Sunlight is good for you. I know, there are many reasons why we must have sun protection, but, like many other things in life, moderation is the key.
We need sunshine for our bones, for the vitamin D and for light therapy. Lack of sunshine leads to seasonal affective disease (or SADD)
20 minutes of sunlight (without sunscreen)is all we need for the above reasons.
However, with longer exposure without protection, both UVA and UVB will do both temporary and long term damage. UVA ages the skin and UVB burns.
Pay attention to the label on sunscreen and look for Total Protection, which covers both UVA and UVB. If there’s only SPF, your sunscreen protects only against UVB.
Once you have established that, look for the protection factor which will be a combination of the protection from UVA and UVB.
European SPF numbers are lower than the US, so a European product with SPF8 is the equivalent of SPF12 in the US.
The amount applied makes a difference to the length of time you can stay in the sun. Most people use too little. Rule of thumb is 2 fingers per zone (head, each arm, chest, stomach, upper leg, lower leg – each is one zone)
You must apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and re-apply 30 minutes after, also after swimming.
Because our ozone layer is thinning, we need sunscreen even on cloudy days.
If you need one more reason to use sunscreen, you must know that 90% of squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma is due to sunlight exposure, while the deadly melanoma is 65% caused by UVB damage.
Yes, sunshine is great and we need it, but there is no reason why we should go without sunscreen.
by Nadia Danay