That is how long it takes to make the sunshine go from the sun’s inner core to its surface. Once those rays reach the exterior of the Sun they shoot to Earth in a little over eight minutes. The triplets of UV-A, UVB and UV-C shower our planet with their beneficial and damaging rays. UV-C is filtered out by our atmosphere. UV-A and UV-B in excess lead to skin cancer. Those rays go through our skin, intermingle with our genes and cause cell mutation. They also stimulate melanin production that is responsible for freckles, tanning and aging spots. In addition, chronic exposure causes wrinkling, thinning, decreased flexibility and drying of the skin.
We need the sun for vitamin D production. It’s rays also elevate our mood and help to prevent SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is a condition where deficient sunlight causes depression especially during the change of seasons. There are actually specific light bulbs you can purchase to help treat SAD during the winter months. The type of wavelengths of light emitted elevates mood and makes you feel like a different person without the use of prescription medication. Renovating Your Mind always looks first at alternates before going down the medication road.
So like anything else in life, it’s damn good if you get just enough but damn bad if you get way too much. The deleterious effects are cumulative over our lifetime. The type of exposure you had twenty years ago can significantly influence your life today and in the future.
A couple of cool ways to see how sun has effected your life is to:
- Moon yourself! That’s right. Take a look in the mirror at your two butt cheeks. Unless, you’re a nudist, you will see the type of aging our star has done to your exposed skin by comparing it with your unexposed skin. Dermatologists sometimes point that out during an initial visit.
- Grab a hunk of your skin! Observe the illustration to your right. Hold the skin there for 30 seconds and then let go. The faster your skin goes back to its original position, the younger your skin. It’s called skin turgor. The more sun, the more deterioration of your skin.
We already know about wearing sunglasses and a hat to limit radiation damage. You could also limit your skin exposure. Some individuals want as much skin exposure as possible and that’s where sun products come into action for protection.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a better source than the FDA for detailing products that safely guard us from the harmful rays of the sun. On the site, you will also find the best lip balms, moisturizers and makeup to protect your skin.
This is the current 2012 listing but they should have an updated 2013 inventory coming up in the next few weeks. Please bookmark this valuable site:
My favorite is Solbar Zinc SPF 38. It’s odorless, water-resistant, acts as a moisturizer, protects from both UVB/UVA, and non-irritating. The quality is excellent and one of the few on the EWG list that I could order. You may purchase at your local pharmacy or order below from Amazon.
My grandmother in her 80’s was shocked when it became popular to tan. Poor peasants from Italy like herself got tan because they had to pick all day out in the fields. Only the rich would have white young skin because they avoided the sun. She would say, “Why are people so stupido here in the America?” With burns come wisdom, believe you me.