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Protect Your Skin From The Sun









Summer ..  this means dazzling days on the beach, languid afternoons beside the pool… and the sun kissed glow of a glorious tan. It also means knowing your skin type and how much sun it can take…and using the best possible sun protection and a lot of commonsense to ensure you look tanned and healthy through the summer months ahead. Your top priority must be protection.

Every woman has heard the dark news about sun and skin damage. The hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger and allowing in more harmful, ultraviolet rays from the sun. The result will be a higher incidence of skin cancer among Australia’s citizens, long addicted to the sun and surf lifestyle that this country offers. Queensland already has the unbelievable record of having the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.

What is a worse, cosmetics scientist are assuring us that the sun is the single cause of premature ageing of skin. Photo-ageing is one of the newest catchcries in the industry. Exposure to strong sunlight can make us look older than our real age (up to 10 years older than our European counterparts).

Too much ultraviolet exposure makes natural skin repair mechanisms go on overload, slow down and gradually stop working altogether. The sun damages the skin when UVA and UVB rays penetrate to the lower dermis and dermis, cross link the collagen and elastin fibres and the DNA to form toxic free radicals. Our natural repair mechanism try very hard to repair the damage caused by sunlight , but in summer the intensity of the UV rays means the system is taxed to the limit. Skin dehydrates when it loses its elasticity – hence premature lines.

To understand the whole sun question one really needs to understand the process that takes place when the sun “tans”.  It is the effect of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on living tissue that starts the tanning process. The top layer of skin contains melanocytes, which produce melanin.

Melanin is the body’s natural defence against UV light. When UV strikes the skin, the melanin causes the colour change that we call a tan. The degree of change depends on how much melanin, is contained in the skin-this is a genetically determined factor and generally dark aired people have the ability to produce melanin in greater abundance and will change colour more evenly and quickly in the sun.

People with blonde or red hair have skin that produces melanin less quickly and often unevenly, resulting in freckles. The Skin and Cancer Foundation states that you cannot acquire a tan faster than the cells of the skin are capable of producing melanin. If because of your skin type, you cannot produce melanin, you will never achieve a deep and glowing tan. No amount of sitting out in the sun or under a UV light will make any difference.


Sunburn is a condition that has nothing to do with tanning and the production of melanin. It is caused by excessive exposure to harmful solar rays therefore not something you must endure to achieve a glorious, golden tan. In fact, once the initial discomfit of pain, swelling and blistering have subsided, the outcome of sunburn is- peeling. No benefit to a tan and positively dangerous. Too many of us, for many years have passed off the effects of a dose of sunburn without a thought, but it is confirmed that burning is the most harmful condition of all and can have serious effects later in life.

Signs of sunburn are usually redness and pain which develop from between two to eight hours after being in the sun.

If you have stayed out sunning for a little too long and feel that pink glow develop into painfully hot sunburn take evasive action. Gently rinse off salt and sand or chlorine with lukewarm water- draw a tub of luxurious war water which is preferable to a shower and less painful. Add a lavish sprinkle of bicarbonate soda and lie quietly for 20minutes. Avoid extremes of temperature when you a step out of the tub. Blot yourself dry, don’t rub, gently all over with a big, soft towel. Lavish every inch of your body with an after sun lotion to prevent dryness and soothe sunburned skin.

If you have been badly burned avoid becoming chilled- sunburn causes a massive loss in body temperature so keep yourself w arm.

If you become nauseous, dizzy, develop “hot and cold” shivers or blisters, see a doctor – the burn is serious

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