Presse Santé

Sunscreen: are you sure you really know everything

Summer is coming and we all want to have tanned skin, but it’s important to keep it healthy by protecting it from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Sunscreen not only prevents mild and severe sunburn, but also premature aging. In article, we will tell you the myths and truths about sunscreens.

How do sunscreens work?

The name says it all: sunscreen is a barrier between our skin and the ultraviolet rays that reach us from the sun. Its purpose is to protect our skin from superficial or deep damage. To do this, sunscreen contains mineral filters that reflect UV rays, as well as chemical filters that absorb light so that your skin does not burn.

What are the benefits of using sunscreen?

The main benefit of using sunscreen daily is that your skin stays healthy and you avoid disease or premature aging. The sun’s rays oxidize our skin and cause wrinkles and the dreaded sunburn. Our skin has a memory, and exposing it unprotected over the years can lead to disease. On the other hand, by protecting it, we allow it to stay younger and more beautiful for longer.

What is Sun Protection Factor (SPF)?

The factor of sun protection (SPF) is the maximum time you can be in the sun without getting sunburned. The formula for calculating this time is as follows: multiply the time your skin could naturally be exposed to the sun without burning (this varies depending on each person’s phototype) by the sun protection factor of the sunscreen you choose.

If, for example, your skin can be exposed to the sun for 10 minutes without burning and our sunscreen has SPF 30, that would give us a result of 300 minutes of safe sun exposure throughout the day. All this, taking into account that the sunscreen is applied correctly in quantity and frequency (after bathing, if we identify excessive sweating…). Important: this maximum duration is not “extendable”, it is not extended with each reapplication of sunscreen.

1. Everyone can use the same sunscreen: FALSE

The lighter the skin, the higher the SPF must be to protect it. Dark skin types have more melanin than light skin types, so they have more natural protection and can opt for a product with a lower SPF. But this excess melanin does not protect against UV rays, which cause premature aging.

2. Waterproof sunscreen protects me all day: FALSE

It is advisable to renew the application every two to four hours for the protection to be fully effective. It is important to renew the application if you dry your skin with a towel.

3. Apply sunscreen half an hour before exposure: TRUE

Thus, it is correctly absorbed and you use the protection factor adapted to your skin type from the first minute of exposure to the sun.

4. If I use a high sun protection factor, I will never tan: FALSE

It will take you longer to tan, but your tan will be healthy. You will get an even, spotless tan. This will prevent serious and dangerous burns to the skin.

5. I shouldn’t wear perfume or cologne after sunscreen: TRUE

Sunscreen is the last thing you should apply. This will prevent stains or allergies.

6. If I have oily or acne-prone skin, I should avoid sunscreen: FALSE
There are specific sunscreens for each skin type. If you have oily or combination skin, opt for mattifying and non-oily sunscreens.

7. The more the better: FALSE

The important thing is not the quantity but the frequency. You should apply enough cream to cover different areas of the body every two to four hours.

8. If I use a sunscreen with a high SPF, I can stay in the sun longer: FALSE

Prolonged exposure to the sun, despite the use of sunscreen, increases the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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