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Basics To Apply Sunscreen Lotion
Understanding their importance and checking their ingredients for better formulations would help you identify the best sunscreen lotions in the market.
Here are certain things you can keep in mind while applying sunscreen lotions or before you buy sunscreen lotions.
Before we buy, we must understand that sunscreen lotions protect against Ultra Violet rays. There is UVA and UVB that our skin is exposed to while in the sun. Most sunscreens with SPF protect us only against UVB and not against UVA. While looking at sunscreens, remember to check for PA+++ rating which will have ingredients like mexoryl, titanium dioxide, avobenzone and zinc oxide. These are the ones that protect you against UVA and UVB.
Many companies come up with SPFs of varying strengths. We tend to believe that SPF of a greater value will give better sun protection from Ultra Violet rays. The truth is that we actually require only an SPF of 30 which can deflect 97% of Ultra Violet rays from the sun. All SPFs with greater values will give you only a 1% increase in protection which is nothing. So it is better to stick to an SPF 30 and not waste your money on higher values while getting sunscreen lotions.
There are many sunscreen lotion myths that we believe blindly in. These myths have resulted in faulty usage of sunscreen lotions. While many of these myths are baseless, some of them do have some truths embedded in them. Bust these beliefs before you buy sunscreen lotions and use them.
When you go out on a sunny or cloudy, remember to put sunscreen lotion at least half an hour before you go out. Sunscreen lotions take 30 minutes to start acting and you must give time for the lotion to be absorbed into the skin. Also, a majority of the people who use sunscreen lotion believe that they do not require sunscreens when it is cloudy or snowy.
This belief has resulted in people unknowingly getting exposed to Ultra Violet rays. It would be an eye opener to discover that more than eighty percent of the Ultra Violet rays penetrate the clouds to reach earth and damage our skin. Snowy days pose greater risk or Ultra Violet exposure. Snow reflects 80% of sun’s rays thereby putting us at direct risk of Ultra Violet exposure while we are out in the snow.
We are also at danger of getting exposed to UV rays from the sand on the ground. 25% of sun’s rays can be reflected by sand. So whether we are going out on a sunny or cloudy day, make sure that sunscreen lotion is on. Even when we are in the office or at home, it’s scary to know that sun’s rays can easily penetrate walls, windows and blinds without our knowledge.
Another great blunder that we commit is the fact that we keep using old sunscreen bottles, the ones which we bought years ago, thinking that it still offers protection against Ultra Violet rays. Sunscreen lotions mostly have a 36 month shelf life after which they are not effective at all.
Every year you keep them, they lose some of their effectiveness and on the third year, they lose almost all its protective shield. So make sure that you get a new bottle of sunscreen every year for maximum protection. You must also make sure that you use generous amounts for good protection and not allow the lotion to cross the one year mark.
Tips to apply sunscreen lotion effectively
Sunscreen lotions must be applied even if we are in the sun for two minutes. Frequent exposure to the sun every day, even if it is for a few minutes will put you at great risk of skin cancer, sun spots, skin darkening and ageing. Few of us believe that if you have darker skin, the melanin works as a sunscreen and you do not have to use sunscreen at all.
But what about the other problems like sun spots, ageing and tanning? Understand that melanin does not offer anything against these problems. So whether you are black beauties or snow whites, you have to dab on sunscreen whenever you are in the sun.
How much to dab on is the question that has always eluded us. An ounce is our answer. Use sunscreen amply to get ample protection. Also, you must apply sunscreen every two or three hours for getting the most benefit out of it. Sunscreen lotions work only for a maximum of three hours.
So continuous application of sunscreen lotion is necessary if you are in the sun for a long time. Get a sunscreen with SPF 30 that can protect you against UVA and UVB. They must be applied while at work or when its summer or winter season.
If you are applying sunscreen lotion everyday thinking that you are using it to prevent skin cancer, you are absolutely wrong. Sunscreen lotion is not a potion for preventing skin cancer. While it can prevent the formation of solar keratoses on the skin surface, it cannot necessarily prevent skin cancer as skin cancer can be caused due to a number of reasons.
Sunscreen lotion does not prevent the production of vitamin D as many of us think. Vitamin D can be produced even with sunscreen on as we are not dabbing sunscreen all over our body. If you are still in doubt, make sure that you include vitamin D supplements and a diet rich in vitamin D like eggs, milk, fish etc. among other things.
Correct application of sunscreen lotion is important for complete protection from UVA and UVB rays. Understanding these sunscreen facts will ensure that we buy the right product and apply the lotion in the correct manner.
Photo Credit: Thehealthage.com