Past and Present of Sunbathing

Past and Present of Sunbathing

Long before people tasted the flavor of getting tanned, white complexion was the symbol of aristocracy. The women tried to keep the whiteness of their complexion under posh hats. The sun was politer then, and was also distributing health to the people. Time passed and people started to have sunbathes, also they liked the bronze color of their complexion. However, hands of the modern humans reached toward the skies and the ozone layer started to get thinner and thinner. Thus, the sunrays that were previously providing the people with health became a threat for our health in the long term. But we would like to get tanned despite all these warnings. When did we start to get tanned?

Acceptance of tanning by the societies...
Until the beginning of the previous century, tanning only symbolized the agriculture and construction workers that worked out in open air. In time, in 1920, reputed fashion designer Coco Chanel presup-posed the concept of “aesthetical” tanning. Chanel also rendered it to become a symbol of health and wealth. In 1936, subsequent to the Act that made the annual leaves to be paid, sunbathing started to become more and more popular. Meanwhile, use of the sun lotions that hardly protected from the sun also started. The first sun lotions couldn’t filter the ultraviolet rays only prevented over drying of the skin by constituting a layer on it.

Sun cosmetics so far...
Especially between the years of 1975 and 1980, researches that were oriented to the damages by the sun to the skin increased and idea of protection from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays became an important issue. Now tanning might have been applied more consciously. In parallel to this, sun cosmetics started to be launched into the markets. These products were primarily in the form of various “sun creams” that contained filters. These did not moisturize the skin but they were able to prevent the moisture loses of the skin to some extent and to provide protection with their filtering effects. But they did have another effect that people did not like: They were eventually oil. After the 1980s, by taking the undesired characteristics of the sun creams into consideration, sun milks that are easier to use and apply in the style of oil/water emulsion and also containing filters were manufactured.

Sun cosmetics of the present day...
As the chippers of the sunrays and their harmful effects on the skin cells continued to be unearthed, protective sun cosmetics were enriched. Now the sun products could easily penetrate the skin and protect the skin against the UV rays with chemical and physical filters, becoming the forms of products of care that prevent at the same time the lose of moisture and provide moisturizing. Varieties as well as the contents of the sun products continue to get enriched. For those who cannot give up bronze complexion, the sunless tanning lotions that we call autobronzant; and for those who cannot give up getting tanned, protective products using the UV filters were developed well, and some of them had spring water, some had anti-aging effect and tightening at the same time moisturizing and alimentary formulas; specifically, Mexoryl XL filter protects either from the rays of the sun or from the decaying effects of time.

For those who are sensitive against the sun and for the people who prefer protections against the sun as long as the year, “sun block” products that prevent the sun were designated. In fact, these products are not merely holiday products; don’t forget that we are exposed to the sun in the cities as well and let’s protect against the sunrays even when we are behind our curtains!

Important note: Not to let the extensive UV protectors to appear on the skin like yogurt, if you can apply on your face by using a foam rubber like you apply a makeup, you can prevent the white appearances. You should not give up the products that you may think “how unnecessary”. After-sun cosmetics that soothe, repair and bring together the tissues decayed by the sun, sun cosmetics for hair care, and care products specifically designated for the sensitive areas constituted an exact outfit against the sunrays.

Locality of Turkey and UV rays…
The Equator receives the most intensive sunrays on earth and the poles receive the least. In the central zones, sunrays arrive in parallel to the seasons. Turkey is also in this zone. That’s to say, we receive intensive sunrays during the summer months and the rays arrive weaker in the winter season. In the country that extends along a vast area, the geographical regions vary in their vicinities. Southern regions receive intensive sunrays, which weaken toward the north. We know that the effect of the UV increases 4 % in each 300 m as we go higher: n higher altitudes, the effects of the UV rays are strengthening consecutively much more according to its longitude compared to the sea level. Skin cancer due to the UV is 15 times more in the white race compared to the black race. As a society, we are in the group that is sensitive for the skin cancer.

As long as all these cannot make us give up our tanning pleasure, we are to learn how to be friend with the sun by acquiring new habits and wielding our cosmetic shields!

UV rays are in a wide range from the tanning UV (Ultraviolet) rays to the visible light:
IR: “Infrared” rays are actually life-giving rays. The sun warms up the world with these rays. But when these rays align with the UVB rays, they increase the risk of sunburn twice.
UVA: The UVA rays have the longest wavelength and they cause aging. In cooperation with the UVB rays, and thanks to their capability of reaching the collagen tissue of the skin easily, they harm the collagen and elastin that keeps the moisture on the skin. Therefore the thin lines and wrinkles occur on the skin.
UVB: are the mid wavelength rays that are responsible directly for the sunburns. But they at the same time realize the formation of vitamin D, which is rare in our food, and they settle calcium into the bones. They help metabolism work faster and support growing up and skin restoration.
UVC: are the ultra violet with the shortest wavelength. They weren’t taken into consideration until recent times, because they were caught by the ozone layer and prevented from entering the atmosphere. But they now reach as far as where we are due to the hole in the ozone layer that is day by day growing bigger. So, we must protect ourselves from UVC rays seriously.

As we try to make use of the gifts of the sun, natural defense mechanism of our organism starts acting and tries actually to protect us by getting tanned. Tanning is obtained via the production of melanin, which is a protective pigment. Nevertheless, the natural defense mechanism of the body, which has a limited potential, is breached by the excess sunrays. Then irreparable damages occur in the cells. Worse result is no doubt skin cancer.

Source: QPlus 2. issue

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