Pakistani women have been at war with the sun since forever, and not without reason. The blazing rays of the east cause pigmentation, pre-mature ageing and brown spots. How do you avoid the sun if there is so much of it? Sunscreen. Here is everything you need to know:
Let’s just bust one myth right at the beginning – sunscreen will not give you Vitamin D deficiency. Sunscreens are lotions packed with agents that provide a certain degree of Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This SPF is what protects you from sun damage.
UVA and UVB
There are two main kinds of Ultra Violet radiation: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are the ones that cause surface burns while UVA rays go deep into your skin and cause problems such as wrinkles, sagging and many other light-induced ageing affects.
How does SPF work?
Here’s the gist of it: if it would take 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure to cause your skin to burn and singe, using a topical product with an SPF of 30 should theoretically prevent the reddening by 30 times more. Here’s the rub – you will never be truly 100% protected. The maximum protection you can garner is 97%.
So what should you be applying?
Let’s preface this answer with the fact that no matter how high the SPF in your product, unless you reapply every 2 hours, your product will be rendered ineffective. Choose a product that offers you broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, and keep reapplying.
How little is too little?
Many products that you apply are already preloaded with a minimum of SPF 15. Products such as Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock in SPF 30 are only effective when you have a little bit of sun exposure, such as when you travel by car to work and then spend the rest of the day indoors, out of sun exposure.However, if you are working outdoors, a higher SPF is recommended, one that is a water-resistant formula, such as Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen. This type of product is not recommended for everyday wear as it is sticky, turns your skin-tone ashy and does not blend well with makeup, as it needs to be reapplied every two hours!
The summers have begun and we highly suggest that you stock up on good quality, broad-spectrum sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 30. Your skin is your largest organ and the one you wear most proudly. Show it some love and protect it, like it protects you.