Watch out for the rays

BEAUTY CORNER

Watch out for the rays

Summer brings with it a whole bunch of skin related issues. Exposure to the sun increases the production of melanin, a skin pigment that gives the skin its colour. Melanin also protects the skin from the sun’s rays. Once produced, it moves up to the skin surface. Since the pigment is dark in colour, the skin tends to tan when exposed to the sun. It can also leave dark spots or patches on your skin, caused by the uneven transfer of melanin to the skin surface.  Exposure to UV rays also tend to have long-term effects on your skin. So what is the remedy?

During summer, try and avoid exposing your skin to the sun as much as possible, especially between noon to 3 pm. Skin should be protected and put through a daily routine to deal with these effects. A quick fix to this problem is to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you step out every day. A broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UV(A) and UV(B) radiation. Most sun-block products come with a built-in moisturiser. It is essential to apply sunblock not only on the face but also on all exposed areas. The back of the neck and arms are vulnerable areas.

The sunscreen should be applied about 20 minutes before you step out. If you happen to be outdoors for more than an hour, you should re-apply the lotion. A sunscreen with SPF 20 is adequate for most skin types, but if you have sensitive skin that tends to get damaged easily, you should use a sunscreen with a higher SPF. 

Look out for...
The SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is denoted by a number, and should be mentioned on the label of the sun block product. It is related to duration of sun-exposure and also to an individual’s skin-sensitivity level. For sensitive skin, a sunscreen of SPF 40 may be used. Remember to apply sunscreen while swimming, holidaying by the sea or in the hills.
Note: Reflective surfaces, like water and snow, can increase the effects of UV radiation on your skin.

For oily skin, pick up an ‘oil-free’ product, or apply a sunscreen lotion, rather than a sunscreen cream. Add a drop of water to it, to provide lighter coverage.  If your skin is very dry, apply the sunscreen, wait for a few minutes and then apply a moisturising cream over it. 

To get rid of a tan
Use a facial scrub twice a week. If you develop a rash, avoid using scrubs. If you have oily skin, use a scrub twice a week. Apply milk to soothe the skin.

Combinations of scrubs: Mix three tablespoons of almond meal (ground almonds) with half a cup of yogurt. Apply this paste on the face and neck. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Gently rub it in and rinse after fifteen minutes. 

Mix one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and apply this on your forearms. Rinse after 20 minutes. Repeat this routine thrice a week.
Add a pinch of turmeric to yogurt and apply this on the face, neck and arms. Wash it off after 20 minutes. Dried and powdered lemon peel, cucumber or ripe papaya pulp may be added to the mixture.

Note : Cold milk applied daily, using cotton wool, helps soothe and soften the skin, and lighten skin colour over a period of time. 

To treat freckles: Mix together a large pinch of coarse salt or sugar with yogurt. Apply only on the areas with dark spots and rub it in gently. Rinse. Follow this up by applying cold milk on the the affected area and wash after 15 minutes. 

For hands: Mix equal quantities of coarse sugar (large grains) and lemon juice. Make the paste a few minutes before you apply it. Apply this on your arms and rub it in till the sugar dissolves. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse.

Take two tablespoons of sunflower oil and three tablespoons of coarse sugar. Mix this till it becomes a paste. Apply and rub into hands. Rinse after 15 minutes.

For feet: Add freshly squeezed lemon juice into a tub of lukewarm water and soak your feet in it. This routine cools, cleans and removes tan and bad odour. Rubbing a lemon on the feet also helps feet to stay healthy and smell nice.

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