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Summer Sunscreen

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The fiery Madras heat is on us. Much as we hide in air-conditioned rooms, it is impossible to escape the fury of the sun and the havoc it plays on our skin. Sun exposure can lead to tanning and sometimes sunburn. How can you protect your skin from the sun? Read up our simple skin care tips that will ensure that the summer months do not leave their mark on your skin. Find out how summer sunscreens can protect your skin.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sunlight causes the skin to sag and lose its elasticity. This leads to wrinkles. Excessive exposure to sunlight is also known to cause skin cancer. A sunscreen, as the name suggests is your skin's protection or barrier against the harsh rays of the sun.

Sunscreens are different from sun blocks in that sunscreens work chemically by reducing the amount of ultraviolet radiation penetrating into the skin. While some sunscreens work only against UVB rays, the newer sunscreens offer protection against UVA and UVB. A sun block reflects and scatters the light from the skin and thereby blocks UVA and UVB from the skin. Many tend to shy away from sun blocks since they are thicker and greasier creams.

The SPF or Sun Protection Factor is an indication of how long it will take for UVB radiation to cause reddening of the skin when compared to unprotected skin. For Indian skins, a SPF of at least 20 is recommended so as to protect the skin. Sun blocks keep out all visible and infrared wavelengths of radiation.

Applying Sunscreen

You can choose the one that suits your skin type - lotions work best for oily skins while cream applications are ideal for dry skins. It is essential to apply the sunscreen before applying any makeup.

Sunscreens come in cream and lotion form. It is essential to apply the sunscreen or sun block about 10 minutes before you go out in the sun. If you are going to be outdoors for a longer period of time, it may be necessary to go in for another application of sunscreen after a few hours.

Apply sunscreen to your face and ears and hands and neck. A common fallacy is that dark-skinned persons do not face any effects of the sun's rays since the tan is not immediately visible. Everyone must protect their skin from the sun, irrespective of their skin tone. When going in for summer skin care, do not forget your lips.

Apply lipstick or lip balms, which filters out harmful UV radiation. You can best protect your skin by applying sunscreen even when you are indoors.

Summer Skin Care Tips

Try and stay out of the midday sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Use an umbrella to shade yourself from the sun in case you need to be outdoors. Unprotected sun exposure will leave your hands badly tanned.

You can try out some home remedies to lessen the effect. Rubbing natural anti-tan agents such as lime juice or tomato juice or cucumber juice can give some relief. But sometimes the skin does not return to normal color even after exposure to sun is avoided.

Prevention is definitely better than cure! Bleaching your arms may help in reducing the tan on the arms. If you suffer from a bad tan and uneven pigmentation, consult a dermatologist. You might need medicated creams or chemical peels that can minimize these effects.

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Summer Sunscreen