Know About The Sunscreen You Choose This Summer
While buying a sunscreen from the market, we often come across the term SPF. But little do we know about its working. We often ignore the vital information of sunscreen details. An SPF literally translates to Sun Protection Factor. In simple words, it is the measurement for the amount of time the sunscreen will protect a person from the harmful Ultraviolet (UV) sun rays. The sunscreen forms a layer in the outer part of the exposed skin which reflects the UV rays like a mirror.
To know how the sunscreen works, we shall have good knowledge about the sun rays. UVA and UVB rays are the different rays of the sun which have been differentiated by their frequencies. SPF sunscreen creams today are labelled as effective for UVA rays and UVB rays.
UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin which may cause deep impact in it. UVA rays are more harmful to the exposed skin than UVB rays. UVB, on the other hand, mainly affects the outer layer of the skin which is responsible for sunburns and some types of skin cancer. UVA rays steadily destroy the key substances in the skin that give the skin firmness and elasticity which in turn is the major contributor to wrinkles and skin cancer.
KNOW THE UV INDEX OF YOUR CITY HERE
Facts about UV rays:-
Ultraviolet rays are mostly affected by geographical locations.
- The closer to equatorial regions, the higher the UV radiation levels. UV radiation levels.
- are highest under cloudless skies but even with cloud cover, UV radiation levels can be high. Scattering can have the same effect as the reflectance by different surfaces and thus increase total UV radiation levels.
- At higher altitudes, a thinner atmosphere absorbs less UV radiation. With every 1000 meters increase in altitude, UV radiation levels increase by 10% to 12%.
- Ozone absorbs some of the UV radiation that would otherwise reach the Earth’s surface. Ozone levels vary over the year and even across the day.
An easy way to tell how much UV exposure you are getting is to look for your shadow:
- If your shadow is taller than you are (in the early morning and late afternoon), your UV exposure is likely to be lower.
- If your shadow is shorter than you are (around midday), you are being exposed to higher levels of UV radiation. Seek shade and protect your skin and eyes.
How does the SPF work?
It is often suggested by the dermatologists to use the sunscreen with the SPF level 30 or higher. It usually determines the time period until which the cream will be effective. To find the amount of time, one has to simply multiply the SPF value with 30.
For example; If the sunscreen has the value of 30 then it will be good for protecting the skin for 900 minutes. However, the theoretical value can be different from the actual value. But the exposure time can vary with the intensity of the sunlight and most importantly the wrong application of the cream. It is, therefore, recommended to apply after every two hours.
- SPF (30) blocks- 97% of the UVB rays
- SPF (40) blocks – 97.3% of the UVB rays
- SPF (45) blocks – 97.6% of the UVB rays
- SPF (50) blocks – 98% of the UVB rays
- SPF (60) blocks – 99% of the UVB rays
How to apply Sunscreen properly?
- Choose the sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, water resistant and provides broad-spectrum coverage.
- Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approx 15 minutes for the complete absorption of sunscreen cream by our skin. If early, the skin may be unprotected and subject to burning of the skin.
- Use about an ounce /2.88 g that is approximately the amount you can evenly spread through your palm.
- Apply sunscreen to all the exposed skin parts such as neck, face, ears, feet, and hands. If you have thinning hair, you can apply sunscreen to the scalp.
- Reapply sunscreen at after every two hours to remain protected or excessive sweating.
- Never use expired products. It may occasionally work in other products but it is a big “NO’’ in the sunscreen products.