Friday, January 13, 2012

How to Reduce Affects of Sun Rays on Your Skin?

Skin cancer isn't the only risk you need to worry about when you're in the sun. The sun's rays also lead to cosmetic skin damage, such as wrinkles on your face or skin discolorations --- often referred to as age spots or liver spots --- on your hands and arms. However, several lifestyle changes and product regimens can protect your skin and lower your health and cosmetic risks.
Regular use of sunscreen, even on cloudy days, creates a barrier between your skin and the sun and prevents those damaging rays from reaching your cells. For the best results, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a product that has an SPF of 30 or more. Additionally, the product should be labeled as "broad spectrum" and should also be water-resistant so it stays put when you sweat or if you swim. Don't just buy sunscreen for your body. You also need sunscreen for your face --- you may wish to use one labeled as appropriate for sensitive skin to avoid irritating the areas around your mouth or eyes --- and lips, such as an SPF 30 lip balm.
Wide-brimmed hats, such as the type made famous by the British, aren't without their practical uses. The American Cancer Society suggests donning a hat that has a brim measuring 2-inches wide or wider. This shields your forehead and other areas of your face from the sun. Additionally, wear sunglasses --- your eyes are sensitive to the sun, too --- and clothing that covers up your extremities, such as pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
The sun's rays don't beat down on the earth evenly throughout the day. Its damaging ultraviolet light wreaks the most skin cell damage between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you don't have a watch on you, look at your shadow. Your UV exposure and risks are lowest when your shadow measures taller than your actual height.
You are what you eat, and you can protect your skin cells from sun damage by adding certain foods to your diet. That's because some foods possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that battle sun damage and sun-related skin irritation from the inside out. Example foods include those rich in flavanoids, such as dark chocolate and broccoli; foods rich in carotenoids, such as lycopene-rich tomatoes; and foods rich in alkaloids, such as green tea. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute recommends foods rich in beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and vitamin A as ways to reduce your risks of skin cancer.
If you're a woman, or a man who embraces the use of cosmetics, products like concealer and foundation sometimes contain sunscreen elements. These not only disguise existing signs of sun damage, such as fine lines, but also guard against new sun-related skin damage. However, Columbia University's health services warn that many cosmetic products contain ineffective sunscreens or very low levels of sunscreen. To ensure you're getting the proper protection, pick a makeup product that has received the seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation. As of August 2011, only 34 makeup products have earned this recommendation despite hundreds of products on the market.

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