The sun is shining in the northern hemisphere, and it’s the right time to apply sunscreen so you can soak up the sun while protecting your skin.

Sun exposure is a must for survival. Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of the hormone serotonin, which is associated with boosting moods and helping people feel happy and more focused. Sun exposure also helps strengthen bone structure, heal some skin diseases, boosts the immune system and have better sleep.

Although the sun is one of the sources of life, it can also threaten our lives and cause many diseases. Long-term, unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun can damage the retina and cause heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Moreover, excessive exposure to the sun can lead to dangerous sunburn, skin cancer, allergic diseases and the early aging of skin.

All these negative effects are caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. Although the Earth’s atmosphere blocks most of the sun’s UV radiation, even small amounts of UV light can be life-threatening if one stays under the sun too much.

Thus, using sunscreen is vital, especially in summer, to protect from the harmful effects of UV light.

Dermatologist Yelda Kapicioglu said sunburns in early childhood and adolescence might lead to skin diseases, including skin cancer, later in life. “It is important to use sunscreen every day, even in winter,” said Kapicioglu.

For Kapicioglu, not only children but also adults and the elderly should be careful of sun exposure and use sunscreen. “Using sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV light and protects against skin cancer,” she added.

Choose sunscreen wisely

“A good sunscreen should have a broad spectrum against UVA and UVB light,” said Kapicioglu. The ideal spectrum is 30 SPF and above for ultimate protection. A good sunscreen should also be water-resistant to protect the skin even when you are swimming.

To get the most of the sunscreen, it should be applied at least 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Also, it should be renewed every two hours and after you swim or sweat, even if the sunscreen is water-resistant.

Sunscreen should be used all over the body to protect your skin and use a generous amount. “For your face, the ideal amount of sunscreen is one-third of a teaspoon. If you put on less than this, the protectiveness of the sunscreen decreases eight times,” Kapicioglu added.

Sunscreen is a product you use in large amounts. Thus, it is important to find the best sunscreen for your needs and skin type. The type of sunscreen you use is entirely personal, as long as it has enough SPF to protect you properly. There are sunscreens in the form of creams, lotions, gels, pomades, sticks and sprays.

Which type is the best?

*Creams are best for dry skin and the face

*Sunscreen in the form of gel is the best for scalp

*Stick sunscreens are best for around the eye and the lips

*For babies and those with sensitive skin, it is best to choose dermatological sunscreens

*If you want to use sunscreen and do your makeup, consult your dermatologist for the best type for your skin type

Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is an important factor in maintaining a healthy body. Vitamin D helps keep your bones strong by regulating calcium levels. Maintaining adequate amounts of the vitamin is essential for your bone health. People deficient in the vitamin can suffer symptoms including muscle aches, muscle weakness and bone pain. In severe cases, by reducing calcium absorption, deficiency can lead to slower growth, bone softening and weakened bone structure, increasing the risk of skeletal deformities, osteoporosis and fractures. However, there is a false belief that if you use sunscreen daily, you will block vitamin D intake. Studies have never found that everyday sunscreen use leads to vitamin D insufficiency. In fact, people who use sunscreen daily can maintain their vitamin D levels. So, continue using your sunscreen daily to prevent any harmful effects from the sun while continuing to produce vitamin D.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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