Sunscreen shields the skin from the harmful effects of the sun, particularly the UV rays. The UV rays increase the oxidation process causing an increase in the free radicals; these free radicals not only harm the already healthy skin cells but may also be responsible for causing cancer. The free radicals also cause a breakdown of collagen, a protein compound found in the skin which is responsible for its elasticity and tautness. This decrease in the elasticity and springiness of the skin, coupled with the deterioration of the health of the skin cells cause the skin to wrinkle and sag. Sunscreen protects the skin from the radiation and all the adverse effects it has on our skin.
How to buy a good sunscreen
The first rule of cosmetics is that any product you buy should go with your skin type. So first and foremost, always buy sunscreens which are specifically made for your skin type. If you have oily skin and if the sunscreen you use for dry skin, then the excess oil might cause your skin to breakout unnecessarily. If you are planning on going to the pool or the beach, then you can always opt for waterproof sunscreens which last longer. Broad spectrum sunscreens are a must, as they not only protect your skin from UVA rays but also from UVB rays. In general, you should opt for sunscreens with at least 30SPF. If your skin is susceptible, then you should go for hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic sunscreen, that way the skin will not only get protected from the sun but will also be less prone to breaking out.
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If you are the kind who only feels like wearing sunscreen just if and when the sun is out or if you are the kind which avoids sunscreen because it is too oily then these are some of the reasons why you should wear sunscreen all year long:
- The UV rays still get through even if you cannot see the sun:Even if the sun remains invisible owing to the clouds, the UV rays can still make it through them. During the winter the snow reflects the sun rays which increases the radiation considerably. So, if the lack of sun makes you feel like ditching the sunscreen, don’t. Only the sunscreen can save you from premature ageing and even cancer.
- Protection from UV rays: The healthy dose of Vitamin D which you get from the sun also includes UV rays. The UV rays cause skin damage. Even when you are planning on spending the whole day in your office, a simple walk from your home to your car or from your car to the office can expose you to the UV rays. If you wish to spend the day in the pool or on the beach, then a frequent application of sunscreen is recommended. The sunscreens are created to shield the skin from the damages caused by the UV rays; regular use of sunscreen, therefore, will lower your risk of skin cancer. Primarily since the depletion of the ozone layer has increased the number of UV rays which pass through the ozone layer.
- Blotchiness, acne and discolouration: The sunrays also cause the skin to turn red and blotchy. They also trigger acne. Sometimes exposure to the sun may even cause discolouration of the skin and even brown or dark spots. Regular application of sunscreen will protect your skin from such damages.
- Tanning and sunburns: While tanning may sound like a great idea the process can at times cause premature ageing. Sometimes people may not want to get tanned, especially people with darker skin tones. Exposure to sun rays may also cause sunburns. Sunburns weaken your skin and may even cause bruising, blisters, peeling of skin, itching and other inconveniences. Sunburns not only make you uncomfortable but can also be quite permanently damaging sometimes leading to even cancer.
- Not as oily: Sunscreens come with this idea of excessively greasy lotions which may cause acne. But that is not true anymore. There are non-oily sunscreens available which are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Also, remember that sunscreens provide better protection than long-sleeved dresses and hats.