In the previous article, we discussed the importance of sun protection in winter, and in the scorching summer, it’s even more crucial.
On clear, sunny days with blue skies and white clouds, the UV index can easily reach high levels. For those who care about their appearance, how can they neglect the importance of sun protection? However, many people may not know how to choose the right sun protection products or use them correctly. Most people only know to buy sunscreens with high SPF, but not the difference between different types of products. Long-time readers may have learned to choose suitable sun protection products by looking at their ingredients and understanding the various indicators such as SPF and PA. However, many people still wonder, why bother understanding all this if I can simply choose a product with a high SPF, such as SPF 90 or even SPF 120? In reality, the ability of SPF 30, 50, 90, and other sunscreens to block UV rays differs only by a few percentage points. However, the higher the SPF, the higher the concentration of chemical ingredients, which can cause a heavier burden on the skin. High concentrations of chemicals can cause skin sensitivity, contact dermatitis, and clogged pores, so selecting a higher SPF does not necessarily mean better protection. Furthermore, when choosing sun protection products, one should pay attention to whether they contain PABA, as this ingredient carries a risk of carcinogenesis.
In addition, some research has shown that visible light (i.e., ordinary light sources such as light bulbs and sunlamps) is enough to make type 4-6 skin darken. Therefore, some people claim to easily tan and even darken in indoor lighting, and this is supported by scientific research. Pure chemical sunscreens generally block specific wavelengths of UV rays, but they are not enough to prevent visible light from damaging the skin. This research shows that pure chemical sunscreens may not provide sufficient protection for people with darker skin tones. Instead, physical sunscreens can reflect and block visible light, so it is better to choose products containing physical sunscreens. Most Asians have type 3 or 4 skin tone, so when selecting sun protection products, it’s crucial to pay attention not only to the SPF and PA ratings but also to the ingredients.