How to Choose & Use Sunscreen

We have long conceived a series of materials about summer vacation. Not directions and tickets, but tips and deep analysis of what all tourists and travelers face.

Today there is a huge text from Marina Sutaeva about sun protection. She has been a beauty editor for more than a decade, with Vogue, Interview Russia, and Lady Mail.Ru.

Marina has disassembled all aspects that you need to know to properly protect your skin and choose care products on the beach or in countries where the sun is particularly active.

The skin should be protected from the sun, period. We are ready to explain our categorical nature and even recommend suitable beauty products. And without intimidation will not do, of course. You should be aware of the consequences of uncontrolled tanning.

Sanskrit is the most unlucky category of cosmetics. Because it’s unpopular. First, the SPF products are always in the ingestion because it is inconvenient: liquid, poorly applied, leave white traces, and generally cause many questions. Secondly, even in 2018, not everyone believes in the need to protect themselves from the sun. I don’t think so. After all, ultraviolet light is harmful. No, even so: NO.


Why the sun is dangerous for your skin

To begin with, a little theory – to understand how destructive the work is carried out by ultraviolet light in the skin. So, there are three types of UV rays: A, B, and C.

  • We will not talk about the short UVC rays, although they are the most dangerous: they are absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Longer UVB rays are particularly active in summer. Do not penetrate through clouds and glass, on the skin behave aggressively – cause redness and burn, thus giving a signal: enough sunbathing. The result of radiation – the destruction of DNA of skin cells, damage to blood vessels and the appearance of vascular mesh, the probability of melanoma, signs of photoaging in the form of wrinkles and age spots.

The sun is often blamed for the appearance of hyperpigmentation and rejoice if, after the holiday, stains did not appear. Joy is premature: the stains will be discovered, but a little later, in a year or two. And it is better to warn them by applying a cream with SPF than then to spend hellish thousands on laser procedures.

  • Long UVA rays can penetrate through glass and even clouds. Burns and generally any visible damage on the skin do not leave, but dangerous incredibly. In addition to listed in paragraph 2, it provokes oxidative stress, weakening of skin immunity, photodermatitis – that is, allergies to the sun.

By the way, it is UVA-rays used in tanning beds. Therefore, after a ten-minute session in the booth, the skin will not be covered with blisters and will get a coveted tan. Aesthetically pleasing? Yes. Conveniently? Yes. Safely? Not at all. After all, fans of tanning beds do not use cream with SPF. And even if used – it is useless; it will protect only from UVB rays. You’ll have to look for a more advanced tool (about this below).

And here’s another thing: in countries with record levels of melanoma per capita, such as Australia and Brazil, tanning beds were banned at the state level.

So how do you protect your skin from the sun? The most reliable way is to use Sunshine. And then, the questions begin because there are dozens of sunscreens, and it isn’t easy to understand them. Let’s start the liquidation.


What is SPF

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a factor of sun protection, or rather, from UVB radiation. The number next to the acronym indicates the degree of protection.

  • The SPF 50 index shows that 1/50 of the total number of rays, or 2%, will reach the skin’s surface. Sanskrit will protect 98% of the rays.
  • The SPF 30 will cover 97% of the rays.
  • SPF 25 – from 96%.
  • SPF 15 – from 93%.

After the calculations, it becomes clear that the difference between “fifty” and “thirty” is not great. There are still creams with SPF 70, 80, and even 100. All this is a marketing move, as the limit of Sanskrins’ capabilities is the blocking of 98-99% of radiation.


Types of sunscreen

There are two of them.

  • They are the same mineral (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) like a mirror, reflecting the sun’s rays. Cream with such filters will be useful for allergy sufferers, people with sensitive skin, children under three years old. It is a physical filter that gives a white tint on the skin and worsens absorption.
  • Chemicals (several dozen of them, the most famous – avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, Parsol-1789, mexoril) absorb UV rays and neutralize their harmful effects. Do not leave white marks on the skin, but cause some questions in users, but about it a little later. If anything, dermatologists advocate combined “physical and chemical” filters in one bottle. And the more names on the list, the better.


Signs on Sanskrit packaging

In addition to the letters SPF, on the bottle of sunscreen, cosmetics can meet such signs.

  • The UVA sign in the circle clarifies that the tool is engaged in blocking type A rays.
  • PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) indicates the degree of protection against UVA rays. The highest index is 42, although 8 is enough.
  • Paz means protection against A rays in Asian facilities. The maximum number of pluses is four, which is equal to PPD 16 and above.
  • Broad Spectrum – the cream protects against a wide range of radiation, i.e., the same rays A and B.Ideally, sunscreen, in addition to filters, should contain antioxidants, the most powerful of which – vitamins C and E, green tea extract, resveratrol. This is a guarantee of preventing premature skin aging.


Myths about SPF

And here is, perhaps, the main point of this huge article.

