What’s better—sunscreens or scarves? We investigate!

Written by Fatema HabibMar 19, 2019

Summer and sunscreen go hand-in-hand! Those of you who don’t agree and instead prefer shade, then this article is just for you.

While stepping out with an umbrella or a scarf to protect your skin from the harsh UV rays is a great idea, it is not enough! From tanning to skin cancer, sun exposure can be dangerous and harmful in more ways than you can imagine. Most of the changes in your skin (which you think is a normal ageing process) happen when the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag and while this may not reflect on your skin immediately, it will definitely show at a later stage in life.

To help you make the right choice in order to protect your skin, here’s all you need to know...

Effects of sun exposure

Did you know? There are three different types of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVA rays are the most common form of sun exposure. UVB rays make up for less sun exposure but are more intense. UVC rays have the worst impact. Thankfully though, the earth’s ozone layer blocks these rays and we are not at a risk of UVC rays. Even though UV rays are not visible, over-exposure of the sun allows these rays to reach your inner skin layers. This is what leads to sunburn. Sunburn can cause cells to die, damage or develop cancer. If you experience skin redness, pain, itchiness, blisters, peeling or dehydration, then it’s undoubtedly sunburn.

Why skin protection is important

While a small amount of UV rays is good for the body and helps treat some health conditions, over-exposure is what causes trouble. It can lead to the following skin concerns:

  • Premature ageing: The harmful rays of the sun can make your skin age faster than normal. It can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
  • Skin changes: Some skin cells with melanin can form a clump and this will create freckles and moles. The worst part is that over time, these can develop cancer.
  • Immune system at risk: White blood cells work to protect your body. When your skin gets burnt, these cells help create new cells. Doing so can put your immune system at risk in other areas.
  • Eye injuries: UV rays have the power to damage the tissue in your eyes. They can burn the outer layer called the cornea which can blur your vision. Over time, this can cause cataracts and blindness, if untreated.

Scarves Vs Sunscreens

The harmful UV rays can take a toll on your skin, no doubt. However, dealing with sun exposure is totally in your hands. If you think scarfs and hats are a must in Summer you are right, as they can guard you against getting a heat stroke! But are scarfs and hats helpful when it comes to saving your skin from the harmful UV rays, you need a lot more than just scarfs.

Here are ways in which you can protect your skin from the sun:

  • Sunscreen: Make sunscreen your best friend for life. The higher the SPF, the better protection you’ll get. Broad-exposure sunscreen blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. We suggest you use the Lakmé Sun Expert SPF 24 PA++ UV Lotion Light Feel and apply 30 minutes before stepping out. Always remember to apply on overlooked areas, such as your ears, lips and hairline. Re-apply every 2-3 hours for effective results.
  • Time your sun exposure: Did you know? The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM. It is, therefore, ideal to avoid direct sun during these hours. In case, you are out at these hours, then take breaks. Go inside, get in the shade, use an umbrella or cover with a hat or scarf. Prefer wearing sunglasses that block UV rays. Covering yourself is an added bonus when it comes to protecting your skin from the harsh sun rays.