Why is sunscreen so important?
Summer has already started, which means there are plenty of hot days under the scorching sun ahead! It’s important to mention how to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. In addition, absolutely every one of us needs to know about the proper use of sunscreen.
1. How does the sun affect our skin and why is it important to protect it?
The ultraviolet rays affect our skin in many different ways. For example, the skin can develop pigment spots and change its texture.
There are two types of sunlight: UV-A and UV-B. UV-A rays are the longest, which is why they penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin and affect the underlying tissue, thereby reducing its elasticity. This means UVA rays contribute to premature skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles.
UV-B rays are shorter and affect the top layer of the skin. More intense UV-B radiation causes sunburn, and redness of the skin, and promotes skin cancer.
Applying sunscreen is extremely important to maintain the skin’s protective functions, and prevent the development of skin cancer and photoaging (age spots, wrinkles, skin sagging).
2. How do sunscreens work?
Sunscreens are divided into organic and inorganic.
Organic sunscreens use chemicals that basically convert the sun’s radiation in the skin into heat and thus protect the skin from UVA radiation. Up to 30 ingredients are used in various chemical sunscreens. Consequently, people with sensitive skin must ensure that none of these ingredients irritate the skin.
The effect of inorganic sunscreens in terms of UV-B protection is similar to chemical sunscreens. Since they leave a thin white layer on the skin, mineral sunscreens act as a sort of barrier that reflects the sun’s radiation and thus protects the skin from UV-A radiation that causes photoaging.
Inorganic sunscreens use only zinc oxide and titanium oxide as active agents, which reduces the risk of irritation of the skin and makes them suitable for sensitive skin.
3. If I use a day cream or makeup product that already has SPF, is that enough?
Probably not, for several reasons.
They generally do not contain the most effective protection, and you should apply sunscreen under your BB cream, foundation, or day cream. As mentioned earlier, SPF only protects against UV-B radiation, although for holistic protection, a UV-A blocker should also be added to avoid collagen loss, and skin aging and also reduce the risk of skin cancer.
You can watch a video test of different brands of sunscreens here.