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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 March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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