Sunscreens are products designed for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays and Sun Damage. They help in preventing the UV radiations from getting absorbed in the skin, thus stopping sunburns and other skin related diseases like skin cancer. They also help in delaying the aging process by reducing wrinkles and fine lines. However, you will be able to get all the benefits of sunscreens only if you choose the right one. Read on to find out how to do that.
Wearing Sunscreen does not mean that you can stay outdoors for a long period, as they cannot always protect from the Sun’s harmful radiation. Sunscreens are available in various forms like lotion, gel, cream, spray,etc.
What are UVA/UVB rays? How does SPF Protection help in fighting them ?
There are harmful rays present in sunlight that can cause damage to our skin, these rays are called UV rays (Ultraviolet rays). Ultraviolet rays consist of two types – UVA and UVB, that reach the earth’s surface. There are more than 400 more UVA rays than UVB rays in sunlight.
UVB rays affect our skin by causing Sunburn. Whereas, UVA rays are more harmful as they play a major role in developing Skin Cancer, like Melanoma. UVA rays enter into the skin deeply and cause great damage to the skin like skin aging such as wrinkles, fine lines,etc. So, protecting your skin from Harmful rays like UVA rays is also very important as UVB rays to stop skin damage and prevent other dangerous skin diseases.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in sunscreens help in protecting against these harmful UV (Ultraviolet rays). It helps in checking how well the sunscreen can prevent the UVB rays from reaching the skin. Even though UVA rays are main factors, UVB rays other than sunburns, can also cause skin cancer.
The SPF in Sunscreen doesn’t necessarily mean that it always blocks the UVA rays, but it can give a lot of protection from UVB rays. We need to keep in mind that No sunscreen can fully prevent UVB rays from penetrating into our skin. But they can block the UVB rays to a certain amount, e.g. SPF 50 can block 98%, whereas SPF 30 can block 97% of the UV rays.
What type of Sunscreen should we use ?
The Best Sunscreens are the ones which can give protection from UVA and UBA radiations. It should be waterproof and which also contains SPF of 30 or more. The selection of sunscreen may vary according to the area of the body to be applied.
There are various forms of Sunscreens like lotions, gels, sprays, creams, serums, etc. For normal or dry skin, use cream-based sunscreens. For Dry Skin, it’s best to use a moisturizer or lotion- based sunscreen. For oil skin, it’s best to use gel or aqua-based sunscreen. Sunscreen sprays are used to apply on kids by their parents. There are special sunscreens made for sensitive skin as well.
There are sunscreens which come with a mixture of moisturizers, cosmetics, insect repellents, etc. These products are suitable for skin, at the same time. Should be applied again to get better results for Skin protection. Sunscreens can be used daily, but sunscreens with a mixture of insect repellent should be used less, depending upon the need or the situation, as told by AAD (American Academy of Dermatology). Whichever Sunscreen you decide to use, use the one which matches your needs, and also gives better UV protection for your skin.
As mentioned by AAD (American Academy of Dermatology), we should use sunscreen that consists of properties like, SPF 30 or more, Fights UVA and UBA rays (Broad- Spectrum Protection) and is also waterproof. If the Sunscreen has the above mentioned properties, it helps in better protection of your skin from Skin damage, Sunburn, Pre-mature aging of skin, and also harmful Skin diseases like Skin Cancer.
What type of Sunscreen should we use for Indian Skin ?
Mineral or Physical Sunscreens and chemical sunscreens which have endocrine-disrupting ingredients are safer for the skin. But we need to check if the sunscreen isn’t too thick, or causes any sort of skin irritation when applying. Best use a small amount on any body part, to check if it suits your skin. The glow and healthy look comes from the Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide and SPFs of the Sunscreen which helps in protection from the sun.
For better results, use a Tinted Sunscreen for Indian Skin, as it gets easily absorbed in the skin, giving sun protection and helps in reducing dark spots and blemishes on the skin.
Why should you use a sunscreen – benefits ?
Sunscreen is used to improve the appearance of your skin and for keeping it healthy. We are exposing our face everyday to unnecessary damage from sun exposure and other pollutants, hence, it is important to use sunscreen as your daily skincare routine.
