It is not always easy to know which cream to choose between protection indices, skin color, water resistance and impact on the environment. AlloDocteurs takes stock to help protect your skin (and corals) this summer.

What is sunscreen for?

Sunscreen is used to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, UVA and UVB rays. These rays are responsible for sunburn, aging of the skin (dark spots, wrinkles) and certain skin cancers.

Contrary to popular belief, putting on sunscreen will not prevent you from tanning! On the contrary, it will allow your skin to tan gently and durably, without attacking it. And whatever cream you choose, remember: it can only be kept for a few months!

High SPF to ward off sunburn

The first thing to do when choosing sunscreen is to take a cream with an SPF (Sunburn Protection Factor) suitable for your skin type. The protection index displayed on the products corresponds to the protection time before the onset of sunburn.

With a sunscreen SPF30 for example, your skin is protected 30 times longer than if you did not put cream (approximately 300 minutes). But these indices are calculated in the laboratory, with a quantity of cream much greater than what you actually use. To obtain optimal protection, 2mg of cream should be applied per square cm of exposed skin!

A good application for better protection

To effectively protect your skin, you must apply a generous layer of sunscreen (about two millimeters thick) and be careful not to neglect any exposed area! We do not therefore forget the cream behind the knees, on the ears or between the toes, an area rarely exposed and therefore fragile.

And just because you’re using an SPF 50 and water resistant doesn’t mean you don’t need to apply cream regularly! The words “waterproof” and “water resistant” only mean that the cream retains 70% of its filtration capacity after 2 to 4 baths. It is therefore recommended to use it every two hours and after each bath, whatever the index chosen.

Which cream for which type of skin?

Not all skin reacts to the sun the same way! The phototypes, that is to say the type of skin according to its reaction to the sun, are classified from 1 to 6. Phototype 1 corresponds to the total absence of melanin, as in people with albinism, and the 6 with the darkest skin.

If you have particularly fair and fragile skin, it will therefore be recommended to wear the highest possible index, SPF 50, where dull or mixed skin can be satisfied with an SPF 30 to protect themselves from sunburn. . But whatever your skin type, the application rules remain the same.

An eco-responsible sunscreen, is it possible?

In recent years, sunscreens have been more respectful of the environment and of your skin. Indeed, chemical UV filters are known to participate in coral bleaching and some are considered endocrine disruptors or allergens.

Organic creams prefer to use mineral filters, which reflect UV rays while remaining on the skin’s surface, unlike chemical filters which absorb these rays and penetrate the epidermis. Less harmful to the skin, these creams could however be less effective. And when it comes to protecting the seabed, no sunscreen is truly eco-responsible. To protect the oceans, the best solution is still to do without sunscreen and stay in the shade, or wear a t-shirt!