It can be astonishing how badly women who were born Caucasian would want to have tanned skin, and those born with darker skin would put on indescribable amounts of skin brighteners in their desire to own fairer skin. Between being preoccupied with c
hanging skin color and having genuine concern over skin health in relation to sun care, the latter pales in comparison when it comes to focusing and even in terms of resources spent.
The Unmistakable Future of Your Skin
There was a time when a small group of scientists would argue that the world’s climate is changing, and the majority of their peers and the general public would scorn at the very thought that humans could alter the Earth’s climate at all. Not anymore.
In the billions of years of the Earth’s rich history, this is the first time that the planet’s climate is changing because of man-made causes, not by some systemic volcanic eruption that warmed the Earth or, because a large meteor hit the Earth’s surface and covered the planet with floating dust and other tiny particles that brought about Ice Age.
Climate change affects many things, including your skin. According to reports released by the NASA Earth Observatory, man-made activities are to blame for a 0.8 degrees rise in temperature, whereas only 0.2 degrees are due to natural causes.
With global warming fast becoming a reality in your daily life, you can expect your skin to get more UV exposure as more UV rays reach the Earth’s surface and become trapped inside, unable to escape into back into space.
As a matter of fact, global estimates have shown a 200 percent jump in the total number of recorded cases of skin cancer since the 1970s, and it is now the most prevalent cancer in several developed countries, including in the US.
The World Health Organization estimates that there were at most, 3 million people affected by non-melanoma skin cancer every year, and further estimates that an additional 300,000 more people will be added to the statistic with every 10 percent reduction in ozone cover.
There is nothing that your skin brighteners can do about the detrimental effects of climate change to your skin but, a well-formulated sunscreen can.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
“I’m realistic about the future and it’s more than likely that I’ll have at least one more (skin cancer scare) but probably many more, which is not uncommon for an Aussie particularly from English stock growing up in Australia where I don’t remember ever being told to put sunscreen on.”
That was a Hugh Jackman speaking about his personal battle with Basal Cell Carcinoma.
So, while you may have been more inclined to pick up skin brighteners to treat the hyperpigmentation on your nose because of its bothersome appearance, you’d want to examine that more closely, even get that checked out just to make sure it isn’t a symptom of skin cancer. It is also in your best interest to wear your sunscreen religiously and to make sure that you follow directions for use more closely.
Listed below are 5 facts about sunscreen that you need to know right now so that you can better protect yourself from, not only the skin-damaging results of UV exposure but also its life-threatening effects:
5 Essential Facts about Sunscreen
1. Sunscreen application redounds to both positive and negative results
This is in response to the sharp rise in the number of cases of skin cancers worldwide, with the following Top 5 countries registering the highest incidence based on 2008 figures from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, and Norway.
Despite the good motivation for the campaign, negative impacts were noted. That includes increasing rates of Vitamin D deficiency and increasing rates of estrogen-related cancers, particularly cervical and breast cancers.
The first is due to people not getting sufficient amounts of sunshine to help break down nutrients in the body and make these useful in fueling a variety of body process. The latter, on the other hand, is driven by sunscreens that are heavily laden with toxins that cause an abnormal rise in estrogen levels.
2. Majority of sunscreens are still mostly made with toxic active ingredients
Chemical sunscreen actives such as Octisalate, Octinoxate, Oxybenzone, and Avobenzone, when mixed in various combinations, do a great job shielding your skin from both the deep-penetrating UVA and skin burning UVB.
Unfortunately, these have also been demonstrated many times to mimic your hormones and affect normal functioning, causing organ dysfunction and toxicity, as well as increasing risks for hormone-related cancers.
In many cases, these chemicals have also been found to accumulate in the body and have the tendency to be passed on from mother to child during pregnancy, child birth, and breastfeeding.
3. A high SPF protection will not guarantee you are sun safe
Many people continue to equate high SPF protection to better sun protection. Wrong. In the first place, SPF is just an indication of how much UVB protection you are getting from your sunscreen. SPF proof, therefore, only indicates how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning your skin when you have an SPF-graded sunscreen on.
For your further information, an SPF 15 will protect you from 93 percent of UVB, while an SPF 30 and SPF 50 will protect your skin from 97 and 98 percent of UVB, respectively. You should always go for a broad spectrum sunscreen that will also provide you with UVA protection.
4. When worn religiously, sunscreen can help improve your skin health and appearance
In a study that isolated sunscreen use from other skin care products including skin brighteners, 32 subjects were asked to use sunscreen only for 52 weeks. Measures were taken to check for skin improvements at baseline and at Weeks 12, 24, 36 and 52.
The researchers concluded that sunscreen use benefited the skin in 2 ways. First, sunscreen supported the reversal of photo-damaged skin. Second, sunscreen improved UV protection, effectively preventing damage and signs of aging caused by UV exposure. In effect, these benefits gave your skin more time to heal and better cope with repairs needed for signs of damage that have already manifested on your skin.
5. No sunscreen will ever be capable of providing your skin with absolute, 100 percent UV protection
This may or may not surprise you but, what’s important is for you to put more emphasis on coming up with a personalized, more comprehensive sun care strategy which can include the following considerations and information:
- A sun care strategy that suits your lifestyle and day-to-day activities. Be clear about your need for sun protection and match it with suitable sun care.
- Be selective with your sunscreen. You don’t want to be spreading the toxin all over your skin that will protect you from UV but increase your risk for contracting other health problems, including cancer.
- Find a sunscreen that folds in powerful antioxidants as well. Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals and environmental damage while also keeping your skin energized and revitalized. The most potent ones will even provide you with added UV protection.
- Use other means to protect your skin from UV. Don’t rely solely on your sunscreen to give you protection from sun damage. Use clothing and gadgets to add a physical barrier between the sun and your skin.
- Influence your immediate environment. One of the best measures to protect you from UV is to choose your sun time. Catch your daily dose of sunshine requirement early in the morning, and be indoors at midday.
The world indeed is becoming a hotter place. As the temperature continues to rise, you’d want to amplify your sun care strategy for the benefit of your own skin and for the betterment of your health now and in the years to come.