How To Choose A Sunscreen For People With Age Spots And Dark Skin

August 22, 2010

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Sunlight can cause dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This is in a way that prolonged exposure to the sun can aggravate the effects of age spots and pigmentation of the skin.   This happens when the skin absorbs too much ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D production is induced by ultraviolet rays. Some side effects of ultraviolet rays on skin include skin damage and aging of skin.

An effective answer against the sun’s harmful rays is using sunscreen. Sunscreens work by reflecting or absorbing the extra UV rays that the body doesn’t require. Sunscreens specifically block two kinds of UV rays, the UVA and UVB. UVA can cause skin cancer to progress, on the other hand, UVB is the one that causes sunburn. The problem against sunscreens is its unbalanced protection, when UVA is disregarded and UVB is blocked, which can cause more skin damage. In picking the best sunscreen, especially for people who already have age spots and hyperpigmentation, what should be put in mind?

First, you have to determine your skin type. There are 6 skin types according to Fitzpatrick (1975).

Type I         (1-5 von Luschan scale) very light (celtic/Nordic)

Type II    (6-10 von Luschan scale) light

Type III    (11-15 von Luschan scale) light intermediate, dark skinned European

Type IV    (16-21 von Luschan scale) dark intermediate, Mediterranean

Type V        (22-28 von Luschan scale) dark/ brown type

Type IV    (29-36 von Luschan scale) very dark/black

After that, list down all the things you’ll be doing that will need the use of sunscreen. After that, you can decide on what brand or type of sunscreen you will buy or use.   But another thing to consider is its SPF. The Sun Protection Factor determines how much protection a sunscreen can provide the user.   In most countries, SPF levels ranges up to SPF 50. The effectiveness of sunscreens also depend on its components so look for avobenzone, ecamsule and zinc oxide on the ingredients list of your sunscreen.

Sunscreens also come in many forms, be it gel, lotion or creams. There are also whitening lotions that contain SPF, although they are not as effective as true sunscreens. But it is best to use plain sunscreen for best protection. It would depend on your preferences on what could be the best sunscreen for you and your age spots.

However, it must be put in mind that sunscreens are not the treatment for age spots and pigmentation. They only provide protection from the harmful rays of the sun and prevent them from getting worse. If you want to totally get rid of your age spots or hyperpigmented skin, then consulting a dermatologist is recommended.

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