How many time have you applied sunscreen and ended up having a sun burn or a suntan at the end of the day? Probably many times, right? Let me break it down what are the mistakes you are probably making.
Why Sunscreens Are Necessary?
Let us start with the need of sunscreens. Have you ever wondered why SPF is so hyped? It is included in you everyday skin care, hair care and lip care products. This one cosmetic product has gained more popularity due to its health and skin benefits along with its beauty benefits.
Sun emits two harmful UV radiation namely UV-A and UV-B radiation.
UV-A radiations easily penetrates through the ozone layer and can easily affect the skin layer. These radiations darkens or tans skin easily in seconds with excess production of melanin. UV-A can contribute to aging of skin and suppress the function of immune system.
While UV-B radiations which originally not easily penetrate through the ozone layer, due to global warming has found its way through ozone. UV-B often referred as burning rays have impact of 1000 times to cause sunburns than the UV-A rays.
To sum up, sun’s UV radiations is key factor in instigation of skin problems like immune suppression, wrinkles, premature ageing, dermatitis, hypo pigmentation, urticaria, cracks, burns, hyper pigmentation and some cases can lead to skin cancers.
A sunscreen forms a thin layer above the skin and scatters the UV radiations from entering the skin epidermis. To protect skin from these harmful radiation, a right type of sunscreen is mandatory.
How To Select Sunscreens?
Lets start with the foremost necessary label on the sunscreen, SPF. If you are looking for a sunscreen to wear on skin or face, do choose a product with minimum SPF of 30. SPF of 30 and higher SPF performs the same of scattering almost 97% of the radiations.
A minimum requirement is SPF 15, it can scatter up to 93% of the UV radiations. So, if you are looking SPF to apply on a sensitive area like lips, go for minimum SPF of 15.
Look for the term “Broad spectrum” in your sunscreen. SPF is capable of handling only the UV-B radiations while the broad spectrum is capable of handling both UV-A and UV-B radiations.
Physical ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxides are perfectly safe to use and are very effective components.
Chemical ingredients included in the sunscreens are usually azobenzone and related compounds. They can rarely cause skin irritation reactions. If you have sensitive skin, always do a patch test on body for 48 hours. Avoid sunscreens with toxic chemicals like alcohols, fragrance and preservatives.
Water resistant components are capable of maintaining the SPF value after subsequent immersion in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
What is the Right Way of Using Sunscreen?
Having bought the right product, the right way of using is also mandatory. So, these could be some of the sunscreen mistakes you are mostly doing.
1. Apply Sunscreen Everyday
Many people using sunscreen use it occasionally, while hitting the beach. But it is necessary to wear sunscreen everyday both indoors and outdoors. If the sun radiations can penetrate through your windows, it can penetrate through your skin too.
2. Hiding under shades
Umbrellas, tree shades, windows, hats and scarfs are not going to protect the skin. These shades do not have a strong protection against those harmful UV radiations. The skin needs a strong SPF to protect itself from the rays. So, these shades can provide extra protection but they can not prevent them from penetration. Do not ignore the SPF in the myth of shades protecting the skin.
3. Reapply Sunscreen
Many have fallen into the myth if the SPF is higher then the sunscreen last longer on the skin. No matter what the SPF of your sunscreen is, it is essential to reapply it every 2 to 3 hours again.
4. Apply Sunscreen the Right Amount
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that an average adult must use at least 1 ounce of sunscreen for entire body. This is approximately 2mg/cm.sq. So, always apply a generous amount of sunscreen.
5. Do Not Go Immediately into Sun
Since, many chemical ingredients present in the sunscreen takes time to spring into action give it enough time before going into sun. Dermatologists recommend to wear sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going into the sun.
6. Ignoring Eyes
Often eye protection is ignored. The sun radiations can penetrate into eyes, cause the pupils to dilate and it can cause cataract early. So, apply eye creams with SPF and wear shades with UV-protection in sun.
7. Body SPF
Protecting the face from Sun, isn’t just enough. It is necessary to protect other body parts from the UV radiations. Always apply a good amount of SPF to entire body before stepping out in the sun. Y’all don’t want to end up like Ross, do you? 😀
8. Expiry Date
Having done all the steps above, don’t forget to check the expiry date of your sunscreen. Most sunscreens expires within 2 or 3 years of time. With time, sunscreens lose their functionality and becomes ineffective after expiry date.