Sunscreen And Its Importance In Sun Protection – By Dr. Kuntal Deb
Sunscreen plays a crucial role in protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays – UVA and UVB rays. Today, we’ll learn about sunscreen and how its use can shield your skin from the harmful effects of sunrays.
What are the effects of UVA and UVB rays on your skin?
UVA rays are most commonly associated with skin ageing as the sun beams can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots making your skin look prematurely older. UVA rays can pass through glass so you are exposed to them while driving or even when you are indoors. On the other hand, UVB rays are most commonly associated with sunburns. Unlike UVA rays, UVB rays cannot pass through glass. Remember, both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogens, i.e. cancer-causing, which is where the importance of sunscreen comes into play. Invest in a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays.
What role does sunscreen play in sun protection?
Sunscreen is necessary for all skin types. While sunscreen does not prevent the skin from tanning, it offers protection against the harmful UV rays. Sunscreen in the form of lotion and cream can provide some moisturisation as well to the skin. Any sunscreen with SPF ranging from 30-50 should ideally be applied every 2-3 hours. There are various sunscreens available these days which are water-proof or water resistant. However, it is recommended to repeat its application after a swim in the pool or the sea. Ideally apply the sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
Which type of sunscreen should be used on the skin and when?
Sunscreen should be used even when one is indoors as the LED lights and computer screens can also emit harmful rays, especially the InfraRed ones. If you are stepping out, apply sunscreen minimum of three times a day, say, 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm. People with dry skin can use a lotion or a cream-based sunscreen. In case of oily skin, gel-based sunscreens are preferred. People with normal skin type can use either a lotion, or a light moisturiser followed by a gel. Sunscreen in the form of gel tends to make the skin dry. So, for best results, a thin moisturiser before applying the gel-based sunscreen is recommended.
Should sunscreen be used before applying makeup? What are the advantages?
If you wear makeup, you can use sunscreen as a base before applying it. However, it is best to wait for about 5 minutes to let the sunscreen settle in before one applies makeup. Makeup can in fact also prevent the UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin to an extent. On the flip side, nowadays sunscreens are also available in the form of compacts, which can be re-applied over the make-up. But applying a non-comedogenic sunscreen is the ideal way to keep your skin protected against the sun.
How should you apply sunscreen for maximum sun protection?
Apply sunscreen as dots all over the face and rub the sunscreen gently in an upwards circular motion. For the body, about one shot glass quantity of sunscreen lotion is recommended. Use a matte-finish sunscreen so it does not leave a white cast upon application.
How does sunscreen prevent the cause of skin cancer?
Yes, the harmful rays of the sun may cause skin cancer, both melanoma and non-melanoma variants. In fact, about 95-99% of skin cancers are caused by the harmful rays of the sun, especially UVB. Sunscreens give some protection to the skin against cancer. In fact sunscreen with SPF 50 can prevent up to 98% of the harmful effects of the sun on the skin. So, use a sunscreen that best suits your skin type to protect your skin and prevent any sun damage in the long run.
If you have further questions regarding the use of sunscreen or other skin-related issues you would like to discuss, get in touch with an expert dermatologist. You can find one near you at the https://www.skinandhairacademy.in/
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