All You Want To Know About Sunscreens !

All benefits from sun protective sunscreens, no matter how fair or dark our complexion is. Diligent use of sunscreen is the most crucial component for keeping our skin looking younger, protected and resilient as it decreases the risk of skin cancer, sun burns and premature skin aging on exposure to sun rays (UVA & UVB rays ).

Korean girls who are known for their flawless beautiful and youthful skin, religiously use sunscreen as the essential step in their skin care routine which helps them age slowly and look youthful.

As the title says it all. The whole purpose of this post is to make aware of sunscreen and other important sun protection measures so you can protect yourself from adverse effect of sun rays.

As sunscreen itself might not be effective in protecting us from harmful effects of sun rays, its proper use (application) plays an important role in sun protection to gain maximum advantage from it.

Whereas SPF 30 guards against 97 % UVB, while SPF 50 guards against 98 % UVB and can take longer than 2 hours of reapplication for most of people.  The issue of reapplication is mainly due to active breakdown in response to direct exposure to sunlight, in chemical sunscreens and not only due to passage of time. But if you apply liberally in the beginning, reapplication isn’t crucial.

Always apply sunscreen 15 to 30 mins before you go outside to be sure that it absorbed before you get dressed or else dressing immediately can rub of the cream on to your cloths.

It is best to use Cream or Gel based sunscreens rather than sprays as an uniform coverage all over the skin can be obtained only by using gel or cream based form of Sunscreens. If greasy look bothers you, switch to Matt finished Sunscreens.

Sunscreen should always be the final step in your day time skin care routine as suggested by most of the medical experts, regulatory boards and the scientists because that is exactly how sunscreen are tested to check their SPF rating and nothing over them. Any skin care product applied over sunscreen, dilutes and reduces its effectiveness.

Use of SPF rated Skin care products is a big YES. You can layer sunscreen products especially for the face by applying moisturizer, foundation and touch up powder which are SPF rated. Otherwise applying makeup plus foundation over sunscreen with no SPF will diminish the sunscreen ability to protect the skin.

For daily use of regular facial moisturizer with sunscreen reapplying every 2 hours on  makeup can seem to be difficult but if you apply high enough SPF rated sunscreen liberally for the first time you may not need to reapply. Nevertheless, if you still wish to reapply, final touches of foundation with SPF or Powder with SPF can work just fine.

There is a difference between Face and Body specific Sunscreens. Sunscreens with face formulations have been tested to cause less irritation and not to trigger acne as facial skin is more sensitive to irritation than the body skin. Avoid body version for your face, if you are acne prone or sensitive, especially the dry touch sprays as they are full of alcohol which causes drying and irritation for facial skin.

Consume food products like milk and milk products, eggyolks, soymilk, oranges and cereals that are the source of Vitamin D if you feel that sunscreens with high SPF may lead to a significant decrease in Vitamin D production.

There are also oral supplements for sun protection available in the market that claim for its effectiveness, which is advisable to be taken on dermatologists or doctors consultation. But if you are not comfortable with such oral supplements, topical application is the best preferred option.

Note : No sunscreen gives 100% protection from UV rays and no sunscreens like waterproof sweat-proof and sunblock hence these terms are not allowed to use on sunscreens. (Donglikar et al., 2016)

Hope you all find this post worthy enough. Will be glad to help you with ans for any doubts regarding the same topic.

With growing awareness of harmful sun rays related facts and to improve the efficiency of sunscreen, there are various sunscreen products available in market that put us in great dilemma in choosing the right one for self so that one could feel confident and comfortably safe wearing this products on sunny days.

Apply full/broad spectrum sunscreen everyday not only to face but over skin area that gets exposed to sun rays even if you are spending most of your day inside and also on outing, during cloudy days as  UV  rays can pass easily through glass windows even if it is closed or through clouds.

On long day outside, apply sunscreen of SPF  rated 30 or higher
(Sun Protection Factor: is the percentage of UVB rays that the sunscreen blocks).

UV A rays which are not absorbed by the Ozone, penetrate deep into the skin, can contribute to premature aging and UVB rays which are partially absorbed by the ozone mostly affect the surface of skin and cause sunburns. Therefore it is necessary to use asunscreen with SPF of 30 or high according American Melanoma Foundation, to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiations. Though SPF 15 guards against 93 % of UVB rays you have to almost apply a very good amount of it, almost 1/2 teaspoon of it on to your face to gain proper protection for maximum hours on sunny outings along with short hours of reapplication.

Moreover, your sunscreen should be effective by the end of the day if you apply it in the morning and spend most of your day inside (without your skin getting wet or sweet heavily) and when outside, seek shade, wear sunglasses and hats with brims and also wear sun protecting clothing when ever possible.

Use good sunglasses with Eye Protection Factor (EPF). But sunglasses with EPF 4 should be avoided while driving as they allow only 3 – 10 % of Luminous transmittance.

But if you still choose to go for other skin care products apply it 5 to 10 mins after application of sunscreen which should be smooth with no excess pressure or over blend.

Skin gets an extra boost by applying anti-oxidants rich serum before your sunscreen according to research studies. Anti-oxidants further shield skin from environmental factor that slowly chip away youthful appearance.

That’s fine to  rely on foundation with sunscreen if you apply it liberally to get protection for your face or else you can switch to facial moisturizer with sunscreen prior to makeup, if you don’t like the coverage after liberal application.

Don’t rely on powder with SPF as your only sun protection as to achieve that stated amount of protection it require lots of them.

Apply water resistant sunscreen when swimming or heavy perspiration (sweating) and follow reapplication instructions exactly.Face and body sunscreen with water resistance have their specific timeline for reapplication for adequate protection after getting wet or perspiring. According to the FDA, “water resistant” sunscreens must maintain their SPF after 40 minutes of water immersion, while “very water resistant” sunscreens must maintain their SPF after 80 minutes of water immersion.

There are Some misconceptions about silicones present in water resistant sunscreens for being harmful to skin as they tend to stick to skin. But there are no such research data showing its harmfulness and the best way to make sure that your skin is clean by going for a Double Cleansing Method.

People with sensitive skin and allergy should avoid sunscreen products containing amino benzoic acid or para amino benzoic acid/PABA and its esters, cinnamates, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone or some type of anesthetic drug like benzocaine, tetracaine or sulpha drugs or consult your dermatalogist before using any sunscreen. As these chemical molecules present in sunscreen which are generally grouped as chemical sunscreens, protects the skin from UV rays by absorbing it, may interact with cutaneous molecules causing adverse skin reactions.

For this reason, there is a growing market for other alternatives in sunscreen.

Natural sunscreen typically use mineral ingredients such as Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide which act as physical barriers by reflecting UVA and UVB rays. However, this particles are chemically inert and do not cause allergic sensitization. Although there may be per-cutaneous absorption blocking skin pores that can cause acne, rosaeca like adverse effects due to very small size (nano particles) of this inorganic filters.

Opaque nature and skin whitening effects are another disadvantages.

Sunscreen should not be used on wounded or cracked skin. 

Organic sunscreen contain natural products like polyphenols (flavonoids, tannins), Carotinoids, Anthocyanidins, Few vitamins, Fixed oil from vegetables, Medicinal plant parts, Algae and Lichens, Resveratrol species and Raspberry ketones etc make a choice ingredient in broad spectrum sunscreen products and are more effective over synthetic chemical due their long term beneficial effects against free radicals generated skin damages along with UV rays blocking as they are loaded with potent anti-oxidants and other skin renewing ingredients.

PA means Protection Grade of UVA rays in Asian brands of sunscreen. PA with more plus signs means more protection. This is Japanese measurement ranking which is now widely used and is based on persistent pigment darkening (PPD) reaction reading at 2-4 hours of sun exposure. PA +++ is designed for normal skin that expose to very strong UV radiation as it provides good UVA protection with PPD factor of more than 8.

 Sayonara!

Love life & D&B!


References

  1. Science, February 2015, pages 842-847
  2. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, April-June 2014, pages 96-101
  3. Annals of Internal Medicine, June 2013, pages 781-790
  4. Cutis, December 2012, pages 321-326
  5. Clinical Experimental Dermatology, December 2012, pages 904-908
  6. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,  February 2010, pages 218-222
  7. British Journal of Dermatology,  February 2010, pages 415-419
  8. Photochemistry and Photobiology, April 2003, pages 456-457
  9. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology,  December 2001, pages 882-885
  10.  Sun protection factor: meaning and controversies: The Review
  11. Toxicology Reports 4 (2017) 245–259
  12. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 3 (09); 2013: 129-141
  13. Transmittance analysis in sunglasses lenses following sun exposure

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