UV (ultraviolet) light is a kind of radiation emanating from the Sun, and it pertains to the non-ionizing variety. UV light has a few advantages, especially in terms of providing the all-important vitamin D to people. This particular vitamin immensely contributes to health. Yet, it must be highlighted that the health hazards associated with exposure to UV radiation are quite alarming.
• Exposure to ultraviolet radiation makes a person more vulnerable to sunburn.
• Prolonged exposure to UV light escalates the risk of developing skin cancer.
• An individual’s susceptibility to many diseases of the eye drastically increases due to such exposure. And, some of these conditions could lead to blindness, too.
It is indispensable that sunblocks and sunscreens are used by people for whom exposure to the Sun can’t be avoided.
Sunblocks and how they differ from sunscreens
Products offering protection against UV rays belong to two categories: Sunblocks and sunscreens. Though both these safeguard the skin against UV radiation, sunblocks are slightly more advantageous than sunscreens. Let’s now succinctly focus on some important points emphasizing sunblock products.
• Sunblocks, which include substances like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, play the crucial role of actually obstructing the UV light from going through inside the skin. The UV rays are physically stopped. Sunscreens come loaded with chemicals such as oxybenzone and avobenzone, and they are slightly different from sunblocks. To be clearer, sunscreens take in ultraviolet light and transform it into heat. So, a sunblock completely obstructs the UV light, while sunscreen allows it to come in and then acts upon it in the required way.
• Sunblock can easily be noticed on the skin, whereas sunscreen lotions or creams get camouflaged with the skin.
• Both sunscreens and sunblocks are paramount when it’s the question of protecting skin from the dangers of UV radiation. Yet, it has been observed that people having delicate skin are better off opting for sunblock products. Generally, there are a few elements in sunscreens that can cause allergies and skin irritation. But, no such noticeable unpleasant effect has been observed, concerning the usage of sunblocks.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
SPF denotes the amount of ultraviolet radiation needed for sunburns to occur over skin having protection. This is about the UV radiation quantity sufficient to lead to sunburns on skin devoid of any safeguard.
• Many people hold on to a misconception. They say that the SPF of a sunscreen/ sunblock product directly stands for the extra time that can be spent under the Sun without getting sunburned. For example, a product having 15 as its SPF is mistakenly believed to keep a person protected for a time span that is longer by 15 times. That is in comparison to the duration for which unprotected skin can be free from sunburn.
• The actual UV radiation that gets absorbed is heavily dependent on other factors, too. These consist of the type of skin, the quantity of lotion/ cream smeared, and the precise climatic conditions present.
• A pivotal point needs to be specifically noted. There is a striking difference between the amount of UV radiation to which a person gets exposed early in the morning and afternoon.
• However, there is no doubt that sunblock/ sunscreen products carrying a higher SPF offer enhanced protection when compared with their counterparts with lower SPF.
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