The Biggest Myth about Sunscreen products are that ‘Higher the SPF better is the sun block’, well that’s not true. Here is EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SUNSCREEN ….
Sunscreen protects our skin against the Ultra Violet Radiations which include both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays has a pretty long wave and is considered to be the most damaging to underlying skin cells activating pre-mature aging process, skin pigmentation and wrinkling. 90% of the wrinkles are usually caused by the sun damage. Even on a cloudy day, UVA rays still penetrate.
UVB rays have a short wave which results in tanning and sunburns. Excess exposure to both UVA and UVB can lead to skin cancer.
How to protect yourself against damage?
One of the most effective ways to keep skin looking its best is using daily sun protection.Daily use of SPF protects the skin against damages caused by harmful UVB rays to an extent. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a gauge of how much time a person can be exposed to the sun before getting burnt.
Understand your SPF:
SPF indicates the level of protection from UVB rays.So, SPF 5 = 50 minutes protection(10x), which means you have to re-apply your SPF 5 after every 50 minutes. Woah!!! What a task! So, the recommended daily use starts at SPF 15 = 2.30 hours( 150 minutes) and SPF 30 = 5 hours (300 minutes)
Sunscreens should have SPF of at least 15, but this is the minimum, which is not enough, SPF 15 may stop some UVB rays but it may not stop UVA rays.
SPF indicates the level of protection from UVB rays while PA indicates the level of protection from UVA rays. PA simply means Protection Grade of UVA rays, which is used to measure the SPF of a sunscreen.
A BROAD SPECTRUM , or full-spectrum, sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB radiations. With a product with SPF 15 and broad-spectrum we are protected against both UVA and UVB rays.
What happens if we increase the SPF to 50, but do not consider PA rating, the higher SPF provides more protection against UVB rays but without PA+++, the sunscreen will not protect you adequately against UVA rays.
PA+ is the least amount of protection
PA++ is medium ,
PA+++ is the maximum protection.
Types of sunscreen: Physical and chemical sunscreen- DIFFERENCE?
There are two types of sunscreen actives available: physical (often also referred to as “mineral”) and chemical.
Physical sunscreens use UV filters that reflect, scatter and block the sun’s rays.
Chemical sunscreens use active ingredients that absorb UV radiation, preventing them from penetrating the skin. Over time, some chemical filters slowly break down and release heat. While all physical UV filters block from both UVA and UVB rays, most chemical UV filters protect one or the other, not both. Some widely available sunscreens contain both physical and chemical ingredients to provide broad spectrum protection.
Effective Use of Sunscreen:
It’s important to remember that sunscreen is an excellent addition to your everyday skincare ritual- even on overcast and cold days because the sun’s rays are still present. Don’t forget to apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially those often overlooked such as the back of the neck, ears, neck which are particularly exposed to sun damage. Keeping track of your sun exposure, and reapplying sunscreen as often as needed depending on how long you are outdoors, is your first line of defense against UV radiation.
Studies show that most of us do not apply enough sunscreen and by enough they mean in the first application we usually take pea sized amount to cover entire face. Researchers mention that at-least egg size amount of sunscreen need to go on the face alone if we are out in sun.