Spring has sprung, the sun is shining again and we are building up to the tropical summer months. Time to unfold your sunbed, grab an ice-cold beer, pump Vamos a la playa through your speakers and grow a nice tan. Unfortunately, this scenario is not without some danger.
The sun's strength increases a little more every year, so extra reason to protect yourself. Unfortunately, one in six Dutch people suffer from skin cancer every year, which is now one of the most common forms of cancer. Dermatologists and doctors see forms of skin cancer, caused by the sun, increasing. That's why it's time to pay some extra attention to this.
UV stands for ultraviolet, this radiation comes from the sun. This radiation not only has negative consequences, since life on earth would not be possible without this UV radiation. So not entirely unimportant. Unfortunately, this radiation also ensures that your skin can burn quite a bit and that you can get nasty diseases or damage. With the right sun protection you can prevent this damage.
Three types of radiation
UV radiation can be divided into three categories:
- UV-A radiation
- UV-B radiation
- UV-C radiation
The UV-C radiation is not very well known and is not harmful to us. The UV-C radiation does not penetrate the ozone layer. UV-A and UV-B radiation are the better known versions. UV-B radiation affects the epidermis and ensures that we absorb the important vitamin D3. When you are in the sun for too long, the skin burns and damage occurs.
UV-A radiation goes even deeper into your skin and thus ensures the brown color on your skin. Ultimately, this radiation can disrupt the cells. This can also be the cause of skin cancer. The UV-A radiation also causes aging of your skin. None of these have pleasant side effects, which is why it is so important to lubricate properly with a sunscreen that is resistant to UV-A radiation.
Sun power is the term used to express the radiation. The sun power can be subdivided from sun power 1 to 10. Most Dutch people burn at sun power 8 or higher. At least, if you don't use protection.
Don't forget that even on a cloudy day, 40% of UV radiation reaches our skin. This means that the sun can also be harmful in spring, autumn and winter. So keep lubricating. In this case, an SPF 15 or SPF 30 will protect most Dutch people enough.
Everyone is familiar with the term SPF. But what exactly is it? SPF stands for “sun protection factor”. You probably know that the higher the SPF, the better the protection against the sun, but there is still quite a bit of confusion about SPF. The number following the word SPF tells you how long it takes for UV rays to turn your skin red versus the time without protection.
Suppose you would normally burn after 10 minutes, then with factor 30 you would only burn after 10 x 30 = 300 minutes and with a factor 50 after 500 minutes. The higher the sun power, the faster you burn and so the sun power influences the sun protection factor. At factor 15, 7% of radiation still passes through the filter and at factor 50 that is only 2%. That is more than 3 times less. Lubricating with a high factor is therefore an advantage in all cases.
A good SPF sunscreen will protect you from immediate redness as well as the longer-term aging effects of overexposure to the sun.
How do you use sunscreen with SPF?
A good SPF sunscreen will protect you from immediate redness as well as the longer-term aging effects of overexposure to the sun. But how do you use it?
You use sunscreen the same as a day cream. Spread a layer over your skin and spread well gradually. Spread the product over your entire body, paying particular attention to your face and any tattoos. They are extra sensitive to the sun. Also read the packaging of your sunscreen, it says how often you should apply and whether it is waterproof.
Tip: do not lie in the sun for more than 2 to 3 hours. After that time, your body will stop producing melanin and you will therefore not get a tan, while the risk of damage will only increase.
Our favorite sunscreen
After a day of tanning, it's important to listen to your skin, even if you're not the color of a lobster yet. It is important to restore the moisture content of your skin. You can do this by using a good after sun . When the moisture content of your skin dries out, your skin can lose elasticity, become dry and start to form wrinkles. Doesn't sound nice, doesn't it. Pay particular attention to ingredients such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which will make your skin happy.
But everyone is also familiar with the following situation. You have been baking on the beach and have slept wonderfully. When you wake up rested you feel your skin burning like a hot plate. The reflection in your mirror turns bright red and you know enough: I f * cked up. In this situation, pay particular attention to ingredients such as aloe vera, licorice root extract or beta glucan. These will then be your best friends and give your skin the cooling and care it asks for.
A good day or night cream often also contains these ingredients and can therefore certainly help to soothe your sunburned skin again.
A good after sun is a good cream, and a good cream is a good after sun!
Our favorite after sun
If you plan to heroically defy the sun's rays during your summer vacation, it is a good plan to delve into supplements that contain beta-carotene, selenium, lycopene and vitamin E.
These substances ensure that your skin can better resist the bright glare and tan faster. For example, beta carotene has the properties that it is converted into vitamin A within the body. This substance ensures that the skin is in a healthy condition and also stimulates the production of melanin, which in turn ensures that you tan beautifully.
In addition, this substance also has a supporting function for the eyes, stimulates cell renewal and gives a boost to the health of the organs. Beta carotene is also found in various vegetables such as spinach, carrots and green peas. In addition to the beta carotene just mentioned, it is also advisable to take supplements with lycopene, vitamin E and selenium. These substances are an important part of the resilience and resilience of your skin.
For example,vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is mainly stored in the skin. It protects against free radicals and to retain moisture. Selenium actually boosts the antioxidant properties of vitamin E (as well as supporting your immune system and thyroid) and protects your cells from harmful outside effects. This substance also promotes radiant skin.
Tips to prevent sun damage
- Do not look for the sun between 12:00 and 15:00. Then the sun's power is at its strongest.
- When sunbathing, use a sunscreen with a high SPF that protects against UV-A radiation.
- Read the instructions for your sunscreen, so you know how often you should apply.
- Check whether your sunscreen is waterproof, otherwise reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Pay attention to the shelf life of your sunscreen! On the packaging you can find how long it can be kept after opening.
- Drink enough water, the sun dries out and can cause hyperpigmentation.
- In addition to sunscreen, you can also protect your skin with clothing, sunglasses and a cap or hat.
- On cloudy days (including autumn and winter), use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30.
Despite the misery that has just been discussed, there are of course also good qualities that the sun brings. Let's start with the view that we would all die without the sun. So, point proven. But in addition to this extreme point, the sun also provides vitamin D, your beautiful tinted tan and, above all, many days and evenings full of fun. So let's not forget to continue to enjoy the sun to the extreme! Just do it in a slightly more responsible way, it just saves a lot of hassle.
Enjoy the sun!
Your friends, The Alpha Men