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Sun Protection Tips


Reasons to protect yourself from the sun

We tend to forget about the necessary sun protection when going to the beach once in a while. Taking a nice swim in the refreshing waters of Punta Cana and relaxing under the shining sun is one of the most soothing things to do. But as wonderful as it seems there is a danger to this wonderful activity that we often ignore, the bright sun. We normally think that when we can go to the beach and the worst that can happen is getting sunburn.

As a matter of fact a vast number of people get a tan which requires the skin to be burned to a certain degree. The tan may look good but you have to keep in mind that the more you do it the higher risk of suffering future health problems. A day at the beach in Punta Cana can be amazing but is important to remember sun protection for your own good.

Sunlight Danger

Sunrays can cause a lot of damage to the human body. Beyond the typical red skin caused by the sunburn there is the chance of damage to the DNA of the cells. The ultraviolet radiation that is contained within the solar rays can cause a wide variety of damage like: blindness if the person looks at the sun for too long, premature aging of the skin, wrinkles and chronic diseases; at the same time it can provoke complications with conditions that are already present on a person like Lupus which can become much worse after long UV exposure. Black sunglasses

Your skin color is another factor to take into consideration. People with darker skin experience way less damage than those that have a lighter tone due to the higher concentration of melanin in their cells. Normally sunburn occurs after from 15 to 20 minutes of continuous direct exposure of the skin to the sun.

Getting Sun Protection

Thankfully there are many ways to be protected from the sunrays that can harm you. The most simple and yet effective way to achieve it, is to reduce the amount of time you are exposed to the sunlight. The less UV radiation you receive, the less likely you are to suffer from sunburn or other related conditions. If it can’t be helped, there are alternatives to diminish the damage done to your skin.

One of the ways is to use protective clothes which are suggested mostly for sensitive people but still useful for everybody. This type of clothing is designed to be very refreshing and cozy while providing full protection against UV radiation. It also has several advantages over the popular sunscreen. The protective clothes can last several years and don’t create a big mess like the lotions. They can also provide fairly good sun protection against the 2 main types of Ultraviolet radiation which are UVA and UVB.

The clothes have an index called ultraviolet protection factor or UPF. Most experts recommend using UPF of 30 or more for a fair amount of protection against UV radiation. That means that only 1/30th of the total UV rays will actually get to the skin. This factor depends on many things like the color of the fabric, the thickness and its type. As the sunlight hits the clothes part of it is reflected, another part is absorbed and a fraction of it manages to reach the skin. 

Some textiles work better for sun protection than others; for example a combination of rayon, linen and 30% cotton can provide an UPF of 30 or more which is quite significant. Darker colors also offer a better protection than the lighter ones.

Other ways to prevent damage from UV radiation includes the use of umbrellas, sunglasses, hats and sunscreens. 

Some of the umbrellas made of plastic are usually good to protect against UV rays but always look for the UPF factor which should be as high as possible. Specially designed umbrellas made of polyester are very good; if the UPF is above 30 they offer great protection against all types of UV radiation.

Sunglasses should have a label showing that approximately 99.5% of UV radiation is blocked, to indicate its level of sun protection. They are very effective and ideal for people that work in the sun for long hours or spend a lot of time at the beach. Protective sunglasses can help in reducing the chances of suffering from cataracts.

Hats are also frequently used to decrease the exposure of the face to the sun. Typically wide hats are preferred to prevent the sun light from reaching your face. 4 inches hats offer ideal protection but if they obstruct your vision; you can still get by with a 3 inches one as long the angle of the sun doesn’t change too much. An UPF of 50 in the hats is good enough to withstand most of the solar radiation.

Finally, sunscreens are the last line of defense to avoid the damage of the harmful sunrays, but it must be applied properly.

Sunscreen generally comes in the form of a lotion to be applied over the skin. The SPF or sun protection factor indicates the efficiency of the sunscreen in protecting the skin. The higher the number the better it is. There are many additional elements that affect how well a sunblock lotion can protect you.

The color of your skin, the time of the day, the amount used and the activities you do. The darker the color of your skin the more it will protect. UV radiation is stronger between 10 am and 4 pm so reduce your exposure to the sun during that time.

In order to achieve the desired sun protection you have to apply it in the proper amounts.

Sun

The back and the shoulders of an average adult require approximately 2 teaspoons, each complete leg including the foot also require 2 teaspoons, each arm including the hand need approximately 1 teaspoon and the face including the neck area need 1 teaspoon as well. 

The necessary amount of sunblock for children is basically half of what is required for an adult. 

Is important to remember to apply the sunblock 20 to 30 minutes before exposing to the sun, followed by another dose 30 minutes later and to reapply it every 2 hours when doing an outdoor activity.  

Experts also recommend using SPF of 30 or more to really protect the skin and even when the label says water resistant you still have to apply it every 40 minutes when swimming. Tanning lovers have an alternative to avoid exposing themselves to dangerous UV rays. The introduction of tanning lotions and sprays eliminate the need to spend hours at the sun to get some color. This is an excellent way for everybody that enjoys tans to get them without endangering their health to the sunrays.

Some general tips to prevent sunburn and increase sun protection include: avoid exposure to the sun between 10 am to 4 pm, use a daily moisturizer with UVA/UVB protection, wear a shirt with long sleeves, using a hat, and the use of sunscreen.





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