Thursday, December 20, 2012

Skin Care Myths Related To Protection From Sunlight

As part of marketing campaigns of skin care products, numerous myths have been perpetrated in order to boost sales. These products come with a lot of hype and are backed up by common myths. Unfortunately, they rarely deliver the results that are expected from them. In such situation, it is important to understand the constituent elements of skin care products as well as the rationale behind their usage. Further, it is commonplace to hear tips such as, 'drink 4 litres of water everyday', 'use organic exfoliating agents' and 'apply this acne cure ointment'. Some of these tips may be useful to a section of the population only, while some of them may be outright detrimental to the health of the skin. It is therefore extremely important to understand the logic behind these tips before adopting them as part of regular skin care practice.

Myth 1 - Sunscreen is not required on a cloudy day

Our skin is affected by the harmful Ultra-violet radiations from the sun. These UV radiations are able to reach the surface of the earth even on a cloudy day. It is therefore imperative to use a sunscreen when going out is unavoidable, especially after swimming or sweating. Moreover, the sunscreen should be re-applied after every couple of hours in case of continuous exposure. Hence, sunscreen is required even on a cloudy day.

Myth 2 - Higher the SPF rating of a sunscreen, better it is

Ultra-violet rays from the sun are of three types, UVA, UVB and UVC. Of the three, UVA rays are the ones that alter pigmentation of the skin and are responsible for tanning. UVB rays have a detrimental effect on the skin and are the ones that are responsible for sunburn, pigment changes and carcinomas or cancerous tumours. UVC rays do not reach the earth, since they get absorbed by the atmosphere. The sun protection factor or SPF of a sunscreen refers to the protection that these skin care products offer from UVB rays. An SPF 15 skin care product blocks 94% of UVB while SPF 30 blocks 97%. A common myth is that an SPF 30 skin care product is twice as better as an SPF 15. As can be seen, this is a myth and a higher SPF rating might be slightly better, but not practically more useful.

Myth 3 - Natural ingredients based sunscreen products are always good for the skin

With the markets being flooded by numerous skin care products, a new market has opened up in recent times. This segment lays emphasis on the importance of natural ingredients only, as part of skin care products. The presence of chemicals and filling agents, such as sulphates and petroleum derivates may be detrimental to the skin, especially in sensitive areas like neck and face. However, this is an unregulated market and the chances that such a sunscreen may contain chemical agents are pretty high. Therefore, proper research must be done before using these skin care products. Further, some natural ingredients may not be suitable for a particular skin type and therefore should be avoided in these particular cases. It is therefore a myth that natural ingredients based sunscreen products are always good for the skin.

Myth 4 - Expensive sunscreen products are better

This statement is outright false. Many products that are available in the market at cheaper prices may be much better than expensive ones. The price of a product is determined not only by the cost of ingredients, but also by other overheads such as marketing and advertising costs. For ensuring profitability, these costs add onto the price of the product and has no correlation whatsoever with the quality of the product. Therefore, it is a myth that expensive sunscreen products are better.

These are just a few of the numerous myths that are commonly believed in. It is important to understand the logic behind tips and advises before adopting them as part of skin care practice.

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