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How to choose the best sunscreen?

There are a wide variety of sun products, but which one is indicated for each skin type? In this blog I will give you the keys to choose the safest protector to take care of the sun correctly.

Using sunscreen daily is essential to lead a healthy life: it reduces the risks of skin cancer, delays the signs of premature aging and prevents spots and wrinkles, which is why it should be our best ally. The offer of sunscreens is increasing and more specific, which means that we must inform ourselves more to find the product that suits our skin and our needs. Next I will explain how to choose sunscreen and I will provide you with all the necessary information and advice so that you can enjoy the sun without risks.

What protection factor to choose?

The first thing we must understand is what the sun protection factor means and what are the different types that exist. Sunscreens or sunscreens are products that filter or reflect ultraviolet A and B radiation, preventing the skin from being damaged. All protectors have a graduation called SPF (sun protection factor), which measures their protection index. The Final Monograph on Solar Protectors (carried out with the consensus of developed countries) has determined that, in cases where higher protection is needed, all ultra-protection protectors are included as 50+ (fifty more) so as not to confuse the consumer.

Before choosing and buying a protector, it is necessary to know some information: Currently it is recommended to use protection factors greater than 15 on the body and greater than 30 on the face. The factor number indicates the amount of time a person (under ideal conditions) can be in the sun without turning red (erythema), as that is the primary sign of sun damage. For example, if a person turns red (burns) from 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen, it will take about 30 times longer if they have SPF 30 sunscreen (about five hours).

It is necessary to carefully read the packaging, where it must be specified what type of rays the product protects from. In general, they all filter UVB rays, but there are also those that filter UVA rays. Those that are water resistant remain on the skin until after a 40 minute bath and protect from sweat when doing physical activities in the sun. It is also important to make sure that the chosen protector does not contain paraminobenzoic acid, a chemical filter that used to be used to stop the action of UVB rays, which can sensitize the skin and cause allergies. It is important to make a visit to the specialist to find out what type of protection each one needs according to their skin type and how long they can be exposed to the sun without being dangerous.

The effectiveness of the protector also depends on its correct use, so when placing it we must not forget the most sensitive areas of our body. Pay special attention, for example, to the face, ears, neck, neckline, lumbar area, clavicles, instep and shoulders. The skin of the rest of the body, on the other hand, is a little thicker and suffers the action of the sun to a lesser extent, but it cannot be unprotected either. The sunscreen should be applied half an hour before sun exposure, in sufficient quantity to leave a visible film on the skin (it does not have to be dispersed) and repeat every two hours. In addition, he recalled that between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. we must avoid activities in the Sun.

Protector, sunscreen or bronzer?

We are not always clear about the difference between sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen and bronzer, confusion that leads us to choose the wrong product. To understand the differences: Sunscreen and sunscreen are the ways to identify products that have special ingredients to absorb the energy that comes from ultraviolet radiation A B and C, that is, UVA, UVB and UVC. There are many ingredients that can be used, but some are very safe and others are not so safe (hence the huge price variation that exists in the market). The term sunscreen is used for very high SPF or SPF protection of 50 or more. While bronzer is a product that does not protect the skin but, on the contrary, helps to concentrate the sun’s rays on the skin, such as oils.

Although in summer the rays are more intense and we use a longer protection, in the months where the temperatures are lower the skin is also damaged, so it is necessary to always protect it, regardless of the time of year. Sun damage to the skin is caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. At first it was believed that only ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, responsible for redness, were dangerous. Now we know that ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, responsible for tanning, are also potentially harmful. UVB radiation is most intense between 10 and 15 hours, so we must avoid exposing ourselves at that time. UVA radiation remains throughout the day and it is advisable to take care of yourself and protect yourself all year round.

13 tips for summer

· Never expose yourself to the Sun without previously applying a sunscreen, even if you do it outside of peak hours.

· Use waterproof protector. If not, repeat the applications every two hours and after the sea or the pool, as well as after physical activities.

· You can take a little sun without protector in the early hours of the morning or at sunset. Gradually between 15 and 40 min depending on skin type.

· Remove impurities from the skin to receive the sun’s rays. Ideally, exfoliate the body and face with specific products and then use a nourishing cream. This should be done every 15 days, after showering.

· Drink plenty of water before, during and after the sun.

· Wear hats or caps to walk on the beach or in very sunny areas.

· Apply sunscreen also on cloudy days, as clouds do not filter the rays.

· Deodorants and perfumes can cause allergic reactions and staining. They should be avoided if you are going to spend a considerable time in the sun.

· Eat foods with beta-carotene (carrot, bell pepper, apricot), vitamin E (wheat oil, corn oil, soybeans) and vitamin C (citrus). These substances are antioxidants (they are not sunscreen), but they improve the immune response of the skin.

· After sunbathing, place a post-sun lotion or a moisturizing cream with vitamins A and E, hyaluronic and collagen on the exposed areas.

· Reflective surfaces (sand, snow, concrete, water) can enhance sunlight and make it more intense.

· If you are taking any medication, ask your doctor about the possibility that it is photosensitizing, that is, that it may develop a toxic reaction in contact with the Sun.

· Protect children. All these recommendations are also for them, with the aggravation that in childhood the skin is much more sensitive. The skin has a memory and accumulates the damages inflicted since childhood.

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