ALL ABOUT SUNSCREENS: FACTS/MYTHS/HOW TO CHOOSE & USE

Hello, everyone! These days You probably have heard enough of times to use sunscreen every day. Yes, that should be the most important step of your daily skincare routine.  Lots of people avoid using sunscreens because of its sticky formula and most of the times it leaves a white cast on the skin.  But nowadays sunscreens are sold in various forms such as creams,  lotions,  sprays, sticks, and gels. Companies are making sunscreens for different skin types.You can choose the best formula according to your skin type.

sunscreen

WHY USE SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY?

Many people think that if it is not summer season then why to go for sunscreen? I will tell you the reasons to apply it in every season.

  • Whether it is a sunny day or a cloudy rainy day, the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun are scattered everywhere. These rays cause premature aging and skin cancer. melanoma skin cancer is seen especially in the women who are in their 20’s.
  • It prevents acne, reduces the appearance of facial red veins and blotchiness.
  • It prevents skin tanning and sunburns.
  • It protects the skin proteins such as elastin, collagen, etc to keep it healthy.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE CORRECT SPF AND HOW TO APPLY:

Usually, the sunscreens are chosen on the basis of the numerical factor known as SPF( Sun Protection Factor) which acts as a broad spectrum by creating a shield against the UVA and UVB rays. There are 3 categories of SPF.

  • Low (4,6,8,10)
  • Moderate ( 15,20,25)
  • High ( 30,40,50)
  • Very high (50+)

SPF 15 filters 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 does 97% and SPF 50 filters 98% of UV rays. SPF 15 or SPF 30 is generally recommended for everyday purpose. If you stay outside for several hours then select the sunscreen with higher SPF(SPF 50 is enough ) no need to go for SPF 100. Because Above SPF 30  there is a negligible difference in performance.

Applying the SPF 15 will allow you to stay in the sun without burning for approximately 150 minutes. Depending upon the intensity of sunlight, your skin type and the amount of SPF it has, you can roughly estimate the time duration of protection. However, due to this concept, you have to reapply the sunscreen every 2-3 hours. If you are a sports person such as the swimmer, runner, etc. then you have to reapply it even more frequently. It is advised to apply sunscreen all over your body at least 30 minutes before heading outside. Use lip balms or lip creams which have SPF in it because UV rays can darken your lips as well.

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PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS OR CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS?

Well, this is another aspect of Sunscreens. Physical sunscreens aka inorganic sunscreens/sunblock use physical UV filters. Physical sunscreens are often referred as physical blockers. It contains active mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which provide a physical barrier between UV rays and skin. It is best for sensitive and blemishes prone skin. But if you get wet or become sweaty then it will need reapplication. It is thicker in texture and gives a white cast on the skin. It does not clog pores and begins to work after immediate application.

Chemical sunscreens aka organic sunscreens use chemical UV filters.  It works by absorbing the harmful rays. Some chemical filters can scatter the rays. It contains active ingredients such as para-aminobenzoic acid, avobenzone, homosalate,octisalate,octinoxate, oxybenzone. It has higher chances of causing irritation on sensitive skin. Its texture is thinner so it is suitable for everyday use. But it may clog the pores and begins to work after 20 minutes of application.

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SUNSCREEN FACTS & MYTHS:

You need to consider some facts and myths to avoid any confusion related to sunscreens.

Myth: You are covered with clothes from head to toe so you do not need to apply sunscreen.

Fact: Even if sun rays do not come in direct contact with your skin still it will cause irritation, tan,   wrinkles, and the other harmful effects.

Myth: You do not need to apply sunscreen at home.

Fact: Sun rays are present everywhere. So you should apply sunscreen while staying at home as well.

Myth: If it is raining or cloudy outside you are not supposed to use sunscreen.

Fact: You should use sunscreen as frequently as possible.

Myth: Higher the SPF higher the protection you will get.

Fact: As I mentioned earlier after SPF 30 there is a very negligible difference.

Myth: Your makeup SPF is sufficient for your skin.

Fact: No it is not sufficient. You have to apply the sunscreen separately. Makeup products containing SPF may not give enough coverage to your skin.

These are some important facts that I wanted to share with you all. if you are still confused about the type of sunscreen you should use then do consult with a health professional. If you are currently using some skin medications prescribed by your doctor then it is advised to ask him/her about correct sunscreen for your skin. Because the skin medication you are using might create other skin problems when coming directly in contact with sunscreens.

 

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