How much you know about your sunscreen?? – Dr.Sangeetha Das, Consultant at ClinTech

We all know we need to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Of course, it’s     impossible to avoid the sun — who wants to hide indoors when it feels so great to get outside? And the sun’s not all that bad, anyway: Sunlight helps our body to create vitamin D. So follow these tips when you’re outdoors to help manage sun exposure.

First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between UVA (ultraviolet-A) and UVB (ultraviolet-B).

UVA comes from long-wave solar rays known to penetrate the skin deeply, and is considered the main culprit behind wrinkling and other aspects of photoaging.

UVB, on the other hand, comprises short-wave solar rays that are known to cause sunburn.

Even on cloudy day, upto 80%of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds..

Snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen. Snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays and sand reflects 25% of the sun’s rays.

Though sunlight is important for healthy skin, just a small amount will do.

 Evidence shows that in temperate countries, anything from 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure between the hours of10am  and 3pm, twice a week, is sufficient to prevent vitamin D deficiency

There are two kinds of sunblocks. First, there is the physical sunblock, which deflects or scatters UV radiation with its active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Then there is the chemical sunblock, which supposedly works by absorbing the energy of UV radiation before it affects the skin.

What is SPF?

All the SPF number lets you know is how long you can stay in the sun without burning when wearing that product. However, it only refers to protection from UVB radiation, without giving you information about protection from UVA radiation

If that SPF 15 or SPF 30 doesn’t contain avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, you are receiving minimal protection from UVA radiation and it is a dangerous product to consider using. Dangerous because the user now spends more time in the sun, thinking that the product offers more protection than it does in reality.

Many sunscreens are also rated as “PA+”, “PA++” or “PA+++”.  PA, which stands for Protection Grade of UVA, measures the ingredients’ protective effect against UVA.  PA+ is sufficient for most activities but should you plan to stay in the sun for long hours, opt for PA+++ or higher, if possible.

So what are you waiting for…Step out  and enjoy the summer!!

Look Good……………… Naturally – By Dr.Nilam Kothari, Dermatologist

The quest for that elusive glow and radiance seems never ending; believe me it all starts with the food on your plate. To know what works best for you, first know your skin type.

This can be done by taking a simple skin test using a dry tissue strip, after cleansing the face with a gentle cleanser wait for 30mins, now take a dry tissue strip and gently dab it with minimal pressure across the face starting from one ear to the other, including the nose. Do this for about 2minutes. Now observe for oil spots over the tissue strip.

Normal skin shows some oil spots predominantly over the nose area.

Oily skin will show large spots all over the strip.

Combination skin shows more number of spots smeared over the nose area.

Dry skin shows very few or no spots at all. In very dry skin fine flakes of dead skin may be seen.

Knowing your basic skin type is the first step towards selecting a smart diet plan that helps you attain healthy and radiant skin that lasts longer. Apart from a balanced diet with ideal proportion of carbs, proteins, fats and micronutrients, inclusion of certain specific food items is highly recommended.

Oily skin type benefits well with diet rich in vitamin A, present abundantly in coloured (red & orange) fruits and veggies like papaya, orange, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.

Normal skin benefits with diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C & E like gooseberries, olives, nuts, tomatoes, coloured peppers, nuts & fruits.

Dry skin types need proper skin hydration; plenty of water intake does the trick. Also foods rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids help. Rich sources are olive oil, nuts like almonds, peanuts, dried apricot, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds. Fish such as sardines, tuna & salmon should be included in the diet.

Mature skin above 40 years of age is usually dry and may thus require diet suited to dry or combination skin type.

Also antioxidants (vitamins & minerals) are necessary for all skin types to combat the damaging effects of sunlight, pollution, smoking, alcohol & toxins present in processed food and water. Food sources rich in vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, magnesium & zinc are ideal. Selenium & magnesium rich foods include seafood, brown rice, chicken and whole wheat bread. Zinc is found in nuts, cereals and meats (beef, pork, salmon, and chicken). Green tea is power packed with most of the natural antioxidants.

Apart from diet modification, a specific skin care routine suitable to your skin type works wonders. To know more consult your dermatologist who will guide you better.