Most of us know how important it is to wear sunscreen on the beach, but did you know that sunscreen should be applied even on your days spent inside, at work or at home? The sun rays can reach our skin and do harm even through glass and our clothes, so you’re not safe from the sun just because you are not on a sandy beach.
Since sunscreen is the number one method for anti-aging, it is something everyone should know exactly which sunscreen that’s good for our skin type when to reapply, and how else can we make our sun safety game strong. So, here’s basically all you need to know about all things sunscreen.
1. There are two types of UV radiation, UVA, and UVB.
UVB is what causes us to get sunburnt, while UVA is what penetrates our skin deeper and causes most of the damage. This is helpful to know when picking out your sunscreen, to see which UV radiation exactly does it protect you from. Whatever you do, don’t buy a sunscreen product that doesn’t provide UVA.
2. There are 2 types of sunscreen, Chemical, and Physical (Mineral).
Chemical: It is a combination of carbon-based compounds (oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone). These work by absorbing the sun rays, and causing a chemical reaction in your skin to turn UV rays into heat, and then releasing that heat away from the skin.
Physical (Mineral): It has active mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, that work by sitting on top of your skin and acting like a mirror to deflect and scatter the harmful UV rays away from your skin.
3. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it ranges from 15- 50.
According to your skin tone, you choose the most appropriate SPF for you. Light and fair-skinned individuals should opt for a high SPF (from 30- 50) as this gives the most protection, while darker toned individuals will benefit more from a lower SPF (15-30) as their skin is more equipped to fight sunburns.
4. Not all sunscreens protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
Always check the ingredient list of the sunscreen of your choice, to know whether it is chemical or physical. Only the physical sunscreens have broad-spectrum protection. That basically means they block both UVA and UVB rays.
5. Don’t just apply sunscreen and go to the beach.
What most people don’t know that some sunscreens need time to work on protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays. If you’re using a physical sunscreen, then you don’t need to wait before you go out for fun in the sun. But, if your sunblock is chemical, then you need to wait at least 20 minutes, to give it time to work effectively.
6. You can apply sunscreen even on sensitive, or acne-prone skin.
Choose physical sunscreens if your skin breaks out easily, because this type of formula doesn’t sink into your skin, so it doesn’t block your pores or cause you breakouts.
7. Not all sunscreens leave a white cast on your skin.
As silly as it sounds, this is actually one of the main reasons a lot of people hate applying sunscreen, they’d risk getting skin cancer, just so they don’t look like a ghost on the beach! Well, surprise, only physical sunscreens cause a white-ish cast that is easily visible on darker tones of skin. So, if this is your biggest concern, just opt for a chemical sunscreen, it’s thinner, so it spreads easily and doesn’t leave a visible film on your skin.
8. Some skin problems get worse in the sun.
People who suffer from skin diseases like Rosacea and Eczema are usually the ones that suffer the most when they don’t apply sunscreen or when they use the wrong one for their skin. If you have any skin problems that are exasperated by the heat, use physical sunscreens only. Chemical sunscreens can make your skin problem feel worse because it absorbs the UV rays and changes them into heat, which can make your skin more red and itchy.
9. Your skin is not the only thing you should protect from the sun.
Most people apply sunscreen on their face, their body and hands, and they completely forget about their lips! Your lips actually see the sun the most if you think about it, and believe us, there is nothing worse than sunburnt lips (you can’t smile, talk, or eat, and forget about laughing). So, apply a good lip balm with SPF 15 on your lips is a must all summer long.
10. Reapplication…it’s a thing.
All good things must come to an end. That, unfortunately, includes your sunscreens effectiveness as well. After a while, the sunscreen you applied will lose its ability to protect you. Maybe it wore off when you went in the water, or when you sweat while playing beach volleyball, whatever the case, you need to reapply every 2 hours. Even if you are just sunbathing, give yourself a fresh coat of sunblock every 2 hours.
11. Sunscreen is not the only form of sun protection.
While sunscreen is highly effective in protecting you, you shouldn’t just rely on it to keep you safe. Stay in the shade as much as possible, wear protective sunglasses (not just the cool kind, make sure they protect your eyes), wear a big sun hat (who doesn’t like hats?!). You can also apply a layer of Vitamin C underneath your sunscreen for an extra boost of protection from the damaging effects of the sun. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent the oxidative stress that is caused by the sun, which leads to visible aging of the skin.
Like we mentioned before in our “Top 10 Things You Are Doing Wrong With Your Skin Care Routine”, everyone needs sunscreen, no matter your age or skin color, being cautious when out in the sun is not something that you should take lightly. Skin cancer is a real thing, and we all should do our best to keep ourselves and all those we love safe from the sun. Share this with someone you love, because nothing says “I Love You” like “I want to protect you from the sun”.