Summer is finally here! Picnics? Relishing the serene calmness of pools, beaches, or just heading out to work, do not forget to slather the sunscreen adequately before moving outdoors. Evidence and research have boiled down to several effective products that help you slow down and delay ageing, one of them being the Sunscreen!
Before we put our step down to discuss the manifold benefits of Sunscreen, let’s throw some shade at how sun rays pose a threat of skin damage.
The Sun emits UVA, UVB, and UVC radiations. The Ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere filters out UVC rays, leaving behind UVA, and UVB rays. Both UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage, but UVA is known to cause premature skin ageing like wrinkles, change in texture, uneven pigmentation, while UVB is responsible for skin burning.
So to protect the skin from overall damage, the Sunscreen that should be opted is a ‘broad-spectrum’. Blocking out both UVA and UVB rays is the goal.
Skin damage from sun exposure can occur for quite a few reasons -
Breakdown of Collagen - Excess exposure to sun breaks down the collagen fibres in the skin, hindering the appearance of smooth and firm skin. It dilates the blood vessels, giving a red tone to the skin.
Enhanced production of Melanin - The pigment responsible to give skin a darker tone or colour, Melanin, secretes more when in contact with direct sunlight, resulting in tanning, blotchy skin, and uneven pigmentation spots.
Zinc Oxide and other Minerals in sunscreen absorb and deflect the UV radiation so that it does not penetrate the epidermis. These ingredients work by keeping the sunlight, from penetrating deeply. Sunscreens with ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide work along this mechanism.
After a lot of research and study by experts and dermatologists, it is concluded that sunscreens slow down the signs and appearance of ageing. The only condition being, whichever product is applied, should be applied liberally, advisably to be repeated every 4 hours.
The value in front of SPF is not an indication of how much time can be spent out in the sun. To give you a better context, an SPF 15 filters out 93% of the UVB rays as compared to the 97% protection with SPF 30. A sunscreen with SPF 30 does not mean you can stay out in the sun for twice as long as after applying an SPF 15
So, choosing the right sunscreen with the correct SPF value to cater your needs is the key to keep tanning, sunburns at bay, and delay ageing.