Is Your Sunblock Doing its Job?


Person applying sunblock sunscreen to hands

There has been a huge rise in skin cancer cases because of global warming and plenty of other environmental factors. According to the American Academy of Dermatology,It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Research estimates that non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affects more than 3 million Americans a year.” People have been using sunscreen and other protection against the harmful UV rays. But how can we ensure sunblock is doing its job? 

Commercial Sunscreen

Most commercial sunscreen uses harsh chemicals that would protect your skin from the harmful Uv rays, however they can cause issues with sensitive skins. Even though most sunscreens contain harsh chemicals, most researchers would agree that some sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. However, you could better moisturize your skin while using sunscreens, such as camellia oils. Camellia has natural active substances for skin care, such as vitamin E, Squalen, sterols, polyphenol, known for their anti-aging and skin repairing. The key in applying camellia oil, is to use before applying sunscreen. The oil can be quickly absorbed in the skin, however if the sunscreen is applied first then the oil can not be absorbed.  

The Lambert-Beer Law

What is the “Lambert-Beer Law”? According to John P. Rafferty, an editor for the Encyclopedia Britannica, the law (also known as “Beer’s Law”) is an “equation that relates the attenuation of light to properties of a material.” The law states that the concentration of a chemical is directly proportional to the absorbance of a solution”. In Layman’s terms, it's a math equation to help researchers to figure out how reflective a chemical, oil, or any kind of liquid is against light. Notice on every single type of sunscreen there's an SPF Number? That number is a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from UV Rays. For example: 30 SPF means up to 300 mins of UV protection. Now the range of the SPF goes from 5 to 75, but you might be asking: “Why is there a range, if you could make it with the strongest SPF?”. The reason for that is the stronger the blocker, the thicker the application would be, leaving an unpleasant, greasy feeling over your skin for the highest SPF Sunscreen.

Is there an eco-friendly alternative?

Is there a Natural sunscreen? Maybe there are a few natural instances that can be used as a SPF, and most are tested by the Beer’s law method. However, most natural sunscreen alternatives have little SPF, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and other natural oils. Another issue regarding natural sunscreen is that people would put on less and less of the natural sunscreen because of the uncomfortable, greasy feeling on the skin. You may be asking yourself, what about mineral oils or any other alternative oils? Unfortunately, most mineral oils do not provide any protection against the Uv rays since the oil would be abosarly too quickly by the skin.

Conclusion

We needed to be aware about the dangers of being outside without sunscreen. Without any kind of Uv protection, you are putting yourself at risk for skin cancers. You could create your own homestyle sunscreen, however they would not offer not much Uv protection and required much more for the application for any kind effect. You can use store bought sunscreen but you should use a moisture before applying the sunscreen.  


References

1. https://www.aad.org/media/stats-skin-cancer

2. https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/23687/11/11_materials%20and%20methods.pdf

3. https://www.britannica.com/science/Beers-law

4. Kaur, Chanchal Deep, and Swarnlata Saraf. “In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics.” Pharmacognosy research vol. 2,1 (2010): 22-5. doi:10.4103/0974-8490.60586

 


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