|It is essential to
remember that when using any Sun Protection product, many variables must be taken
into consideration to insure safe sun. One product should not be considered bullet
proof. Understanding and respecting the power of damaging suns rays is very important.
or any other product to use depends on skin types, time of year, time of day,
local weather factors like humidity and wind, altitude, and size of area exposed
to the sun.
Any area that is
going to be exposed to the sun needs to be covered carefully. This includes
the top of the ears, the back of the neck, the edge of the hairline, and areas
next to clothing edges.
that almost no one uses the amount of sun protection used in lab testing. Lab
tests are performed with two milligrams of product per one centimeter squared.
In layman terms, this means “a whole lot!”
advise you to put enough product on that you see white. This is also a way to
make sure you have covered all areas. Then carefully rub or press the product
into the skin. Reapply every 80 minutes if perspiring or swimming. Or reapply
as needed. While the product does not sweat or swim off, it can be rubbed off.
So either towel dry carefully or reapply.
In laboratory tests,
SPF15 is definitely high enough to protect the skin. In real life, this may
not be so. Here's why: in order to get the SPF rating, each sunscreen is tested
under a variety of conditions. The amount of sunscreen applied is always the
same and it tends to be much more than most of us actually use.
According to the preferred testing amounts, you should be using a 120ml bottle
of sunscreen during a single eight-hour day at the beach. Most of us don't use
nearly that much. So instead of applying enough to actually reach an SPF 15
rating, we use less and diminish the SPF value. What's more, when you perspire
or wipe your skin with a towel, you lessen some of the sunscreen's effectiveness.
For this reason,
many dermatologists advocate using sunscreen with a higher SPF (30 or above),
especially if you are at high risk of skin cancer. Even if you use an SPF 30
sunscreen, it might only carry an SPF of 15, depending on how much is applied.
If you skin feels like it is burning, reapply. Better yet, get out of the sun!
Experts have devised a classification system for skin phototypes (SPTs) based
on the sensitivity to sunlight. It ranges from SPT I (lightest skin plus other
factors) to IV (darkest skin). [ See Table ] People with skin types I and II
are at highest risk for photoaging skin diseases, including cancer. It should
be noted, however, that premature aging from sunlight can affect people of all
and Sunburn History / Skin Type Tanning and Burning History
I Always burns,
never tans, sensitive to sun exposure
II Burns easily, tans minimally
III Burns moderately, tans gradually to light brown
IV Burns minimally, always tans well to moderately brown
V Rarely burns, tans profusely to dark
VI Never burns, deeply pigmented, least sensitive
While lab testing
is done on a variety of skin types, those in categories one and two need to
be especially cautious of too much sun exposure.
The strongest suns’
rays mid-day and sun exposure during this time should be avoided when possible.
Many factors can go into determining what “mid-day” means including
daylight saving time and long days. If one must be in the sun during this period,
additional sun protection is required. This can range from additional product
coverage to sun protective clothing to “taking cover” as much as
possible. Again if you feel your skin burning for any reason, get out of the
sun’s rays! A healthy respect for the sun is essential. The sun has a
long list of benefits. But too much sun is detrimental in many ways.
WAYS TO AVOID SUN EXPOSURE?
out of the Sun
The best way to
prevent skin damage in any case is to avoid episodes of excessive sun exposure.
The following are some specific guidelines:
• Avoid exposure
particularly during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM when sunlight pours down 80%
of its daily UV dose.
• Avoid reflective surfaces, such as water, sand, concrete, snow, and
white-painted areas. (Clouds and haze are not protective and in some cases may
intensify UVB rays.)
• Ultraviolet intensity depends on the angle of the sun, not heat or brightness.
So the dangers are greater the closer to the summer-start date. For example,
in the Northern Hemisphere, UV intensity in April (two months before summer
starts) is equal to that in August (two months after summer begins).
• The higher the altitude the quicker one sunburns. (One study suggested,
for example, that an average complexion burns at six minutes at 11,000 feet
at noon compared to 25 minutes at sea level in a temperate climate.)
• Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds. They provide mostly UVA rays, and
some experts believe that 15 to 30 minutes at a tanning salon are as dangerous
as a day spent in the sun.
The rays of the
sun are strongest in the summertime, also warranting extra precaution. Using
sun protective products is suggested year round. During the warmest months,
layering protection and limiting exposure is an even better idea.
If you must be
out in the sun during peak times, it is important to “prepare the skin
for exposure. Skin that has been pre-tanned in a systematic manner is more readily
able to handle the sun’s rays.
may also make the skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays.
If you are not
sure if your medications cause sensitivity, ask your doctor. If they do, avoid
the strongest rays.
Hot and humid days
can bring on excessive perspiration in most skin types. When products have been
rated “very water resistant”, this means one can perspire or swim
for up to 80 minutes without need to reapply. But if one perspires or swims
and rubs the product off with a towel (or life jacket), then the product should
be reapplied at that time.
suggests using caution and common sense when applying sun protection. Use an
adequate amount of protection, layering when possible. Avoid midday sun in peak
times of year. Reapply if the product has been rubbed off, especially after
perspiring or swimming. Be aware of your skin type and take extra precaution
when necessary. Consider layering products for sun protection. Using moisturizers
and/or eating foods high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and powerful antioxidants
can also be helpful. Sun protective clothing is also a sun smart idea. Sun damage
is cumulative and irreversible. Be Sun Smart.