Protection index, skin difference, harmful products … How to choose a sunscreen?

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According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, more than 80% of skin cancers are linked to excessive sun exposure. As we head out from a particularly sunny May, summer can announce the same results. In order to properly protect you, Medidispatch It gives you some tips for choosing the right sunscreen.

If temperatures and sunlight really hit record levels in the spring, the phenomenon could happen again this summer. Like every year, many of you wonder what kind of sunscreen to choose. While we are talking about products that are potentially carcinogenic and/or harmful to health, this decision should not be taken lightly. To help you make the right choice, Medidispatch It gives you some tips and advice for choosing the right sunscreen. The goal: to protect your skin and your health, too.

Check Security Index

The first point to focus on before buying a sunscreen: the protection factor. The latter evaluates the ability of the product to delay the aggression of ultraviolet rays (responsible for sunburn). The higher the indicator, the higher the protection. The Ministry of Economy, in a memo aimed at guiding consumers in purchasing sunscreen, lists the latter and how effective they are.

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Indicators ranging from 6 to 10 are therefore considered “low protection”, “medium protection” for indices from 15 to 25, “high protection” from 30 to 50 and “very high protection” for indicators ranging from 50 and more. Your choice should be adapted to the sensitivity of your skin. Note that the UFC-Que Choisir recalls that “no cream filters out 100% of the sun’s UV rays.”

Good to know: The indications 6, 10, 15, 30 or 50 written on sunscreens are a doubling factor for the time before sunburn. “This means that with an index of 30, it would take 300 minutes to get a sunburn that we would have experienced in ten minutes without protection,” explains Professor Christophe Bedan, Head of the Department of Dermatology at the University Hospital of Limoges. figaro.

Adapt the cream to your skin

Even if you go to the same place with your friends, your skin will experience the effects of the sun differently. The National Consumer Institute (INC) has listed skin types and their sensitivity to sunlight. According to them, the skin of a person “extremely sensitive to the sun” can be distinguished by “milky white skin, freckles and red hair”. If you regularly get sunburned or have a history of skin cancer, you also fall into this category.

Conversely, resistant skin will have a “dark complexion that tans easily without getting sunburned at all,” according to the INC. In the first case, give preference to an indicator of 50+, and in the second, it should fulfill the purpose of 6-10 or 15-25.

Carcinogenic sunscreens?

Last year, a study by National Center for Scientific Research researchers revealed that some sun creams and day creams can develop a carcinogenic compound. Octocrylene, which is often used in these products, can turn into benzophenone, an endocrine disruptor that can pass through the skin.

“Normally, there are no other harmful compounds inside pharmacies sunscreens today, a pharmacist in Toulouse attests. The labs reformulated the active ingredients that were causing problems. Anyway in pharmacies! Then in large areas I don’t have any guarantee,” she continues.

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In short, skin cancer is now more likely to develop through excessive sun exposure than the use of sunscreen. The same Cancer Association recommends applying sunscreen regularly. If you’re still in doubt, why not try organic creams?

Think about the environment

There are sunscreens that want to respect the environment. For example, Biarritz Laboratories have developed organic products: “They use mineral, non-chemical screens inside their creams,” continues the pharmacist. In terms of protection, mineral filters usually don’t allow any UVA or UVB to pass through. With chemicals there is little that goes through,” she adds.

For its part, Avene products have been “eliminating reef-killing screens” by “developing formulas that respect the oceans.” Unfortunately, “there are very few labs that respect the environment. I personally know only two. There are still a lot of products that contain chemical filters that are harmful to corals,” says the pharmacist.

Apply the cream in large quantities

In general, we don’t put enough sunscreen on our skin. “It is recommended to apply a 2 mg/cm2 skin layer, equivalent to 6 teaspoons or half a ping-pong ball of sunscreen to an adult’s body,” confirms INC. The application should be made “every two hours” or “after each swim,” according to the pharmacist.

Applying sunscreen can be very important during long or no sun exposure. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, more than 80% of skin cancers are linked to excessive sun exposure “so be vigilant.

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