Have you ever thought about using your sunscreen throughout the year?
For some, it may be a yes and for some a no. But even if we use it frequently, how much knowledge do we know about Sunscreen’s and why do we use it?
People often think of sunscreen only when they are attacked by the sun rays and the heat of the sunny weather outside. But it should be thought otherwise that the sun shines everyday throughout the year. The same is with the UV radiations coming from the sun. Supposedly even on a very cloudy day 40% of the harmful UV rays reach us without any prior notice.
Excess exposure to sunlight often causes harmful reactions and leads to sunburns, wrinkles, pigmentation, dark spots; premature aging and even can cause cancer of the skin.
The UV rays (or the ultraviolet rays) are of different forms, the UVA, UVB and UVC. The UVA leads to wrinkles and fine lines in the skin. The UVB leads to sunburn and skin cancer. And lastly, UVC rays does not affect much as the rays rarely get through the surface of the earth’s atmosphere but still has a chance of causing skin cancer known as melanoma.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a report showing people diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers and 1,20,000 malignant melanomas patients globally each year. But we have created a defense mechanism against such a harmful radiation effect. Let’s get to know more about it further.
What are SPF and Why Does It Matter?
SPF moisturizer or the Sun Protection Factor is a kind of measurement of how well a sunscreen can protect the skin of a person from the harsh UV radiation from the sun which can cause skin pigmentation, sunburn or diseases like skin cancer of the skin.
The so called SPF scale is not at all linear:
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
The above points shows that SPF 30 sunscreen gives only 4% more protection than SPF 15.
The SPF 30 that we hear frequently and SPF 50 is the two most protected SPF above all. All other SPF’s like the SPF 75 or the SPF 100 do not provide greater UV protection than SPF’s 30 and 50. The larger number basically misleads people into believing that it may provide greater protection against the sun rays. The SPF 50 is a very high protection sunscreen.
Sunscreen Application Tricks:
- Each and every exposed area should be moisturized with sunscreen. The parts include the face, nose, arms, ears, legs, and specifically the back of the neck.
- The sunscreen should be applied 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun. This helps the skin to absorb the moisturizer and makes the effect of the sunscreen stays for a longer time.
- If the body is exposed to the sunlight for a long duration, a water-resistant sunscreen should always be used so it doesn’t break down with sweat.
- Reapply the sunscreen after every 15-20 minutes.
- As lips don’t produce enough melanin so they need more protection from the sun rays. Always apply high SPF lip balms.
- Apply the sunscreen before the makeup is applied on the face.
Choosing Sunscreen as per Skin Type
Sunscreens don’t fit all. Each person needs a different type of sunscreen as there are different skin types. So the skin need the protection accordingly the SPF is calculated with it and it helps in providing protection.
For allergic skin type: It is prescribed to avoid sunscreens that contain percentage of alcohol, PABA, oxybenzone, fragrances, and preservatives. Sunscreens having a percentage amount of salicylates and ecamsule are not likely to cause a skin reaction or cause any harm or damage to the skin.
For those with dark skin type: SPF 15 – SPF 30 can do the job easily.
For dry skin type: The protective sunscreens that we get in the stores or online or from any other sources must contain moisturizing components. It is mostly recommended for the dry skin. These sunscreen moisturizers or sunscreen gels contain lanolin, oils, dimethicone, etc. that hydrate the skin and makes it supple and soft, along with the protection from the UV rays of the sun.
As discussed and explained above,
Sunscreens are very important for the protection from sun’s harmful UVA, UVB and UVC rays that reach us and harm us continuously throughout the year. However, they are not a foolproof plan to save ourselves from the harsh reality. The quantity applied is just as important and vital as the quality of the sunscreen. For other inclusive of sun protection ways, one may use materials like sunglasses and full clothing.