How to get tan in a healthy way
The sun favors the synthesis of vitamin D , which helps the metabolism of bones, psychological well-being and activation. However, with excessive exposure to the sun, the skin is attacked and reacts by activating various defense mechanisms, such as the tan.
“The result is a cascade of biochemical reactions in the skin, in which melanocytes make melanin (a pigment that makes us dark). Melanin is distributed and installed in cells, acting as an umbrella against solar radiation and protecting the cell nucleus from oxidative damage, “explains Patricia Martínez Rodes, pharmacist at the Farmacia Ocarasa, in Orihuela (Alicante).
UVB rays are the ones that tan
Martínez continues explaining that the sun has two types of radiation that can negatively affect UVA and UVB rays . Each of them has its consequences for health. The first are responsible for:
- Aging of the skin
- Sun allergies .
- Cell damage
The UVB, meanwhile, are responsible for the tan . They also cause:
- Cell damage
- Synthesis of vitamin D.
In any case, “exposure to both in an excessive or uncontrolled way can, in the long term, cause damage to cells and promote the formation of free radicals.”
Tips for a healthy tan
Once the consequences of the sun’s rays are clear, the pharmacist gives a series of tips to get brown in a healthy way:
1) Maximum of 30 minutes per day of direct exposure
“The direct exposure should be between 10 and 30 minutes a day, always avoiding doing it between 12 and 16 hours, which is when the rays have the greatest incidence.”
2) Always with sunscreen
“You have to use a Sunscreen with high protection factor, between 30 and 50+,” he says. “In a first exposure,” he continues, “the skin is more sensitive and you should never use a protective factor of less than 15.” In addition, the more white and freckled the skin, the greater the risk of burning.
As an added argument, the pharmacist explains that ” the skin will take color with sunscreen, in addition it will be a more uniform and golden tone , because the synthesis of melanin will be produced gradually. In this way, we will avoid the erythema that makes the skin look red. ”
Rebeca Cebrián, pharmacist and expert in dermopharmacy at the Marro Pharmacy , in Huesca, recalls that “the application of sunscreen is important half an hour before sun exposure, without forgetting more sensitive parts such as instep, neck and ears”.
3) Application every two hours
So that it does not lose its effect, the sun cream has to be replaced every two hours. “If we are soaking or sweating, we will have to reapply more often,” Martinez warns.
4) No skimping product
“It is important to apply enough quantity of product because, if not, the index that indicates the sunscreen will be reduced,” says Martinez.
5) Better a good sunscreen than a suntan lotion
Martinez indicates that “the bronzers are designed so that the skin tans more quickly and, for this, it provides moisturizing and moisturizing ingredients, vegetable extracts and oils. However, the filters they incorporate are usually low and have little or no protection. ”
When sunbathing with low protection rates, although it depends on the skin phototype, as a rule, it contravenes the advice of the Spanish Association of Dermatology and Venereology ( AEDV ).
Cebrián, meanwhile, he explains that “self – tanners contain in its composition a molecule called dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which upon contact with our skin oxidizes dead cells and gives a tan skin tone. There is no risk health and it’s a safe way to tan without the sun . ”
6) Prohibited to burn
The pharmaceutical is clear, ” if the skin burns it will not tan .” The reason is that tanning is a defensive response of the skin to the sun’s aggression. “This mechanism activates the formation of melanin gradually. If we do an intense and unprotected exposure, the skin does not have time to synthesize the melanin and it will not get dark.
On the other hand, it will be damaged, favoring aging, the destruction of the dermis or the appearance of sunspots and allergy. ” For all this, it is necessary to attend to the advice and not get to burn.
In addition, Cebrián warns that “it is important to avoid sunburn, especially during childhood, as this will determine the likelihood of suffering skin cancer in adulthood.”
7) Oral sunscreens are a good complement
Sunscreen is the essential element, but oral sunscreens are a good complement. “These products represent an increase in the contribution of antioxidants , plant extracts, omega 3and 6, selenium and vitamins A , C and E, among others. With this, the skin is helped to generate melanin synthesis and fight against free radicals. ”
8) Food also helps
The expert suggests consuming fruits rich in vitamin C, E, lycopene and beta-carotene, such as tomatoes, carrots, cherries, cranberries, melon, avocado, oranges, kiwi, etc.
9) Protect eyes and hair
The sun does not only affect the skin, therefore, when exposed, Martinez suggests wearing approved sunglasses and a hat.
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