PSA: Your sun-drenched weekend plans are calling! Bathing in the summer season’s all-around wonderfulness and soaking up the sun’s Vitamin D-blessing rays is pretty much all we can think about right now. However, being sun-smart humans that we are, we know the only way to relish the season’s bright and skin-warming weather is with an ample dose of sun protection slathered on every last millimeter of our skin.
That said, there exists a commonly held idea that wearing sunscreen blocks Vitamin D from being synthesised in the skin. According to the latest research, the health risks of skipping SPF far outweigh any possible benefits. So we tapped Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist, Dr. Chytra V Anand to investigate if we are compromising on our Vit D intake by applying sunscreen. Scroll on to get the scoop.
‘Sunscreen does not compromise Vitamin D level absorption,’ says Dr. Chytra V Anand. Vitamin D absorption happens mainly from the skin in our arms not so much on our face. Even when you put the sunscreen on your face and your arms, it’s a 97% block, still 3% of light that gets through your skin is enough to stimulate Vitamin D production in our skin. You don’t need to be sitting outdoor without sunscreen for Vitamin D production. Saying that Indians are generally prone to Vitamin D deficiency, it is not to do with less sun exposure or colour in our skin but it’s related to enzyme processes. Hence, Vitamin D nourishment in terms of supplements are always advised by dermatologists.
“When the UV rays from the sun hit our skin, it causes free radical damage by releasing them into the skin. The free radicals then go on to release scavenger molecules which attach themselves to healthy skin cells. These scavenger molecules are responsible for causing the disintegration of healthy skin cells which leads to premature aging, sun spots, and pigmentation,” explains Dr. Chytra Anand. Along with that, UV radiation also excites the skin cells because of the irritation and damage, which leads to increased skin cell production, including pigmentary cells or the melanin cells, which leads to hyperpigmentation and melasma exacerbation.
Look for the term broad spectrum when you’re choosing your sunscreen. As we know there are two types of sun rays i.e., UVA and UVB. UVA rays are responsible for causing age spots and wrinkles while UVB causes burning. Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection against both kinds. Look for sunscreens that have built-in Vitamin C, because Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent signs of aging. If you’ve acne-prone skin, it’s important to check if the product is non-comedogenic. The term non-comedogenic is labeled on all skincare products that are tested and proven to cause none-to-minimal pore blockage. They are less likely to clog pores, hence resulting in lower chances of breakouts. PA+ basically refers to the amount of protection grade the sunscreen offers against the harmful UVA rays. From low to extremely high – the rating differs. If you’re buying a sunscreen, anything with PA++++ offers high protection and is good enough.
An SPF a day keeps the wrinkles away!
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