Sun rays are with us for every single day of our life, even during a cloudy/foggy day sun’s radiations can affect us.
Direct exposure to them can lead to numerous skin related problems. An easy way to prevent this is wearing sun block everyday. This can help us maintain beautiful and healthy skin .
Regarding different types of UV rays, there are three: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C, among which UV-A and UV-B can directly affect the skin.
UV-A rays are the ones that go deep into the skin and cause blemishes, pimples, pigmentation, premature ageing (sun damage is the largest contributor to ageing skin), and 90% of the wrinkles are caused by UV-A rays.
On the other hand, UV-B rays are the main reason of all the tanning, sunburn, and the radiation responsible for skin cancer.
All this information is well and good, but now comes the major question of how to protect and prevent our skin from these harmful radiations. Sunscreens (OBVIOUSLY) offer protections against the radiations. However, there are different types of sunscreens, and this is where things get interesting.
Sunscreens are differentiated based on two factors, one: based on indicators which show how they deal with UV-A, and UV-B separately, two: their composition.
Let’s start with differentiation based on indicators:
PA- Protection against UV-A is indicated by the “PA” indicator which means UV-A protection, with Pa+ being the least amount of protection, and PA+++ the most. Basically, the higher the + the more protection you get.
SPF- Protection against UV-B is indicated by SPF, i.e., sun protection factor. SPF is a gauge of how much time a person can be exposed to the sun before being affected by UV-B.
The recommended daily usage SPF starts with SPF 15 which equals 2.5 hours of protection, in other words, with SPF 15 one has to apply sunscreen every 2.5 hrs later. Similarly, SPF 30 = 5 hours of protection and so on. Everyone above the age 6 months should wear sunscreen daily
Now, lets look at their composition:
*CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS- They act like a sponge absorbing the sun’s radiations.
They don’t leave any residue, feel very light on the skin, and look great in photos. However, they can irritate those with sensitive skin.
*PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS – They act like a shield blocking the radiations. They leave a white residue and they don’t offer as much UV-A protection as offered by chemical sunscreen. Although, they are recommended for those with sensitive skin.
I hope this article has armed you with sufficient information to face the Sun’s radiations the next time you step out.