A sunny Bali day is the source of great pleasure but also pain if you don’t protect yourself. Understand the science to keep you without reddening, inflammation, and, in severe cases, blistering and peeling caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays.
Let’s shed some light so to speak on how to keep you comfortable in the sun…
Clouds and sun: Wearing a higher sunscreen SPF does NOT mean you can spend all day in the sun without reapplication. You can get a sunburn even on a cloudy day since up to 90% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds. And it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen everyday, no matter what the weather. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
Protect yourself: A sunscreen’s SPF protection is compromised if too little is applied. It takes approximately 30 mL (1 ounce) of sunscreen to cover an average-sized body.
Wearing a higher sunscreen SPF does not mean you do not need to reapply: You should reapply sunscreen every two hours, regardless of the SPF and after swimming, sweating or towel drying.
Protect your little ones: When selecting sunscreen for your children, parents should look for products that are broad spectrum, water resistant for 80 minutes, and always follow reapplication instructions.
Vitamin D facts: Sunscreen does not prevent your body from making Vitamin D. While it’s true that sunscreens do help block out UV rays, no sunscreen blocks 100% of the Vitamin D-producing rays.
What about medications? Certain medications and conditions can increase sun sensitivity. Some medications, including for example certain antibiotics, birth control pills, anti-depressants and heart medications, can affect your sensitivity to the sun.
Sun exposure: Guess what — sun exposure is responsible for up to 90% of the visible signs of skin aging. No product will block all rays. Sunscreen ingredients can absorb, reflect or scatter UV rays before they can penetrate into your skin.
Here’s a sobering fact: Sorry but any tan is a sign of skin damage! You can still enjoy the sun, but be sure to limit your amount of direct exposure and help protect your skin as much as possible. Moderation is key!
Reflect on this: You don’t just squint from the azure Flores Sea, UV rays can be reflected from surfaces that include concrete, sand, water and snow which reflects up to 85% of the sun’s UV rays.
Fabrics: Loosely woven, see-through and/or wet fabrics generally provide minimal protection against UV rays. The protection delivered by fabric depends on their weave, thickness and color. There are also new fabrics with specific UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) labels that provide even more sun protection.
Finally, if you are really light skinned, wear clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Choose a wide-brimmed hat and remember, baseball caps don’t protect the ears or the vulnerable neck area. And be sure sunglasses are labeled to block 99–100% of UV rays with wraparound models offering the most protection.
Health-e reporting with sources: Live Science; Coppertone