A lot of us think of tanning as a way to achieve a unique colour for our skin. However, it’s much more than that. Overexposure to the Sun exposes our skin to harmful UVA rays which penetrate the innermost layer of our skin’s surface. It triggers melanin production which causes the darkening of the skin. The risk doesn’t end with the change of colour. Along with skin issues like pigmentation and redness, UV radiation increases the risk of skin cancer as well.
How Is Climate Change Affecting The Process Of Skin Tanning?
Over a long period of time, weather patterns of the planet have changed. From temperature to seasons, everything has been affected including our skin. With the increasing rate of change in the climate, the risk of skin-related human diseases is also accelerating. The depletion of Ozone is well-linked to climate change. As the protective layer around the Earth, Ozone is fading, the exposure to harmful UV rays is on the rise. With this, humanity may experience a high risk of sunburns, sun tanning, and skin cancer. UV radiation is the main factor that causes skin cells to turn into cancer cells. Almost all skin cancers are caused by overexposure to the UV rays.
Types of UV Rays and The Difference Between Them
If your skin is unprotected, it would only take 15 minutes under the direct Sun for your skin to start damaging. That is why it becomes essential to shield your skin from Sun’s UV rays and we’re not just talking about UVA but also, UVB and UVC.
The Sun emits three types of UV radiation and all of these have the potential to harm your skin but differently. That’s why even when you can’t see them, you can’t ignore them.
Out of what reaches the Earth’s surface, 95 percent of it is UVA radiation. It causes wrinkles, sun spots and premature ageing. UVA radiation is long-wave light that penetrates the second layer of skin, glass and clouds.
UVB radiation is a shortwave light that attacks the topmost layer of the skin and causes skin cancer and sunburns and damages the skin’s DNA.
UVA and UVB rays are widely linked to the sun damage but the ones who work with mercury lamps and welding torches are exposed to UVC rays. These are shortest of all UV rays but highly dangerous. It never reaches the Earth as it is absorbed by the ozone layer. It is mostly found in manmade sources.
How To Protect Skin From UV Rays?
While the healing nature of mother Earth has protected humans for years, unfortunately, with Ozone depletion, the risk of skin cancer and sun tanning is only increasing. The Sun keeps life blooming on the Earth. However, its UV rays are causing damaging effects for human skin. Avoiding direct sunlight by not going out at peak hours (12pm to 4pm) is the easiest and the safest way of keeping your skin from damaging. Other than this, there is no 100 percent effective option.
If you must go out, make sure you aren’t directly exposed to the Sun. Keep yourself covered in clothing, hat or scarf, and carry a parasol. Once you’re well covered, apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and re-apply it every two hours. It will minimise the harmful effects of UV rays on your skin. It will also help you protect skin from premature ageing by preventing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Besides that, drink enough water if you plan to go out in the Sun. This will keep your skin well hydrated when sun rays try to suck the moisture out.
Of course, beneficial measures like planting trees, keeping the planet clean, and pollution-free can eventually heal the atmospheric layer that protects us. But until then, sunscreens and avoiding the rays might be our best options.
Easy Ways To Heal Your Skin After Sun Tanning
Our skin is continuously producing new cells, hence, over a period of time, it heals to a higher extent. Here are a few kitchen ingredients that will help you de-tan and reverse the skin damage as much as possible.
Turmeric: Traditionally, turmeric is consumed as both, a spice and a medicine. Make a paste of turmeric and curd and apply it to your face. Give it 10-15 minutes and then, wash it off. Repeat the process every day for noticeable results.
Almonds: Vitamin E content in almonds helps your skin fight against a lot of skin issues including sun tan. Take four to five almonds and grind it coarse. Add rose water and lemon juice to it. Use it as a scrub and rinse it off in five minutes. Repeat the process once a day.
Sandalwood: Sandalwood is an age-old remedy that’s healing to the skin in many ways. Sandalwood can remove tanning from the face while soothing and treating your acne and pimples. For the mask, take two tablespoons of sandalwood powder. Mix it with rose water. If you wish to add raw milk as well, you can. Apply it to your face and let it dry. Then, wash it off with the cold water. Repeat the process twice a week.
Lemon: Make a paste of two teaspoons of honey and one teaspoon of lemon, and apply it to your face. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Now, rinse it off. Lemon will detox the skin, honey will moisturise it with love. Repeat it every day.
Raw Milk: Raw milk gives you radiant skin over time. Just take a cotton ball and dip it in some raw milk. Apply the milk to your face and let it dry for 10 minutes. Then, rinse it off. So you can continue repeating the process every day.
Green tea: We’re all aware that green tea is packed with antioxidants that treat skin tan by helping in skin cell production. It can also be used as an effective under eye scrub for dark circles. To apply, brew some tea and allow it to cool. Let it sit on the face for 10 minutes and then, wash it off. Do it every alternate day to reap the most benefits.
Cucumber: Grind your cucumber. Clean your face with a mild face wash and then rub it on your skin. Let it get absorbed for 10-15 minutes. Then wash it off. Do this a couple of times every day. The hydration from this will make your skin feel soothed and accelerate the healing process.
1. How much sun is healthy?
Ans: Regular Sun exposure is essential to get enough vitamin D. 10-30 minutes of sunlight is good for you. It helps you in maintaining a healthy blood level. People with deeper skin colour need more sunlight. Your exposure to the Sun also depends on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.
2. What hours should you avoid the sun?
Ans: To protect your skin from sun damage avoid the Sun between 12am to 4pm. This is when the rays of the Sun are strongest. If you are going out, make sure you’re well covered and have applied sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
3. What are the 4 types of radiation from the sun?
Ans: Sun radiation includes visible light, ultraviolet light, infrared, radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays.