Skincare 101: How Important Is Sunscreen For Your Skin? February 2, 2017 – Posted in: Lifestyle – Tags: , , , , , , ,

There’s so much talk about using sunscreen. Is it only for hot sunny days? Is it a complete nuisance to begin with? Is it even necessary at all? Does it even work? We’re here breaking down the sunscreen dilemma and hope you find this helpful. ‘Cause it is. 😀

Firstly, why sunscreen to begin with?

Let’s go back to basics. Our Sun – the provider of life, the mother of our interlocked planetary family – emits what everyone knows as ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays are emitted in different frequencies (think different radio channels playing at different frequencies). And some UV rays are strong enough to penetrate the layers of your skin. Here’s how it can be categorised:

Ultra Violet C (UVC): These are the shortest rays. Poor chaps are blocked by the mighty ozone layer saving us humans from serious skin problems. So don’t you dare poke holes in the ozone!

Ultra Violet B (UVB): Ever stepped out in the sun to feel a burning sensation on your skin? Yep, that’s UVB! Let’s say B is for burning *rolls eyes*. These rays are responsible for burning the superficial layers of your skin. Not good!

Ultra Violet A (UVA): Easily the most persistent of them all, UVA penetrates the epidermis down to the dermis layer causing a host of problems. There’s premature aging in the form of wrinkles. There’s loss of elasticity meaning your cheeks are drooping sad and there’s hyperpigmentation in the form of sunspots on your skin. Let’s say A stands for aging. Tsk tsk!

So, UV rays aren’t really friends with your skin. Worse yet, they can penetrate windows and affect you even if a bloated cloudy sky hangs over.

The pic above is not a photoshopped image. What you see is the face of truck driver, William McElligott. The left side of his face has deep lines, is sagging and looks almost ten years older to the right side of his face. This is a result of years of sun exposure through the side window of his lorry. Read more here!

What do we do, then?

Here at the Appycat HQ, we recommend the use of sunscreen in our daily skincare routine. You may have some reservations against it but we just scienced it for you! The more pertinent question is not about applying sunscreen but which product to apply.

How to choose the right sunscreen:

Rather than recommend a particular brand, we’d like you to be smart about your choice in buying a sunscreen. In any product, two terms jump right out of the tube – SPF (sun protection factor) & PPD (persistent pigment darkening). SPF protects you from UVB (the burning effect) while PPD protects your skin from UVA (the aging effect). Most brands have a fancy tag of  “Broad Spectrum”, just make sure it covers both UVA & UVB protection. No! Higher SPF doesn’t necessarily guarantee better protection. Anything between SPF15 to 30 should be good for you, unless you’re a fisherman in the Andaman.

Oh! There’s one more thing called Photostability. Bear with me… all this science can get to your head. It’s just means that some products can’t handle sunlight and breakdown completely thus reducing any effectiveness. So make sure your sunscreen is photostable. Watch out for stuff like Avobenzone, because these lads are really unstable. We’ll dig deeper into your skin in the articles to come.

Till then, you keep your fabulous skin protected!

Love, Team A.