SE­CRET SUN­BURN RISKS RE­VEALED!

In­no­cent habits sab­o­tag­ing your sun pro­tec­tion

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

Be­cause it turns out slather­ing on the SPF isn’t the only way to avoid the sun’s harsh rays

You dili­gently ap­ply sun­screen, stay in the shade at mid­day and don your sun­nies at every op­por­tu­nity. But have you been din­ing late at night, eat­ing cel­ery and ex­fo­li­at­ing? These com­mon er­rors could ren­der your skin sus­cep­ti­ble to sun dam­age. Here’s how…

EAT­ING LATE AT NIGHT

Ab­nor­mal eat­ing can cause harm­ful shifts in your skin’s bi­o­log­i­cal clock, and eat­ing late at night can leave the skin less able to re­pair sun dam­age, new re­search has re­vealed.

Ac­cord­ing to the find­ings from the Univer­sity of Texas South­west­ern Med­i­cal Cen­ter in the US, a nat­u­ral heal­ing chem­i­cal was found to be lower when meal times were out of sync. So if you’re plan­ning a day at the beach, you should skip the late-night meal and stick to a rou­tine in­stead.

EX­FO­LI­AT­ING

Ex­fo­li­a­tion is the re­moval of dead skin cells from the skin’s outer sur­face with

scrubs, chem­i­cals, en­zymes and brushes. While it re­veals the brighter, newer skin be­neath, it also re­moves a pro­tec­tive bar­rier and leaves skin more sen­si­tive to the sun. If you must ex­fo­li­ate, make sure to do so the night before spend­ing time in the sun rather than the morn­ing of.

WEAR­ING PER­FUME OR AFTERSHAVE

Cer­tain fra­grances can leave skin more prone to burn­ing. Berg­amot oil, for ex­am­ple, is known to cause blis­ter­ing on the skin when ex­posed to strong sun­light. It’s best to avoid spray­ing scent onto your skin before you go out­side, so stick to ap­ply­ing it to your cloth­ing, in­stead.

EAT­ING CEL­ERY

Ac­cord­ing to tox­i­col­o­gists, cel­ery con­tains or­ganic com­pounds called fu­ra­nocoumarins that cause the skin to be more pho­to­sen­si­tive, and can lead to more in­tense sun­burn. Other foods that con­tain the com­pound in­clude pars­ley and parsnips. Opt for carotenoid foods, which can pro­tect the skin from harm­ful UV rays. Think toma­toes, wa­ter­melon, red cap­sicum and car­rots.

IG­NOR­ING THE EXPIRY DATE

Ac­cord­ing to SunS­mart, sun­screen should last for two to three years if it’s been stored be­low 30ºC. How­ever, al­ways check the ex­pi­ra­tion date, and when in doubt, throw it out.

LASER HAIR RE­MOVAL

Af­ter laser hair re­moval treat­ments, skin will be sen­si­tive, and will need time to heal. Ex­ces­sive sun ex­po­sure at this time risks dam­age to the skin, so it’s highly ad­vis­able to pro­tect your skin and avoid sun­bathing. Sun wor­ship­pers are ad­vised to ap­ply sun pro­tec­tion of at least SPF 30, and to don a wide-brimmed hat and long

sleeves for about a week.

CITRUS FRUIT

When ap­plied di­rectly to the skin, citrus fruit can cause a chem­i­cal burn sim­i­lar to those in­flicted by sting­ing net­tles, called phy­topho­to­der­mati­tis. While lemon juice is a pop­u­lar nat­u­ral rem­edy for light­en­ing hair in the sun, it’s im­por­tant to avoid the scalp, face and neck.

US­ING ANTI-AGE­ING PROD­UCTS

Anti-age­ing beauty prod­ucts con­tain­ing agents such as retinol, al­pha-hy­droxy acids and gly­colic acid can tem­po­rar­ily in­crease pho­to­sen­si­tiv­ity, cre­at­ing an ad­verse ef­fect. As with ex­fo­li­a­tion, these agents strip the outer lay­ers of the skin. Al­ways check the la­bel, or con­sult your der­ma­tol­o­gist.

TAK­ING SCREEN TIME OUT­SIDE

Try to limit your screen time out­side. A 2015 study in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Academy of Der­ma­tol­ogy showed us­ing an iPad out­doors re­flects ul­tra­vi­o­let light, in­creas­ing the amount a user is ex­posed to by 85 per cent ( 35 per cent for an iPhone).

TAK­ING MEDICINE

Many med­i­ca­tions and top­i­cal so­lu­tions can cause the skin to burn or break out in a rash when ex­posed to ul­tra­vi­o­let light, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Tan­ning Train­ing In­sti­tute in the US. These in­clude an­ti­his­tamines, an­tide­pres­sants and even some con­tra­cep­tives. As with beauty prod­ucts, make sure to check the la­bel and con­sult your doc­tor if you’re un­sure.

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