A sunscreen combines several ingredients that protect the skin from sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer. What a sunscreen basically does is that it acts as a very thin layer of vest, stopping the harmful UV elements before they can reach the skin and cause damage with a mix of organic and inorganic molecules that absorb UV and inorganic pigments that absorb, scatter and reflect UV. Read our fairness tips
below to understand the basics of sun protection.
The term SPF that appears on sunscreen labels stands for Sun Protection Factor. Products with a higher SPF allow fewer of the harmful UV photons that produce sunburn to strike the skin. In simple words, an SPF 10 sunscreen may allow 10 out of every 100 UV photons to reach the skin while an SPF 20 will allow only 5. Because sunburn is primarily a UVB effect, it is possible for a sunscreen to deliver high SPF while allowing a significant percentage of the incident UVA photons to reach the skin. To deliver true broad spectrum protection, products must also block a significant fraction of the UVA photons as well.
When to Apply Sunscreen
Any skin-care product applied over a sunscreen reduces the sunscreen's effectiveness to some degree, therefore, it should ideally be, the final step in your skin-care routine. If you apply moisturizers or creams over your sunscreen, they would reduce its ability to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. So make sure you follow our fairness tip and ensure that the sunscreen is the last thing that you put on before stepping out in the sun.
How Much Is Enough?
Want to know what liberal application means? Use an ounce of sunscreen for head-to-toe coverage—that amount will ensure you aren't skimping on how much you use. But, the more you cover your skin with clothes, the less sunscreen you’ll need to apply because the clothing provides its own protection. However, don't count on your clothing alone for long days under the sun and generously apply sunscreen on areas that are exposed. This is an important fairness tip!
Who Can Use a sunscreen?
It’s believed that anyone above the age of six months can use a sunscreen daily. Even those who work indoors are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day. But no matter what, children under the age of six months should not be exposed to the sun, since their skin is highly sensitive to the ingredients that go into making a sunscreen as well as to the sun's rays. Shade and protective clothing are the best ways to protect infants from the sun.
On a regular day at work, if an effective amount of sunscreen is applied in the morning, it works till you're done with work and come back home. But if you’re outdoors, sweating, swimming and facing a direct sunlight exposure, remember to apply sunscreen with SPF 25+ daily and reapply every 40 to 80 minutes. Keep your skin nourished and young by reduce your risk of brown spots, sagging, and, most important, skin cancer with these fairness tips!