Articles on tanning

Which Sunscreens Should I Use?

Dr. Srinivas C, Dermatologist
Choosing a sunscreen isn't as simple as it used to be.The next generation of sunscreens is just hitting the market -- including L'Oreal's Anthelios SX and products containing Helioplex -- designed to offer fuller protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Given all the new options, how do you know which is the best sunscreen for you?Finding the Best SunscreenSunscreens help shield you from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays in two ways. Some work by scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body. Others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin.A few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen meant you just looked for a high sun protection factor (SPF) -- which rates how well the sunscreen protects against one type of cancer-causing UV ray, ultraviolet B (UVB.) "SPF refers to blockage of UVB rays only," says Leffell.Research soon showed that ultraviolet A rays (UVA) also increase skin cancer risk. While UVA rays don't cause sunburn, they penetrate deeply into skin and cause wrinkles. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90% of skin changes associated with aging are really caused by a lifetime's exposure to UVA rays.The New Broad-Spectrum SunscreensSo which is the best sunscreen for you? Clearly, you'll want a sunscreen with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates,titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).SPF 15 or higher for UVB protection. The SPF factor rates how effective the sunscreen is in preventing sunburn caused by UVB rays. If you'd normally burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 multiplies that by a factor of 15, meaning you could go 150 minutes before burning.For the vast majority of people, SPF 15 is fine. But people who have very fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or conditions like lupus that increase sensitivity to sunlight should consider SPF 30 or higher.Keep in mind that the higher the SPF, the smaller the increased benefit: contrary to what you might think, SPF 30 isn't twice as strong as SPF 15. While SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, SPF 30 filters out 97%, only a slight improvement.UVA protection. There is no rating to tell you how good a sunscreen is at blocking UVA rays. So when it comes to UVA protection, you need to pay attention to the ingredients.Look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following.: ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. Any of those should do the trick.Ecamsule. One newly approved ingredient that blocks UVA is ecamsule. It's been available in Europe and Canada, as Mexoryl SX, since 1993. In the U.S., ecamsule is now sold in L'Oreal's Anthelios SX products. It isn't cheap. A 3.4 ounce tube -- barely enough for 4 full-body applications -- can run $30.Avobenzone. Neutrogena's Helioplex isn't really a new ingredient; it's a "stabilized" version of a common UVA-blocker called avobenzone (or Parsol 1789). Unless it's stabilized, avobenzone breaks down when exposed to sunlight -- exactly what you don't want in a sunscreen. You'll find stabilized avobenzone in other sunscreens, too, like Active Photo Barrier Complex and Dermaplex. For instance, any brand-name sunscreen that has avobenzone is stabilized. If you want to spend $30 on a bottle of sunscreen, go ahead. But you can get equally good protection for a lot less.Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Less expensive options for UVA protection have been available for a long time. Old sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide used to make people look pale and ghostly. But newer manufacturing techniques have resolved the problem.Water and sweat resistance. If you're going to be exercising or in the water, it's worth getting a sunscreen resistant to water and sweat.But understand what this really means. The FDA defines water resistant sunscreen as meaning that the SPF level stays effective after 40 minutes in the water. Very water resistant means it holds after 80 minutes of swimming. These sunscreens are in no way water-proof, so you'll need to reapply them regularly if you're taking a dip.A brand you like.  Personal preference is really important.Kid-friendly sunscreen. The sensitive skin of babies and children is easily irritated by chemicals in adult sunscreens, so avoid sunscreens with para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. Children's sunscreens use ingredients less likely to irritate the skin, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Unlike chemical ingredients, these protect babies' skin without being absorbed.For kids 6 months or older, look for a sunscreen designed for children with an SPF of 15 or higher. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies under 6 months be kept out of the sun altogether.Sunscreen for skin problems or allergies. People who have sensitive skin or skin conditions likerosacea may also benefit from using sunscreens designed for children. Go for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide instead of chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. If you have skin irritation or allergies, avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.Other sunscreens include moisturizers or other ingredients for people with dry or oily skin. As long as they meet the UVA and UVB requirements above, you can give them a try and see what works best.How to Wear SunscreenWhile choosing the right sunscreen is important, it won't help much if you don't use it daily and correctly. Use these tips from the experts.Apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go out in the sun. For woman, sunscreen can be applied under makeup. Use about 1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) to cover your whole body. Don't skimp. A number of studies show that people simply don't use enough -- and only get 10% to 25% of the benefit.Don't forget the easy-to-miss spots, like the tips of your ears, your feet, the back of your legs, and, if you have one, your bald spot. Since your lips can also get sunburned, use a UV-protective lip balm and reapply it regularly.No matter how long-lasting it's supposed to be, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and more often if you're sweating or getting wet.Pay attention to the expiration date on the bottle. Sunscreen loses its effectiveness over time.Wear sunscreen whenever you're out during the day -- and not only when it's hot and sunny. On a grey, overcast day, up to 80% of the dangerous UV rays still make it through the clouds. And during the winter, exposure to the sun's rays still can have damaging effects on your skin.Sunscreen Isn't EnoughSome people have the impression that wearing sunscreen makes them fully protected against the sun's rays. But that's not the case. No sunscreen can do that.No matter how high the SPF, no matter how thickly you slather it on, sunscreen will never fully protect you, experts say. This misunderstanding can be dangerous: people who think they're safe wind up spending too much time in the sun and raise their risk of skin cancer and other problems.Even your clothes may not protect you. The average cotton T-shirt only has a pitiful SPF of 4.So in addition to wearing good sunscreen, you still need to take other precautions:Stay in the shade when possible.Wear sunglasses.Stay inside when UV radiation levels are highest, usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wear a broad-brimmed hat.Wear sun-protective clothing, preferably with a UVP (ultraviolet protection rating) on the label. At least wear clothes that are dark and tightly woven, which offer a bit more protection.

