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SUN PROTECTION: THE REAL STORY

Most individuals, in our experience, do not realise how important it is to use sun protection to protect the body from the detrimental effects of Ultraviolet radiation. The thickening and darkening of our skin is our body’s response to these harmful rays. Tans are not your friends; they are a response to these harmful rays and the origin of free radical damage.

Although melanin acts as a protective layer, it is the tanning process that causes harm. To absorb and deflect UV light, our melanocytes create more granules of melanin. Melanin is more effective against UVB rays, while UVA rays penetrate deeper and do more damage, as well as activate free radicals, causing skin ageing and forms of skin cancer.

YEAR-ROUND SUN PROTECTION

The UV light is just as intense in the winter as it is in the summer. It is so strong that it has the ability to penetrate glass while you’re driving or sitting near a window. On a foggy hazy day, 80% of the sun’s rays can still penetrate, so don’t be tricked by a cloudy sky. Fluorescent light bulbs, as well as the blue light from our computer displays, tablets, and mobile phones, cause UV damage.

Every day, as part of a regular morning skincare ritual, sun protection should be applied as the final step. It should be applied generously 20 minutes before heading out for long durations of outdoor exercises, such as going to the beach or playing a game of golf. Excessive sun exposure should be avoided between the midday hours of eleven and three in the afternoon. Look for broad-spectrum sun protection that offers UVA and UVB protection. Being aware of the difference between physical and chemical protection when it comes to compounds that provide protection is extremely beneficial. The main differentiator is in how they shield the skin from UV radiation.

PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS: WHAT ARE THEY?

The ingredients of physical sunscreen provide a physical barrier that bounces UV radiation away from the skin, effectively blocking UV rays. A sunscreen with chemical components, on the other hand, absorbs UV radiation and prevents them from passing through the skin. It’s important to remember that no sunscreen component is 100% efficient in blocking UV radiation. The name “sunblock” was in fact banned by the Food and Drug Administration because it gave customers a misleading sense of protection.

If you plan to go for a fun beach vacation, choose a mineral sunscreen since it is kind on our seas and reefs. Some sunscreen chemicals, such as oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) and octinoxate, can inhibit green algae development, deposit in coral fibres, affect young aquatic animals, and damage the reproductive systems of clams, sea urchins, fishes, and dolphins.

SUNBLOCK INGREDIENTS THAT ARE SAFE

Ingredients such as (Non-nano) titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are examples of safe mineral additives. A mineral sunscreen stays on the skin’s surface and is generally considered safe for everyone, including those with the most sensitive skin types. UV-absorbing compounds in sunscreens, on the other hand, can irritate certain people and trigger allergic responses.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SPF?

It’s also crucial to know what “SPF” stands for. The “Sun Protection Factor” is measured in SPF. This figure indicates how long a sunscreen, prevents the skin from burning, i.e. for how much time a product protects one from UVB rays. If your skin generally burns after ten minutes in the sun, an SPF 30 sunscreen should enable you to be in the sun for about three hundred minutes without scorching your skin. If you have lighter skin and generally burn after five minutes in the sun, an SPF 30 sunscreen should help you stay under the sun for around an hour and a half.

Swimming and sweating profusely break down the sun protection chemicals, regardless of their SPF level. As a result, sunscreen should be applied more frequently Most individuals can safely assume that they should reapply every two hours.

SPF numbers are mandatory on all sunscreens. Many experts advise against using higher SPF sunscreens since they provide just a small benefit in terms of protection while also increasing the risk of sensitivity owing to the increased chemical concentration. Moreover, when exposed to UV radiation, some of those chemicals may transform to free radicals.

PROTECTION FROM THE SUN BY MORE LAYERS

We would strongly recommend looking for sun protection that has antioxidants in its formulation or adding it before applying sunscreen. Antioxidants are free radical decomposers that aid in the neutralization of UV radiation’ harmful effects. They can also be used to decrease redness and irritation after sun exposure, even on burnt skin. Long-sleeved, lightweight swim shirts, sunglasses, and, of course, head wear such as hats and caps are all good sources of appropriate protection.

Applying sunscreen every day may seem like an extra step to add to your morning skincare routine, especially if you’re only driving in your car to your workplace and back, or walking to the local supermarket, but it’s essential for your skin’s health.

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