Sunscreen

  • Why should I use sunscreen ?
Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays: ultraviolet A (UVA) rays and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. UVA rays (which pass through window glass) penetrate deeper into the dermis, the thickest layer of the skin. UVA rays can cause suppression of the immune system, which interferes with the immune system's ability to protect you against the development and spread of skin cancer. UVA exposure also is known to lead to signs of premature aging of the skin such as wrinkling and age spots. The UVB rays are the sun's burning rays (which are blocked by window glass) and are the primary cause of sunburn. A good way to remember it is that UVA rays are the aging rays and UVB rays are the burning rays.
  • Who needs Sunscreen ?
Everyone from 2 year age onwards needs to use sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied every day to exposed skin, and not just if you are going to be in the sun. UVB rays cannot penetrate glass windows, but UVA rays can, leaving you prone to these damaging effects if unprotected. For days when you are going to be indoors, apply sunscreen on the areas not covered by clothing, such as the face and hands. Sunscreens can be applied under makeup, or alternatively, there are many cosmetic products available that contain sunscreens for daily use. Sun protection is the principal means of preventing premature aging and skin cancer. It's never too late to protect yourself from the sun and minimize your future risk of skin cancer.
Don't reserve the use of sunscreen only for sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun's ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. In addition, sand reflects 25 percent of the sun's rays and snow reflects 80 percent of the sun's rays.
  • How should I use a sunscreen ?
Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors. When using sunscreen, be sure to apply it to all exposed areas and pay particular attention to the face, ears, hands, and arms. Coat the skin liberally and rub it in thoroughly - most people apply only 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
  • How often should I repeat sunscreen ?
Sunscreen has to be repeated every 3 hourly. The sunprotection gets weared off if the sunscreen gets washed off by sweat or water; in which case the sunscreen has to reapplied.
  • What is spf ? What is difference between spf15 and spf30 ?
SPF stands for sun protection factor. Sunscreens are rated or classified by the strength of their SPF. The SPF numbers on the packaging can range from as low as 2 to greater than 50. These numbers refer to the product's ability to deflect the sun's burning rays (UVB).
The sunscreen SPF rating is calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on sunscreen-protected skin to the amount of time needed to cause a sunburn on unprotected skin.
The SPF number on sunscreens only reflects the product's screening ability for UVB rays. The SPF level doesn't measure protection against ultraviolet radiation A, UVA, which causes aging of the skin.
UVB protection does not actually increase proportionately with a designated SPF number. For example, an SPF of 30 screens 97 percent of UVB rays, whereas an SPF of 15 screens 93 percent of UVB rays, and an SPF of 2 screens 50 percent of UVB rays. However, inadequate application of sunscreen may result in a lower SPF than the product contains. No sunscreen can provide 100 percent UVB protection.
  • What is UVA protection factor ?
While spf measures protection against UV B rays, UV A protection factor protects against UV A rays. Gneerally a UV A protection factor of +++ is adequate. It is important to remember that UV A is responsibele for aging of skin and skin cancer.
  • How should I select a sunscreen ?
There are so many types of sunscreen that selecting the right one can be quite confusing.
Sunscreens are available in many forms, including ointments, creams, gels, lotions and sprays.. The type of sunscreen you choose is a matter of personal choice. Creams are best for individuals with dry skin, and gels are preferable in oily skin. Sticks are good around the eyes. Lotions are better suited for large body areas on account of their spreadability. There also are sunscreens made for specific purposes, such as sensitive skin and for use on babies/children.
Ideally, sunscreens should be water-resistant, so they cannot be easily removed by sweating or swimming, and should have an SPF of 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB light. Ingredients to look for on the sunscreen label to ensure broad-spectrum UV coverage include:
  • Avobenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Ecamsule / Mexoryl
  • Menthylanthranilate
  • Octylmethoxycinnamate
  • Octyl salicylate
  • Octocrylene
  • Oxybenzone
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Tinosorb S
  • Tinosorb M
  • Uvinol A
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Zinc oxide
  • Will my sunscreen work in water too ?
You will need to use a water resistant sunscreen. Also it has to repeated every 40 mins.
  • Can I buy cosmetic sunscreen ?
Its always better to use a pharmaceutical grade sunscreen than a cosmetic sunscreen.

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