[SKINCARE BASICS] UVA & UVB & SUNSCREEN

Thursday, June 24, 2010

FACT : UVA & UVB & SUNSCREENS
People, it is really important to remember to always wear your sunscreen because it can help in preventing wrinkles and sun spots carried by both UVA and UVB. It is also important to get sunscreens that can help protect you from UVA and UVB, not just one of them. Both rays are dangerous to your skin as the UVB causes sunburn and damages your skin instantly, while UVA causes tanning of the skin. But, but, but a tan is pretty, isn't it? isn't it? ISN'T IT? The answer is NO, it is not pretty. 



Tanning of the skin is actually a sign that your skin is receiving too much UVA rays, hence protecting themselves by producing more melanin which gives you that tanned skin.   So, if tanning is a skin's defensive reaction to the sun, isn't it good to have a tan? The answer is no because even if you have a tan, it only rates as having an SPF of 2 or less. Even before the tan takes place, UVA radiation has already damaged your deeper skin cells, so why would you get a tan just to get SPF 2? I would just slather sunscreen that has SPF 30 and above. It's dead easier. 



Another question that people often ask is should they use sunscreen even when they're staying indoors. To answer that question, let's go back to UVA & UVB radiation. Sure, the stronger radiation is UVB compared than UVA, but the amount and property of UVA is a bigger danger that people should be aware of. UVA has the ability to penetrate the clouds on the sky on a cloudy day and glass windows, whereas UVB can't penetrate through glass windows. So, even if you're sitting near a window or in a car, UVA can still penetrate your skin through the clouds or windows. So, do you still think it's okay to skip wearing your sunscreen even when it's a cloudy day or you're staying indoors? It's up to you, really. I usually just put a physical sunscreen SPF 30 when I'm indoors. 


What is a physical sunscreen, I hear you say? Well, my dear readers, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are examples of physical sunscreen because they reflect UVA/UVB from the skin, unlike Avobenzone or Oxybenzone. That sounds great, why don't we use that instead? Well, these physical sunscreens often leaves a white cast when they have SPF 15 or higher. It is alright to use them when you wanted to go to the beach or stay indoors, but when you're going to a garden party or the mall where you have to put on makeup after that, would you want white spots on your face? Surely not, but it is a great type of sunscreen when you want to put on your body. 

In conclusion, please be sun safe and sun smart, everyone. 
  • Put on protective clothing (hats, long sleeve shirts,etc) when you're going out.
  • Use sunscreen indoors (SPF 15 is sufficient) and outdoors.
  • Wear you sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go out of the house.
  • Reapply your sunscreen after bathing, swimming, toweling off, or even sweating.
  • Find a shade (under a tree, building or shelters) if possible when the sun is too hot.
  • Consume your daily Vitamin D supplement because there are still controversies surrounding the topic of using sunscreen might lead to vitamin D deficiency. Maybe someone can help enlighten me on this topic.
  • Stay away from tanning beds because they are skin cancer generating machines! Just because it doesn't look like the sun, doesn't mean that it doesn't have the same property as the sun. Check out the sites here and here to know all about tanning and the hazards. 
P.S: If there's something that you need to correct or add, please don't hesitate to do so! Just comment or message me (if you're too shy to comment =)) and I'll be sure to respond. Cheers!

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