· By Mary Ware
Think You Don’t Need Sunscreen? Think Again…
Do you have dark spots from acne or excessive exposure to sunlight? Then this short read is what you need to learn how to fade those spots, leaving your skin blemish free.
Before we proceed, I will walk you through some definitions to help you accurately grasp the content that I’m about to share.
Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots?
Hyperpigmentation refers to a condition whereby the skin is unevenly darkened or discolored due to some factors like excessive exposure to the sunlight (sunburn), scarring from stubborn breakout, discoloration caused by a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, skin rashes, and many more. The primary culprit is exposing the skin to sun rays without sunscreen.
Now, let’s take a look at the different sun rays and their effect on the skin.
Types of Sun Rays
- UVA (315 to 400nm) – This type of sun rays reaches the earth the strongest. You don’t feel them, but they are responsible for aggravating the effect of free radicals, destroying vital cells in the body (including the skin cells).
Although they are weaker than the UVB rays, UVA rays can penetrate through glasses and anything that reflects. So, you’re not safe from them even if you’re in a car. Prolonged exposure to UVA can lead to melanoma (skin cancer).
- UVB (280 to 315 nm) – Most UVB rays are blocked by the ozone layer – only a fraction finds its way to the earth. But with the depletion in the strength of the layer, you need to be more worried about your skin.
UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, abnormal growth pattern, and mutations.
- UVC (100 to 280 nm) – The ozone layer filters all UVC rays, and non reaches the earth’s surface.
How Sun Affects Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation
When the skin suffers from sunburn, rashes, scar from acne, eczema or psoriasis, or skin rashes, signals are sent to the melanocytes (the skin cells that determines the skin and hair color) to produce more cells. These cells find their way to the epidermis, covering the affected area, which then results in dark spots and skin discoloration. The dark spot and skin discoloration are both called hyperpigmentation.
Consistently exposing your hyperpigmentation to sunlight will make them harder to eliminate because as the UVA and UVB strike the affected, unprotected area, consistent signals are sent to the melanocytes to keep pumping out cells, leading to a severe, difficult-to-eliminate condition.
But don’t fret, all you need is to shield your skin is a great SPF.
Sun Protecting Factor (SPF)
Before stepping outside into the sun, or sitting by the window, you should make it a daily habit of applying a minimum of SPF 30 layer of protection – in the form of spray or cream – on your skin. What this will do is to deflect the harmful rays from penetrating into your skin.
Natural Products With Higher SPF You Should Have in Your Home
- Shea Butter – This natural, non-comedogenic butter has a higher SPF that is sure to protect your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. When combined with other natural SPF ingredients like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, you can further increase the protection, lasting for hours.
- Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide – Designed to deflect the harmful sun rays, having any or the combination in your sun protection product is highly recommended.
Other Sun Protecting Ingredients
- Coconut Oil – SPF 10
- Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 20
- Soybean Oil – SPF 10
- Wheat Germ Oil – SPF 20
Bottom line: hyperpigmentation is bound to happen. But the time you spend eliminating it depends solely on you.