As sun is an important source of vitamin D and increases serotonin levels in our body. At the same time, it also has harmful effects on our body. Therefore, it is essential to protect ourselves against the suns rays by using the correct sunscreen.
Sunscreens not only protect the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun but also prevent the premature ageing of the skin such as development of fine lines and wrinkles. It also prevents pigmentation and tanning of the skin.
BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN
The UV radiation which causes damage to the skin can be classified as UVA, UVB and UVC. UVB causes pigmentation by stimulation of the melanocytes while UVA penetrates deeper causing loosening and wrinkling of the skin by damaging dermal fibroblasts. Therefore, it is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen which covers both UVB and UVA. In order to choose the perfect sunscreen, make sure it has the following labels such as SPF (sun protection factor) which covers for UVB and boots star factor which covers for UVA. It is very important to choose a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 40.
The best sunscreen to use is a physical block which contains ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in the micronized form which prevents the sun’s rays to penetrate the skin. Sunscreens which contain physical block look opaque on the skin and give a mask like appearance. Traditional sunscreens are a combination of both physical and chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by changing the way UV rays act on the skin therefore it should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure and should be reapplied every 4 hours.
APPLICATION OF SUNSCREEN
Doctors generally advise the teaspoon rule which is more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to be applied on the face. However, most of us do not use this recommended quantity due to greasy appearance of the sunscreen. So, choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF which can compensate for the less quantity applied and it can still remain effective.
WATER RESISTANT SUNCREENS
Water resistant sunscreens retain their sun protection factor after a certain time (40 or 80 minutes) in water or while sweating
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Sunscreens have to be used not only in summer but throughout the year as the UV radiation stays the same throughout the year with 90% of the UV rays reaching the earth’s surface.
Sunscreens cannot always completely prevent a tan. Make sure to provide adequate protection against the sun by wearing full sleeved clothes, broad brimmed hats, large sunglasses and umbrellas.