Sunlight tends to contain ultraviolent – UV photon which are shorter in wavelength and higher in energy than the light that is visible. Since they fall beyond the visible spectrum, it is not possible to notice them through the human eye. When exposed to sun, these high energy photons that strike the skin and generate free radicals tend to damage the DNA.
This UV induced damage could result in painful burn and over a period of time could cause premature aging of the skin together with various other new cases of skin cancer. UV rays that humans are exposed to, on the earth’s surface comprises of UVB and UVA photons where the shorter wave length UVB rays does not penetrate deeply in the skin resulting in significant damage to DNA.
This is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer. The longer wavelength UVA rays on the other hand tend to penetrate the deeper layers of skin, where they develop free radicals. Exposure to UVA is related to premature aging of the skin as well as immunologic issues. Some sun cream provides medium protection against the sun’s rays. In UK, sunscreens have been branded with SPF which means sun protection factor.
Bulletproof Top – Stops UV Photons
Sunscreen product is like a very thin bulletproof top that stops the UV photons before they reach the skin and cause damage. It comprises of organic sunscreen molecules which absorb the UV and inorganic pigments that absorbs, scatter and reflects UV. For a high level of protection, sunscreen product need to have adequate quantities of these protective means and should optimally array them on the skin’s valleys and peaks.
This indicates the level of protection against damaging ultraviolet B – UVB radiation from the sun which could cause skin cancer. A high SPF or factor is essential for protection against sunburn. SPF rating between 6 and 14 is considered to offer low protection while SPF rating between 15 and 29 provides medium protection and SPF ratings of 30 to 50 offers high protection.
Factor 50 and above provides very high protection. The British Association of Dermatologists suggests a sunscreen with SPF of 30 to be a satisfactory form of protection from the sun. We find a variety of options on different sun products available which comprises of mousses, lotions, sprays, gels and creams. Consumers generally could use either organic or inorganic filters in order to absorb or reflect Ultraviolet rays.
Check for UVA Protection
Terms like `sun lotion’ and `sunscreens’ are utilised interchangeably for describing several of them. At times, `suntan lotions’ is used with reference to substances which have been intended to speed up tanning with little or no sun protection factor and some use the term `sunblock’ while referring to sunscreens which may reflect instead of absorbing UV rays.
However, the importance lies in the protection qualities of the product than the name used, which is found on the label. The SPF figure on the product is calculated to measure the quality of protection against UVB rays of the sun. Moreover, the ultraviolet-A rays – UVA also needs to be considered which could cause wrinkles and skin ageing.
While the rays are not as dangerous, there could be more of them which may penetrate the skin more deeply. It is essential to check for a UVA protection – denoted by a UVA star rating and UVB protection – denoted by the SPF, on the bottle. Star rating of UVA ranges from 0 to 5 indicating the percentage of UVA radiation that is absorbed by the sunscreen when compared to UVB.
Sunscreen with Higher SPF & UVA Rating Suitable
Moisturizers too tend to have SPF or sun protection factor rating though they are quite low. They are also less likely to be water proof and rub resistant giving less protection against the UVA protection and also tend to be applied lightly than the other creams.
Hence sunscreen having a higher SPF and a UVA rating is best suited to a lengthy more considered exposure to the sun in the case of being on the beach. Some may tend to tan from a low to medium SPF sunscreen which is due to the small quantity of ultraviolet which they receive. The skin may tan unless one applies carefully and regularly a good amount of high SPF sunscreen which tends to have a high UVA protection. There is no damage or tanning, if no ultraviolet gets through.
According to skin experts, it is essential to know the type of skin one has and how vulnerable it could be to sunburn and skin cancer. This can control how much protection is needed and the type of sunscreen to be purchased.
Besides this it is also important to wear protective clothes and ensure to be in the shade during the hottest period of the day, especially those with fair skin.Research indicates that several people apply less amount of sunscreen than needed to provide the level of protection that is mentioned on the label. Application of generous amount of cream at regular interval is very important in order to avoid sunburn.