When it comes to the largest organ of the human body, prevention is key. Protection against harmful solar radiation and sticking to a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in keeping your skin radiant and soft. A daily skincare routine is a vital part of a beauty regimen if you want to prevent photoaging, or the cumulative damage done by exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
There are two types of UV radiation that cause injury to the epidermis: UVA and UVB. UVA rays create fine lines, wrinkles, and penetrate deep into the skin, damaging the dermis and causing photoaging. UVB rays are largely responsible for sunburns and may also cause the formation of freckles, dark spots, and precancerous or cancerous lesions.
No, that's not an egg yolk.
Before you wrap yourself up in a suit of armor, know that the cosmetic and medical risks posed by UV radiation can be mitigated through the use of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value of at least 15.
He used SPF 40+, though, right? Well, we'll get to that.
Poor guy was basically turned into a lobster.
One of the problems here is that our fearless Redditor didn't really grasp the limitations of sunscreen. He'd have been well-advised to wear a hat and a long-sleeved shirt as well.
But, as with all wounds, time slowly began to heal him...
Ouch. Ouch. OUCH.
So What Does SPF Mean?
SPF numbers can be thought of in two ways: protection time and percentage value. Both have to do with UVB rays, though a broad-spectrum sunscreen will help protect against both types. The SPF can be multiplied by the average number in minutes that it takes your unprotected skin to redden in the sun. If it usually takes 15 minutes, then wearing SPF 15 should allow you to remain in the sun 225 minutes — just under four hours — before starting to burn. If you sweat, go swimming, or shower, you'll have to reapply it: There is no product that is reliably "waterproof."
The rule is: if you don't stay dry, reapply.
... though he had to seek professional medical treatment.
Another way to understand SPF is by the percentage of UVB rays that are blocked. A rough guide is that SPF 15 blocks around 93 percent, SPF 30 97 percent, and SPF 50 about 98 percent.
More of the aftermath. Don't let this happen to you.
Take note: there is no sunscreen that provides 100% protection. Don't be fooled by products with super high SPF numbers. The safest bet is to go for a broad spectrum SPF 30 and reapply it every few hours.
If you're very fair, you should limit the time you spend outdoors, particularly in the afternoon when UV radiation is highest, and cover up with clothing as well as sunscreen.
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