Tampa urgent care provider.