How much you know about your sunscreen?? – Dr.Sangeetha Das, Consultant at ClinTech

We all know we need to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Of course, it’s     impossible to avoid the sun — who wants to hide indoors when it feels so great to get outside? And the sun’s not all that bad, anyway: Sunlight helps our body to create vitamin D. So follow these tips when you’re outdoors to help manage sun exposure.

First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between UVA (ultraviolet-A) and UVB (ultraviolet-B).

UVA comes from long-wave solar rays known to penetrate the skin deeply, and is considered the main culprit behind wrinkling and other aspects of photoaging.

UVB, on the other hand, comprises short-wave solar rays that are known to cause sunburn.

Even on cloudy day, upto 80%of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds..

Snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen. Snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays and sand reflects 25% of the sun’s rays.

Though sunlight is important for healthy skin, just a small amount will do.

 Evidence shows that in temperate countries, anything from 5 to 30 minutes of sunlight exposure between the hours of10am  and 3pm, twice a week, is sufficient to prevent vitamin D deficiency

There are two kinds of sunblocks. First, there is the physical sunblock, which deflects or scatters UV radiation with its active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Then there is the chemical sunblock, which supposedly works by absorbing the energy of UV radiation before it affects the skin.

What is SPF?

All the SPF number lets you know is how long you can stay in the sun without burning when wearing that product. However, it only refers to protection from UVB radiation, without giving you information about protection from UVA radiation

If that SPF 15 or SPF 30 doesn’t contain avobenzone, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, you are receiving minimal protection from UVA radiation and it is a dangerous product to consider using. Dangerous because the user now spends more time in the sun, thinking that the product offers more protection than it does in reality.

Many sunscreens are also rated as “PA+”, “PA++” or “PA+++”.  PA, which stands for Protection Grade of UVA, measures the ingredients’ protective effect against UVA.  PA+ is sufficient for most activities but should you plan to stay in the sun for long hours, opt for PA+++ or higher, if possible.

So what are you waiting for…Step out  and enjoy the summer!!