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As it pertains to sunscreen, lots of people believe they only have to use it during the summertime and when they're in direct sunlight. However, it is a common misconception. Individuals fail to understand just how damaging and harmful the sunlight can be to our skin and the significance of protection.
The sun emits three kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC is not of special concern as it gets absorbed by the ozone layer and doesn't get to the earth's surface. However, UVA and UVB penetrate the atmosphere and can cause severe damage to our skin. On the other hand, UVB damages the skin's superficial (outermost) layers, causing skin reddening, sunburns and the development of skin cancer.
Sunscreen functions as a barrier for your skin from the harmful sunlight. Determined by the ingredients in the sunscreen, the UV radiation is either reflected off your skin or absorbed by the compounds. It doesn't, however, provide 100% protection from the sun, as a small amount of UV radiation still reaches our skin. By using sunscreen as a barrier, it helps to guard our skin from skin damage, aging, wrinkling, and sometimes even cancer.
Fundamentals of sunscreen
Sunscreen comes in many forms including creams, sprays, and lotions. They're tagged with a sun protection factor (SPF) number which functions as a guide for its relative power. It refers to the sunscreen's capability to filter out UVB only and not UVA. It is very important to notice that the SPF DOESN'T indicate the length of protection, but instead the power of protection. For instance, SPF 15 filters out 93% of UVB, whereas SPF 30 filters out 97% of UVB.
It is proposed to make use of a sunscreen using a minimum SPF of 15 to protect against UVB rays. Select a sunscreen that best suits your skin kind and the action you are participating in (water resistant, anti-aging, etc.). Additionally, there are sunscreens which contain ingredients that are more acceptable for those with sensitive skin.
The potency of sunscreen can change depending on proper use, time of day, time of month, location on earth, and altitude. The sun's rays are more unpleasant as you go nearer to the equator and at higher elevations where the atmosphere is thinner, blocking less of the sun's rays. Even in the winter, it is important to apply sunscreen, particularly when you participate in outdoor activities, because 80% of the sun's rays are reflected off the snow, making it far more harmful to the skin.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or right after swimming (even if it's labeled as water resistant)
Make an effort to avoid sunlight exposure when UV radiation is at its summit (between 10am to 4pm)
Sunscreen ought to be properly used along with other protective measures (hats, clothing, etc.) for maximum protection
Utilize a lip balm with SPF 15 and use every hour--the sunlight can burn and chap your lips!
It's better to apply more than you believe you need to ensure effectiveness of sunscreen
UVA can penetrate through clouds and cause aging and wrinkling skin