What you need to know about sunscreen

Nowadays, disputes about the dangers and benefits of tanning do not stop. WITH
On the one hand, there is an opinion that sunbathing is possible and necessary, but with
On the other hand, the phrase “healthy tan” is considered to be
is an oxymoron (a term expressing a combination

Dermatologists claim that any tan is structural
skin damage and stress for it. A change in skin color is a sign
the fact that she was seriously affected by the sun’s rays. After all, tan is not
which is nothing but a protective reaction of the skin to the damaging effect
ultraviolet radiation. So how to be the one who loves
outdoor activities, traveling in summer and
swim in the sea? How is the sun and at the same time not inflict
skin harm?

Only one way out – use sunscreens with high
SPF protection factor (sunprotectionfactor). But in order
To understand how to reliably protect your skin from the sun, you need to
find out what damage is caused by the sun’s rays
sunscreens, which rays are most dangerous for our
skin, when and how to sunbathe. Below we will answer all these questions.


  • The sun’s rays – the benefits and harm
  • Sunburn is a symbol of wealth and poverty
  • Enemy need to know in person
  • What do we know about sunscreens?
  • Three mysterious letters
  • How to be and what to do?
  • Defend ourselves from the sun

The sun’s rays – the benefits and harm

Everyone knows that the sun is a source of life and energy
for all living organisms. The sun’s rays stimulate the formation of
skin biologically active substances that activate the nervous
system, improve regenerative processes in damaged tissues,
enhance the protective properties of blood cells, improve hair growth,
nails, bone tissue. The impact of UVI primarily contributes
synthesis of vitamin D in the skin (calciferol). Presence of it
vitamin is needed to maintain a stable level
blood calcium. Well known bactericidal property
ultraviolet. This exposure is detrimental to most
pathogenic microbes. The sun also plays an important psychological
Role: improves mood and relieves stress.

However, the sun can be not only our friend, but also an enemy.
The sun’s rays are able to cause the human body
irreparable harm. Excessive exposure to UV rays may
cause a string of severe structural and functional
skin lesions. Skin damage can be:

  • sharp;
  • stitched

Acute damage is caused by a high dose of radiation,
received in a short time. High doses of UV are harmful
for most skin cells.

At best, ultraviolet causes significant redness.
skin – erythema. Subsequently blisters and spots appear on the skin.
white, the skin on these places is deprived of protection and is more vulnerable to
sun rays. For people living in temperate menopausal
latitudes, it is characteristic of particularly sensitive to ultraviolet
radiation. Even the smallest can cause an allergic reaction.
dose of ultraviolet radiation.

Postponed irradiation caused by prolonged irradiation moderate
doses (this type of damage includes photoaging, various
skin neoplasms, photodermatitis)

Science has proved sufficiently well that the excess UV
leads to premature aging and skin cancer. And sunny
radiation causes a particularly dangerous form of melanoma cancer. This is the most
common form of all types of cancer..and statistics leads
disappointing results. If in the 70s of the last century
the incidence of melanoma was 0.06% among white
America’s population, then since 2000 the incidence of
is 0, 18%. 6-8 new cases are registered in the Russian Federation
melanoma diseases per 100,000 inhabitants. In Europe, the frequency
melanoma over the same time period increased by five
time. And in the future 9480 people will die from melanoma (about 6280 men and
3200 women).

In order to understand why so terrible is progressing
disease, turn to history.

Sunburn is a symbol of wealth and poverty

If we recall the lives of our ancestors, then they are all thorough
way protected from sunlight. Hats, umbrellas,
Gloves — all of these accessories were meant to be white
skin in its original form. But the desire to keep white skin had
not a health character. Vdoindustrial
the era of natural agricultural production,
and for this reason sunburned skin was associated with severe
labor in the field, need and poverty. In the post-industrial era, everything
changed exactly the opposite.

A large number of people took their places at the machines in the factories and
factories where no sunlight came. Pale skin has become
to be associated with hard work in closed
premises. A tan has become a symbol of well-being, an idle life,
free time on yachts, tennis courts,
tropical islands in round-the-world cruises. Tan – has become his
kind of emblem of good luck and wealth.

However, the individual characteristics of the body do not allow everyone
to get a steady, even tan. Some people with a lot
hardly tan and change skin color. For this reason the skin
had to be exposed to large doses of radiation, which is not always
allowed to achieve the desired result, but always contributed
damage to the skin and accumulation of mutations in its cells.

