You wake up in the morning and the first thing you look out for is that bright sunlight that simply makes your day. You marvel at how beautifully the sunlight brightens the day, it effects determining the kind of mood you will have during the day. In case you live at a location where you do not usually experience bright days, you spend time planning for a holiday at a different location where you are bound to obtain maximum sunlight and enjoy the bright white light and the warmth that accompanies it. However, you should remain alive to the fact that sunlight can be very harmful to your health. This is especially if you do not practice safe sun.
Some of the harmful effects of sunlight include:
- Occurrence of skin cancer – By excessively exposing your body to direct sunlight, you stand the risk of developing skin cancer. Excessive sunburn easily damages your melanocyte skin cells that provide protection against dangerous sunrays, leading to surrounding cells becoming malignant.
- Inflammation – Apart from skin cancer, sunburn can also lead to skin inflammation on your skin.
- Accelerated aging – By exposing yourself to excessive sunlight, you literally expose your skin to adverse UV radiation, which results in your skin aging at an increased rate.
Although sunlight has adverse effects on your skin, you derive some great benefits by practicing safe sun. Once your body absorbs sunlight, it produces vitamin D that it uses in various and vital body processes. However, you need to consider at what times you expose your skin to sunlight. Experts advice that the best time to practice safe sun is before 10 am and after 3 pm. You may not need to get direct exposure to the sunlight to obtain the necessary sunlight. You can do so from your house near a window as sunrays penetrate glass. You can also obtain the same while swimming in water as the rays easily penetrate water up to a depth of three feet.
Although it is safe to expose yourself to sunrays in the mornings and late in the afternoon, you may still need to undertake safety measures to protect yourself against any dangerous UV rays. You can do this through various ways:
- Even at safe times, avoid overexposing yourself to sunlight. Spending an hour in sunlight is enough.
- Apply sunscreen lotion or cream with a minimum of SPF 15. Don’t be cheated by a cloudy day; UV(Ultra-violet) rays easily penetrate through cloud. In case you have to swim, ensure that you apply a waterproof sunscreen lotion or cream.
- Invest in cosmetics with SPF(Sun Protection Factor). Various lipsticks, moisturizers and other cosmetics are now made with SPF.
- In case you need to spend some time working on your garden or undertake any outdoor activity, wear appropriate clothing. Wear a hat with a wide brim in addition to wearing loose but tightly woven cotton dress. Consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt.
- Your eyes and surrounding areas can easily be damaged by UV rays. Invest in suitable sunglasses with UV protection. Ensure that you stay clear of mirrored glasses which intensify sunrays.
The sun’s UV(Ultra-Violet) rays are varied and travel at different speeds. In particular, the UVA and UVB rays are quite damaging to the skin. They are however useful in some aspects. The UVA has been noted to be useful in tanning and in the treatment of psoriasis (a skin condition). UVB is absorbed by the atmosphere and is very useful in the production of the ozone layer because of its photochemical reaction. Both UVA (long wavelength) and UVB (medium wavelength) rays are now used in laser technology where their wavelengths are converted to allow for different forms of lighting useful in the fields of engraving, medicine and computing.