After a dark, cold winter that seemed never-ending it’s summer, and it’s time to get outside. But before you do, you may be wondering if getting some sun is really good for you. Should you cover up or let it all hang out? Other than, sunburn, spots and pigmentation that results from UV rays, there are ton of studies that push us to get our Vit D.
Confused? I know we are! There is SO much conflicting information online, what’s a girl (or guy) got to do?
What we need to consider is balance. Sunlight can be more harmful than good. As we know daily exposure in sunlight reduces skin tone day by day and it happens because sun light contains contains Ultraviolet A or (UVA), Ultraviolet B or (UVB), Ultraviolet C or (UVC) and infrared rays.
UV irradiation on normal human skin can cause: sunburn, tanning, photo-aging etc. UV exposure to skin is also responsible for significant age related dryness, wrinkling, elastin and collagen breakdown , freckling, age spots and other cosmetic changes. Using sunscreen on regular bases can reduce these skin problems and give our skin a new charm.
How to find out which sunscreen is good for us? We can choose sunscreen by some parameters like SPF, Spectrum, and other parameters:
1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF): this shows the effectiveness of sunscreen and this is for UVA rays only not for UVB. SPF 15 or higher shows the range of rays that sunscreen can shield like SPF15 shields 93% rays, SPF 30 shields 97% and SPF 50 shields 98% of rays.
2. Boots star rating : PA indicates the protection against UVA radiation PA+ for little protection against UVA, PA++ for moderate protection against UVA and PA+++ indicates very good protection against UVA
3. Spectrum: a broad spectrum sunscreen or full spectrum sunscreen shows that the sunscreen can protect our skin from both type of ultraviolet rays
We can select our sunscreen according to our skin type we must use different sunscreen for our face and body as facial skin is thinner than other part of body
For a oily skin type means your skin get oilier in summers then a gel or water based sunscreen should be used as it gives your skin cooling and calm your skin
For a normal skin means your skin is not too much oily or nor to much dry than a lotion based sunscreen is suits your skin as it gives your skin required hydration without making your skin look too oily
For a dry skin means your skin has a low level of sebum and you must use moisturizing or a thick SPF
How much application is good enough?
For the face and neck you require slightly more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen. It should ideally be applied to all sun exposed areas, and allowed to dry completely before sun exposure. We recommend reapplying the sunscreen every 2 hours specially if there is excessive sweating, or outdoor activity involved.
Do infants require sunscreen?
Sunscreens are not recommended for infants younger than 6 months.
Does regular use of sunscreen lower Vit D levels?
The normal usage of sunscreen does not generally result in vitamin D insufficiency however, some studies do indicate that it can significantly reduce the production of vitamin D under very strictly controlled conditions. Having said, there is also evidence that few minutes exposure of the face, arms, and hands at noon time during summers for two or three times a week is sufficient for vitamin D synthesis.
Your skin needs your attention; protect your skin from harmful UV rays of the sun. Daily apply sunscreen on your exposed skin and you could protect your skin from tanning and early signs of aging. It’s a delicate balancing act based on your skin pigmentation, where you live, and what time of day you are outside, and for how long.