Sun damage not only causes uneven skin tone, it also ages the skin. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.
Let’s discuss some of the major terminologies we read on most sun protection labels okay? I too, had not idea why spf 15, 30, 50 was needed on top of the PA pluses(++++).
So what is SPF?
SPF, or sun protection factor, is the measure of a product’s ability to screen or block the sun’s harmful rays. However, figuring out which SPF you should wear can be very confusing, especially with SPF numbers ranging from 2 to 100.
Here is a simple SPF guide when choosing sunscreens:
SPF 15 apply every 150 minutes or 2 and a half hours of protection
SPF 30 apply every 300 minutes or 5 hours
SPF 90 apply every 900 or 15 hours of protection
***The fairer the skin tone, the higher the SPF should be.***
So why protect the skin from UVA rays?
UVA are long waves that are less intense than UVB rays, but more prevalent and can penetrate through clouds and glass (even indoors the skin may still be exposed!). These rays reach the deeper dermal layers of skin and and can damage your skin’s collagen and elastin causing premature aging, & wrinkling. 90% of wrinkles are caused by sun damage!
UVA rays deeply penetrate the skin and can also penetrate clothing and glass. UVB rays are not as strong as UVA rays, but they are the main cause of sunburns and skin cancers and thus are just as damaging, if not more damaging, than UVB rays.-Accdg. to Dr. Oz.
So what does PA+++ mean?
PA means UVA protection. This is a Japanese or Korean rating system to show how much protection you are getting from UVA rays. You will see either PA+, PA++, or PA+++ on the label, with more + signs meaning a higher level of UVA protection.
PA + least amount
Types of sunscreen:
Chemical Sunscreen are formulated to absorb sun rays. This type of sunscreen has no white cast or streaks once applied on the face. Feels lightweight although not indicated for sensitive skin. Some ingredients of this type of sunscreen are: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
Some examples of this types of sunscreens:
Physical Sunscreen. This formula on the other hand is best for sensitive skin. It blocks or deflects the harmful sun rays. Common ingredients to find for this type of sunscreen are titanium oxide and zinc oxide.
The only downside of this type of sunscreen is the white cast or streaks once applied onto skin.
Okay, so in a nutshell, just use a sunscreen with a decent amount of SPF. The higher doesn’t really mean the better. If you plan to spend the whole day outdoors, don’t just rely on SPF. Use a wide brim hat, umbrella or simply stay in shades. Using SPF on a daily basis while indoors is also a must. The sun’s harmful rays could penetrate through glass too! The sun’s harmful rays not only damages the skin, it dehydrates any living organism. Also, anyone over the age of 6 months needs sun protection.
What types of sunscreens do you guys use?
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