Confused about choosing a sunscreen?
It’s time to put things in their place!
Sun exposure without adequate protection from ultraviolet radiation can increase the risk of burns, wrinkles, and skin cancer. If you are unclear about protecting yourself from the sun, then your health is at stake.
There are two types of ultraviolet light: UVB, which causes sunburn and can lead to skin cancer, and UVA, which penetrates deeper into the skin and can cause wrinkles and skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the United States, and more than 3.5 million cases are diagnosed each year.
Dermatologists Jennifer Stein, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at New York Langone University Medical Center in New York, and James Spencer, MD, a private physician in St. Louis. Petersburg, Florida, and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology will clarify sunscreens’ myths.
Myths about sunscreens: I don’t need them
You may think you don’t need sunscreen if you’re not sunbathing, but sunscreen isn’t just for those who sunbathe. “If you’re going to be outside for a while, you should have sun protection even though it’s cloudy because even then you can get sunburns,” says Stein. If you think, “I’m naturally darker-skinned and don’t need sun protection,” think again.
People with darker skin are less likely to have sunburns, but they can also burn and should wear some form of sun protection that protects against UVA and UVB rays, Stein says. If you have tanned from the sun or a tanning bed, it means that your skin is damaged. Stein states that a tan can be partial protection, but you can still burn yourself.
“There’s a myth that you should tan before going on vacation because that way you could protect yourself from burns, but that’s not true,” says Stein. The complexion you get in the solarium does not protect you from sunburn. It is different because it is obtained from a large UVA, which quickly darkens the skin.
“If you don’t like the feel of the cream on your skin, there are different types of creams you can use to protect you,” says Spencer. If you have sensitive skin, you can also try those labeled “sensitive skin,” which often have physical protection such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, Stein says.
It has been observed that sunscreens labeled for babies or children are often the same as for “sensitive skin”; that is, versions of the same products, only repackaged for different age groups.
Other Stein tips for people with sensitive skin:
*, Do a stain test. If you are worried about a new sunscreen, you can first try it on the inside of your hand before using it on your face and whole body.
* Wear protective clothing. Clothes and a hat are even better than sunscreen. The more skin you cover, the less sunscreen you need, says Stein.
Is the SPF of my makeup enough?
Many women can rely on sunscreen as part of their makeup, but you may need more than that. You should wear makeup with at least SPF 30, says Stein. “The easiest approach is to use a facial moisturizer that already has sunscreen in it.” It’s not bad to have sunscreen in your face makeup but consider it as an aid, not as a major sunscreen.
Myths about sunscreens: All sunscreens are the same.
Sunscreens can vary in the way they protect the skin. Some are physical sunscreens, which use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block UVA and UVB rays. Others use different substances, such as avobenzone, for protection. Newer active ingredients are helioplex and meroxyl SX, which dermatologists say are photostable and long-lasting, and provide good UVA and UVB protection.
What offers the best protection? It is a matter of debate.
The U.S. Environmental Working Group reported that some sunscreen products do not adequately protect the skin, but the Personal Care Products Council has disputed this.
In May 2010, Consumer Reports released the results of independent tests of 12 sunscreens, the top four being rated “excellent” or “very good.”
The FDA has proposed new rules for labeling sunscreens, including four-star classes, advising that using sunscreen is just one way to protect yourself from the sun and that limited sun exposure and wearing protective clothing is recommended.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and provide broad-spectrum coverage against UVA and UVB rays.
Just apply a little sunscreen throughout the day
The general principle is that it should be re-applied every two to four hours, Spencer says, and sunscreen goes away with time. Don’t skimp when you put the cream on yourself or your kids. A good way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover yourself with clothing. Clothing is more reliable than sunscreen – and you don’t have to think about when and how much you applied it.
If you go into the water, you have to apply the cream more often. According to the University of California at San Francisco, the protective factor of “waterproof” sunscreens is maintained for 40 minutes after bathing, and with “very waterproof” sunscreen, the protective factor is maintained after 80 minutes.
There are waterproof sunscreens, but they can’t be waterproof all day because, despite everything, the sunscreen will gradually disappear from the skin. Just because a cream is waterproof essentially means it takes a lot of water to wash it off — so it’s great for swimming. Also, check which medications you are taking as there is a possibility that they make your skin more sensitive to the sun. These can be certain blood pressure medications, some anti-acne antibiotics, so check with your doctor to see if your medications also fall into that group.
I apply the cream on my face, arms, legs, back and neck so all areas are covered
This is not enough — the cream needs to be applied to both the ears and the neck’s back. Wearing a hat or cap would be a good solution to protect the whole head, while it is recommended to apply lip balm with a protection factor of 30.
Sunscreen lotions, sprays and sticks work differently
There are no differences in the packaging of sunscreen-the choice depends on consumers’ habits and desires.
Men prefer alcohol-based sprays because they do not like greasy products, while women prefer and use lotions and creamier products.
No matter what type of sunscreen you choose, apply it to dry skin 15-30 minutes before going out.
Last year’s sunscreen can be used.
Be sure to check the expiration date on the sunscreen. Some sunscreens, especially those that contain UVA protection, do not have a long shelf life. And if you apply the cream properly, you won’t have enough cream left for next summer anyway.