Sun protection

Sun protection

Sun protection helps to avoid acute and chronic UV damage. The term refers to preventive measures which include informing people of the risks and side effects of excessive exposure to the sun and teaching them the best way to behave in the sun.

There are three main pillars to sensibly dealing with exposure:

  • avoiding exposure to the sun during the midday hours,
  • textile sun protection, and
  • the use of sunscreen products.
     

The more vertical the sun’s position in the sky, the more intensive is the effect of the UVB rays which are responsible for sunburn and photocarcinogenesis (= cancer triggered by UV light). This is why one of the principals of prevention in our latitudes is the recommendation to strictly avoid the sun between 11 am and 1 pm in the summer months. 

This applies to everybody, but especially to people with a sensitivity to light, children, elderly people, people of sun types I and II, people suffering from photodermatosis (= a skin disorder caused by UV light) and those taking photosensitizing medicines (= medication that increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight). Babies in their first year of life should never be exposed to direct sunlight.

Avoiding exposure to the sun, or dealing with it sensibly, is recommended generally between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm. Measures include textile sun protection with clothing that guards against UV, a hat with a sufficiently wide brim (at least 7.5 cm) and sunglasses that filter UV, but which are not too darkly tinted. The UV filter qualities of textiles depend on the type of fibers they are made of, the density of their weave, their color, and how stretched and wet they are. The more densely a material is woven, the darker its color and the drier it is, the better it protects against UV.

Suitable sunscreen products should be applied to parts of the body that are freely exposed to the sun. Their bases (gel, milk, cream, spray, stick) should be appropriate to the respective skin type (dry skin, oily skin, etc.), the region of the body (extremely hairy areas, areas that catch the sun easily, such as the ears, nose, lips, etc.) and the purpose of their use (e.g. being out in water, snow, etc.). The sun-filtering properties of the sunscreen preparations should correspond to the individual sun type (sun types I – IV) and the purpose of their use (e.g. babies’ skin, being out in snow, water, etc.).

There are physical and chemical sun filters. Physical filters (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) work by reflecting and scattering UV, have broad-spectrum filter properties (UVA + UVB), and are particularly suitable for sensitive skin, babies’ and children’s skin, people with a sensitivity to light, areas that catch the sun easily, and people who suffer from contact allergies. Chemical filters work by absorbing UV. Depending on the absorption spectrum of the chemical substance, they can be divided into UVA, UVB or broad-spectrum filters.

Natural sunlight comprises UVB and UVA rays. Both ranges of radiation are responsible for adverse health effects, such as sunburn or UV-induced premature skin aging.

In accordance with the “Commission [of the European Communities] Recommendation of 22 September 2006 on the efficacy of sunscreen products and the claims made relating thereto“, sunscreen products should therefore protect against both ranges of radiation. All sunscreen products should offer UVA protection that is at least 1/3 of the sun protection factor specified.

  

COLIPA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association [the association of European cosmetics manufacturers]) has developed uniform labeling for sunscreen products that comply with the requirements of the Commission with regard to this minimum UVA protection, making it easier for consumers to select a product that protects against both UVB and UVA radiation. The labeling is a circle containing the letters “UVA”.

 

The efficacy of a sunscreen product is not only dependent on its base and the sun protection filter, but also on how frequently and in what quantities it is applied. The actual sun protection effect on the skin is roughly two to four times lower than specified in the SPF. So it should be ensured that the sun protection factors and application frequency and quantities are sufficiently high.

The skin’s period of natural protection cannot be extended by the use of sunscreen products. This protection period depends on the skin’s sun type and specifies the longest possible time the skin is protected against sunlight by its own natural protective functions or, in other words, how long it can be exposed to the sun without any other protection until a sunburn occurs. This also means that the length of sun protection, which is calculated from “the period of natural protection x the SPF of the sunscreen product” cannot continue to be extended by repeat applications. Repeated application maintains the protection, but does not extend the overall protection time with each application. The protective film should nevertheless be renewed after swimming or sweating, for example.

 

Overview of recommendations for exposing the skin to the sun:

  • Accustom the skin to the sun slowly – sunbathe in the shade initially.
  • Apply sunscreen – in a layer that is not too thin – 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
  • Avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm.
  • Always wear protective clothing, a sun hat and sunglasses.
  • Never expose children under the age of 1 to direct sunlight. Limit exposure considerably for children under 3 years of age. Older children should only be exposed to the sun if they are wearing a sunscreen with a very high SPF, a hat, sunglasses and textile sun protection – even in water.
  • Apply sunscreen products (corresponding to your skin and sun type) right away in the morning and at least 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Repeat application after 20 minutes.
  • Regularly repeat application, especially after bathing, severe sweating, and drying off your skin. Please note: clouds do not protect against UV rays.
  • Avoid staying out in the sun for too long, even if you have put on sunscreen.
  • You can still get a tan, even if you are wearing sunscreen with a high SPF and you stay in the shade. The advantage: a tan that is acquired slowly is maintained longer.
  • In the case of acute and repeated sunburn (especially in children), suspicious moles, and the formation of new skin lesions – that do not disappear – in areas exposed to light, we recommend that you consult a dermatologist.
  • There is a risk of pigmentation marks from exposure to the sun during pregnancy. 
  • Special UV protection is required if you are taking photosensitizing medication (please consult the package leaflet) and in the case of photodermatosis. Please obtain detailed information in plenty of time.
  • Drink a sufficient amount of fluids.

 

DADO SENS care recommendation:

  • Dry skin:

Sun Lotion SPF 30Sun Cream SPF 50

  • Oily skin, allergies:  

Sun Gel SPF 15Sun Gel SPF 25After Sun Gel

  • Children:

Sun Cream Kids SPF 30