Benefits & Importance of Sunscreen and How to Apply it
Asians naturally produce more of a chemical called melanin, which gives the skin colour and absorbs the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. In fact, dark-skinned people have a natural skin protection factor (SPF) of up to 13, and filter twice as much UV radiation as fair-skinned people.
SPF is a rating calculated by comparing the amount of time it would take for an unprotected fair-skinned person to burn, to the amount of time it would take to burn when wearing sunscreen. For example, SPF 15 allows a person to multiply the initial unprotected burning time by a factor of 15. If a person’s skin turns red after 10 minutes with no sunscreen, it would take 150 minutes for her skin to burn with sunscreen. Also, an SPF of 15 indicates that 93% of sunburning rays are deflected. By this measure, we now know that regardless of skin tone, we could all use some sun protection.
It's no news that sun exposure is one of the top culprits for skin ageing. Even further, as we age, our skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun’s harmful rays declines. The natural ageing process inhibits the growth of fat cells underneath the top layer of the skin, resulting in thinner, more sensitive skin. It’s a vicious circle, really! A lifetime of sun exposure slows the production of collagen and elastin (the skin’s support system), and the skin is even less capable of protecting itself from UVA and UVB rays. What's more, hormonal shifts in the body don’t do our largest organ any favours either. Decreasing levels of estrogen may affect the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leading to dry skin that’s more susceptible to burning.
So what’s the fix? A sunscreen with SPF 30 is more than enough to handle the sun rays Indians are exposed to. Even though we are exposed to more UV-B rays than the western countries, our darker skin (with a little help from sunscreen) acts as good protection.
No matter where you come from or what age you are, maximising protection from sun exposure with sunscreen is the best way to prevent sunburn, premature wrinkling, sagging and sunspots. Be sure to apply a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher, 20 minutes before sun exposure, which is about how long it takes for the skin to absorb sunscreen before you head out the door!
Explore our wide range of sunscreens at http://shop.kayaclinic.com/product/sunscreens.
Here, check this infographic out