Enjoy the sun, but in a responsible way.
UVA AND UVB
Sunlight consists of different types of radiation including ultraviolet radiation (UV). There is UVA and UVB radiation. UVB helps your skin tan but it also ensures your skin burns from prolonged exposure to the sun. UVB is also responsible for the production of vitamin D. UVA, on the other hand, is a bigger villain. This type of radiation penetrates deep into the skin and causes premature skin aging and can lead to skin cancer. So be sure to use a day cream or sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation.
Lately there’s been a lot of discussion about the quality and safety of UV filters. Some filters claim to be superior to others but there’s no irrefutable proof as to what is the best sun filter. UV filters can be subdivided into two categories: organic sun filters and mineral sun filters. Both have their advantages and drawbacks.
Organic sun filters contain molecules that absorb radiation and convert energy into a harmless form. The molecules undergo chemical conversion upon contact with UV radiation, whereby the energy is absorbed and then released in the form of heat or infrared radiation.
Mineral sun filters deposit a layer on the skin. They contain two inorganic substances, viz. titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These act as a kind of mirror that reflects and scatters UV light. The drawback of these filters is the fact that they feel less pleasant and leave the body or skin with a dull white glow.
The sun protection factor (SPF) indicates the efficacy of your sunscreen i.e. the UV-absorbing quality of the cream. In other words: the SPF indicates how much longer someone can stay in the sun without getting burned than someone who goes into the sun unprotected. So if your skin goes red after 10 minutes in the sun without protection, SPF 15 should enable you to spend 15 times longer in the sun.
Be careful though because the SPF printed on the packaging only tells you how effective the product is against UVB radiation and not UVA. Take this into account when choosing your sunscreen: go for sunscreens that explicitly claim to protect the user against UVA radiation as well.
WHICH SUNSCREEN TO USE?
The ideal sun protection factor for you depends amongst others on your skin type. This is determined in part by how much pigment is present in your skin. The paler your skin, the more often you’ll have to apply sunscreen.
Unfortunately SPF is not as simple as it seems in terms of mathematics. For instance, don’t think that a cream with SPF 30 is twice as good or works twice as long as an SPF 15. Also, applying a double layer of SPF 15 doesn’t offer the same protection as a single layer of SPF 30.
However, it’s always better to apply sunscreen more frequently.
The difference in sun protection between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is not as pronounced as you might think. SPF 30 blocks 96.6% of radiation. SPF 50 offers approximately 98% of protection. No sunscreen blocks 100% of UV radiation so SPF 100 is actually very misleading.
A DAY CREAM WITH SPF?
UV radiation levels are higher during sunny months so it’s definitely a good idea to use a day cream with SPF during this period. Still, it’s a good idea to use one in winter as well. A little protection can’t hurt. Since we spend a lot of time indoors and SPF 15 offers as much as 93% protection, Nomige has chosen to add low-level sun protection to all of its Lifestyle day creams. This way your skin is protected against UVA and UVB radiation on a daily basis without having to rub creams with a high SPF factor on your face. After all, such creams sometimes feel unpleasant on your skin.
Planning to soak up the sun? Then choose a sunscreen with a slightly higher SPF e.g. SPF 30. Nomige developed the ‘UV Protect’ cream for the face with medium sun protection. Nevertheless this cream has a very pleasant texture and feels nice on the skin. It can be applied directly on the skin or on top of your day cream.
APPLY ENOUGH CREAM & APPLY SOME MORE
When you apply too little the sun protection factor of your cream will be quite a bit lower than what is printed on the packaging. So if you apply just a thin layer of SPF 30 to your face the actual protection factor may be as low as SPF 10. Be sure to use a generous amount of day cream or sunscreen.
Also, it’s no fairytale that your protection wears off within a few hours. So regardless if you’re using sunscreen or a day cream with SPF: keep applying that cream on a regular basis if you’re going to be out in the sun. Are you spending the entire day indoors? Then there’s obviously no need to apply day cream more than once. Still, technically speaking it can never hurt to keep hydrating ;-)
One thing is certain: protecting your skin is not an option, it’s mandatory.
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