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I recently attended the event ‘A Date with Beauty’organized by Femina Magazine and Lancome Paris. The full post on my experience can be read HERE. The following is an excerpt from the lecture and Question & Answer session with Dr. Varun Katyal who is the Head Dermatologist of Lancome India. The main focus of the discussion was on sun protection and anti-ageing skin care.
How do the sun rays damage the skin?
The component of sun’s rays that cause damage to the skin are UV or Ultra Violet rays. These are of 3 types- UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC are filtered by the earth’s atmosphere and thus don’t reach the surface but UVA and UVB pass through and reach the surface.
UVA rays have stronger penetration power and cause Ageing (hence, the A) i.e the breakdown of skins proteins like collagen. The term ‘PA++’ or ‘PA+++’ on products denotes that the product provides protection from UVA rays. The ++ or +++ denotes the strength of protection.
UVB rays are the ones responsible for Burning or tanning of the skin. These rays stimulate production of Melanin, which causes darkening of the skin. The term ‘SPF’ (Sun protection factor) on products denotes protection from UVB rays. The no. next to the SPF indicated the time duration for which the protection lasts, not the efficiency of the product. Most people get tanned in the sun in 10-15 minutes without sunscreen/sunblock. For example, if I take 10 minutes to tan, an SPF 30 sunscreen will provide me 30 x 10 = 300 min of protection from UVB rays and an SPF 50 will provide 50 x 30 min of protection. Thus for the first 300 min, both SPF 30 and SPF 50 will give me equally good protection.
What are the things to keep in mind while choosing a sunscreen ?
We need protection from UVA as well as UVB rays. Thus one should look out for not only an SPF of at least 30 (if you are going to be stepping outside for half an hour or more) but also the terms ‘PA++’ or ‘PA+++’. Apart from this, the texture of the sunscreen is important too. Dry skinned women should choose a richer, cream based sunscreen while oily skinned women should go for light weight lotion or gel type sunscreens.
What is the correct way to apply sunscreen ?
Sunscreen should be the last skin care product to be applied. Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Moisturizer- all skin care products should be applied prior to applying sunscreen and all makeup products should be applied over sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied on dry skin since water/sweat reduces the efficiency of sunscreen during time of application. Sunscreen should be applied 20-25 minutes before sun exposure. Make sure to apply sunscreen in a well-ventilated environment so that you do not swear/perspire for those 20 min after application.
How and when to reapply sunscreen ?
If you are outside, sunscreen should be applied every 2-3 hours. For reapplying, cleanse face of dirt, sweat, sebum and makeup residue using a wet wipe, pat face dry and then apply sunscreen. Follow up with compact (if you need to) 2-3 min after applying sunscreen.
Do moisturizers/makeup products with SPF work equally well as sunscreen?
Moisturizers with SPF work equally as well as sunscreen ONLY IF they also contain protection from UVA rays i.e PA ++ protection. So if your moisturizer/foundation contains SPF as well as PA++ factor, you can skip sunscreen if you won’t be stepping outside.
Do I need to use sunscreen indoors?
Yes, the sun’s rays reach indoors too and while the damage may not be as bad as compared to direct outside exposure to the sun, one still needs sun protection when indoors.
How to use sunscreen before swimming ?
Swimming can cause a lot of sun damage since the chlorine present in water accelerates sun damage. The ideal way to use sunscreen is to apply a water resistant, high SPF sunscreen at least 20-25 min before stepping into the water. After coming out from the water, wash the skin with soap immediately, wipe dry with a clean towel and reapply sunscreen.
What is the ideal age to start anti-ageing skin care routine?
It is a fact that with increased pollution, stress levels and lifestyle hazards, ageing sets in an earlier age as compared to 20 years ago. Ageing starts in the 20s and the right age to start an anti-ageing routine is 25 years. Dry skinned women can use creams as well as serums but oilier skin types should opt for serums since thick creams can cause breakouts.
Why do I need to use night cream?
Our skin is constant losing water though perspiration (even when there is not visible sweat). Since in the night time, the body is not taking in any water, the hydration level does down which is why we need to moisturize skin well before bedtime. Also, repair of the skin takes place as we rest and night creams provide the ingredients for repair and replenishment of moisture to the skin.
How can I reduce pore size ?
Unfortunately, pore size is genetically determined and cannot be changed but the appearance can be changed. Pores can appear larger and more unsightly when they are clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin. Hence, its important to use a good cleanser to clean the pores thoroughly . Cleansing must be followed by toning- which further cleans the pores and tightens them to an extent . The other reason for pores appearing larger is loss of elasticity of skin with age. Use of the right anti-ageing products can delay the loss of elasticity.
Basics of EYE CARE
The skin around the eyes is 6 times thinner than the skin on the rest of the face. Moreover, there are no oil glands around the skin which makes it more prone to dryness. Under eye circles are mainly due to Lifestyle factors, Genetic factors and age (hormonal changes). Sometimes there could be more pigmentation under the eyes because of deficiency of Iron and certain Vitamins.
To keep the under eye skin healthy and pigmentation-free, it is very important to moisturize this area at least twice a day with an eye cream. Also, sleep 6-8 hours everyday and maintain a healthy wholesome diet.
I found this session very insightful and I got an opportunity to clarify many of my doubts regarding skin care.
Hope you found it useful too