Enemy need to know in person

Before proceeding to the description of the methods of UV protection and
sunscreen, let’s clarify what constitutes
ultraviolet radiation. Earth-reaching ultraviolet rays
divided into two types:

  • UVA radiation
  • UVB radiation

There is another type of ultraviolet radiation UV-C or
gamma radiation. This is the most dangerous type of radiation, but it is not
reaches the surface of the earth due to the ozone layer. However not
it is worth forgetting about its thinning and ozone holes.

Significant difference between the two types of radiation A and B
consists in the intensity of radiation and in its ability to penetrate
deep layers of skin. Previously it was thought that it was UV-B radiation
is the most dangerous because it carries a large radiation power and
quite quickly causes a burn. In sunscreens, this one
the type of radiation was always blocked first. But the latest scientific
studies have confirmed that UV-B radiation is not dangerous,
since it does not bear deep damage, and burned skin with
damaged DNA cells are removed from the skin

The situation with ultraviolet radiation is completely different.
UVA, which was previously considered useful, since it is
contributed to sunburn and did not provoke burns. However it turned out
that this type of radiation is not at all safe. And the thing is that
early it was impossible to sunbathe for too long due to fast

Now, using sunscreen has increased
being able to stay in the sun for a long time, which contributes
prolonged ultraviolet irradiation of type A. UV-A radiation
It is considered very dangerous because it is able to penetrate the dermis through
clothes, glass, and to a very great depth. If the action of UV-B
radiation becomes noticeable immediately, the skin gains
the reddish tint, the UV-A radiation is much more insidious. Not
there are direct manifestations of UV-A radiation on the skin, but its
the consequences can be felt after decades.

With ultraviolet radiation types A and B, those occur in the skin.
same damage as radiation damage. Released
free radicals damaged by DNA that promotes mutagenesis
somatic skin cells. Over time, mutations in the DNA
accumulate, which leads to the development of a cancer. Should
clarify what free radicals are. Free radicals are
very dynamic molecules that have space for
electron, which they seek to fill, capturing it from others

It can be said that free radicals are raiders trying
take away someone else’s for their own benefit by turning new
molecules in the same raider. This process brings chaos in strict
order of chemical reactions. For example, UV-A radiation is capable of
to turn a collagen-protein molecule into a free radical,
responsible for the elasticity of the skin. Ultimately,
“Domino principle”, molecules are damaged one by one,
forming a defective inelastic collagen which leads to
flabbiness and roughness of the skin. This process is called –
photo aging.

That is, aging does not occur at the appropriate age, but
long before the skin begins to age naturally
reasons. And the cause of such premature aging is the Sun. Still
more dangerous is the transformation of two parts of a DNA molecule that become
radical raiders: they can connect with each other and bring
confusion in the genetic code of the cell. Mutations in
genetic code that can further trigger the emergence
cancer tumor.

What do we know about sunscreens?

All sunscreens contain UV filters.
(UV filters). This is the main component of sunscreens,
which weakens the effect of ultraviolet radiation. UV filters are
substances that can reduce the effects of dangerous solar
radiation to the skin. UV filters are divided into:

  • physical (reflecting sunlight);
  • chemical (absorbing sunlight).

Physical filters or as they are also called inorganic
absorbers are tiny particles that act like
small mirrors, scattering and reflecting solar radiation. AT
The composition of the physical filters includes titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Physical filters have a wide spectrum of action – they
blocking both type A and type B radiation, do not cause
allergic reaction and do not irritate the skin. Until recently,
There was one drawback. After applying sunscreen,
containing physical filters, a whitish mark remains on the skin,
something like a film. And in hot weather, the cream had the ability
roll down and give the face a fat tone.

The reason for this drawback was too large insoluble
particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Now physical filters
began to produce very small in the micro and nano range, and they already
do not create discomfort on the face in the form of a white film. Large
The advantage of physical filters is that they act
instantly when applied to the skin, do not have the ability
accumulate in the skin and penetrate deep into it. They simply reflect
solar radiation.

Chemical or organic filters contain substances capable of
absorb ultraviolet radiation and transform it into
skin friendly heat. But is everything really harmless?
Let’s figure it out. It used to be that sunscreens with
organic (chemical) filters cope more efficiently
with skin protection from UV light. After all, they allowed to create
funds with SPF 50, 100 and even higher.

It is convenient to make them in decorative cosmetics and even impregnate
them clothes. But not everything is so simple. Unfortunately, chemical
UV filters often cause allergies and skin irritation. Besides,
they exhibit photoreactivity. That is, if
such filters are long enough to be affected
ultraviolet, then they begin to deteriorate, highlighting the free
radicals. And it turns out a certain paradox: in the skin protected
similar filters will generate more free
radicals than in skin without UV protection

Further more interesting. More recently, scientists have discovered
the ability of some organic (chemical) filters to cause
hormonal disorders. It is not yet clear how these
disorders manifest in the body but inactive and
harmless, these drugs are already difficult to call.

