Sunscreen plays a major role in protecting your skin from UV rays.
These days, We often hear about the necessity of using sunscreen not only in summer but all year round and even inside too.
But do you know the reasons for them and the effects of sunscreen?
Understanding the benefits of sunscreen and knowing how to choose the right sunscreen is significant to protect your microbiome.
Today, we will introduce how to choose the right sunscreen and the knowledge about them in detail.
Ultraviolet rays, the enemy of the skin microbiome
There is the "good microbiome for skin" living in our skin that has a function to make the skin beautiful.
Although the word "bacteria" may give a bad impression, "good microbiome for skin"; in other words, "beautiful skin bacteria" is indispensable for our skin.
Our skin is home to countless microbiome, which can be broadly categorized into good bacteria and bad bacteria. Staphylococcus epidermidis, commonly known as "good microbiome for skin" has a positive effect on our skin. It plays a role in maintaining beautiful skin by keeping the skin acidic, and creating glycerin that prevents skin problems and moisturizes the skin.
The reason why ultraviolet rays are said to be the great enemy of the skin microbiome is that they have a bactericidal effect.
You may have heard of "ultraviolet sterilization equipment." Technologies utilizing the sterilizing effects of ultraviolet rays are also used in the medical field. Ultraviolet rays have the effect of damaging and killing the cells of various bacteria.
When your skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays, they kill the bacteria including the "good microbiome for skin" too. So, exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause skin aging, loss of elasticity and firmness, and other skin problems.
Sunscreen to protect skin microbiome
Wearing sunscreen is an effective way to prevent the bactericidal effects of UV rays.
Sunscreens contain additives such as UV absorbers and UV scatterers that help protect the microbiome on your skin.
Here, we introduce these two types of additives.
UV absorbers use a chemical mechanism to absorb UV energy and convert it into other forms of energy, such as heat, thereby preventing UV rays from affecting your skin.
Sunscreens referred to as "chemical-type sunscreens" contain these UV absorbers.
They are characterized by being colorless, transparent, and refreshing to apply.
One thing to note is that after absorbing UV rays, a chemical reaction occurs on your skin and irritates your skin.
Sensitive skin may react to this irritation, which can lead to problems.
UV Scattering Agents
UV scattering agents use mechanisms to provide an barrier to your skin, allowing UV rays to be reflected and scattered on the skin's surface.
By providing a barrier, it can prevent the bad effects of UV rays.
They are generally called "non-chemical types" and made of fine clay-like material.
Types of UV rays
Did you know that there are two types of UV rays, UV-A and UV-B?
You need to know about the difference between them to understand how to choose the right sunscreen.
Let's briefly discuss each of them.
UV-A is the main cause of spots.
It is said that about 90% of the ultraviolet rays we are exposed to on a daily basis are UV-A, also known as "everyday ultraviolet."
Because of its long wavelength, it can pass through clouds and glass windows, so even on cloudy days and inside the house, UV rays can cause impact our skin.
Thus, we need to wear sunscreen all year round.
Exposure to UV-B, also known as "leisure UV," causes skin inflammation, which appears as skin redness.
Although UV-B only accounts for about 10% of the ultraviolet rays that reach us, it has a very strong impact and causes skin redness, hyperpigmentation, freckles, and other skin problems.
What are SPF and PA?
The words SPF and PA are often on sunscreen packages, but do you know what they mean?
Without knowing of them, it is impossible to choose the right sunscreen.
Let's check the meaning of each words.
SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor." It mainly refers to effectiveness against UV-B.
The number next to "SPF" indicates how effective the sunscreen is compared to not applying it.
SPF number range from 2 to 50, with 50+ being listed for 50 and above, and the higher the number, the more effective it is at protecting against UV-B.
PA stands for "Protection Grade of UVA" and refers mainly to effectiveness against UV-A.
There are four levels of PA values, from PA+ to PA++++. The higher the amount of +, the more effective the protection against UV-A.
How to choose sunscreen for your sensitive skin
Here are some tips for choosing sunscreen in KINS' style!
Please take a look through them before shopping.
1) Choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher!
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
Using one with low SPF can cause damaging the skin microbiome by UV-B.
It is also important to wear sunscreen even when it's cloudy or inside the house.
There are many kinds of SPF-infused makeup bases and foundations today, so find the one that suits your lifestyle best.
2) Choose the one with the least amount of irritating ingredients.
Some sunscreens may contain irritating ingredients such as strong preservatives or synthetic surfactants.
Although we wear sunscreens to protect the "good microbiome for skin," irritating ingredients may reduce them at the same time.
When purchasing sunscreen, be sure to check the ingredients.
Commonly included as preservative ingredients are parabens, ethanol and alcohol, and silicone.
Synthetic surfactants often included are dimethicone, polyquaternium, dimethicone polyol, and isostearic acid.
Non-chemical types that do not contain UV-absorbing agents are said to cause less irritation to the skin and are better for sensitive skin.
We recommend to choosing products that does not contain UV-absorbing agents such as Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl, Methoxycinnamate, 2-Ethylhexyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Triazone, or Octocrylene.
3)Higher numbers are not always better
The higher the SPF or PA value is more effective against UV rays, but it also can irritate the skin.
If you choose a product with a very high value, it may cause unexpected skin problems.
The key here is choosing the right one for the right occasion.
It may be a good idea to buy several products with different numbers and +, and use them for different purposes, such as for daily life, for going to the beach, etc.
Today, we introduced the basics of sunscreen and how to choose the right one for you.
Sunscreen is essential to protect "good microbiome for skin" and maintain your beautiful skin.
Make use of the information here when you go buy one and choose the perfect sunscreen for yourself.
We hope you'll have a beautiful summer with beautiful skin.