Sun cream - How does the sun affect our skin?

Today's post promises to be necessarily long. Today you are going to have a little more work reading, but I ask you to please pay attention because it is essential for the future of your skin and that of your babies.

One of the things linked to running is the sun (especially in summers) and if we do not take care of ourselves, also burns. This is something that we must avoid, but not only in our babies (very important thing) but also in our skin.

Many times you are with friends and you talk with a laugh about how you were burned yesterday and then you always end the conversation saying: "But tomorrow this is dark!". It is possible, but the important thing is that today You are burned!

To protect us minimally from solar radiation, our body is equipped with a natural defense called MELANIN. This It is generated when the sun comes into contact with our skin and transforms UV radiation into heat. Melanin is a dark protein, that is why during this process our skin darkens and we become tan.

The more sun we take, the more melanin we secrete and the more protected we are. This does not mean that if we are already brown nothing happens. Melanin is incapable of transforming all UV rays, so we must help ourselves using protective creams and, it does not hurt, during the summer ingest more vitamins A, C and E (A: pepper, potatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, pumpkin, etc./ C: citrus, cauliflower, kiwi, etc./ E: pipes, alm
endras, corn, peanuts, squash, broccoli, etc.)

One of the things that perhaps makes us unaware is that we don't see what happens to our skin when we don't protect it from the sun (this video shows it very well). By not obtaining a negative result immediately, we believe that nothing is happening, but the truth is that the damage appears after 10 or 50 years. Therefore we do not think only about the present (in this case) if we do not take care of our future and that of our children.

Excessive exposure to the sun, today, is generating premature aging of our skin.

To give us an idea, Sun rays act in this way on our skin:

  • Ultraviolet rays (UV) are divided into:
  1. GRAPE: They cross the epidermis and reach the dermis area. They cause tanning, premature aging and sun allergies.
  2. UVB: They do not go beyond the epidermis. They allow the synthesis of vitamin D, but if we do not take them with caution they can cause burns and possible skin cancers.
  3. UVC: They are the most dangerous for health. Fortunately, they are retained by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth, because they could cause blindness. So, take care of the ozone layer!
  • Iinfrared: They are the ones that produce that feeling that tells us it is summer, the warmth on the skin.

Now you know, so there is no excuse to use sunscreen that prevents sunlight from easily penetrating our skin.

How to choose sun cream?

The most important thing when choosing which sunscreen is the most recommended for us we must know what PHOTO TYPE we are. Phototype is the ability of the skin to absorb solar radiation. So it will determine the response to the action of the sun's rays, the tanning capacity and the time limit of exposure to the sun. The higher the phototype, the greater the melanin production and the greater tanning capacity.

Then I leave you a table that reproduces the classification of phototypes established by DR. Thomas Fitzpatrick (Harvard Medical School) and followed the times of natural protection.

In addition to this, the hours in which the solar radiation is highest must be taken into account and, if possible, avoided. This time slot runs from 12 in the morning until 16 in the afternoon (approx). A trick that grandmothers tell is: "When you look at your shadow and it is short and chubby, you should not take the sun."

Anyway, even if you are not in that time slot you should put sunscreen (even if it is a minor factor) or cover yourself.

If we cover ourselves, are we protected?

To give us an idea, even under the umbrella comes a 50% of radiation. This means that, yes, clothing protects us from radiation but not everything that is usually believed. When M. was born, my gynecologist told me that even if I was wearing a bikini, I would put sunscreen on the caesarean section. I looked at him with a poker face, but later I discovered that he was absolutely right. Reviewing This studio We can read:

"Lightweight white cotton fabrics for summer apparel offer low UPFs, and their protective effect is often less than that of a cream with an SPF of 15" Inés M Algaba Joaquín

So it is not very convenient to expose yourself to the sun with a simple T-shirt thinking that you are not going to get burned.

It is as bad to expose yourself to the sun as much as to become a vampire. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium to fixate on the bones. In fact, children in countries with little sunlight have to give this vitamin in pills for their proper development. But that doesn't mean babies younger than 6 months have to lie in the sun like lizards. All in perspective. If you take your baby for a walk dressed in his carrycot and with the hood on already the good sun rays come, it is not necessary to expose him directly. Also, babies under the age of six months cannot be put on sunscreen of any kind. To those older than 6 months you can apply a cream with a physical filter. What have you never heard of a physical filter? Let's explain the types of sun creams that exist!

What types of sun creams are there?

Until M. was born, he only knew two types: the pharmacy ones and the supermarket ones. You see that before being a mother you don't pay too much attention to these things. Failure! We should always pay the same attention.

There are three types of sun creams:

  • Those that act with chemical filters: They absorb UVB and some UVA. The problem with these sun creams is that it is being studied that some of these substances could be harmful to our body because they cross the skin barrier and penetrate it. (European union listing of permitted ingredients)
  • Those that act with physical filters : These filters are composed of minerals (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) that act as a screen to reflect radiation and do not penetrate the skin.
  • Those that act with biological filters: These contain physical filters and also vegetable oils (shea, avocado, wheat germ, olive or aloe vera) that hydrate and act as filters against UV rays.

For children the best ones are those of physical filters and also those of zinc oxide they are biodegradable and protect the marine environment. One of the characteristics of these protectors is that they leave a very dense white film, which is positive.. Many people are uncomfortable that it is so difficult to spread the product, keep in mind that putting sunscreen on a child is like trying to fish with your hands. But it is best to apply it in that format because although the spray seems more comfortable, the substances in the physical filters can be inhaled and are very toxic.

Other One of the peculiarities of protectors with a physical filter is that it is not necessary to apply them 60-30 minutes before, like creams with chemical filters. Once you apply the physical filter, the skin is fully protected. So you do not have to get up an hour before going for a run or going to the beach to apply the cream.

There are also combined sunscreens, such as those with sunscreen solar + mosquito repellent. All the information I read about it is that they are not highly recommended because they may not work as well because the protector solar has to be applied frequently and very often applied mosquito repellent could become toxic. So we either have lack of one product or excess of the other.


  • The best way to apply sunscreen is to gently spread it on the skin, face (not the eyelids. To protect the eyes, better wear glasses and a hat. It is very important to protect the fontanelles from the sun's rays), hands, and feet.
  • Avoid sun exposure from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Avoid surfaces that reflect light (water, sand, snow, white areas)
  • Apply the cream 30 minutes before in case of chemical filter. If it is a physical filter at the time of exposure.
  • Renew the protector every 2 hours or if you get wet, especially children who are all day in the water or sweating, you should be vigilant to apply in areas that you think it no longer has. (It's very important!)
  • Also apply on less sunny days since solar radiation also penetrates the clouds.
  • Sunscreens expire so it is important to change them when they expire. If a chemical filter sunscreen expires it loses its effectiveness and also the components are modified and can be harmful to the skin. In the case of organic creams, when they expire, the components separate and the oils age and lose their effectiveness.
  • Babies under 6 months should not be exposed to the sun
  • Babies older than 6 months should always use a physical zinc oxide filter.
  • Although the body is covered with clothing, radiation also reaches our skin.

So let's enjoy the sun very carefully 🙂

Sun, baby, sun!

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  1. Hi,
    I am a follower of your blog. I find the subject very interesting but I would like to know of a brand that you can advise us to do well for a 6-month-old baby.


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