All about sunscreen- why you need it and how it workstext_fields
New Delhi: Over the past couple of years, the importance of sunscreen as a skincare essential has gained immense popularity.
The sudden hype around sunscreen is attributed to the growing awareness of the effects of UV rays on the skin through the emergence of scientific research and increasing cases of skin cancer.
During the summer season, when the UV rays get more robust, we must protect our skin from sunburns, premature ageing, and other skin damage.
Sunscreen is a product that helps protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays which are imperceptible to the naked eye.
According to the experts, men, women and children over 6 months of age should use sunscreen every day. This includes people who tan easily and those who don’t.
Remember, your skin is damaged by sun exposure over your lifetime, whether or not you burn.
Doctor Aparna Santhanam, Dermafique Skin Expert said, "Sunscreen is a must-have product for everyone, regardless of skin type or tone. It is critical to use a full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to guard against UVA, UVB rays, infrared rays and visible light. Sunscreen must be a part of your daily skincare routine, even when it is cloudy outside."
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin if you apply the sunscreen exactly as directed compared with the amount of time without sunscreen.
So, if you use an SPF 30 product properly, it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen.
UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin's layers than UVB rays, leading to premature skin ageing, including the formation of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. This occurs because UV rays attack collagen and elastin, two proteins required for skin elasticity and firmness.
Since UVA, UVB, and infrared rays can cause skin damage, applying a sunscreen that offers full-spectrum protection is necessary.
The best practice is to apply 30 minutes before venturing outside to allow the sunscreen to bind to your skin. Reapply every two hours regardless of which part of the Earth you reside.
Even when it’s cloudy, up to 80 per cent of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the Earth. Going unprotected on an overcast day can lead to skin damage
Doctor Aparna Santhanam adds "it is equally necessary to remember to reapply Sunscreen regularly throughout the day, especially if you're outdoors for swimming, hiking, playing, etc. You should apply Sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two to three hours".
Moreover, the beauty industry has also recognized the importance of Sunscreen and incorporated it into their products. Many makeup products, including foundations, BB creams, and tinted moisturizers, now contain SPF, making it easier for people to protect their skin from the sun while applying makeup.
Given the variety of available options, choosing the right Sunscreen can be overwhelming.
When selecting a sunscreen, it is essential to look at the Sun Protection Factor (or SPF), which measures a sunscreen's ability to protect against UVB rays.
A sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30 blocks about 97 per cent of UVB rays, while an SPF of 50 blocks back 98 per cent. Ultimately, consider the texture and feel of the Sunscreen, and choose the one that works well with your skin type.
Sunscreens are now available in various textures, formulas, and SPF levels, making it easier for everyone to pick. Opt for sunscreens which are lightweight and non-sticky, to suit the hot & humid Indian summers.
In addition, choose sunscreens that are dermatologically tested according to your regional skin and weather concerns because skin types differ across regions due to internal and external environmental factors.
When used as directed, sunscreen is proven to decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin precancers. Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 per cent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 per cent, say the skin care experts.
Keep in mind that sunscreen alone is not enough. Seek the shade whenever possible, wear sun-safe clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, for a complete sun safety strategy.
With these tips, you can enjoy the summer sun while keeping your skin safe.