A healthy dose of sunlight is needed in our everyday life. But prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your skin. We use sunscreen not only to prevent ourselves from getting tanned but also to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays on our skin. Sunscreens with high SPF are all the rage these days. But there are some things you should know about them.
1. The more the better does not ring true for sunscreens
A high SPF does not necessarily translate to better protection. The sun’s rays have two components that damage our skin – UVA, and UVB. Sunscreens, no matter how high the SPF only protects us from UVB, and do not offer much against UVA rays.
2. The SPF number is not proportional to the protection offered
Dermatologists the world over agree that the SPF factor in sunscreen lotions is just a marketing gimmick and that SPF amounts between 15-45 offer almost the same protection and anything more than that is just a joke and does nothing in terms of added protection.
3. Consistent application required no matter how high the SPF
When you are out in the sun, say on the beach or on a mountain, you are directly exposed to the sun and need to reapply the sunscreen every two hours to stay fully protected. Many of us wrongly assume that with a high SPF we needn’t apply the sunscreen so many times and end up with damaged skin.
4. Sunscreen alone does not offer full protection
Also applying sunscreen alone does not completely protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, you need to wear other types of protection like sunglasses, a hat and drink lots of water or juices to keep you hydrated. Dehydration too can cause dry skin and lead to further health problems. A higher SPF sunscreen does not offer you full protection.
5. The higher the SPF, the more chemicals in it
The more chemicals in your product mean more harm from the sunscreen than from actual sunlight. More chemicals can cause skin allergies and rashes and in worst cases, affect the hormone levels in your body.
Enjoy the beach, go out for a swim or a hike, but take adequate measures to protect your skin, and always remember sunscreen alone is not enough protection.