Friday, March 12, 2010

How I Avoid being Roasted Under the Summer Sun

Summer has begun and so has our battle against the scorching sun.  It's all the girls (and guys) against an invisible enemy called UVB light (Ultraviolet B light).  I can explain all the dangers of prolonged exposure to UVB light but I think it's best to direct you to another site for a more thorough explanation (and save you from reading boredom).  Click here for more information on UV light.

Personally, I've started being conscious about UV light and being exposed to it when I was terminated from my Mon-Fri 3 and 1/2 years of forever night shift job.  I rarely saw the sun while working that shift, except for weekends, but even on weekends, I'm really a night person. We go to the mall when it's almost closing time and catch the last full show (movie) all the time.  ^_^  So, I never really cared to find out how to protect myself from UV light.  But now's a different story.  Even if it's not summer time, you can feel the sun burning your skin.  It's irritating, it's really hot and sometimes itchy.  I end up having, not only rosy cheeks but also rosy arms, neck, etc!  I don't know where you live but that's still not pretty for anyone anywhere!  And I'm a Filipina.  I have naturally brown skin, and never need a tan and don't want it.  I also read from somewhere that exposing your skin to UV rays for long periods would speed up skin aging.  I don't want to try to prove or disprove that so prevention is always better and it won't hurt anyone.  I'll give you the 3 items that I use everyday before going out at day time.

SPF, you see that in a lot of beauty products these days and there's a good reason for it.  It's good for your skin!  SPF (Sun Protection Factor) tells how long you may stay under the sun without burning from UVB light.

     a)  10 minutes:  how long you can stay under the sun before it burns
                   *  This figure is for example purposes only.  This differs from 1 person to another.  Light skinned folks have shorter safe exposure times than darker skinned folks.  This is the general rule.)
     b)  SPF 15 sunblock applied to skin

      How long can I stay under the sun without burning my skin with the help of an SPF 15 sunblock?

       10 minutes X SPF 15 =  150

        150 minutes sun exposure before your skin burns with the help of an SPF 15 sunblock.

*  In simplest terms, it really is quite literally the factor of how much your safe sun exposure time is raised.  In the sample equation, the safe sun exposure time was raised by a factor of 15.

Now that we got that down, needless to say, the higher the SPF number is, the better.  SPF rate goes to as high as 200.  The most that a skin protection product has (as far as I've seen) is SPF 50.  Without further ado, here are my battle armors:

Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces Sunblock.  Of course!  With SPF 50!  Bought at SM Hypermart (Sucat) for the price of 366.75Php.  I chose this over the other sunblocks because it's gentle enough for babies, has less chemicals (according to the label), pediatrician tested and waterproof (or what I call "sweatproof" ^_^).

BB Cream from Elianto (Mall of Asia).  This replaced my foundation and moisturizer.  If I'm not going out, I use a moisturizer without any SPF because it's cheaper.  But if I go out, I use this as my moisturizer and foundation.  If you don't have oily skin, you won't have to put powder on top of it but I have oily skin and need a light coat of powder.  I forgot how much I bought this for but it's well over 300Php.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm (weatherproofing for SUN and SNOW) bought from Beauty Bar (Mall of Asia).  My former officemate gave me one of these as a gift and I got hooked!  It's really a good product and it has many different variants for different needs but they're all priced the same, 325Php.  This, in particular, is good for extreme weather.  It's white when applied (not opaque but a little translucent white) so put a neutral lip color on top but leave it alone if you're not going out.  Apply as necessary.  It has a minty flavor.

I'm sure most of your initial reactions are violent... towards the price.  Well, these are just one of the many things you can do to protect your skin against harmful UV rays.  I'm sure there are other more natural and less expensive methods out there but these 3 work for me.  In the end, I hope this article served as a reminder that the ozone layer is thinning, more harmful UV rays are penetrating our atmosphere and our climate (all over the world) is changing...  There are extremes of everything - heat, snow, wind, etc.  Start protecting yourself now, while your skin is still in a more healthy condition, rather than wait for something to happen to it that may require medical attention.

Just a friendly reminder from Anne in Red.


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