If you’ve noticed that your skin has lost some of its suppleness, if it has fine lines, wrinkles or uneven pigmentation, you may have sun damage. As studies have shown, sun damage can lead to skin cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, the occasionally deadly melanoma and precancerous conditions such as solar keratoses. The problem is especially acute for people with fair skin.
Fortunately, the way to preserve the beauty of the skin is easy to obtain. It is sunscreen.
What Is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a topical preparation used to protect against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. There are three types of ultraviolet ray, but only two, A and B, affect people on earth. UVA radiation damages the skin by stimulating the production of dangerous free radicals and puts a person at higher risk for melanoma. UVB light also causes free radical production as well as sunburn and other types of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet radiation also damages those substances like collagen and elastin that keep skin supple and young-looking. A sunscreen that contains titanium oxide gives extra protection to these substances. Other ingredients that should be in a good sunscreen include zinc oxide and parsol. The sunscreen should also be hypoallergenic and should not block the pores, which can lead to acne, rashes and other skin problems.
Sunscreen can be a lotion, a gel or a spray. There are two types: one absorbs UV radiation and the other reflects it. The most effective sunscreen when it comes to preserving both the beauty and health of the skin is one that protects against both UVA and UVB light.
Sunscreens are rated by their SPF factor. The higher the rating is, the longer it can be worn before the person’s skin starts to suffer the effects of sunburn. However, this doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t need to replenish a higher rated sunscreen. Usually, sunscreen is reapplied every two hours or so. Experts recommend that a person wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
How To Wear It
As noted aesthetic doctor Dr. Chen Tai Ho said, “To get the best results, sunscreen should be worn every day, whether the sun is shining or not. Some ultraviolet rays can penetrate through cloud cover!” Not only that, but putting on sunscreen as assiduously as one puts on clothes or make-up trains the body to work with sunscreen and prevent damage to its DNA. Make sure that the sunscreen thoroughly covers exposed parts of the body, and make sure to refresh the sunscreen according to the manufacturer’s directions. One other bit of good news is that newer models of sunscreen are water-proof. This means they don’t automatically have to be reapplied after swimming.
By the way, it is important for even dark-skinned people to put on sunscreen when they go out into the sun, even though they may not need as high an SPF rating as people with fair skin.
As Dr. Chen Tai Ho said, “Find a good sunscreen, slather it on, keep it on throughout the day, and your skin will stay vital and beautiful for years to come.”