Summer has arrived and our skin needs extra protection: do you already know the ideal protection factor according to your skin?
Week end at the beach or at the mountains, holidays in exotic locations or on the beautiful Italian beaches: wherever you choose to go, it is important that you take with you a sunscreen to protect you effectively.
How can you choose the best sun lotion for you? It depends on your phototype!
According to the dictionary phototype means: “each of the categories, classified in numerical sequence, in which the human population can be divided according to the skin and hair pigmentation and of their reactivity to the sun.”
In other words, it depends on the amount of melanin that is present in our skin and on its reaction to sun exposure. This concept is very important because the melanin is the pigment that colours our skin and it is the first natural shield against the damaging effects of the sun.
In dermatology it is used a ranking of six phototypes that are identified according to specific physical characteristics: it is very useful because when we identify our phototype we can also choose the best sun protection factor for us!
In this way we will avoid reddening, burns, erythemas and annoying spots and imperfections.
– Phototype 0: albinism, people with white hair and skin, because of the total absence of melanin in the epidermis. For them it is forbidden the sun exposure;
– Phototype 1: people from Nordic countries, with diaphanous skin, freckles, red and blond hair, with blue or green eyes; they have sensitive and delicate skin, easy to redness: for this reason it would be strongly recommended to avoid sun exposure except in the late afternoon;
– Phototype 2: people with light eyes, hair and skin. The can develop, in contact with the sun, freckles and, in case of prolonged exposure, even rash, if they are not adequately protected. They can reach a slightly darker colour than usual;
– Phototype 3: people with Mediterranean complexion, with dark blond or brown hair and light eyes mostly. They get a tan easily and gradually, reaching a beautiful golden hue;
– Phototype 4: people with olive complexion, dark hair and eyes. They sunburn rarely because they have a high percentage of melanin, and they get a tan from the first exposure;
– Phototype 5: people with very dark complexion, hair and eyes, so they seem tanned all the year. Sunburns are difficult;
– Phototype 6: black-skinned people, with raven-black hair and eyes; for them sunburns are really rare.
THE SPF, Sun Protector Factor
At this point we certainly recognized us into a category and, according to that, we can choose the perfect SPF (Sun Protector Factor) for our skin and create a tanning program based on our skin type!
Phototypes 1 needs protection SPF 50+ and exposures during the hours of the late afternoon or the sunset; phototypes 2 can start with a high spf sunscreen and gradually go down to one with SPF 25 or 20, preferring exposures in the hours of the early morning and of the afternoon after 16.00. Photoypes 3 can safely use a sunscreen with SPF 30 in the first days and then decreased gradually; photoypes 4 and 5 can start with SPF 15 lotions and lower the solar factor after a few exposures and, finally , people with phototype 6 can immediately use low protective factors, such as those with spf 10 or 6.
Even black-skin people need, like all other types of skin, to protect themselves from the harmfulness of UVA and UVB radiations. About this when we choose a sunscreen we have to take care to the label: indeed, not all the sunscreens have UVA filters because these are considered less harmful than UVB radiations (responsible for sunburns), although they are actually the most insidious because, penetrating deeper into the skin, causing skin ageing! Therefore, in any case, we have to prefer always sunscreen lotions that protect from both UV rays, so as to guarantee the safest and most effective shield to the skin!
RULES FOR THE PERFECT TANNING
Finally, for all types of skin it is a good routine:
– Moisturize your skin with refreshing after-sun creams at the end of the day;
– Drink plenty of water;
– Avoid exposures between 12.00 am and 4.00 pm;
– Exposure to the sun gradually and never for long periods;
– Apply the cream 20 minutes before exposure at the beach when we are at home, so we can spread the cream on all over the body before putting on the swimsuit, and then, later, repeat the application several times during the day;
– Spread the cream without massaging because massage promotes the penetration of the product into the epidermis while it needs to remain on the surface of the skin to have a protective action;
– Apply the cream on ears, nose and feet, areas often forgotten but whose redness are many annoying.
Now we know a lot of stuff about tanning: why do not we lay under the sun and get earning our tan?!