SPF known as Sun Protection Factor is an indicator of how effectively it can protect the skin from harmful of the sun rays. We need to buy a good sunscreen with a good amount of SPF. There are various types of sunscreens available in the market. Here’s what Dr Stuti Khare Shukla, MD Dermatologist Hair Growth Queen of India, has to say about the use of sunscreens.
The first one would be physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen is also called mineral sunscreen or organic sunscreen. Basically, physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide and are responsible for causing a whitish color cast on the face. So, when we see cricketers playing in the heat, they usually use physical sunscreen. Physical Sunscreens are preferred for babies as they don’t have any kind of side effects or reactions. Now with the micro knife technology, we have nanoparticle mineral sunscreens also available which don’t cause any white cast on the face and these are extremely useful and protectant.
Mineral sunscreens use technology wherein the light is scattered and reflected back wherein chemical sunscreen contains various ingredients which actually absorb the sunlight and chemically absorb it and eliminate it. So, most of the sunscreens available in the market are basically chemical sunscreens.
Sunscreens can also be differentiated on the basis of SPF and it could be anywhere between 10 to 50. The higher the SPF value, the better protection from the sun.
Lotion based sunscreens
There are also lotion based and cream-based sunscreens available. Lotion based sunscreens can be used on all parts of the body and to cover the larger areas of the body. These are made for people with oily skin types. Cream based sunscreens are an old concept sunscreen and are useful for dry to normal skin type people.
We even get powder-based sunscreens nowadays. These can be used as foundation and also are very useful for people who apply makeup on a daily basis. These contain SPF and are mostly chemical based. They can be used as foundation or makeup and compact and these are very useful for working ladies.
Sun protection factor is responsible for protection of the skin from UVB rays. So, if you are outside in the sun for 30 seconds, you start getting sunburn. Sun protection factor is the measurement that would be provided by the sunscreen for the due amount of time.
Does SPF matter?
SPF is short for sun protection factor. In sunscreen, SPF helps to block your skin from the sun’s radiation.
The sun emits two types of radiation: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays contribute to the signs of aging in the skin, like wrinkles and sagging. UVB rays are more carcinogenic and often responsible for sunburns. UVA rays also make UVB rays more reactive, so combined, the two can be deadly.
You’re exposed to harmful radiation from the sun virtually anytime you’re outside or near a window that has sunshine. That radiation has an effect on your skin even if you aren’t prone to sunburns.
SPF works by extending your skin’s natural defenses against the sun’s rays. For example, an SPF of 15 provides about 15 times more protection than just your normal skin without sunscreen. An SPF of 50, then, would provide 50 times more protection than skin without sunscreen. Choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen means it’s a type of sunscreen that will block out both UVA and UVB rays.
Make sure to choose the right SPF according to your skin type and according to the recommendation of your dermatologist.