Vanguard Pharmacy

Screening the Sun: Is It Really Important?

Hey Fam, let’s take a little dive into Sunscreen and its benefits.

In this date and age where everyone is really out for that glowing skin, I mean, we all want to glow like ‘Glowria’, sunscreens are a must-have in your skin care routine. Why? Well, the Sun. The Sun is really important for us to survive on earth, from the production of heat and light to photosynthesis, and even the production of Vitamin D. We really do need the Sun. But, as we all know, too much of everything can be harmful and this also goes for too much exposure to UV Rays. Too much exposure to Ultra-Violet (UV Rays) from the Sun has damaging effects on the skin. 

UVA rays have been found to cause premature aging such as wrinkles, sagging skin while UVB rays increase the risk of skin cancers. 

Perhaps you already have sunscreen incorporated in your routine, or maybe you feel it’s not a necessity.

Well, here are some things you might not know about sunscreens:

  • Sunscreens are of 2 types: physical (also known as mineral) and chemical sunscreens. The basis of the categorization is the way they work. Physical sunscreens stay on the skin and reflect UV rays while chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin and then, they absorb these UV rays, convert the rays to heat and release the heat from the body. The active ingredients in Physical sunscreens include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreens contain avobenzone, octisalate, para-aminobenzoic acid. So, you can check your sunscreen to know which type you are using or buying.
  • Sunscreens should be used as often as you go outdoors during the day. You are going for a walk, put some sunscreen on. You are going to the beach, definitely put some sunscreen on. As long as you will be outdoors when the sun is out, you should apply some sunscreen to every exposed part of your body.
  • Sunscreens are to be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors, especially for chemical sunscreens that need to be absorbed for them to work effectively. Best to plan ahead to avoid applying it in a rush. Also, they are to be reapplied every 2 hours after exposure.
  • No, sunscreens aren’t meant for women only. Okay, maybe only women and men? Uhmmm, no! Women, men and children above 6 months can use sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are considered safer for children. To be on the safe side, always test sunscreens on a small patch of skin to check if the skin reacts to or is sensitive to any ingredient in it.

  • SPF? What are we talking about here? Ok, SPF means Sun Protective Factor. Any good sunscreen should have its SPF written on it. SPF measures how much protection the sunscreen offers against the sun’s UVB rays. If a sunscreen says SPF 30, it means it will take 30 times longer for you to have a sunburn compared to if a sunscreen wasn’t used at all. A simpler explanation (after some calculations) is that SPF 15 sunscreens block 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 sunscreens block 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 sunscreens block 98% of UVB rays. All these apply if the sunscreen is used in the right amount.
  • You may have some sunscreen labelled as broad spectrum and you are wondering, which one is Broad Spectrum again? If you noticed, I only talked about UVB rays. That’s because SPF only measures protection against UVB rays and not UVA rays. If a sunscreen is labelled as ‘broad spectrum’, that means it offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Just the way we have different skin types, there are different sunscreens for different skin types, ranging from oily skin to dry skin to combination skin and so on. It is necessary to take into consideration your skin type before selecting a sunscreen.
  • Remember, that you have applied sunscreen doesn’t mean you can start walking under the sun anyhow o. Sunscreen is just one way to stay protected. As much as  you can, avoid staying under the sun for too long. Also wear sun-safe clothing, wear a hat and sunglasses while outdoors.

At Vanguard Pharmacy, we have a variety of Sunscreen brands. Visit any of stores today to get yours and talk to our professionals for guidance.

Pharm. Adedoye Oluwaseun

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