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How do I protect my skin during sun exposure?

Sun-protection is extremely important. Even if time stood still, the sun, by itself, could cause sting ageing: the effects of photoageing, or sun-damage, are much more profound than we realize. Daily exercise, a nutritious diet rich in anti-oxidants, a daily skin-care routine, are some important ways of delaying the manifestation of visible signs of ageing on the skin. Daily moisturisation is particularly important for normal to dry skins. Professional salon facials, with facial massage, also keep wrinkles at bay for a longer time. To quote Helena Rubinstein, “The skin has tremendous powers of self-regeneration if properly cared for and its never too late to start.”

Physical protection from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is the only answer. Applying sunscreens basically reduces the ability of UV rays to penetrate the skin. It is important that it also contains moisturizers. Also, avoid sun-exposure from noon until about 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense. Being in the shade provides some amount of protection from the sun, but would hardly be effective without sunscreens.

Shahnaz Husain answers more of your questions, here…

 What is the best way to apply sunscreen?

Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun-exposure, to let the skin absorb it. The SPF (denoted by a number) is actually related to the duration of sun-exposure it affords. But, it is also refers to specific skin types as some are more sensitive to UV rays. For example, if your skin burns in 20 minutes without sunscreen, and your sunscreen has SPF 10, then you should multiply 20 minutes by 10 = 120 minutes, which means that your sunscreen will give you 120 minutes of protection. More sensitive skin will be protected for a shorter amount of time. That explains why sensitive sink requires higher SPF. On an average, one can re-apply the sunscreen every two to three hours. If you are exposing nearby water or snow, re-apply more often, as they amplify sun rays.

Should I apply sunscreen indoors?

Yes, one should protect exposed areas of the skin, like face, neck, back of hands indoors, even in air-conditioned environments as the sun’s rays enter the room. 

Send your questions to newyouandme@gvpmedia.org and get a personalised response from Shahnaz Husain.

Shahnaz HusainShahnaz Husain is a pioneer of the herbal beauty movement and has received unprecedented global acclaim for taking Ayurveda worldwide. Harvard Business School conducted a video interview with her, which will be part of the Harvard Entrepreneurship curriculum. She has received several prestigious international awards, as well as the Padma Shri Award.

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