How to choose the right sunscreen for you

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How to choose the right sunscreen for you

Summer is now here, and with it, also the desire for holidays and to spend entire days at the seaside in the name of relaxation, fun and total carefreeness.

In any case, one of the questions that often arise with the arrival of summer is which sun protection you should use to protect your skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays. There are so many products on the market today and, for this reason, it is all too easy to create confusion and lead the consumer to choose one that is not suitable for their skin.

Therefore, what are some aspects to take into consideration in order to choose the sun cream suited to your needs?

The different types of UV rays

Prolonged exposure to the sun causes various negative effects for the skin (but also for the hair), ranging from common sunburn to the onset of tumors (in the long term), through premature aging of the skin.

Depending on the wavelength, solar radiation can be divided into 3 types:

  • UVA rays (315-400 nm): particular category of solar radiation capable of penetrating deep into the skin, triggering the production process of melanin, the pigment responsible for the famous tan. UVA rays are also present on cloudy days or when the sun is partially veiled, which leads the person to dangerously lower their guard;

  • UVB rays (280-315 nm): UVB rays are fortunately only a small part of the UV rays that hit the earth. However, they are more dangerous as they are able to penetrate deeper;

  • UVC rays (100-280 nm): even more penetrating than UVA and UVB rays, UVC rays are fortunately shielded by the ozone layer, which covers the Earth's atmosphere.

Given what has been said so far, it is crucial to protect yourself adequately from the action of the sun by identifying the right product based on your skin.

One of the most important factors you should take into consideration to make an informed choice is the so-called SPF: what is it?

SPF: what it is and why it matters

In light of what we have examined, identifying the most suitable sun cream for your skin involves a careful evaluation of its SPF, also known as Sun Protection Factor.

This is a parameter that indicates the ability of the product to create a protective layer on the skin that protects it from the harmful action of UV rays.

The evaluation of this factor is carried out through the ratio between the amount of time necessary for the prolonged action of UV rays to cause sunburn without any protection and with a protective filter.

However, actual protection is influenced by a series of factors such as the time of day, the duration of exposure to the sun, the weather conditions or the exact geographical location.

Based on the regulations and classifications currently in force, sunscreens can be divided according to well-defined SPFs:

  • SPF between 6 and 10: low level of protection;

  • SPF between 10 and 30: entails a medium-low level of protection;

  • SPF between 30 and 50: guarantee a medium-high level of protection;

  • SPF with a value greater than 50: implies a high level of protection

  • SPF above 60: very high level of protection

Generally speaking, using a product with a SPF of at least 30 is recommended, which is ideal for all those who carry out activities of any kind outside for long periods of time.

However, if your complexion is very light or if you regularly frequent mountain resorts at rather high altitudes, products with a SPF above 50 are the most suitable for protecting your skin from the damage that UV rays can cause.

For this reason, ESTĒREL has created two Sun Protection KITS based on the products of the Sun Collection: medium and high protection.

The medium protection Kit contains the PROTEZIONE SPF30 sun milk, ideal for all people who have light to olive skin and who wish to tan without running the risk of bad sunburns. The millk is accompanied by our tan activator ATTIVATORE DELL’ABBRONZATURA, a moisturizing fluid which promotes the production of melanin and by the after-sun treatment cream DOPO SOLE, to hydrate and nourish the skin.

The high protection Kit, on the other hand, is designed precisely for the needs of those with fair skin and need a high level of shielding from UV rays. The kit consists of ALTA PROTEZIONE SPF50 sun cream combined with the DOPO SOLE after sun from the Sole Collection. The kit is completed by the refreshing and hydrating RINFRESCANTE ALL OVER Lotion, designed to offer relief after a day outdoors.

Don't know which one to buy? A good starting point would be to find out your skin type. Let's see together what it's about.

    • On sale!
    • New
    • KIT

    Kit "Medium Protection"

    Price €68.00

    PROMO SPECIAL PRICE

    This kit contains the ideal sun products for those who tan without too much difficulty but want to protect themselves from sunburn and redness. The tan accelerator fluid promotes the production of melanin, the sun milk protects...