Below mentioned are some benefits of using Sunscreen daily:
Sun Protection – Most important and known benefit of sunscreen is that it protects your skin when it’s exposed to Sun or harmful UV rays, which could cause skin damage,or result in painful sunburn. These sunburn can also cause skin damage and even result in developing risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen helps in protecting our skin from the UV rays and all other various types of skin disorders. It’s better to use sunscreen daily, even during winter, if you have sunburns as it takes more time to recover from them.
Reduces signs of Skin Aging – Daily explosion of our skin to Sun without protection can damage the skin tissues and collagen of the skin, which reduces the elasticity and increases wrinkles and fine lines appearance on our skin. Sunscreen is the best option if you want a radiant, young and healthy skin, as it fights against the effects of premature skin aging.
For keeping Skin Complexion Even – Sun damage and Sun burn are reasons which affect our skin tones, and make it tan. Using Sunscreen daily, can help in fighting these issues and will keep our skin complexion even.
Reduces the chances of Skin Cancer – Daily exposure of skin to sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancers, like melanoma. Such type of disease is known to be very dangerous as it is risky for the life of many women, especially women in their 20s. Using a sunscreen will help in protecting from skin damage and preventing these harmful diseases, with usage of SPF15 or higher number for sunscreens. Wearing Sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control(CDC).
For Healthy Skin – Sunscreen, not only helps in protecting from Sun damage, but also helps in keeping our skin smooth and healthy as it contains essential vitamins and proteins, which help in improving skin appearance and also keeps it healthy. Use Sunscreen daily, for a healthier and radiant skin.
Do’s and Don’ts of Sunscreen Usage:
Few important things you need to know to look for in sunscreen for Skin protection:
Use a Broad-Spectrum Protection Sunscreen – The UVA and UVB rays are harmful to the skin as they cause various types of skin damage like Skin aging, Sunburns, age spots, tanning,etc. For preventing these effects, its best to use a Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen on your skin.
Know your Dosage – Does applying less sunscreen, which has SPF 50 written on the product, really help? The answer is No. In labs, for testing, they use only a small amount of sunscreen, to check the given SPF level of the sunscreen. So, considering it, we should use a very small amount of sunscreen on our face or body, especially for your face, it’s best to use only a coin-sized amount of sunscreen.
Apply 10-15 mins before going out – If you have observed at beaches, people usually apply sunscreen over there for skin protection and tanning. But, it’s best to use sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun, as it takes time for sunscreen to get absorbed in our skin and protect our skin from sun damage. You can best, keep your sunscreen on dressing table, that will help in not forgetting to use it daily. Make sure to apply sunscreen on your scalp, and neck as well, as these parts of our skin are easily exposed to sun.
For best results, use sunscreen every two hours in a day.
Never get fooled by high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) – Sunscreens with high SPF are seen as highly misleading, as told by FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration). According to the FDA, it’s best to not use sunscreens with higher SPFs than 60. People tend to use little sunscreen of high SPF for more time when going out. It’s recommended to use SPF 30 sunscreens daily, or use SPF 50 sunscreen if planning to spend more time outdoors if it’s a tropical weather place.
Never Use Expired Sunscreen – Using an expired product of Sunscreen, doesn’t help in Skin protection, but can even increase risk of getting Skin Cancer. Always check the expiry date on the sunscreens before buying to avoid using expired products. Even if there is a sale on Sunscreen products, do check the expiration date before buying that sunscreen, as these products can cause harmful damage to your skin.
Also, keeping our products in warm areas for a long time, can cause losing the properties of skin protection in the product, hence, it’s necessary to check the product once before using it when it’s not used for sometime.
Never think that sunscreen is only for Fair Skin people – People with dark skin tone compared to light skin tone people, also get sunburns. It becomes necessary to apply sunscreen for dark skin tone people as well, as the signs of sunburn are not shown so easily on their skin. Even though the chances of getting skin cancer is low in dark skin tone people, it doesn’t say that they are not at risk. The harmful UV rays can affect all skin types, thus, applying sunscreen becomes very important for all.
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