Why is sunscreen and sun protection important?
Now who doesn’t like broad daylight? Those sun-kissed selfies filled with natural light and glow makes us feel special! But what if I tell you that in the process, the sun is slapping you with its UV radiations that might harm your skin? Yes! the sun emits UV rays & skin degradation due to UV radiation is very real & can range from dry and chapped skin to even skin cancer. It’s therefor essential to understand the impact of sunrays on our bodies & the growing importance of sun protection.
So how exactly do these radiations from the sun harm your skin?
Well, for that you need to understand the types of radiation and your body’s response to them. There are three types of UV radiation that the sun emits: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVC is absorbed by the earth's atmosphere and does not reach the surface. It is only UVA and UVB that reaches the surface of the earth due to their higher wavelengths and the very reason why they are harmful.
UVA and UVB work hand in hand, UVA causes photo-ageing, which is the premature ageing of the skin due to overexposure to the sun without any protection, causing wrinkling and loss of elasticity. Exposure to UVB has a higher risk of skin cancer and cataract while UVA accelerates these damaging effects.
Over exposure to UV radiation - tanning and sunburns
The foremost way how the skin reacts to these UV radiations is by tanning. When these radiations reach your skin, your skin makes a pigment called melanin, which causes skin tanning. Melanin works by darkening your unprotected sun-exposed skin. It acts as the first defence mechanism of your skin against radiation. This melanin that we talk about can absorb the threatening radiations that can do serious skin damage. But the amount of melanin that our bodies can produce is decided by genetics that is why while some people get tanned others get sunburnt.
When the amount of UV damage exceeds the protection of the skin, it causes sunburn. While both tanning and sunburn cause cellular damage to the skin, the latter has an inflammatory reaction where the skin cells become red, swollen, and painful. Post a sunburn your skin might start to peel off, that's how the body gets red from damaged cells. Never try to peel your skin yourself, it will come off when the time comes.
How can you protect your skin from the Sun and its UV rays?
The sun is an important factor for life on earth. It also helps your body in the production of Vitamin D, it is only the unprotected skin that's the problem. Limiting your sun exposure and using protective clothing can help but the key is to use sunscreens regularly. A suncreen, like the name suggests adds a protective layer on your skin thereby reducing the impact of the harmful UV rays. One main thing to look for in a sunscreen is its SPF, the sun protection factor. SPF is an indicator of your sunscreen's capability to protect you against UV radiation. Simply put, a higher number of SPF equals higher protection. SPF15 is said to block about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters out 97%, and the best we have discovered so far the SPF50 a 98%. Based on your exposure to the sun daily you can choose the SPF that's suitable for you. No matter how good the sunscreen is, you must apply it correctly.
The types of sunscreens
Various sunscreens are available on the market the one that protects from only UVB, one only from UVA, one from both, mineral sunscreens, and chemical sunscreens. Some work by scattering light while some reflect the light away from your body, etc. but what are these?
- The broad spectrum sunscreen: A product with specific SPF does a good job blocking UVB rays but doesn't guarantee the blocking of UVA radiations. Now that we know the harm these two rays cause we must choose a product that says it protects from both UVA and UVB, such products are called board spectrum sunscreens.
- Chemical sunscreens: These work by absorbing into the skin and converting UV rays into heat, providing better UVA protection, leaving no residue on the skin, and might last longer. It can take around 20 mins for the sunscreen to get absorbed and begin its effect chemical sunscreens go deeper into the dermis layer of the skin and there is a slim chance of the sunscreen getting into the bloodstream.
- Physical sunscreens: also called mineral sunscreens, these stay on the surface of the skin and reflect the radiations. Physical sunscreens are said to be safer for people with sensitive skin. Effective the instance you apply, there are chances of the white cast though, which can be avoided by choosing gel-based mineral sunscreens.
So the next time you step out, make sure you are well protected from the radiation. Hydrate yourself now and then and keep reapplying your sunscreen so that your skin genuinely gets to enjoy the sun!
ThriveCo Ultra-Light Daily Sunscreen Gel is a feel-good sunscreen you will want to wear every day! It is formulated with physical sunscreen filters like titanium dioxide and offers broad-spectrum sun protection without leaving behind a white residue. What’s more? Well, ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Polyglutamic Acid, and Resveratrol offer skincare benefits aplenty. The lightweight feel and matt, velvety texture make it a powerful makeup primer as well.
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