A true sun care is a cosmetic that must be able to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation when applied. It can be a cream, a milk, or even a lotion. The protection concerns both the UVB, the rays that “burn” the skin, and the UVA, the more pernicious rays that cause alterations on the body.
The formula of a sunscreen product is always enriched with elements able to “filter” these UV rays or to “reflect” them. There is a lot of talk about chemical filters that can absorb or neutralize UV. They are obtained from synthetic molecules for the most part. There are also “physical” filters that reflect UV, like a mirror. These are generally obtained through the treatment of natural mineral powders, such as zinc oxide, for example.
Using a sunscreen is not something you can do without. It is extremely important for the health of your skin.
Many of us think that sunscreen is only needed during the summer. We have the image of a viscous cream that we want to get rid of as soon as possible by entering the water of the pool or the beach.
Sunscreen protects your skin, as clothes protect your body. So, just as you cover your body with clothes, you must cover your skin with sunscreen.
Certainly, some moisturizers have an index of protection, but they are often so weak that they are not so useful.
Who should use a sun care and why?
Dermatologists and health authorities will tell you: “Everyone must use a sun care product, and twice as often! The recommendation is even more urgent for young children whose skin is more sensitive and for people with very light skin.
Why? Because in our society the maximum “precautionary principle”, sunburns are not insignificant for the skin. If the action of UVA is actually controversial in the long term, a sunscreen product is especially recommended when you expose yourself intensively to UV. The most dangerous hours are between 11 am and 4 pm, at the beach, while swimming, but also in the mountains … so many occasions where the sun’s rays can seriously attack the skin.
What sunscreen for me?
20, 30 or 50+? All skins are not equal in the sun and all behaviors are not equal. It will therefore be necessary to think of several factors at the same time before choosing the right solar care.
The type of skin is important: a child’s skin or a clear skin will burn faster to UVB than a matte or black skin. Similarly, sensitive skin, clear or spotted moles, are more fragile face the aggression of UVA.
Circumstances also play a role: in Europe, a picnic in a jersey at the beach at noon is much more dangerous than a walk on the sand in the early evening, all dressed up.
Each case therefore combines a number of factors that can influence the sun protection that is really needed. That’s why the ideal solution does not exist. To put it simply, let’s remember that the “total” protection is illusory, but that to guarantee a reasonable security, it is necessary to enjoy the sun in moderation and to apply a product when one exposes themselves for more than twenty minutes.
What tips to tan safely?
As said above, whatever you do, “tanning” sessions as such are not ideal for the skin. But we cannot avoid the sun every time … In general, the advice of brands that offer a solar range may be suitable, but they sometimes tend to underestimate or overestimate the danger.
I often give my friends these common sense rules and I hereby recommend them to you:
If the skin is clear (white person, Caucasian type), it will require a minimum of 30 protection for outdoor activities in the sun. It will increase to 50 for the face and all the décolleté as well as the feet or calves if the activity takes place between 11 am and 16 pm, when the rays are the most aggressive. Protection 50 or 50+ is recommended for people with very light phototype (white skin, hair often red or blond) or for children, when we cannot keep them away from the sun.
If the skin is matte (Maghrebian, Mediterranean, Asian, black …), a sun protection factor of 20 should suffice for everyday activities, unless you are intensely exposed (work in the garden, hiking, tanning session).
In any case, avoid direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day. It is better to take a nap, visit a museum or cover yourself with white cotton.
If you really have to expose yourself, apply a generous amount of cream because it is not very effective if you use only a little.
Prefer natural sunscreens with mineral filters and no nanoparticles . They pollute the environment less and are the least problematic for health. They spread a little less well, that’s true … But they are really worth it!
How to choose your sunscreen product
Whether it is a tinted or normal sunscreen, in spray, milk, oil or gel form, the most important point remains the choice of the index, which is generally proposed between 15 and 50+, depending on its phototype and size.
The protection index
Black skins must opt for a solar index between 15 and 25, matte skin for an index 30 and fair skin must rely on a 50 or 50+ index. For a uniform tan and especially to preserve the youth of its skin, it is essential to choose a cream that filters the UVA and UVB and always think of applying it every two hours and after each swim if sunscreen is not not resistant to water.
In our beach bag, we find traditional sun creams and sprays, but also new textures and innovative products: freshness foam, anti-sand mist, wet skin gel or skin perfective bi-phase oil.