Summer or Winter, SPF is always Essential!
It is a general notion that SPF is only for summers. But what about winters? Do we not go out in the sun during winters? Infact, winter is the time to soak up all the sun.
In our country, where it doesn’t snow, winters provide the best opportunity to soak up the beautiful sunshine.
So why is it that we only make use of SPF or sunscreen in summers? Why do we not use it during the colder months? Sunburn in winter is real and the damage caused is real too.
Before moving on to the benefits of SPF, it is important to know what SPF actually is. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. According to the website of FDA, Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America,
“SPF is a measure of how much solar energy (UV radiation) is required to produce sunburn on protected skin (i.e., in the presence of sunscreen) relative to the amount of solar energy required to produce sunburn on unprotected skin. As the SPF value increases, sunburn protection increases.”
It is a measure to indicate how well a sunscreen will protect the skin. It is basically a shield that protects the skin from the harmful aspects of sunlight for a particular amount of time.
For example, if an exposure of 15 minutes in the sunlight can burn your skin, a sunscreen with SPF 15, will protect your skin for approximately 150 minutes longer. SPF will basically tell you how efficient your sunscreen is. However, this efficiency is not actually totally dependent on time. It is based on how harsh the sunlight is. The total intensity of sunlight is different at different times of the day.
Dermatologists usually prefer SPF 15 or SPF 30. However, research shows the SPF 30 is best suited for regions around the equator, because the sunlight received by the tropical regions, both in summers and winters, is much more intense than regions closer to the poles. According to the FDA,
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
- SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
- SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
- SPF 15 (93% protection) allows 7 out of 100 photons through
- SPF 30 (97% protection) allows 3 out of 100 photons through.
What are the benefits of wearing SPF in winters?
- Reduced risk of skin cancer
One of the most important factors is that by blocking the harmful UVB rays, tmSPF is actually protecting your skin from Cancer! The UVB rays or the ultraviolet blu rays when in contact with the skin can cause cancerous cells to form which can lead to tumour which in turn causes cancer.
Sunlight, all year round, consists of UVB rays which are extremely dangerous for our skin and health. According to research
‘ SPF factor of 15 reduces your chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40% and your melanoma risk (the deadliest skin cancer) by 50%.’
Protection Against Sunburn
By blocking the sunrays, SPF will not let your skin cells roast in the sun. Sunburns are the most painful and are a contributing factor to the deadliest of cancers.
Prevents signs of Ageing
Exposure to sun and sunburn are the chief causes of the early onset of wrinkles and likes on skin. By providing SPF to skin, these signs of aging can be delayed by a greater measure.
Longer exposure to sunlight can lead to hyperpigmentation, however, with SPF the pigmentation of the skin can be evened out by a greater degree.
Hence, it is important that you wear SPF come rain and shine!
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