Earth hour calls for awareness in climate change but do you know one of the core factors causing global warming? In a global effort to promote Earth Hour awareness, we seek our readers to draw your attention to one of the very real and alarming causes of climate change: the increased amount of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays can cause disastrous damage to our beauty through the skin, eyes and hair.
One of the scariest effects of UV rays is in the form of skin diseases such as skin cancer. Did you know that an excessive amount of UV radiation causes damage to the skin’s cellular DNA by forming genetic mutations which eventually leads to skin cancer? “Many experts believe that, especially for fair-skinned people, UV radiation also frequently plays a key role in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer…” – http://www.skincancer.org
Sunburn is a condition caused by excessive exposure to UV rays. While sunburns can cause redness to the skin and temporary irritation, don’t be fooled as repeated damage to skin can be life-threatening.“One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing melanoma later in life. A person's risk for melanoma also doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age.” – http://www.skincancer.org
Sun also causes damage to the skin by escalating the signs of aging such as wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity and even age spots. “Skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis. The dermis contains collagen, elastin, and other fibers that support the skin's structure. It is these elements that give skin its smooth and youthful appearance – and that are damaged by UV radiation
Did you know that cataract is the number one eye disease that leads to blindness? “According to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER database, an estimated 2,390 men and women were diagnosed with, and 240 died from, cancers of the eye and orbit in 2008. With their thin and delicate structures, and greater lifetime exposure to the sun than any other part of the body, the eye and surrounding areas are particularly prone to cancers
Like pollution, extreme constant exposure to sun can dry out our hair as well. It can transform healthy, shiny locks to a coarse, limp mess. “The sun's UV rays erode the cuticle - the outer layer of the hair shaft that protects inner layers such as the medulla, where hair color arises. Sun bleaching also breaks down melanin pigment in the medulla, and as melanin decreases, the hair dries out and loses strength, becoming stiff, brittle, and breakable
How do you protect yourself?
Always use sunblock, ladies. Our country, Malaysia has an equatorial climate therefore we receive sun and showers all year round. This is all the more reason to use sunblock especially for our readers who are always out and about. Make sure you use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 onwards.
Sometimes beauty products can also help with reflecting UV rays. Take foundations for example. You would notice that many cosmetic companies (especially from brands catering for the Asian market) have formulated their foundations and moisturizers with SPF protection. Look beautiful while protecting your skin, ladies.
Another important fact to take note is to try and stay away from the sun between 10am to 4pm as this is when the UV ray is most intense. If anything, attempt to limit your exposure to direct sun at all times.
Sunglasses may just be a fashion accessory to some but it is more importantly, a protective shield for the most delicate part of your body against direct sun: your eyes. Purchase sunglasses that offer the highest UV absorption level possible and best if you can find pair with a wrap-a-round design.
As for hair protection, you could always wear a hat or a scarf. Others have suggested wearing hair in a ponytail style or a bun as it prevents too much hair to UV exposure. If you’re adventurous, look through hair products in the market for hair sprays or conditioners that provide SPF protection.