Our beauty editor Grace Mantjiu gives us tips to protect your skin from harmful sun rays by applying sunscreen regularly.
Contrary to popular belief, we all need. And, the best product to protect your skin against it is sunscreen. Not only does it prevent sunburn, but it also helps to prevent wrinkles, aging, and pigmentation. Although sunburn is an immediate reaction, its damage occurs over a lifetime, even increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Here’s how to protect your skin by applying sunscreen regularly
1. How to choose sunscreen?
- Choose a sunscreen that offers you broad spectrum protection. This means that it protects against both the types of ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage your skin – UVA and UVB.
- Look for high protection, which is normally a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or 30 ( medium).
- Avoid sunscreens that contain artificial fragrance as this could irritate your skin and make it burn quicker.
2. Types of UV rays
- UVA (aging) – It penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin, causing wrinkles, pigmentation and skin cancer.
- UVB (burning) – It penetrates into the superficial layers and causes hyperpigmentation. This is a condition in which patches of skin become darker than the normal surrounding one.
- UVC (cancer) – Although the most damaging type of radiation, these do not reach the earth surface as they are absorbed by the ozone layer.
3. Applying SPF
SPF indicates the level of protection a product provides. Take SPF30 for instance. If it takes you 10 minutes to burn under the sun, you multiply it by 30 to get the number of minutes that you are considered “safe”. But, you also need to reapply the sunscreen every two hours for adequate protection. This is because many people don’t usually apply the right amount. Dr. Nooren Moti, a dermatologist in Joburg, says you need at least one teaspoon for your face and neck and a quarter cup for your body.
4. Sun safety tips
- If your sunscreen leaves a white residue or an ashy finish, it’s because it contains zinc oxide. Look for chemical or oil sunscreens as they don’t contain this compound.
- If you have oily skin, use sunscreens that are oil and fragrance-free. Not wearing sunscreen is not an option as that may increase your chances of acne.
- Apply waterproof sunscreen if you are going swimming. Water amplifies the strength of sunrays, so it is important to wear sun protection that won’t wash off.
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