Staying Tan-Free Just Got Easier!

Dr. Sharad Kulkarni, Ayurveda
No matter how much we try, tanning is inevitable and can lead to ugly sunburns. As already known, the sun’s invisible ultraviolet rays are harmful for our skin and can lead to premature ageing, which can also lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Despite religiously applying sunscreen, our skin is very sensitive and susceptible to harmful UV- A & B rays. These are also known to cause skin cancer and should be avoided at all cost.Here are some simple methods that can help you to prevent tanning and enable you to flaunt a healthy skin this summer. Keep these points in mind and plan your day in advance before stepping out in the sun. The best way, however, to prevent tanning is to avoid going out between 10.30 am to 4.00 pm; it’s not the most practical solution though.Wear loose-fitting clothes: Wear clothes that cover major areas of your skin. This avoids exposure of skin to sun.Wear good-quality sunglasses: Sunglasses that offer UV protection should be worn as the area around the eyes is very sensitive to these harmful rays. Constant exposure of eyes to sunlight leads to conditions like cataract and macular degeneration.Invest in a good broad-spectrum sunscreen: Before stepping out in the sun, apply a sunscreen of SPF 50 minimum half an hour before stepping out. Apply a generous amount and reapply, if required, after two to three hours.Aloe vera gel: Regular application of aloe vera gel keeps your skin cool and prevents tanning and burns.Yoghurt and honey scrub: Apply a smooth paste of yoghurt and honey daily before going for a bath. Honey is an excellent remedy for removing tanning and provides a glow to the skin. The yogurt helps cool and hydrate the baked skin.Milk cream and saffron: Crush some leaves of saffron in a few spoons of milk to make a paste. Apply this paste on your face and affected area, leave it overnight and wash it the next day. Follow this treatment at least once a week. This remedy not only prevents tanning, but also keeps acne away and makes skin lighter.Sandalwood and rosewater packs: Make a pack of 3 tbsp sandalwood powder and rosewater till it's thick enough and apply it on the face and sun exposed areas. Wash it off after 10 minutes. It keeps the skin fresh, hydrated and well-toned. Try to use this at least once a week. It lightens the tanned skin.Cabbage leaves: Rub a few cold cabbage leaves on the affected area for 15 minutes.Repeat this twice a week and say goodbye to tans.So throw away all the harsh chemicals and bleaches and opt for natural and skin-friendly options to avoid tanning.

