How Far Would You Go With Sun Protection?

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How Far Would You Go With Sun Protection?

As far as your skin demands! Yes, when it comes to choosing the right sun protection product, your skin is the boss.

How far would you go with sun protection?

Image Source: Dinodia

The sun sustains life on Earth. It helps in photosynthesis. It gives us vitamin D. Wonder then, why is it treated as our number one enemy! Reasons are clear: Ultraviolet radiation from the sun also gives us sunburn, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sagging and yes, skin cancer. Long unprotected exposure to sunlight can cause irreversible damage to the skin. So, thankful as we are to the sun for keeping us alive, we are also wary of the UV rays it rains down on us. 

When our skin is exposed to direct sunlight, the strong UV rays damage our healthy skin cells. We see this in the form of freckles, wrinkles and spots or aggravated pigmentation or melasma. Prolonged exposure leads to precancerous skin growths. While these conditions are to some extent treatable, it is best to avoid overexposure to the sun by using the right kind of sun protection. 

What’s your type?

Sun protection comes in two forms – topical application and physical. The latter includes hats, scarves, masks and long-sleeved clothes. Topical application largely comprises sunscreens in the form of creams, gels and lotions. While wearing sunscreen is mandatory for everyone irrespective of skin type, race, gender, age and geographical location, the type of sunscreen required should be based on your skin type. People with dry skin can opt for cream-based sunscreen while those with combination or normal skin can use lotions. Sunscreen gels are best recommended for oily and acne prone skin. It is important to note that sunscreen has to be worn all year round, and not just during summers. It should be applied at least 20 minutes before you step outdoors.

Sun Protection Factor

The efficacy of a sunscreen is determined by its SPF value. The Sun Protection Factor or SPF refers to the protection provided by your sunscreen against UVB rays. However, it does not protect you against UVA rays, which are also quite harmful. SPF determines the sunscreen’s efficacy by providing information on how long it works in case of exposure to the sun. For example, when exposed to the sun, your skin burns after 10 minutes, an SPF 15 sunscreen will allow you to remain in the sun for almost 150 minutes without burning. So, the SPF is a factor of 15 times longer!

Dermatologists recommend SPF 30 or higher, which blocks 97 per cent of the UVB rays, and reapplication every two hours. It is important to apply sufficient quantities of sunscreen as underusing it will not give you the desired protection. You can know instantly that the sunscreen is not working if you feel your skin burning, turning red or tanning. 

Types of sun protection 

Apart from protective clothing, sun protection includes sunscreens, sun blocks and ingestibles.

Sunscreen - It is a photoprotective topical protector that reflects UV rays and protects the skin. Sunscreens can be in cream, lotion, powder or gel forms and can be in bottle, pump and spray formats. Upon application, a sunscreen is not visible on the skin. Sunscreens are either mineral or chemical in composition.

Sunblocks - Sunscreens, in a physical format, are called sunblocks. Sunblocks include zinc oxide or titanium oxide and are often opaque. They are generally worn by professional athletes who play in the sun for long hours. 

Ingestible sunscreen - Did you know that you can also pop a sunscreen pill? Yes, ingestible sunscreen is a real thing! A recent development in dermatology, oral sunscreen tablets are full of antioxidants that help your body fight photo damage and protect your skin from the inside out. 

Sunscreens are important for everyone on an everyday basis and not just for your beachside holidays. Be careful about choosing the right type of sunscreen to suit your skin and lifestyle. Homemade remedies for sunscreen are not a popular option and are not scientifically proven. It should be noted that as sunlight is our chief source of vitamin D, you may perceive its deficiency due to the use of sunscreens. It is therefore advisable to consult a dermatologist for proper recommendations, especially if you have sensitive skin, skin that is prone to redness or rosacea and allergies.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.