September 2, 2015
While our lives depend on the large star earth circles around, we also need to be aware of how we’re interacting with the sun. As the ozone layer, a band of natural gas, wears away more and more, we’re less protected from those UV sunrays that can be harmful. Sunscreen thus becomes important as a shield as that natural screen depletes. Since we cannot see ultraviolet radiation, we may not realize how much sun we’re getting and what kinds of rays reach our skin, especially if we don’t burn easily. Wearing sunscreen allows you not to worry about the ultraviolet rays that reach through earth’s atmosphere and could potentially mess with your skin’s DNA structure.
Outside the fear of melanoma, or skin cancer, ultraviolet radiation from the sun can also cause sunburns that damage skin over time. Sometimes these burns are severe enough to be referred to as sun poisoning, in which case not only does skin redden and blister, but one’s bodily energy feels worn down and sick. To prevent sunburn, skin browning, reddening, or blistering, look for sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher which ensures protection from most kinds of ultraviolet rays that can harm.
The chemical ingredients in sunscreen help your skin absorb radiation before it can reach through the skin. Our bodies obtain the healthy effects of sunlight, such as Vitamin D, from daily outdoor activities (such as small walks, etc.), so it’s best to wear sunscreen most of the time as more prolonged exposure to the sun doesn’t aid in receiving more Vitamin D but rather increases the chance of harm.
Sunscreen becomes especially important during activities where we forget how much sun we’re giving our skin, such as swimming or boating. Make sure the sunscreen you’re wearing is waterproof and that you re-apply it every couple of hours. When we’re in water and our bodies feel cool, we might not think there’s potential harm, but sunlight reflects off the water as well as shining directly and sunscreen becomes crucial. Wearing sunscreen allows us to immerse ourselves in such activities with an invisible shield; apply the sunscreen, lose the concern.
In a time when our pollution, toxins, and carbon footprints continue to mount exponentially, we forget how much our activities on the surface of the earth affect the atmosphere, and thus what arrives through it. As you shield your skin, you can relax and enjoy being outside in the summer whilst also taking a moment to reflect on how we’re interacting with our world at large. The sun has been here a long time and knows what it’s doing, but our bodies are vulnerable to changes in earth’s atmosphere and need protection.