Sunscreen: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about sunscreen, an essential product to keep your skin protected from the harmful effects of the sun in all seasons.
Although sunbathing is beneficial to health, because of the absorption of vitamin D that improves blood circulation and strengthens bones, it is essential that this exposure be in the right dose and at the right time of day. At any other time, it is necessary to use sunscreen.
But in addition to choosing the right type for your skin, it is necessary to apply it in the right way and reapply it in a certain period, to take full advantage of the product’s benefits. Want to know everything about sunscreen and have no more doubts to choose yours? Come on!
First, the most important
- Sunbathing without sunscreen can be very harmful to the skin, as it can stimulate the appearance of expression lines, wrinkles, blemishes, skin diseases such as melasma and even cancer.
- Sunscreen should not be used only when you are enjoying the beach in the summer. It is essential to use the product on a daily basis, no matter if it is sunny, foggy, cloudy or rainy.
- Ideally, apply sunscreen to your entire body about half an hour before leaving the house and reapply every two hours. For the face and lips it is necessary to use a specific type of protector.
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Summer is the favorite season of the year for many people, as the sun and heat can be used to the fullest on the beaches, waterfalls and parks. As the sun gets very strong at that time, many people remember an essential product in skin care: sunscreen.
The coolest thing is that there are several types of sunscreens, for the face, body, lips and even for the hair. But do you know the right way and how often this product should be applied !? We’ll talk about this and more in this buying guide.
What is a sunscreen and why use it?
The sunscreen is a product used in the protection and care of the skin in the summer and other seasons, as it blocks the harmful effects caused by the sun’s rays on the skin.
Although people know, it is worth mentioning that it is a mistake to use sunscreen only in summer, as the sun’s rays penetrate our skin even on cloudy days, favoring the appearance of skin problems and diseases.
Sunscreens can be chemical, that is, those that absorb UV rays, or physical ones, that reflect rays. Generally, filters with higher SPF have the junction of physical and chemical filters.
Such solar rays are UVA and UVB radiation. UVA rays leave the skin tanned and can cause blemishes and wrinkles, while UVB rays leave the skin looking red and may increase the risk of skin cancer.
The sun protection factor (SPF) indicated on the sunscreen packaging corresponds to the number of times the skin is protected from UVB rays. For example, if you are using a sunscreen with SPF 30, you are 30 times more protected than you would be without the product.
The indication of protection from UVA rays is given by the acronym PPD (PersistentPigment Darkening) and is represented by the symbol “+”. Protection against UVA rays ranges from just a “+” to PPD 12 (+++).
It is essential that the sunscreen protects your skin from two types of radiation: UVA and UVB.
The levels of protection of the sunscreen range from 5 to 100 (called sunscreen), and the most used are the protectors with SPF 30 for the body and 50 for the face.
Lower protection factors are found in tanners that have SPF between 5 and 15. There are also products with a sun protection factor above 60, going up to 100.
For everyday use, a sun protection factor of 15+ is ideal for most people, a factor of 8+ is recommended for people with dark skin and factors of 30 to 60 for blond, red-haired people, more or for those who are being treated for skin diseases.
People with fair skin should be very careful, and also those with black skin.
The lighter the person’s skin, the greater the care with sun exposure must be, but this does not mean that a black person should not protect themselves.
As a rule, if your skin is reddened by sun exposure, the ideal is to gradually increase the protection factor until you notice the effect and a light tan (red skin means that it was burned during sun exposure).
And remember, the sun can cause various damages to the skin such as dryness, loss of elasticity, expression lines, wrinkles, premature aging and spots in different degrees of intensity.
Check now what are the main advantages (and some disadvantages) of sunscreens.
- Protects skin against damage caused by sunlight
- There are sunscreens in different textures: gel, cream, lotion, mousse and spray
- There are several levels of sun protection factor, from 5 to 100
- There are versions for the body, face, hair and lips
- It is necessary to reapply the product several times a day to have the desired effects
- Sunscreen is a relatively expensive product
Which facial sunscreen should you choose?
The sunscreen used on the face must be different from the product applied to the body, as the formula changes according to the cosmetic application area.
