My first encounter with Sunscreen was in 2001. Before then, going out in the sun, rain, or even strong wind was normal, without any clue as to how the environment could affect my skin.
Growing up, my skin used to be one of my greatest beauty assets, as confirmed by people around me, especially during my college days. But by my mid-thirties I began to notice that my skin was no longer as supple, my skin tone no longer as even and no longer as bright as it used to be. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what it was.
How I Discovered Sunscreen
As usual, I went searching and my search brought me in contact with some facial creams labelled as containing different levels of SPF ranging from SPF 15 -120.
In my first ten years of discovering sunscreen, I juggled from one product to another: Mary Kay, Olay, Chanel, Garnier, Clarins, Lancome, Neutrogena, you name it, I just loved to experiment with products to compare their main ingredients for my skin type and adaptability.
I explored from SPF 15 to 70, before I finally got to my comfort zone, which is still where I am today, SPF 50. I love it because it’s not too harsh or too mild for my skin.
What Is SPF?
In the beauty or cosmetic industry, SPF which means Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect you from the burning rays of the sun. The numbers usually range from 15 to 120 and above, to help you make a smart choice.
Although not fully established, some school of thoughts believe that the higher the SPF number, the greater the amount of protection. I suggest everyone should use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or higher if the need arises.
Just like me back then, a lot of people are yet to know what a sunscreen is, if you, therefore, mention SPF, you have further complicated things. On many occasions, I find myself either recommending or explaining what a sunscreen is and why it’s a “must use” as part of a daily skin and facial routine.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a man, woman, or even a baby, as there are so many products around the world today with sunscreen, manufactured exclusively for babies and children. Early application of sunscreen is a form of prevention or antidote to future skin damage.
If your skin tone is dark, you may want to do without Sunscreen, since your melanin levels are higher than that of a light-skinned person. Melanin is what gives colour to our skin, hair and eyes, the darker the skin tone, the more protected from the ultraviolet rays of the sun a person is. However, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone regardless of skin colour should protect their skin by wearing sunscreen.
So get your own sunscreen after reading this article, you may even carry one around in your handbag, wallet or car pigeonhole, especially if you’re constantly outdoors.
You could suffer premature ageing or permanent skin damage as a result of overexposure to extremely harsh or hot weather. So many have resigned to fate and accepted these realities as part of their natural ageing process.
Yes, everyone will grow old as age begins to set in but I can confidently tell you that premature ageing is due to a number of factors, some of which we are going to be looking at in our future posts.
Benefits of Sunscreen
- Sunscreens help to prevent skin discolourations
- It protects from the harmful UV rays
- It prevents premature ageing
- Lowers the risk of skin cancer
- It helps your makeup to stay fresh and last longer
How to begin embracing the use of sunscreen
It’s important that you read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before applying sunscreen. I know you don’t want to experience skin irritations, so you may want to consult with your dermatologist or experiment with different brands and ingredients before adopting a permanent one or a particular SPF level or number as I did.
Secondly, allow your sunscreen to settle for about 20 minutes before you hit the streets.
And finally, as a warning, look out for the expiry date of any product before you apply such on your skin, worse still, an expired sunscreen may cause severe chemical burns and reactions.
What if You Don’t Like Sunscreen?
If you are skeptical about using sunscreen and you don’t like to use it at all, below are other recommended alternatives you can opt for:
- Avoid going outside between the hours of 10 am- 3 pm, as the sun rays are said to be strongest during this period.
- Avoid exposing your face directly to sunlight, put on a wide-brimmed hat if you are to go out in the sun.
- I advise you wear long sleeves when you go outdoors, preferably dark colours.
- Some sunglasses are UV filtered, these work better than regular sunglasses. Although they could be a bit costlier than the regular ones
- The use of Umbrellas is also not a bad idea
- Always look for a shade to protect yourself if you must stay outdoors
Thanks for reading, please leave your comments and questions below
Hi, I am a compulsive optimist passionate about the woman being a blessing to her family and her immediate and intermediate environment in all ramifications. I am happily married to Kingsley Uranta and blessed with two children, Bob and King. By the way, I am 53 years old.