It’s hot as hell in Pacific Northwest. The temperatures are rising with reports of searing heat said to increase in the ensuing weeks. The temperature in Seattle reached 108 degrees this week. Vancouver recorded a scorching 89 degrees. It’s not just the Northwest that's in the throes of a heatwave. The sweltering heat was also swept through Delhi. Heatwaves are a common occurrence during summer but scientists warn that the record high this year is tangential with climate change. They also warn that the temperatures are expected to soar in the coming weeks. This doesn't bode well for people living in these areas, as the heatwave has become a threat to public health. While the planet is being scorched by heat, let’s ensure that we stay protected against the harmful UV rays and sunburns, which are inevitable insidious side-effects of a heatwave. So gather your sunscreen and be prepared to ward off the worst effects of sun damage. Here’s your resource guide on how to get through these hot times without getting your skin burned off your face.

  • How long does sunscreen last?

There’s a common misconception floating around that sunscreen application is merely limited to once a day. This is not true. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours from 10 am to 5 pm when the sun rays are said to be more potent.

  • How does sunscreen work?

The SPF on sunscreen bottles translates to Sun Protection Factor. Sunscreen protects the skin against UV rays by blocking and deflecting the harmful rays from penetrating your skin. Ideally, you should be using sunscreens with an SPF between 15 and 50. However, no sunscreen in the world can completely block those UV rays.  A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 protects against about 93 per cent of UVB rays, and one with an SPF of 30 protects against 97 per cent of rays. Which is better than none.

  • Is sunscreen bad for you?

No, sunscreen is not bad for you. But there is an anti-sunscreen movement afoot since many believe that the chemical synthetics in the sunscreen are not good for the skin. This is not true. Sunscreen acts as a shield against UV rays. They only provide a barrier and don't completely penetrate the skin. Think of it as make-up without aesthetics. So, always double cleanse in the night (Use an oil cleanser first and then your everyday cleanser)  so you strip it off your face completely. While sunscreen is not bad for you, it was deemed bad for the environment since they contain chemical-sunscreen ingredients, oxybenzone and octinoxate. But there are many brands out there that don't use these ingredients in their sunscreen.

  • When was sunscreen invented?

Franz Greater, a student in Switzerland, is often credited as being the inventor of sunscreen in 1938. He was inspired to create a lotion called “Glacier Cream” after getting severely burned while climbing a mountain.

  • What is the best sunscreen?

That's really subjective to preference, research and trends. There are many brands out there in the field doling out effective sunscreen. Sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50+ is a good choice. Currently, Biore Uv Aqua Rich Watery Essence is reigning supreme amid the masses, since its gel texture is non-sticky and doesn't leave a white cast on the face. It absorbs easily and goes great with make-up. However, try them all out before finding the one that best suits your needs.

  • How to get rid of sunburn fast?

First, prevention is the best step. Ensure, you drink copious amounts of water and apply sunscreen every two hours. But if you've been remiss in following these steps, you can try drinking water, applying moisturiser with high Hyruolic acid content, use dermatologist prescribed lotions, apply bio-oil and wear lightweight fabrics.

  • How long does sunburn last?

Mild sunburns usually can last anywhere from three to five days. Moderate sunburns take about a week to be rid of and Severe sunburns require a visit to the doctor and take about two weeks to heal.

  • How to treat sunburn?

Sunburn can be treated by drinking loads of water, constant application of moisturisers so you keep the area hydrated to spur the regeneration of new cells to replace the damaged ones.

  • What to put on sunburn

Moisturisers with high Hyruolic acid content (Check the ingredient list), bio-oil, Colloidal oat mixture (reduces inflammation and soothes skin),  Prescribed lotions, Aloe Vera and drinking water is key to getting rid of that sunburn.

  • Why does my sunburn itch?

Sunburn damages the top layer of your skin - the epidermis - which contains many sensitive nerve endings. You can stop the itchiness by taking cold showers, applying moisturisers, cold compress and anything that will cool the damaged area.

As heatwaves persist in many parts of the world, these tips might help alleviate the issues that encumber raising temperatures. So, be sure to take your sunscreen everywhere and reapply it every two hours to keep sunburns at bay.

(This article is written for an informative purpose and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 01, 2021 01:06 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website