Sunscreen products and your skin

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sunscreen-and-spfJuly 25, IBA India Beauty Academy:

The sun’s rays make us feel good, and in the short term, it makes us look good. But  exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. Consider this: One woman at age 40 who has protected her skin from the sun actually has the skin of a 30-year-old. Excessive exposure to Sun cause your skin to suffer photo-damage. It is a dermatological condition in which, pigmentation, thinning of the dermis, wrinkles, over dilation and redness of the dermal capillaries etc appears in your skin.

When the UVA and UVB rays from sun penetrate the dermis, it will:

  • Produce free radicals that attack proteins, lipids and DNA of dermal cells.
  • Damages the Fibroblasts (responsible for skin tone), resulting in accelerated aging.
  • Cause sunburn, aging and cancer risk due to UVB.
  • Cause ocular inflammation (inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of your eye).

Using a quality Sunscreen may help you protect your skin from these skin conditions. But how would you choose a quality sunscreen form a vast variety of sunscreen brands now available in our market?. Let us check..

For complete protection:

  • Sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
  • Protection against both UVA and UVB or “broad spectrum”.
  • Non-irritating, hypoallergenic and does not promote comedones (blackheads eg).
  • Mildly scented or unscented.

Sun protection factor (SPF)

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It is the measure of UVB protection offered by a product and can range anywhere from 2 to 80. The number indicates how much longer you can be exposed to the sun while wearing sunscreen before you begin to burn as opposed to how long it would take you to burn without sunscreen. The time it takes for someone’s skin to burn varies greatly with every individual, therefore, it is important to remember that sunscreen is not a one size fits all science.

SPF 15 sunscreen is meant to allow the user 15 times their normal level of protection in the sun without sunscreen — if applied properly. For example if you typically burn in 15 minutes, by wearing a SPF 15 sunscreen you should have [15 (minutes to burn) x 15 (SPF)] 225 minutes in the sun before your skin will begin to burn.

No sunscreen product provides 100% UV protection. Typically, a SPF 15 protects from 92% of UVB rays, SPF 30 from 97%, and SPF 45 from 98%. If you are fair-skinned, or expect to be in the sun for long periods of time, it would be wise to select an SPF that best matches your needs.

Protection from UVA and UVB rays

UVB and UVA are responsible for skin aging. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB rays. They attack, among others, the collagen fibers and elastic fibers which are located in the dermis which is a deeper part of the skin.

There is more doubt on the association between exposure to UVA and certain skin cancers like melanoma. The World Health Organization has recently confirmed that the risk of melanoma increase by 75% in those exposed to UV tanning before age 30 years.

The ingredients you should look on the labels of products, are avobenzone (Parsol 1789), octocrylene, Mexoryl SX (water based), Mexoryl XL (oil based) and the Tinosorb.

Certain combinations of these products are beneficial because they improve the stability of the product in the sun and extend the effect of certain ingredients while expanding protection against both UVA and UVB.

Other agents such as zinc oxide and micronized titanium dioxide also offer very good protection against UVB and UVA. As they are now formulated in very small particles, they whiten the skin more as before.

Hypoallergenic and fragrance-free

Some sunscreens using Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), are no longer used because they were associated, in some people with allergic reactions in the presence of sunlight or inflammatory skin redness. Prefering a PABA free sunscreen is better for these king of allergic problems.

It is now estimated that there are over 5,000 fragrances being used today. As a result, exposures to fragrances are on the rise. Many dermatologists believe this is causing an increase in fragrance allergy. Frequency of sensitization to fragrance allergens is now seen in 1-4% of the general population, and 8-15% of contact dermatitis patients. Fragrances are the cosmetic ingredients most likely to cause allergic contact dermatitis. They account for 30-45% of allergic reactions in cosmetics.

Even natural scents and essential oils can cause irritation to sensitive skin, particularly when combined with the cell damage and loss of moisture that comes from sun exposure. So you must always prefer a fragrance-free product for daily use.

News Gathered by India News

Posted by on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012. Filed under Beauty, Life Style. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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