The sun can hurt – we can help!

Us humans look great with a tan. A little color helps us look healthier, younger, and even slimmer! Unfortunately, that color can come at a cost. I don’t mean money, I mean your health!

Sunburn is the most common health problem associated with too much sun exposure. I know what you’re thinking: “Sunburn isn’t fun, but we’ve all had it to varying degrees and we’re fine”… but it’s not just annoying and uncomfortable, sun burn is actually the result of deep cellular damage to your skin cells.  Over time, this damage becomes noticeable in other ways. It can give the skin that “leathery” look. It’s more wrinkly, flakey, and discolored that healthy skin. It is also weakened and will bruise more easily, even if it appears to be thicker.

Still not concerned about health effects from the sun? You might be surprised to learn that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found today, and many doctors believe that limiting over-exposure to the sun can help prevent it. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can increase your chances of developing skin cancer, and certain skin cancers, such as melanoma, can also spread to other areas of the body if not treated in time, so it’s nothing to scoff at.

Staying out of direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself, but there’s no way to completely avoid the sun! When you go outdoors, these tips will help minimize the damage:

Wear sunscreen! Be sure to look at the SPF number on your sunscreen. The larger the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. Everyone should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you have had skin cancer or pre-cancer, you should use a sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 30, 45, or even higher.

Wear sunglasses that filter UV light. Many brands make stylish shades that also offer this protection. UV Rays can damage your eyes as well as your skin.

Wear protective clothing to help shield your skin. Invest in a good hat! The top of your head is usually a tough spot to lather on the sunscreen, but your hair doesn’t cover your scalp the way a hat does.

Avoid the mid-day sun. The UV rays that damage your skin are most powerful between 10am to 3pm.

But what about getting a tan?

Many people lay out in direct sunlight for hours to get that perfect tan, but even with sunscreen on, UV rays can penetrate your skin and cause damage. Tanning beds, even though they aren’t real sunlight, carry the same risks because they use the same dangerous rays.

There’s good news, though – there are SAFE tanning products that you can use to bronze your skin without actually using the sun or tanning beds!

Airbrush tanning uses an all natural compound called DHA. DHA isn’t a dye, paint, or stain. It’s actually a non-toxic, organic compound that creates a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin.  This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the change in color. DHA is approved by the FDA, and does not carry the serious risks that tanning outdoors or using a tanning bed does. It is a vegan, organic, and safe alternative. These tans last 7-10 days and are the safest option for those who desire tan skin but don’t want to risk the permanent damage that UV radiation can cause.

Don’t Get Burned!

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We’ve all been outside a liiiiittle too long without applying or re-applying sunscreen and have had to deal with the dreaded scourge of summer: SUNBURN!

But what exactly causes that red skin/blisters/peeling/itchy/painful ordeal?

Well, the sun produces UV radiation and too much exposure can cause a form of radiation burn. That’s basically what a sunburn is: Radiation burn. If it feels like you’ve just been cooked in a microwave oven, it’s because that analogy isn’t THAT far off. UV rays  start to “roast” the skin cells’ DNA, killing those cells. If the damage is not properly repaired when new skin cells are created, it can cause sun spots. It can also cause a tumor to form in the skin. The tumor might be benign, but it might also be a cancerous melanoma! Skin cancer is a very real threat. Cancer can spread to other parts of the body and end up being fatal.

To avoid sunburn, you should limit your exposure to the sun. I know, I know – that’s easier said than done. Who wants to be inside all day? You’re going to be outdoors and you can’t avoid sun completely! That’s where sunscreen comes in. Sunscreen applied to exposed skin also helps reduce your risk of burning. The higher the SPF, the more protection you have. They make sunscreens that you can wear in water as well, but be sure to re-apply a few times through out the day to keep yourself safe. Clothes help, too! Wearing hats and clothing that covers your skin can help reduce your exposure.

If you do happen to burn, there’s no “cure” but there are things you can do to help alleviate the painful symptoms until the burn heals. Use cool, wet towels on the area or take cool showers to help bring your body temperature down. Apply lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas to soothe the skin. Topical steroids (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) may also help with pain and swelling.   Note: Do not use the cream on children younger than age 2 unless your doctor directs you to. Oatmeal and chamomile are sometimes recommended to help with the itching and peeling of sunburns.

