Skin Type and SPF

Summer is gone in the blink of an eye lid and winter is marching in to give you parched skin and dry lips. Most often than not we use sunscreen only and right before we step out in scorching sun, but your skin should be protected anytime you are in the sun, even during winter. Umpteen over the counter, sunscreen lotions have bemused us as consumers. It is of paramount importance to know your skin type and purchase skin care products in accordance.

Focus on long lasting protection
Sunscreen is a must at all ages and choosing the correct product is even more important. Look for broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA. Ingredients with broad-spectrum protection include benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate) sulisobenzone, salicylates, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX).

Sun protection factor and skin types
If your skin is allergy-prone or you suffer from severe acne, you must avoid products containing preservatives or fragrances, as well as those containing PABA or oxybenzone. If your skin remains dry for the better part of the year, it will surely benefit from moisturizing sunscreens with an SPF of 30+. Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+. It’s time to call truce in the war between oily skin and sunscreens! Use an ultra-light sunscreen if your face tends to get greasy by the end of the day. An ‘SPF 15’ screens 93 percent of UVB rays, while an ‘SPF30’ screens 97 percent. If you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period of time, experts recommend a minimum of SPF 30.

Keep age in mind
Sun protection needs differ with age and the amount of exposure to the sun. Most sunscreens available today combine different active chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum protection. Individuals using high SPF sunscreens can receive skin damaging radiation to a certain extent.  Regulatory bodies in Europe and Australia have adopted UVA testing guidelines and measurement standards, and capped the SPF of sunscreens at 50+.

Dermatology treatments
It is easier to prevent sunburn than to treat it. However, if you are mildly sunburnt, you can treat the symptoms at home. Aloe-based moisturizing lotions can help reduce the discomfort associated with sunburns. If the sunburn is spread over a large area, you might require medical attention. There are several laser treatments available which can help you recover and rejuvenate your skin. One of them is Laser Skin Resurfacing which removes the damaged outer layers of the skin, leaving the deeper layers undisturbed. Dermatology treatments are not necessary in your 20s and 30s. Post forty five, these treatments help reduce wrinkles and lines which develop over the years due to exposure to the sun.

UV rays are the most common cause of skin cancer. A condition called Actinic Keratosis is characterized by scaly patches of skin and can be a warning sign that points to potential cancerous cells. It is important to examine your skin every month and visit a board certified dermatologist for an annual screening to prevent skin cancer. Take care of your skin at all ages and invest in a good medical insurance for overall fitness and well-being.


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