Sunscreen (1) We are all aware of the effects that sunrays cause to our skin, if it is being exposed to them for too long. It only takes a few minutes of suns radiation being applied to protein in skins cells, to initiate tanning, which is actually the process of protein losing its organic essence. If we stay under the direct sunrays for too long, it will inevitably result in getting sunburn, on our part. In its turn, sunburn often initiates skin cancer. This is why healthcare specialists strongly advice people not to spend too much time outside, during the days when sunshine is especially intensive. Humans are capable of only seeing a fraction of colors spectrum.
Therefore, infrared and ultraviolet light remains invisible to us; however, it does not mean that it does not exist. The harmful effects of sunrays are associated with ultraviolet light. In its turn, this light can be divided into three categories: A, B and C. Ultraviolet C is the most harmful of all, because it has the shortest wavelength. However, it is being absorbed by the ozone layer in Earths atmosphere, which is why we do not need to be concerned about it. The situation with UV- A and UV-B is quite different. Up until recently, the UV-A with wavelength of 320-360nm was considered as being safe.
Only in the last couple of years scientists were able to prove that UV-A damages blood vessels and the connective tissues, which causes the effect of premature aging. Therefore, it needs to be avoided at all costs. UV-B has the wavelength of 280-320nm and it is associated with actual sunburns. As it was being mentioned earlier, it triggers the release of melanin into the skin, which causes its darkening. At the same time, small doses of UV-B radiation are necessary for the natural creation of Vitamin D in our bodies. Thus, it is wrong to associate suns radiation with harmful effects exclusively.
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In his article Vitamin D in a New Light, Donald Miller suggests that the role of UV-B cannot be underestimated, when it comes to supplying human organism with Vitamin D: Skin makes vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the sun. A light-skinned person will synthesize 20,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D in 20 minutes sunbathing on a Caribbean beach (Miller).
Many scientists also suggest that there are more effects of UV-A on human body that had not been fully realized yet. It would be only logical to conclude that some of them are actually beneficial. There can be no doubt that suns radiation needs to remain a subject of further studies, even though it is time-consuming process. As for now, we can say that, even though people must be very careful, when it comes to sun tanning, there is also no need to get panicky about the prospects of developing a skin cancer, as the logical consequence of spending a lot of time outside. (2) The term sunscreen can be referred to the variety of products that are meant to protect skin from suns ultraviolet radiation.
They allow people to spend long hours under direct sunrays, without the fear of getting a sunburn. Therefore, we can say that sunscreens most important purpose is to prevent suns radiation from negatively affecting our health. Sunscreens reduce the damaging effects of sun exposure and prevent skins increased pigmentation. This is being done in two ways reflecting UV light or absorbing it, after it is being dissipated as heat. The majority of people use sunscreens for very practical purposes. However, sunscreens also represent a cosmetic appeal, since some of them still allow individual to get a healthy suntan, without being overly concerned about the harmful effects of suns radiation. In recent years, it is being suggested that the reason why people buy sunscreens is mostly psychological, as it provides them with a false sense of security.
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This might very well be the case, but there is no doubt that sunscreens are highly demanded products, especially, during the summer, therefore, it is most likely that more and more people are going to become sunscreens users in the future. (2) Usually, sunscreens come in the form of lotion or spray. The origins of sunscreens can be traced back to 1938, when German chemist Franz Greiter suggested that it possible to protect skin from UV radiation with the mean of applying to it a specially designed lotion. However, it was not up until 1944 that the first commercially produced sunscreen Red Vet Pet became available to the public. It was based on the principle of sunrays physical blocking. During the Pacific War, many American soldiers were getting sunburns, because of being overexposed to the tropical sun. Red Vet Pet lotion was able to relieve their sufferings, even though that it had nothing in common with the sunscreen lotion, in contemporary sense of this word.
