How to Keep Ultraviolet Rays from Turning Ultra-Violent?

Whether it’s the UAE’s beautiful beaches that beckon you, or if you’re off to explore all those wonderful places within a couple of hours’ flying time, where the grass is greener and the air is cooler. Our nearest star blazes as brightly over there too, AND the days may be longer some places – which means there’s really no holiday from UV damage.

However, things begin to look better once you’re ready to go along with a few dos and don’ts. You can have all the fun in the sun that you deserve – and emerge looking fabulous, staying healthy.

From the regions largest team of dermatologists, here’s a checklist of measures  and it’s based on two important aspects: protection and hydration.

1. Apply common sense. a.k.a. sunscreen.

First up, the stuff you know. Sunscreen and all that. You may be tempted to think that sunscreen is invincible. Actually, while the right SPF (30+) does a great job, our cloudless skies send incredible amounts of UVA and UVB flooding in. So whatever you do, try and stay out of the sun between mid-morning and late afternoon. Smart skin care also says you need sunscreen even when you are not out in the sun. Fact is, UV plays indoors too, making its way through glass windows.

How much should you apply? You need about a teaspoonful for the face. How often? Reapply every two hours, unless you’re lucky enough to have sweat-proof sunscreen which works its nanosomal way into your skin where perspiration and water can’t wash it off, staying on the job for a full 8 hours. And here’s something many don’t know. UV can penetrate clothing too, so make sure your skin’s wearing sunscreen a lotion with an SPF all over.

2. Speak up for your lips.

They need protection too. Don’t let the sun turn them sandpaper-dry. Keep them hydrated, soft and smooth by applying – and reapplying – a rich lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.

3. Exfoliate.

By clearing away dead skin cells, you help toners and moisturisers get down to the serious business of hydration. It may be a good idea to lock in that moisture with a hydrating cream.

4. Check if your skin is thirsting for specialised hydration.

We often expect our skin to work tirelessly and effortlessly while looking like an absolute dream. Truth is, your skin is only human and there are times when it needs a bit of expert help especially as it battles time, environment and other stressors.  Do have a chat with your dermatologist to evaluate if your skin could benefit from specialised hydration solutions, which may range from a relaxing treatment which perks you up instantly, to a more scientific minimally invasive treatments like PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Therapy or Skin boosters. A visit to your dermatologist will let you know what best suits your skin needs!

5. Top tip: Much like your skin, hair needs summer care too.

You don’t want your hair to turn dull, rough or frizzy. And here’s why that happens. The outermost layer of the hair fiber (cuticle) determines appearance (shiny or dull) and feel (soft/silky or rough/frizzy). The hair’s inner cortex is responsible for hair’s resistance to breakage. Summer can be tough on both of these key structural elements. Water, believe it or not, adds to the damage. When wet, hair fibres swell, turning weaker and more likely to break. Friction between hair fibres can damage the cuticle. Here’s a tip: Coat the surface of your hair with conditioner or, if you prefer something natural, coconut oil. (Gets that tropical vibe too)

6. Supplement your powers. 

Fight UV damage from the inside. Supplements based on antioxidants, preferably from natural sources, provide an extra layer of protection against skin cancer and premature signs of aging including brown spots. Antioxidants help protect against the free radical damage our skin faces every day, not just from UV but visible light and infrared as well.

7. Supplement your powers. 

Sun protection has never been so delicious. (The magic words are hydration and antioxidant) Think cool, crunchy super-hydrating cucumbers, juicy red tomatoes packed full of antioxidants, helping to protect skin from UV-radiation. Carrots with the lively orange of beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A and has been linked to reduce reaction to sunburn. Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants, cancer-fighting Ellagic acid and anti-inflammatory agents which can help your skin resist UV-induced cell damage from UVA and UVB rays. Need something more substantial? Salmon, rich in Omega 3, is your pick. Pack yourself a flask of chilled green tea, rich in polyphenols – great antioxidants again.

So hit the road, bright and early. Choose your outdoor time well. Take the fight to the beach. You’re winning.


– By Kaya’s Expert Dermatologists

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