New Delhi: There have been a lot of talks about how and why it is crucial to use sunscreen all year long. Sunscreen should always be worn whenever you step outside, whether it’s summer, winter, or rainy. It’s time to switch up your daily sunscreen routine to a heavy coating when the days are long and the sun’s rays are powerful. We do understand that using sunscreen can help avoid sunburns and skin damage, but we are often baffled by the label’s confusing array of terms.
Let us see what the terms mentioned on our sunscreen bottle really mean.
SPF stands for Sun Protecting Factor and it is a measure of how long it would take for the skin to burn while using the product compared to how long it would take if the skin is left bare. It is effective against UV B rays, but it does not ensure that it offers protection against UV A rays.
For instance, when you wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15, your skin won’t become red as quickly as it would if you didn’t wear any. Though you might not get the additional protection you assume you would with a higher SPF. SPF 30 filters out 97% of UVB radiation, while SPF 50 filters out 98%. Only SPF 15 and greater have been proven to lower cancer risk and delay premature skin ageing, but according to the FDA, there is no proof that SPFs higher than SPF 50 offer any additional protection.
2. Broad Spectrum:
This phrase indicates that your sunscreen will shield you from UVA and UVB rays. In case you were asking why you needed protection from both, it’s because UVB rays have a tendency to burn your skin while UVA rays cause deeper skin damage and the breakdown of collagen.
3. Water Resistant:
While a product may state to be water-resistant for 40 or 80 minutes, no sunscreen can make that claim. To test for water resistance, companies have volunteers sit in a lab version of a hot tub for the claimed amount of time. The label may state that the product is water resistant if tests reveal that it didn’t wash off or lost its effectiveness after ten participants.
Some of these items lack the cooling or moisturising components that can irritate the eyes. Others put either sunscreen or a nonirritating eye solution in volunteers’ eyes, and use the label if the groups have the same results. The chemicals used in products that claim they ‘won’t run into eyes’ help the product remain in position when you apply it, but it could still hurt your eyes if it does.
There are other terms such as sport or active, baby, sensitive or hypoallergenic are also seen on the sunscreen bottles, but these terms are not FDA regulated.
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