Most people are still a little confused about how sunscreen works. From what SPF means, how often we should apply or reapply and at what stage we should use if we’re using makeup. In most cases, people think that by using makeup or foundation powder that contains SPF is already sufficient to protect against the sun but the truth is, this is a misleading thought. In order to get the actual sun protection, we actually need specific amount of SPF.
UVA and UVB are short high-energy wavelengths that actually hit upon most surface of our skin which is also known as the dermis layer. When the dermis is irritated. redness and swelling occurs, a condition known as sunburn. This is also the leading cause to the formation of freckles, age spots or any skin pigmentation disorders. UVA penetrates more deeply into the skin than UVB rays and it actually affects the DNA of the cells in the dermis. As a result, wrinkles form, and the skin will look like leather and saggy. UVA has more long-term damaging effects.
Chemical sunscreens are those that contain chemicals while physical sunscreens use natural agents like zinc and titanium oxide. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays as they enter the skin. Then the rays are converted into heat and released from the skin as infrared rays. Chemical sunscreens are generally more lightweight and blendable, which means these can be reapplied
throughout the day really easily, and functions more seamlessly under makeup.
However, it can be a little bit more irritating on the skin if you have sensitivity issues.
Physical sunscreens will often leave a whitish cast on the skin due to the ingredients known as zinc oxide or even titanium dioxide. These are active minerals that sit on top of the skin to reflect incoming UV rays. The advantage of using physical sunscreen is that it works immediately after being applied and it’s milder for sensitive skin but it tends to be a little heavier and more visible on the skin, thus not very suitable to use with your makeup. Anyways, it is very useful to keep the pretty fair skin when you’re on outdoor activities.
Based on some popular beliefs, having exposed to sun for 20 minutes or lesser is fine even without any sun protection, while for longer time you should use sunscreens. In contrary, others also claimed that there’s actually no safe amount of time to spend under the sun because any type of UV can penetrate into the skin. To correctly address this situation, it is important to understand the skin type and UV index.
For UV index, it is often reported in weather forecast ranging from 0 to 10 or 11. Index 0-2 is considered low but above 10 is equivalent to burning hotdog on BBQ. To understand better, use a shadow test. If you’re standing outside and the shadow is long, then that means the UV is generally lower, so it’s like earlier on in the day or later on in the day. Shorter shadow is when the Sun is directly overhead and that means the UV is probably likely to be higher.
For fair skin, it’s about five to ten minutes.
For olive skin, it’s around fifteen minutes.
For dark skin, you have about twenty minutes.
The more pigment in your skin indicate the longer you can go out without getting sun burn. Anyhow, it is still recommended to put on sunscreen.
SPF stands for sun protection factor, which can range from 2 to over 100. The bigger the number also means it is better so you’re more protected. According to research, there is actually very little difference between a SPF 30 which is the commonly seen type and a SPF 50, which mostly see in a lot of makeup.
SPF 50 filters about 98% of UVB but if you apply SPF 20, it will allow twentieth of the UVB rays through which is about five percent.
SPF is about limiting the amount of UVA and UVB rays that are entering your skin. To calculate the time you get protected by the sunscreen, you need to know the time (minutes) that will make you burn, multiply by the SPF of the sunscreen you use.
For example, if it takes 10 minutes before you start to burn and the sunscreen you use has a SPF of 30, then you’ll have 300 minutes which is approximately 5 hours before the skin starts to burn. This has not include other factors such as wind, water or it could be washed off, wiped off so ultimately it depends on the climate situation. Sometimes you do need to reapply a lot earlier depending on your circumstance.
The amount of sunscreen you actually need to apply to the face is a quarter teaspoon, equivalent to 1.23 grams. Spread the quarter teaspoons to your entire face evenly and also a little bit down your neck. For body, it is recommended to use a shot glass worth of sunscreen.
Many would have notice that the foundation you use contains SPF 20 and some powders have SPF 15 or so. In reality, a normal person uses only about 1.5 pumps of foundation to cover their face and that’s already considered a lot. But in fact, the SPF you’re putting on the face is minimal, way lower than the recommended protection that you should have. Therefore, we should not rely on the make up with SPF to protect us from the sun.
Ideally, you should use sunscreen at the end of the skincare routine, meaning after you’ve done with cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream and moisturizer. Apply the sunscreen and let it dry for about two to three minutes and followed by primer, which is the first step in makeup routine.Allow the primer to dry and then use the foundation which usually has a SPF about five to thirty depending on what foundation you’re using. Blend the foundation into the skin a little bit and apply concealer. Powder it down and mattify everything. Normally the powders should have SPF of five to thirty, again depending on what powder you’re using. During the day, you can always go back with more powder to just touch up and also reapply some wear off SPF.