Most of us love the boost we get from sitting in the sun, from the beautiful bronzed glow, to the mood elevating and energising effects we feel. You'll notice people always tell you how good you look when you have a bit of a tan. The sun plays a major role in our lives and has many beneficial effects. The sun’s rays help our bodies produce Vitamin D which is essential for bone development and a lack of Vitamin D is related to depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The sun can help people with skin disorders such as psoriasis and people suffering from arthritis.
But the sun comes with a warning…DANGER KEEP OUT…of the sun!
We now know that the sun also damages our skin, even your holiday tan is actually your body’s reaction to sun damage. The sun's rays trigger cells called melanocytes which produce melanin. Melanin is the brown pigment that makes up your tan, it is our body's way of protecting our skin. Sun damage is predominantly caused by 3 different rays UVA, UVB & HEV
UVB rays are the shortest out of the three and this is what causes your tan. UVB Rays do not penetrate as deep as UVA or HEV but over exposure can cause hyperpigmentation (patchy brown spots on the skin which do not go away) and can also cause skin cancer.
UVA rays are longer than UVB and can penetrate deeper into the skin, these rays can cause photo-ageing (premature skin ageing) as well as hyperpigmentation. These rays trigger the production of free radicals (small molecules which cause oxidisation) in turn causing ageing by damaging skin cells.
HEV (Blue Light)
HEV (high energy visible light) forms part of visible light, these rays effect the skin in a similar way to UVA rays by production free radicals, but HEV can penetrate even deeper into the skin than UVA. HEV light is also emitted from electronic devices such as smart phones and laptops.
This is why Humanity Cosmetics products contain high levels of antioxidant ingredients, these antioxidant ingredients help to neutralise the free radicals. During the summer months a sunscreen can be applied over Humanity Cosmetics moisturiser, so that you get sun protection but also the nourishing and anti-ageing benefits from our moisturiser
Being Sensible with the sun
So now we know the effects of the sun, how do we enjoy the sun and also protect ourselves. The best course of action is applying a good quality broad spectrum sun protection cream to your skin when you are exposed to the sun. We would recommend using a daily sun protection cream during the summer months, as you will still be exposed to the sun when walking about. Here in the UK, personally we do not think this is necessary in the winter months, due to the lack of sun and the related sun benefits.
When on holiday or sitting out in the sun it is advisable to apply sun protection to your whole face and body and limit your sun exposure. The SPF rating on your sunscreen generally represents the extra time you can stay in the sun without burning. It works like this… if you're on holiday in a warm climate, let’s say 24 degrees, you possibly could sit in the sun for 10 minutes before you start to burn without any protection. If you have a SPF Protection 20, take the 10 minutes and times it by 20 = 200 minutes (3hours 20 mins) and that is your allowance for that whole day, even if you apply more sunscreen, it doesn’t add extra time.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the summer