Sunlight helps us produce vitamin D, but too much of it can also cause skin cancer. The unprotected exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB radiation damages the DNA in the skin cells, producing genetic defects, or mutations, that can lead to skin cancer.
So does that mean you need to avoid the sun altogether?
No! It just means that you need to safeguard your skin from the harmful rays. We at TABIIB would like to walk you through how to use sunscreen as a simple smart protective measure against skin cancer.
The Basics About Sun Protection
UV radiations are a part of the natural energy produced by the sun. The UV light is not visible to us because of its short wavelength however it does have the ability to affect the skin.
The UV rays come in two different forms known as UVA and UVB rays. They differ in how they harm the skin but they are both equally dangerous to the skin cells.
- UVA (ultraviolet A)- UVA radiations have a longer wavelength and can cause skin aging
- UVB (ultraviolet B)- UVB radiations have a shorter wavelength and are associated with skin burning
So how can you protect yourself from UVA & UVB rays? With the help of sunscreen. Sunscreen uses active ingredients to block the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from being absorbed by the skin. So whether you’re on your way to the beach or heading to your desk job, wearing sunscreen every day can protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreen Myth Busters
It’s clear how sunscreen can protect you from UV rays. But for something as seemingly basic as SPF, there is a surprising amount of misinformation and confusion circulating on the internet. So here is everything you need to know about sunscreen.
1. Myth: Sunscreen Is Not Necessary When Indoors
False! Unless you live in a cave where UVA and UVB rays can’t penetrate, you do need to wear sunscreen. Actually, even inside a cave if you are using computers or gadgets you might need to wear sunscreen. Yes, you heard that right! The blue light emitted by all the gadgets could also contribute to melasma, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.
When you are indoors, the windows can protect you from the UVB rays but they can’t protect you from the UVA rays. So even when you are not stepping out and are having a lazy day at home it’s best to use sunscreen lotion.
2. Myth: Deep Skin Tone Don’t Need Sunscreen
False! Deeper skin tones are just as susceptible to long term sun damage as lighter skin tones.
Medium to deep skin tones have a natural SPF of 8 to 13, but that alone is not enough to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. The skin needs the protection of SPF 30 or above to avoid sunburn, premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and degradation of collagen.
3. Myth: Sunscreen Is Not Necessary On Cold & Cloudy Days
False! The clouds can protect you from the sun but they cannot protect you from UVB radiation. Studies show that more than 40% of the sun’s rays can penetrate through the clouds even on the cloudiest of days.
Now that holds to cold winter days as well. In fact on cold snowy days, you will get hit by the sun’s rays twice, once from the sun and again when they bounce off the snow.
So don’t depend on the weather forecast to decide whether to apply sunscreen or no! Just make it a habit to apply the same amount of SPF every single day.
4. Myth: Sunscreen Causes Cancer
False! To date, there is no scientific evidence that proves that sunscreen or the chemicals used in the sunscreen lotion can cause cancer.
If you are worried about the chemicals used in the sunscreen being absorbed by the skin and causing cancer, then you can opt for physical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium oxide, act as a physical barrier against the sun and cannot be absorbed by the skin.
5. Myth: SPF In The Makeup Will Provide Enough Sun Protection
False! SPF in makeup alone won’t suffice as most of the makeup products in the market come with an SPF of 15 or lower. In addition to that, like most people you might not even wear enough makeup in all the areas that are exposed to the sun.
So don’t rely on your makeup for sun protection. Add a physical or chemical sunscreen to your skincare routine and get enough protection from the harmful rays.
Sunscreens are a great way to protect your skin from sunburn, premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and degradation of collagen. If you are out and about every day, wear sunscreen and protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. If you wish to know more about sun protection or the best sunscreen for your skin type, book an appointment on TABIIB and consult an expert!