Sunscreens are available in four different levels of protection: low (factor 6 to 10), medium (15 to 25), high (30 to 50) and very high (50+). The higher the protection factor the better your skin is protected, but it’s important to apply the product thoroughly (be careful not to miss any bits) and to reapply it generously every two hours.
Sensitive skin has a weakened protective barrier. It is less able to bind in the moisture that it needs and is more vulnerable to external irritants. One of those external irritants is the sun’s rays which cause skin to dry out further and become red and irritable. Sensitive skin benefits from sun protection that has been specially formulated to soothe as well as protect.
UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of skin. They stimulate the production of free radicals in the skin which cause oxidative stress and can lead to indirect DNA damage (where the free radicals modify cellular DNA over time). UVA rays are most commonly associated with photoaging (premature skin aging caused by the sun). They can also trigger sun allergies such as Polymorphous Light Eruption (PLE). UVB rays can also provoke allergies, but to a lesser degree.
UVB rays provide the energy your skin needs to make Vitamin D and stimulate the production of melanin which is responsible for tanning. They don’t travel as deeply as UVA rays, penetrating only the outermost layers of skin, but they cause more immediate damage such as sunburn. UVB rays are directly absorbed by cellular DNA and this can lead to skin diseases such as actinic keratosis and skin cancer.
Both types of UV can induce hyperpigmentation and may contribute to conditions such as sun spots (also known as age spots) and melasma.
The sunlight spectrum consists of UV, visible and infrared light. Visible sunlight can be detected by the human eye, while the others remain invisible. Part of this visible spectrum has a high energy level and is known as high-energy visible light. It is also referred to as HEVIS light, HEV Light, HEVL and sometimes ‘blue light’ or ‘blue violet light’
Like UVA rays, HEVIS light penetrates the deeper layers of skin (the dermis) and can generate free radicals. These free radicals are one of the main causes of photoaging (premature skin aging caused by the sun). They interfere with skin cells and break down the collagen and elastin that gives our skin its plump, youthful appearance. HEVIS light has also been linked to uneven skin pigmentation and melasma.
Many modern sunscreens offer effective protection against UVA and UVB rays, but we recommend that you look out for products that also defend against the negative effects of HEVIS light. These products will give your skin reliable protection from photoagingand, in the long run, can also help to combat visible signs of skin aging.
The Eucerin ‘Anti-Stain After Wash’ technology helps to reduce the intensity of sunscreen stains after washing.
The yellow stains that appear on clothes, especially cottons, after using sunscreen products are caused by UV filters. The washing process can make these stains worse rather than remove them: the iron and copper ions in water, when combined with very hot water and bleaching agents, can actually bind-in and intensify the stains.
Eucerin’s ‘Anti-Stain After Wash’ technology works in two ways. Firstly, it contains a protective shield that prevents so much of the filter from binding with the fabric in the first place. Secondly, it contains a complexing agent that binds with the ions in water so they are less able to intensify stains when clothes are washed.