Monday, July 25, 2016

Sun protection and Sunscreens Comparison

Assalamualaikum and Hi!
Today I want to talk about sun protection. As we known, UV rays from the sun cause damage for the skin. Long exposure to the sun without protection can make your skin burns or tan. For long term effect, you will see aging spot and wrinkles on your skin. UV rays have 3 types : UVA, UVB, UVC. UVA has the longest wavelength that can penetrate into the skin layer and cause damage inside the skin, the culprit of aging skin. UVB just cause damage on the surface of the skin that makes our skin burn and/or tan. UVC gets filtered by the ozone layer so you don't have to worry by this type of UV (unless your country has some hole in ozone layer or you stay at Mt. Everest). UV rays also can cause hyper pigmentation, worsening scar and lastly can lead to skin cancer. Just assume that UV rays can disrupt in skin repairing.

UV rays and sun protection depends on country climate we live in. Our skin color/tone also play role in protecting our skin. Fitzpatrick stated fairer skin (Type I-III) has higher chance to burns easily rarely tans, while darker skin (Type IV-VI) has higher chance to tan easily but rarely burns (source). I am consider myself in darker skin category Type IV.
For a Malaysian, we've been told that the sun is healthy, yeah it is healthy before 10pm. I advice you to get sun exposure about 10-20 minutes only. After 11pm, the uv index getting higher, the maximum uv index gets usually at 1-2pm.

UVA and UVB protection
When you buy a sunblock, make sure the label stated for the both protection. The number of SPF is just for the UVB protection. UVB is measured by multiplying SPF with the length of times taken for an individual's skin start to burns without sunscreen. For UVA protection you can see the PA or PPD ratings. Since I am living in Southeast Asian, I am used to PA ratings. I have never seen PPD ratings so far. More '+' on PA, more protection are prepared. PA ratings are used mostly by East Asian Country. In Europe, they used PPD ( I haven't use EU brand) and UVA seal. Take note that UVA can get through glasses and window. Please wear sunscreen indoor.

There are two types of sunscreen: Physical and Chemical. Physical sunblock ususally have zinc oxide and/or titanum dioxide. Zinc oxide dan titanium dioxide can protect from both UVA and UVB by reflecting the UV. Chemical filters works by absorbing the UV rays then turn them to heat energy. These are some examples of chemical filters:
UVA: Avobenzone, Tinosorb S, Tinosorb M, Mexoryl SX, Mexory XL etc
UVB: Octinoxate, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Uvinul T 150, Cinoxate, etc
You can find the rest filters at Skinacea.
To make chemical sunblock works, you should wait for 15-30 minutes before the sun exposure. Physical filters works just after the application. There are mix chemical and physical sunblock in the market, you also can go out right after the application.

Ouyang et al. (source) stated we have to applied 2mg/cm^2 on the skin to get the SPF protection that have stated on a product. If a sunscreen has SPF 50 and we just applied 1mg/cm^2, we just getting SPF26 for sun protection. Ok, it is not that bad. Maybe it is difficult to control the amount, just make sure the sunscreen lotion cover all skin area. Some sunscreen may turn greasy if we applied too much. Stop applying too much, apply the appropriate amount and reapply after 2-3 hours. This amount suggested are just applied to chemical filters. Physical sunblock might be stronger than chemical sunblock. So, you don't have to applied it too much to your skin, as long you reapply when expose to the sun.

My Experience & Review
Before I discuss my review, I would like to emphasize again, I have dehydrated oily-skin, which is really dry inside and oily outside. I live in Malaysia, a tropical climate country which is humid and summer all year round. My first sunblock is a physical+chemical sunblock which is Sunplay Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk spf 50.

I don't have the ingredients because I already threw out the packaging. you can refer the ingredients here. Has both physical and chemical filters. This is the best formulation so far without alcohol and fragrance. The bad thing is this sunscreen was not comfortable on skin. Maybe it is too oily for me and it become greasy after a few hours if I stay expose to the sun. I used this when I wasn't aware of skincare. I did not remove this with makeup remover, I used cetaphil to washed my face and used apple cider vinegar as a toner (OMG! Sorry for my ignorance). I would like to buy and try again since my skincare routines are quite stable now.

I want to make comparison between this three sunscreens. I just realized all are in blue color tubes, yeah, I loike blue.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF50+ PA+++
This one has cream to gel like texture. Like a fluffy feeling. It is not oily but it can become greasy if you don't wait about 15-30 minutes before sun exposure/applying makeup.

Nuetrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF50+ PA++ ingredients
From the ingredients, we can tell that this is fully chemical sunblock. It has UVB filters: homosolate, ethylexyl salicylate, UVA filters: butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane(Avobenzone). Octocrylene filtered both UVB and UVA. It has strong smell but it is not fragrance smell. Even if you applied by hand, the smell will still linger on your hands until the end of the day. I have this sunblock since last year. It is stated waterproof. Well, it is waterproof but not that strong. This is good for daily wear and outdoor activities if you keep wiping your face and reapplied afterwards.

i) the product comes out like fluffy creamy gel like texture. ii) spread out on the skin's surface. iii) blended into the skin.
It has no whitecast. But I can see a bit temporary brightening effect when I just applied it on my face. This 88ml products cost RM38~$9. This is value for money and affordable. My final verdict, this is good sunblock. I wear this everyday currently. I want to repurchase but I have 2 new unused sunblock waiting for me.

Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA++++
If you spent most of the time outdoors, this is totally for you. A few Malaysians love this so much, they even using this as a daily sunblock. For nonsensitive skin, this is no problem for you. I got breakout and my skin was too dry when I used this by following the rule 2mg/cm^2. But when I just applied minimally, it feels good on my skin.

Biore UV Perfect Milk SPF50 PA++++ ingredients 
From the ingredients, this is mixture of physical and chemical sunblock. UV filters: Zinc Oxide (physical filter), elthexyl methoxycinnamate (chemical UVB filter). Oh, it is just 2 filters.

i) the product is quite runny on my hand. ii) spread out on my skin. iii) blended with my skin
Actually, it has whitecast, but the photo didn't show any whitecast. Sorry, my camera quite bad. Price for 40ml cost RM27++. Around $7. If you follow 2mg/cm^2 rules, you might feel this is too much. But who the hell applied physical sunblock with 2mg/cm^2 rules? Many people replace this as a primer because of the mattifying effect. This sunscreen is ok for me. It will be the best without alcohol and fragrance. My skin don't have quite good relationship with alcohol and fragrance.

Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel SPF50+ PA++++
Finally, this is my favourite brand. But this sunscreen is my least favourite. Most my skincare regime consists hada labo products, from 1st cleanser to moisturiser. This is the only brand that has formulation without alcohol, fragrance and colorant. Well, not totally free from alcohol.

Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel SPF50+ PA++++ ingredients
This sunscreen type is mixture of physical and chemical sunscreen. I think more like chemical because titanium dioxide is kind of negligible. It has Octinoxate (UVB filter), Tinosorb S (UVB and UVA filter), Uvinul A Plus (UVA filter) and Titanium Dioxide (UVB and UVA filter). Of course it's focus on moisturizing effect. I can say I can't wear this as daily sunscreen. If I want to wear this, I should put a matte make up base over it. This one is better as an occlusive moisturiser than a sunscreen. It is really good for indoor. When I am out to the sun exposure, it melt. So, if you spent your time in airconditioner space or in a dry/cold country, this is good to go.

i) Product is like a gel texture with white color. ii) Spreout out on to my skin. iii) Blended in with my skin.
Hada Labo has their own sunscreen line (Air Aqua UV). Perfect UV Gel is not that strong to wear in hot and humid area. It is nonwaterproof. I am surprise this is the most expensive between the 3. 50g cost about RM50~$12. 1g for RM1. Bravo! You can see at the third picture, my hand is so moisturizing-looking. Thanks to hyaluronic acids.

How to reapply?
Since I am a Muslim, I don't have issue in reapplying sunscreen. Because we have times during prayer time which at lunch (for Malaysian time). To perform prayer, we need to take wudu (ablution) first. Hands, face, head and feet are the compulsory part we should wash during ablution.

This is the diagram if you want to understand (cr: google; keyword: ablution).
Water must be contact with all the part of the skin required. To make sure water must be contact with facial skin, makeup remover is useful for this job. 1st cleanser is not suitable to use. Avoid cleansing oils, because you required 2nd cleanser to wash off the residue of the oils. I suggest using cleansing water/micellar water because it's very mild and not required 2nd cleanser (means a mild standalone cleanser). After ablution, we can put sunscreen then makeup and pray. Or we pray first and then put sunscreen and makeup. We already used to it, it is not hard for us.

If you live in 4 seasons country, the time may changing. So, try remove sunscreen with micellar water or any hydrating makeup remover about 5hours gap. Then, reapply sunscreen.

Whoever and where ever you are, try make sunscreen as a compulsory habit if you have issue with your skin. Sunscreen might work for solving your issues. I don't want to say sunscreen is protecting us from UV rays 100%. You can choose not to wear sunscreen but stay away from the sun. Wearing long sleeve shirt. The best sun protector are clothes (include hats and caps) and shades.

Whew! This is such a long post. I guess I just stop here, before that here my cats:

Are you done? We are tired of your long post.
Ok, I am done. Here for more information about sun protection:
Vanityrex Part 1 Part 2
Onwrinkleandrosacea Part 1 Part 2
Skinacea: UVfilters

Adios. See you for another post. Goodbye. Salam~

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