Summer is the time of year people typically go on vacation, relax, and enjoy the warmth of the sun. It is also the time people get the most sunburns due to sun rays. There is a misnomer sunrays are only harmful when its sunny and warm, however, sunburn can occur when it’s cold and cloudy too. A sunburn is caused when you have overexposure to the sun or ultraviolet rays. Overexposure to sun, resulting in a sunburn depends on your skin type, sun’s intensity, and how long your exposed to the sun. According to scientists, skin damage is caused by both UVA and UVB rays. Sun damage may not always be visible, however, over time can prematurely age your skin and contribute to skin cancers.
Signs of sunburn may include:
- Red skin that hurts or may be sensitive
- Swelling and sun blisters
- Fever, chills, nausea, headache, and weakness
To get relief from a sunburn use cold compresses, aloe, Greek yogurt, baking soda, white vinegar, and green tea to help alleviate the burning sensation. To help relieve swelling and pain use non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. If you experience any prolonged symptoms contact your physician.
To prevent a sunburn:
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated (alcoholic beverages do not count!)
- Sit in shady areas to avoid the sun
- Wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants
- Wear sunglasses
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun to protect against UVA and UVB rays. If you are sweating or swimming reapply every two hours.
All sunscreens are not the same and you will need to pay close attention to what you are purchasing. Some sunscreens can have toxic chemicals such as oxybenzone (hormone disruption organ system toxicity), octinoxate (hormone disruption reproductive toxicity), and homosalate (hormone disruption enhanced absorption of pesticides). According to http://www.marinesafe.org, Oxybenzone is toxic to more than just corals. It’s toxic to algae, sea urchins, fish and mammals. It inhibits embryonic development in sea urchins. It can result in gender shifts in fish, in which male fish take on female attributes, while females have reduced egg production and embryo hatchings. In mammals it has been demonstrated to be a potential mutagen and to exhibit procarcinogenic activity. Studies in both mice and rats showed that exposure to oxybenzone increases liver and kidney weights, reduces immunity, increases uterine weights in juveniles and reduces fertility. In recent studies, human couples whose urine contained higher concentrations of benzophenones had a harder time getting pregnant, while men with higher concentrations had higher levels of diseased sperm. Both dolphin and human mothers can transfer oxybenzone to their infants via breastmilk.
Lucky for you, there are some brands safer for people and the environment. Yes, I said the environment, chemicals in some sunscreens can damage coral, marine life, and have a negative impact on the environment. There are many safer sunscreen brands to use, please see a few brands below:
- Raw Love is an all-natural mineral sunscreen as is the first and only plastic-free FDA compliant mineral sunscreen company. Raw Love offers full broad-spectrum sun protection with a SPF 35 using non-nano zinc as the only active ingredient. They use certified organic plant-based ingredients to protection to skin. Raw Love is an eco-friendly, reef friendly, biodegradable, moisturizing mineral sunscreen. To purchase Raw Love online visit https://rawlovesunscreen.com/shop/ or to visit a location nearest to you https://rawlovesunscreen.com/stores/.
- Art of Sport (AOS) is designed to hydrate and protect your skin. It is water resistant and made without oxybenzone, octinoxate, alcohol, oil, fragrance or parabens. It’s weightless, protects against UVA and UVB rays, reef friendly, and provides 80 minutes of water resistance. AOS has a $9 trial kit (includes deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, body bar, and lotion) with free shipping or you may shop at https://artofsport.com/collections/products to view all of the products AOS offers.
- hellobello is a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen protecting against UVA and UVB rays using a non-nano zinc oxide, which is reef friendly, water resistant (80 minutes), hypoallergenic, and vegan & cruelty-free. hellobello is made without oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, PABA, nanoparticles, parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and common allergens (soy, gluten, peanut). You may purchase hellobello at the following site https://hellobello.com/products/sunscreen-mineral-lotion
Let’s dispel some common myths about sunburn and sunscreen:
- Whether your skin is dark or pale you can get sunburn.
- You can get sunburn in the shade
- Sunburn doesn’t automatically indicate you will get skin cancer, however, it does increase your chances.
- You can get a sunburn even when its cloudy.
- Even with a high SPF you do need to reapply
- People with dark skin do require sunscreen, only if you want to protect yourself against premature aging and skin cancer.
- Sunscreen is necessary – Sunscreen is necessary whether your body is fully or partially exposed and on cloudy days.
- Sunscreen will only prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D only when used 100% of the time. Remember the sun can penetrate clothing and sunscreens will lose their effectiveness over time.
- Tanning beds do not provide a protective base tan.
- Ladies, no matter how much makeup you apply, it does not protect the face against the sun.
- It is possible to get a tan while using sunscreen.
- All sunscreen is not equal.
- One application of sunscreen does not last all day.
- Sunscreen does expire, like anything ingredient breakdown over time, so please check the expiration date
Lastly, just protect yourself and environment while exposed to the sun and most of all have fun.
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