But what about tanning? Tanning beds also produce UV rays, so they should also be avoided in order to reduce your risks of skin damage. But you still want that color! What are you supposed to do?! Well, that’s where airbrush tanning comes in. You can get the color without the sun! It’s not a stain, you won’t turn orange – it’s an FDA-approved natural, organic compound that produces color in the top layer of your skin but doesn’t damage the deeper layers the way UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can! The solutions we use at Shine are vegan and never tested on animals. It’s a safe, affordable way to get the tan you want this summer without risking the dreaded BURN!  Give us a call today!

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The Truth About Sun Exposure

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What are the dangers?

Sunburn is the most immediate danger of too much exposure to the sun. Sunburn isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s actually deep celluar damage to the skin cells and blood vessels! Over time, this damage makes the skin look leathery, discolored, wrinkly, and flakey. This skin is weakened and will bruise more easily, even though it appears to be thicker.

The biggest danger, however, is skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found today, and many doctors believe that limiting over-exposure to the sun can help prevent it. Certain skin cancers, such as melanoma, can also spread to other areas of the body if not treated in time.

What are the benefits?

Your body absorbs vitamin D from the sun. This used to be an important reason to catch some rays, but today many foods are manufactured to be fortified with Vitamin D. You get more Vitamin D through your food these days than ever before, so it’s not quite as necessary to get it from the sun anymore.

Being outdoors is makes people feel good and getting exercise is healthy, but you should still take steps to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun while you’re outside enjoying yourself.

How can I avoid damage from the sun?

Staying out of direct sunlight is the best way to protect yourself, but unless you’re a vampire, you’re going to need to go outdoors! So when you do, these tips will help minimize the damage:

Wear sunscreen! Always. Every day. Even in winter. Be sure to look at the SPF number on your sunscreen. The larger the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. Everyone should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you have had  skin cancer or precancer, you should use a sunscreen with an even higher SPF. Many of the new sunscreens have SPFs of 30, 45, or even higher.

Wear sunglasses that filter UV light. Many brands make stylish shades that also offer this protection.

Wear protective clothing, including brimmed hats, to help sheild your skin.

Avoid the mid-day sun. The UV rays that damage your skin are most powerful between 10am to 3pm.

What about getting a tan?

Many people like the way a suntan makes them look. And indeed, a tan can make you look younger, healthier, and reduce the appearance of cellulite and age spots. But is vanity worth the risk of skin cancer? No, it certainly isn’t! Many women lay out in direct sunlight for hours to get that perfect tan, but even with sunscreen on, UV rays can penetrate your skin and cause damage. Tanning beds, even though they aren’t real sunlight, carry the same risks.

There’s good news, though – there are many tanning products that you can use to bronze your skin without actually using the sun or tanning beds!

Airbrush tanning uses an all natural compound called DHA. DHA isn’t a dye, paint, or stain. It’s actually a non-toxic, organic compound that creates a chemical reaction with the amino acids in the outermost layer of your skin.  This reaction does not involve the underlying skin pigmentation, nor does it require exposure to ultraviolet light to initiate the change in color. DHA is approved by the FDA, and does not carry the serious risks that tanning outdoors or using a tanning bed does.

 

Sunshine! How Much is Too Much?

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The sun is a glowing radiation factory, giving off three categories of ultraviolet light: UVC, UVB and UVA. In the case of the UVC radiation, it is of no consequence to the skin because it is absorbed by the ozone layer before reaching the earth. However, the other two forms of ultraviolet radiation DO affect humans, mainly in the skin.

UVB rays are the ones that are responsible for the majority of our sunburns. To reduce the exposure to these rays, limit the time that you spend outside during the peak hours of ten a.m. and two p.m., especially in the summer months, and wear sun block with a high SPF rating when you cannot.

UVA rays can be a major cause of skin damage, although it was previously thought of as only a minor problem. This radiation is more dangerous because it penetrates deeper and remains at a more constant level of intensity, rather than varying like UVB rays do. Neither UVA nor UVB rays are able to penetrate glass. The damage caused by both can include premature wrinkling, skin cancer, collagen breakdown, and a lowered immune system.

Overly tanned skin will eventually take on a wrinkled, coarse texture resembling leather. Another potential skin issue is freckling, especially in fair skinned people, blondes, and redheads. Freckles can become larger with sun exposure and change to an age or liver spot. (These have nothing to do with age!)

It was once thought that tanning in a tanning bed was the safe alternative to sun exposure, but this is not the case. Even tanning beds can cause an unsafe build up of radiation in the skin and lead to the same skin issues as the sun does. If you insist on a tanned appearance, investigate sunless sprays, foams and lotions to protect your skin. Airbrush tanning is a safe alternative. Give us a call today to set up an appointment!