How You Can Eat Your Sunscreen

Dr. Amee Daxini, Dermatologist
Is the sun coming in the way of your daily routine? Not only can the sun put a damper on all your everyday activities, it is also responsible for being harmful for your skin. Sun tanning causes dry skin - which can be handled with a little moisturiser. But the sun also breaks down the collagen in your skin (the protein holding skin together). This leads to wrinkles, delays healing, and increases scars.Did you know that you could eat your way across the battlefiled this summer? Here's howTomatoesGive yourself some extra built-in protection by introducing tomatoes in your diet. It is not a substitute for wearing sunblock, but the red hue in tomatoes makes your skin resilient against the sun, effectively reducing sunburns.TeaGreen, white, and black tea can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. When consumed on a daily basis, it slows down sun-related aging and can even prevent skin cancer. It is advised to drink two cups of tea (preferably green) a day.NutsNuts are rich in vitamin E, containing high levels of quercetin -- a flavonoid known to protect skin from UV damage. They are good sources of omega-3 and contain lots of fiber and lignans.Broccoli and leafy greensBroccoli and other greens are a great way of preventing and even repairing sun damage. Many greens contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin A, B, and C which help reduce the risk of skin cancer.Sweet potatoesApart from being delicious, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of antioxidant pigments and provide increased UV protection. Carrots and butternut squash are also good sources of beta-carotene.

7 Signs You May Be Vitamin D Deficient

Dr. Alpa Dawda, General Physician
The only way to know for sure if you’re vitamin D deficient is via blood testing. However, there are some signs and symptoms to be aware of as well. If any of the following apply to you, you should get your vitamin D levels tested sooner rather than later.1. You Have Darker SkinYour skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen, so the more pigment you have, the more time you’ll need to spend in the sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D.2. You Feel “Blue”Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure. 3. You’re 50 or OlderAs mentioned, as you get older your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D in response to sun exposure.4. You’re Overweight or Obese (or Have a Higher Muscle Mass)Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a "sink" by collecting it. If you're overweight or obese, you're therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person -- and the same holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.5. Your Bones AcheAccording to Dr.Alpa, many who see their doctor for aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.6. Head SweatingAccording to Dr. Alpa, one of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head7. You Have Gut TroubleRemember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Summer Is Here #10 Tips on Sunscreen

Dr. Deepali Bhardwaj, Dermatologist
10 facts you should know about sunscreens; and how to select the best sunscreen for yourself?A sunscreen is essential all through the year and yes even in rains but it's needed mostly during summers as UVB gets stronger then& hence sun burns etc are more common!Use a waterproof sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF (sun protection factor) for protection from sun’s UV ray's A&B  damage, sun burns, premature aging and skin cancer. “For oily skin, gel-based sunscreen, while combination and dry skin should use a sunscreen moisturiser with mat finish if putting make up on it else a cream based which gets absorbed well without leaving a residual layer".Always make sure to change brand of sunscreen every 6 monthly so as to ensure skin is best protected and also not becoming sensitive or immune to any of the contents.Sunscreen should be first layer applied on skin to produce the block and then on top of it only a day cream and above it a foundation or bb cream but first apply sunscreen.Sunscreen prevents skin tanning. Sunscreen mainly helps us against skin cancer and photoageing. Which means sunscreen helps against wrinkling of skin and also, pigmentation problems, etc.Sunscreen  SPF higher it is more effective! SPF matters only when sun exposure is continuously for prolonged hours and also SPF 26 above is sufficient for Indian skin and be its SPF 26 or SPF 50 both need to be reapplied after 3 hours if sun exposure is being continued.Sunscreen leaves a white mark on face. That's not seen in routine sunscreens but the sunscreen with a physical blocker. So the kind actually which is used by sportsmen and people exposed to lot of sun.More expensive the better. Noway! All what matters is its put 10-15 minutes before going in the sun and reapplied every 3 hourly if still in sun or going again in sun exposure. Also, contents should be of both UVA and UVB blocker.Sunscreen contains PABA and has complications. There is rarely any sunscreen which has paba after 2013.Sunscreen using can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Noway! It's been proven that sunscreen doesn't interfere with vitamin D / sunshine vitamin production in the skin.No Sunscreen for People who have skin allergies or sensitive skin.Infact sunscreen is mandatory for them as else skin conditions like rosacea may also develop. But for sensitive skin people choose a sunblock with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide instead of chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone but surely avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, or preservatives.

