Things To Keep In Check When Enjoying The Summer Sun
Summer is almost here and so are a host of problems that usually accompany summer. From sunburn to sunspots, from dehydration to heat strokes, the list goes on. One harmful effect of the sun is photosensitivity. Photosensitivity is when your skin becomes extremely sensitive to the UV rays of the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can damage your skin over time. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to prevent photosensitivity and protect your skin from the harsh and unforgiving summer sun.
1. Sunscreen Is A Must
One of the simplest ways to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays is by slathering on a generous amount of sunscreen before stepping out. Reapply your sunscreen every two to three hours if you are outdoors for an extended period of time. You can try the L’Oreal Paris UV Perfect Matte and Fresh with advanced UV protection. Enriched with Mexoryl and long UVA filters, the UV Perfect Matte and Fresh provides photo-stable broad-spectrum protection. The sunscreen protects your skin against signs of photo-ageing, external stress, and also pollution particles adhesion.
2. Check The Labels Of All Your Medicines
Some medicines can cause photosensitivity which can cause a nasty sunburn on exposed areas. Culprits include some antibiotics such as the tetracyclines, immunosuppressive drugs, and topical anti-inflammatory treatments. You should also take care with the insect bite treatments that contain phenothiazine, a photosensitising molecule. If you're planning to soak up the sun whilst using medicines, check them out with your doctor or local chemist.
3. Be Careful Around Certain Plants
The psoralen content of some plants can alao cause problems. Found in the leaves of fig trees, celery, fennel, and citrus fruits, they increase the skin's photosensitivity. If you plonk yourself down on a patch of damp grass after a swim, you may see red patches, similar to burns, appear - an allergic reaction called phytophotodermatitis. It's caused by a combination of water, photosensitising plants, and the sun.
4. Perfumes Can Harm Your Skin Too
Contrary to popular belief, it's not the alcohol in perfumes that causes blemishes, but the scents used. Bergamot, lemon, bitter orange, geranium, and lemongrass are well-known offenders. When subjected to heat and UV rays, these scents photosensitise the skin and cause stubborn brown patches to appear. Although alcohol doesn't cause blemishes, it dries and irritates the skin and may provoke the appearance of red patches when the skin is exposed. So it is advised to avoid using perfume on your neck and décolletage area.
5. Not All Essential Oils Are Sun Friendly
Whilst some essential oils such as tea tree relieve sunburn, others are photosensitising. These include citrus oils as well as angelica, bergamot, celery and verbena, which, when applied to the skin, can react with the sun and cause brown spots.
While warm and sunny days are great for outdoor picnics and beach holidays, failing to protect your skin from the sun can cause long-lasting damage to your skin. Keep these few points in mind to shield your skin from the harmful rays of the sun and enjoy your summer without worry!