Summer is all about going on lunch dates or to the beaches and enjoying with your family and friends. But excessive exposure to the harsh sun rays, which contain Ultraviolet A or (UVA), Ultraviolet B or (UVB), Ultraviolet C or (UVC) and infrared rays, can harm the skin and even reduce the skin tone.
UV irradiation on normal human skin can cause sunburn, tanning, and photoaging, while UV exposure can lead to dryness, wrinkling, elastin and collagen breakdown, freckling, age spots and other cosmetic changes. Which is why it is extremely important to use a sunscreen with the perfect SPF level on a regular basis as it can help reduce these skin problems.
Dr Nirupama Parwanda, Dermatologist, Zolie Skin Clinic explains the various SPF levels along with the things that should be kept in mind when buying a sunscreen lotion.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
The SPF level shows the effectiveness of the sunscreen. However, it is only against UVA rays.
SPF 15: Sunscreen having SPF 15 shields against 93 per cent of harmful sun rays. So it should be used by a person who is likely to be out in the sun for one hour.
SPF 30: Sunscreen having SPF 30 shields against 97 per cent of harmful sun rays. It is advised to people who are likely to be under the sun for two hours.
SPF 50: Sunscreen having SPF 50 shields against 98 per cent of harmful sun rays and should be applied by those who would be under the sun for about three to four hours.
SPF 50+: People who stay out in the sun for more than five hours should definitely use sunscreen with 50+ SPF.
Apart from SPF there are few other parameters which should be keep in mind when selecting a sunscreen.
Boots Star Rating
PA indicates the protection against UVA radiation — PA+ indicates little protection against UVA, PA++ indicates moderate protection, and PA+++ indicates very good protection against UVA rays.
A broad spectrum sunscreen or full spectrum sunscreen shows that sunscreen can protect our skin from both types of ultraviolet rays.
Sunscreen should be selected according to a person’s skin type. We must use different sunscreens for our face and body as facial skin is thinner than other parts of the body.
*Oily skin – If your skin gets oilier in summers then a gel or water-based sunscreen should be used as it gives your skin the desired cooling effect.
*Normal skin – If you have normal skin, then a lotion-based sunscreen is best for your skin type as it helps hydrate your skin without making it look too oily.
*Dry skin – Having dry skin means your skin has a low level of sebum. You must use moisturising or a thick SPF.