The negative effects of sun exposure are mainly due to ultraviolet light (UV): UVA and UVB rays, and to infrared rays (IR). Our skin has natural mechanisms to protect us from them in the form of melanin, the substance that allows us to tan, but this is not enough.
In the short term and on the surface, these rays can lead to sunburn. And over longer periods, they can penetrate to deeper layers of the skin and cause serious damage, ageing the skin and affecting its defences, and can even lead to various types of cancer.
EFE Health Forum "Sun protection, a public health issue"
We want to make consumers aware and make visible the negative consequences of not performing complete skin care before, during and after exposure to the sun.
What does SPF mean?
It is the Sun Protection Factor against burns caused by ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. The higher the protection factor (high SPF), the more protected your skin is from being exposed to solar radiation without getting burned. No sunscreen can ever ensure complete protection from the sun, so wear hats, sunglasses and, most importantly, seek shade when the sun is strong.
Correct sunscreen application
The most important thing about sunscreen is that we don’t forget that, inside the package, it doesn’t protect. Buy the sunscreen and then use it! And don’t forget to apply it properly. As the most difficult thing in the past was the correct application, in recent years manufacturers have done a lot of research into new, lighter and easier to use forms of application. The best way is to apply it 30 minutes before and always in generous amounts. Imagine a spoonful of product on each area you want to protect and, super important, reapply it every 2 hours, especially to children! And especially after the bath. Sweat, swimming in the sea or pool, contact with a towel and sand or doing sports means that we lose product, so it is important to reapply the photoprotection to keep the sun protection in optimum conditions.
How do I know if I should use a high or low SPF?
The use of a product with a higher or lower SPF varies depending on the phototype of each person. Knowing our skin and which group it belongs to is important to protect it. To classify it, two fundamental aspects are analysed: the colour it has in winter and the colour it acquires in summer. Each type of skin requires special care and protection. And to know which one is ours, the most recommendable thing is to consult a specialist.
Normally, lighter skins need more protection, but brown skins must also be protected. That’s why one person can use an SPF 20 without getting burned and another person needs an SPF 50+. If you do not know which product is more suitable for you, or if you have a special condition, it is recommended to consult an expert, dermatologist or pharmacist. Even if you are very dark, or if you are already tanned by the sun, you should still use protection.