August 18, 2022

The Harmful Effects of the Sun and How to Protect Your Skin

What’s better than exploring the city in the summers, but it's also essential to take adequate precautions against the harsh sun. Sunscreen protects the skin from sunburns, tan, hyperpigmentation, and early signs of ageing. Thus it's essential to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF rating. 

This blog discusses the effects of the sun on the skin and how a sunscreen cream can help to protect it. We'll also provide tips for choosing the right sunscreen for your needs. So read on to learn more about the importance of sunscreen during summertime!

How do the UVA and UVB Rays Effect Your Skin?

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the energy released by the sun. There are two main UV rays radiated from the sun UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin, causing premature ageing and increasing the risk of skin cancer. UVB rays are shorter wavelengths and do not penetrate as deeply into the skin. However, they are more intense and are responsible for causing sunburns. Both the rays damage the skin and lead to severe skin problems like

  • Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a condition caused by excessive production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. It can result in patchy, dark areas on the skin. Excessive sun exposure can trigger melanin production and increase hyperpigmentation.

  • Early Signs of Ageing

UVA rays make up 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the surface of the Earth. Despite their lower intensity than UVB rays, they penetrate deeper into the skin, causing damage to the collagen and elastin fibres that give skin its firmness and elasticity. It can lead to premature ageing, wrinkles, and sagging skin. 

  • Sunburn and Tanning

As discussed above, UVB rays penetrate the outer layer of skin, called the epidermis, and can cause sunburn, skin cell damage, and DNA mutations that can lead to skin cancer. 

How to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun?

#1: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen

The best and easiest way to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun is to use sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more and broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Apply it generously over the exposed area, and reapply every two hours for optimum protection. Reapply more often if you are swimming or sweating extremely. 

#2: Take precautionary measures

When you are outdoors, wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and wide-brim hats. It's better to avoid being in the sun during the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm. Seek shade whenever possible. 

How to Buy a Sunscreen?

Consider the following factors when purchasing sunscreen cream.

#1: Opt for High SPF sunscreen

Firstly, choose a sunscreen with a high SPF rating. SPF, or sun protection factor, measures how well a sunscreen will protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation.  SPF 50 sunscreen will block out 98% UV radiation, whereas an SPF of 30 will only block out 96%. 

#2: Look for the term 'broad-spectrum

It is critical to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays, both responsible for causing skin damage. 

#3: Stay safe with water-resistant sunscreens

It is essential to choose a water-resistant sunscreen cream if you are sweating or swimming. Water-resistant sunscreens are formulated to stay on your skin even when wet.

#4: Choose a non-comedogenic formula

Choosing a non-comedogenic formula that won't clog pores or cause breakouts is essential for sensitive or oily skin. Gel sunscreens are often a good option for sensitive skin, as they tend to be lighter and less likely to cause irritation.

#5: Check the ingredients

It's best if you opt for sunscreens with natural ingredients. This will help to ensure that the sunscreen is gentle on your skin and won't cause any irritation. Furthermore, natural ingredients are often more effective at protecting your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. 

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen MatteGEL Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++ could be the safest pick. This invisible gel-based sunscreen comes with SPF 50 enriched with horse chestnut and vanilla extracts. Horse chestnut has therapeutic properties that help in healing damaged, dry and dull skin. The antioxidant properties prevent the damage caused by free radicals present in the skin. Vanilla is rich in anti-bacterial properties that help to fight acne and other infection-causing bacteria. It regulates collagen formation, which prevents premature ageing. 

How to Use Sunscreen Effectively?

Lastly, knowing the correct way to apply sunscreen to fetch maximum benefits is essential. 

  1. Follow the two-finger application rule. Squeeze the gel sunscreen on two fingers. Dot it over your face and then rub it. Do not miss the overlooked areas like eyelids and ears.
  2.  Apply the sunscreen for half an hour before stepping out in the sun. This will allow it to get absorbed entirely and create a protective layer. 
  3. Reapply the gel sunscreen every two hours for optimum protection. 

Now that you know the harmful effects of the UV rays like sunburn, premature ageing, and even skin cancer, you know it's essential to use a high-SPF sunscreen. Invest in one and enjoy your summers!

Written by Lotus Herbals