For the face it is recommended to choose a product with an SPF greater than that which will be used on the body. It is also worth choosing an oil-free formula, so your skin does not look and look oily.
If you usually wear makeup every day, the tip is to use sunscreen after washing your face, but before using any other product. If you prefer, you can use a base with sunscreen, some have low SPF, but dermocosmetics usually have the greatest protection.
Do not forget to apply in the eye area, being careful not to let the product come into contact with the eyeball. Some moisturizers specific to this area have SPF 8, but you can use the face shield without fear.
Also pay attention to the neck, ears and scalp (if you are bald or bald). Be sure to apply on the lips, there are products suitable for this area with SPF 15.
Is there sunscreen for the hair?
Hair also needs to be protected from ultraviolet rays, as exposure to the sun leaves the hair dull, dry, with lack of elasticity and split ends.
The sun’s rays penetrate the protective layer of the wires.
This is because the sun’s rays penetrate the protective layer of the hair, causing the hair to lose keratin, water and nutrients, becoming weak and lifeless.
So you must protect your hair from the sun’s rays, especially in the summer, when trips to the beach and swimming pools are more frequent (chlorine and salt water are also very bad for your hair).
The good news is that there are sunscreens suitable for hair. The capillary sunscreen creates a protective layer on the strands that prevents ultraviolet rays from penetrating. See how is the correct way to apply sunscreen on the wires:
What is the ideal amount to be applied?
It is not enough to choose the right type of sunscreen, it is necessary to apply it in the correct amount. Don’t save by spending less than is necessary, but you don’t have to overdo it and apply too much product.
For the face and neck, an amount similar to that of a teaspoon is enough, apply by tapping with the middle and ring fingertips, always from the bottom up, to avoid sagging and wrinkles.
For the body, 20 ml (amount equivalent to two tablespoons) is enough. Remember to apply with circular movements. If you use it on a daily basis, spread it only on the areas that will be exposed, if on the beach, use the product on the entire body.
What type of sunscreen should I choose?
The type of skin is a very important feature when choosing the sunscreen that will be used. For sensitive skin and children the ideal is to opt for hypoallergenic sunscreens .
For oily skins, which already have a larger amount of oil naturally, the best option is the lotion (cream a little more fluid). The same goes for adults and middle-aged people.
The sunscreen gel , guarantees a dry effect on the skin if it has a matte effect (matifying, that is, it removes the shine of the skin left by excessive oiliness).
However, products in gel texture without this feature may not be as comfortable, as they form a thin layer when they dry, giving the sensation of drawing.
If used on the beach, gel protectors can bring discomfort, as fine sand can stick to the gel causing allergies, redness, dryness and itching.
If your skin is dry, dry (there is a big difference between the two) or is aged, the texture of the protector must be in cream , and although it is a little thicker, it will not get sticky on these types of skins.
The spray sunscreen makes the application much faster (to the delight of the little ones). But those who have injuries or have sensitive skin, this type may not be ideal, as it contains a lot of alcohol in the composition.
If you are still in doubt about what type of sunscreen is ideal for your skin, check out the table we have prepared below, comparing the main advantages and disadvantages of each sunscreen texture:
Other types of sunscreen
You can also find types of sunscreen with different proposals, and different textures. Usually these terms are indicated on the packaging, but people, because they do not know them, do not understand the effects.
Airgel or Blur effect sunscreen controls skin oiliness and minimizes imperfections such as open pores. The mousse guarantees a primer effect, minimizing skin imperfections and ensuring a velvety touch.
The sunscreen with a serum texture is liquid and is absorbed quickly by the skin. Already the mineral is indicated for allergic people, with sensitive skin and for those who have melasma (it offers extra protection to people with this skin disease).
Did you know that vitamin D is essential for our health?
It strengthens bones and improves blood circulation. The best way to acquire it is by sunbathing as UVB and UVA rays are responsible for 90% of the production of this substance.
But there is a right way to do it: three times a week, expose yourself to the sun for 15 to 20 minutes before 10 am or after 4 pm. Only in this short period of time and under these conditions should you stop using sunscreen.
How much does a sunscreen cost?
