Sunbathing is healthy for body and mind, but it is important to protect our skin to prevent damages caused by the sunlight, even if we have dark skin or even if we do not sunbath for hours.
To choose the right sunscreen we have to take into consideration our skin phototype: i.e. all the physical and individual characteristics (ethnicity, colour of eyes and hair, how quickly we have tan) related to our quantity of melanin.
We have a different physiological protection to the sun according to our phototype, so we have to choose the right sunscreen. When our phototype is low, it means that we have a minimal production of melanin; in this case we need a high sunscreen. Otherwise, when our phototype is high it means that we have more production of melanin, so the skin is more protected and we need a lower spf.
Even if there is a large number of guides about the phototypes, the best method to choose a correct sunscreen is to look how our skin reacts to the tan and the sun: even the darkest skin may burn easily.
Hair: red, blonde
Eyes: blue, grey, green
Very sensitive, tends to have erythemas
Sun Protection: Very high
Hair: blonde, light brown
Eyes: blue, grey, green, light brown
Very sensitive, burns easily
Sun Protection: High/Very High
Hair: Dark blonde, brown
Eyes: blue, grey, green, light brown, brown
Sensitive, burns moderately
Sun Protection: High/Medium
Hair: dark brown
Eyes: green, light brown, brown
Less sensitive, burns minimally
Sun protection: high/medium
Beige or Olive
Hari: dark brown
Not very sensitive, rarely burns
sun Protection: medium/low
Eyes: brown. black
Not very sensitive, never burns
Sun Protection: low
Sunbathing in an excessive way is very dangerous for the health. It is important to know the damages that sun can cause, to avoid them. Sunscreens do not filter all the UV rays, and they do not protect the body in a total way. But using them properly helps us to protect the skin from the risks of an excessive exposure to the sun, preventing skin ageing.
Apply sunscreen before every sun exposure. To be tanned is not a synonymous for sun protection. Apply a sufficient quantity of sun cream and repeat it after every bath or if you have sweat a lot. Apply the product on every part of skin exposed to the sun. To be effective, you have to apply the sunscreen in the right way and with the right quantity: in general, 36 gr of sunscreen for an adult (i.e. more or less six teaspoons). It is important to protect the skin even during the bath (in the sea or in the swimming pool) because the UV rays work even underwater.
Keep babies and children away from the direct sunlight. Protect them using a t-shirt and a hat and keep them under the beach umbrella during the hottest hours of the day.
To be effective, you have to apply the sunscreen in the right way and with the right quantity: in general, 36 gr of sunscreen for an adult (i.e. more or less six teaspoons).
It is important to protect the skin even during the bath (in the sea or in the swimming pool) because the UV rays work even underwater.
Do not take long sunbaths, even if you have used a proper sunscreen (that protects from UVA+UVB rays). There is no product that protects the skin in a total way. Avoid the hottest hours of the day (11:00 am-03:00 pm). Remember that trees, beach umbrellas or canopies do not protect from sunlight. During these hours, it is recommended to wear t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
It is important to choose the right sunscreen taking into consideration our phototype and the place where we are (snow, sea, swimming pool, sand, ect…). Use only sunscreens with a right spf. If you are in doubt, ask for some advice to the doctor or to the pharmacist.