Lets talk about skin today. Beyond the more superficial ‘Gorapun’ discussions… We’re bang in the middle of Summer and aunties are driving with their heads covered, shades on and the oh so stylish (read: ugly) gloves. Now you’re probably thinking I’m going to start whining about how goddamn scary they look (which is true) but all I can say is… ‘Aunties Shabash’ – For whatever your reasons may be you’re doing most things right to keep your skin from premature aging, sun damage and the works.
It’s a common misconception that dark skin does not burn. Along with this misconception comes the belief that people with dark skin don’t develop skin cancer — both beliefs are entirely false. Here’s the thing, e xcessive sun exposure, especially during the harsh summer can lead to wrinkles, aging, thinning of the skin, uneven colour and last but not the least skin cancer. It can also dry up the skin of its fluid, thereby affecting the finesse of the texture. In fact, sunshine is considered the single biggest cause of visible aging.
I know I don’t need to convince most of your to wear a sun screen but here are a few things that will help you pick the right one.
MYTH: The higher the SPF the better it is for me.
If you have oily skin don’t jump to the highest SPF on the rack. Find the right balance because usually higher SPF blocks tend to be more oily. For moderate sun exposure, usually SPF 15 is adequate as it blocks majority of UV Rays. A rough calculation for SPF is ‘If your skin starts turning red in 10 minutes of sun exposure, than SPF 15 will buy you 150 minutes in the sun’.
MYTH: I have nothing to worry about once I wear Sun Block.
Since no sun block can completely stop the UV rays, it’s supposedly better to pick one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they stop UV absorption. Check labels for the term “broad-spectrum.” That means it protects against both the UVA rays which cause wrinkles and cancer as well as the UVB rays which cause burns.
MYTH: I’ve put sun screen in the morning, I’m ready for the day.
Regardless of SPF, it is recommended that you refresh your sun block every 2-3 hours. Be especially aware of nose and ears when applying sun screen as they tend to tan sooner owing to thinner skin. Apply sun screen about 15 minutes before heading out so it sets in and doesn’t drip off with sweat.
MYTH: Everything I own has SPF, I’m sorted.
Mixing two SPF products doesn’t give you higher coverage eg, an SPF 15 moisturizer under SPF 15 sunblock will only give you SPF 15. Make sure you’re wearing a solid sunscreen regardless of what you may be wearing otherwise.
MYTH: I found a multitasking Sun Block.
A sun block is a ‘functional’ product. There is no such thing as a multifunctional sweet smelling sun block. Let the product do it’s job. Stay clear of fruity, nutty, flowery ones as they’re more prone to irritating the skin.
MYTH: I finally found a good Sun Block, I’ll use it sparingly.
A decent sized bottle will only last you a few weeks not a few years, apply generously. Most Sun Blocks will become ineffective after their expiry date. Keep the date in mind and use a sun block as it should be. Apparently a ‘shot’ glass full of sun block is usually enough to cover your arms, feet, face and neck…