In small doses, ultraviolet radiation is very useful. However, in summer, when the angle of the sun changes, its impact on the skin becomes much more intense. Also, the warmer it is, the more open clothes we wear and the more time we spend outside. Melanin works like a screen - reflects UV rays, but this is not enough.
UVA, UVB, UVC: different rays – different tan
The first two abbreviations you could see on products with a sunscreen factor – SPF. Third, no. UVA, UVB, UVC are the designations of UV rays of different lengths: A, B, and C.
A - the rays with the longest length. They penetrate the middle layer of the skin (dermis) without causing rapid visible changes. However, it is UVA rays that lead to cell destruction and release free radicals-triggering processes that can lead to premature aging and skin diseases, including cancer. Under the influence of UVA rays, tanning appears slowly but persists for a long time.
B - medium-length rays that affect the upper layer of the skin (epidermis). They cause redness and burns. In response to UVB exposure, the skin tans quickly.
C - the shortest rays, which are almost completely captured by the ozone layer and the atmosphere.
When ultraviolet rays reach the skin, a protective response begins in the cells - increased production of melanin. This is a pigment, which in a calm state is responsible for the color of the skin, hair, and eyes, and when exposed to UV rays it accumulates in the upper layers of the skin and as a result “stains” it in a dark shade. This is how tanning occurs.
Now that we know how UV rays work, the mechanics of skin protection become more clear.
Let the skin get used to the sun
You need to sunbathe gradually so that the skin has time to produce melanin. And even if you spend the whole day in the sun, the process of pigment production will not accelerate. But the risk of sunburn will increase many times.
Start with 10-15 minutes, preferably in the morning and evening, every day increasing the time spent in the sun by 10 minutes. If the skin is heated, reddened - it's time to finish the sunbathing. This tactic will allow you to get an even bronze tan without damage to the skin. And don't forget about sunscreen cosmetics.
Choose the right products with SPF
For a long time, manufacturers produced cosmetics only with protection from UVB rays, such products are still indicated only by the SPF value without additional labeling. If you want to protect your skin from the negative effects of UVA rays, look for the UVA label on the packaging.
How to choose SPF means?
For the first time in the sun, it is better to use a product with a high SPF, reducing the level of protection over and over again (for example, 50 – 30 – 15). This applies to any type of skin – this way you can carefully prepare it for tanning.
If you have very light skin and hair, you need SPF 50 means.
If you have very light skin and hair, you need SPF 30-50 products.
Do you have slightly dark skin and dark hair? Enough cosmetics with SPF 30.
SPF 15 is a choice only for those who have naturally very dark, olive skin.
SPF means before bathing
It's not so hot in the water, but that doesn't mean it protects against burns. UVA, UVB rays penetrate through the water, so while swimming, you continue to sunbathe and still get a burn. Keep in mind that up to 25% of the rays are reflected from the water, which means that the risk of burns to the face, neck, and shoulders increases significantly during bathing.
Wipe after bathing. Water drops on the skin look beautiful, but they are all small lenses that collect and focus the sun's rays. And that can cause dotted skin burns.
And at the end of the day, even if you didn’t sunbathe on purpose, be sure to use special products to soothe and refresh the skin, reduce the effect of free radicals that threaten it even after exposure to the sun. These cosmetics will also help to increase your tanning resistance.