Since the last two decades, sunscreens have seen a lot of popularity in the markets around the world. This is mainly because of the concerns our environmentalists and scientists have raised regarding global warming and UV rays. It is often believed that sunscreens protect us from the harmful rays of the sun and keep tan lines away. However, we still do not have a proper idea regarding sunscreens and SPF. Most of us only know that higher the SPF, more protected we are on a particular beach day.
However, it is about time we actually get our facts about sunscreens and SPF right.
The Difference Between UVA And UVB
The sun emits different types of radiations and two of them are UVA and UVB. UVB are the sun rays that burn the superficial layers of the skin and cause sunburn. These rays are also responsible for skin cancer. UVA rays are those that penetrate deep into the skin,
It has been found that there is an absence of UVA filters in sunscreens, and this leads to a condition called melanoma that happens with sunscreen users more than non-users. Melanoma is the tumor of melanin-forming cells and leads to skin cancer.
A ‘Broad Spectrum’ Sunscreen
SPF (Sun Protecting Factor) is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects your skin from UVB rays. SPF does not give any indication of UVA protection. The UVA protection provided by a sunscreen is determined by the UVA star system, which is generally mentioned on the back of the bottle. These stars range from 0-5 and provides information on the percentage of UVA radiation absorbed by the sunscreen. The British Association of Dermatologists have stated that a sunscreen with SPF 30 and UVA rating
High SPF Might Not Mean High Protection
It has been found that sunscreens with high SPFs such as SPF 75 or SPF 100 do not offer any significantly greater protection than SPF 30. These sunscreens with high SPFs only mislead people into thinking that they have more protection. It has also been found that SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, which is not a very significant increase.
Truth Behind Photostability
Photostability means a product’s ability to not break down in the sun. This does not mean that you don’t need to reapply that sunscreen. Even if the product is water-resistant, the product
Spray Sunscreens Could Be Harmful
It has been found that spray sunscreens are aerosol products that contain a lot of alcohol. These products break down photostability and dries your skin out although that is the time you need the most hydration. It is not possible to use a sunscreen without alcohol at all; however, check for products that feature alcohol in the list later.
Sunscreen That Doesn’t Give Spots
It is not
Next time you buy sunscreen, do not forget to check the UVA star rating and the list of ingredients in it. Also, a non-greasy sunscreen will always serve you better.