The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that during the first 18 years we receive 80% of solar radiation of our lives, therefore it is decisive to protect ourselves against the sun from early childhood.
And grownups, how should we take care of ourselves?
Why to protect yourself when you want exposure to the sun?
In recent years, the thinning of the ozone layer increased the amount of ultraviolet radiation emanated from sunlight, making them increasingly harmful to our skin. Excessive sun exposure can cause in short term, redness and skin burns, while in long term – and as effect of the accumulation of sun on your skin – can cause blemishes and wrinkles, but the most feared consequence is skin cancer. The sun favours the appearance of skin cancer, especially basal cell carcinoma (the most common cancer) and melanoma.
How do you choose a sunscreen?
Sunscreens contain chemicals that – if they are properly applied to the skin – decrease (not entirely prevent) the damaging effects of the sun.
There are certain guidelines that must be taken into account in choosing the sunscreen. They should be effective in slowing both UV B and A, this is clarified in its packaging. The sunscreen must contain an appropriate combination of chemical agents (they absorb UV radiation) and particulate or physical agents (reflect).
The SPF (sun protection factor) should never be less than 30 and would vary depending on skin type. The whitest skins that redden quickly and tans with difficulty, need higher protection factors (SPF 50). Also children should be protected with 50 factors and should not exposed directly and / or prolonged to the sun. Use of sunscreen on babies under 6 months is not recommended, they should always be away from solar radiation.
What is the proper way to use it?
The sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure on clean and dry skin. You must reapply every 2 hours (or less if you sweat much) and after leaving the water. On oily skin, protective gel or spray should be used to not increase seborrhoea, and creams on dry or sensitive skin. The amount of product applied to the skin has to be abundant and generous. It is estimated that people use only a quarter of the amount needed to protect the skin from the sun in each application.