Red Vet Pet was a bad smelling sticky substance, which reminded petroleum jelly. As time went by, sunscreens continued to be improved; however, they were not a subject of pharmaceutical rules and regulations until seventies, when the labeling of sun protection factor was introduced in America. At the beginning of nineties, there was a big controversy surrounding sunscreens, because scientific studies, conducted in Australia, showed that there was a link between people being diagnosed with melanoma and their dependency on usage of sunscreens. However, studies conducted by pharmaceutical companies, proved that it had nothing to do with the reality. The reason why people were complaining about the ineffectiveness of sunscreen lotions in nineties, was the fact that majority of these lotions did not contain the ingredients that are now being considered as the most effective blockers of UV-A and UV-B radiation. Stephen Beck in his article The History of Sunscreen Skin Care provides us with an insight on what chemical elements need to be included in sunscreens formula, in order to make it truly effective: It was not until the middle of the 1990’s when ultramicronized zinc and titanium oxide was incorporated in many Sunscreens. Unfortunately, these products containing zinc oxide and titanium oxide are still not as cosmetically acceptable as the formulations that do not contain then (Beck).
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Thus, we can say that modern sunscreens can be generally divided into two categories chemical or recreational, which are more cosmetically friendly, and physical or industrial, which offer a greater degree of protection (3) Physical sunscreens are meant to be mostly used by people, for whom spending long hours under the scorching sun is not the matter of choice. Unlike chemical sunscreens, they are effective, when it comes to protecting the skin from both: UV-A and UV-B. These sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. One of the most important advantages of physical sunscreens is that they rarely cause skin irritation, because their active elements are not being absorbed by it. Among the most popular physical sunscreens are: 1) Aubrey Organics Sun Shade Ultra 15, which contains Titanium Dioxide and Padimate, as active ingredients, and birch extract, which improves skins texture, 2) California Baby No Fragrance SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion, which also contains Titanium Dioxide and which is especially designed to be used by children, 3) Alba Botanica Sunscreen SPF 18, which contains Octocylene, Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone-3, Octyl Salicylate and Avobenzone-Parsol, 4) DDF Organic Sunblock SPF 30, which is meant to be applied to sensitive skin and which contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, 5) Jason Facial Block SPF 16, which is also a water resistant. There are many other physical blockers on the market and, it appears that they become more and more popular, as time goes by.
This is due to the fact that modern physical sunscreens do not leave a white residue on the skin, as it used to be the case as recent as ten years ago. Physical sunscreens do not require time to actually begin protecting the skin, after being applied to it. They have a greater psychological appeal to people, because the principle of how they work is easy to understand. Those who use them think of physical sunscreens in terms of a shield between the sun and skin, which is absolutely correct. (4) In her article Screen Play: When it Comes to Sunscreen, Should You Get Physical?, Rebekah George provides us with the insight on the essence of chemical sunscreens: Rather than reflecting the sun’s rays as physical screens do, chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and protect it from UV rays from within. They feel light, leave no noticeable film, and are generally available in higher levels of SPF than are physical sunscreens (George).
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The manufactures of chemical sunscreens recommend people to allow at least twenty minutes, before getting under direct sunrays, after they apply sunscreen to the skin, because most of chemical sunscreens are not being absorbed by the skin instantly.
They also suggest applying a very small amount of sunscreen for the first time, in order to make sure that it will not trigger an allergic reaction. The chemical sunscreens come in greater variety than physical ones, which can be explained by demands of the market. The most popular of them are: 1) Clinique Body SPF 15 Gel Sunscreen, which is both fragrance free and water resistant, 2) Good Skin All Calm Gentle Sunscreen SPF 25, which also contains reflecting elements, such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, 3) Shiseido Sun Protection Lotion SPF 18, which is being referred to by many people as the best of all chemical sunscreens, 3) Shiseido Sun Protection Lotion SPF 18, which contains silica powder to absorb sweat, 4) Oliva Nova Gel Sunscreen SPF 20, with Avobenzone and Benzophenone, 5) New Age Sunscreen SPF 15, which is the most affordable of all. Many controversies surround to the usage of chemical sunscreens. One of them is the fact that they trigger the ….