Sunburn - It's Serious and Here's Why

Despite the many sun safety messages  red, hot, painful and even blistered skin from sunburn is still an all too common occurrence in the New Zealand summer. But sunburn isn’t just a temporary inconvenience, it’s a serious thing and here’s why.

We’re all at risk of sunburn but very fair skinned, blue-eyed people can get severely burnt in just 15 minutes. People with darker skin have more melanin to protect the skin from the damaging UV radiation, but they can still get sunburnt.

You can even get sunburnt on a cool or cloudy day. As much as 80% of UV rays pass through clouds snow, sand, and water. And surfaces such as footpaths and roads can reflect UV rays, burning your skin as severely as direct sunlight, whilst UVA rays can penetrate car windows.

The effect of sunburn on the skin is more than just a bit of peeling skin on your nose or back. A sunburn may seem temporary but can lead to long lasting damage to the skin and eyes.

Repeated sunburn causes:

Premature skin ageing

  • Skin ages more quickly than normal
  • Skin becomes thicker, coarser and leathery looking
  • Sunspots and red veins appear
  • Pores look larger

Precancerous skin changes

  • Blotchy, red and flaky patches develop in areas of the skin that have been repeatedly sun burnt, especially face, ears, lips, scalp, shoulders, arms and legs
  • These patches are called Actinic Keratoses or Solar Keratoses. If left untreated, they can develop into skin cancer.

Skin cancer

  • Excessive sun exposure, even without sunburn, increases your risk of skin cancer, such as melanoma. It can damage the DNA of skin cells.
  • Sunburn in childhood and adolescence may increase your risk of developing melanoma later in life.

Eye damage

  • Too much UV light damages the retina, lens or cornea
  • Sun damage to the lens can lead to clouding of the lens (cataracts)
  • Sunburn of the cornea is also called snow blindness
  • Sunburned eyes may feel painful or gritty

The good news is that sunburn is entirely avoidable and ‘accidental’ sunburn should be a thing of the past. We take sun health seriously at Oasis Beauty and here are our top tips for protecting your assets this summer:

  1. Wear SPF30 (or higher) sunscreen every day
  2. Apply sunscreen generously to all areas of exposed skin at least 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure
  3. Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours or after swimming when outside
  4. Wear loose, protective clothing
  5. Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  6. Wear sunglasses with UV protection lenses
  7. Stay in the shade as much as possible during the peak burn times of 10AM to 5PM
  8. Check the expiration date of your sunscreen
  9. Always carry a spare tube of sunscreen in your car, beach bag, boat, back pack
  10. The only safe tan is a fake tan. Fake it beautifully this summer with Oasis Beauty Super Tan.

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