Prepare your skin in the sun: which sun cream to choose?

There are two simple but essential criteria to know when choosing your sunscreen:

  • The first criterion is: its phototype, that is to say, its complexion (to which one adds the color of the eyes and the hair). This is the ability of the skin to resist or not to burn UVB. Easy to rank among the five families.
  • The second criterion: the UV index, that is to say the intensity of solar radiation during the day and at the place where one is and potentially exposes oneself to the sun

Know your skin: what is your phototype?

Phototypes range from 1 to 6:

  • Phototype 1 : very white skin, light eyes, blond or red hair; the skin is likely to "burn" very easily (very frequent sunburns). The skin blushes and does not tan.
  • Phototype 2 : fair skin, fair hair, red or light chestnut, green or brown eyes ... significant risk of sunburn, light bronze.
  • Phototype 3 : "medium" skin, brown to brown hair, brown eyes ... The sunburns are occasional, the skin can tan gradually.
  • Phototype 4 : a matte skin, brown or black hair, brown or black eyes ... rare sunburns, bronze rather well.
  • Phototype 5 : a dark brown skin, black eyes, black hair ... "burns" very rarely and bronze a lot.
  • Phototype 6 : a person with black skin, black eyes, black hair. The skin is permanently pigmented.

What is your skin type?

Oily, dry, sensitive or normal skin: it is important to know your skin to provide the appropriate care. What is your skin type? Take the test!

Knowing the UV index: which UV index to choose for your skin?

The UV Index is broadcast daily by Solar Safety and ranges from 1 (low) to 9 (extreme). The value of this index is often indicated on the weather reports during the summer months, it can also be known by consulting weather sites.

The UV index varies depending on where you are. It is related to the position of the sun in the sky and the ozone layer that protects more or less according to its thickness in the day. It increases with altitude and reverberation (beach, sea, sand).

Our tip: Avoid exposure to the sun between noon and 4 pm (summer time). More specifically whenever your shadow is smaller than you.
Warning: in France, this recommendation is valid from April 15th to September 1st. The sun of May 1 is as intense as that of August 15 because the level of UV is the same.

According to the indices

Since the new European recommendations that simplify the classification of sunscreens, you will find creams with one of four levels of protection against UVB (radiation that burns and give sunburn):

  • Low (corresponding to indices 6, 8, 10),
  • Average (15, 20, 25),
  • High (30, 40, 50),
  • Very high (50+). This last index rated "SFP 50 +" is the strongest protection against UVB. Creams also protect UVA but to a lesser extent.

Our advices :

  • The "50+" protection is the only one recommended by dermatologists for clear phototypes.
  • People with duller skin (3 and 4) can start with "high" protections. And change according to the exposure. But for phototypes 4 and 5, we must continue to protect ourselves even when we have tanned skin, because tanning does not protect against aging skin.

And the total screen?

In fact, full screen sun creams do not exist! For the most cautious, no cream is enough. To be protective under the test conditions, we should put the cream very regularly and in large quantities. Because the product with filter oxidizes and performs its function only two hours.

A half-tube of cream should be applied to each exposure, while one tube is consumed per year on average. A ruin ! So, the only real parade in the sun is the jeans, the dark T-shirt and the hat, or the shade. And the good looks can be ensured by a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, a little sport and why not self - tanner.

Do you want to share, share your experience or ask a question? Appointment in our FORUMS Tanning and Sun or Skin Care!

Read also :

> Use sunscreen well.
> Cancers of the skin: how to avoid them?
> Eliminate skin stains
> Pregnant: watch out for the sun!

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