Believe It or Not: Sunglasses Can Make You Tan

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Hello everyone! How are you all doing? I always make the best effort to come up with something informative and useful, which can really help you to live a cheerful and stress free life. In my previous articles, I opened myths about tanning and sunburns. I even discussed that how does your skin become tan and brownish, and which factors account for that?


In my previous article, I told you that how melanin (that is a pigment) is released from melanocytes. Melanocytes are stimulated by pituitary gland that has Melanin Stimulating Harmone (MSH). As we are exposed to the sun-light, pituitary gland stimulates MSH to release melanin, and melanin protects our skin from getting damaged from sun and its harmful UV rays.

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Actually, pituitary gland is connected to the optic nerve in the eyes. Normally, pituitary gland functions and stimulates MSH, with the amount of light entering to the eyes. As more sun-light enters, more melanin will be secreted by MSH, and there would be more protection from UV rays. But, when we wear shades (sunglasses), pituitary is actually fooled as less light enters to the eyes, and it stimulates MSH by lesser amount, which releases a very little melanin. Hence, our skin is more likely to get sunburn or a suntan.


But that doesn’t mean at all that you should stop wearing sunglasses, as they are the primary and major source of protecting your eyes. You should rather protect rest of your skin by applying generous amount of sunscreens. Sunscreens protect you against UVA and UVB rays of sun, which are responsible for many ailments like skin cancer, premature aging, skin darkening, etc.


UVB is the main culprit behind causing sunburn, while UVA causes leathering, wrinkling, sagging, and other photo-induced effects on the skin. In a country like India, one should apply a sunscreen with broad spectrum that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays of sun. Also, one should go for minimum SPF 30 that can last for at least 3-4 hours. Calculation of SPF is pretty simple. One SPF is said to last for 10 minutes. Now, you can calculate that which SPF you require according to your skin exposure. One should apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going out in sun, so that the sunscreen gets enough time to react with skin and for a protective film over the skin.

I hope it was a useful thread for all of you, and you will be applying them in your life from today itself.

Stay blessed and happy!