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90% Of Skin Changes Are Caused By The Sun – Choose The Best Sunscreen

90% Of Skin Changes Are Caused By The Sun – Choose The Best Sunscreen

90% of skin changes are all caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. There are two kinds of UV rays to worry about – UV-A and UV-B. Most sunscreens work on minimizing the effect of UV-B rays, which are linked to skin cancer. But studies have also shown that UV-A rays not only increase skin cancer risk, but also causes wrinkles. In fact, as per the Environmental Protection Agency, most of the skin changes related to ageing are due to exposure to the sun’s rays.

But does this mean you should become a vampire and live indoors? Inadequate exposure to the sun also reduces your vitamin D levels, which means you don’t necessarily have to strike out sunbathing off your schedule. The trick is to get the optimum sun exposure – with the right protection of course. And this is where sunscreens come in. In fact it has already been proven that regular application of sunscreen prevents melanoma.

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    Image Courtesy of StokPic.

    Common Misconception About Sunscreen

    You may have been brainwashed into thinking that when you buy sunscreen, you should only check the SPF rating and higher the value, the better protection you have. But that’s a common misconception. The SPF or sun protection value only indicates how well it will work against UV-B rays, conveniently leaving out UV-A rays.

    As per David J. Leffell, MD, professor of dermatology and surgery at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn, “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.”

    The Sunscreen Checklist

    Choosing a sunscreen is no laughing matter. Not only do you have to factor in both UV-A and UV-B rays, you need to choose a product to match your health and habits. Here’s a brief checklist.

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    1. When in doubt, go for SPF 15 or higher. This basically means if you’re likely to get a burn in 10 minutes, SPF 15 will protect you for 150 minutes. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, a higher SPF is recommended. However don’t be beguiled by numbers. An SPF 30 might save you for a longer duration but it filters out 97% of UV-B compared to SPF-15’s 93%.

    2. Look for these ingredients. This is for the UV-A rays. Keep an eye out for at least one of the following compounds – ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide. While ecamsule is perhaps the most expensive, you can always go for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide if you’re on a budget.

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    surf-man-getting-hit-by-wave-whilst-taking-a-selfie

      Image courtesy of StokPic.

      3. Take a look at your exercise habits. If you’re an athlete or a swimmer, get a sunscreen that is resistant to water and sweat.

      4. Choose milder sunscreens for kids or if you have a skin allergy. If you have very sensitive skin that is easily irritated by chemicals, go for sunscreens without para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone and instead contain the tried and trusted zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

      And finally, don’t judge a sunscreen by the brand. Buy one that fits your needs, use it for some time and if it works well, stick to it.

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      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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      Archita Mittra

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      Last Updated on January 21, 2020

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

      Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

      your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

        Why You Need a Vision

        Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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        How to Create Your Life Vision

        Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

        What Do You Want?

        The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

        It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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        Some tips to guide you:

        • Remember to ask why you want certain things
        • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
        • Give yourself permission to dream.
        • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
        • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

        Some questions to start your exploration:

        • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
        • What would you like to have more of in your life?
        • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
        • What are your secret passions and dreams?
        • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
        • What do you want your relationships to be like?
        • What qualities would you like to develop?
        • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
        • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
        • What would you most like to accomplish?
        • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

        It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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        What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

        Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

        A few prompts to get you started:

        • What will you have accomplished already?
        • How will you feel about yourself?
        • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
        • What does your ideal day look like?
        • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
        • What would you be doing?
        • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
        • How are you dressed?
        • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
        • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
        • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

        It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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        Plan Backwards

        It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

        • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
        • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
        • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
        • What important actions would you have had to take?
        • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
        • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
        • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
        • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
        • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

        Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

        It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

        Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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