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Sunscreen - protection for every skin type

Sunscreen – protection for every skin type

Sunscreen – protection for every skin type

What does the sun protection factor mean?

“For our latitudes and the most commonly represented skin type 2 in this country, factor 20 is usually sufficient,” explains Beate Volkmer (cell biologist at the Dermatological Center Buxtehude and member of the Dermatological Prevention Working Group).

A factor 20 cream causes five percent of UV rays to penetrate the skin. In other words, anyone who can spend ten minutes in the sun without the skin reddening may sunbathe with the SPF 20 for a period of 200 minutes.

“We recommend not exhausting this maximum time, but to settle for about 60 percent,” says Volkmer.

Can sunscreen prevent skin cancer?

Shade and clothing offer far better protection against skin cancer. Only then can sunscreen be classified as a protection against skin cancer. Although Volkmer explains: “Sunscreens have proven to be very good cancer protection in the laboratory.” But in practice, they do not meet this claim. This is shown by at least some studies.

Why? The required amount of cream of 40 milliliters per cream every 2 hours simply can not be implemented in everyday life. Apparently, less cream at longer intervals does not provide cancer protection.

Another circumstance even causes malignant melanoma (black skin cancer) even increases with sunscreen: recklessness!

Sunscreen seduces to recklessness

For many, sunscreen is the psychological alibi to stay in the sun longer than it would actually be possible without risk according to skin type or after sunscreen.

UV index

The UVI (UV index) indicates the sunburn effective solar irradiance. UVI values are always determined as maximum values, ie around lunchtime, on the 21st of each month. In Germany, the average UVI value is 3-4. It varies from the minimum in December (0) to the maximum in the months of June / July (7).

skin type

A total of 6 different skin types are distinguished from each other. Depending on the skin type, the skin cancer risk is also determined or the necessary measures.

Type 1 – ‘Celtic type’

  • Very light complexion, reddish or fair hair, freckles.
  • Self-protection time: <10 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • at UVI 3-4: 15
    • at UVI 9+: 25-35

Type 2 – ‘Nordic Type’

  • Light skinned, blond, fair blond or dark brown hair, often freckles.
  • Self-protection time: 10-20 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • at UVI 3-4: 10-15
    • at UVI 9+: 20-25

Type 3 – mixed type

  • Medium skin color, dark brown or light brown, dark blond, sometimes blond or black hair, barely freckles.
  • Self-protection time: 20-30 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • At UVI 3-4: 10-15
    • For UVI 9+: 15-20

Type 4 – ‘Mediterranean type’

  • Brownish or olive-colored skin also in untanned condition, brown or black hair.
  • Self-protection time:> 30 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • at UVI 3-4: 10
    • at UVI 9+: 15

Type 5 – ‘dark skin types’ (mainly from Arabian, North African and dark Asians)

  • Dark to light brown skin also in ungebräuntem condition, black eyes, black hair.
  • Self-protection time:> 90 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • at UVI 3-4: 4
    • at UVI 9+: 8

Type 6 – ‘Black Skin Types’ (mainly people from Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Australia)

  • Dark brown to black skin also in ungebräuntem condition, black eyes, black hair.
  • Self-protection time:> 90 minutes
  • Recommended sun protection factor
    • at UVI 3-4: 2
    •  at UVI 9+: 4

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