    • On sale!
    • New
    • KIT

    Kit "High Protection"

    Price €60.50

    PROMO SPECIAL PRICE

    This kit contains the ideal sun products for those who have a light and sensitive complexion, tan with great difficulty and are subject to the appearance of sunburn.
    The high protection sun milk contains a mix of latest...

The importance of identifying your phototype and how to do it

The phototype is the dermatological classification that identifies the skin you have, based on the amount of melanin present. In this sense, it indicates your predisposition to tanning and your sensitivity to potential inflammatory processes after exposure to UV rays.

Usually, the phototype is a specific characteristic that is established through the color of the skin, hair and eyes, parameters that allow a classification to be drawn up starting from phototype I, i.e. a subject with very light complexion, hair and eyes and therefore more susceptible to sunburn, to reach phototype VI, individuals with a very dark complexion, dark brown eyes and black hair and, therefore, inclined to produce a layer of protection from the sun's rays in a completely innate way.

Therefore, it is crucial to choose the sun cream that best suits your phototype and, therefore, based on your complexion and the color of your eyes and hair: for example, if you have light eyes, skin and hair it is wise to opt for a cream with a SPF of at least 50 and with a high or very high level of protection

On the other hand, as the phototype increases, the SPF that the sun cream should have in order to accurately protect the skin from the action of UV rays can be decreased, since the quantity of melanin already present is able to create an effective protective filter against solar radiation.

But what are the other features that a good sunscreen should have?

Other peculiarities to consider when choosing the right sunscreen

The SPF and the phototype of your skin are certainly parameters to take into high consideration before choosing the most suitable sun cream for you.

However, there are other factors that deserve particular attention: for example, one of the most important is the so-called water resistance, the ability of the cream to resist water. A good sun protection product, in fact, is able to shield UV rays even in water for good periods of time, which should last at least 40 minutes; this means that you can still remain protected from solar radiation for a long time even if you stay in the water.

It is, however, wise to renew the application of sun cream once you go out and before each bath, in order to guarantee a good protective layer considering the ability of the sun's rays to penetrate the water and reach the skin anyway.

Remember to choose products that, if dissolved in water, are not harmful to marine organismsESTĒREL sun cosmetics are totally Ocean Friendly and do not damage the coral reef.

Also remember that the effectiveness of the selected cream is also connected to the time of exposure to the sun and the length of stay; the central period of the day, i.e. the period of time between 11 am and 4 pm, is certainly the one in which the intensity of UV rays is highest.

For this reason, it is crucial to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun even if your phototype is naturally capable of withstanding the action of solar radiation and/or you have applied sunscreen.

If this is not possible, it is essential to use a cream with SPF equal to 50+ and with a very high level of protection in order to shield the very strong UVA and UVB rays as much as possible.

It is also a good idea to keep in mind the place where you expose yourself to the sun: unfortunately, in the collective imagination we tend to think that the sun's rays hit mainly or more intensely the seaside resorts and beaches, a totally incorrect assumption.

Instead, UV rays exert their harmful power on the skin precisely as the altitude increases and, therefore, it is undoubtedly more dangerous to expose oneself to the sun without protection in a mountain location than to do so on a beach. Therefore, it is good practice to select a sun cream with high protection especially if you opt to spend your summer holidays in the mountains rather than at the seaside.

Finally - as always - pay attention to the quality of the product and do not trust it regardless of what is declared on the packaging. For example, according to a recent investigation by Altroconsumo, the SPF50+ sun creams of 5 well-known brands on the market did not live up to the declared values, concretely offering only a sun protection factor of 30, a protection that is completely insufficient for clearer phototypes.

In short, from what we have examined it is quite clear how essential it is to protect yourself from the action of the sun when you choose to spend entire days exposing yourself to it.

Choosing the most suitable sun cream for your skin involves identifying your phototypeopting for products with the right SPF and adopting responsible and prudent behavior, in order to prevent very dangerous sunburns and have fun in total serenity!

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