In my last post, I took a walk along the beaches in Ballycotton. Wonderful weather attracted me. And because the sun has burned me a bit, it’s time to talk about sunscreen.
Never underestimate the sun in Ireland
A sunscreen with an adequate sun protection factor is a must have when walking along the waterfront. But first a few important facts about our skin:
Our skin has many functions:
- Protection against the environment
- Regulation of body temperature
- Sensory function
- Immune function
- Production of vitamin D
- It’s the biggest organ of our body
Why do we get a sunburn?
UV radiation is always particularly strong when it is very bright. This has nothing to do with summer or heat. Even at temperatures well below zero in the mountains, you can get a proper sunburn. The height is a factor, another the reflection of ice and snow. At the sea, we have the same phenomenon.
Especially dangerous for the skin is an intense sun exposure. This can happen right now because, in the winter, the sun has rarely shown. The skin is hardly used to the sun. But the long-awaited sunshine now leads to excessive sunshine.
In adults, there is a self-protection of the skin, which results from the pigmentation and a thickening of the horny layer. Thus, a portion of the radiation is trapped in the uppermost layers of skin and can do no harm. However, when our skin is not used to the sun e.g. because of a long winter, the portion of radiation we can deal with, is very low the first sunny days.
And it’s very different with children. Their skin is many times thinner and more sensitive. The self-protection of our skin is formed only from the second year of life. About 80 percent of the UV radiation the skin has to cope with over the course of life, will be absorbed up to the age of 20 and leads to the formation of birthmarks and, in the worst case, skin cancer. Therefore there’s no doubt about, that children’s skin needs a specific protection against excessive sunlight.
Rules for a good experience in the sun
Additionally, snow, ice, and water reflect the UV radiation. In addition to the direct radiation from the sun, the reflected portion leads to a significantly higher UV exposure. Therefore, special precautions apply here:
- Use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor even in fog or overcast skies.
- Use sunblock for lips, nose, ears or sensitive skin.
- Wear sunglasses
- For children and adults, there are different types of creams available to protect their skin. The safest way to protect your skin might be the use of creams based on these 2 ingredients: Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. They don’t irritate the skin as other creams might do. However, have a look if it is combined with a UV-filter. The ingredients themselves don’t protect from the sun.
And now have much fun with the first sun rays in the next upcoming days! It’s so necessary to get a bit natural vitamin D.