Lucky you if you’re actually going to find time for a vacation this summer, especially if it involves a pool, lake or beach. After all, we’ve been yearning for this season to catch some rays all quarantine long, and now is not the time to get lazy about sun protection!
But what about the harmful effects of sunlight? And how can you protect yourself? Follow us on this topic to get to know more about the side effects of sun exposure without protection, and how to choose the best sunscreen.
Sun exposure can damage your unprotected skin in 4 different ways:
1- Sunspots and Sunburns: Direct exposure to sun’s rays during peak hours, at noon for instance, would damage your unprotected skin and cause sunspots, sunburns and even sun rash.
2- Melasma and Freckles: Unfortunately, overexposure to the sun without protection increases your chances of developing melasma, which are the dark spots that appear on the face. It can also cause freckles to increase in number. These are small dark spots more common in people with light-colored skin.
3- Wrinkles: When it comes to the list of factors that trigger signs of aging, sun’s ultraviolet rays rest on top of it. This is in fact related to the damage UV rays can cause to collagen fibers primarily responsible for the elasticity of the skin.
4- Skin Cancer: Spending time in the sun without protection can also increase the risk of melanoma due to overexposure to UV rays.
How to Choose the Best Sunscreen?
Now that you’re aware of the risks of overexposure to sun without wearing sunscreen, the larger question remains: Which one should I choose?
On this matter, we reached out to the dermatologist Dr. Shaima Hani, specialized in dermatology and cosmetology in Jude Comprehensive Medical Center (in Medina) who explains what you should look for when choosing a sunscreen:
- To be labeled “broad-spectrum” to protect against both UVA (long-wave UV light) and UVB (short-wave UV light).
- To have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30.
- To be water-resistant.
Though beauty stores and online shopping sites are packed with sunscreens, they might not all meet these specifications, so be careful!
Why is Sun Protection Factor (SPF) So Important?
SPF measures how much UVB light a sunscreen can filter out, says Dr. Shaima Hani. SPF should never be less than 15, otherwise your sunscreen would have no effect at all. Hence, to get the most out of your sunscreen, it should have an SPF between at least 30 and 50.
Unfortunately, protecting your skin isn’t for granted, since some sunscreens might not be effective and could lead to sunburns and brown spots. Thus, you should be very careful when buying the perfect sunscreen to ensure optimal protection.
That being said, we thought we’d share with you our favorite sunscreen to keep you protected this summer and beyond. Eau Thermale Avène, the leading brand for sensitive skin, brings you Very High Protection Fluid SPF 50+. This sunscreen isn’t only considered a shield for your skin against UVA and UVB rays, but it’s also fast-absorbing, water-resistant and gives you the light nude skin feel you admire.