5 Easy Tips to Keep Skin Cancer at Bay

Dr. Amee Daxini, Dermatologist
We enjoy long hours of sunshine in most parts of India. Basking in the early-morning sun is pretty pleasurable and healthy as it promotes formation of vitamin D. However, harsh afternoon sunlight may lead to sunburn and skin damage. Prolonged exposure to the strong sunlight may also lead to skin cancer. The good news is you can prevent it with these 5 easy tips.1. Use sunscreen year-roundBroad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection to your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. They have PA protection and SPF of more than 15. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion 20 minutes prior to sun exposure. Use it even if you are indoors. Repeat application every 3-4 hours even if the SPF of your sunscreen is high. You should apply it even when it’s cloudy, as the sun rays easily penetrate clouds.2. Stay properly covered upWhile stepping out in the sun, make sure to wear a scarf, cap and clothes which properly cover you. Be aware of sun exposure during the peak hours between 10 am to 2 pm to avoid tanning and sunburns.3. Be extra careful near water, snow and sandWater, snow and sand reflect the sun’s rays, increasing the chances of sunburn. Take extra care of your skin when near them.4. Check if your medicines are sun-sensitizingSome over-the-counter drugs and antibiotics can increase your sensitivity to the sun. Ask your doctor or pharmacists about such side effects before taking the medicines.5. Examine your skin once a monthCheck for any newly developed spots or marks. Also examine changes in existing moles, freckles and birthmarks. Visit your dermatologist if the moles suddenly appear larger, red, discharge fluid or become painful. Consult the dermatologist for a professional skin exam at least once in a year.Skin cancer is preventable. Follow these simple steps for healthy skin and keep skin cancer away.

7 Effective Ways to Reduce Your Wrinkles

Dr. Harikiran Chekuri
As our skin ages, wrinkles seem to be unavoidable. Sometimes these fine lines appear pre-maturely, making you look more than you actually do. However, there are ways through which you may reduce your wrinkles effectively.Here are 7 very effective ways to reduce your wrinkles beyond visibilityAvoid direct sunshine – Sun is the greatest enemy of your skin. It has been proven that too much exposure to sun causes wrinkles. Continuous sunbath may also cause skin cancer. Whenever you step out in the sun, have optimum protection against sun. Put on sunscreen that suits your skin type, carry an umbrella or hat and don’t forget to put on a pair of shades; your sunglasses.Get Rid Of Addictions – Smoking, Drugs or any other negative addiction not only take their toll on your health but also makes you look aged. These addictions make your skin have wrinkles. So if you want to get rid of wrinkles, get rid of addictions too. Have Enough Sleep, preferably on your back – A good night’s sleep does lots of good to your health, including your skin. 8 hours of sleep can gift you soft and younger looking skin. However, do not sleep on your sides or on your belly. Ill-positioned sleep can cause sleep lines and furrowed brows which can turn into wrinkles.Don’t Squint- If you have weak eyesight, it’s better to go for glasses. Don’t squint your eyes. This will not only pressurize your sight but also develop crow’s feet at the sides of your eyes.Eat healthy – Have a platter full of healthy edibles containing fatty acids like omega 3. Add lots of fruits and vegetables along with fish and soy to your diet. Take a lot of fluids including water, fruit juices to keep your skin moisturized from within.Don’t Over-wash your face – It is good to remove makeup before you sleep at night, but you must also need to ensure that you do not wash off the natural moisture of your face. Excessive washing, scrubbing can steal the natural moisture of your face leaving it dry and wrinkled.Using chemical based products – Know your skin care regime from an expert and always revert from using chemical based creams and facial products. Using products without the solicitation of your skin expert can make your skin dry and rough and in due course cause wrinkles.To know more about skin care and skin treatment, ask an expert and abide by the expert suggestions to have soft, supple and youthful skin for long.

