Sunscreens are important because we live in a sunny climate. We know that sun exposure causes skin cancer and premature aging. However, most people forget that sunburned skin has its own set of problems. If you're spending hours outside during the summer months, you probably already know that sunburned skin looks terrible. It turns red and peels away leaving behind painful blisters. In fact, sunburned skin can lead to serious health issues including rashes, hives, itching, swelling, and blistering. There are many reasons, but the main culprit is UV rays. UV rays penetrate deep into the layers of the skin causing cell death and DNA mutations. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid getting burned by the sun. One way is to apply SPF before going outside. Another way is to choose a sunscreen with broad spectrum coverage. Broad-spectrum sunscreens block both UVA and UVB rays which protects us from burning while still allowing enough sunlight to reach our skin.
The best way to choose a sunscreen is to read the label carefully. Zinc oxide blocks both types of rays while titanium dioxide blocks only UVB rays. Other common ingredients found in sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, PABA, retinyl palmitate, and salicylic acid. Some sunscreens contain chemicals called PEGs which are linked together to form long chains. These chains act as a physical barrier between the sunscreen and the skin. While these chemicals provide additional benefits, they can be irritating to sensitive skin.
Broad spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect us from both UVA and UVB rays. Because of this, they are recommended for those who spend lots of time outdoors. People with fair complexions, light hair color, freckles, and pale skin tones are especially prone to developing sunburned skin. As mentioned earlier, sunburned skin can lead to other medical conditions. For example, sunburned skin can result in eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial flushing, pimples, redness, and swollen blood vessels. Skin cancers are another possible side effect of unprotected sun exposure. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Melanomas develop in areas where skin cells become damaged due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Sunscreens are important because we live in Florida where there is no shortage of sun exposure. We need to be careful with our skin care products so that we don’t end up getting burned by using too many chemicals. If you are going to purchase a product, you must ensure that you know exactly what you are putting onto your skin. There are certain ingredients that are known to cause irritation to the skin. Some of these include fragrances, preservatives, and other harmful substances. Make sure that you read the labels before making purchases.
There are different types of sunscreens available today. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, SPF 30 protects us from UVB rays while UVA rays penetrate deeper into the layers of our skin. However, SPF 30 does not provide adequate protection against UVA rays. Therefore, choosing a high SPF number is only half the battle. You still need to choose a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum coverage. Broad spectrum refers to the ability of the sunscreen to block both UVA and UVB rays. In addition, it needs to contain zinc oxide which blocks UVA rays. Zinc oxide is found naturally in the earth’s crust and is therefore considered safe. Other factors to take into consideration include the amount of water resistance and the presence of fragrance. Water resistant sunscreens last longer since they stay on top of the skin rather than sinking down into the pores. Fragrance free sunscreens are preferred since they are more effective. Since most sunscreens contain alcohol, they dry out the skin. Alcohol evaporates quickly leaving behind dead cells. Thus, it is best to avoid applying sunscreens during hot weather.
It is very important to apply sunscreen regularly. Applying sunscreen daily ensures that you receive maximum benefit from the product. Therefore, reapplication is necessary every eight hours. Reapplication prevents the buildup of sunscreen on the skin. Once applied, sunscreen remains active for approximately two hours. After that, it begins to break down and lose effectiveness. As long as you reapply sunscreen within two hours, you will remain protected.
Choosing a high-quality sunscreen is essential. Look for a label that states “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB”. Also check the expiration date. Avoid purchasing sunscreens that expire before the recommended period. Check the ingredient list carefully. Ingredients such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate are toxic and should never be included in a sunscreen. Be wary of sunscreens containing parabens. Parabens are hormone disruptors and have been linked to cancer. Finally, look for a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is a natural mineral that absorbs ultraviolet light.
The best sunscreens are those with SPF 50+ because they block more harmful rays than lower-SPF products. However, there are many other features to look for when choosing a sunscreen.
This number indicates how well the product protects skin from ultraviolet radiation. The higher the SPF rating, the greater the protection provided by the product. Products with SPFs between 15 and 30 provide moderate protection; SPFs of 40 and above provide high levels of protection.
Some sunscreens contain ingredients that absorb moisture from the air, which makes them water resistant. Water resistance prevents sweat from evaporating into the air and causing irritation to the eyes and nose.
Many sunscreens contain fragrances that irritate sensitive skin. Fragrant sunscreens can cause rashes and allergic reactions.
Products labeled noncomedogenic are free of chemicals that clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.
Sunscreens containing oil absorbers reduce shine and leave skin feeling soft and moisturized. Oil absorption agents are generally found in lotions and creams.
Most sunscreens only cover UVB rays, so they're effective against burning and tanning caused by sunlight. But most sunscreens aren't designed to protect against UVA rays, which penetrate deeper into the skin and increase aging and wrinkling.
There are several different types of sunscreens available today. Some are tinted while others are transparent. There are also mineral based sunscreens and chemical based sunscreens. Each type has its pros and cons.
These sunscreens are typically formulated using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide absorbs both UVA and UVB rays, whereas titanium dioxide absorbs UVB rays. Mineral sunscreens are easy to apply and last longer than chemical sunscreens.
Chemical sunscreens are formulated with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and physical blockers to protect against damaging UV rays. Chemical sunscreens are easier to apply and last longer than mineral sunscreens.
Transparent sunscreens allow light to pass through, making them ideal for cloudy days. Tinted sunscreens filter out certain wavelengths of visible light, allowing you to see where you're going. Both options are suitable for everyday use.
Sunscreens aren’t always created equal. Some sunscreens contain chemicals that could be harmful to our skin while others are formulated with natural ingredients that provide SPF protection. In addition, there are different levels of SPF protection available. For example, most sunscreens labeled “SPF 30” actually only provide 15 minutes of protection per application. Let’s take a closer look!
The first thing to know is that there are two main categories of sunscreen products – physical blockers and chemical blockers. Physical blockers block UV rays by absorbing them before they reach the skin. Chemical blockers absorb UV rays once they hit the skin. Both types of sunscreens are effective, however, each has its pros and cons. Here’s why you might choose one over another.
These sunscreens are typically thicker formulas and more opaque. They’re great for those who prefer a matte finish because they give a longer-lasting effect. However, these sunscreens are harder to apply evenly and require reapplication throughout the day. If you’d rather skip the hassle of reapplying, stick with a physical blocker. But remember, they’ll leave a white cast behind so you’ll still need to slather on moisturizer afterwards.
This category includes sunscreens that contain both physical and chemical blocking agents. While these sunscreens are thinner and easier to apply, they lack the long-term effects of physical blockers. Because of this, many people opt for chemical blockers. However, they’re not recommended for daily use since they wash away quickly. Instead, they’re ideal for outdoor activities where you’ll likely sweat heavily. That said, they’re perfect for beach days or pool parties where you’ll be swimming around a lot. Just be sure to reapply regularly.
It really depends on your needs. If you plan on spending lots of time outdoors, you’ll probably benefit from using a physical blocker. Otherwise, go with a chemical blocker. Either way, you’ll need to reapply frequently so check the directions carefully.
UVA/UVB Ratio: This measurement determines whether a product blocks both UVA and UVB radiation. Products with high ratios are considered broad spectrum and are designed to cover the entire range of damaging ultraviolet light. Low ratios mean the product covers UVB radiation only.