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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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      Last Updated on January 11, 2021

      11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

      11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

      Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

      Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

      1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

      Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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      2. Stress Relief

      Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

      3. Improved Sleep

      Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

      4. Appetite Control

      Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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      5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

      When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

      6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

      Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

      7. Mosquito Repellant

      Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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      8. Pain Relief

      While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

      9. The New Anti-Viral

      Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

      10. Improved Cognitive Function

      Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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      11. Money Saving

      With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

      Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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