Cream with SPF will prevent sunbathing.

It won’t hurt. Of course, the tan will be less intense, and the process of obtaining it is not so fast. But in the end, the golden hue of the skin is guaranteed. In producing melanin, the pigment was more active; before going to the beach, you can drink a glass of fresh apricot or carrots.


Make-up with SPF summer is enough.

There are protective filters in primers, tonal means, and powder. They work perfectly there, but here’s the question: are you ready to apply so much tonal on your face that you have exactly two milligrams of skin per square centimeter?


The sun is good for problem skin.

Girlfriend at school shared a lifehack to fry pimples in the sun to quickly disappear? Even if you tried the advice in action and it seemed to live up to expectations, know: in fact, it does not work. The sun does not fight acne; just against the background of tanned skin, they are less noticeable. But it has been proven that type A rays provoke acne.

Sunlight only eases the plight of those suffering from chronic skin conditions such as neurodermatitis. “It, like a cortisone cream, suppresses the immune defenses of the skin,” writes German dermatologist Yale Adler.


The dark does not need protection from the sun.

The main excuse of the owners of dark skin: “Well, I do not burn, why do I need cream with SPF?” And in the long term – from pigmentation, aging, melanoma.

In general, all people with “non-stick” skin are at risk. Their skin does not react with redness and burning to ultraviolet light and does not give a signal “immediately out of the beach!” That is why the dark one needs a cream with protection from UVA-rays, which do not cause burns but lead to unpleasant consequences.


UV filters are harmful.

The safety of physical filters has already been proven. Accusations against chemicals are still coming and basically boil down to this.

  • They cause allergies. Yes, this can be because of the individual intolerance of components of cosmetics no one canceled. Chemical filters often provoke allergies. But if the skin is covered with a rash a few hours after applying sunscreen, you most likely react to the sun – photodermatitis. That is, it is not the filter but its absence. So don’t forget to update your protection.
  • They lead to oncology. Believe the American Foundation for Skin Cancer Research: sunscreens are not provocateurs of cancer. But ignoring protection contributes to the emergence of tumors.
  • They have a hormone-like effect. On the one hand, experiments have shown that chemical filters have this. On the other hand, the dose of filters in the study was considered very high. On the third, this is what the German dermatologist, Yale Adler, writes about it in the book “What Hides Skin”: “With nutrition, we consume much higher doses of phytoestrogens every day than in principle we can contain sunscreen. In addition, with tap water, we sometimes get real estrogens (hormones that after retaking birth control pills get into the water)”.
  • They’re toxic. More precisely, neurotoxic and affect the endocrine system. In general, no, although individual instances are found. “In short, the most dangerous of this list is Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone) and his relative Benzophenone-4 (Sulisobenzone). About 4% of this filter enters the bloodstream (data with the participation of people) and is excreted in the urine. <… For comparison, The penetration into the blood of Octinoxate is only about 0.002 % of the dose used,” cosmetic chemist Yulia Gagarina writes on her Facebook page.


How to choose a sunscreen

Choose a cream with SPF should be at least two parameters.

Skin type. Here everything is simple: look at the packaging, look for markings for dry/oily/sensitive skin. If it’s not there, read the line-up.

For dry skin formulas with moisturizers – hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe extract will be suitable.

For the oily – with minerals and the inscription “non-comedogenic.”

A phototype. There are six of them. Representatives of I and II need funds with a high SPF 50 protection factor; the rest will have an SPF 20-30. And here is the classification of phototypes by Fitzpatrick and the characteristics characteristic of each:

  • I, Celtic – light or red hair, blond eyes, milky white or pinkish skin with freckles, instantly burns in the sun. It’s better not to sunbathe like that.
  • II, light-skinned European – blond hair and eyes, pale skin that burns quickly, can be freckles. It’s almost impossible to sunbathe.
  • III, Central European – dark blond or brown hair, gray or light brown eyes, dark skin, which burns when long in the sun. Sunbathing easily.
  • IV, Mediterranean – dark hair, brown eyes, olive skin. Rarely burn, tan appears quickly and lasts a long time.
  • V, Asian – very dark hair and eyes, yellowish or yellowish-brown skin. Almost do not burn in the sun.
  • VI, African – black hair and eyes, dark skin. Never burn.

Formats of funds with SPF

Buty-progress does not stand still, so now with SPF do not release except that fabric masks (although by the release of this article, maybe, and they will appear). The most popular – cream, milk, spray, stick. Everyone has their pros and cons.