Top Summer Skin Care Tips

Dr. Piyush Borkhatariya, Dermatologist
As you prepare to show more skin, get ready to face the sun's rays with our top 6 summer skin tips!1. Exfoliate for clearer, smoother skinWhat it does: Exfoliation removes dead, dulling skin debris to prevent congestion and improve hydration from toners and moisturizers.When: Perform in the mornings prior to toner, moisturizer, SPF and make-up application. Tip: Make-up will last longer on an exfoliated skin!Don’t forget: After you exfoliate, follow with a hydrating body cream to seal in moisture, and always shield freshly exfoliated skin with an SPF (as recommended by the FDA).2. Keep skin hydratedHow: Up your regimen’s level of hydration with intensive masques, perfect for use one to two times a week. Boosters are a great fit, working best when layered underneath a moisturizer. Toners are a refreshing moisturizer prep, working to even out skin porosity. Tip: Refresh with a revitalizing toner spritz at your desk, in the car, at the gym, on the plane! 3. Make friends with H20Why: Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizzy spells!What you can do: Eight 8-ounce glasses of plain, filtered water every day help maintain critical moisture balance of the body and skin, and assist in detoxification. Tip: If you drink caffeinated beverages, you must triple the amount of water you drink!Recommended: Plain and pure water! 4. When in doubt, apply (and reapply!)Why: It’s not enough to just apply sunscreen.: you must apply enough, and apply frequently. Studies indicate that most people do not apply nearly as much daylight protection as they should.How much: A teaspoon for the face. For the body, about as much as would fill a shot glass.How often: Re-apply every two hours. Tip: Stay out of the midday sun from mid-morning to late afternoon whenever you can.Bonus: Today’s sophisticated formulas and technology let you select sun protection that works with your skin condition. That means you can choose oil-free, mattifying formulas, extra emollient formulas for dry skin, or chemical free formulas for sensitized, reactive skin. 5. Soothe over-exposed skinWhat: You forgot the sunscreen, didn’t apply enough, or got caught in a sunny spell.What’s next: Unfortunately, the damage is done, but you don’t have to suffer in pain! Super-soothing botanicals and cooling gels can help prevent peeling and reduce redness and inflammation.How: Apply cooling balms generously over-exposed skin, preferably at the first sight of a pink glow.  6. Repair and treat sun damageWhat causes skin damage: UV light causes photoaging in the form of brown spots, coarse skin and wrinkles, whether you have burned your skin or not. When sunlight comes in contact with skin a cascade of damage results (including the stripping of barrier lipids) causing inflammation, production of reactive oxygen molecules that affect healthy cell growth, and stimulation of collagen destructing enzymes.What to do: A tan may be a popular summer look, but it indicates damage. Bombard your skin with age-fighting ingredients to help undo any damage that may occur, and to further protect it from the aging effects of UV.

Beat the Heat: 9 Ways to Protect Yourself This Summer

Dr. Devisetty, Cosmetologist
After cool winters come the scorching summers so here are some tips to enjoy the summer without affecting your health.Take cover, Sunburn is painful and unhealthy, Usea good sunscreen, more than SPF 50 and re-apply it frequently during the day.Also, wear a hat to keep cool and shaded. Wear light, loose-fitting clothing tohelp you stay cooler. Don't forget sunglasses to protect your eyes from thesun's UV rays. A small tip to protect the skin from tan is keep a handful ofjasmine or rose petals in water and place it in the fridge. When the skinbecomes dull, dip the cotton in that water and rub the face and the neck withthat cotton. This gives the skin a kind of relaxation and freshness to theskin.Heatstroke is a serious illness characterized by a bodytemperature greater then 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry, red skin,convulsions, disorientation, and delirium. Onset of heatstroke can be rapid: aperson can go from apparently normal to seriously ill within minutes. Treatmentof heatstroke involves the rapid lowering of body temperature, using a coolbath or wet towels.Drink plenty of liquid - not to drink very coldor iced water/liquid.Eat lots of water melon, sprinkled with salt/pepper, Curd rice or buttermilk rice is best during summer. One must avoid spicy food and oily food also.Drink lots of tender coconut; by drinking fourcoconuts a week makes the skin glow and shine.Maintain your energy level by limiting yourintake of fat and sugar; Focus on carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Takingthe vegetables likes bottle guard, ridge gourd and so on which are grown withthe tendril are to be taken more in the daily diet.Eat raw onions as this is a good remedy forpeople who bleed through nose in summer, particularly children.The skin becomes dark and pale during this summerespecially for the people who mostly prefer pickles and non vegetarian food. Soit is better to avoid these foods and make the skin healthy.The lemon is to be consumed in some way or the other in the daily diet.The feeling of thirst can be controlled by taking the butter milk which is mixed with Cumin (jeera) seeds.The vegetables like Cucumber, Tomato and Radish are to betaken in the diet as these maintain the moisture levels in the skin.Take a bath in cold water before going to bed and you are sure to get a sound sleep.