SunSmart: Go Undercover while Enjoying the Sunshine

Throughout the year, especially in the summertime, our skin risks being attacked by the sun. During the daytime, even in the cloudiest of weather, once you step out onto the street (regardless of gender), you had better take some precautionary measures, one of which would be applying sunscreen.



The importance of sunscreen

Some people may be misled by the idea that in case of not applying a sunscreen, you will benefit by getting a nice tan. In fact,, the consequences seem to imply slightly more than that. To begin with, too much sun exposure without the proper protection may lead to sunburn, or in even worse cases, skin inflammation, erythema, blisters and skin tingling, which is the result of ultraviolet rays (wavelength 290-320 nm) penetrating and damaging the inner skin layer (derma). In more severe cases, it can provoke the development of skin cancer.

One way or another, sun damage caused to the skin is often irreversible: even after the skin heals, it can never be restored to its original state. With that in mind, we do urge you to consider UV protection, with sunscreen being one of the best options.



Sunscreen Varieties

Sunscreens can be subdivided into physical, chemical and biological varieties, depending on their mode of action.


Physical sunscreen (also referred to as mineral sunscreen) provides a physical barrier to the UV rays, with the most common active ingredients being zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Remaining on the top of the skin, it does not provoke any chemical reactions, thus treating the skin in a gentle fashion, yet having a more stable performance.

Chemical sunscreens (also known as UV absorbents), on the other hand, have to be absorbed by your skin first, and after that, they dissipate the UV rays preventing them from attacking your inner skin layer. Since the process of absorbing and treating ultraviolet rays happens inside the skin, most of the chemical-based sunscreens are light and non-sticky, nevertheless, they can cause irritation.

Biological sunscreen, which is based on bioadhesive nanoparticles is a comparatively new type of sun protection. The idea behind this is that it does not absorb ultraviolet rays, but plays an important role in resisting the affect of ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation damages the tissue, causing it to produce oxygen-free radicals. The substances contained in biological sunscreen can play an indirect role in the process by eliminating or reducing intermediates of oxygen active groups, thereby blocking or slowing down the tissue damage or promoting post-sun repair. These sunscreens are rich in such ingredients as vitamin C, vitamin E, nicotinamide, beta-carotene, and plant extracts.



The Right Way of Sun Protection

1. Choose a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum coverage and protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.

2. Before sunbathing, swimming, or doing any other activity that involves a high level of UV exposure, apply a chemical sunscreen with strong SPF or physical sunscreen.

3.  Make sure that you apply a sufficient amount of sunscreen, which is approximately 2 mg/cm2, preferably, no later than half an hour before going out.

4. To remain protected when outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two-three hours.

5. The most effective way to protect the skin from UV rays is to avoid being outdoors, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.

6. Common sunscreen products can be removed with a facial cleanser, but if your sunscreen is waterproof or water-resistant, the removal procedure requires more thorough attention, and that might involve using a make-up remover.  



While some amount of sun exposure may be beneficial to our body, it also does not take much sun to cause skin damage, so keep in mind that staying in the shade, avoiding the sun between 10a.m. and 4 p.m, wearing protective clothes and a sunscreen on unprotected areas are some good habits to develop when it comes to the protection of your health.

During the hot summer, please take care of your skin #becausewecare.