What do you know about sun protection?

What do you know about sun protection?

The sun is a bit late this year but with the summer months just ahead this is the perfect time to discuss sun protection again.

Enjoy the sun, but in a responsible way.

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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, penetrates deeper into the skin and causes premature skin ageing or even skin cancer. So be sure to use a day cream or sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB radiation.

UV FILTERS

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.

 
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ORGANIC FILTERS

Organic sun filters contain molecules that absorb radiation and convert energy into a harmless form. These organic molecules block UVA and UVB rays by transforming UV rays into heat, which is then released from the skin.

Organic filters give a good efficacy with low concentrations, leave a good feeling and appearance, but they can be irritant, often have a narrow spectrum and some of them are not photostable.

MINERAL FILTERS

Mineral sun filters deposit a layer on the skin. They contain two inorganic substances, viz. titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These act as a 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.

Mineral filters protect from a broad spectrum of UV rays, are not irritant and therefore are suitable for sensitive skin.
Filters like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide have anti-inflammatory properties.

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 rather than someone who goes under 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.

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High Protection Sunscreen SPF 30+ (presale)

€45,00

High Protection Sunscreen SPF 30+. Slightly tinted.

Protects from harmful UVA and UVB rays. 100% mineral sun filters. 

WHICH SUNSCREEN TO USE?

The ideal sun protection factor for you depends mostly on your skin type. This is determined in part by how much pigments are 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.

The difference in sun protection between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is not that big. SPF 30 blocks 96.6% of radiation while SPF 50 blocks around 98% of it. No sunscreen blocks 100% of UV radiation so SPF 100 is actually very misleading.

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Enjoy the sun, but in a responsible way.

DR. BARBARA GEUSENS

Questions about sun protection?

Discover Dr. Barbara Geusens' tips about sun protection. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

Questions about sun protection?

Discover Dr. Barbara Geusens' tips about sun protection. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

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Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date of the latest skin tips and news.

Follow our story

Connect with us and follow the hashtag #MyNomige to stay up to date of the latest skin tips and news.


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