Summer has already started, which means lots of hot days under the scorching sun ahead! It’s important to mention how to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Also, absolutely everyone should be aware of the proper use of sunscreen.
How does the sun affect our skin and why is it important to protect it?
UV rays affect our skin in different ways. For example, the skin may show pigment spots and change its texture.
There are two types of sunlight: UV-A and UV-B. UV-A rays are the longest, so they penetrate deeper into the skin layers and affect the underlying tissue, thereby reducing its elasticity. This means that UVA rays contribute to premature skin ageing 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 reddening of the skin and contributes to the development of skin cancer.
The use of sunscreen is extremely important for maintaining the skin’s protective functions, and preventing the development of skin cancer and photo-ageing (age spots, wrinkles, skin sagging).
How do sunscreens work?
Sunscreens are divided into organic and inorganic sunscreens. 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. People with sensitive skin should therefore make sure that none of these ingredients irritates the skin.
Inorganic sunscreens perform similarly to chemical sunscreens in terms of UVB protection. Because they leave a thin white layer on the skin, mineral sunscreens act as a sort of barrier that reflects the sun’s radiation and therefore protects the skin from UVA radiation that causes photo ageing.
Inorganic sunscreens use only zinc oxide and titanium oxide as active ingredients, which reduces the risk of skin irritation and makes them suitable for sensitive skin.
If I use a day cream or make-up 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 a UV-A blocker should also be added for all-round protection to avoid collagen loss and skin ageing, and to reduce the risk of skin cancer.