  • The cream is a classic remedy. Mainly designed for the face, the texture is oily and quite dense, which is good for dry skin and not very – for oily. Applied for a long time, absorbed poorly, but often replaced the day cream and even the primer.
  • Fluid – distributed and felt on the face is much lighter, does not clog pores, ideal for oily skin.
  • Milk is the most common format of Sanskrit for the body and the most user-friendly. The best option is milk 2 in 1, designed for the face and body at once.
  • Oil is the owner of a not particularly high SPF factor 15-20 (although there are exceptions) because its duty is not so much protection as the special effect of the “super sexy body.” To emphasize this, some manufacturers add radiant microparticles to the oils. If anything, now we are talking about cosmetic oil. Natural oils like olive and coconut as a sanitary block to use pointless: their index of protection does not exceed SPF 6.

Successful development is the texture of dry oil. It is instantly absorbed without tedious rubbing, leaves no traces on the clothes, and a feeling of fatness on the skin; nothing sticks to it.

  • Spray – convenient to apply, especially on the body, especially on hard-to-reach areas such as shoulder blades. But it is inconvenient to observe sufficient for full protection dosage; to sash for this will have to spasms in the fingers.
  • Another nuisance with spray is when spraying, there is a chance to breathe well, so you have to control the breaths and exhalations strictly. Of the advantages – the spray will easily update the sunscreen on top of the make-up.
  • Stick is a mini-piece that is nice to carry with you in a ladies’ bag and update protection whenever you want and anywhere. However, the small size of the stick to handle them is advisable only small, particularly combustible areas of the skin: nose, ears, lips. Otherwise, it is uneconomical.


More features

The further, the smarter the funds become with SPF. Thus, the well-known property is water resistance, that is, the ability not to wash off even during bathing. Now there’s something else on the skill list.

  • “Anti-sand” function: grains of sand do not stick to the skin after applying the cream so that you can update the product right on the beach.
  • Increased tanning: low-SPF products are called “tanning activators” and are recommended to be used only after a week of tanning under the protection of SPF 50. The formula contains antioxidants to prevent damage to cell DNA.
  • Mating: most often, these products come out in the texture of gel-cream, designed for oily and problematic skin, reduce pores and oily shine. Non-comedogenic.
  • Anti-aging effect: formulas do this with the content of anti-age components and the corresponding marking on the bottle.
  • Toning: Sanskrit with a light universal hue and a high protection factor, according to the developers, was to replace the tonal cream. But something went wrong, so the texture lies with a mask, poorly distributed, sticky, rolls down.


How to use

Suns protection – record holders in the number of rules of application. Read (and count) yourself.

  • How much to apply? The norm is two milligrams per square centimeter of skin. Smart people have calculated: it is about a quarter of a teaspoon on the face and a tablespoon – for each part of the body. You can also measure water stacks: one or two pieces for an adult. According to statistics, it usually causes three times less.
  • How and when to apply? 20 to 30 minutes before going outside and at least ten minutes before you start dressing. It is best to apply the cream in two layers (the second – after the first one is dehydrated). Spreading the texture, do not rub the skin.
  • When to update? Every two hours. Chemical filters are destroyed by the sun in two to three hours. In addition, the cream evaporates with sweat, the protective layer weakens due to friction on the clothes, and because we often touch the skin with our hands.
  • What else can I remember? Be sure to wash off the Sanskrit when you return home. Otherwise, there is a risk of redness and rash.


What time of year does SPF need?

Experts of all beauty brands claim that sun protection is necessary all year round if you live in a high solar activity country. But Russia, as usual, has its own way. In autumn and early winter, the sun does not show for weeks, so there is nothing to protect yourself from. But on sunny winter days, the cream with SPF will come in handy if the UV index is more deuce. You can see this index in the Weather app on your smartphone.

How to store

Like all cosmetics – in a cool dark place, without frequent sharp temperature changes and excessive humidity. Although, as for Sanskrit, even a large tube will not have time to spoil and “fly away” in the first couple of weeks of vacation if applied in the right amount.


Sunscreen for children

Let’s start with the main thing: children can’t be in the sun until they are three years old. They have not yet formed skin immunity, insufficiently produced pigment melanin, and burn the delicate skin will get in five minutes. So only shade, only closed clothes – it’s good that invented fabrics with sunscreen. It’s a pity, after washing, its action weakens.

If you can’t do it without going out into the open sun, the child needs cream with SPF. It used to be that such cosmetics can be used only after three years. But now they are releasing funds for different age categories:

  • Six months
  • Up to three years old;
  • after three years.

All these formulas are hypoallergenic, do not contain perfumes, have undergone strict checks of dermatologists and pediatricians, have a protection factor of 50 degrees.

In addition to age, the SPF tool can be chosen by these parameters:

  • release form (cream, milk, spray);
  • Water-resistance is a necessary option if you go on vacation and are going to swim a lot;
  • The “anti-sand” function will be useful for fans to dig in the sandbox;
  • The “application control” function will allow you to calculate the untreated areas of the child’s skin quickly.

The rules of application are about the same as in the case of Sanskrit for adults:

  • Apply half an hour before going outside;
  • Update every couple of hours and after each bathing;
  • When you get home, wash it off.