But the most shocking news was the fact that chemical
filters are able to enter the blood and accumulate in the body.
According to studies conducted in the United States, it became known
content in the body of both men and women components
included with many sunscreens. In this case, women
the content of such substances is three times higher than that of men.

Three mysterious letters

Nowadays there are no beach holiday lovers who would not know
what is SPF. But the rest of the population does not quite understand
what are these mysterious letters. SPF- abbreviation
meaning sun protection factor – sun protection factor or just
protection factor. On the packaging of sunscreen necessarily
indicates the protection factor, and also denotes the filters included in
the composition of the cream. For example, having seen such designation UVA + UVB, UVA / UVB,
with UVA and UVB it can be understood that this sunscreen is
means a wide range of protection, that is, is a protector as
from type A ultraviolet radiation, and from
Type B radiation

But with the factor of protection is not so simple. SPF protection factor
allows you to determine how effective sunscreen from
UV radiation. If the first redness on unprotected skin
appears after 15-20 minutes of being in the sun, then
with sunscreen it appears after 200 minutes at
protection factor 10. In this case, the redness of the skin
indicates the effect of UV-B radiation on the skin, which means
Only UV-B rays are neutralized.

But what about the more dangerous UV-A radiation? It turns out high SPF
protects against UV-B radiation, but it is not clear
how effectively does it protect against the penetration of UV-A rays into
skin And immediately the confidence that our skin is protected,

How to be and what to do?

Having read this paragraph, any reasonable reader
exclaim: how to be? Without cream it is impossible and with cream too
all is well. How to protect the skin from harmful radiation? Worth saying
that our skin is not so defenseless against ultraviolet
radiation. Our body has a powerful weapon against UV radiation –
melanin. Melanin is a brown or black pigment,
contained in humans.

Darkened skin is a protective reaction to ultraviolet. With
inadequate production of melanin skin easily and quickly
burns. But there are skin types that are not at all
needs protection – this is the V and VI phototype of the skin according to Fitzpatrick.  TO
this skin type is dark indonesian and negroid
phototype. People with this type of skin tan well and never
are burned.

But even they do not recommend excessive ultraviolet radiation,
as with the owners of completely black skin there is a risk of
melanomas. But we, dear readers, do not treat this
phototype, our skin is softer and thinner and also very fast
burns. So what to do? First of all, everything needs a measure. TO
sunscreens must be treated reasonably and not to
him too high demands. For example, no matter how we are warmly dressed,
but if there is a long time in the cold at a temperature of -30,
in any case, we face hypothermia. For this reason
to expose your body under the sun’s rays should be in certain
hours when UV radiation is not of great intensity.

Defend ourselves from the sun

People living in temperate climacteric latitudes, with
eagerly await the arrival of sunny warm days. Six months of cold
and bad weather – a great stress for the body, and quite
no wonder that with the arrival of summer, we are headlong and forgetting about
all warnings, plunge into the long-awaited heat.

For many people, neither the words of scientists, nor the warnings of doctors, nor
statistics are not weighty arguments when it comes to
is about long-awaited pleasures. In order to solar
the rays were good, brought joy and pleasure from life,
beach regulars should adopt some simple

  • eat vegetables and fruits, drink rich juices
    beta carotene (spinach, carrots, apricots, red pepper,
    tomatoes). These vegetables contribute to the production of melanin;
  • take beta carotene supplements to help
    get a uniform tan without the risk of excessive pigmentation;
  • regular exfoliation of the skin every three to four days,
    promotes uniform and durable tan;
  • use cosmetic serums with antioxidants. Usually
    this serum is applied under the sunscreen;
  • use sunscreen with physical filters with
    protection factor of at least 30. When buying such a cream, ask
    sales consultant literally chew you a cream: which
    filters are used there and from what radiation it protects.
    Self-respecting brands always describe the composition of their cosmetic
  • use a special sunscreen after tanning. is he
    prevents skin damage;
  • wear light, light-colored clothing that covers most
    body, and do not forget about hats and sunglasses;
  • use natural sun protection, hide in the shadows,
    when there is such an opportunity;
  • use moisturizers as often as possible, do not forget
    that the sun’s rays contribute to the dehydration of the skin, which means that

And most importantly, are under the influence of ultraviolet
prudent amount of time. If you came to the beach, then not
worth staying there until the bitter end. In this case, no action.
precautions and no cream will save your skin from irreversible
consequences. Not worth it because of the dubious pleasure to expose
your life and health hazards. After all, a beach holiday is only one
aspect of a beautiful life. Remember, life is only beautiful when
you are healthy.

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