The importance of sunscreen

As we are approaching warmer days we get all enthused to get outside, into the garden for a walk, or to the beach.

What we also do is start applying sunscreen on hot sunny days.

What sunblock is best, how often should I reapply, What SPF should I look for…?

A good sun protection should include three main ingredients to give good protection and repair.  A broad-spectrum chemical and physical block with antioxidants for repair.

As we have ultraviolet rays UV A, B and C we want to protect from UV A and B.  At this stage we don’t need to be concerned with UVC.

UV A is what we call our ageing ray as it is the same wavelength summer and winter penetrating our skin, whether the sun is shining or not.

UVB on the other hand is known as our burning ray. So that is when we see the sun and feel it on our body. It triggers us to apply sunscreen. As in summer UV B rays are longer so penetrate our skin, they are shorter in winter.

Hence we talk about applying sunblock all year round, this is to avoid the damage caused by UV A predominantly.

SPF the sun protection factor is the time you can stay in the sun without burning. So as an example if you were wearing a SPF 15, and if your skin burns in 10 minutes, then your sun protection will be 10 x 15 = 150 minutes before you will need to reapply.

Having said this, you can only reapply so many times without burning as eventually your skin will absorb some UV. This is when you should be covering up as well.

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