We can almost taste spring today. But how harmful is that first spring sun? What is the chance that you will burn and do you have to take out the sunscreen yet? Two dermatologists answer.
The weather forecast for the next few days looks good. It will remain dry and mostly sunny. Everyone go outside, put on your sunglasses and enjoy. Although it is recommended to also be careful, because even the first rays of the sun are harmful to your skin.
“Whether or not you get sunburned has nothing to do with how hot it is outside,” says beauty editor Sophie Vereycken. “But with the strength of the UV radiation that reaches the earth. This radiation is shown on a scale from 0 to 10. UV radiation increases as summer approaches, whereby in the middle of summer we often have to deal with UV values around 7 to 8. At such a high value you burn within 15 minutes if you go out without sun protection.”
False sense of security
But what about sunny spring days? Dermatologist Ingrid Van Riet explains: ,,Whether or not you should use sunscreen, depends on the situation. In the spring, the UV concentration is less, so you really don’t have to apply every day. Is it cloudy outside or are you mostly indoors? Then a sunscreen is not necessary per se. But suppose the sky is sky blue and you are going for a long walk, then it is wise to apply sunscreen.”
UV B is mainly something of the summer, while the sun gives off UVA radiation all year round
Even today it is better to err on the side of caution. But what exactly does that mean? First you have to distinguish between the different types of UV radiation. “UV B is mainly a summer thing, while the sun gives off UVA radiation all year round,” says Ciska Dings, producer of sunscreens.
And let that UVA be the most important factor of skin aging (think: sagging, wrinkles and brown spots). We prefer not to, so lubrication is the message. Dings: ,,Is the sun shining? Then apply against UV A. You can recognize this protection by the circle with the letters UV A on the packaging.”
And what about my day cream?
Dermatologist Ingrid Van Riet adds: ,,On days like today, don’t just rely on day creams with a sun factor. They can’t hurt themselves, but they give a false sense of security. Day creams may contain a UV B filter which makes you burn less quickly, but they protect less against UV A. That is because UV A filters often leave a white shine, which makes them not ideal in a cosmetic product like day cream.”
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