Ultraviolet Protection and Care
In Hawaii, having such fine, warm weather is a blessing, but one needs to be careful about ultraviolet rays. Despite having such a sunny climate, most people don't use parasols or UV gloves in Hawaii, but instead tend to use hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. This article will discuss some UV protection measures and also things you can do to help if sunburnt.
What are Ultraviolet Rays?
These rays are components of sunlight and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Approximately 6% of all sunlight that reaches earth is ultraviolet. The name comes from the fact that they are located beyond violet in the color spectrum and are thus "ultra" violet. Long term exposure to these rays can cause sunburn, wrinkles, and sagging.
When going out and about in Hawaii, UV protection measures such as sunglasses or hats are helpful, but sunscreen is very important.
Sunscreen that has a higher SPF and PA value indicates that it has better protection from UV rays.
Suitable values can vary by activity (e.g. going to the beach vs. going to the shopping mall), so choose your sunscreen appropriately and with consideration of your own skin and skin conditions.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
The type of UV that can cause sunburn is known as Ultraviolet B or UVB. When choosing SPF, the general rule is that 1 SPF helps protect for approximately 20 minutes of sunlight.
If one uses SPF 25, then it will help protect for 500 minutes. (Calculation: 25 SPF x 20 mins = 500 mins)
That's 8 hours and 20 minutes worth of protection from reddening of the skin.
For example if SPF 25 sunscreen
20 × 25 = 500 minutes
In other words, it will prevent your skin from turning red for 8 hours and 20 minutes.
PA index (Protection from UVA)
Sometimes sunscreens have a PA index which is an indicator of protection from UVA, which can cause a darkening (tanning) of the skin.
The protection is measured using plus signs after the letters "PA" and range from PA+ to PA++++. The higher the number, the more protection.
If sunburnt, some ways to care for the spots are to use whitening cosmetics to help cover the spots. These cosmetics often contain vitamin C and E, which help protect the skin. However, oxygen activity continues even after exposure to UV rays, so highly effective antioxidant components such those containing fullerene may be necessary. If exposed to a lot of UV rays, night cream with fullerene is recommended.