It was time…finally!
The long awaited health talk.
Ms. X talked about so many things, she talked about how to maintain clear and supple skin,how to moisturize and revitalize it as well

I was enjoying every bit of her very interactive session as she kept on asking and answering questions every now and then.
I stopped to take out time to look at her very well. She was a very charming, yet outspoken lady with a very light treble voice that rang across the room. Wait! Her hair was natural too. Damn! It was so on fleek with her edges laid and all.
I came back to reality and realized that the room had became painfully silent.
I wondered what could cause such quietness!

Then the question came again…
She was smiling…” How many of you actually use creams that contain sunscreen to protect your skin?”.
Nobody answered her…
I don’t think anyone had a clue of what sunscreen was sef!

“Ok… That’s where I’ll lay major emphasis on today.
First of all we have to know what sunscreen means.

Sunscreens are used to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. They help to prevent sunburn and premature aging (e.g., wrinkles , leathery skin).
They also help to decrease the risk of skin cancer and also of sunburn-like skin reactions (sun sensitivity) caused by some medications (e.g., tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, phenothiazines such as chlorpromazine ).
The active ingredients in
sunscreens work either by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, preventing it from reaching the deeper layers of the skin, or by reflecting the radiation”

Almost everybody was looking at her in a funny way.
I thought she was using too much big grammar.

“Okay.. Let me break it down.
The Sun’s Ultraviolet radiations are too harsh on the skin and can result in skin burns and even skin cancer.
So you have to use creams containing sunscreen to really protect your skin.”

” All of us love to have younger looking, radiant, and healthy skin. And, this is one of the most convincing reasons to start using sunscreen. It shields your skin from developing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Studies reveal that people below the age of 55 who used sunscreen had 24% lesser chances of developing these aging signs than non-sunscreen and occasional sunscreen users.

While I started using sunscreen mainly for beauty reasons, this health benefit came as an advantage. Wear your sunscreen daily and over the days and months to shield your skin from the risk of various types of skin cancer , especially, melanoma. This is the worst type of skin cancers, which can be life threatening for women, particularly those who are in their 20s.

It lowers blotchiness on the face and also prevents Sunburns.
Sunburns weaken your skin, subjecting it more to bruises. Your skin may suffer repeated attacks of peeling, swelling, redness, hives, and itching. And, this comes from the influence of UV rays. The blisters can escalate the risk of skin cancer.

A study published in ‘Annals of Epidemiology’ in August 2008 suggested that recurring occurrences of sunburns could actually put you at a higher risk of lethal melanoma. So, apply sunscreen and stay safe.

She stopped to see of the ladies were bored… I wasn’t and the ladies weren’t too!

She continued,

” The essential skin proteins, such as collagen, keratin, and elastin are protected by sunscreen. These proteins are required for keeping the skin smooth and healthy. Make sure your sun block has titanium oxide in it for endowing these benefits to the skin.

Now-a- days, you get sunscreens that also doubles up as a cream. Just apply it and leave on.
If you have a dry skin or sensitive skin, make sure you reapply a coating every now and then for better safety of your skin.

The good news is that there are countless variants of sunscreens available in the market today. Plus, they come at an affordable rate. There are countless sunscreen recipes online that you could prepare at home too, making them even more cost effective.

Also, most of the sunscreens or sun blocks available these days are waterproof. This enables you to enjoy yourself in the water, without burning yourself

Just so you know, you cannot safeguard yourself from the sun by wearing a full-sleeve dress!
Do you know that a cotton dress, particularly when damp, offers zero protection from the harmful rays of the sun?
Just apply a generous amount of sunscreen under the dress as well.”

I had a question…
“Excuse me ma…” I asked for her permission and she nodded slightly.

“I read somewhere that dark skinned people don’t have issues with the UV rays and don’t need this sunscreen at all because of the melanin in their skin. Do we need the sunscreens or not? Thank you”

“Very good question”, she smiled at me
” Even dark skinned people have tl use sunscreens too. Although fair skinned people and albinos are at a higher risk of have skin irritations and skin cancer, the depletion of the Ozone layer has made the UV rays too harsh on the skin that even melanin cannot absorb all of it.

Sunburns on dark skinned people make them darker or develop skin irritation and some even die of skin cancer.
So if you know you will be staying out in the sun for a long period of time,whether you are light or dark skinned, please use a sunscreen for protection.
Any more questions?”

A short plump girl with a TWA stood up..
“How do we apply these sunscreens and how do we know the right one to use?”

She replied almost immediately,
” There are various types of sunscreens available in many forms like cream, lotion, gel, stick, spray, lip balm.
Sunscreens are for use on the skin only. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

There are a few factors that you need to keep in mind while picking up the sunscreen and using it everyday:

1. Always read the ingredient list and make sure your sunscreen contain the following:
Titanium dioxide
Octyl methoxycinnimate (OMC)
Avobenzone (also parsol)
Zinc oxide

2. Opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen lotion or gel that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Such sun creams will shield you from ultraviolet rays, both A and B, while safeguarding you from rashes, clogged pores, acne, and sun burns.

3. Choose a sunscreen that is waterproof and comes with a minimum SPF of 30.

4. Always apply sunscreen half an hour before you come into contact with the sun.

An elderly woman with incredibly long locs stood up to ask, “How Often to Use Sunscreens?”

Ms. X replied,

“Sunscreens act as a shield against the harmful UV rays which penetrates every time your skin is exposed to the sun. It is therefore advisable to use sunscreen everyday.
You may not notice the benefits now, but the advantage of using sunscreen is felt in the long run. If you are out in the sun for a long time either working or enjoying a sunbath in the beach, it is better to reapply sunscreen after every two hours to protect your skin from sunburns.

There is actually no specific time to start using sunscreen. It is always better to be late than never. Enjoy the sun 365 days with a liberal dab of sunscreen

Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin 30 minutes before sun exposure.
As a general guide, use 1 ounce (30 grams) to cover your entire body. Reapply the sunscreen after swimming or sweating or drying off with a towel or if it has rubbed off. If you are outside for long periods, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. If you are using the lip balm form, apply to the lip area only.

The spray form is flammable. If using the spray, avoid smoking when applying this medication and do not use or store it near heat or open flame.
When applying sunscreen to the face, be careful to avoid contact with the eyes. If the sunscreen gets in your eyes , rinse thoroughly with water.
Use cautiously or avoid use on irritated skin.

Do not use sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months unless the doctor directs you to do so. It is best for infants to stay out of the sun and wear protective clothing (e.g., hats, long sleeves/pants) when outdoors.
If you develop a serious sunburn, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention”..

She stopped and look round the hall.

“Do you all now know about sunscreens and their uses?”

Everyone was now smiling,and clapping too.
She took that as a yes.

” I think I’ll stop time is up already.
You can do some more research on causes of skin cancer,sunscreen etc to get more understanding of this topic.
Thanks for your time naturalistas.”
She smiled and walked off the stage.

There was a loud round of applause and even cheering.
Trust naija babes now!

I’ve never been in a more exciting Natural hair Meet up. They saved the most educating talk for last.
And in my mind, I had already started planning on how to get my ticket for the next meetup!


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