Finding Your Perfect Sunscreen Match (Must-Know Guide + Effects Of UV Rays)December 11, 2015
There are so many cosmetic products on the market, that choosing the right one for you has become a challenge. Not to mention anti-ageing creams and sunscreen protection creams; they could easily be included among the Top 10 most difficult to choose! Do you feel the same?
But here is a tip: you can protect your skin against UV rays and at the same time maintain your youthful skin with the help of a sunscreen.
We put together this short guide about skin protection that sheds light on the most important features to look for in a sunscreen. You are most likely thinking you know all there is to know about protecting your skin from damaging UV rays; however, we suggest you read until the end to learn about the effects of UV rays and why sunscreen is so efficient in maintaining a younger appearance of your skin for a longer period of time.
Different types of ageing
There are two different types of ageing:
1. “Intrinsic ageing”, which comes from within your body and involves things such as accumulated cellular and mitochondrial DNA damage, mitochondrial ageing and hormonal decline. A sunscreen will not help you counteract the effects of internal ageing, but…
2. “Extrinsic ageing” occurs due to external factors:
- Do you stay out in the sun?
- Do you smoke cigarettes?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you sleep enough?
All of these can significantly contribute to the way your skin ages… and this is where a high quality sunscreen can do wonders in protecting your skin!
Sun exposure & ageing
Sunscreens: Protecting your skin from the sun stops premature ageing.
When your skin is exposed to the sun, it absorbs ultraviolet (UV) rays, which generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside your skin. ROS is a molecular process that damages cellular and extracellular components, leading to photoageing and skin cancers.
Bonus tip: As there are different types of ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB, you have to make sure that the sunscreen you use protects you against both. UVA rays penetrate the skin in-depth, therefore the damage they produce can be higher. Because of this, you need to ensure your skin is protected against both types of UV rays.
Sunscreen shopping 101:
There are two different types of sunscreens:
- Physical sunscreens use ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals are recommended for sensitive skin, as they have an anti-inflammatory effect and do not cause allergies.
- Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays and converting them to heat.
Tip: If your sunscreen leaves a white film on your face, it means that its particles are too large to be absorbed by the skin.
Q: Can you define what a “broad spectrum” sunscreen is?
A: The government regulations allow the use of this term when a sunscreen meets a set criteria regarding UVA and UVB protection.
When choosing a sunscreen, pay attention to the SPF protection:
- Generally, SPF15 sunscreen allows approximately 6.7% of UVB rays to penetrate your skin
- SPF30 sunscreen allows 3.3%
- SPF50 sunscreen allows 2%
The effects of sun exposure
The effects of UV exposure accumulate in our bodies throughout life.
Did you know…? It has been estimated that 80% of sun damage takes place before we reach the age of 18 years old.
If you want to minimise sun damage, start protecting yourself against sun exposure from an early age. If you are a parent of young children, then this knowledge is also essential to remember! Repeated sunburns accelerate your skin’s ageing process, so be careful not to indulge in excessive sun exposure. Educate your children about the dangers of UVA and UVB rays.
SOS! If you get sunburned…
- drink plenty of water
- take anti-inflammatory medicine (such as aspirin)
- use a topical soothing gel or cream (aloe vera comes highly recommended)
- If you need something stronger, consider a prescription cortisone cream or vitamin E in the form of a phosphate, as it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect after sun exposure
Choosing the right sunblock can be a daunting task… Come to Rejuvenation Clinics of Australia for a professional sunscreen recommendation that is a perfect match to your skin, or view our full range of Skin Care Products