What are the sun’s effects on the skin?
The upcoming of long sunny days is often an open door to cheerfulness, simply because the sun makes us happy!
But if the sun is good for the mind, it is not necessarily good for the skin.
What are the benefits of the sun?
- Its ability to help the body synthesize vitamin D to fix calcium on the bones and to activate the immune system
- It is a mood enhancer. Sunlight has proven to be beneficial for some body’s hormones, including serotonin and dopamine. Both are known as the feel-good hormones because of the happy and, sometimes, euphoric feelings they produce according to Health Harvard website.
- For some skins, the tan that the sun provides. This is the “healthy glow” effect represented by a more or less brown colour that the skin takes on after prolonged exposure to the sun. The skin is tanned because the sun stimulates the production of melanin in the body.
The sun can also cause a number of significant harmful effects on both the body and the skin.
What are the harmful effects of the sun?
- premature skin ageing
- increase of wrinkles, brown or age spots, or rosacea
- summer lucites: those little itching red spots on the skin
- sun herpes
- skin cancers (melanoma, carcinoma)
Without regular, consistent and effective skin care sunscreen, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause serious, sometimes irreversible, damage to the skin.
So how do you choose a sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects? Let’s take a closer look at sun protection factors (SPFs).
What is the ideal sun protection factor for the skin?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF is an indicator of the skin’s protection by wearing sunscreen lotion from the sun’s UV radiation, and more precisely from UVBs.
UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. Although we can’t see it with our eyes, our skin can feel it. There are three types of UV rays differing in radiation wavelength: UVA, UVB and UVC.
What are UVA, UVB and UVC?
- Ultraviolet A is the one that causes immediate skin pigmentation (suntan) and is associated with skin ageing. It can trigger skin cancers because it penetrates deep into the skin. UVA is everywhere and can penetrate through windows and cloud cover.
- Ultraviolet B is associated with sunburns and skin cancers. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation website, UVBs are fewer because they can be filtered: they are blocked by clouds and do not penetrate through glass. They allow the body to absorb vitamin D through the skin, but still can damage the skin in case of overexposure.
- Ultraviolet C is the most dangerous one. Theoretically, UVCs do not reach the Earth’s surface because they are retained by the ozone layer, unless it is depleted (i.e.: the existing hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica).
Protecting one’s skin effectively every day is therefore essential, even when it’s cloudy. The sun protection factor (SPF) is an essential criteria to protect one’s skin against UV exposure.
Sun Protection Factors
There are eight SPF types: 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 et 50+.
The sun protection factor to choose depends on the type of skin (or phototype) and the sun conditions (summer, winter, sea, mountain, duration of exposure to the sun, etc.). Here’s a grid that can be used as a basis:
- SPF 6 to 10 = « low » sun protection
- SPF 15, 20 to 25 = « medium » sun protection
- SPF 30 to 50 = « high » sun protection
- SPF 50+ = « very high » sun protection
According to the European Commission and French Ministry of Economy, Finances and Industry, sunscreen lotions that claim “full sunblock” on their packageing should no longer be used as they put forward “although common, they [the claims] are false because no sunscreen lotion offers full protection against UV radiation”.
WATCH THIS VIDEO – Which sunscreen protection for my skin?
What type of sunscreen lotion should one choose?
There are numerous types of sunscreen lotions: sun cream, mist, stick, foam, oil with different SPFs. The most protective sunscreen protection for skin remains one with a SPF50+. It should be worn regularly on the skin’s face and body when there is a prolonged sun exposure.
There are different types of sun cream protections suiting:
- skin types: sensitive skin, fair skin, dark skin or skin with a tendency to acne, for example.
- purposes: summer (most frequently) and daily
- application areas : for the face or the body
The daily use of sunscreen for the face is increasingly requested by consumers seeking to protect their skin every day from the sun’s rays to reduce skin ageing and brown spots.
As a result, cosmetic companies are increasingly offering daily face sunscreen as part of a beauty routine.
Case study with bespoke cosmetics manufacturer- ALPOL Cosmetique:
Cosmetics manufacturer – ALPOL Cosmetique is well known in the field of sunscreen protection for skin. The French company develops sun care products for both face and body. Its face sunscreen lotions offer sun protection factors from SPF30 to SPF50+. They contain active ingredients to protect the skin from external aggressions such as the sun’s rays and blue light.
ALPOL Cosmetique is proactive in the suncare field thanks to its suncare division created in 2015. It targets any texture, any SPF and any sensoriality.
From organic and natural ingredients-based formulas to more mineral-based formulas through to dedicated acne-prone skin formulations, ALPOL Cosmetique offers a broad range of laboratory-tested formulas.
Thanks to its raw material prospecting and suncare product development centres, the cosmetics manufacturer provides a turnkey solution to cosmetic brands wishing to develop their suncare range.
Do you have a sunscreen protection development project? ALPOL Cosmetique’s teams will be happy to help you to carry it out. Contact them here.