Currently, we`re all quite aware of the damages that sun exposure causes to our skin. Though, despite being aware of the UV rays effects and knowing concepts such as SPF, there`s still a lot of confusion regarding sun protection. How high should my protection be? How much amount of sunscreen do I should apply? How often? … Etc.
Therefore, we`ll explain in a brief summary the more important terms you need to know for choosing the best sunscreen for your skin type and needs.
- SPF: the Sun Protection Factor indicates how long your skin will be protected. This means that for example, an SPF 25 will allow you to expose yourself to the sun 25 times longer before getting burn than if you sunbath without any protection.
- UV: ultraviolet radiation is a kind of visible light of higher energy. It is divided in two types: A and B.
- UVA: rays that penetrates deeper into the skin layers, breaking the cellular structure, damaging the collagen and elastin of the dermis. Consequently it causes wrinkles, pigmentation or even melanomas.
- UVB: are those that affect the superficial layers of the skin, producing sunburn and even cancer.
- UV Index: it measures on the earth`s surface the intensity of sun ultraviolet radiation and its scale starts at 0. The UV index is considered high when it is greater than 5.
How much amount of sunscreen should I apply? How often?
Although each skin is different, in all cases we have to cover up our body very well with sunscreen and let the product being absorb in our skin at least 15 minutes before sunbathing. In an average adult we should apply approximately 30ml of product and repeat this application every 2 hours. In addition, it`s recommended that after getting into the water reapply the sunscreen too.
Advise for sun exposure:
Avoid sunbathing between 11 am and 3 pm, since it`s when the sun radiation index is the highest. It is advisable during these hours to be under shade or apply a higher protection factor and reapplied it more often.
Criteria according to skin types:
- Sensitive skin:
First of all the most advisable things is to use sunscreens without added perfumes and to have different products specific for the body and for the face. These skins usually require very high protection, greater than 30 SPF and to apply it every couple of hours, especially after getting into the water or when exposed to the sun between 11am and 3pm.
- Oily skin:
Sunscreens can obstruct pores and produce blackheads, so if you have oily skin, try to stay away from formulas based on chemicals. Try to use mineral sunscreens instead. Also, attempt using “oil free” formulas.
- Skins with spots tendency:
Replace your color creams with a high protection sunscreen (SPF 50) with color. Also, use products that contain vitamin C.
Tips for sunbathing:
- Aloe is ideal for relieving burns and inflammation.
- After doing any skin treatment (such as laser or peeling) wait at least two weeks before exposing yourself to the sun.
- Do not use perfumes or oils if you are going to sunbath since these products produce inflammation in combination with UV rays.