Be A Parent

How to protect children from the sun: the expert's advice

The advice of Dr. Olivier Doucet, Vice President of Research and Development for the Coty - Lancaster Group. He explains the latest advances in sun creams ...

What have been the major advances recently made on sunscreens?

Dr. Olivier Doucet: Until the 1990s, solar products only protected UVB.

Next, scientists became aware of skin damage caused by UVA. Double protection products have therefore been developed.

And today, we find on the market products that perform well in terms of protection against UVA and UVB. But it seems normal to go beyond, and to wonder if, in the spectrum of the solar rays (visible and invisible), other radiations would not be at risk.

But what kind of protection, what types of radiation?

Dr. OD: Recently, research is underway on the effects of infrared radiation. The latter represents about 50% of solar radiation and is responsible for the creation of free radicals in the skin that are involved in aging and possible cellular dysfunctions, such as DNA modification.

It is for this reason that infrared protection is now present in some sunscreens.

And more specifically, what are the damages caused by these infrared?

Dr. OD: We do not yet fully know the role, or the importance of this radiation in the genesis of skin damage. However, studies are beginning to show that the damage is not negligible.

As I said, these radiations are at the origin of the creation of many free radicals, which is very detrimental for the skin. Everything also depends on the exposure conditions, the genetic heritage, the phototype ... of each person.

And children's sun creams?

Why did you work on the development of a new sunscreen for children?

Dr. Olivier Doucet : First of all, it is essential that their skin be well protected from solar radiation. Also the application of these protections is essential ... which is not always the case. Children complain that cream sticks, is oily, has a strong odor, leaves marks on wet or damp skin ... hence - too often - misuse.

We have therefore developed sun creams that are more attractive to children: in cream or spray, with a high level of protection, which can be applied directly to wet skin, and which leave no white marks on the skin.

Does this mean that for children these creams are enough for good sun protection?

Dr. OD: No, certainly not! It should be remembered that sunscreen is a supplement: parents should be reminded that children should not expose themselves between noon and 4 pm, and should be covered with clothing because sun damage during childhood has a significant impact on the genesis of cancer.

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