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KNOW YOUR SUNSCREEN: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

KNOW YOUR SUNSCREEN: WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
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Woman applying sunscreen

Summer means a lot of outdoor fun, holidays, spending time in the beaches, playing volleyball, basking in the sun, and having a great time. But, is this fun for your skin too? Unfortunately no! While you spend time savoring the day brightness and relaxing in the sun-kissed beaches, your skin is facing the effects of the harmful UVA and UVB rays.

That does not mean that you stop having fun in the sun. You just need to follow a skin care routine that suits your skin type and make sure you use the right sunscreen to create a protective barrier. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you must use a sunscreen that features broad-spectrum protection and an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or more depending on which part of the world you live or which holiday destination you are travelling to.

Using a good sunscreen not only blocks the harmful ultraviolet rays that are detrimental to your skin’s health, but they also prevent premature aging, sunburn, and skin cancer.

WHICH SUNSCREEN IS IDEAL FOR YOU – CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL BASED?

When it comes to choosing a sunscreen the choice can at times be daunting because the market is flooded with a plethora of brands and product types. However, all the different sunscreen brands can be widely classified into two different categories – chemical and physical/ mineral.

The chemical sunscreens are highly popular in the market for their ability to get easily absorbed into the skin, thus it has a lotion type feel. These are made from using six active ingredients that are octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, and octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens have the tendency to penetrate into the skin, and they often cause irritation for those who have sensitive skin type.

The mineral sunscreens contain active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and both these ingredients are known to protect skin against harmful UVA and UVB rays. Also known as physical sunscreen, they create a layer on the skin and block the rays from entering.

These creams and lotions are thick and may take some time to penetrate into the skin. The mineral or physical sunscreen also comes off easily hence they must be applied periodically if you are sweating or going for a cool dip in the water.

WHAT IS SPF (SUN PROTECTION FACTOR) FACTOR?

When buying a sunscreen, always pay attention to the SPF mentioned on the bottle as this number indicates how effectively that product can protect your skin from the sun when applied properly. Skin care experts recommend SPF 30 or more.

The SPF number on the bottle is actually indicative of how long it would take for the sun’s UV rays to harm your skin with the sunscreen applied to your skin as compared to not using any. For example SPF 30 means that it would take about thirty times longer to get sunburn with the protection intact, as compared to when you have no sunscreen at all.


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