The scorching sun is heralding the onset of the summer months. This season can be very damaging for your skin. To protect your skin from the harmful sun rays, the use of sunscreen is a must. Dr Narmada Matang, a dermatologist from Kaya, says, “Sunscreen has been in use since World War II, and it has only evolved for the better. The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is an indicator of how long you can be in the sun without getting a sunburn. For people living in Pune, I would recommend SPF 15. It allows you to stay 15 times longer (around four hours) in the sun. You must apply it two to three times a day. Also, people with oily skin could use gel-based sunscreen and people with dry skin could used oil-based ones.”
Exposure to the sun and sunburns can increase your chances of contracting skin cancer. To avoid it, protect your skin and replenish the nutrients. Experts point out that although sunscreens are a common choice, there are other alternatives like coconut oil diluted with pure spring water which will allow you to stay out for long in the sun. A more natural sun-blocking mechanism would be to reduce Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) such as peanut butter, vegetable oils and olive oil, in your diet. Instead you could use dairy fat and coconut oil which are heat-resistant. Keeping yourself well-hydrated also helps cool the body. Water, buttermilk and coconut water are some of the options.
Since the heat depletes nutrients such as sodium and potassium, it is essential to replenish them to restore the electrolyte balance necessary for cellular functions. Even if you splash sunscreen all over yourself, physical protection is also advised. Shield yourself with hats, sunglasses and umbrellas and remain within shaded areas. Natural sunscreens that have Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide reflect the rays and are better options. If you do get sunburns, be sure to apply oils and creams, and take adequate rest. Your diet must contain high amounts of Vitamin C and you should drink a lot of water.
> Use sun screen lotion before stepping out in the sun.
> Drink lots of water.
> Use hats, sunglasses and umbrellas.
> Stay in cool areas.