You can find sunscreens of different types, brands and price ranges. There are brand protectors already established in the market for around R $ 20. Models with a higher SPF like 50 cost around R $ 35. Dermocosmetics of imported brands can cost between R $ 70 and R $ 100.
Where to buy a sunscreen?
You can easily find sunscreens in supermarkets.
If you prefer it is also possible to find models of various types, brands and price ranges in e-commerces like Amazon, for example, which offers dozens of options, low cost shipping and fast delivery.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different types of sunscreens
When buying a sunscreen for your body and face, you should not choose the first one you find in the store or the one your friend said is great for her skin.
It is necessary to observe some characteristics and choose the product most compatible with your tone, skin type and age. Always observe the criteria described below:
- Sunscreen with color
- Extra features
We will explain item by item so that you don’t have any doubts and get the choice of a sunscreen right. But don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time, sometimes you need to test some models and brands until you find the ideal product.
The acronym FPS stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to the protection capacity that the sunscreen does to ultraviolet B radiation, that is, the UVB rays that are more incident in the summer and reach the dermis (second layer of the skin), leaving it red and can cause cancer.
On cloudy and rainy days, UVB rays can be trapped in clouds, but they can still be harmful, even if to a lesser extent.
The SPF of sunscreens varies from 5 to 100, with SPFs 15, 30 and 50 being the types most used by people of all ages and skin tones.
For black people, the recommended is a protector with SPF between 8 and 15, for those who have light brown skin the sunscreen must have a protection factor between 15 and 30. And for very light, red or blond people the filter must have SPF between 30 and 60.
In addition to UVB rays, there is ultraviolet A radiation. Also called UVA rays, they cause tanning of the skin, spots and also expression lines and wrinkles and affect people in the same way during all seasons of the year.
UVA rays have the ability to pass through clouds, window glass and your epidermis. When they pass this layer, they reach the dermis cells and, over time, cause pigmentary disorders such as spots, chloasma and even skin tumors.
It is essential to acquire a facial and body sunscreen with protection against UVA rays, as it is present in our daily lives, even in those where the weather is cloudy and rainy.
The protection factor is slightly different from the SPF, it is called PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening, something like persistent darkening pigments) and is indicated by the symbol “+”.
For people with normal skin, just a “+” is enough, if the person is older, has lighter skin or has skin diseases, the ideal is that the product has PPD protection “++”. The strongest factor is indicated by the symbol “+++”.
Some sunscreens come with the indication of protection against infrared rays (those that transmit heat from the sun), which can be identified with the acronyms IV-A or Infra V.
Despite the low degree of intensity, the IV-A rays penetrate deeper into the skin and reach the hypodermis.
The incidence of infrared rays is even greater in the summer, causing intense heat. To protect yourself you can wear a T-shirt, hat and sunglasses, but never dispense with sunscreen, which is the only one that protects your body 100% from harmful rays.
The most common sunscreens can be in cream, lotion, gel or spray and the vehicle (which dilutes the product) can be aqueous or alcoholic. Knowing which type is right for your skin is essential to getting the sun cream right.
- Cream : Dry, dry skin and older people.
- Lotion : For all skin types and ages, including people with oily skin.
- Gel : People with oily skin.
- Spray : All skin types, except sensitive ones, since the spray sunscreen has the alcoholic vehicle.
Sunscreen with color
There are sunscreens, facial and body, with toners (color). Some products have several color options and others have universal tint, which is suitable for all skin tones.
The coolest thing about colored sunscreen is that it disguises imperfections like blemishes, dark circles, pimples and open pores. It is worth remembering that colored sunscreens have a slightly thicker texture.
Some sunscreens are free of substances that are bad for the skin. Non-comedogenic sunscreen , for example, does not clog your pores, preventing blackheads and whiteheads.
The oil free sunscreen contains no oil in its composition and is indicated for those with oily skin. The hypoallergenic does not use substances that can provoke allergies such as PABA.
The waterproof sunscreen , in addition to remaining on the skin when you enter the sea, waterfall or pool, is still resistant to sweat, being the ideal type to be used during physical exercise, especially outdoors.
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